Well, I’m back!

Hello lovely ones. I have been on a little blogging adventure.

To cut a long story short… I always said once I reached 1k followers I’d move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. And so I did at the beginning of the year, but I very promptly got lost from the WP reader, so all you lovely followers could no longer see my posts.

I have been struggling through, trying to connect with you all without much success, and because of this I have today moved back to wordpress.com… because (and don’t say I don’t ever do anything nice) I miss you. 😉

I still have my blog over at ismithwords.com, which will eventually be my new home, so if you’d like to follow the action there please do visit and sign up to the mailing list, which I send out every few weeks with the details of the latest challenges, stories and general musings.

For now I am coming back to you with the most recent Literary Lion post from my other site, which I am opening up for another month, as so many of you missed out on it before. Please do bear with me if you did manage to see this one, and feel free to have another go if so!

So to this month’s challenge. The word is ‘Boys’. It puts me in mind of Britney Spears circa early noughties. She will forever be the reason I do stomach crunches…

So you now have a month and 100 words to pen your tale. Or more than one tale. There is no limit if you prefer to write more frequently than the challenge as it is now monthly.

Remember to include the tag ‘literary lion’ in your piece. Pingback to this post so I can see your story. Say hello on twitter, and come and visit me on Instagram… I’ve started a separate collective of writers here under the hashtag #literarylion, so come and say hello if you’d like to join the private message group there for some shorter tales.

Good luck, looking forward to reading your pieces. Here is my little boyish tale…

Restroom.

It said Lola 4 Charlie 4 eva. Toilets didn’t require accurate spelling.

Or grammar.

I wondered if Lola was still for Charlie. Or if Lola was now for someone else. And if her ‘someone else’ knew about the declaration on the cubicle door half way up the M40 to Birmingham. And if Lola was for Charlie, then what did Lola get? Was he for her too?

In which case, why didn’t it say so?

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.

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.

The Hemingway Day. Chills.

This week’s WordPress Photography challenge is to capture the extra(ordinary). This little guy’s sole purpose in life is to tell us sun-basking humans how tepid the water is within which he bobs. He does an ordinary job. He floats in an ordinary way. He even retains his air of ordinary when the waves of a belly flop come quivering in his direction. It’s his permanent vacant gaze in the wake of such revulsion that I find quite extraordinary.

Here’s a six-word Hemingway Day inspired by our elephant friend.

 

Chills.

Feeling blue even in searing sunshine.

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.

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. AM.

 

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

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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.

 

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Literary Lion. Space.

 

The time is finally here, week one of ismithwords’ new weekly flash fiction challenge, Literary Lion. This morning I plucked a neon orange paper strip from under the watchful king and unfurled its corners to reveal the word ‘Space.’

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So go ahead and commence with penning your pieces of 400 words and under, using the word ‘space’ as a prompt. It can be interpreted as literally or metaphorically as you wish. Remember to pingback to this page and to include the tag ‘literary lion’ so we can find you in the WordPress reader.

Good luck, and here is my space inspired tale…

 

Poison.

It was a bullshit phrase. As he uttered it his face glazed. For weeks I had ignored how closely the words were from tumbling off the tip of his tongue.

I was seventeen years old and it was a Friday night. I had just doused myself in Christian Dior’s Poison and smudged charcoal kohl across my eyelids. That scent was now destined to be etched into my brain alongside that phrase. A phrase of three little words that no one ever wants to hear.

“I.

Need.

Space.”

Bullshit. If I walked paces from where I was stood I was giving him what he asked for. But I couldn’t have stayed tethered at ten footsteps. He wanted an easy way of saying “I don’t love you anymore.”

It must have been the love leaving that glazed across his face. A demonic exorcism of something that was damaging. I’m sure if I had bothered to look in the mirror, I’d have seen it seeping from my pores too.

 

 

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Choke.

A four day week is an affair of proportions so glorious that it means Friday has come without my usual straggling spirit and dwindling dynamism. And so it is with my seldom felt Friday fizz that I bring you The Hemingway Day, and six words that together make a very jolly piece of flash fiction. What a difference a day makes.

choke

 Choke.

His veins strained as she squirmed.

Thanks to The Daily Post for the prompt, ‘Afloat’, which prompted me, for some reason, to think about suffocation, and the floating of blood amidst veins. Don’t judge me, I’m really a rather happy soul.

He’s Alive.

It’s a very merry Christmas from me and my festive happy house guest, and the last of this year’s The Hemingway Day flash fiction…

He’s alive.

 

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Their bodies recoiled, their eyes bulging.

 

Thanks to the Daily Post for the photo prompt “yellow”, which in my view, is just gold with less regal dripping.