Literary Lion. How to say goodbye.

When it comes to blooms and eyes, two of my favourite tales from the last month have included Graham’s In His Mind’s Eye and Andy’s Her Flowers. A good excuse for some escapism if you haven’t read either already…

But the cat has put his poet’s hat on for this fortnight’s Literary Lion prompt, the word is “Limerick“. Being such a wordy writer myself, I decided to take the prompt literally, and have penned a limerick, but there are of course many other interpretations out there to find…

You have 14 days to tell your limerick worthy tale in 400 words or less. As always please tag your post with Literary Lion, remember to pingback to this post and point me in the direction of your stories on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my little limerick…

How to say goodbye.

The air moved a vacuum of sound.

With a blunt breath and eyes on the ground,

the mortal invaded,

through sunlight he waded

and silence was heard all the way down.

Literary Lion. Bloom.

I might be fighting off the temptation to play sleeping lions here today but my feeble fingers have just about managed to pluck a piece of paper from my little jar.

The word is the very beautifully penned ‘flower’.

There are some exciting things on the horizon for Literary Lion, but in order to make room for the approaching antics the event is now becoming a fortnightly affair. So from this week onwards I am giving you 14 days to craft your post of 400 words or less. Please remember to pingback to this post, include the ‘Literary Lion’ tag and of course give me a tinkle on Instagram and twitter.

As part of the new and improved Literary Lion I will be choosing a favourite tale each week to link to in my next prompt piece, so have your writing hands at the ready…

Here is my floral affair…

 

Bloom.

This time he bought me roses. Their razor thorns grazed his face when I cracked them across his skull. They swung so smoothly through the air, whistling as they went.

Twelve bunches of flowers in the last sixty-four days. But the roses were lavish. She must have been special. His guilt oozed from every petal.

The first time was a bunch of weak wilting daisies. Puny and pathetic. She probably had mousy brown hair. Plain Jane.

They got better looking each time. One day it was elegant, slender tulips. The next week was bright beaming amber sunflowers. That bunch hurt. I wasn’t the smiling type.

But the roses were the finest of them all. Blossoming pink spheres. Velvet to the touch. Plump, ripe and undeniably beautiful.

Literary Lion. I see you.

Good evening my writing lions. It seems our little jar keeper has been watching me this week…

The word is eye.

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

Here is my all-seeing tale…

 

Lunchtime.

It was burning my mouth much more than usual. Its flame whispered through the gaps above my gums and swam along the back of my tongue until it hit the tip of my oesophagus and stained my tonsils with its clinical tang.

I spat it out just as the tears threatened to spill over the lower rims of my eyes. I curled my lips as I stared into the mirror above the sink, ran my tongue over each enamel surface, smooth, white and stain free.

The bathroom cabinet reflected a similarly slick world through the window behind me. The sill sat below a frame of metallic towers, each shining a reflection of the next; infinite echoes of an endless cityscape of monochrome.

Karl was hovering by my desk once again. He had those dark brown eyes where the pupils bled into the irises so all you see is one enlarged orb of darkness flanked by bloodshot white either side. They pierced through the air and into my skull. I tried to divert my train of thought in case he was listening. I kept him in my peripheral as I stared at the cubicle behind me in the reflection of my computer screen. He moved his mouth like a fish several times before he decided to leave without saying a thing.

I was careful to check they weren’t watching before I opened the drawer. Their little servants were spying above my workstation. They would raise the alarm if they saw what was inside. I tentatively leaned down into my handbag, pulling the mass I had recovered from the side of the road earlier this morning. The feathers were still warm when I had picked it up then. Now they were cold and crisply matted with what was once the creature’s insides. One more subtle glance around me, and I thrust it into the drawer. The gluttonous lip smacks were muffled by the timber.

She would reward me for that in time.

The Hemingway Day. Surface.

So far in glorious London we have enjoyed about three days of summer. Today is the fourth. The sun is shining, the children are shrieking outside, my office fan is blowing hot air in circles, the inebriated are out early… and isn’t it just marvellous?

Here’s The Hemingway Day.

Surface.

Suede and water never did mix.

Literary Lion. Happy Feet.

Bonsoir my lovely literary wizards. This week the lion has two pairs of pirouetting paws…

The word is ‘Dance’.

You have seven days to tell your dance inspired tales, in 400 words or less. As always, Pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all see your story in the WP reader, and don’t forget to holler via Instagram and twitter.

Here is my tale of happy feet…

IMG_6517

The Audition.

The red door stood stark against a street of black counterparts. It was the exact shade of the virtual lipstick signature that sat at the end of the email she’d sent.

She called herself Darling.

I leant towards the lacquered wood and heard only space behind it. I glanced again at the piece of paper in my hand. There was no sign on the door and no number, just the potted topiary trees that she had described when she’d called to tell me to come to the audition. That word carried a certain chesty self-assurance.

I had told my friends I was going for an interview.

I knocked. The door swung inwards, revealing a dark hallway lined with leather cubes. Each foam filled box had a girl balanced on top. One sat empty and uninviting in the corner.

My heels ticked across the slate floor as I edged around the door. It was latched behind me by a man dressed in a suit that hugged his broad shoulders as though it was clinging on for life. I smiled in greeting but he remained mute and expressionless.

The hallway stood as silent as the void I had heard from the other side. My stomach growled in protest of my liquid caffeine breakfast. A girl with bleached yellow hair leered at my waist.

I should have had another cigarette.

By the time I’d been in London for a month I had convinced myself I was anaemic. Certain that my countryside reared blood couldn’t fuel my body in the way it did every other Londoner’s, I would chew on Pro Plus tablets with droopy eyes and a languid brain that had forgotten to swallow. I could still taste the morning’s dose; the bitterness had bonded with my taste buds as the coagulated powder sifted down my oesophagus unwillingly.

I heard her imminent entrance. The straightening of their backs and the fluffing of their locks told me that they had heard too. We stood to attention as she greeted us, her set of ghost white porcelain teeth flicking out from between rouged lips.

She marched us down the stairs and into a low-lit room cocooned beneath the city. A chequered floor stood at the centre, surrounded by tufted red velvet booths, each of which tilted towards a mirrored pole that stood at the helm.

 

giphy-5

Literary Lion. Dirty Laundry.

This past week has been packed with tales of time, but now to a new prompt, and the lion is thirsty…

This week’s word is ‘water‘.

You have seven days to pen a piece of 400 words or less. Pingback to this post to ensure I can see your post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all see it in the WP reader, and don’t forget to yell at me on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my H2O inspired fiction…

IMG_6484

 

Dirty Laundry.

The bell on the launderette door chinked as the man in the suit slinked inside. He was smartly dressed to the most meticulous detail; his cufflinks polished, the pleats of his trousers crisp, his finely crafted Saville Row suit not the kind one might usually see in a place such as this.

As he proceeded towards the corner of the room, his presence raised several eyebrows from the bodies going about their humdrum routines. He rested his attaché case on the washer and opened it; the mechanical clatter echoed throughout the room while his back disguised what he wanted only his eyes to see.

Gingerly he lifted an item of clothing from the case, while stealing a look behind him to see who was watching. Everyone. The regular visitors to this launderette were intrigued by this alien presence and they had no shame in displaying their inherent nosiness with their indiscreet eyeballing. He contemplated for a moment walking away, finding an alternative and imagining their stares if he were to do so. He predicted their hurried whispers as soon as his foot touched the path outside. Instead, he remained resilient, determined to do what was required and leave without a trace.

He jerked the washing machine open, hurriedly placed his garment inside and shut the door on what he no longer wished to see. He pulled a small sachet of powder from his case, poured it into the draw and took two pounds from his pocket and slid them into the coin slot.

After selecting the hottest cycle, he watched the water begin to drain into the drum and wondered if it would be enough to wash away the evidence of his sins.

 

 

 

giphy-4

 

Literary Lion. Clock watching.

Greetings my little lions and lionesses. This week I pulled from the pot a pretty piece of penmanship in pink, and it echoes the theme of a story I told last winter, which was published in Popshot Magazine.

The word is ‘time’, and you can read an excerpt of my original tale below, or you can find an online preview of the magazine here.

As always you have seven days to create a flash fiction story in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, shout at me on twitter and Instagram so I can share your literary prowess, and have a browse of each other’s tales in the WordPress reader.

IMG_6381

Waiting for No Man.

Mr Dufour looked at the line of people; several days worth easily, perhaps even weeks. They snaked between the weighty columns of the room and bent out of the door. He couldn’t see the end of the queue outside, but he knew it was forever growing.

When he first started taking requests from his visitors, his heart said yes to almost every appeal. Dying parents that needed more time, lost children that required longer to be found, even the young at heart that weren’t ready to grow old. But with every yes he gave, a hundred more of the same would journey to his door, and with every granted wish, his creation would be forced into overdrive.

When he discovered the bottling of time he made a promise that he would never take it for himself. But hundreds of thousands of requests later and he was weak and he felt old. The skin on his hands was thinning, his spine was beginning to curve, and his once coarse black hair was now an unkempt tuft of grey clinging to a line between his ears at the back of his head.

Initially he thought he had changed the world for the better. Over time he came to realise that he had just made it more arduous. The further he prolonged life the longer everyone needed to live, the more time he gave those who were failing, the more they needed to succeed. The days he granted to the dying meant the diseases became more aggressive, the hours he presented to the needy made them less able to survive next time. It was this very morning that he noticed more of his hair scattered across his pillow, and he knew a dark cloud was lurking in the distance.

clock

The Monday Muse. 3 hours and 58 minutes.

IMG_6373

My Sunday was spent grappling with 3 hours and 58 minutes of film history.

As the sun was lost to the horizon and the light disappeared from the room, my tenacity was finally greeted with the line I had been waiting for. Eight of the most iconic words to be written since The Lumière brothers started this crazy craze known as filmmaking.

3 hours and 58 minutes of my Sunday afternoon spent and what did I learn?

Scarlett O’Hara is an imbecile.

10 Oscars?

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

 

giphy-3

The Hemingway Day. Take Flight.

Often I point my camera at the sky and my finger finds its way to the shutter. Time and again I am greeted with a photograph that immediately falls victim to the delete button, but once in a while a little gem appears, with a perspective I hadn’t seen before. Sometimes in life, all you need to do is look up…

roofwindows

 

Take Flight.

In here, light led the escape.

Literary Lion. King.

 

Last week’s challenge saw many tales of merrymaking, while this week’s Literary Lion prompt is as regal as it can be. The word is “king”.

You have seven days to create a flash fiction story in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, give me a mention on twitter and Instagram so I can share the words and have a browse of each other’s tales in the WordPress reader.

For my tale I looked to the animal’s kingdom’s royal lineage, and to the planet’s original crown-wearer…

IMG_6306

King.

I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe…

Mists hovering above flooded grounds, ripples rolling away from every footstep, trees soaring taller than I and into the sky to touch clouds. I’ve seen olive eyes peering up from within muddy pools, the wings of reptiles flicking between branches of feathery leaves. I’ve seen lizards clutching with claws to the trunks of trees, but over them I reigned, their Tyrant Lizard King.

I’ve seen an entire realm of kings; hundreds of pairs of eyes on the crown, steely in our stare from the second we felt the sultry air for the very first time.

And now I see you, human. You with your inquisitive eyes, you with your unenthusiastic frown, and even you with your expression of awe, just like the one who first saw me, the one who gave me his name. 65 million years underground and now again I stand tall, your Tyrant Lizard King.

 

 

giphy-2