A Fallen Kingdom


I am the queen of everything. The queen of nothing. My kingdom is fashioned from hopelessness and regret. I sit in my palace of faded dreams while my subjects smile and nod and lie and cheat.

‘You’ll be fine,’ they say. ‘You are fine.’ But I’m not.

My present is haunted by echoes of the past, whispers from the future. I am cracking and falling apart. My reflection laughs and laughs while I stand and cry. I stretch out my fingers to touch my face but I am so far away from myself I cannot reach.

‘You need a King,’ they say and suddenly, there he is. My shoulders sigh with happiness.

He loves me. He loves me not.

But my King is a shape shifter. He is light and shade; triumph and grief.

He cradles my hopes in his hand but one by one he lets them fall where they lie shattered in the lonely beam of sunlight that pierces the darkness.

I take off my crown, remove my cloak. Step out of my skin.

Walk away.


It has been far too long since I last participated in Streams of Consciousness Saturday and I’d forgotten how good it feels to sit and write a response to the fabulous Linda G Hill’s prompt and post without over thinking or editing. Today’s prompt was to use ‘so far’ in piece or writing that can be fact or fiction. If you fancy having a go, you can join in here

How? A Mother’s Tale.


How can I love you more?

I gazed in wonder at your ten tiny fingers, your ten tiny toes and I knew that I was hopelessly, irrevocably lost.

How can I love you more?

Your first smile made my heart swell, your first illness sliced me to the core.

How can I love you more?

The memory of your first day at school etched forever on my mind as your tiny hand slipped from mine and you took the first faltering steps towards independence.

How can I love you more?

Standing tall, and proud on your first day at work, no longer a boy but a man.

How can I love you more?

It is incomprehensible that I could and yet with every second, every minute, every hour, I do.


This post was written for the Saturday Streams of Consciousness challenge hosted by Linda G. Hill. Write the first thing that comes to mind following a prompt and post. No editing allowed. This week’s prompt was ‘begin your post with how.’

Writing to deadlines (aka waking in the middle of the night)


Writing my debut novel, The Sister, was a joy. Even now I remember waking up in the middle of the night, stomach churning with excitement as I thought of a new plot twist. Each day, after work, I couldn’t wait to open my manuscript and get stuck in. I dreamed of being published of course, but never really thought it would happen to me.  I was writing for fun. For me. With no time pressures and no deadlines.

My second psychological thriller, The Gift, is now available to pre-order, and this time I’m writing knowing it will be published as I was lucky enough to sign a three-book deal earlier this year. I’m still waking in the middle of the night, stomach churning, but this time with nerves. Will it The Gift as successful as The Sister? What if readers hate it? Will I finish the edits on time? My deadline is the first thing I think of when I fall into bed and it pops into my mind as soon as I wake.

Naively, I never really thought of publishing as a business, more a collaboration of creative people who share a love of books, and the structure is something I am still getting used to.

Once I sit at my desk however, I lose myself completely in my manuscript, and all my fears evaporate. When I’m writing, nothing else matters and I feel utterly at peace. Writing brings a sense of home, wherever I am.



Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. Write the first thing that comes to mind following the prompt and post – no editing allowed. The prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “bus.” Use it as it is, or find a word with the letters “bus” in it. 

Flash Fiction – I’ll never tell



I’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake, and the realisation there’s no going back stings sour at the back of my throat as I swallow down the lies I’m now forced to tell.
I want to scream, and sometimes I do, burying my face in my pillow and howling out my frustration.
Your key scrapes the lock and I plaster on a smile as we fall into our daily script. I ask you how your day was and listen intently as if it’s the most interesting thing I’ve ever heard. A semblance of normality, even though it won’t last. We both know what’s coming but nobody else would ever guess the horror that goes on behind these close doors, and how could they?
I’ll never tell.


Written for Linda G Hill’s Streams of Consciousness Saturday – write the first thing that springs to mind following a prompt and post – no editing allowed. This weeks prompt is real – use as it is or with a prefix or suffix.

These characters came to me so fully formed their story is definitely one I’ll be exploring further, they make even make my next novel… 




The Memory Store



There’s a hidden box inside my mind, I call my memory store,

When days seem dull, I’m feeling blue, I revisit times before,

A kindness I’ve forgotten, an adventure, a good book,

Remind me that life’s full of colour; if you only look.



Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Write the first thing that springs to mind following a prompt and post. No editing allowed. This weeks post is ‘store.’

Six Word Story – Gone



The blood clot moved; he’s gone.


I’ve been wanting to create some six word stories and when I read that this week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt is ‘use a word containing the letters CLO’, this sprang to mind. It’s a bit grim for a Saturday – sorry!




There are lots of things I miss about childhood; the sense of euphoria on the last day of term, as endless balmy summer days stretched before me; the ability to bend and twist my body into any conceivable shape and hurl myself down hills without fear, waking on Christmas morning, stomach lurching, eyes straining in the dark, has Santa been? Snoopy.

The peanuts gang were a huge and much loved part of my life. Even now, as an adult, as a mother, I’m not ashamed to admit whenever I feel life get on top of me and I feel like giving up, I channel my inner Charlie Brown. As much as I felt his frustration every time Lucy pulled the football away I admired his determination to try again, the quiet hope that this time could be different. This time he could succeed.

I did a little snoopy happy dance when I checked the cinema listings and saw the Peanuts movie is out today. Shoes are on, tickets booked, three hours to go. I am so excited.

Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Write the first thing that comes to mind following a prompt and post. No editing allowed. This weeks prompt is ‘miss.’ Read the other entries here.



Flash Fiction – The polished table



The thirty-eight seconds it took the elevator to glide to the penthouse was always the worst part of Paul’s day. He furled his fingers around the Ferrari key fob in his palm, clutching it so tightly the metal cut into his soft flesh. It was here, in the cold tin box, under the harsh white light, he felt the most exposed. He held his breath and didn’t release it again until he’d slid his key into his front door. Home. His castle. Of course it was still here. Still his. 

Citrus assaulted Paul’s nostrils; the cleaner had been. He slipped off his Italian leather shoes and placed them on the rack inside the cloakroom. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place,’ his mum used to say. She’d be amazed if she could see his house, or perhaps horrified, ‘all this space for one person’ she’d shake her head. The thought of her disapproval made the furrows in Paul’s brow deepen, and he strode across his white pile carpet and took the stairs two at a time.

The wardrobe mirrors sparkled but there was a smear in the bottom left corner and Paul tutted as he wiped it with his tie. He’d ring the agency on Monday. Request a new girl. Insist on an English one this time who could read the manual he’d written. There was no excuse for sloppiness.

He shrugged off his jacket and pulled a padded hanger from the rail. ‘You can always tell a man by the cut of his suit’ his dad said. As if he knew. He’d only had one good suit, ‘for weddings, funerals or court’ and that came from Oxfam. Not like Paul. He surveyed the monochromatic rainbow in front of him, Armani, Hugo Boss, and wondered what his dad would say. If he’d be proud?

His parents had crept into his thoughts a lot the past few weeks. Paul found it discomfiting. It wasn’t that he missed them exactly but he wished they could have seen his success. You could have fitted their whole house into his kitchen. Paul grew angry when he remembered sharing a bedroom, sharing a bed with the brother he no longer spoke to, but he was never quite sure who he was angry with. His idiot brother had repeated his parents mistakes. A tiny terraced house and grubby children who clamoured for attention, sucking the life from their mother who huffed and sighed but pretended she was happy, despite the purple smudges under her eyes. Paul had visited once – he shuddered – never again.

Downstairs, Paul rang his favourite restaurant. They didn’t do home deliveries as a rule but for him they made an exception There hadn’t been time for lunch. He wanted something quick. Quality food. Not the hotdogs his mum used to serve night after night. He’d huddled next to his brother in front of the one bar fire, the smell of gas battling with fried onions, hoping there had been enough money for ketchup. Paul vowed he’d never eat a hotdog again but an image flickered across his mind of staring up at the inky sky as fireworks exploded – red, blue, gold – and Paul remembered the grease dripping down his chin as he bit into the sausage, the sharpness of the mustard, and tears sprang to his eyes. He rubbed them away and fidgeted on the leather sofa he’d chosen for looks rather than comfort.

All this emotion. It was most unlike him. He needed a holiday. He was working too hard. His laptop whirred to life and he searched for The Caribbean. An image popped up of a family on the beach, Mum lying on an orange towel reading, Dad playing cricket with two laughing, freckled children as the aquamarine sea lapped at the golden sand behind them. Paul felt a pang of something but he wasn’t sure what. He was happy wasn’t he? Look at his life. Look at all his things.

The doorbell rang. His meal was here. Paul sat at the polished oak table that seated eighteen, seventeen of the chairs he had never used, and, like every other night, began to eat his dinner alone.


As ever, constructive criticism is welcome, particularly this week as this is the first time I have ever written in third person and it felt rather strange! This piece was written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Write what you feel following a prompt and post, No editing allowed. This week’s prompt was the words ‘stuff.’

Flash Fiction – In the dark, dark night



Did you really expect to live happily ever after? Were you naive enough to believe that the cloak of adulthood would offer protection against the shadows that lurk in darkened corners; against the demon that hides in your closet?

I feed from your fear. When you are wrenched from dreams and plunged into nightmares of unimaginable horrors, that’s me. I collect your tormented whimpers, your anguished screams.

How does it feel my dear to wake alone and still feel the chill of icy breath against your neck, hear whispered words that you can’t quite decipher? I watch from the blackness as you draw the covers to your chin and tremble in your bed, too afraid to get out in case something grabs your ankle sending you tumbling to the floor, where you’ll lie splayed and vulnerable.

You tell yourself as the sun rises, tingeing the sky salmon, that monsters aren’t real. Keep telling yourself that, my dear. I’ll see you again tonight.


I’d forgotten how much fun Streams of Consciousness Saturday is. This weeks prompt is expect, or unexpected. Write the first thing that comes to mind and post, no editing allowed. Thanks for reading, check out the other posts and join in!

There’s always tomorrow



Success. Finally. I can virtually taste it. If it was a tangible thing I could grasp I would press it
against my pounding heart of joy. This moment is the one I’ve been waiting for, striving for and now it’s here. I’m close, so close.

I hold my breath, something’s wrong. Euphoria is washed away by tears of frustration. I shrug off my cloak of failure, take this feeling and stack it neatly with my pile of nearlys, virtuallys and just abouts. My wall of possibilities grows higher and higher.

It almost worked, almost.

There’s always tomorrow.

The Streams of Consciousness prompt today was ‘almost.’ I immediately thought of Thomas Edison’s inspiring quote ‘I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.’ He never gave up trying to invent the lightbulb. Never give up on your dreams.