Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Visual Dare - Perspective

A word and photo prompt that couldn't be missed on this week's Visual Dare. 


It was only when David watched his child that he realised he’d been looking at his marriage all wrong. As the toddler pulled the lens end of the camera to his face, David saw how, instead of bringing her closer and focusing in on the best parts of their life together, he’d been pushing her away, keeping her – and all the things that were stressing him out – at a distance, making them fit into one picture, when they didn’t.  

He gently removed the camera from his son now he was attempting to lick it, and turned it over in his hands. So just like he did with his camera, David needed to take it apart, cleaning and repairing each little piece and appreciating its value, so he could start afresh. It would be like having a whole new camera, and just as exciting too.

144 Words

Monday, 29 June 2015

Returning - MWBB

I managed to snag a third place in last week's Mid-Week Blues-Buster, and the feedback from the judge Louisa Bacio was interesting. She asked, "It’s tough in a short piece, but would like to see some emotions. Is he jealous? Does he love her or does he just not like to be rejected?" Because I am not a planner with flash, I just write what comes, I hadn't really thought that far, and in fact didn't know what he was going to do until the end. I hadn't really explored his character, which can often happen with flash as it is just a moment in a story or a character's world. But I am glad she still felt it warranted rating. Hope you do too.


Song prompt:
Cat People, by David Bowie

They didn’t question him at the entrance, letting him take priority over the established queue, ignoring the protests of those at the front.

He entered the foyer of the nightclub, handing off his coat to a waiting attendant who looked at him in awe. It had been a long time since they’d seen him here, but he hadn’t been forgotten.

As he stepped through the double doors into the nightclub, Kennedy surveyed the dance floor from the first floor landing. It was busy tonight and in full swing, but he still managed to spot her out there; her hair flying out as her dance partner swung her round. He took in the dance partner, seeing the sleek, black hair, toned body and striking eyes, knowing it was her ‘type’. But he was back so this stand-in would be leaving shortly.

Kennedy strode round the landing, ignoring the gasps and stares from the staff who rushed to make way for him and serve him a drink as he walked. He grabbed the glass and threw the liquid down his throat, thrusting it back in moments, swinging round the stair banister and making short work of his descent to the dance floor.

She still hadn’t noticed his arrival even though everyone else had. Crowds parted to make way for him, knowing his destination. Even her partner stopped dancing on sight of him, stepping back and trying to melt into the people behind in the hope of getting away unscathed. Kennedy didn’t worry about him; he had people that would take care of that.

It was only once he stood in front of her that she saw him and jolted to a stop mid swing. Unlike everyone else she was unfazed by his arrival seeming to have expected it. She simply stepped forward, pressing her body up against his and turned her face up to his with a grin. He didn’t return it.

“Aralia, where were you?”


Her hands crawled up his sides. He grabbed her wrists and held her arms down.

“You think you can just play me?”

She opened her eyes wide as though innocent.

“I haven’t been playing anyone. I got bored. You didn’t have time for me with all your businesses. I need attention and excitement.”

He gripped her wrists tighter. “You can’t just up and leave me like that!”

Aralia yanked her hands out of his. “Well apparently I can – and did!” 

She stepped back, rubbing her wrists. 

Kennedy glared at her. She returned the look.

“Okay, have it your way then.”

He stormed off the dance floor, and snapped his fingers at two of his men standing up on the landing. Each of them had a jerry can and they started unscrewing the lids as Kennedy climbed the stairs. They looked at him once more for confirmation and he nodded curtly as he joined them. They started showering the people below with the contents.

Their protests could be heard over the music, but nobody understood what was happening until after the men retreated from the landing. Kennedy pulled out a cigarette and a lighter. He flicked the zipper open in one movement, and swept it across the cigarette as he flung the lighter below. The poof of the gasoline drew a smile from him as he too exited, mumbling, “I’ll give you excitement.”

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Five Sentence Fiction - Waves

One not to be resisted this week on Five Sentence Fiction, there's always plenty to imagine with waves, particularly the water kind.


Chrissie sat her board at the edge of the water, and watched the waves roll in one after the other, some high, some low, each reaching their zenith and breaking; the ripple effect running the length of the wave until it crashed into the water below.

The rhythm was hypnotic; she was used to watching for sets, to see where the pattern stopped and started again, giving her the chance to run in and get past the break point so she could bob about on the swells and choose when to engage and ride one into shore. But this evening it lulled her, rocking away her upset and worries, more than the actual surfing had managed to do today.

She might not be able to change things in her life right now, and she might feel stuck, but soon an opportunity would come around, and she just had to keep her eyes peeled for it. And then, just like with the waves, she had to make sure she was ready for the big break, so she could ride it all the way. 


Daily Picspiration - The Dragon House

With this weeks Daily Picspiration I went with a Dragon story due to the photo prompt. Not normally my genre but I enjoyed trying something new, it felt like it had been a while. It took a while for me to find the story, but the words came and of course the ending had to be! Hope it will make you snigger like it did me! Enjoy.

Posted on Sunday 28th of June - you can find 'The Dragon House' here. 

Friday, 19 June 2015

Doing what you have to - Flash Mobs Writes

This is the first time I have written for the Flash Mobs Write challenge, hosted by Cara Michaels & Ruth Long - two awesome writers. They provide a song for inspiration that doesn't need to be referenced, and two prompt lines, one of which needs to be included - although you can use both if you wish. Last week they had a song from The Walking Dead show as an inspiration, so I took a closer look. Initially nothing came, but on Sunday I woke with this story, although I entered it an hour past the deadline. That might be why it didn't warrant a mention, although all the entries, of which there were many, were of a very high standard. I liked this story though, hope you do too.

Now she had the gun up against his head her hand was steady. In every scenario she’d run in her head, Amanda had seen herself shaking, barely able to hold the gun. It was why she’d picked the little Taurus 405 model, easy to hold and easy to conceal. 

And when it had played out in her head she had seen him laughing at her. But he wasn’t. He stood stock-still, an edge of fear in his eyes. She liked that. For the first time ever he was taking her seriously, and when she’d cocked the barrel he’d dropped the conch. 

And while she paused, catching her breath, debating whether to go through with it or not – never imagining she’d get this far – he started to beg. 

“Come on Mand, you don’t want to be doing this. You don’t want to go shooting me. You don’t want that on your conscience. I’m not worth jail time. Come on, this isn’t you. You’re better than this. This isn’t you at all.”

“Maybe I’m not who you think I am, Brandon. I know I’m not who I thought I was. I didn’t think I’d be somebody who’d let a man beat me daily. I mean look at me? Look at the blood trickling down the side of my head. That might be you; it might have been my mother, but it sure as shit isn’t me. And I let you do that Brandon – me, no one else. I let you worm your way in. I trusted you, I believed your sob stories, you excuses, your sorry speeches – ” 

“But I meant them Mand, I really meant them, it’s just –”

She spat in his face. “You didn’t mean a word of them! Not one … single … word! If I wasn’t holding this gun to your head, you’d still be beating me with that!” Amanda kicked the conch across the kitchen floor. “But I was ready for you this time Brandon, because I realised that you were never gonna stop. And I need you to Brandon, because I need to live. I need to show those two little people upstairs, cowering at this very moment that their mother is worth more than that; that she’s stronger than that; that she’s better than that.” 

“But I can change Mand. I can get help. I can turn this shit around, I promise.”

“Promise?” Amanda scoffed a half laugh, the gun held firm. “You’re promises aren’t worth shit Brandon and you know it. You won’t do any of that. Once this gun is removed you’ll beat me to death, that’s what you’ll do. That’s the only promise you’ll keep.” 

She felt his body tense under the barrel of the gun. He knew she was right, and she knew she was right too. And in that moment she knew what she had to do. She pulled the trigger, feeling the warm spatter of blood on her face, and his body slump to the floor. 

Find the Girl - MWBB

This was my entry from last weeks Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction contest. I rather liked it, but the last line was hard for me. I wanted it to be more. But on the whole I liked the piece. Hope you do too.

Song prompt: 
The Cure - A Forest

He could hear her; her breath, panting, but it was distant. He followed where he thought it was from, but a crunch of twigs turned him in another direction. Damon pushed through the undergrowth, ignoring scratches and cuts to his arms and face, and janking at his long overcoat as it caught on branches. He had to find her, had to get hold of her, and soon.

He heard another crash and a squeal with it. It froze him in his tracks as he strained to hear more but there was nothing. He slammed his shoulder against a tree trunk as he tripped over a root, pausing a second to catch his breath before going on. How much longer could he keep this up?

Then he heard a shot, fired somewhere off to his left, but no scream followed it. He hoped it had missed, he hoped he still had time as adrenaline gave him another shove forward. He was determined; he had to be the first to reach her, he couldn’t fail again.

A wall of thicket appeared in front of him. As he approached it he wondered how best to get into it, but found that throwing himself into it was the only way. Was she in here? He didn’t know, but he had to try.

As he pushed further in, Damon was momentarily blinded by dense leaves, and felt his foot catch on something as he slid face first into a carpet of leaves and mulch. But he barely felt it as his attention was caught by a sound next to him; a sharp intake of breath.

Damon turned his head and there she was cowering away from him, caught in the undergrowth, hugging her naked body tight in an attempt to cover herself. Her leg was bleeding where he’d caught it with his shoe.

He pushed back onto his knees, and swept round, opening his long overcoat and sweeping it round her as best as he could in the tight space. She pulled it round, and let him embrace her, resting her trembling body against his. Whether from fear or the cold Damon couldn’t tell, but at least he had her first before the monsters came.

Neither of them made a sound as they heard them come crashing through the trees. Damon hoped the twigs and leaves of the thicket had bounced back behind him, and they wouldn’t spot where he had dived in.

Footsteps crunched nearer, and two voices spoke in rough whispers.

“She came through here, I’m sure of it.”

“We should have brought McKlennan, he could have tracked her better than you.”

“She’s here somewhere, I’m know it.”

“You said that a mile back.”

“We’re getting close. Shhh!”

The men went still and Damon held his breath, feeling the girl do the same. Everyone waited. Then something crashed off in the distance, an animal maybe, and they were moving again, excited by the sound.

“She’s over there!”

“I can’t wait to have her!”

Damon and the girl didn’t move or speak, though they relaxed as the sounds of the men became more distant.

Eventually the girl’s head came up from Damon’s chest, and she whispered, “Why?”

He looked into her pale frightened eyes, and said, “Because you’re a valuable human being, not a piece of meat to be hunted.”

Monday, 15 June 2015

Daily Picspiration - Retreat

I have stopped with serial I was doing for my Daily Picspiration and I have moved back to doing single pieces of fiction. This one got a bit long, but I do love it. It has a nice dark and confused twists in it, and hopefully stays with the reader a little afterwards. Hope you like it too. 

Posted on Sunday 14th of June - you can find 'Retreat' here.

Did you like it? What did you like about it? Let me know in the comments below. 


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Visual Dare - Balance

This weeks Visual Dare threw up an interesting photo, and combined with the word balance, made me think more of a juggle. This is what surfaced.


Sophie stumbled her way into the station with all her bags and saw the melee in front of her. Damn, it was rush hour, how was she going to get through all that lot unnoticed?

She juggled the suitcases round until they were more comfortable and set off, pushing her way through, mumbling apologies as she went, not daring to look anyone in the eye. She hoped no one would offer assistance, they might ask what she was carrying and she wouldn’t want that.

Fortunately she reached the platform uninterrupted and set the bags down. Glancing at the clock, she had ten minutes to decide whether to leave the cases in the luggage rack. She didn’t fancy standing all the way. Then she caught someone glance at one of cases and saw blood seeping through. Damn, it looked she had no choice if he wasn’t going to remain hidden.

149 Words

Five Sentence Fiction - Spunk

A quick one for this weeks Five Sentence Fiction, the picture giving me a different take on the word.


Timmy shifted round in his seat and craned his neck to watch the big truck that was coming up alongside them in the outer lane.

Mandy didn’t like her son doing that while she was driving and reprimanded him, telling him to sit back round, but as she glanced over her shoulder their car swerved towards the lorry causing the truck driver to swerve out too and almost hit the central reservation.

Timmy watched as the driver tried to correct his position on the road, his hands working hard on the steering wheel as he came level with their car. The blare from the
trucks horns made Timmy jump, and he looked wide-eyed up into the truckers angry face.

Timmy giggled and said to his mum, “You’ve got to have some spunk to drive that big truck, mama.”


MWBB - Untraceable

This is an entry to Mid-Week Blues-Buster from last week. I didn't have time to post it as I was busy at a writing event in Nottingham. Although it wasn't placed, I really liked it. I hope you do.

Prompt song:  “Freedom”, by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton.

Belinda looked out the open window, across the vast expanse of land and leaned back, stretching her back. She surveyed all she had packed so far. The tiny backpack had all the essentials.

It would be a while before anyone would notice she’d gone; the kids were going to their grandma after school under the guise of an appointment, so she had a few hours head start, and that was plenty for what she had in mind.

She’d spent the first couple of hours of the morning shutting everything; deactivating social media, deleting mail accounts, diverting information that he might need to their home email, and then switching funds around in the banks – emptying hers.

She’d laid all the bank and insurance cards out on the dining table, so he couldn’t miss them – hers and the kids. And left the keys to the house and the car, everything, so there was nothing he had to track her down.

Her stomach clenched at the thought, but she pushed it away and took another deep breath; if she let the thoughts in she wouldn’t be able to go, and it wasn’t an option anymore.

She’d seen the signals; the slightly coincidental non-coincidences that others missed. And then the signs had started to appear; first in the kids chalk drawings in the pavement, and then in the ever changing fridge magnets. It was time to go.

She ran through everything in her mind, hoping she hadn’t missed anything. She had to be untraceable, there had to be no leads.  She had to walk away with not one single tie – other than DNA.

She squeezed her eyes tight shut for a second, swallowing hard. They’d be okay as long as she went. That was the deal.

She saw the bus in the distance, and walked out the front door, making sure it was firmly closed behind her. She strolled casually to the stop and stepped up onto the bus when it arrived.

Belinda looked out the back window at her little house, and the little life she was leaving behind. She had to keep moving, that was the price she paid for her freedom. And although they’d never know it, she sought comfort in the fact that she was giving them their freedom too.