Walking Away

Walking Away

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Has the World Gone Mad?

What a week, first of all it was National Flash Fiction Day on Saturday 21/6/14 and I submitted a story to The Write-In and it was published. Great examples of good flash fiction all day long on the Flash Flood http://t.co/47LM3jCUGm This one was by my good friend Sal Page http://t.co/m50LlNRanu

 Nose Clips by Stella Turner

The legs spun around without a ripple of water let alone a splash. Kitty and her friend Madge were always a bit weird with their big noses. Think it was because of those nose clips they wore. Dad always warned me that I was too forthright with the personal comments.
    “You’ll never get a lassie” he’d joke over the kitchen table. His accent still strong after all these years living down south. I’d been born a Sassenach. Something he’d never quite forgiven fate for. He’d come for work and when I was old enough took me down the pit with him. I loved swimming, the clear fresh water vying the black cloying coal dust. Water won every time.
     My mates and I spent every Saturday morning at the council swimming baths. For most of us it was the nearest we got to seeing the girls in their bathing suits and to have an innocent chat. If we ever got too near the life guard would blow his whistle and point of the sign on the wall. No running, no pushing, no ducking, no diving, no smoking, no petting.  
     Handing her a small bunch of flowers, she looked up at me, eyes expectant, all said and done she was used to this. After each of our four sons was born I’d hear my Dad’s words ringing in my ears. “You’ll never get a lassie”
     “Will she do?”
    “Aye Madge, she will”
     Breathing out a sigh of relief my daughter had perfect symmetrical features. I’d teach her to swim and to dive, no synchronised swimming. No one was going to say my girl had a big nose. 


Then I heard I'd won this one

The Angry Hourglass  http://t.co/MtOYLlmzA3
Stella’s story takes a less-is-more approach, told in understatement and vivid details. Relatives gather at a  funeral, and confusion ensues. Even the eulogy could be for someone else. Poor Auntie Sheila!
                                       Your Round 25 FLASH MASTER is…
with The Final Resting Place
Stella wins for saying so much in so few words.  This story is less than 300 words! The narrator’s perspective, the vivid detail and family dynamic is just perfect.  The power of things unsaid. In a way, this is a classic take on the photo–the marker on a hill–a life, a funeral, the awful relatives,  etc.  but there is so much more!  The flowers are even more poignant. This hill on the moor is not Auntie Sheila’s  final resting place–or is this where her true spirit lingers?

                                                                     *          *         *

And I've tried very hard to get a mention on this American site. Each Friday they have lots of stories submitted 

FLASH FRIDAY  http://t.co/yADTszgdBJ


StellakateT, “The Jewel.” This twisted Cinderella tale gave me no small amount of satisfaction at the end, when the writer reveals that the “homely” sister is the jewel of the family. I don’t know if she’s happy with her lot, but I felt as though she at least had some measure of retribution with the match.

I honestly thought in both Flash Friday and The Angry Hourglass there were better stories but its all subjective. A good job we all don't like the same thing as it would be a boring world for writers :) truly the World has gone mad, I'm beginning to think I might now be able to write Flash Fiction

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Dead Ants Everywhere

Just posted on FINISH THAT THOUGHT theme this week is Dead Ants everywhere :) I shouldn't say it but I really like this little story.

On The March 

Dead ants were everywhere but I was more perturbed by the living ones. I’d stopped swatting them off the kitchen counter, the ones that dared to transfer themselves on to my body were squashed with a scream, mine not theirs. It was an invasion, the march of a conquering army.  

I looked everywhere to find what was attracting them. No spilt sweet substances. They were coming from underneath the back door and heading straight up the kitchen cabinets and the live ones were disappearing into the corner of the internal wall. 
What was making them die on the journey? Where were they going? What was the purpose? Mum had always said I had a scientific brain and asked too many questions. Remembering the time I did a school project on Did Mothers always know best? My conclusion was no.

Where was Jake when you needed him? Out with his mates, drinks after work, I was an independent woman I’d solve this mystery without him. He wasn’t the best flatmate, when that huge tarantula ran across the floor he was standing on the sofa with me, screaming too.
Standing with the sledge hammer firmly in my left hand I began to hit the corner of the wall. I’d often wondered why Jake kept a hammer like this under the stairs. He’s such a puny little guy. My muscles are more honed than his. 

It didn’t take much strength to shatter the plaster board but it took all my strength not to pass out. The sunken eyes beseeched me, the bones of the skeleton rattled me, the ants were feasting on the remains of its flesh.

“So you’ve met Jolene?” 

I jumped at the sound of Jake’s gentle voice behind me. 

“I knew one day you’d get to meet her”


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Cartwheels to Heaven

I wrote this last weekend to submit to The Angry Hourglass, its a great writing exercise to a picture prompt. In their words "you all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title)" http://t.co/r2t8RcteoK It didn't win, mainly because the other entries were brilliant :)

Cartwheels to Heaven 

I can hear her running up and down the corridor singing those pop songs with really lewd lyrics that I’m hoping she doesn’t yet know what they mean. Sam, my husband wants me to go out and read her the riot act. He didn’t fight in the war to have to listen to all this noise. I want to say “no, you fought for her freedom” but the grumpy old sod wouldn’t appreciate that and I don’t want to hear any more of his complaints about the younger generation. 

I love to hear her. I love the way she cartwheels. I remember doing that years ago my dress falling over my face exposing my school knickers. Not realising our neighbour Mr Pickering was taking photos of me with his old Brownie. In his dark room he’d produce images to dispatch all over the county in plain brown envelopes. My Mammy nearly killed him when some distant cousin in County Kildare wrote her to ask if it was me. Mr Pickering walked with a limp for ages and I found his camera in tiny bits at the end of our garden by the composting bin. Shame really I would have liked to have taken photos of my own, the Fairies at the bottom of the garden, Bridie’s rabbit with all its babies, Sister Mary Evangeline’s beard. The last one makes me laugh out loud. Sam looks at me like I’ve gone mad, maybe I have. How can you be eighty years of age but still know how it feels to be a ten year old?  

I open the flat door and yell “Darcy” 

What a pretentious name to christen a child from this estate, although I’m sure she’s never had holy water anywhere near her.

“Yes Mrs Higgins” 

I hand her a fifty pence piece.  

“Mr Higgins wants you to have this, he loves hearing your singing” 

She smiles the smile of an angel. That’s what Sam fought for in the war to end all wars. 

Here are the kind words by the Judge about my story:

Stella offers a wonderful chance to re-evaluate the freedoms of childhood that should be enjoyed while they can. The examples of the bits of childhood the elderly character still wishes to have captured are sweet and vivid.

Realised its about the First World War again.  

Things I like

  • Writing
  • Wit
  • Voltaire's Candide
  • Theatre
  • Shoes
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Laughter
  • Coleslaw
  • Cheese