Would You?

On a starry evening, have you ever been alone in the garden,

Past the roses and the sweet peas and down to the very far corner,

Where the arms of a tree bend over so, and underneath is guarded,

Would you be able to smell the daisies, that wove a fragile carpet?

I’m sure I heard a melody, or a delicate tiny whisper,

As I bent my head and kneeled, and listened a little bit closer,

I heard it louder then, the laughter the music the dancing,

Would you be able to take a look, without ever asking?

I saw a beautiful fairy, with an angel voice she sings,

With curls of moonlit stardust and golden gilded wings,

Eyes of deep forgotten blue and creamy silken cheeks,

Would you be able to ask her then, of what it is she speaks?

Threads of sparkling crystal, that shimmied in the moonlight,

Like a hundred tiny spiders’ webs that were woven through the night,

I saw her turn and say my name; I held my breath so still,

Would you be able to face her then, and be denied free will?

I felt the blaze that scorched,and burned, beneath my very soul,

I swallowed hard and closed my eyes, and felt her lullaby fall,

It swept a path across my heart, and there it burned her name,

Would you be able to tell her then, you felt the very same?

Life is a Stage.

stockfresh_408856_vertical-stage-drapes-with-spot-light_sizeXS“This must be the worst gig ever” Jenny said to herself, stabbing another pencil into the desk top sharpener. She held the button down forcefully and the blades kicked in. She waited.  Six other pencils, already lethally tipped, were symmetrical lined across the counter.  She was stuck in this hell hole all summer thanks to her love affair with some Louis Vuittons and casting agents who didn’t know talent when they saw it. Well actually, the butt kick from her mother and her dad’s near fatal heart attack over his credit card bill had forced her into signing on with the employment agency. She tried to wail. She’d stropped. She’d slammed every door and gone back and slammed them again. She’d pulled off the performance of her life with the sudden flow of tears, the anguished howls and almost painful shoulder jerking. Her dad had just looked at her mother, hoisted an eyebrow and gone back to his office, out of earshot.

The sound of a door opening made her look up. She scowled and checked the appointment book, Edgar & Edna Smith, 3.30pm. She plucked out some gloves from a box on the desk. They paid a fortune for hand doubles, she couldn’t be too careful.

Edgar hadn’t mentioned the appointment to her. There was no point, she’d only get herself worked up and he didn’t want her fretting. He hated when she got herself upset, he always had. Edna cried at everything, emotional pearl drops that marked an occasion. She’d cried at the station before he shipped off. She cried at the letters he wrote from the front. He hadn’t told her it all. Not of the blood and the horror or the bodies that were maimed and broken in two. She’d cried when the children came. Then she’d cried at each stage of life that they grew. She’d cried when the youngest was taken and killed, and when she looked at his body on the cold marble slab. She didn’t know Edgar had cried then too. She’d cried when the cancer came and disfigured her body. She would always be beautiful to him. He’d cried on his own when she got the all clear. It was hard to admit things were really so bad but the dementia was stealing her quicker than they thought. He had to be strong and do what was best.

It was 4 ‘o’ clock when the old couple left. Jenny was muttering about boring old people and them not knowing about life, as the tannoy rang out ‘Susan Malone’. Jenny looked across at the middle aged women in the plain navy skirt. I bet she’s a school teacher, has 17 cats and thinks a bikini wax is bottled by sunbathing beekeepers. Jenny sharpened another pencil.

Susan swallowed down the acid burning in her throat. She’d already sat in the car for half an hour outside, trying to hold onto the tiny bit of courage she still had. She only ever had little bits of courage. She wished she’d had the courage to tell Paul it was his fault he hadn’t got the job, when he’d hit her that first time. Or the courage to tell him that the other driver was right when he’d broken three of her ribs when they got home that night. If only she’d had the courage to say it was his fault when he spent all the money on the casino online. That was the night she lost the baby she carried, he pushed her from the top step and she couldn’t hold on. She wished she’d had the courage to tell him to go when the other woman’s husband barged through the front door. But today she was going to hold onto that courage, she had to. She needed the jabs for the trip she was planning, her new life with Brian. She wouldn’t need courage to tell Paul she was going, she’d just leave a note and her wedding ring on the table.

Jenny flipped off the computer when the school teacher left. She scrapped the last flecks of lead shrapnel into the bin and reached for the glossy mag she’d been reading all day. She didn’t notice the bold font tagline that read ‘Life is a stage and we all play a part’.

Photo from : jackiewalker.me

A Little Bit Of Something New (Well it’s new for me anyway)

Well, I am trying something else new. I’m a great believer in trying everything once, but in the words of the mighty MeatLoaf  “I won’t do that”….

I had a request from someone who wanted to do a podcast with one of my stories, you can listen to it here and it got me thinking. I’ve got into trouble before for thinking so try to avoid it as often as I can.   But then relented after a glass or two of wine and thought why not.

Excuse the quality – a mobile phone, a couple of glasses of red, a bag of M & M’s and a dire northern accent don’t make for a great recording….

Nobody Saw & Nobody Knew –

He Glanced at His Watch Impatiently 

Nobody Saw and Nobody Knew

I sat and I watched and I played my part well,

I walked a thin line, but no one could tell.

For nobody saw and nobody knew,

The nod and the smile that were given on cue.

I filled my glass, more times than I should,

And let the elixir erase all it could.

The wispy clean white and the oak bloodied red,

Never mix your berry, isn’t that what they said.

You looked across and she reached for your hand,

The touch of your skin, like a seal or a brand.

I picked up my glass and whispered a kiss,

Nobody knew, so they saw no remiss.

I drowned in the liquid, and it ignited my sorrow,

I knew it was her you would wake with tomorrow.

She’d breath in your scent and feast on your power,

And you’d love her again in the early morning hour.

I knew it was wrong when I opened the door,

It grew ever stronger, I didn’t care anymore.

I pushed my foot harder, the wind in my face,

I missed a green light, the speed my embrace.

Another green light that flickered to red,

It would soon all be over, would he know I was dead.

No choice but to cull………..

photo-competition-winner-octoberI thought I’d take the bull by the horns and submit some of my stories and some poems for a couple of competitions. While there being considered, rules state they must not appear anywhere else, even a personal blog.

I’m really not sure why I’ve done it. There’s probably more chance of me meeting Brad Pitt in the toilets in Subway, than having a shot at winning,  but I thought what the hell.  Plus empty pages should spur me on to keep writing, although jeans that don’t fit should spur me on with the diet, but they don’t!

Thank you so much for all the brilliant comments people had made on the posts, in fact it’s all your fault that they’ve gone. Stretching my ego had bugger all to do with it..

I’ve only been seriously updating the blog the last 4 weeks or so and have had a non-fiction piece being serialised in totally4women, two shorts being published in an Anthology coming out in September, been declared link of the week on the Dead Homer Society, had a story featured on http://tipsylit.com/ and one on Austen in August . So chuffed is a little understated.

Here’s to September being more of the same.  Or else my names not Claudia Schiffer, oh hang on, what’s that you say? It’s not, Oh damn……………


Daddy has a Secret!

This weeks 100 word flash fiction photo prompt for the fabulous Friday Fictioneers. Photo by Dawn M Miller

ff39-dawn-m-millerI came here with Daddy, it was a secret he said.  He looked in the cases for a very long time, then picked something shiny in a red velvet box. I told Mummy about the red velvet box. She smiled.  On Mummy’s birthday, Daddy gave her a scarf. She didn’t smile then. Mummy’s sister has a shiny new locket and Daddy doesn’t live at home anymore. I don’t like it when Mummy cries all the time, but I know what to do. I’ll hide here a while and perhaps he’ll come back. I can tell him that Mummy didn’t like her new scarf.

Day 30 – The Ice Globe


For more years than anyone could ever remember, the scene had never once changed. Or so it was always believed. Inside a small bevelled dome, rising high towards the stars was a town encased in glass, forever in winter. Little coloured buildings, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker all covered in a white cotton snowfall, no sun would ever thaw.

Where tiny flecks of glitter would shimmy and sparkle off reflective white ice. Tiny painted windows, and coloured glass panes, illuminated the houses for curious wide eyes. Children in mittens and scarves tightly wrapped, run through a carpet of powdered white grass. A boy with a snowball in his tiny clasped hand looks to another and plans his attack. Three little girls, in loose woollen hats, roll a large ball across to the flat. Two clumps of coal and a carrot lay close, waiting to awaken the snowman, we suppose.

A woman in grey, with a thick woven shawl stands by a window and studies its wairs. Inside the shop a little toy train track follows the curve of the glass fronted bay. A shiny black carriage is stalled at the station. The face of the woman is held in refrain, hope and despair are pained in her eyes. Christmas is coming and no money to spare; she could never buy the present she knew that he craved.

A pair of young lovers in an open top carriage steer a clear passage through a trail of white velvet. Their hands are entwined and hidden from view. A ring in his pocket, he would propose, she knew. Up to the church, that sits on a hill, a tower and a steeple, and a bell in pure gold. Their secret would out and all would be told.

A white haired old lady sits by her bed; her gnarly thin fingers show the life that she’s led. She holds the globe tightly, against her weak chest.  Her ruby red slippers on over-puffed feet tap to a melody that plays in her head. It was her time to go, she knew it was so. A long life of plenty, now the curtain must fall. As she closed her eyes slowly and breathed her last breath, with the glass covered globe still held to her chest.

Her family held a yard sale not many years later and a small girl of eight with moonlight coloured curls picked up the globe and held it real close. Every night before bed she would look at the scene and whisper her stories to the people inside. She loved all the people, the children and the shops. But her favourite part of all was the smiling young lady with the ruby red slippers. She danced in the snow and smiled just for her.

The Spirit of Mystery – Day 28 Prompt / The Sea

The Spirit of Mystery anchors off the Cornish coast. It’s a little after dusk on a warm summer’s eve. A lone mount navigates the narrow pathway that snakes around the cliffs. The wind is low and the determined tap of iron shod hooves carries over the loosely packed stones to the cove below. The small band of smugglers cast a nervous eye from the hidden opening of the cave to the cliff face above. Red Nose Riley, aptly named thanks to his 30 year love affair with a certain Caribbean elixir, speaks to the young man at his side,

“Blayne would have my bloody tanned hide if we don’t get this lot out a sight”

The young man nods and motions a silent gesture towards the men. Making quick work of the booty, boxes are lifted, crates are dragged sideways and the group disappear into the hidden opening, leaving nothing but a trail of fine shingle to be quickly washed over by the rising tide.

At the far side of the cliff, the determined rider steers the horse along the winding trail, shuddering in the dampness and the cold that’s whipping in the air from the sea spray below. A loose fitting hood shields the rider’s face as a dark, heavily woven cloak billows behind and envelopes almost a third of the majestic looking stallion. Most knew the path as treacherous, and many a man and even a few hysterical women have fallen to their deaths, splayed in a blooded heap on the ground below. Unless you knew the curves of the cliff, like you would the fine seam of a glove, it was nigh on impossible to use. Fortunately Ebony Treblayne was as good a seamstress as she was a rider and steered the horse faultlessly down the perilous descent.

Ebony had watched for the ship these last 3 weeks. There had been no news in town and that was surely a good sign. The towns along the coast all carried shipping reports as eagerly as they did news from the crown. No wrecks had been reported within 30 miles of this section of inhospitable coast and the custom guard were still filling the taverns coffers as regularly as ever. When the signal had finally come last night Ebony had been as suspicious as ever. The whisper trail was open to danger, and whispers often got into the wrong ears.

She’d buried herself in her father’s library after supper. Mrs Winstanley the housekeeper, thought nothing amiss. Ebony was as intelligent as she was beautiful and it was her alone who had fought to keep the estate running when her father passed. Most of the staff knew she spent many an evening locked away, reading through her father’s papers; studying farming techniques and crop rotations. Yet, as the library was to the back of the house, facing the sea, nobody saw the burning lantern ensconced on the sill or found the hidden drawer in the mahogany writing desk that held various maps and charts. God forbid they found the latest cargo reports from the crown owned shipping companies in Portsmouth that she had hidden away. Tonight Ebony had sat by the window, a glass of whiskey in one hand and her father’s trusty spy glass in the other, waiting for the ship to anchor.

Ebony quickly dismounted, and walked the horse to a small cluster of trees hidden from above by a projecting cliff ledge and secured the reins. She consciously scanned behind her and raised her eyes to the cliff face above, nothing. Following the shingle by the cave edge she walked around till she came to the hidden opening.  Large stone boulders, 6ft across, blocked the gap, and overlapped in such a way to look as if the hole was completely sealed. It wasn’t until you were stood right in front that you could actually see the gaps between. Ebony followed the hidden path, as she had a hundred times before. Coming out into a vast open chasm, blazing wooden torches secured to the rock face illuminated the hoard that was stashed inside.  Red Nose Riley, watched her enter and quickly stood, swiping a trail of rum from his grizzly red beard.

“Gods splinter, they nearly got us this time” he cursed across the crates and boxes littering the space.

Ebony raised an eyebrow and tried to stop the corner of her mouth rising into a smirk.

“Riley, am I not always right, did you not think I would be” she questioned the towering pirate as she opened her cloak and let it fall against one of the opened crates.

Without the cover of her cloak, Red Nose Riley could see the two brass flintlocks laced across her hips. He coughed, trying to hold down the tension rising in his gut. He shifted uncomfortably on his stout squat legs and lowered his eyes from Ebony’s steely glaze.

“If your questioning my lead Riley, show it now you rotten toothed son of a bitch” Riley gulped and looked across at the others. Fear etched in their eyes as well as his.

“Now Blayne, you know I’m only jesting, I’d never run with them there custom guards” his choked laughter sounding flat against the echo in the cave.

Bang! Bang!  Two shots went through his belly and ricocheted off the cavern walls behind. His body fell with a thud, face down. Ebony blew on one flintlock then the other, calmly put them back in her belt and walked over the dead pirate’s body towards the others.

“Right lads, get to work, we’re in for a long night” she said to the small group of smugglers, who stood wide eyed and awe struck in the face of Blaine the Black, the most feared pirate this side of Christendom.

The White Lady

My 100 word piece for this weeks fab Flash Fictioneers photo prompt. Photo by Claire Fuller.


The white lady watches from atop an old stone coffin alongside the porch. When the black veil of dusk shadows the earth she wakens and walks, searching in vain. She gave birth in the church yard, alone and afraid and died at the hands of men never known. Her young body was found with a rope around her neck and a small woollen blanket lay empty at her side. The child was never found, some say it was gypsies who stole the babe away and others say her family buried their shame. Yet she searches every night for the child that she lost.

Day 24 Prompt – A Future with the Simpsons

Simpsons_couch-1- (1)Write a story that takes place 100 years in the future.  This is just a bit of silliness, because that’s the way today is rolling. 

When the sun had stopped raging and the waters had fallen back to the seas, there was nothing left on earth but the scorched corpses of a people lost for ever. It was many moons later , when sheltering from a sun storm,  a small group of nomadic aliens had landed on earth. The group had stayed and vowed to make it their home. They had found a book, buried beneath the rubble, in heavy gold font they read the words ‘SCRIPT’ and assumed it must be the bible of the ancients.  A small reel of film was untouched by the ravages and lay hidden in a silver box beneath the holy book. Using a transponder screen they were able to view it. These were the only images left of the ancients that had perished. The small people were in charge, far cleverer than the oldies. If this is how the ancients lived then let it be so they had vowed……………

Lisa pulled the visor down, scan checked her iris over the destination screen and blinked in the acceptance code. She plopped herself back against the seat and tried to relax. She’d had a headache all day and it was only getting worse. When she was sworn in as president, she knew it wasn’t going to be easy. At eight she was already considered a risk for the presidency, a little too old and stuck in her ways. Plus her dubious family connections were against her. Never the less, once all the do nuts were counted she’d won the election by a jam slide. She only had a few years before she would be sectioned to the retirement castle with the oldies and she was damn sure she would make her mark first. She knew she was named after one of the ancients for a reason, and this was it.

The monobus lifted suddenly, she felt the thundering build-up of pressure in the engines as it quickly hit light speed and lurched to the side juddering free of the docking rail.  She hated the crude G-Force shields on the public transporters but her own hub was still in the shop, the second time this month. She closed her eyes against the static sweeping over the visor screen and tapped it a couple of times to try and clear it. Nothing. “Damn radiation storms again”, she mouthed checking the sax case was still locked and pushing it back behind her legs on the floor.

In another part of town, in the old section of Springfield underneath the crumbling nuclear plant, a ragged band of rebels were meeting in secret. The Government police force, the Cyclops, were staggered across various buildings opposite. One eye focused on the door way ready to laser anyone who left. The latest shoot to kill policy was a swift kick in the butt to the rising rebellion. ‘B’ gripped his replicator and tapped in an order for food. He was too hungry to think straight and needed a grease hit to kick start his cholesterol level. It was already dangerously low and his heart rate was very nearly close to normal already, damn he needed grease, and quick.

The black market burger trade was thriving in the old town. Rat, squirrel, snake, you could get it all, thanks to the illegal Milhouse replicators. The government had banned them nions ago but if you had the where with all they were easy enough to pick up. B inhaled the congealed liquid that soaked his glove; he breathed in and sighed against the heady aroma of forbidden meat. He devoured the Krusty burger whole and felt the buzz seeping into his blood stream. His heart shuddered in his chest, he lost a beat, his skin went clammy and he staggered back unsteady on his feet.  He fisted his hand and threw it in the air yelling out “Eat my Shorts” as a grease spot splattered on his shirt.

He looked across the crumbled ruins sensing the tension rising in the group. The lego bricks were strewn all over the stoned flooring and Major Nelson was struggling with the large war plan laid across the makeshift table. He’d make a mark, position some men then use the wet cloth to wipe them off the aqua mat and start again. B’s baby sister was sat in the corner, rocking on her knees. She was sucking a large sugar coated dummy, savouring her fix; she was an addict and always had been. He looked across at her but she was already high, the heady dose of sugar already hitting her pupils. He was worried about her. He kept it to himself. He had to.

Above ground, in the church of the Sacred Kwik-E-Mart, the head of Homer the Weird was already animated and booming to the crowds. The aisles were quickly filling up for Sunday service and the air was buzzing with the latest propaganda pop-up tarts that had been handed out all over town. The real rebellion was underway. With the government busy chasing B and his 2 foot rebels the oldies had started to meet en mass. For years, a select band of grown-ups had been secretly studying the ancient texts and the small reel of film from before the ‘Great Big Bang’. Things were about to change……………………