Prompt: The Interview (456 words)

“Now, how did you come to be here today?” Godfrey sat forward, elbows on knees with a broad, inviting smile. Dinah, his interviewee seemed nervous. Her voice quivered and her face shone with ruby coloured apprehension.

“I saw your advert in the paper. I thought you had a vacancy for a PA.”

“Oh I do. I have an opening, but it needs to be the right person. You do understand?” He waited for a nod of agreement before he spoke again. “I will require a level of dedication you may not have committed to before. I am a busy man and only the finest, most ardent allegiance will do. You understand?”

Dinah nodded but didn’t speak. Her body shook a little and Godfrey wondered if she were made of the right stuff to join his company. He waited in silence, hoping Dinah would feel compelled to fill it with speech. She twisted her hands and feet to an accompaniment of light squeaks from the chair and its bindings.

“I’m not sure I’m what you’re looking for,” she said. Her voice was quiet but firm. Godfrey gave a lop-sided grin and lifted a questioning eyebrow. She continued in a louder and more confident tone, “Forgive me for wasting your time. I must not waste any more of it.”

She attempted to stand, but her hands jolted her back into the seat. They were not only bound to each other but also to the back of the chair. She strained her wrists and ankles against the leather straps that held her in place. Her eyes, far from being wild with fear as they had been for most of the interview, were hard and determined. They narrowed and fixed upon Godfrey’s face.

With delight, Godfrey jumped up and clapped his hands together, binding the fingers. “Marvellous,” he said. He offered a hand to shake before remembering she was bound and unable to return the gesture. “Silly me,” he said, retracting his hand. “Dinah, I knew you had the spunk for this role. You’re a fighter.” Godfrey grinned and bounced on the balls of his feet, the nervous energy of the interview beginning to break free.

“Please,” Dinah said. “Please, let me go.” Tears began to spill from her eyes.

“My dear, I couldn’t imagine life without you.”

He took a gag from the back of her seat and placed it over her mouth. She tried to scream, but the gag performed well, as it had done many times before.

Another quality acquisition, thought Godfrey as he switched off the light and left the squirming woman in her cell. He would sleep well, revelling in the relationship to come and the eventual addition to his beautiful collection of personal assistants.


Writing prompt: Resignation

I felt resigned to my fate. I know. Living the cliche, right? But it’s still how I felt. There was no going back now. I had no choice but to meet this head on. Damn. More bloody cliches. I’m headed to the biggest moment of my life and I can’t even manage an original thought. What did it really matter though? At that point I had one direction, one goal, one ending. May as well take comfort in the small things, no time to stop and smell the roses, life is like a box of chocolates. I grinned at my foolishness and sighed. I couldn’t put this off any longer.

I stepped through the portal and into a tunnel of complete darkness. At regular intervals, flashes of light streaked by, momentarily blinding me with their brilliance. In the distance the darkness gave way to a gloom. The gloom gave way to a pale light that grew in size and brightness as I drew nearer.

The sight that met me in the brilliance at the other end of the tunnel, was indescribable. Almost nothing was visible because the light was so bright it washed away any edges or form. I tried to shade my eyes, but the light seemed to eminate from all around, and not from above as I was used to.
Movement drew my eye and I watched as a tall form emerged from the fluorescence.

“It’s been a while,” the form said.

“I never intended to return,” I answered. “But under the circumstances…”

“You were right to change your plans. You are needed here. You’re the only living member of your family and you must take the throne.”

I sighed, showing my displeasure at the news. “Even my baby sister?”

“All gone,” my companion said. “Our world is in chaos. We need you to guide us to peace once more.”

“Again? I know, I know, duty, loyalty, blah blah. I forgot how bloody bright it is here.”

NaNoWriMo writing prompt – just for fun

Write a paragraph of the very first thing that comes to your mind. No pausing to think, no perfect crafting, just write. One paragraph. Go.

The night was biting a viscous cold that gripped my chest as I breathed in and revealed my breath as I breathed out. I was surrounded by familiar streets but the pure white veneer of snow gave it a ghostly, surreal quality as I walked. I could hear the satisfying crunch of fresh snow under my feet but took no comfort in it that night. The glaring white blanket was not the only change to my oft trodden route. I could feel a heavy, foreboding presence as I walked that made me want to quicken my steps. I used crossing the street to hide my real intention as I looked about me, trying to discern the route of my unease. I could see nothing but the gleaming white snow covering the houses, gardens, pavement and road. I could see my footprints, showing the path I had taken through the night. The perfect, untouched snow before me and the footprints behind me. Two sets of footprints, not one. I had been the first to walk this way but apparently, not alone. I shuddered, from the cold I told myself but in truth it was a new cold; a deep fear gripping me tighter than the cold ever could.

Writing prompt – The headache throbbed, preventing me from thinking about anything besides the pain.

The headache throbbed, preventing me from thinking about anything besides the pain. A sudden, searing pain behind my left eye caused me to slam my hand to my eye and sharply inhale with the shock.

“You ok, man?” a passing youth asked me. I simply grunted and nodded, jerkily moving my head. The kid grimaced at me and moved away. Sweat poured down my forehead and into my eyes. I could feel it trickling down my spine and soaking my shirt. The sun’s intensity seemed to increase exponentially and I cowered from its glare. The kid was backing up now, no longer concerned for me but…for himself, perhaps.
“It’s a headache!” I tried to say but my words slurred so badly, that they were indecipherable. I remember thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me?” before collapsing on the ground. Above me stood the kid and a couple of other passers by. They all leaned over me, whispering between themselves, asking if I was okay. I wanted to scream, “Do I look okay?” But by this time all I could manage was dribble.
“Someone call an ambulance!”

Later, I woke in the hospital. I knew it was a hospital because I could hear those tell tale beeps of monitoring equipment and smell that awful, hospital smell. I tried to open my eyes but my lids were too heavy. I tried to lift an arm, a hand but I couldn’t. I guessed the drugs were not worn off enough to allow me to move yet.
“Are you sure there’s nothing?” I heard my wife ask, and could hear the pain in her voice. I tried again to move, to reach out and comfort her, comfort me, but I still couldn’t move.
“I’m sorry,” another voice said, the doctor perhaps? “That was the final test. There’s nothing.”
I listened intently, wanting to know why my wife was so upset. Had it been a stroke? Had I lost brain cells? What would I do if I woke up to a lop-sided face and a permanent drunken slur? What would my life be like? What if it was more serious? What if I had suffered some paralysis?
“… now then.”
I had stopped listening, panicking about my condition and missed what was being said. I berated myself for being so stupid.
“I love you, Mike. I’ll always love you.”
“I love you too.” I thought to her. “It’s okay, well face this together. We’ll be okay. You’ll see.”
I desperately wanted to comfort my wife. She sounded distraught and my arms itches to hold her but the damned drugs still wouldn’t release me.
“Goodbye my love,” she said, obviously leaving for the day. “Goodbye. I’m so sorry. I’d only I had been there. I don’t want you to leave me.” She was crying now and I could feel her head and shaking shoulders on my chest.
“It’s alright, baby,” I thought to her. “You can stay a little longer, they won’t mind if…wait…what? Why me? Why would I be going? Where am I going? What’s going on?”
She continued to cry but abruptly I felt her move away and heard her whisper, “All right. You can do it now.”
“Do what? What?”
I was panicked now? I had no idea what was going on but I was starting to feel fear. I began to feel breathless and somehow, I vaguely noticed the incessant beeping had stopped. My breathing grew more laboured and shallow and in the distance I could hear my wife’s crying. I thought I felt her hand on my had but such a feather light touch that I want sure if I had imagined it. The hospital sounds and smells grew dim and I had a sense of sinking, slowly into an abyss. It was dark and cold and I felt far from home, far from the live off my life. And then it finally dawned on me. I was dying. She had let them turn off the…

Writing prompt – The horse stamped,

The horse stamped, the shoes on his hooves scraping the concrete of the stable. He shook his head and snorted, showing his agitation as one of the men opened the stable door and approached, head collar in hand. He pawed the ground, backing to the rear of his confinement, violently shaking his head and reading up in fear.
“Come on, you stupid animal!” The man with the head collar growled. The other man joined him and together they backed the house into the far corner and grabbed his head. He tried to rear, pull his head from their grip but they were strong, and practiced. They forced the head collar on and pulled on it. He pulled his head back once more but as one man pulled, the other pushed from behind. Struggling, the three combatants excited the stable to find a tiny, old woman standing outside, shotgun pointed at the man pulling the horse. With a deafening crack, the old woman pulled the trigger and the hit the thief squarely in his chest. The horse screamed and bucked violently, frightened by the noise and the sudden backwards flight of the man he didn’t trust. His hooves connected with the head of the second man who, in total ignorance, was still pushing on the houses hind quarters. Even over the screams of the horse, the old woman could hear the crack of the man’s scull against the iron shoe of the powerful horse’s hind leg. Talking quietly, the old woman reached out to calm the horse.
“It’s alright now, Duke. They won’t bother you again.”

Writing prompt – Picture prompt

The crisp, sharpness of the cold air hurt my lungs as I breathed deep. I stared at the building that had once been my home. The snow crunched beneath my feet as I carefully walked towards the boarded up cottage. No-one would buy it. We, or rather our solicitors, had tried tirelessly to sell the damned thing but despite dropping the price to half its value, there was not one person willing to take it off our hands. In the distance I could hear the rumble of large vehicles and I knew the demolition crew were arriving. I watched, numb, as the vehicles tore the building apart. The large grey ball swinging and hitting the house, like some bizarre game. Thunderous crashes, groans and clatters could be heard over the roaring engines as my house, my home, was raised to the ground. I turned away, not wanting to see the rest.
“Good riddance,” I growled and walked away, not once looking back to that place of evil.

Writing Prompt – Carlos Kleiber -Beethoven symphony No.7, Op.92 : mov.4

Beethoven symphony No.7, Op.92 : mov.4

 He sat in the library, the roaring fire spitting into the guard. Beethoven’s 7th was playing on the gramophone and he began to conduct the frenetic orchestra. His arms flew with the music, pointing at his imagined orchestra to bring in new instruments.
“Father,” his son spoke from the open doorway. “Father, can you hear me?”
The man continued to conduct, apparently oblivious to his son’s presence. The younger man, the son, moved further into the room, towards the seat in which his father reveled. Pulling a small pistol from his pocket, the son grimaced as he starred at the back of his father’s head.
“Don’t ignore me, father,” he said, a warning tone in his voice. “I won’t have you ignore me, father!”
He cocked his pistol and pointed it at the back off his father’s head. His hand shook as he aimed, rage building. The music continued and grew in volume and intensity and seemed to hide the sound of the explosion of the gun. Shock froze the younger man’s face. His hands dropped to his side’s, the gun slipping from his fingers. He could see his father, finally turned to face him, looking into his eyes. The back of the older man’s chair had a large, charred hole, revealing his in tact body and double barreled shot gun pointing straight through the hole. The younger man looked down to where his father’s gun was pointing, at his own body, and saw a similar hole. That seemed to trigger something in the younger man and, as if only just realising his injury, he fell to the floor. He saw his father round the chair and step towards him. His house shoes soft, making no sound, especially over the music. He looked up to his father’s face and saw a cold stare.
“I’ve told you before, you would need to be smarter than that. You don’t deserve my death at your hands, child. You should have been smarter.”
The still living, older man, returned to his chair and his music and his wife’s screams penetrated the orchestra’s work. He smiled, knowing his reign was once again safe, at least until his younger son was old enough to challenge him.

Writing prompt – The land grew colder

The land grew colder and I knew it was time. I had to get this damned grave dug before the freeze. He was still causing me pain even after his death! I wrestled with my thoughts.

I HATE HIM! Maybe I should just leave him out here for the birds and the foxes? Nah, he’d only poison them. I better bury him. Damn it! Procrastination is not my friend.

“What happened?” his voice broke my internal tirade. “Help me.”

‘DAMN IT! How the hell is he still alive?

“I thought you were dead!” I said. I used my shovel to finish the job before digging the hole to dump him in.

Who’s that mutant? competition winner

Another winning entry for me at the Flash It! anthology launch party. This time I won a signed copy of this fabulous book by the brilliant, Anthony Hulse.

The Eternal Chain

The competition was to think up a character for this mutant;

Anthony Hulse competition

This is Incognito. He can stop you from being able to see him. His mind control is not limited to his own invisibility. He can include others close to him.

Prize winning flash!

At the recent launch party for the Flash It! anthology I won a signed copy of G. T. Lines’ A Woman Scarred. This is a fabulous fantasy novel by a great writer.

A Woman Scarred

So, the competition was to write a story, in less than 150 words, about this picture:

Gary Lines competition

She crouched in the graveyard to catch her breath. She didn’t have long before he caught up to her, so she forced herself up and running once more. He was angrier than she had ever seen him. His face had turned from scarlet to white with rage. She was sorry. She shouldn’t have done it, but he wouldn’t listen. He hit her, hard and knocked her down. Despite the pounding in her head, she mustered the strength to grab a rock and hit him. That gave her the head start she needed. But now she could hear the crashing of brush as he closed in.
“You shouldn’t have hurt my dog!”
“I’m sorry!” she said.
“Too late!” He smashed her over the head with the same rock she had used. Then turned and headed home to check on his dog.