Literary Lion. Into the Woods.

Since launching Literary Lion last week, I have read tales of loss, love, space ships, stars, time travel, petri dishes, dogs and only children. Thank you to all those that have taken part so far, I await with bated breathe to see what this week will bring. A little slip of green this week has set the theme, and it is ‘story in the woods‘.

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You have a week to craft your forest inspired tales of 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.

Happy writing, and here is my ‘story in the woods’…

 

As she sleeps.

When the snow finally stopped falling its rested flakes reduced to water. The powdered shards on her eyelashes melted to tears, meandering down the side of her face towards raven strands of hair, making tale telling tracks along the skin.

A slither of light blazed through the gap in the trees. It dutifully followed the contours of her face, leaving no crease untouched in its column of illumination along her right side. Warming the surface with an orange hue, the lit strip sat in contrast against the cold blue of her surrounding skin.

I had been hollowing space in the ground since sunset, now I was saluted by the sunrise in recognition of my exertion. A thick aroma of dirt swayed in the air, settling at the back of my throat and hanging in my nostrils, as stubborn as the muddy particles that were forced beneath the nails that lay heavily against my icy rose fingertips. She could be sleeping. Her lashes feathered onto the skin below her eyes and her lips parted at the centre around a darkness I had seen many times before.

I forced her weight with the tip of my shoe and she rolled, sinking into the earth. The leaves started to patter with plump tears from above. The clouds had forgotten the snowflakes and were beginning to send their worst onto the ground below. All malevolence vanished with every droplet.

 

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Unlocked.

day1

 

In a bid to connect further with the blogosphere and to flex my writing muscle, today I embark upon a journey through WordPress’ Writing 101 course. Here’s the first instalment, 20 minutes of free writing, no forethought or editing allowed…

 

Mind, unlocked.

The night brought with it an inky blue hue. I could feel the cold air sweeping past my tongue and down through my throat, where goosebumps would prick out from beneath the skin, a tale tell sign that I was numb. I couldn’t hide my nervous disposition. Anyone with a calm exterior would be breathing long, subtle breaths, but mine were hurried, forcing tiny clouds of visible vapour through the midnight air with each exhale.

At least I could blame the shaking on the temperature. They didn’t have to know that the chill I felt, which sunk deep into my bones, was owed to the situation, and not the frost that was biting at my ankles with each step I took.

I came to a standstill once I reached the place. We had said we would meet here, where the forest floor forked into a star like possibility of pathways, each one offering a different narrative to whoever traipsed down its track. The floor was uneven. Days of rain had muddied the surface and now it stretched across the area in frosted peaks, each one a frozen menace just waiting to meet you face down.

There was no sign of life here. Even the thick trunked oak tree that I was to wait at looked as though it had thrived amidst a world entirely of its own making. I perched against the tree, checking every few seconds to my left and right, only stopping to crane my neck to spy through the fork in the tree trunk, inspecting the trail behind me. I wasn’t aware of where they were coming from.

I was early. The situation didn’t need any further temptation towards the deadly, and so I was careful to ensure that nothing I did would coax it in the wrong direction.

It troubled me that there was not yet the snow of winter on the ground, as much as it worried me that there were no loose leaves of the autumn rustling across the floor. They would be approaching, deadly in their silence.

I hung my lantern on the branch nearest to me, an amicable act of honesty, so they could see me from a distance. That is when I started to hear movement. Not the footsteps of a man, or the rustling of a human navigating through the trees, but the heavy breathing of a creature whose movements were not second nature.

The sound of a forced, strained motion came closer, but still I could not see a thing. Until the soft light of my lantern fell in severe angles across his face. A face which towered above the oak tree.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-2/

Day 80.

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We went down to the woods today, lost our disguise, got attacked by a mob of bears, but were fortunate enough to meet this kind souled cream furred fellow. We sunbathed together and he fed me burgers and hot dogs. #100happydays #day80