Monday, 14 August 2017

Goodreads Giveaway for Mostly Dark

I am running a Goodreads Giveaway to win one of two signed copies of my book, Mostly Dark.

Make sure you enter by the 10th of October 2017.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mostly Dark by Miranda Kate

Mostly Dark

by Miranda Kate

Giveaway ends October 10, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, 17 July 2017

Mid-Week Flash on hiatus.


MID-WEEK FLASH CHALLENGE
ON HIATUS
BACK ON WEDNESDAY 6th SEPTEMBER

Due to my children being home from school for the holidays and also due to the reduction in entries (which I hope is just due to the time of year) I've decided stop for a few weeks.

Hopefully there'll be more takers in the Autumn.

Meantime, feel free to enter any of the old picture prompts and here's a new one to be going on with -  you can find tons more on my Pinterest boards.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 19

This week's photo returns us to the world of the surreal. The image was taken/created by Hermin Abramovitcha, a guy from Israel over on Deviant Art - and despite him saying that his work doesn't need to be credited, I think it should be. He's taken some great images.

It's only a short one from me this week - mostly because I thought it was Monday and not Tuesday and didn't have enough time to write more. I hope you all do better. 

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.



Wish and Dreams

She stroked the driftwood frame and imagined her life in its windows. She saw joy and laughter, elation and wonder, hugs and kisses.

Drops of water fell on the glass. They weren’t spray from the sea; they were tears from her eyes.
She wished so much she could create reality from those visions; she wished she could pluck them out and bring them to life.

But reality remained cold and hard, and empty, wishes were all she had.

She looked up at the receding tide on the beach, and watched the waves coming in and out, rushing forward and pulling back. Their motion was something to be trusted, to be sure of, to feel secure in. Their rhythm held fast every day; it didn’t deviate. There would be no sudden change, no hidden betrayal. She would not be left high and dry – not yet anyway.

She walked towards the ocean, feeling her whole body rock with their movement. In the wake of the waves the white horses ran, rushing in, hoping to be successful before petering out. When they reached her thighs she shivered at their touch. When they reached her breasts she gasped at their strength. When they went over her head she had no reason to wish anymore. She had reached the land of her dreams.





Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 18

This week's photo is a photoshopping image of the Monticello Dam drain hole. And is in so many places on the internet I can not track the creator. The drain hole is the largest in the world, and located in northern California. (This funnel-shaped outlet, allows water to bypass the dam when it reaches capacity, as it swallows a rate of 48,400 cubic feet per second.)

I liked the perspective this image offered, both literally and metaphorically. I'm interested to see what others will make of it. 

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.




The End

Chloe had had enough. She couldn’t handle another day like this. She hated it here: the fakeness, the surface chatter, the ‘keeping up with the Jones’ they all did, the friendship cliques. She couldn’t stand it. She had tried intellectual conversation with them, but they would look at her blankly. They weren’t book readers; they weren’t deep thinkers; they weren’t creative. They spent their days focusing on the day to day trivia of life, and particularly that of their neighbours!

Living here was not for Chloe. But if she went back to where she had come from there was also nothing, just a bunch of bad memories. She’d be starting from scratch too. She had neither the energy nor the cash to do that. But staying here was a pit of nothingness too: emotionally dead, empty, a sinkhole that was sucking the life out of her.

She lay there on bridge looking up at the sky, imagining the abyss her life had become. She pondered the same question that always came up: how to change it? She couldn’t go back; she couldn’t stay here in the present, so she had to create a future. She had to move forward. But to where? And would it be any better there? – Would it be any better anywhere?

She had lived in so many places, tried so many things, and still she came to this point: bored, empty, lonely and disconnected. And was the lack of connection them or her? Was she doing something wrong? Was it all her, as so many indicated? Too intense, too deep, too real – that’s what they kept on telling her. Too open, too talkative, too keen – none of it won her any friendships. She was tired of trying, and believing there were people out there like her. She was tired of telling herself she just need to find the ‘right people’. She had started to believe that there were no ‘right’ people – she was just wrong.

She had no ties, she had no commitments (short of her job), and she had no connections holding her in one place. She used to be thrilled by that idea: free to go where she wanted, when she wanted and how she wanted. But the thrill had worn off. She felt like she was drifting, like a fish in a strong current trying to stay in one place. She wanted to feel connected, needed, valued. But she no longer believed it would happen in this lifetime.

Then came the next thought; one that went through her mind more often than it should: “Who would miss her if she was gone?” She couldn’t think of one single person. There was no family, no friends to speak of – although a few might be sad initially but it would be short lived. And people might wonder why, but really it wouldn’t matter what they wondered, she wouldn’t be here to care about it.

Chloe rolled over onto her front and looked down at the water. It churned and roiled, throwing up its rage at being pushed around by the sides of the river and the boulders in its midst. It foamed, and spat great white plumes into the air, the recent heavy rains swelling it, testing its patience as it rushed along. You could try and swim in it, but it would pull you under, bend you to its will, and Chloe had never been a strong swimmer, never had official lessons. 

She knew if she thought about it for too long it wouldn’t happen, so she pushed herself forward until her torso was over the edge of the bridge, and under the bottom rung of the wooden side protectors. She let her upper body drop over, enjoying the thrill of the rushing water underneath.

She paused, wondering if she could do it, but then felt her bottom cheeks brush the underside of the wood panel above and her weight shift forward. A moment of panic rushed through her as she attempted to grab at the edge above her, but the movement caused a further shift and before she knew it she was tumbling and hitting freezing water.

The last thing Chloe St. James registered was the sensation of being churned like she was in a giant washing machine. Then her head hit against something and she was gone.


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 17

This week's photo is an abandoned subway station - City Hall Station, in New York. It was built as a stop in the New York City Subway System in 1904, but closed in 1949 because the station wasn't very busy and could no longer accommodate larger subway cars.

This photo was taken by John Paul Palescandolo & Eric Kazmirek, and it was featured, along with many others of the abandoned subway, in an article in the UK's Daily Mail in 2012.

Being that I tend to write dark, this gave me the perfect setting. Interested to see what you make of it.

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.





Paranoid 

When I reached the platform it was empty; the only sound that of my rushed footsteps echoing off the underground walls.

My heart skipped a beat as I looked round, frantic for company. The platform veered off to the left and I hurried along in the hope of finding another soul – but there was no one.

I tried to take steady breaths and calm myself while my ears scanned for any sound that might signify the imminent arrival of a train. The display boards were switched off giving me no indication of when that might be.

My over stretched ears were telling my brain something it didn’t want to hear: that the footsteps I’d imagined behind me since leaving the office and making my way to the station, were not actually imaginary; that they were steadily coming closer, one by one down the long flight of steps to the platform.

My eyes searched for a place to disappear into: an inset in the wall, a corner behind the power box at the end of the platform – even a bench to crouch behind, but there was nothing. I stepped back, hugging the wall and stepping quietly along to the corner. I could only hope they didn’t come round the curve in the platform.

I felt open, exposed, and vulnerable; the epitome of a woman alone at night.

My mind kept running scenarios of being attacked. I imagined running to the edge of the platform and flinging myself off - rather electrocuted on the lines than taken by force.

The footsteps had arrived on the platform. They were light, tentative, clearly looking for me. I wanted to shut my eyes, but my brain wouldn’t let me. I had to know, had to be sure. I looked out at the tiny section of platform I could see and waited.

But nothing; the footsteps had faded.

My ears kept searching for any sound or scrape, but only the echo of the station came back: the air moving through the tunnels, the background rustle of anything from paper, to mice, to the traffic above – no indication of another person on the platform.

I stayed where I was, frozen to the spot for as long as it took me to realise I was holding my breath. I let it out carefully not wanting to attract any attention, certain my potential assailant was still there biding their time.

My eyes traced the hands on my watch as the seconds stretched out to minutes, as I silently pleaded for two headlights to appear in the tunnel.

I jumped at the sound of sonic shots running through the rails as a train approached. The air stirred but I dared not move. I wanted to remain hidden until the last possible moment.

The train pulled in, bright and light, but mostly unoccupied at this late hour. When the doors slid open I made a dash for it, leaping in, my eyes darting left expecting to see someone coming at me. But no one did, because there was no one there. The platform was empty.

A frown crossed my face as the doors slid shut and I searched the station from end to end as the train moved off, but the truth was I’d been alone the entire time.

I leaned back against the wall of the train and sighed my relief, until a gentle cough reached me. I glanced up to find eyes staring at me from the other end of the carriage belonging to a lone man.

He smiled.

My stomach clenched.
 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Hat-Trick! - 'Spiders' - Flash Flood Journal Entry



This year I have managed a Hat-Trick! My fifth entry into the yearly Flash Flood Journal.

It's an international flash-fiction journal created by writers and edited by a team of volunteer editors on behalf, and in aid of National Flash Fiction Day, which took place on the 24th of June.

Every 10 minutes a new piece of Flash is put on the Flash Flood Journal for the full 24 hours of Flash Fiction day.


This ended up being a last minute entry, being that the first two I submitted, and had worked on for a few days were rejected. You are allowed three attempts, so I thought, what the hell, in for a penny in for a pound. I sent it in just half an hour before the deadline! Goes to show that sometimes it isn't about how long you have worked on a piece but whether it grasps the reader.


My entry 'Spiders' went up at 1pm. You can read it here.

This piece was inspired by a photo prompt for a Horror Bites competition. This was the photo:






Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 16

Last week's photo prompt brought four entries with such unique concepts, its why I love doing these challenges. I have my take on a picture, but there are so many others. Plus I'm happy people are still showing up to write.

This week's photo prompt is on what I have always believed to be Midsummer's Day - the 21st of June. Although apparently it can differ depending on your beliefs, for some it is on the 24th of June (in Germany and other places). But the Internet - and my beloved timeanddate.com site which I use for timezones and daylight savings - tells me June Solstice in the Netherlands this year is indeed on Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 06:24 CET (Central European Time). So I picked this photo, which to me reflected long summer evenings.

Tracking down this picture, as is usually the case, was quite hard, but fortunately the original place I had pinned it from held the answer as it was credited correctly. It was taken by Studio Impressions, Marcus Bell & team in Brisbane Australia - for a wedding in Bali (Angie & Ben's)

My entry this week went darker than planned, but hey, that's how I roll. Maybe others will be able to show the lighter side.

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.





Feast

Ramkin sat back and rubbed his swollen tummy. It had been a fine feast and no mistake. They’d sent them off well, and on the most perfect night of the year, Midsummer Night. Mind you, half the attendees would only come out on that night, it being a special night for those of a shadier nature.

It had taken time and work to bring it all together, but fae gatherings were never taken lightly, there had to be exact planning and execution. When Hommel proposed to Mayfoot it had caused ructions: the fae weren’t meant to marry out of their own blood for risk of tampering by other elements, elements whose ultimate aim was to bring down the race. But the pair weren’t gonna budge, they believed they were destined and no one could argue with that. Ramkin dared not think about their offspring, that was not his business, or others either, although there’d be plenty of talk.

A cheer went up and more glasses were raised, the clinking resounding off the wall of forest surrounding their twilight party. The glitter of the day had passed into a twinkling evening, scented by the sun baked foliage and delicate table displays of flowers and candles. And despite his full belly, Ramkin knew the feasting had only just begun. In particular, the darker meat was yet to be brought forward and roasted. He could see his brothers at work now, getting the pyre and spit ready.

But his people were not the ones to bring that meat, oh no that belonged to their cousins who lived on the other side of life: in the shadows and dark corners, blending in with the night. They were responsible for catching this prey, it was their speciality, although everyone enjoyed the ritual of preparation, and it would take a good few hours yet before it was cooked.

He heard the moans already as they brought it into the clearing, and then the screams as it realised what would be taking place; its feverish eyes on the fire that was now burning under the spit, ready to take on its flesh. The louder the screams the higher the laughter rose, especially while watching their tiny cousins run up its body and begin the cutting, forcing it to its knees.

It was one of the few moments that the fae felt superior. Living among the giants was hard at times, but when they managed to catch one for a feast such as this, it made it all worthwhile.