The Monday Muse. Stuffed Hen.

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Stuffed Hen.

I have reached the age where weddings and babies are a common occurrence amongst my friends, and so for the second time this year I find myself organising a ‘hen do’.

Whilst emailing prospective ‘hens’ my brain started to whirl and wonder, why the hell am I referred to as a ‘hen’?

The groom and his boisterous group of roisterers get to be called stags.

It made me think.

I want to be a sodding stag. A stag makes a great first impression. A stag is powerful. It’s proud. It’s got integrity, it’s got poise and it demands respect.

But as I paused for thought I asked myself, what is the point in lusting after unoriginality? Why set my sights on what the men have got?

So I have decided to go one better. I’m going with something magical, something mystifying, something that’s got grace and vigour by the bucketload, but is also shrouded in a superhuman, supernatural strength that no one can ever quite put their finger on.

When I get married, I’m having a fricking Unicorn Do.

 

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Much like my Monday pondering, The Daily Post is asking what sparks our ideas this week. This post was inspired by my whirring brain and a couple of the many eclectic treasures I have hidden around my home.

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.

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.

 

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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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The Monday Muse. Skinny Fry.

You will have to excuse my meandering mind again today. As I was laid face down on a surgeon’s table this morning, I couldn’t help but wish I was sat on the riverside bench that the boy and I had perched on just 20 hours previously with two portions of chips and a can of Dr. Pepper. I’ve always loved what we Brits can do with a potato, but I hadn’t sampled the magic for at least six months.

So as I studied the speckles of a blue vinyl floor, I started reminiscing about chips…

 

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Skinny Fry.

I was a fussy eater until I was around 25 years old. As a kid, I was often left sitting at the dinner table long after everyone else had finished, staring at a plate filled with greens.

I would long for a portion of fries.

My Dad used to tell me I’d turn into a chip. I used to think it wouldn’t be as bad as turning into a cauliflower or a piece of broccoli. At least I could be a supermodel skinny fry with a French accent.

 

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The Hemingway Day. Watching You.

I smith words. Here are six.

 

Watching You.

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Foolishly, we thought we were alone.

 

 

At a risk of spoiling the literary illusion, this photo was taken at a very deserted Hampton Court, when it was closed for a snow day. This week’s theme at the Daily Post is ‘Off-Season‘.

The Hemingway Day. Revert.

I expect that for many of you this is a very happy Friday as the sun is finally shining on the UK. For me this Friday is happy because it means I can escape my office, which sits in the rafters of my home and unfortunately has no windows… So from a very hot and bothered writer, here’s the Hemingway Day, and six words of flash fiction.

Revert.

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One less candle than last year.

Thank you once again to the Daily Post for continually inspiring my photo snapping.

The Monday Muse. The downfall of the human race.

Oxford. The city that saw me trawling museums as a child and drinking holes as a teenager. It is also home to a reprobate character or two…

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Five things I learned this weekend.

  1. A man (that you do not know) will find no qualms in stealing a sheepskin rug from under your bottom on the rooftop of a bar because he is cold and there are no blankets left.
  2. A man will also find no qualms in standing with his bum pressed up against your shoulder even though there is a shedload of floor space around him and you have spent the last 30 minutes shifting your chair across his toes.
  3. The Ashmolean Museum is filled with staff members on ‘backpack watch’ (probably because they’ve seen a knuckle-headed tourist wipe out an irreplaceable Ming vase with the oversized load on their back). The dunderheads always ruin it for the rest of us.
  4. Massage therapists will touch your feet even when you ask them not to (and then look shocked when they narrowly miss a roundhouse to the face when they do lay their paws on yours).
  5. Waitresses no longer find it necessary to apologise when you inform them that there is a hair in your cucumber sandwich, and they will only replace it once you’ve fully tucked into your scone and hence no longer have the palate for savoury. Of course at this point you have also forced yourself to power through the high tea, forgetting all thoughts of said hair and her return only reminds you of the discovery and makes you want to throw the jammy creamed cake at her phlegmatic face.

Otherwise the city of spires is quite a delightful place to spend your hours.         giphy-2

Thank you to the Daily Post for inspiring my photo-taking for the second time this week.

The Hemingway Day. Echo.

Just six words of fiction and we can all say howdy-do to the weekend…

Echo.

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Her whispers filled the sea air.

Thanks to the Daily Post for the photo prompt, this was taken whilst on a little jaunt across the southern English coast. 

Run.

Not quite The Hemingway Day today, simply because I have too many words and not enough brain power left to edit them. I think I’ll go and plug myself into the mains and get a recharge. If only.

Run.

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Her footsteps blended into the pounding of each rain drop. As each one plummeted down his cheeks, she managed to get further away.

This post was inspired by the weekly photo challenge, and the photo is a still from a short film I made whilst at university, which all seems like a very long time ago now (because I am almost thirty, and very very tired.)