Thursday, 29 July 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 210

This week's picture prompt is another one from Svetlana Sewell. She calls this one, Dead End. 

I had planned another Tricky snippet, but then someone decided to send me an offensive email about my writing, said in such a way to elicit the most upset. So I have eviserated them in fiction, as a writer does. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.



Blasphemous

She bucked and fought them as they manhandled her down the stone stairs.

‘I’ve done nothing wrong! You can’t do this to me!’

‘Shush now, you’re only making it worse for yourself,’ the guard on the left said.

‘I’m allowed to say what I want!’

‘Not against the Queen, you aren’t,’ said the guard on the right.

‘I have a right to my opinion!’

‘Not to share it in an offensive manner, with inappropriate passive aggressive remarks that were attributed in such a way to cause the most upset. You heard the ruling; you suffer the consequences.’

‘But I have rights!’

‘Not when you choose to use them to hurt others, you don’t.’

They arrived at an underground tunnel, lit with dim recessed candles. The walls were damp and covered in some kind of red residue. She didn’t know if it was blood or fungus, either way she didn’t like it. And then the end of the tunnel came into view and she began her struggle afresh, arching her back and trying to throw her body out of their firm grasp. But they lifted her off her feet and kept moving her swiftly forward to the terrifying destination.

A heavy, white-painted metal doorway framed what had once been a white padded room. Now it was grimy and ripped in places, after many years of use. It was little more than the size of a cupboard and they thrust her in, causing her to hit the back wall hard and struggle to remain standing. She was unable to get to her feet before they had swung the door shut behind her, sealing her off for the determined period passed down by the judge. She wouldn’t see the light of day for more than a year – not that she would have any idea of time in here.

It was a successful deterrent against proffering unwanted, destructive criticism to someone of creative standing. They shut you down, and you rotted in oblivion. You’re only hope that you survived long enough to keep your mind and be given a second chance.  


Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 209

This week's picture prompt was taken by Mrs DK Booksniffer over on Twitter. Taken for #SundayPixSeat - a Sunday event over on Twitter hosted by @Wombat37 with a different theme every Sunday.  It was taken in Preston, Lancashire, UK, not far from the River Ribble.

A perfect picture for a snippet from Tricky's new adventure. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Rest Stop

They’d taken it as their own which is how it should be, Tricky thought, as she plonked herself down on the moss covered sofa. The trees had grown round encircling it, and a few branches growing through the sides, but it still worked as a place of rest – not that many would find it this deep into the forest.

She was taking the opportunity to recharge her batteries in relative safety. She’d thought she’d had the upper hand, oh yes she did, but arrogance was a fool and she needed to kill it. This was not going as expected. She needed to play it differently.

This far into the unknown forests of Ferristan was even new to Tricky, but they’d driven her out of the known parts. She wondered if it’d been deliberate; they thought maybe she’d get lost and wouldn’t be able to track them. Oh they didn’t know her very well now, did they? Tricky chuckled to herself.

She took a deep breath and slowed her breathing down, calming her racing thoughts of fear and paranoia. No one had followed her into this area, she knew that. She would be able to find her way out – she was confident about that too. She would find Dufray and unearth this nest of cockroaches. She shuddered; Stanislov particularly made her skin crawl. He was one of those men who was too smooth and too confident. He thought he was a catch. You’d catch something for sure if you got involved with that, probably your untimely death. She looked forward to seeing an end to him.

She took another deep breath and exhaled it slowly, flushing out all thought and tuning into the trees around her. She felt her spirits lift as she listened to their branches move and crackle as they pondered this woman in their midst. She opened her mind and imagined her energy pouring out of her to greet theirs. They entwined it with all the shades of green and more. There was a rushing sound above her and she watched their boughs move in a sweeping motion as they all basked in the rush of energy their connection provided. Oh what bliss!

And then the image came of the path she needed to take through the trees. But it didn’t lead back through the forest, it led to water, rushing water that travelled to the unsailable sea. They were guiding her and she had to take note. And there was something in that water she needed to find. She could feel it.

Then a sudden rush of dark green flooded her and turned all the energy black. She gasped. It was a portent and one she had to pay heed to. It denoted that she had to play this clandestine and elicit if she wanted to survive. This was no fool’s errand, this was life or death.

‘I hear you,’ she said aloud. There was a huge rush of sound as all the trees in the vicinity of the sofa swung left and right in a show of unity and warning. ‘Thank you for your care and concern. I will not dismiss it.’

Then the trees fell silent and the dark energy dissipated, replaced by a lighter green that moved outside of Tricky’s body and travelled in the direction she must go. She didn’t waste any more time and jumped up to follow it.


Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 208

This week's photo prompt was taken by Michael Wombat in Derby.  These are the Reform Bill Heads - a sculpture on Friar Gate. The "Reform Bill Heads" by Timothy Clapcott are a reminder of the Reform Bill riots of 1821. Installed in 2000 as part of the Sustrans cycle route improvements.

I've gone a bit literal this week. It didn't really fit with any of Tricky's antics this week. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Talking Heads

‘Oh shit.’

‘Sorry mate, I tried to warn you.’

‘You didn’t try hard enough.’

 ‘At least we’re at the back.’

‘What difference does that make?’

‘Dogs, mate, dogs. You wait.’

‘And how long are we going to be stuck here?’

‘There’s no telling.’

‘I can tell you.’ A voice from the front. ‘I’ve been here since the beginning.’

‘Shit.’

‘There’ll be some of that too, thanks to the dogs.’

‘I didn’t think I’d said anything wrong.’

‘None of us did.’

‘It becomes wrong.’ A voice on the corner.

‘How can it become wrong?’

‘Views change; opinions change. A new agenda.’

‘But this is a bit extreme, isn’t it?’

‘Some would say your views were.’

‘So this is it then?’

‘Yep, a new perspective on society; one from the underdog.’

‘You’ll be seeing under a lot of dogs.’ A voice at the back somewhere.

There was sniggering.

‘At least you all seem to find something to laugh about.’

‘Got to keep a sense of humour, mate, otherwise you’re doomed.’

‘Some would say being stuck in an ornamental head of a sculpture on a pavement already meant you were doomed.’

‘There are worse things.’

‘Really?’

There was silence, then a burst of laughter.

‘No, but you’ve got to have hope, haven’t you?’


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 207

This week's picture prompt was taken by Svetlana Sewell. She gives no details about where this is taken or when, but I thought it had a story to tell. She has a great selection of interesting photos. Worth a look. 

Another peek at some of the story line I am trying to put together for Tricky's second book. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.




Leak

Tricky cracked an eye open through her pounding head. She was in a bloody bath – literally. Tricky shuffled round, her booted feet clanging on the old metal tub, until she was pulled up short by the chains on her wrists.

She tilted her head back to look at them and her brain felt like it hit the edges of her skull with force. Ow! She could just make out the metal ring in the wall they had put the handcuff chain through.

It was dark and dingy in here … here being an underground cavern of some sort. But the walls were smooth so this wasn’t some dug out hole; it had once been a proper bathroom. She put her hand on it and felt the smooth but damp plaster underneath; a creation that was long forgotten to the time before the shift. Such luxury. Some had tried to recreate it, but never got it this silky. It had no grain in it, and was entirely flat.

As Tricky’s mind came back online, she looked down at all the blood in the bath. Was it hers? She tentatively touched the side of her head. Her fingers came away sticky. Probably. She moved her body but couldn’t find any other large holes, just gashes and cuts, and a couple of finger nails missing.

She tried to recall how she had ended up here. She’d been found – how they’d managed to see through her veil she didn’t know. And then there’d been the interrogation. Oh that’s right, it all came flooding back now. She’d thought Carter had been violent and cruel, but Stanislov’s men had taken it to a whole new level. They’d beaten her about quite a bit but she was made of stronger stuff. And then there’d been Lucien!

She sat up quickly, regretting it immediately as her head screamed, causing her to retch – there was nothing to throw up; she’d emptied her stomach during their torture session.

Dufray was here. She’d heard his cries when he’d realised they had her. She hadn’t fully understood them either. What had he meant by don’t let them take it? What was the ‘it’? Had he meant the Obsidian or something else? But why had they been holding him? He was in with them after all.

None of it made sense, and her head hurt too much for her to try and work it out right now. She had to go within and regrow her energy and heal herself. But when she tried she couldn’t find an energy source. She was underground of course – and they’d placed her in a metal tub.

Shit! They knew more than she thought. Someone had been feeding them insider information, and she was beginning to doubt it was Dufray.