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.

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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…

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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…

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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.

 

 

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The Hemingway Day. Quiet Please.

Apologies if the below contains any mumbles, bad grammar or is just bad writing. Blame it on the tennis-man.

I have everything crossed for Roger Federer to win today, although I find myself in times of trouble watching this current match, my nerves just don’t contain enough steel. I managed to clinch a pair of the illustrious, unobtainable tickets to Sunday’s final, so he needs to win so I can go all fangirl on him. If only he knew that…

Here’s to another man who might’ve also released my inner frenzied follower, Mr Hemingway…

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Quiet Please.

His hand smelled of Cherry Chapstick.

 

Thanks to the Daily Post for the photo inspiration.

Literary Lion. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

It’s official. I always thought I was quite adept when it came to all things technological, but apparently I am wrong.

I was off on a jolly to the Wimbledon tennis championships yesterday – something I have been wanting to do ever since I was small – and I had scheduled this week’s Literary Lion to post magically in my absence. Or so I thought.

Apologies to those of you who were gearing up to rise to the Lion’s prompt yesterday, I hope you can forgive me and my newly realised technologically challenged ways.IMG_6091

This week’s prompt was likely dropped into the jar by a festive visitor. Whether you chose to believe it was Santa that gave me the prompt is totally your prerogative, but I think this word has the bearded man’s name written all over it.

The word is ‘Merry’.

As always, you have a week to pen a piece of flash fiction in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, have a butchers of each others work, and give me a mention on twitter and Instagram so I can share the words.

Only 169 sleeps til Christmas. Here is my merry tale.

 

Kringle.

Those fluffs of white weren’t fooling anyone he was rosy. Glistening strands of silver hair that caught the firelight in their synthetic forgery.

I don’t know why I’d never realised. Yes his belly was round and his cheeks were flaming, but that’s what the diet of the inebriated will do.

Hold the mince pies but don’t forget the sherry.

I wanted to check my stocking one more time before some shut eye. I found him slouched in the armchair, buttons undone, beard around his neck, necking the bottle. Moments ago I’d tentatively poured a dribble into one of those small sherry glasses. It was crystal etched with florals and the ruby liquid sang between its light catching edges.

For sipping only.

As I tipped the bottle I envisaged the authentic festive father slurping between present placing, trying not to see pine needles all over the floor, leaving with crumbs in his beard. But this was not that, and he was not authentic.

I tried to wonder if the real thing was just waiting on the rooftop for the sleeping household, but then I remembered catching Mum slipping a coin under my pillow when my last baby tooth fell out and I realised it was all a lie. No chocolate wielding rabbit, no tooth trading fairy, and no man in a red suit being pulled by horned creatures across the sky.

The only man in red was sat in my front living room with a bottle of empty sherry and a head that would flinch at the slightest sound in the morning.

Merry Christmas to me.

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The Hemingway Day. Hide.

 

Having spent the past hour dithering between Wimbledon watching, work and this blog post, I am struggling to find more words than the six below. Welcome to The Hemingway Day…

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Hide.

The wind disguised his skulking inside.

 

Thanks to The Daily Post for the photo prompt this week, here are some other photos of doors.

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‘.

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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…

 

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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.

 

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The Hemingway Day. Who’s there?

Greetings on this very special Friday, special because it is National Cream Tea Day here in the UK, which sparks the never-ending debate… cream or jam first? Never mind that, if I hear another person say “scon” I’m going to launch the clotted cream. It’s scone. (And the very fact you can understand what I mean from the spelling means I’m right.)

Here’s The Hemingway Day to diffuse the situation.

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Who’s there?

Two shadows. But I stood alone.

 

Thanks to The Daily Post for inspiring today’s post by asking about my muse… she’s called mother nature.