Literary Lion. Fa La La La La.

 

Our glamorous little feline friend has had his nose in the sherry, and so he will be back for more prompts and short stories in 2016.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the challenge so far, we shall be back and ‘roaring’ to go with some exciting collaborations and guest posts in the new year.

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. Until next year…

 

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Literary Lion. Red.

Every literary lion needs an extended cat nap once in a while… I am sorry mine was so extended, but I am back in the country and ready to reveal some exciting Literary Lion challenges.

The last challenge was very impressively met by this lovely piece of writing Ellespeth at balconyviewz… head over there now for a little chuckle and a great example of form.

The ferocious feline sent me all the way to Vegas (baby) with this one… the word of the week is ‘gamble‘. As always you have 400 words or less to tell your stories, please do remember to include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your post, pingback to this piece, and feel free to share with me on Instagram and Twitter.. Happy penning.

Here is my gambling tale…

 

Red

It was all too familiar. The smoke lingering in the air, the enveloping cacophony of high pitched rings and chimes, the flickers of neon lights that winked from every corner. They had told me never to return here. The clerk gave me a knowing smile when he slowly slid the token across the counter.

So familiar it was between my fingers.

I stood, watching. Them, the happy, the sad, the hopeful, the hopeless, the inebriated.

I flicked the chip over and over again with my fingertips. A habitual trait.

One more chance.

One more.

Just. One. more.

With a burst of courage I cantered over to the table, sat down at the stall and tapped on the table with my one and only chip. The woman beside me gasped as she looked at the number. I pushed it forward with my scarlet lacquered finger tips.

“Red”.

 

Literary Lion. Ice Ice Baby.

The past two weeks have delivered some interesting edgy tales, including this lovely piece of descriptive micro-fiction from a Literary Lion regular, Nortina.

But to this fortnight’s challenge, and the lucky lion is on his travels yet again, this time in the fabulous US of A, in La La Land itself.

The word of the moment is ‘Ice’.

You have two weeks to tell your tales of 400 words or less. Remember to pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all read your story in the WP reader, and of course come and say hello on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my own little icy tale…

 

Frozen.

I’d never found courage enough to do it before.

I sat with my back against the window for the first time. The subtle sound of stepping feet came first. Then the silhouette in my peripheral. Then followed the slow tingling whisper of breath on the back of my neck.

As the sensation shot through the hairs on my skin, into each vertebrae of my spine and through the very bones holding me there, I turned to ice.

The Monday Muse. Hello adult.

 

Hello Adult.

This past week has been a week of lasts. My last Friday night as a twentysomething, my last Sunday lie-in as a twentysomething, my last painful Monday morning wake-up as a twentysomething…. In case it isn’t slap-you-in-the-face obvious, this week I turn 30.

I am surprisingly not too tormented about the looming age milestone that many a woman has had a meltdown over. And I do wonder if now might be the time to stop panicking when I get asked for ID at the checkout when buying Burgundy… The wine. Not the place. Unfortunately.

As a child, I was one of the lucky ones. A birthday in half term, no school guaranteed, and one whole lazy day of presents and playing with them.

As an adult, it sucks.

Everywhere I go, I find myself amidst a crowd of little people. I am not saying I don’t like children, but I am perhaps one of those adults that only likes (and adores) the ones I know or am related to.

So, suggestions for child-avoiding, 30th-birthday-worthy weekday activities during half terms are most welcome. Answers on a postcard, please.

Literary Lion. Step Away.

My frozen tootsies have almost thawed thanks to two weeks of your sun-inspired sagas. One particular tale even left me with a sensation of the warm and fuzzy kind, you can find it thanks to Series of Adjustments’ blog here.

This week’s feline growl has told me of the prompt ‘Edge‘.

You have a two weeks to craft your stories of 400 words or less. Remember to pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can find all your stories in the WP reader, and of course give me a shoutout on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my edgy tale (with a photo inspired by this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge)…

 

Step Away.

I looked straight ahead. All I could see were the leaves whispering in the trees at the bottom of the ravine. His shadow lumbered into my peripheral. I felt the heat of his body as he eased closer. His toes grazed the edge with mine, causing the soil to melt away in tumbling crumbs.

“I always knew you would come here,” he said.

“I know” I replied. “When you step out it’s like flying.”

“I know” he replied.

The Hemingway Day. Chills.

This week’s WordPress Photography challenge is to capture the extra(ordinary). This little guy’s sole purpose in life is to tell us sun-basking humans how tepid the water is within which he bobs. He does an ordinary job. He floats in an ordinary way. He even retains his air of ordinary when the waves of a belly flop come quivering in his direction. It’s his permanent vacant gaze in the wake of such revulsion that I find quite extraordinary.

Here’s a six-word Hemingway Day inspired by our elephant friend.

 

Chills.

Feeling blue even in searing sunshine.

Literary Lion. Baked.

Huge apologies for the lateness of the Literary Lion this fortnight, but I am mid house move, and, of course, our little lion friend got lost in the forest of cardboard. Suffice to say he is now found, and this week’s word is ‘Sun’, something that the usually cloudy-skied England has actually been blessed with today…

You have a fortnight to tell your tales of ‘Sun’ in 400 words or less. Remember to use the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your post, pingback to this prompt and don’t forget to give me a mention on Instagram and twit-twoo on Twitter.

Here is my sunshine inspired piece…

Baked.

The sun crackled, singeing her skin. She drank in the heat, letting it hit the depths of her lungs as it enveloped her, invading her body with its stifling smother. She opened one eye and saw her feathery lashes in the reflection of her sunglasses. They were curved, covered in a thick black mascara stain. She was batting them in vanity when she first noticed the lines. Little wrinkled trenches spanning away from those plumed hairs, gorging through the skin and reaching towards her eyebrows in a takeover of old age. Her designer lenses magnified them to horrific heights. Her years of sunshine allegiance, her practised pose of worship, her secret concoction of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, and all she was left with was something that resembled a desiccated baked potato.

The Hemingway Day. Move.

I am back from my little Spanish jaunt and now I find myself amidst a sea of boxes as the boy and I prepare for a little change of scenery. This week’s WordPress photo challenge is of change, and the timing couldn’t be sweeter. Here’s a moving-day Hemingway Day for a few sections of fiction…

 

Move.

The box labelled ‘Heart’ is heavy.

The Monday Muse. Choux your buns.

This time four days ago I was being kissed by the sunshine and caressed by silence. Today I am nuzzled by rain drops, sirens, children screaming and adults complaining. Goodbye Spanish campo, hello my old friend London.

Having just returned to the city from a holiday, it has taken me a moment to become accustomed to the sheer amount of souls I am once again surrounded by. It has also taken me a moment to become reacquainted with the types of souls this city is filled with…

While strolling down the aisle of a supermarket yesterday I decided, what with it being Sunday and the last official day of my holiday, I would see off two weeks of indulgent face-stuffing with a gooey cream cake.

As I perused the pastries I saw a pair of podgy fingers reaching for a chocolate lacquered choux bun; someone else had plumped for the same snack selection, although it appeared her decision needed a much more rapid wish fulfilment than mine. The bun was not her pick for the trolley, it was a mere little something to amuse her loose lips whilst she chose what she really wanted: a chunky Victoria sponge oozing with fresh cream and strawberry jam.

Now I am sure that her honest nature had her taking the empty cake box to the till with her to pay for her in store treat, but time and time again when I see these supermarket munchers, grazing on the stock as they shop, I wonder why. Perhaps they are safeguarding against that impending apocalypse that might just stop them from enjoying that box of Coco Pops the following morning. Or perhaps they can only prevail over the weekly food shop if there are tummy loving perks on the way round. It’s the ones that don’t close their mouths that are the worst. Munching on buns whilst in the middle of the supermarket, the congealed butter and cream swirling around their tongue and slapping against their cheeks.

I wonder if they’ll ID me after I’ve drunk the whole bottle of Vodka in my basket on my next grocery shop…

Literary Lion. Tumble.

Greetings from a Literary Lion on holiday! Whilst packing for my little Spanish vacaciones I remembered to tuck one of our lion’s words into my suitcase. I found an appropriate setting for its capture today, whilst I was trudging the Andalusian hike of the Rio Chiller, which saw me wading through water and tumbling onto what are now a pair of very bruised knees until I reached our word of the week… ‘Fall‘.

As always, you have two weeks to tell your tales in 400 words or less. Remember to tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your post, pingback to this post and all you Instagrammers and twitterers, don’t forget to give me a mention.

Here is my falling tale…

 

Tumble.

Every week he would arm me with the same headphones and a new track of calming. The voice would resonate within my ear, encasing all air beneath the padded earpiece as it commanded, twisting feathery wisps along my ear canal, shuddering the eardrum, dispatching its schemes right into my inner ear.

His legs would tuck neatly below the mahogany desk, smile soothing, nodding. My eyelids would weigh and droop as they were pulled under.

He would sit, I would fall.

This is what his Ph.D had taught.