Tag Archive | short story

Fiction Friday #174 – The School Dance

It took me ages to come up with something for this prompt. I knew what I wanted to do, but not how to get it in. Eventually I started writing a story where I knew I could get it in, but it took a while. I think it works how I wanted it to.

The Prompt this week is:

Use this lyric from Shore Leave to flavour your story: “Hong Kong drizzle on Cuban heels”

Here’s my (as always unedited) story from it:

           Jessica dared a look across at Will. Although they hadn’t come as a couple, she was hoping they’d go home as one. It was the natural next step. If he’d just ask her to dance, maybe she could get one step closer to making that a reality.

            He didn’t look at her, so she looked away. Maybe she’d completely miss read the situation. Oh god, maybe she had. What if he was there just as a friend, maybe this mystical foursome she’d been dreaming of for the last few weeks was exactly that – a dream.

            He had been really quiet tonight. Not that she knew him that well to know if he was always that quiet. She’d only really spoken to him a few times. The night Tina and Alex met, the time they went to the cinema together, that time at lunch and last Friday when they’d hung out in the park. He’d not been quiet that night. But then he had been drunk. They’d all been drunk.

            Alex looked much older than 17, with his fully grown beard, so had easily got served at the local off-licence. Apparently they quite often went to the park and got drunk. Her and Tina hadn’t done it so much – they both looked 17. Maybe even younger.            

            She couldn’t handle not saying anything so tried to think of something that would make her sound clever, funny and maybe a little sexy.

            ‘The weather’s terrible today isn’t it?’

            Unfortunately for Jess the moment she started shouting over the music, was the moment the band finished their song. Her face flamed as a couple of people from nearby tables sniggered. The applause from the rest of the room muted it out. She looked up shyly from her fringe to see Will smiling kindly at her. He reached over, placed his hand on the back of her chair and leaned closer to her.

            ‘That kind of thing usually happens to me.’ Jess giggled, he was so nice. So many people would’ve just laughed at her too. Just by saying that she feel for him a little more. Plus, this close, he smelt so good. ‘You know, there’s an expression for this kind of rain. It’s Hong Kong Drizzle…’

            ‘On Cuban Heals!’

            Jessica and Will sprang apart to see Tina and Alex standing just yards from them. They both looked at Tina questioningly.

            ‘The club?’

            ‘I told you it wasn’t.’ Alex gently knocked her arm with his.

            ‘I swear it is. Jess, you know the club we wanted to go to in town. The one your sister went to with that lifeguard.’

            ‘Oh!’ Jess remembered the club, it definitely wasn’t worth interrupting her chat with Will, especially when she’d got it wrong.. ‘The Mexican Sombrero.’

            ‘That’s it!’ She turned to Alex. ‘Told you.’

            ‘You got it wrong how is that telling me?’

            Jess and Will watched them drift back to the dance floor – still jokingly arguing with each other.

             ‘Hey, I’m really hot, do you fancy getting some fresh air?’ Jess didn’t, it was probably still raining, but if it meant going somewhere with Will, she sure did. ‘We can stay under the marquee. We don’t want to get your pretty dress wet, or hair wet. He leant over and picked up a stand of her hair. She felt like she could die with happiness right there and then with his closeness.

            ‘Yeah good plan,’ she said weakly.

            They stood up and Will placed his hand on her back, leading her to the door. The feel of his hand on her body sent tingled up and down her body.

            As they got to the door, his hand dropped. Before she had time to miss it, it had picked up her hand. He span her round so she was just inches from him. He was taller than he so she had to tilt her head to look in his eyes.

            The iciness of his eyes surprised her – they were like pools, she shivered slightly. She’d never noticed the colour before. In fact, she could’ve sworn they were green a minute ago.

            ‘I’ve got a better idea. Let’s get out of here completely. You’re all dressed up so we could go to a club in town?’

            Something in his eyes scared her, she wasn’t sure she wanted to be alone with him now. She turned and looked back into the room for Tina, but Will gently touched her chin to turn it back to him. He closed his eyes and bent and brushed his lips to hers. Her legs felt weak below her. WILL’S KISSED ME she wanted to scream out loud.

            ‘Shall we go?’ He put his arm round her and all doubts forgotten, she put hers round him and walked out the room. 

So, what do you think? Please let me know. I’d be really interested to hear what you think of Will. He was supposed to be this nice kid, but at the end I thought there might be something sinister about him (if I was a vampire kind of girl that’s what he would’ve been – luckily I’m not).

 

If you like my writing and would like to see more of it, I’ve just entered the Mills & Boon New Voices competiton. You can go have a look at my entry here: http://www.romanceisnotdead.com/Entries/958-Italian-Infatuation 

Fiction Friday #173 – The Tooth Fairy Fails to Deliver

The prompt this week from Write Anything is:

Why did the Tooth Fairy fail to deliver coins one evening?

As always, I’ve not edited. Here goes:

Paula heard the front door slam and waited for Andy’s tell tale steps into the kitchen. He seemed to be taking longer than usual.

‘Honey?’

‘Yeah?’ He sounded like he was still by the door. He was probably checking the mail. She tried no squash her fears – he always came and kissed her before he did anything else. She stirred the casserole once more, replaced the lid and went to the door.

‘Hey. You’ll never guess what Holly… OH MY GOD. What happened to your face?’ She looked down at his body, as well as the swelled eye and cheek and bloody lip, his tie was a mess and his shirt ripped a little. Andy winced as she turned on the light to get a better look.

‘It’s nothing.’

‘Andy, someone’s done this to you. It’s not nothing. Did you get mugged?’ She looked down and his briefcase was on the floor. He obviously had his keys because he’d got in the house. ‘Did they steal anything?’

He shook his head. ‘I didn’t get mugged.’ He said quietly, avoiding her eyes. Inexplicably Paula felt something tighten in her stomach.

‘Come in the kitchen, lets get you cleaned up. Oh you go sit down, I’ll just grab the first aid kit from the bathroom.’ Andy started walking slowly to the kitchen. He was obviously in a lot of pain.

As Paula ran up to the bathroom, the feeling in her stomach grew, it was fear. Fear and nerves. Why had someone beat up Andy? If he wasn’t mugged, what had happened?

She was on the top step to run back down when she heard a quiet ‘Mummy’ coming from behind one of the bedroom doors. She thought it was Holly’s. ‘Mummy?’ Yes, it definitely was Holly’s. She went to the door and opened it slowly.

‘Holly bunny. What are you doing awake?’

‘Mummy, I thought I heard the Tooth Fairy, but it was you. My tooth’s still here. When’s she coming?’

Paula crossed to her youngest daughter’s bed and sat next to her.

‘Tooth fairies are very shy creatures. They only come out when everyone’s asleep. So when Daddy and I go to sleep…’

‘Daddy’s home?’ Holly sat up in bed, although Paula couldn’t see her face, she knew the excitement that would be on it.

‘No, not yet,’ Paula replied quickly. She’d want him to come and read her a story, and she didn’t want her to see her daddy in that state. Besides, she had to find out what happened. ‘He’ll be home in a bit. Then we’ll go to sleep. And then, in the dead of the night, when everyone’s asleep, the Tooth Fairy will come.’

‘What about Pepper? Will she say away if he’s awake? Because he’s always awake at night.’

‘No, she’s not shy of hamsters. In fact hamsters and tooth fairies are good friends. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if she lets Pepper out and they have a little game of hide and seek before she leaves.’

Holly settled back down under her cover. ‘When I grow up I want to be a tooth fairy Mummy.’ Paula chuckled to herself.

‘You know Holly, I think you will be.’ She kissed her daughter on the forehead and headed downstairs, the dread growing inside her with every step.

           

Andy was at the kitchen table with a cloth on his lip, presumably with ice. Paula sat opposite him.

‘Honey who did this to you?’

‘I deserve it.’ Paula started to feel lightheaded, how could someone deserve that.

‘Don’t be silly. No one deserves that. What happened? Who was it.’ She started getting cotton wool and Savlon liquid out the first aid bag.

‘Paula wait.’ She ignored him and carried on getting the stuff out. He gently took her wrists. ‘Please Paula. I need to…’

She pulled out of his hold. She knew she wasn’t going to like what she was about to hear. Did she know what he was going to say?

‘Paula. It… It was Sharon’s husband.’ She forced a laugh.

‘Why would he beat you up?’ Please, she silently begged him, Don’t say the obvious thing.

‘He found out about our affair.’

 

            Later Paula couldn’t remember any specifics of their conversation after those words. She remembered the constant apologising and tears. She remembered slapping him – and hoping it hurt where his cheek was already swollen. She remembered forcing him to leave when he’d wanted to stay.

Worst of all though, after a night of not sleeping and going over the last six months in her head again and again, she remembered the tears on her daughter’s face when she woke to find the Tooth Fairy had forgotten her.

Please let me know your thoughts, good or bad are all welcome 🙂

#FictionFriday 10th Sep – Kate gets ‘Embrangled’

Yep, Kate’s (MC from my novel Holiday – which is a working title) back again for this week’s story. The prompt from the lovely peeps at WriteAnything:

Use one or more of these words  in your story (but resist the temptation to look them up first!)

  • Periapt
  • Vilipend
  • Embrangle

I was actually a good girl and managed to resist the temptation to look them up first. Here’s the story:

‘Hey! Look at those guys over there. They’re fiiiiiittt.’

‘How can you poshibly shay that? You’re pished! You probabably can’t even she them properly,’ I reply, or rather try to reply to her. For some reason my mouth isn’t responding to what my brain’s trying to tell it. Sod it, she knows what I mean.

‘But they are! Look!’ She points across the road. Ok. I know I’m pissed, I can’t see them properly! ‘Hey there sexy boys!’ Oh my god I’m going to die. Did she just do that?

‘SSSShhhhhhhh.’ I hit her arm, while moving so my back’s to the men across the road. ‘You’re going to embrangle us!’ She collapses on the floor in hysterics.

‘Embrangle us. Ha ha. I’m going to embrangle us.’ I start laughing now too. What’s up with my mouth.        

When I can speak again, I try again. ‘You’re going to embarrass us Stephanie,’ I say putting on a posh voice. It takes a lot of effort, but I’m pretty sure I pull it off. Steph’s giggles hadn’t subsided, and after my posh voice they get louder and louder. It makes me laugh too.

I give up trying to hold myself upright and collapse onto the floor with her. We sit like that for ages. Every time one of us stops laughing, we look at the other one, and it starts again. We’re both crying by the time Steph can get a word out.

‘Do you know what ‘’Embrangle’’ means?’ I shake my head.

‘I’m guessing not embarrass?’ She shakes her head.

‘Look it up!’

‘What? You have to tell me!’ I punch her, but she continues to laugh.

‘I thought I recognised those laughs.’ Both our heads snap up to the huge man standing above us. Maybe he’s not huge, it’s just that we’re sat down. In fact I know he’s not huge. It’s Dan!

‘Danny boy!’ I shout maybe a little louder that I intended to, and jump up to hug him. I say jump up, what I mean is desperately try grappling around on the floor to get into a position where I’m able to pull my half dead body up off the pavement.

I fail so Dan leans down and pulls me up and into a hug.

‘Has someone been drinking a little too much?’ He releases me, makes sure I’m going to stay up straight (I wouldn’t bet on it) and leans down to help Steph up. I watch this movement carefully. There’s history there and although they both say it was one night, nothing else, I have my doubts.

‘Steph, it’s been a while. How are you?’ He kisses her on the cheek and I swear she blushes a little. Maybe it’s just the alcohol flush. Hmmm. I dunno.

‘So where have you two been tonight?’ I notice he asks Steph not me. Something twinges inside me. It’s not jealously. I know it’s not, but something. Maybe it is, she’s so pretty and pulls all the time, but Dan’s mine. Not mine, mine, but my friend. She can’t take him off me. Them together would be horrendous. They’d both want to talk about the other and I’d hear both sides. And try to stay on the outside. No, that can’t happen.

‘What?’ They’re both looking at me as if I’m mad.

‘Did you just hear a word Steph just said? It looked like you were in your own little world then.’ Dan pulls me into a hug and kisses the top of my head. In my drunk state it briefly passes through my head that this is the most comfortable place in the world. But it is brief because I have to pull away so I miss his shoes when I throw up.

I do apologise for the last line, I just couldn’t think of any way to end it, then that popped into my head and I couldn’t get it out.

Please let me know what you think.

Fiction Friday #171 – Albert is Dead

            Linda pulled up at the end of the road. She knew she had to go home, but couldn’t handle seeing her dad right now. She wanted just a few more minutes of happiness.

            Her mind wandered to the night that had come before. Marco. Oh Marco. Karaoke really wasn’t her thing, but she’d been willing to give it a try for him. Sometimes her dad’s surveillance paid off. She’d seen sign after sign that he was into karaoke so had been able to drop it into conversation during one of their ‘liaisons’.

            Oh Marco. He was soooo good at those ‘liaisons.’ She might be pretty inexperienced, Marco was only her second lover, but she knew something good when she saw it – or felt it – and Marco sure was that.

            If only he didn’t have that damn wife. He’d been planning on leaving her for ages now, but every time he went to do it, something would happen. She’d lose her job, or discover she was pregnant, or lose the baby, or get into a car crash. If Linda didn’t know better she’d think the cow planned it all.

            She knew one day he’d leave her though. One day they’d be together. Once they were together, it would be easy for her to leave her dad. She’d have somewhere to go – Marco had promised her they’d run off together, move somewhere exciting like London, or Paris or Mexico. She couldn’t wait. She just had to be patient.

            Right, she had to face him now, she’d been away much too long. She looked at her watch – it was late. She was actually surprised her dad hadn’t been calling her, usually she couldn’t be out the house for more than an hour without him constantly pestering her.                A feeling of unease passed quickly through her body until she remembered the mild sedative she’d given him. Not thing strong, just an over the counter sleeping pill. It must have knocked him out as planned so she didn’t get hassled.

            As soon as she drove round the corner she saw flashing lights. Peering through her dirty windscreen she made out a couple of police cars and an ambulance. It looked like the whole neighbourhood was standing by them. Outside her or Marco’s house.

            Please don’t let it be Marco she silently begged god. Ooh, please let it be his wife. She’s had a horrible accident and he’ll be mine. It didn’t cross her mind it might be her dad until she got closer and saw the blue tape sealing the garden off. The crowd of people parted as she slowly approached. People started whispering and pointing. That feeling of unease returned. God. It was her dad.

 

            Of course it wasn’t the sleeping pills, she’d been stupid to mention them in the first place. She hadn’t meant to, but when they told her all she could think was that she’d drugged and killed him.

            She had though. Not directly. The slash on his neck, chest and stomach proved it wasn’t the sleeping pills. But it was her fault. If she hadn’t have drugged him, he would’ve seen the killer coming, seen the knife as he walked up the side of the house. Seen him cut the netting round the patio door and break in.

            He would’ve called the police before he even got through the door, let alone into the bedroom. He would’ve been awake and able to defend himself.

            She put her head in her hands on her lap and wept. Only when her father died did she realise how lonely she was, how few friends she had. She shouldn’t be here on her own, she should have someone helping her through this.  

            ‘All rise for the judge.’

            She pulled herself to her feet, staring down at them, she shouldn’t be here, she shouldn’t have to face up to this. As the judge walked in and sat down she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Marcos wife. They looked at each other. Both blaming each other for what happened, but knowing they were in the same boat. Linda nodded and they sat down.

            ‘They found the photos,’ Mrs Torrisis said to Linda. Linda’s face crumpled and more tears fell. She didn’t know how they kept coming. It was true then. She’d always know it was, but finding the photos proved it.

            ‘So my dad was going to tell you.’ Mrs Torrisis nodded. ‘I’m so sorry, so so sorry.’ Mrs Torrisis held up her hand.

            ‘Don’t. I’m glad you did. I never would’ve found out what he was like if you hadn’t.’

            ‘SILENCE IN COURT,’ someone shouted. The two ladies looked down at their hands ashamed.

            ‘Marco Torrisis,’ the judge began, ‘You are charged with the murder of Albert Fitzpatrick. How do you plead?’

The prompt from Write Anything today is Albert is Dead. But not as simple as that, Albert is a character from a previous Fiction Friday story by Annie over at Annie’s Musings.

This is quite new for me, taking characters and continuing their story. When I started I had no idea how the story would go – in fact I thought drugs in the milk would be the way he went (little did I know that would end up helping his demise!).

Hope you enjoyed it, please, let me know what you think.

Better Late Than Never – Fiction Friday – 27th August

Last week’s prompt had ‘homework’ which I hadn’t finished by Friday so couldn’t write this then. This is literally the first chance I’ve had to sit down and write since then.

The homework was:

Step 1. Go to a busy locale—a cafe or coffee shop would be easiest. Sit down with a notebook, and make sure you look busy, so people don’t know you’re listening. Now write down random sound bites of  conversations.Try to get at least 10 lines or snippets.

Step 2. Now use all ten in a cohesive scene of dialogue or as dialogue in a story

Step 3.  Leave a list of the lines plucked from real life at the end of the story for people to see.

Here’s my story:

            ‘Been treating yourself have you?’ Gavin looked down at the Danish pastry in his hands and hated himself for having to justify himself to her.

            ‘I haven’t had lunch or breakfast today, and the bakery was the only place on my way here. I could’ve taken a detour, but I figured you wouldn’t want to wait any longer for me.’

            ‘Ooh, bit touchy aren’t you? I was only saying. I though you were trying out that diet this week?’ Gavin raked his fingers through his hair, too late realising he had icing on them. He swore under his breath and shook it out.

            ‘That’s the tiredness, it’s really getting to me this week.’ Sammy put her hand on his arm, he left it there for a millisecond before pulling it away – just because things weren’t great at home, he couldn’t start looking at Sammy in that way again. Not now.

            ‘She still waking up all the time? Doesn’t Janie get up?’ He could hear the way she said Janie, she was trying to hide it,  but there was still spite in her voice. Janie was right, he should’ve stopped seeing her. Someone from the firm would’ve taken over. But then she’d said it was him or she walked. Her company were big time – they simply couldn’t afford to lose them. Janie understood. Somehow. If the roles were reversed he wasn’t sure he would.

            ‘Sam, we don’t have time for small talk, we need to get down to business. Have you seen the figures for last week?’ Sammy sighed. Gavin ignored it and pressed on. ‘The figures are down for the second month in a row. We have to concentrate on getting them back up – it’s an objective.’

            ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do some work on it next week.’ Sammy fiddled with her bracelet and looked bored. He had to focus this somehow, make her realise the importance of the what he was saying. ‘Sammy.’ He moved his hand towards her wrist laying on the table between them, before he realised what he was doing and snatched it back. ‘This is impor…’ The ring of her mobile broke him off. Without hesitating she answered it

            ‘Hi Mike, I’m just… Uh…’ Gavin felt naked under the look she gave him. ‘In the middle of something. Can I catch up with you later? No, it’s not that important, we don’t need to renew it just yet. Yeah, I’ll come and find you. Yeah me too.’ She giggled. ‘Here? No!’ She giggled again. ‘Ok, I love you too.’ Gavin nearly splutted his coffee on the table, had she really just said what he thought she had?

            She noticed his reaction and smiled, fluttering her eyelashes at him.

            ‘Look Sammy, where’s this going?’ She sat back on her chair, flicked her head back, and laughed heartily.

            ‘Well, well. This is a revelation. The great Gavin asking little old me where this is going! I though we were just here on business?

            ‘We are. You know that. But I know you and I know you did that on purpose. You want to make me jealous don’t you? Well it’s not going to work. I’m happy with Janie and the baby. There all I want. I don’t need you coming here, trying to win me back. I don’t need it.’ He stood up and started packing his papers away. He’d just realised the contract with her company wasn’t worth going through this for. If they want to go somewhere else, fine, at least it would get her out of his hair once and for all.

            Sammy stood up, knocking her chair over in the process.

            ‘You know the disgusting thing? Men like you! You think you can just pick me up and put me down whenever you want.’ Gavin looked round embarrassed. Sam had raised her voice and people were staring.

            ‘Sammy, keep your voice down,’ he whispered at her.

            ‘No. I won’t. You don’t care.’ She looked round the room. ‘None of you care. We’re over Gavin. Over. NEVER contact me again. Not for business, and certainly not for pleasure. You’re dead to me.’ She grabbed her bag and marched out the room.

            Gavin sunk back into his seat at the other customers turned back to their coffees and cake. He felt like a massive weight had been lifted and life could now go on.

 My ten lines of dialogue were:

  • It’s an objective
  • We’re gonna do some work on it next week
  • I haven’t had lunch or breakfast today
  • Where’s this going?
  • That’s the tiredness
  • It’s a revelation
  • I’ll come and find you
  • Been treating yourself?
  • You know the disgusting thing?
  • We don’t need to renew it just yet.

I actually chose to do my earwigging at work – I split my time between reception and sat in the post/print room so there’s always people coming in and out.  I actually wrote 13 snippets, and as I was writing tried to fit them in. It was fun – and totally not what I thought it would be (originally it was going to be a couple breaking up).

Please let me know what you think. Oh, and remember as always it’s unedited.

Another Competition and a Lot of Writing

Morning peeps. Can you believe it’s Sunday morning (right now, it will be afternoon my the time I post it) and I’m awake and writing a blog? I find it pretty hard to believe myself, but there is a very good reason. And it’s not that I can’ sleep (which I can’t but that’s not the point).

Midday today was the deadline for the Bugged Project submissions. Having listened to many, many conversations on 1st July and writing the first 300 words of a story, I’d managed to procrastinate doing anything else until Friday. On Friday night I pretty much finished the first draft, but I needed to complete it and edit it over the weekend. I was out all day yesterday which left today. Good thing I woke up early!

I’m pretty annoyed with myself for leaving it until the last day to send in. In fact the last 15 minutes. I used to be like this at school – always leave things to the last minute. I like to think that I work better under pressure, but I’m not so sure. I guess we’ll see if my story gets printed on the website. Fingers crossed for me.

The story’s called Mushrooms. Nothing like a bizarre title for a story. The sentence I overheard was ‘I’m eating mushrooms.’ My story came from that. I’m pretty happy with it. Although I only finished it this today, I’ve been plotting it a lot in my head over the last six weeks, so I guess I have been working on it. So to speak. Hmmm.

This week the winners of Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition are announced. Nervous? Me? Never! It’s the first writing competition I’ve ever entered so of course I’m nervous. And the prize is awesome – three months mentoring with Rowan Coleman for the winner. Wow. Even if I don’t win or come top 5 (which I’m not expecting to) it’s been a great experience – my first competition entry. Regardless of anything else, it gave me the confidence to enter more and more things.

Speaking of more and more things. There’s another competition I’ve entered over at Chick Lit Shorties. You have to write a 500 character ending to a piece of writing they gave. To be in with a chance of winning you pretty much need to get lots of people ‘liking’ your story. So dear readers, if you like my stuff, please go visit the site, and if you like my story, please ‘Like’ it. Even if you don’t like my story, there are some great other ones that are worthy of a read!

I’ve just realised I’ve still not set any goals for August. Ah. Well, it’s 15th August today. Do I need to now? I don’t think so. I’m pretty much writing every day, and recording how much too; I’m reading a lot; I’m entering competitions and most importantly I’m doing lots of work on my writing course.

Yes, reread that bit if you want – I’m doing lots of my writing course. Woo hoo! This week I sent off my next assignment and have read and made notes on one of the modules I need to read for my next assignment. I decided to make notes on it, because that’s the way I worked at school. I think I thought that if I made notes it would go in more. There’s that, but also I’m just highlighting key bits, which I’ll put in a folder so if I need to refer back to anything at any point in the future I can go to my folder and find it quickly rather than reaingd through pages and pages of the booklet to find it.

I had such an awesome reaction to my Fiction Friday piece. To quote my new best friend (after this comment) Rebecca Stonebridge ‘Love, love love this. I want to read your novel.’ Wow. I then had a conversation on Twitter with her and Laura from NovelKicks and they were both telling me to get on and write the novel so they can read it. I’ve also had other comments from people saying they want to know what happens. I really am going to have to write it.

Doing these Fiction Friday pieces and that blog takeover day the other day, are really getting the characters in my head. I’m getting excited about writing it. So much so I really don’t want to go back and edit Italian Infatuation. I want to write holiday. But then if I do that I’ll have two unedited books. Can I edit one while writing another? Would it be too much? especially as one’s 3rd person and the other’s 1st? Hmmm.

I’ve not had a day at home doing nothing for ages (except last Sunday, but I did a big spring clean then) so am well looking forward to NOTHING today. Only it’s not going to be nothing. I’m going to read lots. And read another module of my writing course. And of course do some writing – although finishing off that story was writing, so maybe I won’t. But maybe I will.

Fiction Friday 166 – In The Loft

The prompt from WriteAnything for today’s FictionFriday is:

A covert trip into an attic reveals something unexpected.

Here goes my unedited story:

            ‘Kate! Be careful. We don’t want to wake them up.’

            ‘It’s not my fault a bloody box was sticking out. And that hurt by the way.’

            I don’t know how I let myself get talked into these things. I hate the loft in the day, so why the hell I’ve let Danni talk me into coming up at night I’ll never know.

            ‘Right you look over there, I’ll look over here.’

            ‘Can we at least turn the light on, all the shadows are freaking me out.’

            ‘Yeah, good idea Kate, lets turn the bright light on so if Mum or Pete get up they see the light coming from here. Just look over there – the sooner we get this done the better.’ I sometimes hate that girl. I don’t know why I let her boss me about like this.

            I look round the loft wondering how the hell we’re going to find anything in here. There’s just boxes everywhere. The dust on top of them is so thick I don’t think Mum or Pete can have been up here since they moved here seven years ago.

            ‘Do you remember what the box looks like?’ I ask the back of Danni’s body – she’s across the loft already rooting through boxes – there’s a pile of them behind her that obviously don’t contain photos.

            ‘Shhhhhhh. Jeez Kate, do you want to wake them up?’ I’m doing this for mum. I’m doing this for mum. I have to tell myself this or I’d just walk back down the ladder. I hate it when she’s like this. Especially as the surprise party for Mum was my idea. Granted she does have a lot more time to spend organising it than I do, but she’s totally taken over.

            I know I don’t mind really, in fact if I was in a better state of mind I’d be relieved, with all this stuff going on at work and my state of mind about my split with Ian I just can’t give the party the attention it needs. I’m just tired. It’s bloody 2 in the morning. I would’ve thought there was a better time to go searching for old photos of mum growing up.

            ‘Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.’

            I spin back round to see Danni about a foot behind where she was a second ago. Something’s defiantly wrong – she wouldn’t have a go at me one minute for talking too loud then scream the next. I’m not sure I want to know what she’s found. I share her hate of spiders, rats etc.

            ‘Wha… What’s up?’ I know I don’t want to ask, but have to. She waves me over, not taking her eyes off the place she was just sitting.

            ‘Come here. Quick!’ Oh god. What is she going to make me look at? I don’t know why I walk over, I must be mad. If something’s making Danni scream, it’s going to have the same effect on me!

            ‘Danni, what is it?’

            ‘Just come here,’ her voice breaks on the last word, I swear she’s laughing. In fact, she is, her shoulders are shaking. Either that or crying anyway.

            ‘Dan?’ I’m losing my fear a little now she’s laughing (I’m sure she’s laughing) but still a little scared to go over. Danni’s not the kind of person that screams at much. Runs away to hide yes, screams, no.

            She waves her hand again not realising I’m so close, she hits me in the stomach – hard. ‘Omph.’

            ‘Oh… Sorry…’ she gets out between her giggles. It did really hurt, but I’m too intruded what she’s found to make a big deal about anything. Well, if I could stand up straight. That really did hurt.

            ‘What is it Danni? It’s dark over there I can’t see anything.’

            ‘Down there.’ She points to the floor just behind a box to our left. I look at her, I’d actually have to move round the side of them to see whatever it is. I back away. I don’t want to see this. No, she’s laughing, of course I do. She stands to the side and pushes me slightly to make sure I have a look.

            My heart starts beating hard in my chest, I’m part terrified, part excited. I crouch down and stop. I keep repeating that Danni’s laughing, it’s nothing bad, but I can’t stop remembering that scream.

            ‘Go on, look,’ she urges me. I close my eyes for a second gathering up courage and look round the corner. I come face to face with another face. I jump back screaming, but before I land I realise what I’ve seen. I start laughing too. Behind me Danni’s fallen to the floor in stitches. I join her. I wonder who left a mirror behind the boxes…

As Kate (the MC from one of my novels) went down so well for last week’s FF I thought I’d bring her back this week. I decided that before I read the prompt, then when I read it, I wanted to write a children’s story. But I kept with Kate. As a few of you know, I had some problems working out what Danni found (Kate’s LITTLE sister) especially when she started laughing at it. Thanks for the suggestions those that gave them.  

Please let me know what you think of it. And have a great weekend.  

Fiction Friday – Kate Meets Henry

The prompt from Write Anything for this week is:

Pick two established characters, either from your own work or others’. Now write the scene/story of their meeting.

Oh, how much did I love this when I saw it! I knew I had to use Kate – she’s the MC from ‘Holiday’ the novel I’ve half written. I’ve been thinking about her a lot recently. But who could she meet? I couldn’t think of any of my characters, which meant someone else’s. Eek. I was talking about The Time Traveller’s Wife earlier, so Henry the MC from that sprung to mind.

Once he was there he wouldn’t leave. But he left me with a problem – I read the book a few years ago, could I remember enough about him to make a good character? Even worse than that though, he’s an amazing character from an amazing best-selling book. What was I thinking. But the idea was there and I couldn’t get rid of it! Luckily, it turned out to be from Kate’s POV, and Henry didn’t seem to have that much of a part in it in the end. Please let me know what you think of it. Especially if the tense and POV works, I’m not too sure it’s right all the way through… but like the rules state, no editing!

               I walk towards the alley I know is coming up, just about composing myself, but as soon as I walk round the corner I fall against the wall and burst into tears. I’ve done really well tonight holding it together, it’s just after midnight so I’ve been out for hours.

                I doubt my friends have noticed I’ve disappeared so I can probably have a few minutes crying, then pull myself together and go get a taxi home.

                I hear a couple of people’s talking and laughter getting louder so I try to quieten my sobs down. I turn into the alley so they can’t see my blotchy, teary face and come face to face with a naked man. I double take. Yeah, down there. He’s proper naked. His state stops me crying immediately and I burst out laughing. He looks really embarrassed, putting his hands down quickly to cover himself – too late now.

                He’s good looking, tall, tanned skin and very toned. This guy definitely works out. I wonder if he’s on a stag party or something. The funny thing is, I’m sure there was no one in the alley when I walked in. I know I‘m drunk and was crying, but it’s pretty small, I’m sure I would’ve noticed someone. Especially THIS guy.

                I wipe my eyes, hoping he’s too embarrassed about his state to notice the state I’m in. I have to think of something funny or witty to say. Think Kate. Something funny.

                ‘I know it’s getting warmer, but it’s not that warm yet is it?’ Oh god, that’s not funny. He’s not looking any less embarrassed either.

                ‘Sorry… I…’ He takes a couple of steps back, I kind of wish he’d turn round, I bet he’s got a nice arse.

                ‘I need some clothes,’ he says to himself so quietly I hardly hear. There’s a twang to his voice, I don’t think he’s English. Maybe American or Canadian? I snigger.

                ‘Yeah, you do! Stag party?’ He looks confused, then like a light comes on.

                ‘Yeah. My mates dumped me here. Bastards.’ He looks round the alley, there’s a few of those large shop bins and I wonder if he’s thinking of looking for clothes in them. ‘Can you do me a favour?’ A favour? Why are alarm bells going off in my head. I take a step back towards the road, I know he looks safe, but maybe there’s something sinister in his being here. Maybe I’m just drunk and imagining things. He’s just suddenly freaked me out a little, I mean, this guy is naked. And I’ve not got that many clothes on myself. I pull down my short skirt a little, hoping he won’t notice the action. He doesn’t.

                ‘Ummm. What?’

                ‘I need some clothes. There’s a charity shop on the next street along. You couldn’t see if there’s any bags outside?’ I look at him without registering what he’s getting at. I must show that on my face, cause he carries on. ‘Maybe some clothes I could wear?’ Oh right.

                ‘That’s stealing though isn’t it?’ He laughs. Quite a sexy laugh, I’m pretty sure he’s American. I’ve always had a thing for Americans. I’m feeling less freaked out by this, he’s on a stag do. Nothing sinister there! Dammit. Stag do. That means he’s getting married. Oh well. Still, he wouldn’t look at me anyway when half my make up is now on the floor with my tears!

                ‘I’ll get my mates to donate some money to the charity when I find them.’ He’s started moving round a bit so I figure he’s probably a bit cold. Can I really do that? I mean it is stealing isn’t it? Plus I really wanted to go home. But… I’m here, he obviously needs my help.

                ‘Please?’ There’s a slight beg to his tone, he must see that I’m weighing up the options. What shall I do? I turn back to the main road. I know the charity shop he’s talking about – it’s literally 2 minutes away. But what if I get caught? But then, do I really want to NOT help this hot guy? He might be getting married, but what if he’s got friends he could introduce me to. What am I like? Three minutes ago I was crying about Ian, now I’m here thinking about this hot American.

                I turn back to the alley and… he’s gone. There’s no where he can have gone. Maybe behind one of the bins? I walk towards them, but can see from here he’s not there. He’s gone. There’s no way that can happen. Maybe one of the shop doors was open and he’s gone in there? They both look closed to me, and I’m sure I would’ve heard it closing. He’s gone. I know I’m drunk, but I didn’t just imagine that whole conversation. But then a full grown man can’t just disappear into thin air. I don’t get it.

                I move back towards the road, turning back round every second step – each time I expect him to be there. He’s not. Am I going mad? Maybe I have just had too much to drink?

Next Project

I loved having a writing project to concentrate on last week, and feel a little lost this week not having one (although I have managed to actually read some blogs etc today without the pressure of thinking I should be doing something else instead!). Or I was feeling that way, until I remembered I’ve got a project I should be working on for The Bugged Project.

If you don’t know about this, on 1st July they encouraged people to listen into other people’s conversations, and from that create a 1000 word story (or maybe a poem, can’t remember). I did and I’ve got an idea. In fact I’ve written maybe the first 3/4 of it. I don’t think the closing date is until mid August, but I’d really like to get it done before then – prove to myself I don’t always have to leave something until the last minute.

I guess there’s always the novel I could edit. Agh. At some point I WILL do that. When I first started thinking about this writing thing seriously I said to my cousin that I’d take her to Hawaii surfing to celebrate my first novel being published (there’s nothing like a bit of optimism is there!) when she’s 21 (legally old enough to drink over there in the States!). She’s just about to turn 19 – which gives me two years to edit, submit and get published. Hmmm. I’m thinking that’s not long enough. BUT if I keep that in mind maybe I can push myself into editing it. Maybe if I talk about starting the editing process enough, I’ll bore myself so much I’ll start doing it!

Right, I think I’ll go and work on my story – currently titled ‘Mushrooms’ – as you do!

Friday Fun!

I know it’s friday which technically means it should be Fiction Friday, but I’m not too sure if I’m going to take part this week. I probably will, but maybe I’ll leave it until Sunday. Or something.

Today’s been really busy for me. First I had to actually do some work at work (this week is crazy, almost feel like I had a real job with all this work stuff going on). Then I had to edit my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. Oh, that was a mission.

I totally planned to do it on Thursday, then just re-read it today before sending it, but I got accidently drunk on Wednesday, then had house key nightmares and didn’t get much sleep – so needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very creative yesterday. Then when I thought it was finished (or almost) I got a couple of people to read over it, cause I wasn’t 100% sure about the twist. I was right to be worried, they didn’t get it. So then I had to work out how to move it round. Eventually I did it, and sent it off. It’s gone. My first short story competition. It’s pretty exciting. Now I’m over the worry!

I’m now really tired after a week of really early mornings, so am going to go to bed shortly (I’m also working tomorrow – on Saturday, gutted!), so don’t feel like I can give Fiction Friday a fair go now. Tomorrow I’m working then going straight out for my friend’s 30th. So that’s why I’m probably not going to give FF a shot.

There’s another reason too, which I’m a little embarrassed to admit. But as we’re all friends here… The prompt for this week is to use a McGuffin in your story. A McGuffin. What? So they explained what it is, but I don’t really get it. Especially with the examples they used, from two films I’ve not seen. I’m sure if I wasn’t so tired and had more energy I could find out, but don’t have the energy today.

I did have an idea that I’d cheat and use ‘McGuffin’ as a name of a person. Because I said earlier in the week I wanted to use FF as an exercise in trying out different characters. So I thought that McGuffin could be a nasty, or short-tempered man. There would be a nervous person too and someone else. I don’t really know what she’d be. I think when I get the energy or something I’ll write it. Rules are meant to be broken after all 😉

Happy weekend everyone!