Image courtesy of Yarnspinner
The claw lowered, closed its metal fingers. Slow jerky movements until the bear tumbled out of the machine, into my arms.
‘Hey gorgeous.’ He winked. I’d been called fat, ugly, stupid. Never gorgeous!
‘Can I buy you some chips?’
‘I should tell my parents.’ My eyes darted around the arcade.
‘You’re a big girl now.’
It was my lucky day.
Outside in the alley, drizzle hit my face moments before his fist. The bear wrenched from my arms. His stomach knifed open. A plastic bag removed. I curled into a ball on the hard stone floor.
I didn’t feel so lucky anymore.
This week I’m reading through the final typeset files for The Date – I can’t believe it will be published in a few weeks! If you missed the gorgeous cover you can check it out here.
‘The Claw’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt and led by the marvellous Rochelle.
Image courtesy of Ted Strutz
I ignore the other kids. The wind bites my nose. I button my coat.
The familiar puff of steam. I clutch my camera with numb fingers.
A stone hits me in the back of the neck but I manage to snap a picture of the cab.
The photo won’t take long to develop and when it does I’ll show mum. It might be my dad! He’s been away on top secret missions since I was born. A spy masquerading as a train driver. Ferrying secrets.
She’ll say no. Call me a gullible idiot. She always does. But part of me still hopes. Perhaps it’s him. Perhaps he’ll love me.
Friday Fictioneers is a weekly 100 word story challenge, inspired by a photo prompt. Hop over to host Rochelle’s blog to read the other entires or join in!
Image courtesy of J S Brand
There’s a dark, empty space inside me that six months volunteering in a Nepalese orphanage does not fill. I’d hoped the wide, bright, smiles of the too thin children, the fierce hugs and the progress we have made would make me feel whole again. It doesn’t.
The summer is spent in the USA teaching sports to disadvantaged children. There’s no ‘I’ in team we chant, and yet I’ve never felt lonelier.
In Cambodia, I dedicate myself to Wildlife Conservation. The elephants stride, trunk to tail.
‘Beautiful, aren’t they?’
I turn towards the voice.
Clear amber eyes lock onto mine. My pulse flutters. This time, I might just stay.
Hurrah – I’ve finished book 4 and while I’m waiting for the edits from my publisher I can’t resist FF. For 48 hours only my latest psychological thriller, The Surrogate, is part of a flash sale across all digital platforms for £0.99/$1.38 – you can grab it on your local Amazon here.
Pop over to Rochelle’s blog and join in with Friday Fictioneers. Post a 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt.
Image courtesy of Roger Bultot
Nothing. I’ve nothing except dust and junk. Mama’s attic virtually bare now. Opening the last box, I’m hit by colour and memories as vibrant as the shimmering material I find myself clutching to my chest, which aches with longing.
‘Do you have to go?’ I’d asked.
‘It’s how we’ll make our fortune.’ Mama kissed my nose as she set off for another long shift, sewing clothes for the ungrateful jewellery maker’s wife.
I lift the dress to the light. It’s heavy. Surely too heavy? The sparkles too bright to be fake?
I remember the headline ‘Missing diamond mystery.’
Perhaps I have something after all.
Happy New Year! Tomorrow, Thursday 4th January, at 19.30 GMT I’m live on the Facebook Group Crime Book Club, answering questions about writing, publishing and books as well as discussing my latest novel, The Surrogate. Whether you’re a reader or writer do pop over and join me if you can. You’ll need to join the group first here.
Diamonds & Dust was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 words story challenge inspired by a photo prompt and hosted by Rochelle. You can read the other entries here.
Image courtesy of Sandra Crook
‘What is it?’ Disappointment drips through every word and my heart cracks a little more. I’ve got it wrong. Again.
She reaches for her phone to plaster my failure over Facebook no doubt.
‘It’s a symbol of love.’ I take her hand in mine. ‘The circle represents something that has no end. The gold emblem because you’re precious and the point is…’ My eyes sweep the room, settling on the book of Everest in the bookcase. ‘A promise there’s no mountain we can’t overcome,’ I kiss her palm. ‘Together.’
‘Oh I LOVE it.’ Her fingertips slip into the waistband of my jeans while I desperately hope she never finds the packaging for the revolutionary new cleaning appliance designed to make her life easier.
It’s the thought that counts.
For those of you who missed it on my blog last week I was chatting to Harper Collins author Darren O’Sullivan about positivity, gratitude and whether you really can visualise your way onto the bestsellers list. I believe so. You can catch up with that here.
I make no apologies for going a tad over the word count this week because it’s Christmas! ‘It’s the thought’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt hosted by the fabulous Rochelle. Wishing everyone a very happy festive season and huge thanks to Rochelle for all her hard work this year keeping us going!
Image courtesy of J Hardy Carroll
The camera flashes are as dazzling as my smile. Angling my body, I suck in my stomach. All I ever wanted was to be famous.
‘Silly cow.’ You slammed your fist into my face. ‘Ain’t nobody never gonna wanna look at you.’
But you were wrong, weren’t you?
‘How are you going to plead?’ I am asked again. Already the papers are calling me Sleeping Beauty. I’d stabbed you while sleepwalking – allegedly anyhow. Now everyone knows my name. My solicitor says he’ll line up talk shows once I’m acquitted.
I push out my chest as I’m led into the court. It’s my time to shine.
I am ridiculously excited that tomorrow is paperback publication day for The Gift in the UK! I can’t wait to visit the bookshops & supermarkets & see my second psychological thriller on a shelf. Tesco have an exclusive edition with a short story in I’ve written especially for their customers. Don’t think I’ll be getting much sleep tonight!
’15 minutes’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. Hop over to host Rochelle’s blog to join in.
Image © Marie Gail Stratford
I love Jen.
We’ve been friends forever. First day at preschool. First love. First kiss. First loss.
Now we’ve children of our own.
But today there’s tension between us as we shuffle impatiently in the queue. She smiles, her teeth pointed and white. Nudges me with her sharp elbow.
‘Look.’ She nods behind me.
Stupidly I turn.
Too late, I miss the doors flinging open. Jen racing inside. Triumphant, she raises this Christmas’s must have toy over her head. I’m only seconds behind but the shelf is already empty.
I hate Jen.
I’ve really missed participating in Friday Fictioneers these past few weeks – it’s the first time in years I haven’t taken part but I’m (trying) to focus on nailing the first draft of my fourth psychological thriller which is due out next summer. I couldn’t resist joining in today though. I popped out on Monday for a pint of milk and came back with a Santa dog toy, a tub of Quality Street & a bottle of Bailey’s. The Christmas madness has started!
‘Tis the season’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt, hosted by Rochelle. Hop over to her blog to read the other entries or join in yourself.