Cold Morning at the Station

Casements…

The key grinds in the lock, but I am reassured by the agent, in the email, that I should expect this and that the key will turn. I push a little harder and after more troubling sound effects the barrel turns. I feel the bolt pull back and the door springs inward about an inch, as if it had been held closed under tension.

I step inside, into the gloomy vestibule, immediately dancing over empty tile adhesive buckets and discarded broken tools. There is a layer of dust that seems to be so solid that it is undisturbed by my arrival. I find myself wondering where has it all come from? No one has lived here for nearly a decade, and is it not true that house dust is mostly dead skin? How can there be so much dust? It is barely disturbed as I step in and push the door closed; I wonder if it will ever be cleaned away?

The stairs are directly ahead and far more inviting than the dark and dreary corridor leading away towards the dark kitchen at the back of the house. The living room door stands ajar, but even though it is barely half open I can see the stacks of newspapers and magazines that I remember from my childhood. I cannot face the paper-stack maze, yet, I need to open some windows and clear the smell of abandonment out of the place. Similarly I am not enticed by the kitchen the other dark and foreboding rooms on the ground floor, so I mount the staircase instead.

I am amazed that the stairs do not creak as I make my way to the upstairs, not even a low grumble from the bannister as I lean upon it trying to keep my steps on the treads as light as possible, though I have no idea to what end. The smell of emptiness, the musty, yet subtle taint of loneliness and emptiness is not as strong as I reach the first floor, but it is there nonetheless. I stand for a moment at the top of the stairs and close my eyes, remembering a time when these walls were covered in framed photographs and press cuttings, a homespun exhibition of parental pride that has long since been taken down and put who knows where.

I turn the corner and the door to the master bedroom is wide open. Afternoon light is streaming in, diffused by an almost complete blanket of cobwebs strung between the panes of the casement window. Scattered onto the ground there is a broken radiator, some rubble, this is little more than a graveyard for memories. Nothing remains. Gone is the beautiful mahogany wash stand that I used to wonder at, with its large jug and washbowl and its intricate backboard, depicting a coastal scene in the Hebrides. The deep pile carpets, so beloved of his generation and so reviled by my own, are clearly long gone and the floorboards are coated in more of the dust that it now occurs to me may be in part made up of the rotting plaster that is falling from the tops of the walls where they meet the ceiling.

I stand there, transfixed by the neglect and sorrow of a window so bedecked with the trappings of time’s passing. Even the most neglectful householder could never allow such an accumulation of dirt, grime and colonisation of spiders. Simply opening and closing the window every now and again would keep the arachnids at bay, and surely everyone would wash their windows at least once a year?

Stepping into the room, I catch a new smell, the smell of damp and I start to realise why the plaster is rotting. The window frame is rounded at its top by stains on the wall, and I am now sure that the water from the gutter, or perhaps just years of inclement weather with no one in the house to see its effects, has been creeping into the wall above the casement and has been working it destructive magic in the way that only water can.

I am hoping to find some trace of him as I cast my eyes around the room, but there is nothing, not even a discarded letter or trinket, let alone the steamer trunk I was secretly hoping to find. The room seems to me as a skeleton picked clean of the meat that made it his bedroom, all distinguishing features and characters lost to plain floorboards and empty walls, nothing but more rubble and another broken radiator, and just the soft, fractured light from the window.

I retrace my steps onto the landing and realise that I will not be opening any windows, if nothing else I am not certain that it would be a good idea if they are in the process of surrendering to the same rot as the walls. I need to be able to leave the place secure, after all.

I don’t even open the door to the bathroom, something tells me that I don’t want to see it, and I listen to that small voice even though it seems somewhat ridiculous at the same time. Why should I fear the room where he died. It was over a decade ago, surely there is nothing to fear, and yet I cannot steel myself to open it and look inside.

The box room is as empty as the bedroom, and I have almost given up all hope that I will recover any talisman of him from the wreck of his home when I remember the attic. Surely there would be things stored away before the end had come that must lie up there, undisturbed?

I reach into my pocket for the torch that I had been mindful enough to bring, and shine it into the gloom of the box room, looking for the attic door. It is there in the left-hand corner, as I expected, and I shuffle through the dust and plaster rubble and pull it open.

The stairs up into the attic – he would have corrected me and said loft – are not so quiet, creaking and groaning as I place each of my steps on each successive tread. I am not worried that it will give out, but I am puzzled as to how one staircase can be so stalwart and another be so lamenting under the same weight.

The light of my torch is more than enough to find my way to the top of the small flight, and then I am on the boarded platform under the pinnacle of the roof line. I turn my light off for a moment and am plunged into darkness; well at least there are not any large holes in the roof.

I flick the small light back on and start to look around, searching for “boxes of treasure”, as he would have called them. On the edge of the boarded area my light plays across a box with “McCain” printed across the side, faded as if stamped there long ago. Closer inspection shows the words “memories and things” scrawled across the side in his familiar script, and I reach out for the box and pull it across the boards to the space by the top of the stairs where I have the most room to manoeuvre.

The box is old and dry and brittle, the way that cardboard eventually gets to be, and so I am cautious and gentle as I lever the flaps open and point the torch light inside.

The box contains a few of the photographs, in their frames, that I had missed as I climbed the stairs, all of them were pictures of my father as a young man. Some of them in uniform, some in running kit, one in mess kit. If all the rest had been lost or given away, then these were the ones that he could not bear to part with, even if they were in a box above his head, rather than on display. An old diary, a Ronson petrol lighter, an old cigarette tin, Capstan “Full Strength” – though sadly there are none inside. There alongside this ephemera is a bundle of letters, tied with a silver ribbon. I recognise the hand, they were letters from his wife, his first wife, who had sent me cards long after she had otherwise left our lives all those years ago. I wonder if his widow knew that he had kept these at all?

I decide to take the box with me, that this is enough, this is what I was looking for, but then as I am closing up the box my torch plays across a small metal box, almost hidden behind a beam. I cannot unsee it, I am compelled to investigate.

I pull it gently from the shadows and set it on the ground next to the box of memories. It is not heavy, about sixteen inches by nine by five, so an odd shape, but not completely strange. Stamped on the top, on either side of a keyhole and between it and a small handle are his initials, “M N”, in faded gold paint.

The box is plainly locked, so I turn my attention back to the box of knick knacks to see if there is a key amongst the treasures therein. It is not hard to find, it is on a string, looped around an ebony letter opener. I take it out and open the box, which unlike the front door opens smoothly and silently, the lock in perfect working condition, as if it were in regular use.

Inside there are three items that surprise and delight me in equal measure. A Webley service revolver that he must have kept from his time in the Army, during the War. He never spoke of it in life, that I know of, so it must have been a very private keepsake. Alongside it is a small box of ammunition, and a leather-bound notebook. The gun feels heavy, suddenly, in my hand, and while I was not completely comfortable to be holding it, I feel pleased to have this illicit item of his now in my possession. I place it back into the box and lift out the notebook. It is wrapped closed with a leather thong, which I half expect to be brittle with age, but as I untwist and then unwind it I marvel at the way in which it feels supple and warm, like it is new and recently handled. The pages are crowded with his distinctive and almost completely illegible hand, and I realise that I will need better light and perhaps some coffee before I can truly digest the contents. I turn it over my hands as I move to close it, and a playing card falls from between the pages and lands face up on my foot. It is not a playing card, it is a Tarot card; The Magus. The edge of the card is picked out in gold leaf, and the face of the card is inhabited by a hooded figure, energy crackling around one hand, a strange sigil held in the other. Unexpected, to say the least.

I am filled with a desire to leave, and the sure, concurrent knowledge that I cannot leave these things here. I hurriedly return the card to its place between the leaves of the notebook, wrap it closed and place it back into the lock box. I lock it up, place it inside the memory box and put the key around my neck and tuck it inside my shirt, hiding it from view. Then I close up the flaps and lift the box up in my hands and carefully pick my way back down the attic stairs.

I glance, quickly, into the bedroom as I pass, but the afternoon light has been diminished, perhaps by a passing cloud, and the odd character of the place is reduced to a sad, empty room. The window is no longer captivating, more simply ordinary and uninspiring. How telling that light holds the key to so much of that which commands my attention. I wonder if I have somehow removed the last of him, or indeed any character from the place, but I push that thought aside and head down the main stairs to the door.

As I emerge onto the front path with the box of memories tucked under my arm I breathe deeply of the fresh, outside air and feel an unexpected sense of relief to be out of his house. I close and lock the door, and head to my car, keen to retreat to my own, living, vibrant sanctuary that is my apartment so that I can investigate his notebook more completely. That and consider what I should do with the gun.

(This story was inspired by an Instagram post, which you can see here -> joannafurniss )


Conversations with an Outlaw – Introduction

I had been living in Strathard for about ten months when I first met Rob. I was out on the dam, looking up at the stars, secure in the knowledge that I was alone, when a voice quite clearly and rudely addressed me;

“What in the name of blue blazes are you doin’ here?”

I turned to see a ghostly figure, dressed in a great kilt and bearing a sword at his hip, long hair and beard well kept but flowing freely, advancing toward me from the southern end of the dam.

I had never seen a ghost before and indeed I was not sure that I was seeing one then either. My first reaction was that I was the target of an elaborate practical joke; the sassenach, having relaxed into his new life in the glen, was now to be tormented by Scots jokers pretending to be ghostly highlanders. I shook my head and blinked, trying to banish the shade with reason, but it was no use, there he stood, or more correctly floated about three inches above the dam’s stones. He glared at me fiercely and his body language was quite plain; I was meant to feel threatened and no mistake.

In the end I had to accept that this visitation was not going to end as abruptly as it began and that I probably needed to answer the ghost’s question, so I tried to banish my bemusement that I was actually going to talk to a ghost and answered:

“I live here, just down there in fact that small house, just below the dam.”

I pointed to the small white house that my family were all sleeping in. There was a low gentle light emerging from a couple of windows, but on the whole the place was dark and quiet.

“I do not remember that place… Nor any Englishman out of uniform roaming free in this glen.”

Came his halting reply. It occurred to me that something odd was going on, if for no other reason than this ghost sounded for all the World like Liam Neeson and was not in fact speaking either Gaelic or even old-fashioned English with a Scots brogue, where his mode of dress and evident dead-ness would have perhaps demanded that he were a little more in keeping with the eighteenth century. He seemed confused suddenly, shaken from his former confident bluster, and I saw him examining his hands, as if he seemed to mark how insubstantial they were; as if he were conscious that perhaps he was the one out of place.

We stood there, looking at one another for a few moments more, and then he spoke again;

“Ah, I seem to have forgotten myself again. I’m dead you see. Sorry to have bothered you, but I saw you here and for a moment I was taken back to when I was a breathing man, and I would never have suffered a stranger to pass so close to my home in the night.”

It was a shocking admission. On the one hand I did not know a thing about ghosts, but I had rather expected that they rarely knew what they were, let alone be so matter-of-fact about their odd state of lingering activity. On the other hand I had not really considered how out of place I was in so many ways. My family and I were settling in nicely to life in Scotland, but for all of our distant connections with the land we were now calling home, neither my wife nor I were well versed in the history of the Highlands, and yet here I was meeting it. I decided to take the opportunity for what it was, and settled into the idea of talking to the ghost.

“That’s alright. I don’t suppose it can be easy being a ghost, watching the World go on and being unable to take part in it as you once did. Did you live around here in life then?”

The ghost nodded and relaxed, appearing to slip into a mode that was familiar to it, one of acceptance and awareness, a “yes, I am a ghost and now I am going to talk to this living person here, because that is all I have and at least they can see me” type of demeanour.

“Not many folk can see me you know? I don’t know what it is that marks out those that can, but most of the living would never have heard my initial outburst as you did. I should introduce myself, you may find you have heard of me, others have that I have met over the years. I am Rob MacGregor, sometimes known as Rob Campbell or Rob Roy. I was Laird of Inversnaid at the turn of the eighteenth century, then outlawed in conflict with the Duke of Montrose. Like I say, you may have heard of me.”

I imagine I looked quite comical, flapping my jaw, soundlessly in the moonlight. I mean, sure, any ghost is going to claim to be the ghost of Rob Roy, but he was believable, if nothing else. I was still having trouble with the lilting Irish brogue of Liam Neeson every time that he spoke, but he certainly had the look of the late great clan chieftan, cattle rustler, blackmailer and all round delightful scoundrel, so I was poised to believe him utterly.

“Yes, I have heard of Rob Roy MacGregor, everyone has. Just one question though, why are you not speaking Gaelic?”

At this the ghost laughed, his face softening and his features seeming to transform into a much softer, warmer countenance.

“I am, it’s something about the ghost situation. You hear what I am saying in the way most likely to make sense to you, if I tried to speak to you in my halting English you would hear the speech of a child. I speak as I did and whomsoever I meet hears me in their own tongue, in their own way. If you were from the low countries you would hear me in Flemish or Dutch, France in French and so on.”

I nodded, that made a lot of sense; what point would there be in being a ghost if no one could ever understand you.

“So, Englishman, what is your name?”

I settled down on the low wall on the west side of the dam and took a deep breath;

“I am James Inderwood, a very great pleasure to meet you, Sir.”

I answered as I effected a solemn, but token bow.

“Well met then, James Inderwood. Forgive my initial ill humour, as I said I forgot myself and my condition. As you might imagine it is a lonely lot to haunt the land for as long as I have, so I ought to treat those that I meet from the living world with a little more civility. Alas being a ghost is not always a rational estate. Tell me, Sir, what brings you out into the darkness on a night such as this, while your family sleeps in your bothey o’er yonder?”

I decided not to be offended by his calling our very nicely converted shepherds’ cottage a bothey;

“Well, to be honest with you Rob, may I call you Rob?”

He nodded his assent

“To be honest with you, I was having trouble sleeping, and it’s come to be my custom when sleep will not take me that I wander up here and look at the stars until the fresh night air starts to make me drowsy and then I take myself away inside again. I suppose it goes back to when I used to smoke and I would do that outside, so as not to make the children breathe the stuff in, and now even without the habit I find that the night air is calming. That, and I love to look up at the heavens and marvel at the stars.”

His smile widened and I was struck by the odd notion that I was having a human moment with a spirit, with the unquiet soul of a man who lived and died under the same stars, in the same glens, but three hundred and more years before.

I took a moment to take his form in once again, to appraise it more closely, and based on the little I knew about his history I had to assume that he was haunting the glen in the mode that he had adopted in the time after the Duke of Montrose had declared him outlaw, when he and his family had been kicked off his land in Inversnaid and he had waged his own private blood feud against Montrose in response to what many would agree was poor and unjust dealing. I screwed up my courage and decided to ask him about that time, after all who would not want to know about high adventure, love, betrayal and blood in the highlands of the early seventeen hundreds.

“Rob, I hope you don’t mind me asking, and tell me if you do, but what was it like to be on the run from Montrose and harrying him, his men and his property after the wrongs he did you and your family?”

He fixed me with a stern look, but nodded and seemed agreeable to tell me the tale. I settled back against the stones and prepared myself for a story.


More random creativity…

Last night I was struck by an idea, and I got it out on the nearest thing to hand, which was ello.co, but seeing as no one sees what I put there, I thought that I would put it here as well and then hopefully 4 or 5 people will see it… 😉

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There was not a lot of life out on the street that night. Normally when Frank stepped out of his building to have a late-night smoke he was immediately plunged into a hustle and bustle that would rival SoHo in New York or Soho in London, not that anyone often spoke in raptured tones about the fact that Makati is another city that usually does not sleep.

He looked around, wondering where everybody was. Sure if it had been late at night on Easter Saturday, or New Years or Christmas Day, times when the city was indeed quiet; quiet like a ghost town in fact, then there would have been no puzzle to solve. As it was, the year was already in full swing, and yet here he was on a street that was dead by comparison even to those special times. He could not hear a single vehicle – normally he could hear traffic noise up on the thirty-seventh floor, even in the wee small hours of the night. The guards were there, and they did not seem confused, perhaps he was imagining it.

He lit his cigarette and leaned back against the cool concrete, looking up at the stars through the architectural forest of the high rises, trying to shake the odd feeling and to enjoy the tranquility of the moment. His phone buzzed in his pocket. He considered leaving it there, surely there was nothing that could not wait until he had finished his smoke – it was just after two? He took another drag and was just relaxing once more when the phone nudged him again. He dug it out of his pocket and unlocked the screen, expecting to see an alert from someone in the UK who knew the time difference well enough, but also knew him well enough to know that he would be awake.

He had not expected it to be a couple of texts from Georgie.


I had a moment of creativity…

…and I just wrote this thought down into ello.co, but I know no one will see it there, so I am re-posting it here.


As I looked out over the glassy surface of the calm South China Sea, that was lapping at my feet, I was filled with an utterly profound sense of longing; to be free of the air. All I wanted was to be able to slip under the surface and explore the shallows and the depths without the artifice of technology or fear of pressure. The sea is beautiful and terrible, but we are no longer free to be at one with her, our bodies are not compatible with her depths nor can we breathe the oxygen that we need from liquid so we are air-bound, no matter what we might dream of.

The soft golden glow of the sunset was narrowing to a thin line of fire across the horizon as I turned away from the water and slowly made my way back up the thin strand and across the garden to where my family were crowded around the fire, waiting for flames to die to embers so that we could lay the day’s catch over the heat.

The sounds of conversation and the clinking of beer bottles trickled over the grass from the deck towards me, and the longing slipped away from me to be replaced by the warmth of the love I held for the people I was walking towards; my anchors in the air-bound world, but such wonderful enlivening ties to bind me here.


Storytelling…

I have been a storyteller in one form or another for my entire life. Today I discovered that there is an amazing (free) online course in English from Potsdam University in Germany that is all about, for want of a better way of putting it, “the science of storytelling”.

If you are interested in checking it out, or even enrolling, then click here:

https://iversity.org/c/6?r=4d93b

and have fun!


Nanowrimo 2010…

OK, so I am giving Nanowrimo another go – it’s been six years since I did it last…

Here are the first 500 or so words – I’m ahead of the curve, finishing day one at 1,824 words so far…

The smell of blood is thick in the air as you come to, ears ringing and eyes full of tears. You blink repeatedly trying to clear your vision; for some reason you have an unconsidered mental block on using your hand, so you keep blinking. Eventually, after what seems like an age but is probably only a handful of seconds, reality starts to swim into focus. People had tried to explain to you what it was like to be in close proximity of an explosion, but you are starting to realise that there is nothing like the real thing when it comes to comprehension. Everyone seems to be moving in slow motion, but you quickly realise that this is only an illusion that is predicated on the relative silence. It is not actually silent, there is a continued and terrible ringing in your ears, but the effect is that you cannot seem to detect the normal sounds of the chaos you can see around you through the aqueous lens of your tear-filled eyes. There is Fletcher, running across your field of vision, well trying to run anyway, waving around the bloody stumps of his wrists, his mouth distended in what you can only assume is a prolonged and bestial scream, except that you cannot hear it. The vicinity is filled with shredded paper hanging in the air, and the odour of cordite is actually overwhelming now that you have noticed it. You look down at the hand you were instinctively not using to wipe your eyes, and you realise that like Fletcher you are injured, though not as seriously. Still there is blood and wotnot all over your right hand, which despite this does appear to work when you try to curl and flex your fingers. Your left hand is immobile, but at least it is whole, and so you turn your attention to your legs. They appear to be in passable working order. The rest of your body is now starting to report a kind of general level of pain that you think must be the bare minimum you should expect after being next to an exploding bomb, as the adrenaline runs out and physical realities start to seep into your consciousness. Carefully you push yourself to your feet with your better hand, and cast around for the exit. You know perfectly well where it should be, but since a bomb went off in here you would not be surprised to discover that there might be a more convenient route out of the thankfully ground floor office and into the arms of paramedics that are doubtless congregating at that very moment. You smile to yourself as you spot a large hole in the office wall and begin to head for it; the smile leaves you in an instant when you nearly trip over Donaldson. No matter how hard you might want to believe the opposite there she is, and it looks very plausible that she is dead.

Let’s see if I can get to the end…


Halloween Story

I’ll never forget that night. The rain was pouring down so hard it sounded as though pebbles were hitting the roof. As I lay in my bed, trying to steel my nerve to go out in that rain and concede the fight with my bladder I tried to take some small comfort in how relaxing it would be to come back and drift off to sleep to that wonderful sound. There was little so soothing as hard rain coming down on the cabin roof. Eventually the urge became too great and I headed out into the night.

The lamp I carried with me cast eerie shadows around the clearing as I made my way to the outhouse. If I had not been so familiar with the place it would have been more than a little scary, but the camp was like home; I was not afraid. As I stepped into the middle of the clearing I saw that the old maple stump was not the right size and shape, and then as the light played across it I realised that a squat figure was crouched on the top of it. I suppose I should have known that something was wrong at that point, but I was half awake. The small figure was hooded, and as it sensed the lamp’s passing, it turned towards me and all I could see was the light reflected in a wide and toothy grin that snapped me back into the moment; I had never seen such sharp and bright teeth.

“Good evening, Thomasss. I wonder if I can interessst you in a little proposssition?”

Its sibilant tongue played across the daggers of his teeth, and though my mind was screaming that what was most likely some kind of woodland spirit was talking to me in the dead of night, and all was not well with the world, I found myself nodding and then heard my self saying “Yes?”, my stunned gaze held by the almond shaped, yellow eyes that flashed above that mouth full of blades.

“Take a ssseat.”

He motioned behind me and a seat made of living wood erupted from the clearing floor. I staggered back onto it, left only with my fear, and started to wonder what I had stumbled into and how I could escape.

“My name isss Robin, and I need your help which, if rendered willingly, I will repay with a handsome gift.”

His voice was compelling and dripping with unspoken threats. I nodded, free will having quit the transom of my mind, chased away by a cold, primal fear that I could not withstand.

“I need one of your eyesss, and three drops of your blood. Shall I give you the knife, or do I need to take thessse things for myssself?”

I looked down at my hand. There was a small silver knife in my palm, its curved silver blade leaving no doubt as to its sharpness, the light glinting off the edge like ice on fire.


Explanation…

Today’s Ficlet was not brought to you all, as planned, by the “Today on Wikipedia Page”…  I left it a bit late in the day, and then forgot, so that will be tomorrow.

Also there has also been only one suggestion for the three things – partly because I forgot to put out the request as today at work was so busy – so I am going to use that suggestion on Wednesday…

That is all. (oops)

.

EOT


Time marches ever on…

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, so I though that I might use this arena as a place to discuss this year’s ‘thing-a-day’ project.  Today is the sixth of the way there mark; sixty-one days of writing between 100 and 1024 characters every single day.  Already I am finding it to be both more and less challenging than the daily portrait project, but despite that I am loveing every moment of it.  Not only is there the creation / creative aspect of it, but there is the ability to use fiction to bare my soul a little; sometimes very obviously, and sometimes in much more subtle ways, and then there is the discourse that is wonderful and more often than not prompted by stories that I least expect!

I have been working to a pattern over the last sixty-one days, and although I am going to work out the week in this vein, I am then going to free myself to be more flexible and more creative with what I do.  Up until now the Saturday of each week (day one of each week if you will) has been a first person narration that sounds believeably my voice, and then the other six days have all been third person episodes, each beginning with a name.  As I have revealed already to people who have asked, this was entirely calculated.  Although I am still very much learning my craft here, I am comfortable with the first person narration that my Saturday pieces have used.  It is relatively easy for me to imagine a scenario that has either happened or might happen in my life and drop into the character of a narrator who is seventy percent ‘me’ and and just go from there.  In fact the novel I have been working on for far too long now is written very much in that vein, and so when embarking on this new project I wanted to ‘keep my hand in’ with that ‘voice’, but not simply fall back on it as a way to easily hit my daily quota.  Instead I wanted to force myself to do something that I am not comfortable with, and that was and still is to write in the third person about other characters, a fairly traditional floating, omniscient voice that knows the hearts and minds of the people that populate the stories that it tells.  I have really enjoyed writing this way, far more than I expected to, and although I think that I am still better at first person narration I have found a pleasure in writing in this other way that I never expected to be able to harness.

The problem is that I can sense that this is going to become dull if I drag it out for too long; dull for me and perhaps more importantly dull for my readers.  So I have decided to remove the restrictions that I had placed on my daily writing as of this coming Sunday, and introduce two new ideas to the project and return to another old one, as a way of keeping things fresh.

First of all I would like to ask you, my readers, to challenge me each week by suggesting:

  1. A location
  2. An object
  3. An activity

in time for me to write a Ficlet on each Thursday that will incorporate all three.  I will put the call out on Monday at some point, and will then put up a poll on Wednesday so that you can choose the ‘package’ that will be the bones of Thursday’s Ficlet.

Secondly, I am going to write Monday’s Ficlet by choosing something to write about from either the Wikipedia ‘on this day in history’ page, or the daily page on the same site.

Thirdly I am going to go back to writing a story based on, or inspired by a photograph from Flickr that is on there under the same license as Ficlets are published under.  If you find a cool picture on Flickr that you think I would like, or that you’d like to see what I will do with it, then please feel free to email me a link (address is on my LJ profile page, or you can use the email link on this blog, on the About Page), or leave me a comment on one of my blogs, or send me a Twitter Tweet or an SMS or whatever, and I will start a list of photos that I am going to work through.

So, thanks to everyone who has commented on LJ, Ficlets, or to my face for your feedback and support, and having got to milestone number one I am feeling more confident that I can see this project through as well.


365 Ficlets – Day #41 ~ “Careless”

Eva pulled her hand back, shocked by the heat. She had not expected the stove to be on and so had simply reached out for the pan to pick it up by its rim.

The dull pain of a burn was already throbbing in her fingers as she plunged her hand into the cold water standing in the sink. She pulled the plug out and turned the cold tap on with her other hand, so that she could hold the affected area under cold running water.

As she stood there, attempting to protect herself from a nasty blister and a scar, she cast her gaze out across the beach. She knew that she often took for granted that she lived right on the beach, or as near as dammit at any rate. The deck outside the kitchen door ended a few feet from the sea wall, and the beach was the other side of that.

The sun was setting, and she could see Jake sitting in his usual place, playing. She wondered why he always came down to the beach to play at sunset; he would get a lot more from busking in the daytime, particularly on a Sunday when there were tourists.

You can see the original post on Ficlets.com by clicking here.