The Skeleton Danced at Midnight

The Skeleton Danced at Midnight

This is another writing challenge which I started for the Daily Post and has ended up being a slightly spooky image of a fairground.  I have always found fairgrounds and circuses to be rather odd and intriguing places. 
 
The challenge was to use five nouns from the following list:  The lake. The night. The crickets. The ravine. The attic. The basement. The trapdoor. The baby. The crowd. The night train. The fog horn. The scythe. The carnival. The carousel. The dwarf. The mirror maze. The skeleton.  
 

The skeleton danced at midnight with the melody of the carousel reverberating through his hollow bones.  He yearned to touch the carnival animals again and jest with the dwarves.  His life of skin and flesh had been full of colour, light and music and how had he loved it!

Skeleton Danced at Midnight

Skeleton Danced at Midnight

The crowds spun through the circus screaming with laughter and candy-floss induced mania.  It was a sugar-spun world.  The fat lady solemnly ate her way through fifteen courses; the bearded lady combed her hair and the iron man lifted trucks to practice his art.  Animals preened in their cages and the big top shone like a beacon in the night sky.

The carousel had been his creation with the pretty horses with their painted tails flying.  How he loved their graceful motion.  Up and down and round and round.  They never stopped their flight until that fateful day when he lost his footing and fell under the painted horses’ hooves.  He lost his flesh to the carousel but honoured it with his bones.  

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.

Inspiration

The Inspiration for my First Children’s Book

I spent a year living in Venice in my twenties and had an awesome time living right in the city centre.  I had an apartment looking out over a canal.  The ever lovely Campo Santa Margherita was just round the corner from our house and there were so many canals to sit on and watch the world go by. 
 
My best friend and her husband came to visit me with their small baby – Joseph.  After they left I sat by the water’s edge near a statue of a mermaid, on a sunny evening and wrote a very short story about a boy name Joe.  Writing something for him was the inspiration for my first book.  I didn’t know it at the time but this story has so many things that can be developed into a story – great ideas for characters, great location.  We’ll have to see how that goes…
 
The canal was flashing with a thousand sparkles underneath the water.  I called them “angel lights”.  In the spirit of having balance in a story it seemed fitting that a beautiful thing should also have a dark side.  Surrounded by all the mythology of a sea-faring city I added the “sea monsters”.  
 
I want this short story to become the inspiration to my first novel which is going to be about a little girl who witnesses a horrible crime, gets washed up on a beach and befriended by a little boy called Joe and a salty old sea captain.  In this case the “sea monsters”  are very much human though!  Stay tuned for excerpts coming up. 

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Writing Challenge 2

As part of my investigation into Writing Apps, I have completed another Writing Challenge.  I love this inspiration.  Have you tried the app yet?  What do you think?  Remember that you’re not allowed to edit – you just have to write!  This one is about a “rubbish girl”  who lives in a stinky cave and loves it  – I think there’s a story in that somewhere?  Continue reading

Mind Maps

Whilst I was looking into various Writing Apps I came across one called MindNode – an app which helps you create mind maps and which has become a firm favourite of mine.  If you can imagine your writing wall/notice board in front of you, covered in Post Its of who is who and where they are going you will know how much space this takes up and how annoying it is when one of the post its loses its’ stickiness and falls down behind the desk never to be seen again.  Or worse – your toddler son decides it would be fun to rearrange them all!  Grrrr… Continue reading