Tag Archive: Creative Writing


edge

i stumbled upon a piece of a blog called Literary Lion, [who i believe to be Laura Gabrielle Feasey who you can find on the Twitterer as @laurafeasey], in which there lay a challenge to write a 400 word or less piece titled ‘Edge’ and in the absence of regular Tandem Blog posting, i decided to take up that challenge and so here is mine, i hope you will enjoy, or something:

EDGE

David woke up with an impressive jolt.

He’d had that dream again. The one where he was the guitarist that Bono had picked to be in his world famous rock band. You know, U2. Yes, THAT U2. Except that he hadn’t been picked, had he? Because his name was not “out there” or cool like ‘The Edge’. His name was David.

Big world-travelling hit-producing rock bands didn’t choose people named David as their guitarist. They chose someone who people would not make complete eye contact with, who you would half-smile and nod to as he entered the room and quietly made space for him to pass by. They chose someone called ‘The Edge’.

“I could have been The Edge”, thought David, whose last name was Evans. David Evans. You don’t see people getting excited about screaming that name into an announcer’s microphone as a legendary quartet set the stadium on fire. Metaphorically, that is. They didn’t actually set the stadium on fire. Although with U2, who knew what they might try? David Evans clearly didn’t. Because he was lumbered with that sad, ridiculous name?

What if he’d told them that his middle name was ‘Howell’? That was slightly interesting, wasn’t it? I mean, not by itself, but maybe snuck in between the two most boringest names he could think of, maybe ‘Howell’ was just what was needed to have helped him force entry into the band?

David Howell Evans. He whispered it again. As he finally climbed his way out of bed and started getting dressed.

David. Howell. Evans. He liked the sound of that. If he had applied to be a member of the group that would Wow the world with ‘Boy’, by giving them his whole name like that, maybe it would have been he who was synonymous with not being able to find that thing you had misplaced on a badly signposted road somewhere on a clot-ridden Sunday afternoon?

David Howell Evans pulled on his jacket even as his face continued to shout to anyone who might have been vaguely interested that he was sulking. Pouting, even. That could all have been his!

Yet here he was, stuck in a hotel room somewhere in the middle of who knows where, doing he couldn’t for the moment remember what.

David looked up and caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. “Oh, right!” he exclaimed out loud.

edge

i hope you enjoyed reading that – make sure you check out the home page for Literary Lion and all the other entries for this challenge… and maybe consider writing one yourself…

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boundaries

Boundaries

Emma was dead.

I mean, she got that, she really did. Although to be fair, it had taken her quite a while.

But, in her defense, this was completely different to anything she had experienced before, and so recognising it was perhaps not such an obvious connection. What was so distinct about her present state, ‘Was this a state? A condition perhaps? Or do you have to be alive to be in any form of condition? Let’s stick with state for now,’ was its complete and utter differentness to anything else she had previously known.

‘Known?’ Know. To be aware of. Hm, even that seems wrong. It’s like i am in this place of complete awareness with regards to things known and experienced, but i still don’t really have a lot of idea of what is really going on. And what comes next?’

There had been no Terry Pratchettian CAPS LOCK voice speaking directly to her brain to let her know that Death in his, ‘His? ‘Its’ maybe? Does Death even have a gender? All that assuming Death actually has a form and persona of course. I think I may have read too many fairy tales on this topic,’ skeletalness was present and ready to take her away.

‘Skeletalness is NOT a real word. I seem to be really struggling with words to describe my current scenario. That’s the whole trick when you’re introduced to something so well and truly differently different I guess. Urgh, my mom would have cringed at ‘differently different’. Okay, focus, Emma, and let’s try and figure out what comes next. I mean, there is a next, right? This can’t be… it?’

Emma had actually lost count of the number of hours that she had spent trying to “figure out what comes next” before the moment of realisation had struck her that she was in fact dead. You would think it would have been more obvious, but there had been a certain confusion about her, a kind of mist, when she had woken up, ‘No, it can’t be woken up. That would imply sleeping. But I wasn’t sleeping, I was dead. Um, but it had felt like waking up, so maybe we’ll go with that for now,’ and tried to go somewhere else.

The cloud had so descended upon her that even though grasping at a door handle with fingers that were no longer there should have itself been a deafening clue, it had simply delivered to her the information that this particular exit was not a viable one and would she try somewhere else. The second door that led out to the, well previously had led out to the pantry, was also no help. She had moved to windows to no avail, and then, in desperation, and with a sufficient amount of panic, even attempted to pull a chair below the trapdoor in the roof. ‘But pulling anything becomes an impossible endeavour when you have nothing to pull with. Oh look, there I am.’

‘Hours? Had it been hours? It had seemed so, but what was time now? It might have been minutes, or even seconds? Every moment seemed to fade into the next one, in silence of course.’ The one thing Emma had picked up quite quickly on, once she realised, was the deafening silence that, ‘No! No! No! You cannot have a deafening silence. That does not make sense and it has never made sense no matter what ridiculous name the teachers had given to it. Silence is quiet. It cannot deafen you. Overwhelming, perhaps? That is what this silence has felt like. Almost like it was the presence of nothingness as if that could be a thing either. Where was I?’

Even when she was looking down at her lifeless body, transfixed, mesmerized, paralysed, hypnotised, spellbound, enraptured, bewitched, captivated, fascinated, engrossed, stunned, immobili… ‘Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Remain calm. You’re losing it. You’re losing it. Keep it together. What is going on here? Surely something has to happen next. Surely someone, some… thing… has to appear and help me or lead me away or something? Tell me what to do.’

Those last five words she had meant to scream, but there was no screaming here. There was no sound at all. She could barely register her thoughts as words and even they were starting to make less send to her. She felt trapped here. Once she had discovered her body and however long it had taken for her to join those dogs together, to realise that she was in fact deaf, she had quickly become hysterical. Walking through walks had not proved fruitful. It definitely screamed as if something was keeping her in this roam.

What was she meant to don’t? She had no ideal. Her hedge seemed to be spitting now. Lied and worms humming at her foam awe differential erections. No right minded bacteria carpool battery battery emphasis derivative.

Hated.

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

And we’re back – just three bloggerists this time, but two amazing story-tellers joining me for another season of Tandem Blog posting. Join myself, Megan and Dave as we take the same title and give it our own personal and unique flavour…

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THAT NAGGING FEELING

‘Gently does it. Keep your speed average. Not too fast. Not too slow. We don’t want anyone suspecting anything out of the ordinary.’ Nick was talking to himself in his inside head voice again.

But everything was out of the ordinary. Nick Jenkins had been planning this moment for two years and as he tried to remain calm as he drove down the main road and made a right on to the highway, his mind was in absolute panic mode.

‘You did it. Everything happened absolutely according to plan. You have gone over this a thousand times and today, this day, everything has gone according to plan. Stop worrying. You are only going to cause yourself to make a mistake.’

Nick glanced at the clock on the dashboard. He had synced it with the satellite time and checked it three times today already. 23 minutes. Twenty three minutes until the bomb goes off. More precisely his bomb. The one that he had made. From plans he found on the internet. ON THE INTERNET! That fact still drove him a little mental. That he was able to find a way to craft a bomb in one tab while playing a ‘Words with Friends’ move against his mom on another. He still felt a little embarrassed at making the word ‘COCK’ in a Scrabble game against his mom. But she would know he meant the bird and it had allowed him to put his ‘K’ on a triple letter!

‘Are you sure you kept to the plan? You’re very nervous now and nervous people make mistakes.’ Nick systematically went through the plan in his head as he indicated right and then made to turn off the highway, now just a few streets away from his home, where he would be far enough away to be as shocked and surprised as the general public when the announcement flashed across their tv screens.

It was the perfect bomb. No mistakes there. He had checked and rechecked and made sure that he had kept to the plan. The miniature version he had put together and tested in the local quarry had gone off perfectly and so there was absolutely no reason to assume this more powerful model would be any different.

‘I will show THEM. They will be sorry that they treated me so absolutely disgustingly. As if losing my job was not bad enough, for them to embarrass me so disdainfully in front of the whole office…’ Nick realised this was really extreme, but he reconciled it with the fact that nobody was going to get hurt. He was going to hurt the company. And it was going to cost them a lot of money. More money than if they’d just kept him on and allowed him to try a little harder. He had made absolutely meticulously sure that everyone would be out of the building. Cleaners and everything. The building would be as empty as his impending bank account.

Right turn. Two streets to go until the safety of home. Nick replayed his movements as if watching them on a camera. ‘Gloves on. Security cameras disabled the night before. Each piece of the bomb bought at a different location over a 6 month period so there was no way even two of them could be placed together. Bomb checked and countdown started before leaving his house, giving him plenty of time to make it there, place the bomb and return home just before it goes off.

‘Why is it something doesn’t seem right? Surely i’m just psyching myself out here? I know this. I’ve gone over it and over it until it is so deeply engrained in my mind that there is no way i could…’

Nick turned into his driveway, mind suddenly racing. ‘Wake up. Get dressed. Check bomb. Set bomb.’

With a foreboding feeling now surging through his entire body, Nick is starting to visibly sweat as he grabs the car keys and walks nervously to his car boot.

‘Put bomb in car. Cover bomb. Drive at average speed on practiced back roads route to office so that car would not be seen. Arrive at office.’

As he shakingly tried to turn the key in the boot, the realisation hit him like a waft of hot air completely knocking the breath out of his body. In his hurry to ensure that he was in and out of the office with no one noticing, with no-one in a neighbouring office perhaps remembering that his rust blue mazda had been the last car seen parking on the edge of the car park, he may have forgotten one tiny detail.

 Nick Jenkins finally managed to get the unwieldy key to turn and flipped open his car boot to catch sight of a digital display, attached to a bomb, still sitting in the back of his car, displaying the numbers, ‘7…6…5…’

bomb

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Be sure to check out the other amazing posts with this same title with:

tup

Meet Marci. Marci has a problem.

10.15am

From the moment she recovers from the second round of playing Snooze on her Nokia 6510i, Marci has one sole focus in mind. “Not to be confused with the Nokia 6510!”, she always responds with a slight giggle when people ask her what model she has, and she mouths those soundless words again as she throws on last nights clothes and heads to the bathroom for a 76 stroke brush. Not 77, not 75, just exactly, precisely 76. Per tooth. It’s the way you are meant to do it.

And while her body is putting itself through the meticulous motions of a mid-morning routine, Marci’s mind is working overtime…

“Can’t be Susan, because I asked her last time. Susan doesn’t like it when she thinks I am nagging. Must at least be another three months before I try her again. Janice is a definite. Janice always comes, even if only to hang out with me. Janice is always the first on the list and in fact I have already invited her so why am I even thinking about Janice? Go away! Mr and Mrs Stevens? Or is it Stephens? I know I got it wrong the last time and then I corrected. But now I can’t remember if my correction is in fact correcting the correction and thus returning it to its former wrongful spellingment. Oh wait, it’s the phone, so it doesn’t even matter. I will let them write their own names on the stickers. If. They. Come. They didn’t come last time. Why didn’t they come last time? Oh yes, dog issues. Stupid dog. It’s always that damn… okay, focus Marci. You overslept, the phone won again and this is not going to happen unless you PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER. Why are you shouting at me? It’s me you’re talking to. So more technically why am I shouting at me? I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your… my…

By this point Marci is finished in the bathroom and she sweeps by the kitchen counter, grabbing a piece of fruit as she plonks herself down on the couch and notices immediately that the ‘piece of fruit’ she so gracefully snatched in her walk by, is, in fact, her purse. My purse? How the… What is wrong with you? Me. That’s not even close. She sighs as she tosses the purse on the floor and dials the first number…

1.15pm

Marci is busy scrolling furiously down her phone’s address book and continues to talk to herself, half out loud, half with her inside quiet head voice, and she is clearly a little bit stressed. It’s tonight. It IS tonight. Tonight is the time when this thing is meant to happen and so I am really grabbing at straws now. Am I grabbing at straws? Maybe they’ll come. Maybe they’ll show up. There were quite a lot of “Maybe” and “I’ll think about it”s. Bleurgh. Bleurgh. BLEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURGGGGGH! Urgh. Stoppit! Pull yourself together. There is still time. You’ve got 4 hours. They will come. If you build it they will come. BUILD IT? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? There is not an IT to build? WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING? Why are you shouting about why are you shouting? Seriously Marci, just slow down and think. Think woman! Who else? 

George. But George is a cat and stare at him as she may, she does not offer any form of help whatsoever. “Georgina! It’s Georgina! He’s a she!” she says time and time again every single time someone mistakes her for a him. “But his name is George?” “It’s Georgina, okay? It’s a long stupid name and I have resorted to calling her George and she most definitely is all completely female and please can we just let it go?” Marci snaps to attention. Realises she has been staring at the cat for a full thirty-seven minutes in a complete daze. Only the cat blinked before she did and left more than eleven minutes ago. She is staring at a yellow chair. An ugly yellow plastic chair. Why do I even have that thing in my lounge?” she asks herself, but she is done replying. Panic is leopard-crawling over the horison.

5.15pm

Marci is sitting on the floor of the kitchen building an ugly plastic fort. Her phone is lying, screen down, just under the edge of the fridge, still displaying the message received fifty-five minutes ago from Janice, letting her know that, “Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control – Michael!!!!  I won’t be able to make it tonight.” If you were watching her, and no-one is, you would notice that her body is rocking, ever so slightly. Barely noticeable really, but it’s there. Her lips are moving at a furious pace, mostly naming names, and yet no sound escapes from between them. Intermittently, she peers up at the clock on the microwave, which has been purposefully set five minutes fast, and mumbles something to herself. A dazed look betrays little emotion.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. Wait, someone is early? That is amazing. No-one is EVER early. This is going to be great. “This. Is. Going to be great.” Marci catches herself saying that a little loud. She jumps to her feet. “I don’t want to seem desperate,” she says, before realising again that that too was out loud. She combs her finger through her hair, does a quick glance into the mirror and walk runs to open the door, which she does with much flamboyance, only to be greeted by…

“Another delivery, Mrs Weare. You know where to sign. Thank-you and all the best for tonight.”

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This has been the last episode of this current Tandem Blog Post series which mean this time 8 bloggers writing from the same topic. PLEASE take a moment to read the other posts in the series as there are some really talented people creating some absolutely stunning work. And as always, if you read something you enjoy please SHARE it with your people so that more eyes can discover them as well:

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[For previous series’ of Tandem Blog Posts, click here]

i am loving being a part of this Tandem Blogging series with 8 other very creative and very different individuals. There is the dual satisfaction of having a very focused piece to write on a topic i didn’t choose [which is incredible for creativity] and then also the thrill of bouncing from post to post once we’ve released them, to see how differently each writer interpreted the title each week. Last week was my favourite week out of the 5 i have been part of, and despite this week’s title being a little more dangerous, i am looking forward to seeing how everyone tackled it. Hee, hee, i said ‘tackle’.

So read this one and then please take a look at as many of the others as you can and please do us the honour of sharing any of these that you really enjoyed:

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Tonight you’re mine, completely

Draft 1: Tonight you're mine, completely.
Draft 2: Two Knights. You're mine. Complete. [Leigh]
Draft 3: To Knights, Ewe are mine! Compete? [Leigh]
Draft 4: Dear Members of the Round Table. The female sheep belong to me. Wanna fight about it? [Lee]
Draft 5: Deer members. Get off the round table. Wool bearer ownership decided. A duel? [Lee]
Draft 6: Buck! Remove yourselves from the wooden table! A knitter has been duly decided upon.
Draft 7: The buck stops here. Unstable. A familiar pattern has been selected.
Draft 8: President. Unstable set. Recognition. Choice.
Draft 9: A precedent has been set. I recognise this in the one I have chosen.
Draft 10: Tonight you're mine, completely.

join

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Having read the rest of the posts for this week i feel like everyone has done some amazing incredible work and so please give yourself some time to read at least a few of the others, if not all of them.

The writing is all different flavours of great, but which one will be YOUR favourite this week?

Cath: https://cathjenkin.wordpress.com

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com

Kerry: http://www.kerrycontrary.com

James: http://www.jamespreston.org

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za

Sarah: https://medium.com/@ricegirl2

Dave: https://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

[To return to the first Tandem Post i took part in with the theme of ‘Meeting the Queen’, click here]

priest It had been another sleepless night for Michael, for the most part.

Oh sure, there had been moments when he had drifted in and out of slumber, but the beasts awaiting him there had not made life any easier. Taunting him mercilessly with screeched out reminders of his shortcomings, spewed out revelations of the secret things only he knew about.

The things no one else must ever know.

Ever.

Because Michael was a man of the cloth. And, as everyone knows, nothing short or absolute perfection is the benchmark for a man of his, cough, persuasion. Always carry the look of dignity, togetherness. Never let it seem that anything is awry from the front. From up high. Be the one listening to the confessions, never making them.

To be fair, it is not even as if Father Michael’s sins were particularly bad.

Or all that interesting.

In fact, had any of his regular confessors heard of the things that were bringing shame to their confessee, there would have been multiple eyebrow raises and possibly even a partially-stifled giggle. They were that inconsequential.

But to him… creature To him they manifested after dark as hideous scale-covered demonic beings, cackling aloud as they floated way above and then took turns dive-bombing his cowering head, as he yelped and wailed and crawled tighter and tighter into a human ball. And so it continued, drifting in and out of sleep. In the moments of awakeness, it was his own thoughts that betrayed him, judging him with the conciseness of a French Revolution guillotineur.

Then, as Michael would finally escape his own thoughts, it would be back to the nightmarish abominations, hounding him relentlessly, refusing to give him a moments peace or refuge from their accusations.

And so it would continue.

Like the monotony of a metronome.

And every night it was the same.

It should therefore come as little surprise that the first light creeping in through the crack in the curtains, signalling that it was time for this priestly figure to rise from the dead, was such a welcome visitor. That innocent blessings such as the whirring purr of his alarm clock, so carefully set and thrice checked the night before, or the tea tray set quietly outside his door by Mrs Jenkins the housekeeper, would be such welcomed and anticipated delights. That even the feel of cloth on foot as Michael slid out of bed into his slippers and by virtue of them, the new day, would be a disproportionate joy-bringer. These simple things were but symbols of this reverend’s elations at dawn.

This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with Dave Luis, Mandy Collins, Nick Frost, Cath Jenkin and Scott Dunlop. One title unwrapped by six bloggerists. Read Dave’s post over here, Mandy’s post here, and Nick’s post here. Also check out first time contributors Cath over here and Scott over here. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

[To continue to the following Tandem post i did which was titled ‘Magic Words’, click here]

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