Literary Lion. How to swim.

The last Literary Lion was an exercise in the art of brevity, and quite successful it was too… I was so dazzled by your six word stories that I found it impossible to pick a favourite, and so I urge you all to head to the last post (http://ismithwords.com/2016/01/14/literary-lion-six-words/) where you will find the pingback-ed stories in the comments section.

This week the lion has me dreaming of summer, with the prompt ‘Pool’. In keeping with the lion’s new appetite for the unfamiliar, we are asking for stories of 100 words or less. So here’s two weeks to craft your tales, 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.

Or failing that, you can just read my little almost-100 word adventure below…

How to Swim.

His hair clumped in tufts. Jet black and wet from the water. I sat with my feet in the pool, flicking my cigarette ash in the blue aqua, watching the sun shimmering across the delicate droplets on his back. His skin glowed golden under the sunlight, but as the day started to fade it turned a hue of cool blue. I threw my cigarette in and thanked the stars that he was floating downwards. I didn’t want to see the horrified look that was now etched on his face for eternity.

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Literary Lion. Six words.

The literary lion is in mourning, and so this fortnight’s challenge is Bowie inspired… and rather scarily, the chosen word – Star – seems so very apt.

It was F Scott Fitzgerald that dared to tell the great Hemingway that he couldn’t write a story in six words. Hemingway delivered a literary KO with “For sale, baby shoes: Never worn.”

For the first Literary Lion challenge of this year, I am going to ask you all to create a story with this in mind, in just six words.

As always, 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 six word tale…
Starman.

Thought you were here to stay.

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…

 

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.

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. 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.

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.