THERE IS SOMETHING DELICIOUS ABOUT WRITING THE FIRST WORDS OF A STORY. YOU NEVER QUITE KNOW WHERE THEY’LL TAKE YOU. (Beatrix Potter)
Hi. I am glad that you are visiting my blog site. Some examples of my writing are here for you to enjoy including up to date short stories and flash fiction. Welcome to the bizarre, funny, sad, dark, romantic and other worlds created by my imagination.
I welcome comments and feedback.
All stories are my original work and my copyright and can not be copied or distributed without my express permission.
You can buy my novel Silencio by following the links under the section ‘Buy My Novels’.
If you are interested in the research and background to Silencio or my new work A Life on the Line and/or want to know more about me or listen to my radio interviews why not take a look at my website http://www.laberrynovels.org
This is a short story I am working on. It is not finished but please feel free to comment.
In the middle of the ocean, the stars shine bright and the blue water takes on shades of purple, red and black. The hull slaps on the slopes of watery hills formed by the waves. At 38, Alice is the youngest of three crew, and the least experienced, nonetheless she takes responsibility for the yacht on her shifts of the rota. Each night, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, she stills the quivers in her stomach before reminding herself of the alternative. Her colleagues will be at their desks making relentless phone calls in the hope of hooking a deal. Survival and safety are her targets now.
Orion’s belt glows above and she uses it as the base from which to practise her knowledge, working to all sides and reciting the names of the constellations and planets in a whisper; she does not want to disturb the others. Fred is stretched out in the main cabin, on call he says but unlikely to wake unless thunder shakes the ship. Now that the night is set, the peace calms her fears, the wind strokes her face and its air fills her lungs.
It has been 10 days since they last encountered another ship – a tanker crept up behind, nearly running them over before gliding by to fade into the mist – and they were too far from land for wildlife. A seagull had hitched a lift but fled on day 3 and the dolphins had played for a few days but she had not seen a pod this week.
A sail flaps and Alice leaps to tighten the sheet. The wind is changing. She shivers and reaches for her fleece as she scans the skies. The stars have vanished. Should she wake Fred? Shorten the sail? Close the hatches? Or should she observe a little longer?
In my cupboards, boxes and notebooks hold items of little meaning to others. A bus ticket, a crushed flower, a ribbon. Each prompts recall of a moment resulting in a smile, a tear or a frown. A first love, a special dance, a trip abroad. When I fling them on to the skip, my past will be gone and the only memories that matter will be those that my loved ones hold inside.
I am tidying up by study and these few words came to my mind.
October Flash Card Entry for Little MS
This is a flash entry of 100 words or less with a photo prompt of a man burying his head in the ground of a barren landscape.
DIGGING FOR RICHES
Geoff ignores me.
‘I’m leaving in 30 seconds.’
He doesn’t reply.
Leaning against the car, I juggle the keys in one hand and stare at his backside. My foot moves but stops midway. Twenty years I have put up with his penny pinching. The air is cooling as the sun descends; soon it will drop behind the horizon and the night creatures will surface.
‘It’s fake, Geoff. A M&S special, you fool,’ I yell. The wheels scream, kicking up a cloud of dust as I embark on a path less travelled.
I wake and stretch
and for a moment, all is well
Then I remember
and another cell in my heart
Another furrow marks my face
and I wish for the past
When my lover was well
and my child had a future.
A black beret covered her white hair and the Breton top hung from her shoulders; sunken cheeks and skeletal hands made me fear that if the south-westerly picked up further, a gust would carry her over the sea-wall to the swirling foam below. Would she fight to the surface or prefer to tumble through the waves until salt water replaced the oxygen? I had rarely seen a person so beaten by life and it seemed clear that she would welcome a watery bed. The urge to reach out an open hand nearly won but I tucked my fingers under my thigh and remained in my seat.
Maybe her solitude was her solace. On my own fruitless journey, seeking comfort for a broken spirit, I avoided others and so, understood that she may not welcome intrusion. Some distant point on the sea kept hold of her attention as though she awaited an arrival. In my imagination, a lover; someone lost long ago. Or was she trying to see her homeland across the water? Whatever had driven her to that spot, it was an invisible burden she carried.
Sometimes, I feel that I am climbing the Great Wall of China with no end in sight. If you have tried this, you will know that it is steep and treacherous and the only people who scale it easily are the locals. When I visited in 2014, even the ancient Chinese women overtook me (younger by decades) on the way up, and my descent was a glamour-free, undignified trip on my rear-end. There was no way that I was trusting myself not to tumble.
Life has been a series of ups and downs during the latter part of 2017 and first month of 2018. The number of items on my to-do list increases and family events outside of my control act as barriers to completing tasks. There hasn’t been a lot of time for writing and I feel embarrassed when asked ‘how’s the next book coming along?’
‘It’s progressing,’ I answer without adding ‘in my head and dreams.’
I haven’t even joined the Friday Fictioneers for our weekly challenge recently, although I have done some flash fiction pieces on my own.
My New Year’s resolution is finally set – more writing, less procrastination. The trouble is that I have already procrastinated – it’s February!