The Monday Muse. Hello adult.

 

Hello Adult.

This past week has been a week of lasts. My last Friday night as a twentysomething, my last Sunday lie-in as a twentysomething, my last painful Monday morning wake-up as a twentysomething…. In case it isn’t slap-you-in-the-face obvious, this week I turn 30.

I am surprisingly not too tormented about the looming age milestone that many a woman has had a meltdown over. And I do wonder if now might be the time to stop panicking when I get asked for ID at the checkout when buying Burgundy… The wine. Not the place. Unfortunately.

As a child, I was one of the lucky ones. A birthday in half term, no school guaranteed, and one whole lazy day of presents and playing with them.

As an adult, it sucks.

Everywhere I go, I find myself amidst a crowd of little people. I am not saying I don’t like children, but I am perhaps one of those adults that only likes (and adores) the ones I know or am related to.

So, suggestions for child-avoiding, 30th-birthday-worthy weekday activities during half terms are most welcome. Answers on a postcard, please.

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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.

The Monday Muse. Choux your buns.

This time four days ago I was being kissed by the sunshine and caressed by silence. Today I am nuzzled by rain drops, sirens, children screaming and adults complaining. Goodbye Spanish campo, hello my old friend London.

Having just returned to the city from a holiday, it has taken me a moment to become accustomed to the sheer amount of souls I am once again surrounded by. It has also taken me a moment to become reacquainted with the types of souls this city is filled with…

While strolling down the aisle of a supermarket yesterday I decided, what with it being Sunday and the last official day of my holiday, I would see off two weeks of indulgent face-stuffing with a gooey cream cake.

As I perused the pastries I saw a pair of podgy fingers reaching for a chocolate lacquered choux bun; someone else had plumped for the same snack selection, although it appeared her decision needed a much more rapid wish fulfilment than mine. The bun was not her pick for the trolley, it was a mere little something to amuse her loose lips whilst she chose what she really wanted: a chunky Victoria sponge oozing with fresh cream and strawberry jam.

Now I am sure that her honest nature had her taking the empty cake box to the till with her to pay for her in store treat, but time and time again when I see these supermarket munchers, grazing on the stock as they shop, I wonder why. Perhaps they are safeguarding against that impending apocalypse that might just stop them from enjoying that box of Coco Pops the following morning. Or perhaps they can only prevail over the weekly food shop if there are tummy loving perks on the way round. It’s the ones that don’t close their mouths that are the worst. Munching on buns whilst in the middle of the supermarket, the congealed butter and cream swirling around their tongue and slapping against their cheeks.

I wonder if they’ll ID me after I’ve drunk the whole bottle of Vodka in my basket on my next grocery shop…

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.

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.

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…

 

Emu

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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