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 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.  

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

Continue reading

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

Invisible

Posted in response to the Daily Prompt “Invisible”

A faded, grey shadow of a girl stood in front of the check in desk. He looked up from the racing pages with a start. “Didn’t see you there. Can I help?” She didn’t speak, just continued staring through vacant eyes. He couldn’t see any spark inside her. The greyness was all consuming. The fluorescent sign flickered bright pink and yellow across her face. “Vacant”. Continue reading