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…



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.


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.

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…



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…



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.

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.


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.


Literary Lion. Rouge.

It seems as though Kitty’s hot and grumpy self has influenced the prompt I picked from her jar this evening.  The word of the week is ‘Bleeding‘.


You have seven days to bleed across the page in 400 words or less. Remember to include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your piece and to pingback to this post so we can find your work in the WordPress reader. As always, have a read of each other’s work, the feedback is appreciated by us all!

Tweet me your stories, or tag me on instagram and remember the hashtag #literarylion

Here is my little tale of blood…



If Penny could have strangled him she would have. But it was hardly subtle.

This was the third nose bleed the old man had suffered with today. Whilst he was bent over his crossword puzzle, a drop of rose red splattered onto the page and spread through the fibres, growing larger as the paper drank it up.

He peered through his thick glasses at the spot. The tortoiseshell frames hung under his bushy grey eyebrows and clung to the tip of his nose as he bent at the neck, an emu stretching away from a hunched torso. He reached for the handkerchief in his left breast pocket, his hands fumbled with a trembling that had become part of his being. The rag he retrieved was freckled with dry bloody spots that were scattered between embroidered initials and lacy edging.

The old man twisted the fabric into a tight corkscrew and forced each pointed tip up a nostril, leaving the body of the handkerchief to dangle across his face like a bull with a nose ring.

Whilst mulling over the answer to thirty two down, the tang of copper started to grip the very depths of his tongue, spreading throughout the mouth until it had conquered every taste bud. The man reached for his glass of water and sucked in tiny mouthfuls from the edge of the crystal. Clouds of red span through the liquid with each sip, until the remaining fluid was a pale red tincture of tap water and blood.

Through a chink in the blinds the old man could see across the pool. The water shimmered the sunlight onto a naked couple that were slathering tanning oil across their leathery hides. The male one bent to retrieve his morning fill of beer from his ice cooler, giving the old man what was to be his last look of the living.



Literary Lion. Catch me if you can.


Thank you to everyone who has responded to Literary Lion so far. The kitty has meowed for another week, and the word is ‘Escape‘.



You have seven days to craft a story of 400 words or less, inspired by the prompt ‘Escape’. Remember to include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your piece and to pingback to this post so we can find your work in the WordPress reader. I encourage you all to try and read each other’s work and leave some feedback, there are some wonderful stories being told each week.

Please do tweet me your stories too, or tag me on instagram and remember the hashtag #literarylion

And so to my ‘escape’ inspired tale…


No Way Out.

I thought her breathing techniques were flawed. That calm, velvet hued voice was trying to control my abdomen. I resisted for as long as I could.

The sleek synthetic strands twisted across my wrists, almost beautiful. The threads frayed, cracking into untidy tendrils as they snaked past skin cells, drawing rusty droplets that tainted their clean coils. My blue veins pulsed beneath the grip of the rope, staining the fibres further with every heart-powered throb.

When there’s no way out you either pray or resign yourself. Tonight, defeat. I was futile in the battle, witless in the war, completely hopeless against the takeover.

She edges towards me with her mirrored tray, empty but for one glass cylinder of clear fluid. Her closed fist nears my chest and she unfurls her fingers to reveal the mint and black capsule in the centre of her palm. She pleads with me for cooperation.

I imagine the muscles of her neck convulsing beneath my thumbs, but my hands are hopeless, bound to the white metal bars of the bed. I thrash my legs, but my body is shrouded by drearily patterned polyester.

She leans towards my ear. Whispering. Breathe in for seven, out for eleven, give the parasympathetic nervous system a chance.

The sleek synthetic strands twist across my wrists, almost beautiful.



Literary Lion. AM.


Last week’s forest inspired prompt set the setting for many clandestine tales in the woods, but this week the theme is ‘morning‘.



You have seven days to craft a post of 400 words of less, inspired by ‘morning’. Remember to include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your piece and to pingback to this post so we can find your work in the WordPress reader. Here is my morning tale…


Wake up.

I became aware of the frown on my face as soon as I gained consciousness. A radiant ray glistened from the window across my left eye. It narrowed the pupil and created warmth in a strip along my skin. The sunlight was headache inducing.

Dusty particles pirouetted across the beam, vanishing as soon as they crossed to the other side. I took a deep breath and a pungent stench attacked my insides. I opened my mouth to avoid it, but the smell enveloped my lungs after clinging to the back of my throat.

I tried to stand. My legs weren’t listening, they stayed heavy on the floor. As I shifted my head away from the sunlight the rest of the room became clear.

I was just one of many.

Rows and rows of them and the only one moving was me.



Literary Lion. Into the Woods.

Since launching Literary Lion last week, I have read tales of loss, love, space ships, stars, time travel, petri dishes, dogs and only children. Thank you to all those that have taken part so far, I await with bated breathe to see what this week will bring. A little slip of green this week has set the theme, and it is ‘story in the woods‘.


You have a week to craft your forest inspired tales of 400 words or less. Remember to include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your piece and to pingback to this post so we can find your work in the WordPress reader.

Happy writing, and here is my ‘story in the woods’…


As she sleeps.

When the snow finally stopped falling its rested flakes reduced to water. The powdered shards on her eyelashes melted to tears, meandering down the side of her face towards raven strands of hair, making tale telling tracks along the skin.

A slither of light blazed through the gap in the trees. It dutifully followed the contours of her face, leaving no crease untouched in its column of illumination along her right side. Warming the surface with an orange hue, the lit strip sat in contrast against the cold blue of her surrounding skin.

I had been hollowing space in the ground since sunset, now I was saluted by the sunrise in recognition of my exertion. A thick aroma of dirt swayed in the air, settling at the back of my throat and hanging in my nostrils, as stubborn as the muddy particles that were forced beneath the nails that lay heavily against my icy rose fingertips. She could be sleeping. Her lashes feathered onto the skin below her eyes and her lips parted at the centre around a darkness I had seen many times before.

I forced her weight with the tip of my shoe and she rolled, sinking into the earth. The leaves started to patter with plump tears from above. The clouds had forgotten the snowflakes and were beginning to send their worst onto the ground below. All malevolence vanished with every droplet.



Roar. Calling all my fellow writers…


There are many animals strewn across my abode. None of them are actually in the land of the living, but until the day the boy and I commit to a feline sidekick, I am muddling through with the inanimate creatures of the interior decor kingdom.

The above lion jar is a typical Laura find. He’s probably supposed to guard biscuits or some other sugar-infused confectionary, but instead he is a warden of words. He is also the inspiration for a new feature I am launching today, Literary Lion.

Whenever someone visits my living quarters they are presented with a collection of rainbow-hued paper strips, upon which they must write a word, a sentence or a saying, and then throw it to the lion’s den: the little glass jar.

After several visitors, here sits a container filled with prompts for when the ideas have dried out and the day looks stale, in other words, it is my writer’s back-up.

Every Wednesday I shall delve into the lion guarded pot, and after penning a piece inspired by the coloured strip of paper, I shall publish my flash fiction story here on

Then, and here comes the exciting bit, I shall be throwing down the gauntlet and challenging any of my fellow wordsmiths to take on the story prompt themselves. You can interpret the theme as you wish, as long as you keep it short, under 400 words, and remember to pingback to the challenge so I can see it.

Click here to see the latest line of challenges.

Good luck, and may the wordsmith gods smile on you.