Literary Lion. Happy Feet.

Bonsoir my lovely literary wizards. This week the lion has two pairs of pirouetting paws…

The word is ‘Dance’.

You have seven days to tell your dance inspired tales, in 400 words or less. As always, Pingback to this post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all see your story in the WP reader, and don’t forget to holler via Instagram and twitter.

Here is my tale of happy feet…

IMG_6517

The Audition.

The red door stood stark against a street of black counterparts. It was the exact shade of the virtual lipstick signature that sat at the end of the email she’d sent.

She called herself Darling.

I leant towards the lacquered wood and heard only space behind it. I glanced again at the piece of paper in my hand. There was no sign on the door and no number, just the potted topiary trees that she had described when she’d called to tell me to come to the audition. That word carried a certain chesty self-assurance.

I had told my friends I was going for an interview.

I knocked. The door swung inwards, revealing a dark hallway lined with leather cubes. Each foam filled box had a girl balanced on top. One sat empty and uninviting in the corner.

My heels ticked across the slate floor as I edged around the door. It was latched behind me by a man dressed in a suit that hugged his broad shoulders as though it was clinging on for life. I smiled in greeting but he remained mute and expressionless.

The hallway stood as silent as the void I had heard from the other side. My stomach growled in protest of my liquid caffeine breakfast. A girl with bleached yellow hair leered at my waist.

I should have had another cigarette.

By the time I’d been in London for a month I had convinced myself I was anaemic. Certain that my countryside reared blood couldn’t fuel my body in the way it did every other Londoner’s, I would chew on Pro Plus tablets with droopy eyes and a languid brain that had forgotten to swallow. I could still taste the morning’s dose; the bitterness had bonded with my taste buds as the coagulated powder sifted down my oesophagus unwillingly.

I heard her imminent entrance. The straightening of their backs and the fluffing of their locks told me that they had heard too. We stood to attention as she greeted us, her set of ghost white porcelain teeth flicking out from between rouged lips.

She marched us down the stairs and into a low-lit room cocooned beneath the city. A chequered floor stood at the centre, surrounded by tufted red velvet booths, each of which tilted towards a mirrored pole that stood at the helm.

 

giphy-5

Advertisements

Literary Lion. Dirty Laundry.

This past week has been packed with tales of time, but now to a new prompt, and the lion is thirsty…

This week’s word is ‘water‘.

You have seven days to pen a piece of 400 words or less. Pingback to this post to ensure I can see your post, include the tag ‘Literary Lion’ so we can all see it in the WP reader, and don’t forget to yell at me on Instagram and twitter.

Here is my H2O inspired fiction…

IMG_6484

 

Dirty Laundry.

The bell on the launderette door chinked as the man in the suit slinked inside. He was smartly dressed to the most meticulous detail; his cufflinks polished, the pleats of his trousers crisp, his finely crafted Saville Row suit not the kind one might usually see in a place such as this.

As he proceeded towards the corner of the room, his presence raised several eyebrows from the bodies going about their humdrum routines. He rested his attaché case on the washer and opened it; the mechanical clatter echoed throughout the room while his back disguised what he wanted only his eyes to see.

Gingerly he lifted an item of clothing from the case, while stealing a look behind him to see who was watching. Everyone. The regular visitors to this launderette were intrigued by this alien presence and they had no shame in displaying their inherent nosiness with their indiscreet eyeballing. He contemplated for a moment walking away, finding an alternative and imagining their stares if he were to do so. He predicted their hurried whispers as soon as his foot touched the path outside. Instead, he remained resilient, determined to do what was required and leave without a trace.

He jerked the washing machine open, hurriedly placed his garment inside and shut the door on what he no longer wished to see. He pulled a small sachet of powder from his case, poured it into the draw and took two pounds from his pocket and slid them into the coin slot.

After selecting the hottest cycle, he watched the water begin to drain into the drum and wondered if it would be enough to wash away the evidence of his sins.

 

 

 

giphy-4

 

Literary Lion. King.

 

Last week’s challenge saw many tales of merrymaking, while this week’s Literary Lion prompt is as regal as it can be. The word is “king”.

You have seven days to create a flash fiction story in 400 words or less. Include the tag ‘Literary Lion’, pingback to this post, give me a mention on twitter and Instagram so I can share the words and have a browse of each other’s tales in the WordPress reader.

For my tale I looked to the animal’s kingdom’s royal lineage, and to the planet’s original crown-wearer…

IMG_6306

King.

I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe…

Mists hovering above flooded grounds, ripples rolling away from every footstep, trees soaring taller than I and into the sky to touch clouds. I’ve seen olive eyes peering up from within muddy pools, the wings of reptiles flicking between branches of feathery leaves. I’ve seen lizards clutching with claws to the trunks of trees, but over them I reigned, their Tyrant Lizard King.

I’ve seen an entire realm of kings; hundreds of pairs of eyes on the crown, steely in our stare from the second we felt the sultry air for the very first time.

And now I see you, human. You with your inquisitive eyes, you with your unenthusiastic frown, and even you with your expression of awe, just like the one who first saw me, the one who gave me his name. 65 million years underground and now again I stand tall, your Tyrant Lizard King.

 

 

giphy-2

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.

tumblr_ngwzri2omG1u0zzozo1_400

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‘.

IMG_5962

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.

 

nnpt2

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‘.

IMG_5841

 

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

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‘.

IMG_5681

 

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.

 

giphy-9

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‘.

2.intothewoods

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.

 

giphy-7

Roar. Calling all my fellow writers…

IMG_4930

There are many animals strewn across my abode. None of them are actually in the land of the living, but until the day the boy and I commit to a feline sidekick, I am muddling through with the inanimate creatures of the interior decor kingdom.

The above lion jar is a typical Laura find. He’s probably supposed to guard biscuits or some other sugar-infused confectionary, but instead he is a warden of words. He is also the inspiration for a new feature I am launching today, Literary Lion.

Whenever someone visits my living quarters they are presented with a collection of rainbow-hued paper strips, upon which they must write a word, a sentence or a saying, and then throw it to the lion’s den: the little glass jar.

After several visitors, here sits a container filled with prompts for when the ideas have dried out and the day looks stale, in other words, it is my writer’s back-up.

Every Wednesday I shall delve into the lion guarded pot, and after penning a piece inspired by the coloured strip of paper, I shall publish my flash fiction story here on ismithwords.com.

Then, and here comes the exciting bit, I shall be throwing down the gauntlet and challenging any of my fellow wordsmiths to take on the story prompt themselves. You can interpret the theme as you wish, as long as you keep it short, under 400 words, and remember to pingback to the challenge so I can see it.

Click here to see the latest line of challenges.

Good luck, and may the wordsmith gods smile on you.

giphy

Who’s Bad?

IMG_4877

You may have noticed my dwindling words over the past few months, and for that I have slapped myself on the wrist many times, so much so that my writer’s hand has almost suffered an injury.

For this reason, I have henceforth decided that the time has come to give my blogging habits an overhaul.

The rather lengthy lauragabriellefeasey.wordpress.com has now become ismithwords.com, and in celebration of this brevity, I am launching an exciting new flash fiction feature tomorrow.

The Monday Muse shall be back in full force next week, with The Hemingway Day returning amidst a flurry of six words on Friday. The Confessions of a Shop Assistant series shall also be making an appearance – warts and all – once a month too.

Here’s hoping that the words to come will make up for the recent silence.

Laura.

whosbad4