A Macabre Writing Challenge

On my Writer’s HQ course that I’m currently doing, there is a recurring theme of “just get writing”.   So I revisited my lovely Writing Challenge app which does exactly the same thing, and here’s what came out this time.  

It’s slightly macabre – I wonder what is going on in my head sometimes! I suppose this is what happens when you switch off the planning and switch on the writing.

***  

He returned to the cemetery to finish what he started. It wasn’t a pleasant job but he had begun and you should finish what you began. He flew in with his cape flapping in the wind. He landed with a gentle whoosh as his cape billowed out around him like a black jellyfish.

“I don’t want to leave it like this, I must make it right,” he muttered to himself as he gathered himself together. He looked around the cemetery to hunt out what he needed. Graveyards held no fear for him. He rather feared the living more than the dead! There was no magic about him – he may look like a magician, but he was all about the hard work rather than swishing a wand and making it all disappear. The burial had been a work of art! A headstone, flowers, candles, fireworks – the lot. But the magic was gone. They had buried the wrong thing.

He peered into the chapel to make sure the chaplain had gone to bed, grabbed his shovel from the coal shed and headed over to Persephone’s headstone. He jumped over the fence which had been erected to protect her and knelt down in the wet grass. He felt around the headstone and to the right was a soft mound of earth. His beloved Persephone would remain safe and sound but he needed her accomplice, and she had been buried with Persephone.

“You have changed my love,” he crooned. “What did we do to you?” He brushed the earth from her small round face and blew over her in a figure of eight. “What did we do to you?” As the breath revived her and she took her first breath in two days all he could think was that she looked so tired. 

***

The Boy and his Bass

The boy and his bass 

I wrote this after a gig – it struck me that musicians have a special relationship with their instruments.

He held her in a loving embrace.  She was taller than him by a good few inches and leant back into his shoulder nestling into his neck.  They curled elegantly around each other.  He tweaked and played with her, stroked her neck, slapped her side.  The crowd were transfixed.  They felt like they had stumbled upon an intimate moment.  The rest of the musicians were oblivious – they each had their own love affairs going on.   The beat picked up and the slapping continued.  The audience roared its approval.

Musicians and their instruments

Musicians and their instruments

As the set carried on the music rocked and rolled and rocked again to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.  The boy leant in close to his double bass in the slow numbers and murmured into her neck and flung her out with a spin when the beat quickened.

The finale saw a majestic pirouette then as quickly as the boy had been to stroke and caress his bass, he let her go and lay her down on the sticky pub floor. 

The boy’s girlfriend came up to help clear up.  She held the double bass’s cover up to throw over its’ head.  The boy took it from her hands, kissed his girl on the cheek and said, “I’ll do that,” and lovingly tucked his bass away. 

His girl stepped aside and just stared at them.  Her eyes gleamed in the stage lights.  As the boy zipped up the bass’s case his girlfriend glared.  She felt jealousy bubbling up inside her.

The boy put his arms around her and whispered in her ear.  “Thanks for coming tonight.”  She smiled and de-clenched a fraction – there were some things she could do which his double bass couldn’t.  Her smile froze.  He let go of her and picked up his bass to carry in both arms. 

She frowned again. The three of them left together.

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Conversation in the Dark

This little snippet of conversation is the result of a writing challenge (see previous posts!).  It turned out to be something that nightmares might be made of!

A Conversation in the Dark

“Where are you?”

“Here.”

“Where’s here? I can’t see you!”

“Here….hold out your hand.”

“I’m so tired.”

“I know, me too.” Fatigue was the killer – as soon as you let tiredness in you were done for. They had long since been forgotten about. Lost to society, but in the darkness they had found friendship and comfort in conversation. They had never met in the light but knew each other’s voices intimately. From what he could tell the other one had cracked ribs and possibly another broken limb. It had taken days for him to realise that anyone else was there. His companion had been unconscious for so long that he had actually tripped over him in the darkness. He had woken him up screaming in agony and so confused that he didn’t know who he was anymore. He had closed his eyes as if accepting death.

Conversation in the Dark - Woman sleeping

Conversation in the Dark – Woman sleeping

While he waited for him to regain consciousness, he slept fitfully, with disturbing dreams. Ogres, monsters, falling and then flying. Snakes, darkness, tombs closing. Sleep was worse than the current situation so he slapped himself to keep himself awake.

“Where are they? Why hadn’t they come?” He repeated over and over to himself. It echoed in his head as all his movements echoed around the darkness. Silence was the answer and it was deafening.

Blog Your Block

Revisiting Old Inspiration

I thought that it might be interesting to re-read some of my old writing challenges that I did via The Daily Post, which was a great source of inspiration to kick start your writing.  So there are a handful of posts which I did put on my old blog which are worth re-visiting.    In everyone’s words – we should always read through our work and re-visit things….they might be inspiration for something new.  Who knows??  One of my very tiny short stories which I wrote while I was sitting on a jetty in Venice has become the inspiration to my first children’s book which I will be attempting to kick into shape on here.  Please see my post on “Sea Monsters and Angel Lights” for the story behind the story.
 
First up is “Blog Your Block”….This is what came to mind on a pretty bleak, rainy walk along the beach where I live.  Written for The Daily Post writing challenge called “Blog Your Block”:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/blog-your-block
 
***

The grey pebbles turned and twisted under her sturdy shoes. It wasn’t a pretty beach, she thought. Although, there was a kind of pre-historic peace to the place.  It seemed as if it couldn’t be bothered with day trippers looking to build sandcastles. Only a few fishermen and foolhardy sea gulls clung to the shores of the channel trying to catch a bite for dinner.  The coastguard was watching like an ever present guardian angel.  A few local inhabitants always had their kitchen windows focused on the waterfront.

Strange plants grew which had developed around this harsh, salty, barren landscape. Nothing else grew but scrub plants. There were no trees so the wily, quick witted birds built their nests in the stones and the scrub to avoid the footsteps of people and foxes.

When the wind blew, people walked at a 45 degree angle and when the sun shone they lay flat out on the uncomfortable stones in bathing suits which were quite inappropriate for the area – more suited to a Caribbean island somewhere.

The rain was penetrating every layer of clothing and she kept her eyes fixed on the pebbles.  Occasionally a crushed shell came into view; a strand of mangled seaweed; discarded ropes; broken lobster pots – the plethora of driftwood which came ashore after a storm.   The tides changed with every minute bringing a new wave of stones and shingle but the landscape never changed.  Time to go home. 

***

I think this story was as short as the walk that inspired it!  Cut off in its’ prime.   Brevity has always been my problem ​even in writing essays at school.  Writing a whole novel is going to be a bit of a challenge!  What are your challenges and obstacles?  Some pictures of my block are here:

White horses on the beach

White horses on the beach

Old Inspiration - cloudy sky

Old Inspiration – cloudy sky

Old Inspiration - Stormy Beach

Old Inspiration – Stormy Beach

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Short Stories or Epic Novel?

Short Stories or Epic Novel?
Is it easier to be long-winded or short winded?  Do short stories fill you with terror?  Do the words epic novel leave you trembling in fear? When I sit down to write it’s very difficult to decide what kind of format to write.  I always thought that I had a novel inside me – epic or not.  Continue reading