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 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 courtesy of J Hardy Carroll
Shadows loom from all corners of my room as daylight fades like hope. Insects scratch-scratch-scratch, scuttling under my creaky metal bed frame. I’m trapped in a spider web of shattered memories.
Fluttering. A moth. Gossamer wings translucent in the moonlight. Fragile. We’re all so fragile. Easily broken. I should know.
Footsteps thud outside my door.
‘This place is so cool.’ The excitement in the boy’s voice is palpable. ‘Are you sure it’s deserted?’
‘No-one’s lived here for years.’
‘I’m here,’ I scream. But they don’t hear me. No-one ever does.
Oh that scratching. The endless scratching.
Help me. Please.
I had SUCH a great publication day yesterday for my third novel, The Surrogate which you can find over on Amazon here. Yesterday evening I took part in a live Facebook chat with Kim Nash, the publicist of Bookouture, which you can now view here if you missed it. We chatted about the writing process, how I approach novel writing, editing and getting published. Of course I gave Friday Fictioneers a plug as it’s often the highlight of my week.
‘Daylight Fading’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word flash fiction challenge inspired by a photo prompt. Do join in over at Rochelle’s blog here.
Image courtesy of CEAYR
Sometimes I wonder if it would have made a difference if you’d told me somewhere else. Somewhere beautiful. Whether sitting cross legged next to the bubbling stream, sunlight dappling the water would have softened the blow. Do you remember our picnic there? Warm breeze kissing our skin, your lips kissing my neck? It was perfect until we opened the picnic hamper. Wasps buzzing around our sandwiches, ants marching towards the jam jar.
Sorry, I’m drifting. That always did annoy you, didn’t it? But did the ugliness of our surroundings coax those ugly words out of your mouth? I still wonder. Sometimes.
It’s been a week for celebrating! The Gift was listed in Amazon’s half yearly trends report as the third biggest selling ebook of 2017 so far and Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group) shared the exciting news they will be republishing The Sister on August 24th and it will be available in retailers for the first time. You can read my post about that here. It’s been an incredible year and I’m so grateful. I wouldn’t have honed my writing without Friday Fictioneers.
‘Sometimes’ was written For Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. You can join in over at host Rochelle’s blog here.
Image © J Hardy Carroll
My feet crunch on broken glass, tears rising quickly.
‘Why…’ I begin, but the choke in my throat holds back the rest of my words.
Afternoon sunshine streams through the window, the upended tables and chairs brushed bronze, shards of glass glint gold.
The air is heavy with dust. With loss. But underneath there is something else. Love. We fall silently into our roles, a human chain, stronger together, clearing out the rubble. At first I think nothing is salvageable but then I realise there is. Amongst the splinters of wood, the twisted metal, it is there. A tiny kernel of hope.
We stand together.
‘We stand together’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. This week’s prompt is topical as we all try to make sense of the senseless. My heartfelt condolences for everyone affected by the atrocities in Manchester.
Join in with the challenge over at host Rochelle’s blog here.
Image courtesy of Sandra Crook
Dampness seeps through a hole in my shoe as I trudge one exhausted foot in front of the other. There’s no-one to rush home for.
I’m so tired.
On the bridge I pause, staring down into the crashing water below. Would anyone miss me?
I’m so lonely.
A soft mewling breaks my thoughts. A wriggling sack next to the railings. I tug it open and lift out a shivering kitten, bones protruding. He licks my hand. My heart swells. It’s been a long time since I felt needed.
“I’ll call you hope.” I whisper as I tuck him inside my coat.
I thought nothing could top 2016 professionally but appearing on TV last night, albeit briefly, to talk about writing, being published & mindfulness was such a great experience and an amazing start to the year. You can watch the 3 minute clip here. Or read my blog piece about it here.
Hope was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. You can join in and read the other entries over at Rochelle’s blog here.