Literary Lion. Tumble.

Greetings from a Literary Lion on holiday! Whilst packing for my little Spanish vacaciones I remembered to tuck one of our lion’s words into my suitcase. I found an appropriate setting for its capture today, whilst I was trudging the Andalusian hike of the Rio Chiller, which saw me wading through water and tumbling onto what are now a pair of very bruised knees until I reached our word of the week… ‘Fall‘.

As always, you have two weeks to tell your tales in 400 words or less. Remember to tag ‘Literary Lion’ in your post, pingback to this post and all you Instagrammers and twitterers, don’t forget to give me a mention.

Here is my falling tale…

 

Tumble.

Every week he would arm me with the same headphones and a new track of calming. The voice would resonate within my ear, encasing all air beneath the padded earpiece as it commanded, twisting feathery wisps along my ear canal, shuddering the eardrum, dispatching its schemes right into my inner ear.

His legs would tuck neatly below the mahogany desk, smile soothing, nodding. My eyelids would weigh and droop as they were pulled under.

He would sit, I would fall.

This is what his Ph.D had taught.

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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‘.

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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.

 

lips

Sugar.

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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.