J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

All Fall Down

All Fall Down: A Homage to 1980’s Slasher/Horror Films. Part Five, We All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Part Five 

We All fall Down

 

misfits-skull-nun-doll-face By customcreepydolls customcreepydolls.deviant.com

misfits-skull-nun-doll-face By customcreepydolls
customcreepydolls.deviant.com

Turning the next page he saw Sister Theresa outside the house he was in now, in the back ground a ‘Sold sign’ and read the rest of the story. “Sister Theresa makes vow to bring old orphanage back to it former glory.”
Grabbing the scrapbook, Dan was about to go downstairs and find the other when he heard a noise from the other side of the room, holding up the candle he spotted a door on the far side.
Oh dear reader what a silly mistake Dan made, for you see as soon as he stepped into the back room of the attic, he fell through a hole, right up to his middle.
Within that moment, Dan thought of the nursery rhyme in his room, Doctor Foster. As he tried to move, he felt himself being gripped hard by the waist as someone tied restraints into place. In any other circumstances, Dan would have been quite pleased, but right here, right now, he was furious and thrashed against his restraints, with no success. Then from behind him he heard the door open again he tried to turn but found he could only catch glimpses of a figure behind him, each time getting a better idea who it was. Slowly the figure walked past him, carrying a candle and setting it down on a table in front of him, which lit up the fall horror in front of him.

 

***

By now the disabling drug in the brandy had taken full effect. Although Cherry could move, she was fully aware of her surroundings as she watched Trisha Steers lit candles all around the room.
“What have you done with my friends?” slurred Cherry
Trisha continued to light the candles in the room and said, “Friends my dear? Can you really call those sewer dwelling scum your friends? But then have you ever really had any friends? I know you’re work has been your soul interest, never really been able to make a meaning connection with anyone since that fateful day at Big Steps wide strides have you Cherry?”
There was a long pause as Cherry tried to say that wasn’t true, but dear reader she knew that Trisha had hit the nail on head, if only that was the simple plan of revenge Trisha had lined up for Cherry, but she had something much more punishing for the girl who could have helped.
“I tried,” slurred Cherry, but Trisha wasn’t listening, as she spoke more to herself then to Cherry,“I should blame myself for making a small mistake, but I did all I could to look after my baby.”
Cherry pulled her head up and took another good look at Trisha, of course she now knew where she had seen the face before, as Trisha continued, “A good Catholic girl like me wasn’t allowed to make a mistake, no matter how small; if the Mother Superior had ever discovered that I was pregnant then I would have been banished by the order, the church was my life!”

Trisha then turned back to Cherry, “I could only watch from afar as the other nuns cared for my boy, I knew I could not get involved as my secret would surely have been discovered, I even came to the school on occasion to see him and even then I found I could not stop his life being made a misery.”
Cherry, looked up “Sister Theresa! I remember you now.”

***

Dan stared at his old classmates all sitting in front of him and screamed. Bella sat on a chair, a fine mist of a spiders web covered her bitchy features, while the spider itself feasted on her eyes. May lay with her body flopped backwards, her intestines oozing from a gash in her gut and then there was Rose, sitting so sweetly in her chair, with her head placed neatly in her lap. Dan watched as the skull faced nun walked over to the far corner of the room and picked up a rusty watering can. Dan tried to struggle free from his restraints, but it was impossible, he was stuck fast. He looked up just as the nun tipped the watering-can’s contents. The shower of acid, rained down on Dan, burning his skin, dissolving his vicious tongue and murderous eyes for evermore.

***

Sister Theresa, smiled and squeezed Cherry’s face. “I have waited so long to get you all together. I wanted you to have something precious in your life, be it wealth, recognition or even love, not that I think any of you spiteful lot had ever felt that.”                                                                                                              She then looked up as the door opened. “Good, you’re here, come in.”

The nun came into the centre of the room and stood in front of Cherry.
“Take your mask of Johnny.” said Sister Theresa.
Johnny pulled off his mask and Cherry gasped. Although a fully grown adult, Johnny Flynn still had the same innocent baby face.
Cherry looked at Sister Theresa and pleaded to be let go but Sister Teresa slowly shook her head, I’m sorry my dear, but that is not going to happen. It was my fault that I lost my baby once, but it was you and your friends who destroyed him and for that reason, like your friends you will have to suffer.
Cherry pleaded for Sister Theresa to stop what she was doing, but Sister Theresa ignored her cries as she to pulled on a skull mask and fixed her veil back in place while Johnny passively looked on.
Sister Theresa opened her bag and took out a gold-gilded box and a rusty funnel.
“What was your nursery rhyme again my dear? Oh yes, there was an old woman who swallowed a fly.”
“Please stop” said Cherry “what ever you’re thinking of doing you can just stop now and leave. I won’t tell anyone what happened, you’re right, I have no loyalty to the others who made Johnny’s life such a misery.”
Cherry’s turned her gaze to Johnny and pleaded with him, “Johnny, I tried to save you, you remember that don’t you?”
Johnny looked on at Cherry, giving her some hope, but then he pulled his skull mask back into place.

Sister Theresa chuckled to herself as she walked over to Cherry, lifted the lid of the gold gilded box and showed Cherry its contents. Cherry’s eyes widened as she looked down at the hundreds of maggots crawling around the inside of the box.

Taking the opportunity, Sister Theresa grabbed hold of Cherry’s hair and yanked her head back, she then pushed the metal funnel down her throat, scrapping the metal tube along Cherry’s teeth. Cherry gagged, but was unable to move a muscle as Sister Theresa tipped the maggots down the funnel until the box was empty, she then pulled the funnel out of Cherry’s throat, tapping out the remaining maggots onto Cherry tongue.

Sister Theresa laughed as Cherry’s eyes darted around the room, “Don’t worry my dear, you’ll still be able to breathe through your nose, giving the maggots plenty of time to feast on your innards, my guessing is by the time they hatch into bluebottle the majority will escape through your nose, but the backlog will definitely try and eat through your eyes”.
The crazed nun then sealed Cherry’s mouth with some masking tape and turned to her son, only to see that he had picked up the gold-gilded box.
“Put that down Johnny, it’s an heirloom from the church.”
But Johnny ignored his mother, pulled off the skull mask and looked at Cherry, before turning back to his mother and crashed the gold box into the side of her head, knocking her to the ground.
Johnny then ripped off the masking tape and pushed Cherry forward, allowing her to throw up the crawling maggots. He then pulled Cherry out of the lounge, not noticing that that one of the candles and tipped over towards the curtains.
Dragging Cherry outside, Cherry gulped in deep breaths. It was only then that Johnny noticed the building was on fire. Cherry tried to call after him to stop, but Johnny ran back in to save his only living relative.

***

Cherry looked up to find flashing light and with police, ambulance and the fire brigade rushing around. As she was put in the ambulance, she managed to say, “I think my friends are all dead, but there’s two other inside alive”.

 ***

Later in the hospital, a two policewomen sat by Cherry’s bedside and asked her if there was anyone she wanted them to call, but Cherry shook her head and said there was no one. She asked after her friends, and was told that their remains had been found at the top of the house.
“What about Sister Theresa and Johnny Green? They were in the lounge.”
Both policewomen looked at each other and said, “I’m sorry Ms Blossom, but there were no other bodies found.”
Cherry Looked at both women and said, “Then they are still out there….waiting”.

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Writing 101: day Twenty. The Things We Treasure

Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.
A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.

Ipswich, Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Suffolk, Norwich, Norfolk, Brighton, East Sussex, Bremerhaven, Germany, New York, Amsterdam, my bear has visited them all.

I’m not a hoarder, or into collecting things. In the past people have tried, most notably skulls, which relate to my love of all things Gothic and the many skulls I have incorporated into my tattoos. At one point I hid all the skulls in a patch of garden outside my flat but I removed them when two children told their mum they had found a mass grave; thankfully the mum saw the funny side of it. Those skulls have now found new homes.

Skulls, skulls, skulls

Skulls, skulls, skulls

The only possession from my childhood days to be my constant companion has been my teddybear that my Nana bought me when I was born. Now, this is no Steiff bear, far from it; in reality it has absolutely no monetary worth at all, but to me it is priceless.

When I left home, aged seventeen I didn’t have that many belongings to take with me except my Hazel O Connor scrapbook and poster with everything else, including my bear, in a little black case (So Bronski Beat) and headed off to the bright lights of….Felixstowe!

Hazel O Coonor, me and Jo.

After a short period of commuting via my moped I ended up renting a room in a very big house. My landlady was very strange and I later found out she was nicking my food! This came about when I had decided not to go home to visit my Nana one weekend. While laying in bed with my bear I saw my bedroom door open and in walked my landlady, with her grandson in her arms; not realising I was there she said, “Let’s see what cereals we have.” She then turned, looked at me and my bear and just walked out again.

My next adventure for me and my bear was a move to a little town called Hadleigh, Suffolk where I got a job as a trainee baker. To begin with I once again commuted on my trustee moped, getting up at 11 pm for a midnight start. On one of those evenings my moped packed in before I even got onto the main road and so I packed my bike in the town centre, called up my sister, Dawn and asked her to drive me to work; her reward was a day old Eccles cake!

After my shift I hitched a lift back home. Now, I was very aware that there are all kinds of stranger danger and this I was to find out to be true when I was picked up by a man who talked about his work in computers. I was ready to commit murder by the time he dropped me off!

Now, the thing is when travelling in the middle of the night it was cold and so i was dressed in my duffle coat and scarf, by the time I had finished my shift it was baking hot and everyone else were dressed in shorts and tee-shirts. To make matters worse my moped was now surrounded by a load of really big motorbikes, with all the bikers sitting around in their cut off denim jackets and jeans. I tried my very best to get my bike without much fuss but ended up knocking one bike over which had a domino effect and so all the other bikes crashed over. I think because I looked so odd I was saved a beating as they shook their heads while picking their bikes up.

A bakers life was not really for me and with the help of a man called Tim, I moved from Felixstowe to Norwich and retrained as a chef and silver service waiter at Norwich Hotel School. Here I moved into the college dorm where Norwichmy bear and I where very happy. It was here I was to get my first taste of homophobia. I tried setting up a Gaysoc, but only one guy, called ‘Lumpy Head Steve’ applied and so that never really got off the ground. BTW, Steve got his nickname after two friends decided to give him a hair cut, taking a side each and the hair cut got shorter and shorter until they had to give him a skinhead….

I digress; On my doorplate I had my name under which someone had written “Is gay” to which I added, “So?”

I really can’t be doing with people who try to intimidate me, such bullies are just cowards.

After two years of study it was time to move on once more. Two of my Norwich mates, Davey and Trevor had moved to Brighton and said I should give the town a go and so I upped sticks, got a job at The Bedford Hotel, quickly followed by the Grand when it reopened. I can clearly remember Margaret Thatcher greeting us all when what I really wanted to do was to rush over to the other side of the road and join the throng of anti-Tory protestors.

The Grand was good fun, but there was more adventures to be had when the QE2 relaunched and so I grabbed my bear and took to the high seas. However, for the first month the ship was still in dry dock in Bremerhaven QE2 BearGermany. Each night all staff were given four cans of beer and four cans of coke a cola. Most of the waiters went to the local bar to sing ‘New York, New York’ on loop. For the first week I stayed in my cabin until my bear was kidnapped! I came back to my cabin to find a ransom note, “Come to the bar with your cans of beer or you’ll never see your bear again.”

I went to the bar, paid my ransom and got my bear back!

Since then my bear has been to Amsterdam and back after an ill thought through flight of fancy of a new life over there. And now he sits high up on my shelf with the other bears enjoying a quite retirement.

Home Bear

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writing 101: Day Nineteen. Free Writing.

Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’
Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.
I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning Writing 101 into an Anne Lamott fan club, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge:

The rational mind doesn’t nourish you. You assume that it gives you the truth, because the rational mind is the golden calf that this culture worships, but this is not true. Rationality squeezes out much that is rich and juicy and fascinating.
Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.
I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.

You’ll never feel so good about writing down every half-baked non-sequitur that comes out of the recesses of your lizard brain. And if you’re tempted to reply, “That’s easy for her to say, she’s a famous writer!” I give you:

I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much.

Four-hundred words. One at a time. Go.

For an extra prompt I used, The Writer’s Block: a 786 paged book filled with photos, writing prompts and ideas… the prompt I picked is at the end of this tale. Please read the story first.

Photo by me
I don’t think I have ever known the house to be this quiet. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever known any place in my lifetime to have been this quiet. As I walk from room to room, I pick up sounds that must have always been there, but I’ve never been given the chance to take that much notice of them.

In the kitchen there is the soft humming of the fridge freezer, while in the front room there is the sound of the clock ticking. I have always wanted one of those clocks that chimes or one that has a cuckoo clock that pops out on the hour. Maybe now I can.

As I step into the backroom, I can hear the birds chirping in the garden, It would be nice to know which birds are making which noise; maybe later, now I have more time on my hands I could get a book from the library and find out just which birds visit the garden. I think you can get a tape that lists all the birdsongs, maybe that would be better.

As I take to the stairs, I am reminded of the creak the third step always makes followed by the seventh and tenth. Over the years I have thought how easy it would be to fix it, to hammer a nail in. I look at the nail-file in my hand; I’d forgotten I was still gripping it so tight. If I had a hammer I would fix those stairs right now. I would really hammer those nails in so the stairs never made another sound ever again.

Instead I’ll put it off for another time, for now I’m just really enjoying the near silence of the house as it talks back to me. The bathroom has its own way as much as the rest of the rooms in the house. Here it’s the dripping tap, it’s been like that for as long as I can remember. There is a big yellow stain where the water has dripped over the years. Makes you think what is really in the water that would cause such a stain.

The back bedroom looks over the gardens. Our garden faces another garden at the back. In all this time I have never met my neighbour. There have been times I’ve seen her pottering about when I’ve been up here, but she has never looked up. I have often made up stories in my head about who she is. Sometimes she’s married with a handsome husband and five beautiful children, on other occasions I see her as a spinster, having never met the love of her life, always dreaming of the one; and then I think that she’s trapped as I had been for so many years. On those days I shudder.

As I walk into the front bedroom, I smile at the sunlight as it streams through the windows. I have never liked this bedroom but today it feels so much nicer, quieter. In here the only sound I can hear is my breathing which is so much calmer now. I look onto the bed and see what I had to do to make the house a better, quieter place. I walk over to the side of the bedside cabinet, with one eye on the bed just in case, I carefully place the nail-file into the drawer, sit on the edge of the bed and pick up the phone.

“Hello, I would like to talk to the police.”

 

Photo by me

writer’s block,prompt

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writing 101. Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View
The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.
Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
First person, second person, third person, whew! Point of view is a type of narrative mode, which is the method by which a story’s plot is conveyed to the audience. Point of view reveals not only who is telling the story, but also how it is told. Consider a recent short story published on The Worship Collective, “Funny Things,” in which the narrator is a child who has passed away.
Need a refresher on first-person narration? Recall Scout Finch, the six-year-old first-person narrator of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout tells the story through her eyes:
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
“‘Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.”
Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.
Refer to some of the exercises we’ve done on character, dialogue, and even sentence length to help craft this person. All of these storytelling elements can combine to create a strong point of view.
No one from the neighbourhood, but me has come out to watch them people hammering at Mrs. Pauley’s door. Since from the time I can remember, Mrs. Pauley has always been part of this street. She had sons like me, but they are all grown up and gone now, I can kind of remember what they look like, but they don’t come visit like what they used to do. My Mum said she don’t want me to be like that, she said my time will come when I will want to leave home but I don’t think that will ever happen, but mum just laughs and says, “You’ll see.” and then she says she hopes I’ll come home at Christmas time and on her birthday to say hello and to remember that she has always done her best.
I asked mum if Mrs Pauley had done her best and mum said, “Yes.” and then busied her herself with the washing up and told me to go out side and get some sunshine.

I didn’t really know Mr. Pauley, he seemed to be angry a lot of the time. Whenever he started shouting and stuff, mum would call me indoors and tell me to play in the back garden or in my bedroom.
Three month back, Mr. Pauley suddenly died and there was a lot of noise from the ambulance and police cars that sped into our road. The thing is, it’s not a road as you can only get to the end bit before you have to turn round again to get out. Me, mum, dad and my sister Beverley all stood at our gate and watched as they brought Mr. Pauley out, he was all covered up in a black bag and you couldn’t see his face. Mum said that it wasn’t a good sign and I asked her why and she said not to ask. Beverley told me later that Mr. Pauley had died in suspicious circumstances. I asked Beverley what that meant and she said Mr. Pauley had been murdered by Mrs. Pauley, that she had had enough and had pushed him down the stairs.
When I asked mum, she said not to say things like that because they may not be true. I asked her if they could be true, but mum told me not to mention it again.
I heard mum say that it was a disgrace that none of Mrs. Pauley’s boys had been to see her and that she was going to go round, but dad said it was best not to get involved.
For the next few weeks I would sit right here on the doorstep and watch Mrs. Pauley’s house. I told myself that if she came out of her house I would run over and say that i didn’t believe that she had killed Mr. Pauley and that if she wanted to come and live with us for a while that I would give her my bedroom and I would sleep on the sofa downstairs.
I had thought about saying that I would sleep in her house, but then I thought that Mr. Pauley might come back as a ghost and be angry with me for being in his house and so I decided not to mention that bit.
I think Mrs.Pauley must go out late at night after i’ve gone to bed because I have never saw her come out and I have never saw anyone go in. I then thought that Mrs. Pauley might go out at night and get her shopping from the late night shop down Harper Street. I then got even more worried for Mrs. Pauley as that shop only sells things in tins and nothing fresh.
I got a call from mum to say she had made me a sandwich. I didn’t want to go in as the police and some other people had gone inside Mrs. Pauley’s, but not come out for a long time. I then decided that I would grab my sandwich and take it over for Mrs. Pauley. I ran into the house as quick as I could and picked up the sandwich’s from my plate and mum shouted at me to not drop them and make a mess and then I ran outside and I checked the road and saw the police car and the black car had gone.
There was a note on Mrs. Pauley’s door and I ran over and I read the note but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. The only word I could read was, Eviction Notice. Do Not Remove, Keep Out.

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Writing 101, day 17. Fear.

Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page
Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.

IMG_2714

I’m back!

I’m not alone with the fear of being buried alive, which can be thought of in many different ways. The recent earthquake in Nepal would have made many of us think of this horror. It is because of our fear that news reports show us of the one lucky survivor, pulled out of the rubble alive that allows us to concentrate on the hope that if it happened to us, we might just be lucky too.
In horror fiction this is not always the case. The first time I was made aware of my fear was when I was very young, watching the TV series, Armchair Thriller, in which a man drugged his wife and built a brick wall to encase her while whistling the song, Greensleeves. the combination between the horror of his action sand the gentleness of the song still makes me shudder.
Later on in life I discovered the works of Edgar Allen Poe where again I was confronted with my fear of being buried alive in his brilliant short story, The Black Cat and the Tell-Tale Heart

When I was studying for my MA in Creative Writing, I knew I wanted to use my fear of being buried alive in a short story and so I returned to Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories as well as the brilliant buried alive horror film, The Vanishing (1988) not the remake!

For the longest time I had trouble getting my protagonist into a trunk without the reader shouting “As if!”

In this version I had my protagonist called Dan, running away from a group of homophobes and hides in an abandoned house in Blanche Street.

A shout from the landing below, sends him running to the windowless room at the back. He trips, loses his shoe and stumbles onto the trunk, hidden in the shadows. With no time to think, he climbs inside,scraping the skin off his back as he pushes his body down. Holding the lid with one hand, dan peeps through the crack. He watches as the group pile into the room
“He couldn’t have jumped.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, he’s fingers give way, the lid slips down as the lid clicks and locks firmly in place.
Hidden 2010.

From here on in there were lots of flash backs which became quite weary to read and so I had to go back to the drawing board. The main problem was that I was trying to shoehorn a story into my Blanche Street tales, when what I really needed to do was to break free. It was around this time I was reminded of a story my tutor and mentor, Dave Swann told me. He had been on one of those haunted walks round Brighton, where the spooky host retells tales of Brighton’s murderous past, including the infamous trunk murders of 1831 and 1934. Dave mentioned a more recent Brighton murder but was told that those murders were not to be discussed on the tour. It was then an idea began to really take shape.

I started off by creating a character who was isolated from anyone who might care or miss him, as was the case with many of the victims of notorious serial killer, Dennis Nilsen. Being buried alive is one thing, knowing that no one is coming looking for you just rack up the terror all the more.

Next I gave form to the murderous couple, Janice and Nick.

To read the story, Please click the link via Inkitt on my Facebook page.

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writing 101. day 16 Lost and found

 

 

Day Sixteen: Third Time’s the Charm

Today’s Prompt: Imagine you had a job in which you had to sift through forgotten or lost belongings. Describe a day in which you come upon something peculiar, or tell a story about something interesting you find in a pile.

For inspiration, ponder the phrase “lost and found.” What do you think about or visualize when you read this phrase? For an elementary schooler, it might be a box in their classroom, full of forgotten jackets and random toys. For a frequent traveler, it might be a facility in an airport, packed with lost phones, abandoned bags, and misplaced items.

On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. So, today’s twist: If you’d like to continue our serial challenge, also reflect on the theme of lost and found more generally in this post.

By the end of Writing 101, you’ll have multiple posts around a theme; material you could thread together in a longform piece.

Questions to think about as you write your post:
What have you learned about loss over the years?
What does it feel like to find an object that was once important to you?
When can reconnecting go horribly wrong?
When are things better left buried and forgotten?
In your “lost and found” tale, tell us something larger — a life lesson, perhaps — about finding and losing something.

15 min’s free writing.

This is one of those odd pieces that I might revisit and see if something better comes from it…..

Lost and found.

In this job all kinds of things turn up, amount the usual stuff like an umbrella, silk scarf or a kid’s teddybear, I’m always surprised by the more unusual things that turn up, like a false leg, a wad of ten pound notes in a carrier-bag and a mink fur coat. But the most unusual thing to turn up here at the lost and found office was someone’s soul.

Now, in all the time I have worked here it was the first time I had come across a soul. At first I didn’t even notice it, it was only when I saw this dark shape shift at the bottom of the box that i even realised it was there. I was really cautious, because I thought it could have been one of those really big spiders that jump out at you and bite, so I put on my long protective gloves and got my ‘grabber’ at the ready. When I tried to pinch it, it let out a squeal and shrunk back down in the corner; it was only when I shone my torch on it I saw it wasn’t a spider, but I still wasn’t too sure what it was.
Sensing that I had to continue handle what ever it was with some caution, I put my grabber to one side, had the torch tucked underneath my chine and gentle reached down and picked it up. Although small and to look at it you would have thought it would have been as light as a silk scarf it was actually much heavier, like lifting a bag of sugar. As soon as I had both hands beneath it the dark edges began to glow. By the time I had lifted it up to my face the whole thing was a ball of twinkling light.
I guess you would have thought I would have been frightened by such an unusual sight, but there was something about it that made me feel calm. I was about to call out to one of the boys in the office to come and have a look when the light in my hand began to burn even brighter. That’s when it showed me it’s true meaning of what it was. With each burst of light I saw the life of a stranger. At first there was his birth, the light was at it’s brightest at this point which filled me with a feeling of long forgotten joy and innocence. Next came childhood with a mix of rainbow colours showing me so much love and laughter, this was followed by more muted colours with occasional the shard of silver and gold as the teenage years flew by. I wanted to call out for Jim to come in from his office to see me but I could not take my eyes of the life that was flashing in front of me
Next was a blinding burst of blue as the teenage years gave way to the excitement of being a true adult; almost blushed as the soul quivered in my hand while watching the spurts of red hot, white and blue.
Next came calming orange, a causal pink, my eyes became heavy as I was lulled into the tranquil emerald only for a violent rush of red nearly scolded my palms,but this was quickly followed by a burning brown which quickly diminished to a black then grey.

I looked around the back of the office and found a box, carefully placed the soul inside and placed the lid back in place before putting the whole thing on the top shelf.

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Writing 101, day 15.

Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.

How does that make you feel?

 

I couldn’t get into this prompt, so I have revisited an old story and tidied it up to give, Bobby his own distinctive voice.

 

Bobby.

Image from laughingshed.blogspot.com

Charity shop.

 

I work in a charity shop. It’s the one down the road, do you know it? The manageress at work, Mrs. Clarke, she says compared to the others, her charity shop has the best selection of good quality clothes and knick-knacks.

When I get into work each morning, Mrs. Clarke says, “Make us a cup of tea, Bobby. You know how I like it.”
I then say, “Julie Andrew’s, white nun.”
That means milk no sugar. I like saying it, as it makes Mrs. Clarke laugh. I laugh with her, but I don’t really get the joke.

I got myself a really nice suit the other day. The lady that brought it into the shop said it use to be her husband’s. She said he had wanted to get buried in it, but she thought it was far too nice, so she brought it in thinking someone else might get some use from it.

When the lady left, Mrs Clarke chucked it in the rag pile, saying it was out of fashion and stank of mothballs. I didn’t think it was that bad. I asked Mrs Clarke if I could have it and she just rolled her eyes and nodded and sold it to me for fifty pence.Prince of Wales Check

I have a friend called Joe-Joe, who lives in the basement flat from me. Mum don’t like me spending time with Joe-Joe, she said she don’t trust him; she says his got shifty eyes and thin lips.

When I showed Joe-Joe my suit, he said it was nice and that it could be worth something. He said the pattern is what you call, a Prince of Wales Charles Check.

The trousers are too long, but I just roll them up. The jacket’s a little on the large side… Little and Large, Do you remember them? Me and my mum saw them once on the end of the pier in Brighton… The fat one was tucking into a bag of chips and a jumbo sausage, while the skinny one was handing out leaflets about being a Christian. I wanted to take the leaflet, but mum pulled me back, saying I didn’t need me head filled with such nonsense.th

What was the skinny one’s name? Em…Tommy! That’s it, Rock on Tommy… Nah hang on, I’m getting him muddled up now in’t I, that was Cannon and Ball. I love them too!th-1 They were back on the telly a while back. Do you remember them doing that comedy sketch about Double-glazing, ‘You buy one, you get one free, I say you buy one you get one free.’

Mum told me off in the end for singing that over and over. She said it was making her skull crack and I’d better stop, otherwise she’d crack my skull and then I’d be sorry.

Do you know my mum? I’ve always, and mean always, thought my mum to be the spitting image of the Queen Mum. Not now the Queen Mum’s dead, no, before that, when she used to walk around and wave.

My mum don’t like any of the Royals, except Princess Diana. Mum always hoped that Princess Diana would do one of them royal visits and come to our flat. She’s got this tea service from when she was married but never used. She used to say If Diana came to visit, then she could drink from one of the bone-china cups but she never did, and now she’s dead.th-4

My Mum blames Camilla. My mum says Camilla is a nymphomaniac, whereas Diana th-6was a true lady, that’s why Prince Charles liked Camilla more than his wife and that is why he left Princess Diana. Mum says all men are like that.

Me mum, she don’t like me saying that she looks like the Queen Mum, ‘cause she says the Queen Mum had filthy teeth, whereas her teeth are nice.

This morning, Joe-joe came round. Mum was still in bed and so I put her false teeth in and pretended to be Mum. We were making so much noise laughing, that mum came in to my bedroom. When she saw that I had her teeth in my mouth, she really told me off. She said it would be my own fault if I caught anything from her, as she hadn’t had a chance to give them a rinse from the night before.
I spat em teeth, right out, ‘cause I remembered hearing mum being sick in the kitchen sink last night. She had one of her fancy men over. She always drinks too much when she’s entertaining; she says it helps.
Blimey, is that the time! I better get back to the shop, Mrs. Clarke  don’t like me being back late, she says it’s a sign of bad breeding. It’s been really nice talking to you. If you’re passing, pop into the shop as Mrs Clarke says her charity shop has the best selection of good quality clothes and knick-knacks.

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Writing 101:Day 14: To Whom It May Concern

Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern
Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. If you need a boost, Google the word and see what images appear, and then go from there.
Today’s twist: write the post in the form of a letter.
You have a number of options: you can write a letter to the word or an image, or an open letter to the world inspired by the word. You could pen a series of imaginary notes between you and a friend, or between two fictional characters, or between old you and young you.
Using a letter format can help you find new ways to build engaging scenes and stories. If your word was “Monday,” you could write:
I have a bad case of the Mondays.
But you could also write:
Dear Monday,
I admit it: I’m never happy to see you. I dread you in the morning, and on the drive to work, and from what I see on my Facebook feed, no one else likes you either.
Get it together, Monday.
Sincerely,
Me

For todays Challenge I picked up one of my favourite books of all time, The Turn of the Screw. On page 29 the word ‘morsel’ jumped out at me. Rather then write a letter to morsel, I am taking all the words my online thesaurus suggests for the word, ‘morsel’ and will incorporate them into a collection of letters from, Billy an ignored inner child. 

The words are:
Morsel
Mouthful
Bite
Nibble
Bit
Small piece
Soupçon
Taste
Sample
Spoonful
Forkful
Crumb
Grain
Particle
Fragment
Fraction
Scrap
Sliver
Shred
Pinch
Drop
Dollop
Whit
Atom
Granule
Segment

 

Letters from an ignored inner-child.

Dear William,

Just a morsel of recognition from you to let me know that you are aware of my very existence is all I ask, but you seem determined to keep me locked away deep inside of you. Why are you so stuffy all the time William? I know our father expects you to be a man already, but that is years away from now… Each morning when we wake up I long for us to get up and out of the house to run and laugh and be free. If I could, I would pinch you, to make you wake up, to feel alive. What is it you’re afraid off? Is it you’re scared you’ll fall over and father might catch you and give you a mouthful for shredding even a single tear, or that Nanny will try and mollycoddle you or worse, give you a spoonful of cod-liver oil and send you to bed early?
Please let me know you can hear me William, just a small piece of recognition is all I ask.

Love always

Billy, ignored inner-child.

 

Dear William,

Today we are fifteen, can’t you feel all of that excitement deep inside? Come on William, bite the bullet, let’s have a true taste of fun. Before we know it we’ll be all grown up, looking back on this small bit of our childhood and wonder why we didn’t sample more of the joys of being young.
Let’s run down to the lake and dare to skinny-dip for a bit, find a rope swing, let’s laugh, let’s scream, let’s live!!

Love always

Billy, ignored inner-child.

 

Dear William,

In a blink of an eye we’re eighteen! Don’t you ever think, “Crumbs, how time is passing by so quickly!”

Of course you don’t, you never have given a scrap of thought about how you’re wishing your youth away. But there’s still time to drop this serious persona you carry around like a dead weight. Don’t you know how horrible it has been to have your angst loaded down on me. Wasn’t it funny when our cousin, Robert jumped on you and gave you a blow back from his joint. For a fraction of a moment a fragment of joy slivered through both of us, I swear I even heard you giggle; but then you threw up and shouted at Robert to leave. You are nothing but a great big dollop of misery William, a great big dollop of misery.

Billy. Ignored inner-child.

 

Dear William,

I feel myself fading with each passing year, but there is still time to put a small segment aside for a forkful of fun. Just because our father was old before his time, does not mean we have to follow suit. A grain, a granule, no not even that! You didn’t even give a whit of hope for a chance of fun that could be had with Jessica Strand. She loves books, she’s bright, funny and intelligent. Every single atom of Jessica Strand shone when she smiled at you and asked if you were going to the end of year ball. So, what did you do? Take Jessica Strand in your arms and nibble her ear? No William, you didn’t even give her the merest soupçon of a kiss, instead you said you had to have an early night as you were going out shooting grouse with Father that day instead.

Regards

Billy, ignored inner child.

 

Dear William,

You win, I do not believe there is a single particle of joy left inside me. You have kept me in the shadows all our lives and without sunshine, a grain of fun, a glimmer of hope I admit defeat, you win.

Goodbye William.

Remember, I always loved you

Billy, ignored inner child.

 

Dear Billy,

This morning I woke up and felt like something buried deep inside of me had died.
For so long I ignored you and although I heard your voice I kept telling myself, tomorrow we’ll have fun, tomorrow we’ll go skinny-dipping in the lake, tomorrow we’ll ask Jessica Strand out on a date. But it’s all too late for any of that now, I just don’t feel the urge deep inside.

I heard that Jessica Strand married our cousin Robert. I meant to go to the wedding, but…well you know there was always something else to do.
Now, as I sit here all alone, I wish I could call you up, to feel just a morsel of the love you gave so freely.

Know this, Billy although it’s far too late. I miss you so much.

Love always

William.

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Writing 101, day 13: Found

Day Thirteen: Serially Found

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

You could pick up the action where you stopped, or jump backward or forward in time. You might write about the same topic, but use a different style, or use the same style to tackle a neighboring topic.

Not sure how to approach continuity? Here’s a time-tested tip: pick a favorite book or two. Read the last page of chapter one, then the first page of chapter two. How did the author choose to connect these two separate-but-connected narrative units?

We’d like to stress, though, that the idea behind today’s assignment isn’t necessarily to write “chapter two” of a neat, predetermined sequence — though you could do that, too, of course — but to think more intently about the idea of continuity and designing long-term writing projects.

 

Okay, so it is a bit of a cheat adding another Blanche Street Tale, but it fits the brief. I’ll get back to new writing tomorrow.

Somebodies Son.

IMG_1818

The moment I walk into the chemist and see her I know she is my mother. I wait and watch her in the security mirror. When she turns the corner I bump into her, knocking her handbag and its contents to the floor. Dropping to my knees I apologise, “I’m really sorry. Are you okay? Here’s your purse.”
She’s so grateful she doesn’t notice me slipping her notebook into my coat pocket. As she wanders off she leaves behind a scent that is unmistakably Mum.
Only when I’m safely back in the side street do I allow myself to look at her little notebook. The cover is black, crinkled like crocodile skin. I run my thumb over the gold lettering, M.a.r.g.a.r.e.t. A tingle ripples up my hand. Over the years I have thought of many names for my mother, but it makes perfect sense that she’s called Margaret. Margaret’s are strong, honest, and reliable… just like that Mrs Thatcher.
On the first page mum has written her name, Margaret J. Lawrence, 11 Blanche Street. Her handwriting is so neat, I wish she had been around to teach me.
She’ll be home soon, if I’m quick I can surprise her. How pleased she’ll be to see me waiting. I catch sight of my scruffy face in a shop window, I can’t remember when I last shaved or washed. Mum will help transform me back into her son. Perhaps we’ll even make it on the front page of the Ipswich Star, “Long Lost Son, Home at Last.”
When I eventually get to Blanche Street my heart sinks. Opposite the row of tatty run down terrace houses is a dirt track where a couple of burnt-out cars and a white van is parked. This was not what I had been expecting. In dreams I saw us together living in a country cottage with roses around the door or perhaps a detached house with a long gravelled driveway. I’m puzzled. What could have happened to my mother for her to end up living in this hellhole of a street.
The front door is locked and the curtains pulled tightly shut, a good sign, you never know who might be skulking around in an area like this.
I think of mum, she looks so much different to what I had imagined. She’s aged more than I expected, but that doesn’t matter as greying hair can easily be dyed back to blonde. When we are together I will help her with her makeup. Her lips will be rose pink for daywear and poppy red for when we go out on the town.
***
Down the road a door flies open and out storms one of those skinhead types. I try not to watch as he bad mouths someone inside his house, then he stomps over to the white van. I hear a woman crying and think I should help, but the last thing I need is a fight, so I scurry towards the side alley.
A high brick wall guards the back of the houses. I get to mum’s backyard only to find the gate locked. With no time to waste I scramble up the wall. My legs flail about as I scrape my gut before falling flat on the bare concrete below.
I lay still, but no one comes out, nobody cares. Picking myself up I nip to the backdoor and cup my hands to the window, inside is a tiny kitchen. The door handle clicks as I push it down, I scold my mum for not keeping it locked. When we’re together I’ll make sure she will always be protected.
Safely inside the kitchen the first thing I spot is her little cup on the draining-board. I carefully lift the rim to my lips and imagine mum’s lips on mine…giving me a good night kiss.
The cupboards are jam packed with loads of outdated tinned stuff and not much else. The fridge is empty, apart from a half bottle of milk and some mouldy cheese. I make a promise on the spot that I will learn to cook. My mum will have tasty meals every day. I’ll give her shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole, liver, bacon and creamy mashed potatoes with really thick onion gravy. On Sundays we’ll always have a roast and none of the vegetables will come from a tin.
I turn to face the door leading to the rest of the house. My stomach tightens. This must be how proper kids feel on Christmas morning. I throw open the door only to be faced with the same old disappointment. The room is dark and drab. Flicking on the light only makes things worse. The room is bare except for an empty birdcage hanging from a stand in the far corner. There is a thick layer of bird shit around the floorboards; for once something smells worse than me.
The front room isn’t much better. There’s a single chair, Mum’s throne and a little side table next to it. I run my hand over the grease spot at the top of her chair and pocket the few hairs I find. The ticking clock on the wall reminds me I have little time to explore. In the table’s side drawer there’s only money off coupons and a stash of useless Green Shield Stamps.
The clock on the wall begins to strike, pushing me on. Back in the middle room I notice the staircase; I take the steps two at a time. I reach the small landing and step into the front bedroom to find It’s empty: ready for me to move in. I quickly step into the back bedroom and admire mum’s single bed. Throwing back the blankets I grab her pillow close to my face, filling my nostrils with her distinctive smell.
Outside I can hear the world outside, reminding me to move on. There will be plenty of time soon to be close to my mum.
The only other furniture in the room is a chest of drawers. I’m about to pull open the top drawer when I hear the front door open; Mum’s back! I frantically empty each drawer on to the bed. The first has nothing but slips, knickers and bras. The second is jammed full of the same grey coloured tights, there must be fifty shades of grey all bundled up. The third is full of neatly folded cardigans. I rummage through her belongings, then stop. I can hear her moving around downstairs.
I tug at the bottom drawer. A stack of used wrapping paper, all ironed, spring out. Under that is a mound of yellowing documents. A quick scan shows they are of little interest to me. Then at the very bottom, I find the treasure I’ve been looking for: our photographs.
I tip the photos out on the floor and spread them out. All the faces seem to follow me, making my head really ache.
I cock my head and listen. I think mum is in the kitchen, my head throbs so much it’s hard to tell. I look down at the photos and just like a puzzle everything falls into place. In front of me is her life. There’s mum on a beach with friends, laughing. Other photos show’s mum in the park, a woman by her side. Another shows mum out for dinner, dressed up to the nines with the same woman. I look closer, trying to see my features. I know for sure that I definitely take after mum. I can’t see any pictures of my dad. I wonder what happened to him: I hope he is dead.
Now as I look down at the photos all I can see is the same two grinning, taunting faces, but what has she done with the pictures of me? I dig deeper into the pile and wonder where all the baby pictures are; what had I done that she would want to get rid of all memories of me? That woman is going to have to work really hard for me to forgive her. I pick up a picture frame with her silly grinning face looking back. I’m beginning to feel differently about my mum, I’m starting to feel really angry and throw the frame down. The glass smashes. I hear a creak on the stairs. I try and clear up the mess before she gets to the top of the stairs. I cut my hand, blood spills all over the pictures. Shit! It wasn’t meant to be like this. I stumble to my feet, smooth down my shirt, now it’s covered in blood. I try and slick my hair into place as I hear her pause on the stair. This at least gives me a moment to pull on my best smile. The top stair creaks, I reach my arms out to welcome my…..shit…a miserable policeman steps into the doorway, slowly shaking his head.
He slaps on some handcuffs, they dig tight around my wrist. He pushes me down the stairs, out of the house and into the back of the police car.
Most of the street has come out to gawp. A policewoman has her arm around Margaret. Now that I look at her properly, I can see she could never have been my mum. My mum is strong, upstanding, reliable…not some sad lonely lesbian.
Eventually everyone goes back indoors, the police get back in the car, the driver looks at me in his rear view mirror and sneers, but I don’t react. We drive away in silence. We turn onto Cemetery Road, I let out a heavy sigh of relief. There! I see my mum, a fine upstanding blonde haired woman, dressed in a red coat, matching shoes and handbag… I wonder where she lives?

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Writing 101: Day 12. Dark Clouds on the (virtual) Horizon

Day Twelve: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Today’s Prompt: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction.

Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

At its most basic, foreshadowing gives readers a roadmap to what will happen later in your post — a subtle detail planted in the back of a reader’s mind, like a telling piece of dialogue or a strategic mention of an object that hints at what’s to come. When an author tells us there are dark clouds on the horizon, we know something negative will happen soon.

This doesn’t mean your post has to have a Shocking! Twist! à la The Usual Suspects or Shirley Jackson’s classic short story, “The Lottery.” It just means you’ll give readers some clues as you go — a sense of what will happen next, information that might be important later, or a detail that you’ll explain in your conclusion.

We’re ready to go wherever you want to lead us.

Okay, so this a bit of a cheat, using a story from my Blanche Street Tales, but it fits in with the theme and went down a storm at The Brighton Festival last year as part of Tin Can Stories. So here it is:

Sugar Almonds: Based on true events.

“Come on”, said Juliet, tugging at Robert’s arm, “this looks fun!”
The pair grinned with delight at the sight in front of them. Unlike the modern funfairs that ran on the outskirts of town the rides here were more traditional: a carousel, ghost-train and ferris-wheel reaching up high above the trees.
Wandering around the various ‘try your luck stalls,’ Juliet thought that the evening could not get any better, even though Robert had failed to win her a goldfish.
After having a wonderful ride on the carousel the two walked to the far end of the funfair and saw a tent standing all on its own. On closer inspection they saw the tent belonged to, “Romany Rose Lee: Fortune-Teller to the Stars.”
Juliet peered through the beaded curtains covering the doorway and saw an old woman sitting behind a large round table, covered with a green cloth.
Juliet grabbed hold of Robert’s hand as the old woman gestured for them to enter her tent.
With her red headscarf tied tightly across her head, four inch, gold loop earrings and a face full of tramlines, ‘The old woman was really getting into her role,’ thought Robert.
“Cross my palm with silver,” said the old woman, her bony hand reaching across the table. Robert in turn dug into his pocket for change only for the old woman to cough and add, “Or a five pound note will do.”
Tucking the money in her bra-strap the old woman handed Juliet a set of tarot cards to shuffle. She then stroked Juliet’s hand as she took the cards back from her, smiled, then began to place them out in front of her and said, “You’re in love, you’ll have children, one, two, three, four!”
Juliet smiled at Robert, but then turned to see a look of true gravity on the old woman’s face as she continued, “Alas my dear before the night is finished you will experience a horror like never before.”
Juliet fled the tent with the old woman’s cackling laugh sharp in her ears.
Robert ran after his true love and whispered, “I love you.”
As they made their way back through the fair, Juliet saw just how rusty and unstable the ferris-wheel seats looked. The yells from the ghost-train made her quicken her step until they were back in the safety of the brightly lit food stalls.
Still a little shaken, Juliet turned to Robert and said, “What did she mean, I’ll experience a horror like never before?”
Looking at the rolling hot dogs, Robert smiled, “It’s all part of her act, they all say that.” Squeezing her hand, Robert added, “Come on, let’s get something to eat.”
Robert ordered a hotdog with onions, while Juliet settled for a candy-floss. Still a little shaken, Juliet asked if they could go home. Robert smiled, “Of course we can”
Not wanting the night to end too soon, Robert led Juliet through a tunnel of trees that gradually blocked out the moonlight. A shiver ran down Juliet’s spine, as the words of the old gypsy ran through her head, “Alas my dear before the night is finished you’ll experience a horror like never before.”
Her mind then added a long cackling laugh, “hahahahhaha” for extra effect.
Glancing up at the branches, Juliet saw claws ready to pull her up into their clutches away from her love, never to be seen again. She wanted to tell Robert, but deep down she knew she was just being silly. Robert was right, it was just part of the old woman’s act.
Taking a bite of her candy-floss, Juliet even allowed herself to giggle at how childish she had been to believe such nonsense. Rolling the sugar clump around her mouth, she bit down hard and mumbled, “That’s odd.”
Robert was too busy munching on his hotdog to hear what she’d said, and so she carried on. Juliet bit down on the crispy shells entwined within the sugar strands and savoured the bitter almond taste that squirted across her lips and tongue.
Having finished his snack, Robert stuck his mustard slicked tongue in Juliet’s ear and whispered, “I fancy something sweet.”
Pulling away, Juliet squealed, “This is far too nice, I’m keeping it all for myself.”
With that she scooped up a huge wad of floss and pressed it into her mouth, biting down on the crispy shell, savouring the bitter almond taste.
As she did so the branches of the trees parted and the glimmers of moonlight shone down.
Powerless to move, Juliet opened her mouth and released a long, silent, scream.
Unable to help himself, Robert let out a roar of laughter as he stared at what Juliet had thought had been crispy almond shells. For there cocooned amongst the sugary strands where bugs of all sizes, desperately wiggling but unable to get free. Tears rolled down Robert’s face when he spotted a half bitten carcass, its bitter yellow innards dribbling through the pink sugar strands.
As for Juliet? Her screams echoed into the night as the words of the old gypsy woman’s rang in her ears, “Alas my dear before the night is finished you’ll experience a horror like never before.”

Sugar Almonds

Sugar Almonds

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