Friday, December 2, 2011

#Fridayflash - The Strange House in the Snow

This story was written for #RomanticFridayWriters but it isn't exactly romantic as such. It's been published before but has been tweaked to respond to this image in some way...

The Strange House in the Snow

The snow was exploding all around Yasmina and her mother by the time they reached the strange house in the woods. Yasmina looked up at the sky and saw a heap of tired old clouds with raggedy edges ripping apart, falling onto their heads like grey angels.

Yasmina watched her Mama trying to put the big key in the old lock. She slapped her ears with her mittens and watched the snowflakes scattering. ‘Stop it!’ Mama yelled.

Yasmina was freezing, even in the big warm coat the kind Red Cross lady had given her.

Creak! The door opened and they fell inside.

Mama dropped the suitcase onto the carpet and said a bad word. So many strange things...

The snow had followed them into the house. Bang! Mama kicked the big old door shut.

Yasmina ran to the window and looked up the road for Dada.


When Yasmina and her Mama had walked the long and lonely road to the house, the trees had scared her the way they lined up along the road in black rows like soldiers. She’d jumped with fright when the snow dropped off the branches and fell to the ground like bombs. Her Mama had pulled her from her hiding place and she’d cried: ‘I want my Dada!’
Mama had whispered, ‘I want your Dada too.’
‘Why did Dada leave us?’
‘He wanted to save us from the bad men.’
‘Do you still love Dada, Mama?’
‘I will love your Dada until I die, Yasmina. He is a wonderful man.’
‘Is Dada coming back, Mama?’
‘He will never leave us darling.’


Oh!’ Mama cried.

Yasmina turned from the window to see Mama slumped in the big stuffy chair, crying ‘Akbar, Akbar...’

‘Don’t cry Mama. Dada’ll never leave us.’ Yasmina patted the twitchy hand.

Yasmina decided to explore by herself coz when Mama got the sadness for Dada she liked to be left alone.

The house was big and empty. Not like the little house where they'd lived before Dada went away to fight the bad men.

She headed up the stairs. They went up so high she could be close to heaven if that’s where Dada was. The stairs groaned and cried louder than Mama. Spiders were knitting in the corners, trailing their threads down into the hall, their beady black eyes watching her.

She pushed open one of the doors. There was a big cobwebby window in the roof and she could see the snow whirling around the black treetops and - there was a shadow in the corner. 

She screamed.

Then…maybe…maybe…’Dada?’ She started to run and tripped on the ripped carpet.

Dada!’ Her flashlight clunked out of her pocket. She grabbed it and turned it on, but Dada had gone…again.

There was a big high bed with a lumpy quilt. She was so tired after the long walk. She undid the buttons of her coat, dropped it on the bed and jumped in.

It felt like sinking to the bottom of the earth on a puffy cloud.

‘Goodnight Dada,’ she whispered. ‘Please come back. Mama needs you.’

The snow whispered and rustled. She pulled the quilt higher over her head.

She was nearly asleep when she heard a voice – ‘Alima...Alima…Alima…’

Dada!  – ‘Alima...Alima…Alima…aaa…’ 

No one here knew her mother’s name, only Dada. Dada was downstairs with Mama. He’d come just like Mama said.

Then she felt it.

A hand crept into her hand.


His hand felt cold. His fingers shook and curled into her palm, tickling, like when they played games at their home in the mountains.

She smiled in the dark. Dada's home. 



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Haunting - A paranormal Halloween-inspired story for #RFWer and #Fridayflash

My story for #RFWer and #Fridayflash is one I'd started several months ago when I was experimenting with paranormal. I've re-crafted it as a fun piece. I've deliberately used cliches so don't get upset about that. Occasionally I long to break the 'no cliches' rule, don't you? 

Hope you enjoy 'Love Stories Suck.'

When you’ve lived on this earth for 400+ years you crave excitement. I was done with sleeping all day in a dark room, hiding from the sun, waking up to microwaved blood. What’s a vamp to do all century? Haunt the streets?
I slammed the hotel door and sashayed along Montmarte’s glitter strip, my current Parisian suburb of interest. Next to Moulin Rouge, I saw it: ‘A VENDRE’. My synapses zapped.
I’d accumulated a tidy sum in 400 years. Compound interest compounded, so before you could say ‘I need blood’ I owned a business.
The little bar was perfect, vamp chic – blood-red carpet, black walls, red bar, black furniture. Suited my little black er, heart. The pictures clinched the deal – horror-movie posters.
Now I didn’t have to prowl the mean streets at night.  

‘Ya not going to run this place all by yaself, are ya?’
I turned from admiring my Dracula poster and it was like, wow! Flowing black tresses, lush curves poured into a little black dress. Tasty.
‘You offering to help?’
“Ya, moi, who else d’ya see?’
‘You know bar work? You look, like, twelve. ID?’ I was only kidding but she whipped out the plastic.
‘Looks can be deceiving. You look, like, nineteen.’ She winked.
I flipped the ID back to her. Fake as, who cared? I want this girl-child.
‘What d’ya think? I been working bars for many a year. Know some tricks.’
‘It’s not that kind of bar. It’ll be a clean operation.’
‘What’s that?’
‘Drink, tapas, music…’
‘Boring as. But I can be boring if ya want.’
 ‘What’s your name?’ I asked, taking her hand. ‘I’m Drack Kulah.’
‘Well I’m Ruby Black, but go by -’
‘Snow White?’
‘Right on. Hilaarrious. So, whatcha think?’
‘You’re hired. No funny business or you’ll be out on your pretty butt.’
‘My butt’s pretty?’ She twirled, black lacy dress flowing like waves, revealing a tantalizing glimpse of shapely snow-white leg and a flash of lacy knickers. Pity she wore Doc Marten’s.
‘You want stilettos, you got stilettos,’ she smirked, ‘but that’s not all I got.’ She sidled up.

Who needs to go hunting? She was mine, right here, right now.
I took her in my steel-like arms, going for the jugular, then…wow! She had no throbbing pulse! That was that. Of course I knew the minute she walked in...

At least one female in the bar's out of temptation’s way.


Critique: MPA (Minor Points Acceptable) 

Go here for more stories from RomanticFridayWriters...
And here for more stories for #FridayFlash or go to the #fridayflash hashtag on twitter for stories as they're hot off the press.

Friday, October 14, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters /#FlashFriday - 'First Love!'

My story this week for #RFW and #Fridayflash is slashed from a much longer short story I wrote based on a true story. I've ended up with a little over 400 words, but I started with over 1,000. Of course it loses a lot of punch but it fits the theme for #RFW (First Love!). As the theme was so serious I found myself interspersing phrases and allusions from '60's hit songs. See how many you can find...Oh, and Full Critique Acceptable.

The River

Two friends walk toward the river. There it is – dark and deep.

They always head to the river after work. The sweltering shift in the cafe means dresses for the Rodeo Ball.

Sym dreams of a new dress. To impress Thane. He may not know she’s alive; she’s a tenth grader - he’s a senior. He’s the one that I want!

The river sounds lovely. Sym imagines the feel of liquid velvet on her skin.

They hesitate at the top of the bank.

‘Guy, lookie here! Sym and Annie!’

‘Let’s go,’ whispers Annie.

‘No,’ says Sym. ‘Why run from creepy Rueben and Guy?’

‘Babes! Finished work?’ Reuben asks.


They race to the water wrapped in towels, drop them and dive.

‘Rube, lookie here. Their bags!’

‘Get away!’ Sym screams.

‘That’s better baby. Come into my arms!’

‘Creep!’ Sym lunges, lands on Reuben’s bare chest. He crushes her against him.

‘Get Annie, Guy. Let’s teach ‘em a lesson.’ Sym sees Annie running. Go girl!

‘Let me go!’ Sym screams.

‘Not til I’m good and ready, hellcat,’ Reuben says, dragging her to the grass. ‘Now what’s under this swimsuit…’

‘In your dreams!’ She slaps him. He slaps back. Hard.

‘I’ve got you babe. Don’t tell me you haven’t done it already. I’ve seen you with that Thane Zachary, Mr Peerrfect.’ He slaps her again. ‘This’s the ‘60s after all. Make love, not war.’

Annie? You okay?

‘More like it.’ He’s gazing at her breasts. ‘Oh baby, you’re the one that I want.’ He bites and slaps.

Sym reaches out. Her fingers curl around a rock. Yes! She slams Reuben’s temple.

Pushing him aside, she runs. Annie’s on the ground. Wham! Guy drops..

‘Sym! Annie!’

They look up.

A figure looms over the river bank.


Sym stands transfixed. Has he come for me? She points to Reuben and Guy, groaning by the river.

‘My God…’

‘No Thane, leave them.’

Thane steps to where Sym stands, shivering. Gentle hands lift her swimsuit straps and cover her, flinching at the bites and bruises. Concerned eyes take in her bloody head and mouth. He holds her in his arms and rocks her gently.

‘Can we just go?’ Annie.

Sym presses Thane’s arm. ‘Why did you come?’

‘I missed you at the shop. I knew you’d be here. Wanted to ask you to the Rodeo Ball. Should’ve come earlier.’

 He came…for her!

The next hours will be doctors, police statements, explanations, but she’s glowing.

Maybe he loves her too!


FCA, 414  words (oops)


Due the amount of negative comments I'm receiving, I obviously must spell this story out for those who've only flicked through it or only read a little bit of it and not understood the story then made incorrect assumptions. 

The set up shows two young girls arriving at  the river (Aussies swam in rivers in the '60s) to swim, dreaming of buying their dresses for the Rodeo Ball (a big event on the calendar in this hick town.) The scene changes when they're met at the river by the two school bullies who actually have different names from the aforementioned Thane, the 'first love' object in this story. These bullies try to rape the two young girls, drawing them from the river by rifling through their 'bags'. This term may not be used in America, but I'm Australian so I usually use Australian English, and 'bags' are naturally 'handbags' not 'breasts'. Well, the girls were in the water, well away, so the boys could hardly be rifling through their breasts.

And then the bullies try their darndest, but they're not saved by 'a knight in shining armour' as someone expressed, disappointed, they are saved by Sym's slamming them with a rock in their temple (I could have said 'goolie' which is our term for this type of rock.) Would have been as confusing as 'bags.'

The 'first love' crush then arrives and helps the girls to the police station etc, rather than saving them from the bad guys, so girls rule, which happened in the real life situation this was drawn from. So the 'First Love' theme was not about being an 'emotionally violent' First Love, but rather a First Love felt so deeply by a spunky (that means brave) girl who once she sees her 'love' arrive, forgets her trauma momentarily...

Hope this explanation makes my story clearer.

I know the 400 word limit worked against me this time and I said this at the beginning if you read it, but I think I had the elements of the story there if the reader took the time to follow it through and not jump to conclusions. D.

Click on the link in the sidebar to read more #RFW stories.

Click on this link in the sidebar to read more #fridayflash stories

 Romantic Friday Writers is a blogfest every Friday co-ordinated by myself and Francine Howarth. It is a fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers who write romantic flash fiction or poetry under 400 words. Click on the icon in my sidebar to check out others participating today or join the blogfest yourself. We are also found on twitter. We are @RFWER A winner is awarded the recognition of being the week's Featured Writer or the Runner Up.

#Fridayflash is a group of writers who write flash fiction under 1,000 words every Friday to no particular theme. Click on the #Fridayflash icon in my sidebar if you want to access more stories.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters #FlashFriday #ff - Blue Moon Rising - 400 words of #ff

Here is a short excerpt from my contemporary sweet romance WIP, Ruby. They've just broken up and Michael, the sea captain, is about to head to the Southern Ocean in pursuit of the Japanese whalers, leaving Ruby at her boutique hotel in Noosa.

                                    Blue Moon Rising

Michael had left hours ago. Ruby had stopped staring at the door waiting for his return. He wasn’t coming back. She gave the window a rough push outwards. The night had turned sultry. A Queensland summer night, except it was spring. Was it just her? The heat felt sticky, rivulets of sweat were running between her breasts. Maybe there’d be a storm later to cool things off.
To think of sleep was laughable. A leisurely bath might help.  The trouble was her body remembered Michael’s touch. Her body wouldn’t let her forget how it felt to be touched by him. She still felt on fire hours later— she felt lush, like a ripe fruit. Oh to wash those feelings away.
This time the bath hadn’t helped. She lay naked on top of the sheets but sleep was elusive. She felt bereft but this was what she’d asked for. Michael was in his cottage packing his bags, dreaming of the whale hunt instead of sharing a sultry night with her. He’d made it clear where he’d rather be.
With a cry, she flung herself out of bed and slumped at the window. Maybe the fresh air would cool her. She leaned out as far as she could, pushing aside the fragrant fronds of purple wisteria. She surrendered to a shadowy blue moon hovering over the ocean. Ah, the mystery of the blue moon, seductive, like smoothing the sheets on an enticing bed.
She collapsed into bed. She lay there in the dark, eyes wide open, sheets thrown back. She watched the blue moon shimmering on the ornate mirror opposite her bed. Yes! She’d wish on the blue moon. Wished for Michael to come back. What was that old proverb?
If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe that it is true.
She was alert to the night sounds—a dog barking, a door slamming, the whisper of tyres from a car going down the hill. Common noises, noises that happen anywhere in the world where there are people, but tonight they spoke to her, the mundane had become memorable. Tonight she had sent her love away.
What if she was wrong? ‘Oh, Michael,’ she cried into the darknening room. ‘I love you, but you aren’t ever coming back.’ Did she hear him whisper, Maybe next time there’s a blue moon?



Click here to read more #RomanticFridayWriters #ff.

391 words. FCA.

Friday, September 16, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters #Fridayflash - Bouquet, 400 words of #flashfiction.

It’s in the Box

How well Alicia remembered David’s first gift, a classic perfume from the 60s by Guerlain.

‘Do you like it?’ He'd squirted the air. ‘Mmm, what a bouquet…’

Bouquet? Yes, of cow dung…‘Mmm, a certain something, darling,’ she'd replied.

She’d sprayed it around the apartment with the windows open, in the linen cupboard, in the kitchen bin, even on herself when she had to. If she used her favourite Guerlain classic Jicky, David still thought she was wearing his ‘Ikkie’ (her word.)

Last week she’d been ready when he nuzzled her ear and whispered, ‘Are you wearing my perfume?’

‘No, honey. Perfumes don’t last forever, sadly.’ Thank God.

So, another anniversary, another gift. She loved David, she really did, it was just his taste in perfume she loathed. This box, however, showed promise, nice and small, hmm, maybe...

‘Open it!’ he cried, holding it under her nose.

‘What!’ she squeaked, ‘David, you’ve outdone yourself !’

A minature bottle of ‘Ikkie.’ 

‘It was an extra they gave me when I bought the last bottle. I kept it for when you ran out.’


‘Don’t you like it darling? I thought you loved that bouquet. Why, I could even smell it in the garbage bin.’

‘David, I must tell you…’

‘Hey, look Allie. Where did that come from?’

 He whipped out another little box and flipped the lid.

There, artfully arranged on white satin was the most adorable white gold sapphire and diamond ring.

‘David! It’s exquisite!’

‘And so is my Alicia.’ He knelt on the floor.

‘My darling, will you marry me?’

‘Yes, yes, yes!’

‘You didn’t think I had it in me?’

‘Er, no, of course I knew you did sweetie.’

‘Now, what about your little bottle of perfume?’

‘David, I need a change.’

‘Thought you might say that.’ He winked. ‘Hey, there might be another box...ta da!'

There it was, Jicky, its golden stopper glinting in the morning light.

‘How did you know I like Jicky?’

‘Well, do you really think I couldn’t tell the difference? But I let you go on pretending.’

‘Oh, David. I should’ve been honest. I didn’t want to hurt you.’

‘I know darling. A woman who’ll wear perfume she hates for a year must really love her man. I fell in love with you all over again when I saw you spraying it on, just for me.’

‘Oh, David…’

‘Come here love.’ He took the ring and slipped it on her finger.
I hope you liked my story for #RFWer and #Fridayflash. To read more click on the badges in the sidebar.
407 words. FCA


Thursday, September 8, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters #fridayflash...Lunch Date.

Romantic Friday Writers is a blogfest every Friday co-ordinated by myself and Francine Howarth. It is a fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers who write romantic flash fiction or poetry under 400 words. Click on the icon in my sidebar or the link at the end of my post to check out others participating today or join the blogfest yourself. You will be most welcome. We are also found on twitter. We are @RFWER A winner is awarded the recognition of being the week's Featured Writer.

#Fridayflash is a group of writers who write flash fiction under 1,000 words every Friday to no particular theme. Click on the #Fridayflash icon in my sidebar if you want to access more stories.  

Lunch Date

The coffee shop was wall to wall with regular customers. Hallie surveyed her domain from behind the counter. She was amazed at the business her little coffee shop drew – locals and foreigners, all meeting together like there was no war happening outside the walls. There was a buzz throughout the room. How did she end up running her business in the middle of a war zone? All she had between her shop and the dangerous streets of Kabul was a flimsy wall. She’d already had her front windows shattered when a bomb went off outside the market. Too close for comfort that one. But I love it here.
He walked in.
She noticed him right away. Being on high alert could be a life saver. He was tall and dark, dressed in black, with eyes hiding behind Ray Bans. A machine gun hung casually over his shoulder, while a sidearm hung from each his hip like he was some Wild West cowboy. Trouble? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe he was just after lunch. Ha! A plate of Qabli Pulao that Shari made so well, perhaps a plate of qorma, a cup of coffee, a platter of melons from Mazar-e-Sharif, or oranges from Jalalabad? Maybe grapes and pomegranates from Kandahar. A girl can dream.
She stepped across the room. “Hey there cowboy! Guns for lunch?”
He eyeballed her through his dark shades, shrugged his shoulders, scanned the room, then handed his armoury to Asmaan. His eyes never left Asmaan as his guns were toted behind the counter. He didn’t move until the lock clicked.
“Now, what’ll it be? Lunch?” she asked, as they sat at the last empty table, the one facing the entrance.
“I’m not so much hungry for food Hallie.” She knew it.
“Why not? We sell the best food you’ll eat in Kabul,” she teased.
He reached across the table and took her hand. She felt the fire.
“The food you can offer me is not to be taken here in a public place.” He brushed her cheek with fingers hardened in battle.
“Is that right cowboy?” Damn her voice for shaking.
Hallie kicked her chair away from the table. He knocked his to the floor. She ignored Asmaan’s smirk as on trembling legs she led her cowboy up the rickety stairs to her room where indeed a feast of a different kind waited.

395 words. FCA

To read more #RFWer and #fridayflash stories, click on the images in my right sidebar.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters #Fridayflash - The Prince and Princess of Darkness for the New Horizons challenge.

Romantic Friday Writers is a blogfest every Friday co-ordinated by myself and Francine Howarth. It is a fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers who write romantic flash fiction or poetry under 400 words. Click on the icon in my sidebar or the link at the end of my post to check out others participating today or join the blogfest yourself. You will be most welcome. We are also found on twitter. We are @RFWER A winner is awarded the recognition of being the week's Featured Writer.

#Fridayflash is a group of writers who write flash fiction under 1,000 words every Friday to no particular theme. Click on the #Fridayflash icon in my sidebar if you want to access more stories.  

My story today has been given new life from its first appearance as a twisted fairytale with a paranormal bent. I've cut it by half but hope I've still kept the edgy element.

The Prince and Princess of Darkness

‘Cindy, don’t go!’
‘I’m 18 years old! I’ll do what I want! I’m off to explore new horizons.’
Philomena and Persephone were thoroughly alarmed at Cindy’s outfit for the Prince of Darkness party – black, black and more black.
‘Cindy, this rave will be dangerous. There’ll be party drugs...’
‘What are you worried about girls? You’ve spent years working me like a slave while you had all the fun. Now it’s my turn to party. Nothing’s going to stop me now.’
Her stepsisters recoiled, horrified. Here was a stranger in silk and net, black beads, black stockings, black stilettos, black gloves…
‘What’ll we tell mother?’
‘Nothing. She’s always wanted me dead so there’ll be no problem.’
‘If you think I’m worried about your mother, forget it. My mum’s the only one I answer to.’
‘But your mum’s…’
‘Dead? You’d be surprised how helpful she can be.’
On the subway Cindy shrugged off the sniggering looks. She chatted to her mum. She’d visited her grave that afternoon. The little white dove that perched on the headstone had a note for her: ‘Come to the Prince of Darkness party! Best-dressed prize! A date with the Prince!’
When Cindy arrived the bouncers ushered her in like she was a foreign princess. She knew she looked amazing in her floaty black dress and sparkling black jewels.
The party was pumping when she entered the cave-like room. Everyone gazed at her, admiration on their faces. The Prince, who she saw leaning over the atrium, flew down the stairs and took her hand, leading her in the dance.
Cindy was puzzled. ‘Why, Prince, are you dancing with only me? There are many girls who are dying to dance. I see it in their eyes.’
‘Exactly, my princess. Their eyes are already dead, while yours blaze with light.’
‘Please not for much longer, my Prince.  I came for my date with Death.’
‘Is that what you want, my princess? To be with me forever after?’ He kissed her neck.
‘That is what I want my Prince. Mortal life has nothing for me.’
The Prince knelt before her, removing her stiletto with its razor-sharp heel.
She welcomed his steely embrace and his lingering kisses. She hardly felt it when he pierced her neck with her heel.
Smart Prince. So much easier than biting.
She swooned at his hot breath as he tasted her divine life source.


Word count 400. FCA.


Friday, August 12, 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters /#FlashFriday - On Top of the Mountain

On Top of the Mountain

On top of the mountain was where she wanted to be—leaving behind all her insecurities and unhappiness, her confusion over Tod.

The climb had been hard but the view Paradise.

She twirled round and round like a ballerina then fell in a dizzy heap.

‘Woops!’ She giggled, bathed in blue sky.

She was first.

She never got to be first.

She wasn’t even first with Tod. She knew he’d chosen her because she looked like his first girlfriend.

But today was the best day of her life.

Her confusion was lifting like the clouds on the mountain.

She’d hurried ahead of the walking group even though it was naughty. She was sick of their whining. Sure, it’d been a long climb but what did they expect? All the way from St Jean Pied de Port to this splendid mountain in Spain. What a pilgrimage. What a way to start over.

It was Roderick who riled her big time. He’d been a pain from day one, complaining about everything—the food, the weather, the organisation. 700 kilometres to go til they reached Santiago de Compostela. How could they put up with Roderick for that long? 

She was surprised the guide, Rafe, hadn’t sent him packing. But Rafe wouldn’t.  He was the nicest guy. She wished it was just her and Rafe, the two of them together. Wouldn’t that be cosy?

Ah Rafe. She pictured his built body, muscled by years of climbing. She pictured his black curls flopping over his eyes. How she’d love to twirl her fingers through those curls!

She put her water bottle aside and took in the blue sky, the mountain range, the haloes of whispy clouds.  But she was drawn to the valleys made dark by black shadows. What was it that made her always look down? Did she always have to see the dark side?

She breathed in slowly, savouring the moment. Ah, to be first at last! Would Rafe be impressed?

She heard grunting behind the scraggly bush where she’d propped herself.  

She moved the leaves aside and peered closer. She felt a clunk as her heart wound to a stop. Lying spreadeagled, a head wound gushing blood was that whiner, Roderick.

‘Hey, Ciara what have you found?’ Rafe had arrived.

She shook her head. The cloud was choking her.

She never got to be first.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Up! Up and Away!

If you have landed here, just letting you know that this blog is closed from June 09 to July 25. I am on the road again. Korea, France, Spain, Morocco, Andorra.

I have lots to do before I get on that plane, so will just be using L'Aussie Writing blog until June 17.

When I come back I'll have lots of stories to tell.

Happy #fridayflash and other flashy brilliance!


Friday, June 3, 2011

"I remember..." #Romantic Friday Writers and #Friday Flash

I remember when the sky stretched above me, high and blue. I remember it filtering through the branches in slivers of light.

You reached out your hand and took the picnic blanket, red and black, made of the softest wool. You shook it free from its folds, its tassels floating in the afternoon breeze, until it settled onto the thick grass.

Mesmerised, I watched the rise and fall of your arms, then you stepped forward, held those arms out to me.

There we lay, bathed in sunlight and joy, inhaling the sweet smell of the sea.

So wrapped were we in each other we didn't notice the air had become cool.

I turn and see the stranger who is no stranger.

The strength of him is like nothing I've ever seen. His powerful arms fling me aside as if I were a rag doll. My face is in the grass. I squirm to the side, my head thick and throbbing.

I hear Adoni grunt. The stranger is a madman. The two men struggle, but Adoni is no match for those arms, muscles like steel ropes, squeezing. Adoni is failing.

I fling myself onto the madman's back. I feel helpless but Adoni needs me.

Pulling, pulling, on the ropey arms. The stranger turns to me and I see eyes gleaming like underwater stones.

It is the moment Adoni needs.

"Rialdo!" he screams. "She's mine now. Let us be!"

The madman falls to his knees. I peer closer. It is Rialdo. I remember...but this is another Rialdo, a man undone by love, Adoni's and mine.

I drop to my knees and face him.

"Adoni speaks truly, Rialdo. Our love was of another time, another world."

"My world is bleak and black without you, my love. I have come for you."

"No!" I hear Adoni scream.

Rialdo's eyes burn red in the fading light.

"No!" I echo Adoni's scream, dread thrumming through me. "I must stay with Adoni. He is my life now! We have many years of earthly pleasure before us."

"I'm sorry my beloved, but I must take you with me this time. Now. You will be mine into eternity."

I remember the last earthly sound I heard. It was the rustling of the leaves in the trees at the edge of the forest and my name in the wind - "Elspeth! Elspeth! Stay!"

I hope you enjoyed my touch of paranormal flash fiction. 394 words this week! If you want to read more #RomanticFridayWriters stories, click on the picture.
If you want to read more #Friday Flash stories, go to #fridayflash hashtag on twitter or click on the image in my sidebar.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Black Angel #fridayflash

This post was prescheduled for Friday 13, the day of the Great Blogger Crash, so I'll try again this week. I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted a story. I've been off doing the A - Z Challenge, planning an overseas trip, writing, planning a new blog challenge (Romantic Friday Writers,) so some of my blogging had to go. This is a story I posted for #fridayflash a year ago. It's my way back into the routine. Many new readers will not have read it. I hope you enjoy it...

Black Angel

Black is my new favourite colour.

Your hair is the first part of you I see as I push you into the world. Amidst the euphoria and pain I am surprised to see a little head covered in black. Sure, it is messed in little curly strands, mixed with blood and fluid, but when the nurse washes you and hands you to me wrapped in a shawl as soft as fairy down, your hair is a halo of black fuzz. As I gaze at you I fall in love. I hold you close and kiss you and blow soft puffs of air across your head, catching my breath in wonder.
Art is blonde and I'm a redhead. Go figure. But I love your black downy fuzz. It goes so well with your bright red wrinkly just-been-born skin.
I'm ready to leave the hospital when I get a huge shock. You’ve gone bald. My God! Your beautiful black hair is no more. No one warned me about this. How can this be? To go from fuzzy black to bald overnight. Obviously I hadn’t read the baby books closely enough. Is there something wrong with you? No, I'm told. This is quite normal. Normal, I huff, no one told me I was going to have a bald baby. I hug you close, mourning the loss of your baby locks. It looks like I’ve given you a zero cut with Art’s clippers. It’s ok, I'm told, she won’t stay bald for long.

Within a week your hair grew back, but this time it wasn’t black, it was blonde.

And blonde it remained, except when you were sixteen and you and your friends decided to go goth at a pyjama party. When I picked you up, there you were, one of six gorgeous girls with charcoal-black hair, thrift-shop black overcoats and black Doc Martens, laces trailing like old spaghetti. My mouth was open, ready to tear strips off you, when I realised that you hadn’t gone black, you were…
…red, see Mum. I wanted to be a redhead like you. Whaddayathink?
It’ll grow back, I say, a bit at a loss.

The redheaded phase only lasted a few months, then the blonde was back but with a red tinge. I wondered why you didn't go black like your friends who kept their black hair, their overcoats and Docs, then added piercings, tatts and attitude, but I was pleased you didn't take it all on board.

How I loved your long strawberry-blonde curls. You were a Botticelli angel come to life. My heart did somersaults just looking at you, lying there in your dark room at night, clutching your red teddy bear, your hair wavy on the black satin pillowcase with its single red rose.
Art was beside himself, terrified every time you went out at night. He'd pace the floor, look at the clock, look out the windows.
I prayed.
Art always hated your friends, especially Jack with the black mohawk, stiff as a weapon. You were Art's little angel. He never wanted you to grow up.
He got his wish.
Who would have thought that you'd be caught between Jack and Art's hatred? Who would have thought you'd take the fatal blow? Oh, Art...Art...Angel...Angel...
Here you are, lying so close to me on your four-poster bed with its black drapery. But tonight your beautiful strawberry-blonde hair is hidden from me. Except for one curl, caught in the zipper of the slick black body bag.
Black is no longer my favourite colour.

I hope you enjoyed my story. I'd love to hear from you...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sitting at a typewriter opening veins...

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. -Red Smith

That's what I'm doing for the next month, opening veins. Sorry, I won't be posting, but I will visit occasionally. I'll be back early April.

I have a lot of writing to do before I embark on my month-long sojourn in mid-June to Paris, the Dordogne, S.W. France, Andorra, San Sebastian Spain, Bordeaux, Morocco, Paris...

Sorry if you came to read my #fridayflash but I'll have plenty of stories when I return...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Broken Hearts Blogfest

Thanks to Dawn Embers for hosting this blogfest. For my entry I have taken an extract from my WIP Ruby and edited from 1000 words down to a little over 500. Much sharper now.
I'm publishing here as I'm hosting Roland D Yeomans on L'Aussie Writing, so sorry for the extra click! If you haven't visited me here before, it is where I post my short, sharp stories so it is quite apt.
Now read and enjoy:

She was about to put the key in the door when she saw him. He was leaning against the wall of her cottage, his open shirt catching the breeze.
‘Michael,’ she whispered. ‘You’ve come.’ Kiss me.
‘He lifted his head, words tumbling, pouring into the space between them. ‘I had to Ruby. I couldn’t just walk away, let it end like this. I thought we were doing great.’
‘We’re heading in different directions. We’ve too many conflicts.’ I love you my captain.
He turned towards her. She studied the moonlit ocean. What could she say—she didn’t want them to break up either, but was there any choice?
He was close enough to reach out and touch, but to Ruby there was a huge chasm between them and a violent current raging down that chasm, forcing them apart.
He stepped across the imaginary divide, surprised her with the lightest of kisses. His lips felt warm, so warm. Michael. Michael. Michael.
She opened her mouth to speak but her bottom lip trembled so much she couldn’t.
He took her in his arms. He ran his hands down her body and she couldn’t help it – she gasped with pleasure. His fingers found the soft ruffle of her thin summer top, then lightly brushed her bare shoulder. Michael, that’s not fair.
Her trembling fingers touched his bare chest. She put her arms under his shirt, and tugged him close. She lay her head against his chest, listening to his heartbeat, loving the male scent of him.
She stiffened. Jumped back. What am I doing?
‘What?’ Michael murmured, ‘Don’t stop.’
‘We’ve got to stop.’
‘You can’t mean that?’ his voice sounded ragged, his breathing heavy.
‘You know it’s a bad idea. It doesn’t change anything between us. It only makes things harder in the long run. Better a clean break. Now.’ She stepped back, the chasm cracked open again.
‘I don’t understand, Ruby. I love you. I want to be with you.’
And I love you too, Michael.
‘Go. Quickly.’ Her voice broke on the words, her tears flowed, her whole body revolted.
He looked at her for the longest time. He held out his hands. Ruby nearly gave in. He dropped his hands, his face bereft.
‘I don’t understand. Why do I have to walk away? Surely you feel it too? Don’t you love me a little?’
Not a little, Michael, I love you desperately. But she didn’t say that. She lied.
‘No, I don’t love you. I’m setting you free. There are things you have to do with your life and I’m not going to hold onto you and prevent you from following your dreams.’
‘What are you talking about? You are my dream. There’s nothing I want to do that would come before you.’
‘Are you sure about that, Michael?’
He ignored her question.
'If I have to leave you tonight, Ruby, I won’t come back.’
Ruby stood before him, body shaking, tears falling, resolute.
No words.
A terrible silence.
A chasm neither could breach.
His eyes, blue as the ocean he was returning to, searched her green ones. Ruby tore her eyes from his searching gaze. He reached for her face, knuckled her tears, turned and walked away.
Ruby watched him leave, hot tears streaming down her face.
She unlocked the door to her Marie Antoinette suite. It suddenly looked ridiculously romantic to someone who’d just turned her back on love.

Now go and read some more entries ...