Three Line Tales: Ghosts

This is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Khürt Williams via Unsplash

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The beach at low tide—so peaceful and still, no one would ever guess how quickly the turning tide could rush across the silver sands, and the mirrored sky become silent waters.

She shielded her eyes to peer in the direction of the sea, a bright shimmer in the distance still, where gulls wheeled and cried their unsettling warnings.

A trick of the light perhaps, a glitter on the edge of sight, and she thought she caught sight of movement, a family playing on the strand, in the smooth, silvery expanse that the treacherous tide was now rapidly covering.

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#writephoto: In ancient times

I haven’t even looked at Sue’s photo prompt for ages because I’ve been very strict with myself about keeping my head down and meeting word counts. Although I’ve started a new story, I’m not pushing myself so hard. I’m still feeling my way with this one anyway. So, I’m taking a break, and writing a short story that is really inspired by what I’m writing. Not such a break after all.

summer

 

There is such peace here, she thinks, sitting on the stone and gazing across the landscape of rolling meadow scattered with the white flowers of hundreds of thousands of daisies. Day’s eye, they used to call them, and she imagines them all, gazing up at the sky. Peace, she tells herself when the hawk screams and stoops after something unseen, peace when the wind blows cold, and clouds throw shadows across the vast plain.

She shivers and still thinks, peace, though the setting sun fills the sky with blood, and only crows flap homeward. The wind mutters as it rattles through the trees that line the road behind her, and flattens the white flowers beneath its heavy hand. She begins to think, perhaps it is time to go. She rises, dusts off the seat of her jeans and her eye is caught by the lichen, the yellow, grey and dull green that covers the stone where she was sitting. Looking closer, she sees marks in the stone.

A pattern? Design?

She traces the scratches with her finger, peeling off the lichen, revealing a rough carved image. Horseman, raised sword, heads rolling. She listens, and finds she can hear voices in the wind that races across the daisy heads, voices screaming, crying, moaning, keening. Faces turn to the sky in despair as a rain of steel falls.

Not all the massacres of ancient times are documented. No names remain, no dates or reasons. Just the voices of the dead.

Beneath Yggdrasil’s Shadow

I have a story published in this anthology! Norse goddesses—right up my alley! https://fantasiadivinitymagazine.myfreesites.net/store

Sorry to just have the buy link but you have to go there to see the cover pic. The pics I took from the FB announcement are truncated.

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or tiny

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Anyway, it’s the expurgated version of a story that was deemed too nasty to be published by another magazine. Thanks to Fantasia Divinity for taking it on 🙂

Three Line Tales: Hunger

This was a tough one. For Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Prince Akachi via Unsplash

tltweek131

 

 

I hold breath fear and hope fighting legs want to run but hungry belly says stay.

She puts out hand and I cringe for the hurting blow cringe but hungry belly says stay.

Hand touches head and I feel fear in the fingers not hurting so I stop cringing and I say with eyes and ears—not bite dog only has hungry belly.

Three Line Tales: Out of the blue

I haven’t looked at Sonya’s challenges for ages. Time to get a grip.

photo by Ricardo Viana via Unsplash

tltweek130

 

He was a quiet boy, they said, never gave his parents any trouble, in fact, he idolised his father and didn’t want to share him, not even with his adorable little brother.

They did all the male bonding kind of stuff, camping, hunting, fishing, football games, built up a close father-son relationship, if a little exclusive and dismissive of female company, wimpy kids, foreigners, you know, losers and parasites.

He took it badly when his father left, but the last thing anyone expected him to do was take the gun his dad gave him for his birthday into his little brother’s kindergarten and spray his classroom with bullets.

Progress report and story time

I started on the third and final volume of my latest series of novels 25 days ago. So far, I’ve done better than I expected, currently at 55000 words and roughly half way there. It’s true I haven’t been around much and haven’t been following the prompts, but it means I should have a first draught ready by the end of July.

To compensate for the lack of fiction pieces, here is my prize-winning story In a blue barque published in Lucent Dreaming magazine. It’s a lovely magazine visually too.

Erratum: It has just been pointed out to me that the ‘free online edition’ does not include my story which is apparently pay to view only. Sorry about that. You’ll just have to admire the cover 😦

lucent-dreaming-issue-1-pdf

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Stepping back a bit

Just a quick post by way of apology. If I’m not reading and commenting on other blogs as much as I’d like, it’s because I’m writing. Serious writing. I’ll be coming up for air to respond to some of the prompts, before diving back in again, so my blog rhythm has completely changed.

The ‘big’ series I’m working on (adult fantasy with Norsemen, Gaels and sea monsters etc) is into the final volume. I finished the second and wanted to get straight into the last one while I still have a (kind of) hold on the thread of the story. It’s a big canvas with a couple of layers to it, and I want to plough ahead while I still control the plot.

When I started this volume a week ago, I’d hoped to be diving straight in with the chapters that I cut out of the original draft almost four years ago. The book was already long, so I ended the first volume of the projected series before the story got to that point. As it turned out, the second volume didn’t catch up with that part of the story either, so I thought I’d be starting volume three with about 20,000 words head start.

Wrong. After many revisions and rearrangements, character development and different twists to the plot, I find that the characters in these head start chapters bear no relationship with the characters of as they have become. Even the story isn’t the same, and I don’t recognise my voice in the writing. Consequence, I’m starting from scratch, feeling my way and hoping it’s all going to come together in the end.

I’m setting myself word count goals and working hours. While the weather was Bibilical, it wasn’t too difficult. Now that the apocalypse is over, the sun is out and a thousand birds are singing again, it’s going to be harder to keep bum on t’seat, as they say oop north.

Wish me luck. We’ll see how long I stick to the regime.