Pane.

 

Remembering childhood again thanks to The Daily Post

day11

As I have been caught amidst a whirlwind of weddings and autumn colds I have decided to combine the last two assignments with this one vignette. The task was to describe a favourite meal from childhood, and a childhood home. So here is fruit pastilles and a house at the side of the forest…

 

Pane.

Blades of grass erupted from the ground beside the doorway and continued as linear soldiers across endless metres until the forest floor interrupted them with mud. At the bottom of this greenery a colossal mass of trees extended into the daunting never-end.

Her bedroom window offered a viewfinder into the mysterious world that loomed at the end of the garden. By moonlight the world whispered an infinite abyss of darkness in return. Her four foot frame would fit cosily within the nook of the windowsill. Her nose would turn pink pressed against the cool glass, puffing winged steam trails with every exhale. In her pockets she would find week old fruit pastilles bought by the father she missed. They granted sweet comfort as she held them on her tongue, sucking the sugar crystals, prolonging their life for as long as possible.

She would find flickers of movement. Watching her watching them. Until she would turn off the lights and let the darkness envelop.

Red.

day9

Today’s task is one of perspectives… “A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene from three different points of view.”

I’ve answered this with three separate stories of flash fiction, which also sit together as a whole…

 

Red.

His hand shuddered upon her touch.

Seeing red was his daily hell.

For the last time, she knitted.

China.

day8

With my typically excessive descriptions, today’s task, to banish all adverbs from the piece, was to prove a bit of a challenge. Hopefully none have sneaked their way in…

 

China.

Whispers of steam pirouetted through the air and headed skywards. The cafe had the most eccentric taste in china. The bodybuilder had a thick black moustache and his prowess was shown in lifting a hefty dumbbell above his head whilst the rest of his body focused on a pose: hand on hip, muscles flexed, side parting lacquered. He wore burnt orange jogging bottoms and a muscle tee, quite the vintage pin up against a backdrop of purple roses that were teetering on the edge of bloom. The rim was lined with gold, a regal finish to this working man’s scene. Every day Gabriel would order coffee and it would be a different mug. Every day it was a different scene on a different mug. Yesterday’s beverage came sloshing within a brown pencil illustration of a bunny rabbit. Who knows what tomorrow would inflict.

Gabriel gazed out the window from his usual spot. The tawny vinyl chair perspired beneath the clammy bare legs of a 30 degree day. Each sip of coffee made the sweat ascend further to his pores. Gabriel felt a presence as he detected a shadow sliding across the table. He looked up to find two coffee coloured eyes scowling at him.

“What is your name?” The stranger asked.

“Why?” Gabriel responded. He wasn’t in the habit of presenting a stranger with his name.

The man had long blonde eyelashes and his pallid skin was showered with freckles. He was carrying a bright green holdall, it swung heavily as he stood. He bowed his neck and brought his face within inches and sang in a whispered tone “Gabriel.”

Sugar.

day7

These two repulsive little creatures are part of today’s Writing 101 task: to write of a contrast between two things using dialogue…

 

Sugar.

Her lips were frosted with that pearlescent lipstick that women seemed to covet in the early nineties. The kind that they’d outline with dark liner to give their lips some extra pout. The days before collagen was just a reasonably priced syringe away. They moved like fish lips when she prattled. “Put your name on the top of the form. Fill in the questions and the doctor will see you when you’re ready.”

It was the speech of a robot. I ticked my way to question five.

Have you had a poor appetite or been overeating?

I looked over at Fish Lips. “What would you constitute as over eating?”

Her sickly pink fluffy jumper hugged her chubby arms and made her somewhat marshmallow like in appearance. She wasn’t the best judge of portion control.

“Who cares kid. Just tick in the middle.” She went back to reading her Real People magazine. Pages of relatable souls that had gone through terrible times. ‘I was 20 stone by the time I was 13.’ ‘I sold my baby for £25.’ ‘I was stabbed by my husband’s father’s brother in law’…

It was question seven this time.

Have you had trouble concentrating on things like reading the paper or watching the TV? 

Fish Lips was rustling in her desk drawers. She pulled out a toffee and started twisting the shiny wrapper with her globulous blubbery pink sausage fingers.

I stared at her until she looked up. Pools of toffee moisture had collected in the corners of those lips as she smacked them together with each chew.

“What kid?” She said through her caramel mess.

“Does pornography count? As watching TV?”

Her spidery eyelashes came together as she narrowed her eyes at me. She crinkled her nose and hissed “Vile creature.”

The final question, number nine.

Have you thought that you’d be better off dead or hurting yourself in some way?

Her lips were smooching louder as she poured a pile of toffees on her desk and shoved another into the load.

Again, I stared at her. “Does it count if I’ve thought that someone else might be better off dead?”

She stopped chewing and held her mouth open, a syrupy goo of saccharine and pearlescent lipstick.

I continued, “That I thought of hurting someone else?”

As I said it I noticed the gleaming red handles of a pair of scissors that were casually laid next to her pile of toffees.

Revenge is sweet.

Hunger.

day6

The first writing challenge of this week has asked me to describe someone that has entered my life in the last year. I didn’t even have to ever interact with this little gem for him to set up camp in the back of my head, he was waiting to be released…

 

I was dunking chunks of airy white bread into the syrupy sauce of the Gambas Pil Pil when I first noticed him in my peripheral. The glossy orange oil stuck to the bread and was sucked up by each doughy hole, creating delectable bite after bite, but even my ravenous stomach could not concentrate on the starter once he had appeared on the terrace.

The sun had left the sky some hours ago, but the Spanish heat still lingered in the inky night time air. He had slumped at the head of his table, the elder of a jabbering local tribe; the villagers that dined late and chatted loudly for many moonlit hours.

Chubby grey eyebrows loomed above a pair of thick rimmed glasses. His appetite was magnified by the lenses, his perverted eyes undressing every woman in sight and devouring the menu as though the dishes were oozing their aromas in front of him. An off-white shirt grasped his arms as its only means of support, flapping otherwise across his torso and his neck, unbuttoned and casually thrown open in desire of a drop in body temperature. The cool down looked unlikely for the protruding stomach, as its organs were hidden beneath aeons of over indulgence. Wiry hairs coiled across his chest and clung to the body amid pools of moisture, whilst his thick tanned skin strained across his ballooning gut and gleamed under the starlight.

As my back strained from the white plastic patio chair, and the oily orange sauce dripped from my bread onto my pristine white beach dress, I pictured the reserved, clothed crowd that frequented the restaurants around my London abode. I decided it was perhaps time to go home. My local Spanish bistro did a decent paella…

Absent.

Day5

The challenge of the day… to imagine you’ve stumbled across a letter that hasn’t made it to its addressee, and to create a story from it in as few words as possible.

So to the great Hemmingway for inspiration I go, incorporating this challenge with my usual Flash Fiction Friday series of six word stories…

 

If only they knew. He lived.

 

 

Cinders.

day4

Today’s challenge: The first of a three post series in tales of loss…

 

Laura looked down at the ground and marvelled at the sight. This was the first time she was a victor in battle, at just six years old she had managed to coax her parents into fuelling what was to be a lifelong fire, by purchasing the most ladylike pair of shoes a girl of her age could ever hope to own. These were quite the opposite to the regular reserved rubber soles of a school girl. For the first time, Laura’s footsteps made a rhythmic clinking against the ground, giving her little steps a ladylike air in their echo across the playground. They glistened in patent and they framed her white socks with their frills, but on the underside hid a treat that would afford them a league of their very own. Around her neck Laura hid a secret key which, when placed into the heel, allowed a magical fairytale to appear on the very soles she walked on.

It seemed to happen without warning. For weeks Laura would dash to the hallway each morning to feel the glove like fit of this perfect pair, but on this particular day it was not meant to be. As she pushed her left foot inside it was refused by the buckled strap, but after fully unfastening the offender it seemed that this wasn’t the only thing preventing her from adorning her feet with this magical pair. Perhaps it was nothing more than centimetre, maybe it was even mere millimetres, but this little girl’s foot had outgrown something that meant so much. She was a princess no more, and there was no way back.

Sing.

day3

 

Another day, another free-writing challenge, this time inspired by three stellar pieces of music that my ears were most certainly seized by…

 

David Bowie – Magic Dance

Sitting against a sofa of worn orange corduroy. I’m looking into Mr Bowie’s mismatched eyes and feeling a chilled flurry envelop me. Having just seconds ago metamorphosed from a snowy owl with feathers that were the purest of white, his bleached mullet wasn’t one of hilarity, it was a monochrome menace as much as the vampire like front teeth and the pale face. Jareth the Goblin King.

Radiohead – Talk Show Host

Plucked strings. The sands are flooded with a golden tinge. Leonardo sits in blue with a smoking cigarette in his hand, soft blonde hair trailing into those cobalt blues. Teenage crush. Teenage angst. Driving in the rays of the English summer. Closing my eyes and my head tripping backwards. Laying on the floor and staring at the ceiling. Gazing out the car window, pretending to be somewhere else. The spirit being sucked from my chest as it lifts towards the sky and my body drags it back down again with a weighty thud. We hope that you choke. Do not choke.

Alexandre Desplat – Courtyard Apocalypse

One the outside they are gritty soldiers. On the inside, they are trembling. We are sneaking through the darkness, overcome. Can we drink it in? Trying not to sob, we are overwhelmed. Finding a place at the pinnacle. They’re seizing my insides, behind the eyes, in the chest, deep in the stomach, and they’re not letting go. The breathing of many on the head of only one. This is the epitome of sadness.

Empire.

day2

The moment I was treated to just a slither of the view below I was agog. It was waiting for me to marvel. Snow flakes had been pirouetting through the air for some days and the streets were quilted by the purest of whites. Somehow it cushioned the air, dampening any sound made within its walls of soft shrouds, until the city became a low murmuring version of itself.

From the 86th floor the world pales into insignificance; up here, everything is diminutive at the mercy of my place of power. There is not a single face or a solitary voice, just jutting columns of glassy steel that peer feebly from beneath with envious scowls.

Where the steel blue sky meets the white caps of each building, a warm flame hue subtly burns. I could stay here until the sun orders those white blankets away again.

Unlocked.

day1

 

In a bid to connect further with the blogosphere and to flex my writing muscle, today I embark upon a journey through WordPress’ Writing 101 course. Here’s the first instalment, 20 minutes of free writing, no forethought or editing allowed…

 

Mind, unlocked.

The night brought with it an inky blue hue. I could feel the cold air sweeping past my tongue and down through my throat, where goosebumps would prick out from beneath the skin, a tale tell sign that I was numb. I couldn’t hide my nervous disposition. Anyone with a calm exterior would be breathing long, subtle breaths, but mine were hurried, forcing tiny clouds of visible vapour through the midnight air with each exhale.

At least I could blame the shaking on the temperature. They didn’t have to know that the chill I felt, which sunk deep into my bones, was owed to the situation, and not the frost that was biting at my ankles with each step I took.

I came to a standstill once I reached the place. We had said we would meet here, where the forest floor forked into a star like possibility of pathways, each one offering a different narrative to whoever traipsed down its track. The floor was uneven. Days of rain had muddied the surface and now it stretched across the area in frosted peaks, each one a frozen menace just waiting to meet you face down.

There was no sign of life here. Even the thick trunked oak tree that I was to wait at looked as though it had thrived amidst a world entirely of its own making. I perched against the tree, checking every few seconds to my left and right, only stopping to crane my neck to spy through the fork in the tree trunk, inspecting the trail behind me. I wasn’t aware of where they were coming from.

I was early. The situation didn’t need any further temptation towards the deadly, and so I was careful to ensure that nothing I did would coax it in the wrong direction.

It troubled me that there was not yet the snow of winter on the ground, as much as it worried me that there were no loose leaves of the autumn rustling across the floor. They would be approaching, deadly in their silence.

I hung my lantern on the branch nearest to me, an amicable act of honesty, so they could see me from a distance. That is when I started to hear movement. Not the footsteps of a man, or the rustling of a human navigating through the trees, but the heavy breathing of a creature whose movements were not second nature.

The sound of a forced, strained motion came closer, but still I could not see a thing. Until the soft light of my lantern fell in severe angles across his face. A face which towered above the oak tree.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-2/