The jam jar fell from the kitchen worktop. She saw it fall, as though in slow motion, but her dive to catch it did nothing to save it. It smashed on the floor with a crash and a splat. The thick, purple lava spread slowly, crawling across the floor and climbing over glass fragments like a predator.
See the first part of this story here.
Sir Drink-A-Lot swivelled slowly on his bar stool to face the fallen glass that now lay in a thousand tiny pieces on the floor.
“What the…?” he asked, as though the shattered glass could answer him. He held an empty glass in one hand and a bottle of whisky in the other. Poor Sir Drink-A-Lot didn’t manage to fill it before all the craziness began though, for the fallen glass was merely the beginning. With a low grumble, the floor began to rumble and the glasses on the shelves began to tinkle amongst themselves. Sir Drink-A-Lot stared, open-mouthed, as Evry Pub shook around him.
Somewhere far, far away, hidden in the depths of the Earth, is a village that very few people know about. It’s a rather special village indeed, and it has a rather peculiar name. It’s called Evry Village.
It’s a tiny, unassuming little place. In fact, if you were to accidently come across it – although it’s very unlikely you would – if you were to come across it, you wouldn’t think that there was anything special about it at all. The gardens are well-kept and the streets are well-swept, the neighbours are friendly and the children are happy. The cats and dogs are clean and kind too. If you were to come across it, everyone would behave perfectly normally, as though they were merely a pleasant, simple community. But every Evry inhabitant, from the tiniest kitten to the boys and girls and the oldest of the grown-ups too, they all know the truth about Evry Village. For Evry Village has a secret, and what a very special and rather delightful secret it is.
It was raining. Henrietta hated it when it rained. She hated it in that same way that all the hatless hate the rain.
“Eeeek,” she squeaked as the rain pattered onto her soft and downy head. “I’m going to melt!” Her little feet pitter-pattered on the ground, making the cutest, teeny-tiniest slapping sound. She ran here, she ran there, but nowhere could she escape the plops of liquid that quite insisted on landing upon her soft and downy head.
I’ve been stood here for too long, trying to make a decision. I know I’m taking too long. I just know it. This isn’t normal. It’s not. I’m not normal! She’s getting impatient. I thought I’d made my decision but now she’s asking me questions, making me clarify my decision, making me add extra nuances. It’s like time has slowed and I’m having to use all my energy to concentrate on making this one decision. Too many. Too many decisions today. Too many decisions in life. What if I make the wrong one? What if I say yes and it all goes disastrously? What if I say no and regret it? There is so much riding on it. Or is there? Perhaps the rest of my life, perhaps not.
So I was happily browsing the internet, doing nothing much that was productive, when I came across this image:
I almost wrote this based on a normal 9-5 week, but decided against that and went for my week instead. It’s a bit of silly fun (poetry is far from my forte), so laugh with me and not at me 😉
The Seven Tones of Riley
Sunday is ambitious, a girl of many plans,
She is the adventurous one, the one who had no bans.
She loves to shop at brocantes, buying afghans, dustpans, toucans,
In fact, she buys just anything that she could grab with her fat hands!
And after that, to work she goes with a face full of smiles and suntans,
And by the end of her shift, she falls exhausted into sleepy wonderlands.
Monday is a slovenly wench, pyjama clad with straggly hair,
But she revelled in her lazy day, all draped across her chair.
A grin stretched across her tired face and she said with quite a flair:
“Today I shall do nothing, and I will not go elsewhere,
For unlike others who race to work, those with full despair,
Today I begin my weekend, and I do not give a single care!”
Tuesday, she is quite a mover, as productivity headlined.
She scrubs and cleans and rubs and dusts, blowing cobwebs from both home and mind.
“It’s a day to get stuff done,” she says, “a day I use to rewind,
And undo all the mess I made during my work and lazy days combined.”
She whizzes here, she whizzes there, will oh will she find,
That final speck of dust and then, she can finally unwind.
Wednesday is a writer-type and she’s creative with her prose,
She sits and types and laughs and cries as her characters face life’s throes.
Wednesday is a happy lass, and it most definitely shows,
As she sits and does what she loves most, making sure that everybody knows,
That to disturb her now means the pain of death, a life brought to its close,
Although even she admits, it’s only in her stories that she stoops to these true lows!
Thursday is a Domestic Goddess, or at least she pretends to be!
She cooks treats for all and sundry, although her husband he does plea:
“Thursday, I do love your treats, so keep them all for me!”
Thursday cannot do that though, for she makes the treats with glee,
For all those lovely French-folk who for the treats say “oui!”
Friday’s face is rather saggy, as early she does rise.
She drags herself to work with sleep still in her eyes,
For she does not like to wake so soon, and this she does despise!
But when she starts, it all does change and she starts to feel the highs.
Work gets busy and she doesn’t stop and it’s then she rather thrives,
For then it does upon her dawn that she’s grown quite fond of these barflies!
Saturday is a worker girl, full of life and energy,
She is sprightly, she is active, perhaps she’s like a flea!
She works hard and loves it too, and I’m sure you will agree,
That Saturday is a happy girl with the stamina of three.
She jumps around and moves about, until it’s time for tea,
And then she sits and chills and thinks “how great it is to be me.”
“Mother, I’ve written a poem!” Bill said as he burst into the kitchen excitedly.
“Well that’s lovely dear. Help me set the table for dinner, will you?” She stirred the giant pot of broth that would feed them tonight. Bill salivated as he walked past; his mother cooked the best broth in the street. All his friends were jealous. He went and pulled out the spoons and knives, placing them in order around the table.
She paced back and forth, chewing on her bottom lip. Her brow was furrowed and she was close to tears.
“C’mon,” she muttered to herself. “Hold it together. You’re gonna be alright!”
So last night, my husband and I were sat in front of the log burner. I asked him what the high-pitched sound was, and he told me that it was the scream of the wood faeries trapped in the logs. This is where my weird writer mind took me…
You know that high-pitched squeal you hear when you burn wood? You might think that it’s air escaping but you’re wrong. It’s the screams of dying wood faeries. Those pops and crackles? That’s their skin blistering and their bones breaking. That sweet smell? It’s not the wood – yuck! Wood smells of nothing when it burns. No, it’s the smell of faery souls being charred and shattered.
Everything is blue, but it’s not one block of blue.
There are lots of different blues, in every single hue.
I’m trapped inside a sapphire, or so it seems to me,
and I simply cannot bear it, so the doctor I did see.
The old lady sits and stares, rheumy eyed, out of the net-laden window. Her dining chair is pulled tightly up to the lace covered table on which she and her husband used to eat dinner together, laughing or crying over their daily tales. She watches the world go by, although the scene behind her eyes is something quite different. It’s the scene of her memories, of loves lost and adventures won, of friends and lovers and yes, even the odd enemy or two. She remembers, and she smiles, for nostalgia is always tinged with joy, despite the pain she may feel inside.
Yesterday, I watched my dog, George, chewing on a nut shell. As a result, this is the story that came out of my brain! It’s a bit…er…nutty.
Once upon a time, there was a dog named George. He was a fat little bugger because he kept eating nuts. Human nuts. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean testicles so get those nuts out of your mind right away. I mean crazy people, those kinds of human nuts, and let’s be honest, there are lots of them.
Sharpie stood awkwardly behind his wife. He had his hands behind his back and he jiggled from foot to foot uncertainly. He looked distinctly like he was up to mischief. He wasn’t of course, but he looked that way.
“’Appy Christmas,” he said, his Cockney twang bouncing around the room and making her jump.
I know Wednesday is short story day, but honestly, what with moving this week, I just can’t find the time. I was also nominated once again to take part in the 777 challenge (thanks jhbooksblog!), which involves sharing an extract of my WIP. So combining my lack of time and my invitation (since I’ve already done it once), I thought that today I’d share an extract of my WIP instead of a story. This comes from somewhere near the beginning of my next Underworld book, which has a working title of Queenie’s Return. Enjoy!
“Holy crap! What was that?” Ed nearly jumped clean out of his skin when it happened. He had been asleep on the sofa after a long morning doing pretty much bugger all (the best – and often most tiring – of all mornings). He was convinced, momentarily, that the end of the world had begun. It was ever so loud after all, the bang that had woken him up. Things always seem worse when you are asleep, don’t you agree?
Jack’s a reindeer. Like all reindeer, Jack has one goal in life: to be famous. When he was just a little calf, he dreamt of becoming like his old favourites: Dancer and Prancer, Donner and Blitzen, Comet and Cupid too. He imagined himself stood in front of Father Christmas, the conductor for their biggest performance of the year. He always thought he’d be in the front row, guiding the way, looking down on his own little excited calves and waving with pride. Except life hasn’t turned out that way. Jack is getting on a bit now and he hasn’t achieved his goal. He isn’t famous, and he’s never pulled the magnificent sleigh. He’s never even seen the sleigh, let alone met Father Christmas.
Today was four years long. Not metaphorically of course. Literally. Each second stretching on for twenty four minutes, each minute lasting just over a day, each hour ballooning into two long months. Tomorrow – well, tomorrow will be four years too. Four long years, but that’s tomorrow and at least I get a good long sleep in between.
This story is dedicated to my husband, Roy Froud, who told me to write a story about my very own arch-nemesis, Mr. Procrasto!
The rope that held Captain Workhard to the table cut into his wrists. He could hear the whirring of the computer as it loaded and tippy-tapping of Nate’s typing. A robotic arm moved the screen across the room and brought it down over Captain Workhard’s face.
“You won’t get away with it this time, Mr. Procrasto!” he shouted, twisting his face away from the screen and screwing his eyes shut. “I won’t look!” The muscles in his arms bulged as he tensed with fear.
“Ah, there you are, Queenie darling. You look absolutely ravishing today,” McCavity swooned as he waltzed into Queenie’s chambers carrying a pork pie that he intended devour as soon as he sat down. He was wearing his much-loved top hat and tails, the buttons of his jacket stretched on a slowly growing paunch.
This story is dedicated to Diana Slampyak, who sent me the prompt ‘schizophrenia’.
Lucy tied the apron around her waist and looked around the dark and dingy bar. She sighed as she picked up her tray and walked over to her nearest table. Life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this, she thought, her dull eyes sagging with exhaustion and just a hint of misery. It wasn’t that her life was terrible – she had a job that she could tolerate and a small place of her own. A part-time boyfriend and a dog too. Life was okay and she knew that so many people had it so much worse. It just wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. She’d had plans. Pressure too, she remembered. There was a lot of that.
“Ya!” Herr Sharpe declared excitedly as his head bobbed up and down like a plush nodding dog from the back of a car. His smile took up most of his face.