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Mslexia Flash

Sadly I didn't win the Mslexia Facebook Flash quickie but on the upside, I can now share my entry with y'all. Rules: 250 words on theme of 'opportunity' Tell me what you think in the comments below :-) When the posh white envelope landed importantly on the doormat I thought my dreams had come true. After months and months of trying and failing to find a job, here was an offer of one delivered direct. I took the job eagerly, despite not knowing much about it. But the money was unbelievable, and I was tired of living on cold beans and dry toast. My hunger for real food and proper coffee smothered the logical part of my brain; the part with concerns I should have listened to. I've been here a week and besides the gnarly old man who greeted me - and unbeknownst to me at the time, lock me in - I had seen no one. But I'd heard someone. A few someones to be exact. I've searched many times but found no one. Nor any traces of other people and that's what s

The Rain Looks Different in That City

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Another weekend, another city, another hotel. At first it had been exciting but as the weeks have turned to months, I've had enough. I'm bored of mini bars, bored of microwaved room service dinners, and so over airports. If I ever step foot in another one I think I'll go mad! At least the tour is nearly over. Just a handful more appearances and then home, NEVER publish a bestseller again. I don't mean that of course. I can't not write. It's the blood that pumps through my veins (and the daily vat of Starbucks). I just don't think I could go through this rigmarole again. A book tour of all the big cities and towns sounded like such an adventure. I'd see the sights, talk about my book, and get paid for it. Exciting, right?  At first, yes. But the novelty had worn off by the end of the 4th week.  I want to go home now. I want to see my husband, stroke my cat, and sit on the back deck with a cup of tea in MY mug.  I miss my life. This isn

Flash Fiction 1

I want to run but my brain has melted. Im pretty sure Im stuck to this spot. Im screaming inside my head for my body to move but its not doing anything helpful. Except drowning out the swishing footsteps moving towards me. Growing louder. And louder. I turn around as I hear the footsteps reach the landing behind me. I scream even louder at my body to move. I may even have screamed out loud but all i can hear is the blood whooshing in my ears. I feel hot and cold all at once.  He slows his pace as a wide devilish grin engulfs his face as he comes towards me.  I scream louder. And louder. And louder.  Nothing changes. I watch him get closer and closer and closer, until I can feel his coldness upon the back of my neck. a shiver runs down my spine and I feel myself falling. Falling. Quickly. Into darkness. My eyes flick open and I sit up, searching the gloom for him. But he’s nowhere to be seen.  It was another dream. Wiping the sweat from my brow, I settle back into t

My Writerly Intro

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I recently joined a new writing group and I had to introduce myself. Here it is: It's Christmas. I'm sitting at a smoked glass coffee table whilst my mum and dad are putting up Christmas lights. In front of me is one of those half ruled, half plain exercise books kids get in infant school. I am writing and illustrating a story about putting up Christmas decorations. I'm 5, maybe 6 years old. That's my first writing memory. I have been writing ever since. I'm 31 now.

It was me ...

It was me. I killed your dog. Why? Because it felt good when I killed that bird last week. I wanted to feel that intense exhilaration again. It's like having the most powerful full body orgasm you can ever imagine but without having to share the perfect pleasure with anyone else. (A paragraph prompt using 'it was me ', from Writers Assembled)

Heightening Observations #FLFiction

She sat by the window watching the rain drops runs down the pane, forming small puddles on the ledge outside. She felt tired and alone cooped up in her room instead of wandering freely as she wished. But the doctor had been clear in his advice: rest and keep disturbances to a minimum. The household had been forbidden to disturb Madame and all comings and goings must be kept silent until further notice. Attended to by a single maid and the rare visit by her husband, she had been kept a prisoner for over a week and she saw little chance of being released with still two long months to go. Her belly was uneasy. The small bundle inside of it squirming and squalling like a rough sea. She held back the urge to vomit as much as she could but some days it conquered her entirely. Sending her back to bed to sleep it away. Her long hair was unkempt and free, and her shift was soiled with sweat. Her maid had urged her to bathe earlier in the day, telling her she would feel better once clean, but th

Character Development: The Lady in the Red Dress

She is running.  Away from him. She must get away.  She fears her life now depends on it. Emily's did.  Her breath catches for a second at that thought, slowing her down slightly. Pushing through it she keeps running but with a tear in her eye and a pain in her heart. Emotional more than physical. Her long brown hair, set into ringlets, streams behind her. The late afternoon sun catching the bleached highlights bestowed upon her over the long hot summer. Her crimson silk gown is muddied at the hem, marring some of the beautiful blackwork embroidery, and her shoe heels are caked in mud and fallen leaves. Ugly to see but useful for grip. The diamond brooch at her throat bounces shafts of light off into the trees like a miniature firework display.  She moves quickly despite the weight of her heavily layered gown on her short frame. Her healthy build giving her the endurance to continue against the dress' gravitational pull. Her outdoorsy nature also helping her stay

News Bulletin

Currently working on a couple of short story submissions for some upcoming April deadlines (Erewash 'Animals' and Swanwick's Win the Week). I like the challenge of writing to a specific theme and keeping to a specific word length. Wish me luck :-) I am also gearing up for the start of Camp on April 1st. You can join my private cabin if you leave your Nano handle in the comments below - warning, there are only 15 places left so get in quick! I am also looking for local and county writing groups and meets in the Darlington/North east area, so if you know a good one, tell me about it in the comments below. Speak soon, and happy writing! Gemma

1 Fiction and 3 Facts

The lady of the house sat at the vast desk in her study, pen in hand and notebook open, both ready to record the words her imagination was concocting. The notebook was a soft brown leather and her pen was a beautiful black lacquer fountain juicy with the finest emerald green ink. The miniature version of herself in her mind was rambling through the landscape of ideas and thoughts, trying to locate the right words and phrases to create the most perfect passage of prose. But what is fact and what is fiction? :-)

1 Fact and 3 Fictions

The walls of the dining room were duck-egg blue and decorated with Chinese birds and flowers. The large leaded glass windows opened onto the back terrace, set high above expansive lawns and beautifully kept flower beds. The wooden grape-vine latticework above was broken in places. The carnage caused by the heavy feet of nosey prowling felines. The lady of the house took tea outside this window in the summer months every day at 3pm on the dot.

8 random words + 15 minutes ....

1. flute 2. defy 3. fluttering 4. cappuccino 5. defraud 6. dusty 7. bodyguard 8. dream I sip my cappuccino, gazing out of the window at a fluttering carrier bag caught on the phone lines above. Its stuck, like me. I was chasing a dream but that flame was extinguished quite quickly. Now all I have is a dusty vision of a glamourous life playing the flute for the philharmonic, which i will never live. I defy anyone to not give up when they get diagnosed with a terminal illness. I thought about just ending it all but there is a tiny part of me that wants to live dangerously all of a sudden. Tempt fate a little. Thats why i took this job. The danger. No one hires a bodyguard if theyre feelin' safe, right? The 'boss' is a prat and, to be honest, im not surprised people have been trying to rip him off left, right and centre. He's definitely one of the more-money-than-sense crew. I'm sure even a novice could defraud this muppet with a little planning. Maybe i s

So far the disease had cropped up in 5 different towns ...

... and the CDC had quietly quarantined Washington from the rest of the US. No flights, no cars, no pedestrians even, were allowed to cross the state line, either in or out. If Trump had built his wall here it would be doing some actual good.  Reports were coming in everyday of more people becoming infected but still there was no information about what it was, where it came from, or how to treat it. One minute you were you, and 5 days later all that remained of you was a puddle of thick black-blue ooze and 2 femur bones. For some reason these were left intact.  So far the towns affected were close together and the containement zone had stopped it from spreading further - for now at least. It helped that the sea ran along one side of the area affected. Less on-the-ground man power needed. A couple of Navy ships were all they needed. The powers that be want to keep this as hush hush as possible for as long as possible. Widespread panic always ends badly. I was sent from Seattle to

Under normal circumstances he would speak his mind, but, with a gun against his head ...

Under normal circumstances he would speak his mind, but, with a gun against his head ... ... and wearing nothing but a pair of now-soiled pants, he knew he wouldnt be able to talk himself out of this one. His smoothness had inadvertenly got him into this mess in the first place. The very willing red head he had picked up in the casino bar downstairs was not the quick and dirty fun he had been looking for. 'You have until that phone rings', she nodded towards the hotel phonel on the nightstand, 'to continue living.' Her voice, with that eastern European accent, still made his brain melt despite it issuing a death threat. A threat he knew by looking into her fiery green eyes she would action in a heartbeat. The gun may have taken away her softness but it hadnt taken away her sexiness, and despite the mess he was in he could still feel himself flickering to attention.  She sat on the end of the bed, the gun in her hand still levelled between his eyes. She didnt

He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw ...

(A Writing Forward prompt) He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw ...  ... his mother in law.  She was faffing with flowers on the end table. Massive blooms of pink and yellow. He didnt feel as happy as they looked. 'What are you doing here?' He demanded as he tossed his car keys onto the sideboard. 'I came to check on you.' She asserted. Her eyes were full of pity, not sadness. Her sturdy WASPy fa├žade masked everything else. Emotion was de rigeur. 'I dont need a babysitter! Go away!' He exclaimed, plodding into the kitchen with his clinking carrier bag. She followed him and watched as he filled a hi-ball with bourbon. No ice, no water. Straight up, and quickly straight down his gullet. He wiped his chin and poured another. Lorraine didnt say a word, she just watched him down the second. She reached into her handbag and pulled out a square of white card. She placed it on the kitchen counter and slid it a little t

A Single Red Rose (Part 1)

(Writer's Write Prompt) You come into work one morning and the dry erase board on your desk has a note on it that you didn't write. You assume it's a coworker friend so, just to amuse yourself, you respond to the note on the board with your own note. The next morning you come in and there's... A single red rose laying sweetly on your desk. You have definitely got an admirer, you think to yourself with a smile, but who? Ive known everyone in this office for years. You shrug off your coat, toss it onto the back of your chair before slumping down in it yourself. Its early. No one else ever gets in this early but its your most productive hour of the day. You pick up the rose and bring it to your nose, eyes closed. The smell is sweet and rich, but not the floral whiff you were expecting. There is a different smell. A strange smell. Like hot pennies in an excited childs hand at the arcade. Your eyes burst open, seeing for the first time the pool of red on the desk. Shiny