Tuesday, 23 December 2014

The Black House - MWBB

I'm a little intermittent with my Mid-Week Blues-Buster entries at the moment. It totally depends on time and how quickly the song throws up an idea. This last week it did, and in fact it went very dark, half way through I had to stop and think about where I wanted it to go, because the direction it was headed was a little too darker, I didn't really want to entertain what I saw in my mind, so I diverted it at the last moment, and I think it worked - although it didn't get ranked. I put that down to a lot of entries this week, and all the other awesome stories that were produced. Enjoy.

The prompt song was:
Black House, by Omnia

The week was done and he could finally return to his sanctuary. Over bumpy roads to the hidden location, his heart lifted upon seeing the derelict building loom up ahead blacker than the night sky.
When he entered, their cries made him smile. He had been missed, but then a week alone was long, he knew that. He went about his ministrations, giving the minimum needed to sustain them; their outstretched hands grabbing what they could, a few lucky ones grabbing a little more.
As they settled, he did too, taking his place in the worn armchair positioned in the centre of the main room facing the doors. Eyes peered between the bars of the little windows set into the thick oak. It afforded him protection, unless he wanted to open them. But it was early yet, and he had to nurse a week in the world first.
He unscrewed the bourbon, enjoying its glint in the lantern light. He relished the first sip, the fire awaking his soul as it warmed his body. It wouldn’t take many tonight to bring him back to life.
They watched him as he drank, knowing.
After two drinks he stood up. He heard them hold their collective breaths as he walked to the back of the room to the CD player. He needed something dark and heavy tonight, something deep that would talk to his soul. It needed to be earthy; reflect the smells of the dwelling. He knew the CD he needed, and they’d know it too once he put it on.
He heard the murmurs when the first chords could be heard through the tiny speakers, and he felt their eyes on him as he walked to the corner. The chink of the keys heightened those murmurs and he smiled for the first time that week. This was always his favourite part.
They shrank back as he turned the keys in the locks, but he chose to let them do the opening tonight. He wasn’t in a hurry. Instead he returned to his chair and the amber liquid that would enable him to enjoy the next part.
He knew she’d be first. She was bolder than the others, opening the door a crack and slithering out. She pressed herself against the wall next to the door, and slid down it, relieved to be out of the confines.
Her nakedness aroused him, but he remained seated, knowing she would come, although not until the other doors were opened. They were a collective, and that’s why he enjoyed them so much.
First they huddled together, their unique forms fitting together as though they were one, and then they turned to him with a sparkle in their eyes. Now it was his turn to inhale, readying himself for their onslaught as they came towards him. Capturing dark forest fairies was one thing, but satiating their lurid desires was another.

Thursday Threads entry - 'Hope'

Once again I checked out the prompt line for last weeks Thursday Threads flash fiction contest, hosted by Siobhan Muir, and I saw the story immediately. And again, I also managed to snag another Honourable Mention!

I went very dark with this, but it's what spoke to me. Enjoy!


Hope stood back to check his work, but felt there was still something missing. He stepped forward again and started moving them about, trying to form some kind of symmetry, or pattern that made sense outside his head.

It was tough going and he had broken out in a sweat. He pulled his jumper off and continued, not caring for once about his nudity, not here in the basement. The single unshielded bulb illuminated everything in a flat, stark light, but it also cast deep shadows across his chest and stomach. This pleased him. He didn’t want to see the scars from all those years ago.

As he moved a limb here, and a torso there, Hope realised he was almost done - a few more hooks, and they’d be done hanging; although he’d take a couple of photos first, just for his own records. Then he’d take them down and think about putting together the next piece. It wasn’t going to be easy. He’d gone through all of those who’d mocked him through school, now he needed to find work colleagues. He’d teach them what hope really meant, especially when it was taken away. 

Daily Picspiration - Sanctuary

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. I had an idea for this story, but it grew into something a little different that my original plan. Again I'm touching on another culture. And I seem to be giving my stories more of an optimist ending these days, which isn't a bad thing. Enjoy.

Posted on December 21st, you can read 'Sanctuary' here.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

2014 Story Advent Calendar Blog Hop - The Surprise.

Okay, so I am trying my hand at a children's Christmas story for the Story Advent Calendar Blog Hop. It's the idea of reading your children a Christmas story for each day of advent. I have used this wonderful photo as an inspiration. It is from was a Christmas card I was sent many, many years ago, and which I have always kept.

The  Surprise.

Poppy and Russell had been watching the snow falling all day. It was settling on everything and they couldn’t wait to go out and play in it.

“Mummy, when can we go out?” Poppy called over her shoulder.

“In a minute darling, let me just finish this,” a muffled voice from the kitchen replied.

Mummy had been in the kitchen a long time and they weren’t allowed to know what she was doing. She called it a secret, but then it had changed into a surprise. Poppy was worried because she knew not all mummy’s surprises were good. Sometimes it meant she was cooking food that looked and smelled funny and they would have to eat. Although today there were no funny smells today coming from the kitchen, which there usually were if she was doing that - there were only rustling noises.

Russell climbed down off the back of the sofa and tiptoed to the kitchen door.

“Russell, no!” Poppy hissed. She sighed. It was so difficult keeping her younger brother under control while mummy was doing these things. And it was always up to her to look after him.

Poppy joined him at the door intending to pull him back, but instead peeped through herself.

“What do you think it is, sis?” Russell whispered at her.

“I don’t know,” she whispered back, struggling to make out what mummy was doing.

There was a big, plastic box on the kitchen table, and mummy was covering it in Christmas wrapping paper, but every time she brought the paper round to the front she giggled. Poppy hadn’t seen mummy giggle like that before. She had seen her laugh, only this morning they were having a tickle game, but this was different; she seemed to have a particular sparkle in her eye when doing it. It made Poppy want to go and hug her. She thought about doing that, but knew mummy would be cross if she went into the kitchen without being allowed.

At that thought Poppy pulled at Russell again. “Come on, let’s go and get our coats on, ready for when mummy let’s us go out to play.”

They tramped into the hallway, and Poppy helped Russell on with his coat. When she pulled his scarf tight, he pulled a face, so she pulled one back. Before they knew it they were pulling faces at each other trying to see who could make the other one laugh the most.

Then there was a muffled call from the kitchen, and they stopped.

“What was that mummy?” Poppy called back.

“I said, come here. It’s no good; I can’t wrap him up.”

Poppy frowned at Russell, and he copied her.  “What’s mummy talking about?”

Russell opened his eyes wide and put his hands up in a shrug. “I don’t know, let’s go and see.”

He pushed passed Poppy wanting to be first, and she raced after him all the way to the door, where they both stopped suddenly and opened it slowly.

Mummy was sitting at the table now a mug in her hand. The plastic box was still on the table, but when they approached it, it moved.

Poppy jumped, but Russell continued on until he could see the front. His face lit up.

“Oh mummy, it’s a cat! Poppy come and look!” He beckoned to his sister with his whole arm.

Poppy joined him and they both peered through the door of the cat box, staring at the little black fluffy thing inside.

“Is it a baby cat, mummy?” Poppy asked, thinking he looked a bit bigger than she thought a baby cat would.

“No Poppy, he’s a bit older. But what are we going to call him?”

Poppy put her finger to her chin and ummed, but Russell blurted out “Sooty!”

“That’s a good name, Russell.” Mummy tousled his hair.

“Well he’s all black, isn’t he, from the chimley.”

Poppy giggled, and Mummy smiled at Russell’s attempt at the word chimney. “From what chimley, Russell?”

“Our chimley, of course, the one Father Christmas put him down to give him to us!”

“Oh I see!” Mummy laughed, and Poppy laughed too. She knew it wasn’t true - it couldn’t be, it wasn’t Christmas Eve yet and everyone knew Father Christmas only came on Christmas Eve. But if mummy wasn’t going to tell Russell, neither was she. She was a good like that.   

For all the Advent stories, see below. 


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

HorrorBites - Stowaway

The new Horror Bites photo sparked a whole other type of horror in my head, one I hate to write about, but it's there, staring at me, demanding to be written. So here it is. Hope it doesn't give you nightmares.


Jason had to find daddy, then everything would be alright. Mummy had said he had flown far, far away, up into the clouds, so that meant he must have gone by plane. Jason knew where the airport was and he knew which bus went there. He was seven years old and big enough to ride the bus by himself. He counted out all the money from his money box for the trip.

The airport was a bit different. There were so many people, and so many desks. He wasn’t sure which plane to take, but there couldn’t be that many could there? He remembered his mummy mentioning his grandma Lewis lived in Dakota. They’d looked it up on the big map in his room. Maybe daddy had gone to visit his mummy, so he’d head there.

He followed the signs and seemed to have no trouble with the police at the special x-ray machines. The little girl in front of him with the big family had helped him with his bag, while another little girl had held his hand in the queue to get on the plane, when he’d been a little scared. There were lots of seats to choose from, so he picked one with a window.

When the plane took off he found it exhilarating, but his fun was killed when a man sat down next to him. He didn’t like the way he smelled. He had too much aftershave on and it turned Jason’s stomach. And the man kept talking to him, asking him about the things he liked. He thought about asking the pretty blonde air stewardess to tell him to go away, especially when the man put his hand on his knee, but he was worried he might get found out and sent home. He so wanted to see his daddy.

But after Jason told the man this, he got really scared. The man had squeezed Jason’s leg even harder and said, “Why don’t I be your daddy for a while then?” The way he had said it had made Jason want to pee.

Daily Picspiration - A New King

My Daily Picspiration went up on Sunday. The third and final piece of a story set in India, about a local monachy and the change in reign. I have really enjoyed writing this small tale, covering an area and location I know little about, and doing a touch of research to back it up.

Posted on December 7th, you can read 'A New King' here.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Drunken Sailer - Halloween Edition MWBB

Today the results were finally in for the Halloween edition of Mid-Week Blues-Buster which was held at the end of October. (My story didn't rank). MWBB has been on haitus over November due to NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month), but today Jeff Tsuruoka, who hosts it, relaunched it all.

The song for Halloween was an odd one (as Jeff is prone to using), being a twist of Irish music mixed with Turkish lilts, so it lent a strange 'bend' to the story. I also included the band members, because, well they're The Pogues, and there's nothing else quite like them! Enjoy!

The prompt song for Halloween week was:
 The Turkish Song of the Damned, by The Pogues

The curtains round her bed blew out slowly as they picked up a sea-breeze, and strains of the evening music played for the hotel guests below, reached Larissa as her doze wore off.

She sat up and slipped off the satin bed sheets, wrapping herself up in the complementary silken robe her five star room offered, and grabbed a piece of complementary Turkish delight on her way to the balcony, savouring the excessive sweetness in her mouth, mixed with the exotic lemon.

The sea view was magnificent at this time of night; the eastern stars shinning down, unaffected by the hotel lighting, which were dimmed by colourful lanterns, celebrating a festival she knew little about.

She couldn’t be further away from her homeland, either physically or culturally. The hot climes of an arid land contrasted the wet, greenery of her Gaelic heritage; the music, reedy and enthralling, unlike the jigs that moved her fellow countryman. She felt safe at last, away from the memories, away from the emotions of the last year and all its complications.

That’s what she called them: complications. She wasn’t ready to admit to herself the truth of what had transpired, and with this holiday, this little treat to herself, she planned on distancing herself further.

She looked out at the water, wondering at its temperature as she saw people at its edge. Were they swimming? Surely not at this late hour. But they seemed to be coming out, four of them, and fully dressed too.

Larissa watched them come up the beach, walking stiffly in their wet clothing. There was something familiar about their shapes and their gaits, and her stomach clenched as it triggered a memory, one she’d been trying to bury.

She struggled to swallow the last of the Turkish delight, which stuck in her throat as the figures came under the perimeter lights of the hotel and the face of the tallest was lit up. She stood transfixed as they came to a stop and all looked up at her.

Her mind refused to accept what she was seeing, until the tallest one opened his mouth to speak; his rotting teeth confirming his identity and filling her soul with dread.

She felt the fight or flight sensation run through her, but her feet wouldn’t move, and even at this distance she heard the words he formed through his long dead mouth.

“We’ve come back for ‘ya.”

Larissa shut her eyes and rubbed them, thinking maybe she was dreaming, but they were still there when she opened them – and she was sure, a step closer.

She looked from one face to the other; Jem, Spider, Fernley, and her one time love, Shane, all dressed as they had been that fateful drunken night when they had decided to take out her father’s boat. She had promised them she could sail it, even four sheets to the wind, but when they had gone further out, the waves had gotten up and she hadn’t been able to keep it steady.

She had frozen then, as she was frozen now, and clung to the tiny mast while the waves had buffeted the boat on all sides. She’d refused to crawl into the cabin and SOS for help on the radio, or throw out life rings as each one had tumbled overboard, their drunken state only helping the sea take them faster.

She’d been found the next morning by the lifeguards, still holding on, and to this day they believed she’d been alone. Larissa had said nothing to change that – even actively encouraging the rumours that the others had gone off travelling, on one of their drunken benders.

And maybe they had been, but they were back, and Shane was beckoning to her. This time her frozen state wasn’t going to save her.