“Right,” said Death adjusted his new hat as we stepped out of the clothes shop, fresh soul in hand. “Hand me the list!”
Scowling at him and the crowds pressing towards us I shoved my hand into my pocket and pulled out the water-stained parchment crumpled against the lining.
“Ah, wonderful,” said Death, taking it between thumb and forefinger. “It survived your dip in the Thames then?”
“And the Ganges,” I shrugged. “You should really stop dropping us in rivers.”
“What can I say,” shrugged Death, uncurling the list as he spoke. “Teleportation has its- Ange? Why does this say eggs, milk and cup-o-soup?”
[Written 13th November 2014]
The Discover Challenge is asking us to be retrospective this week and look back at the best of 2016. I decided to take things back a little further and start off with one of my favourite short pieces that I’ve written for this blog: ‘The List’. Reading it reminds me that I haven’t written any really short stories in a while and I miss writing 100 word pieces.
This year my focus has been on finishing Shadow Dawn and my posting has been a little spotty but the most popular post was a poem called ‘Apologies’. It has had a total of 104 views and 42 likes since it was posted in August, outperforming all my other posts this year.
He kept his apologies in shoe boxes
at the bottom of the wardrobe,
where they stayed gathering dust
until he’d pick a pair
to wear out.
Then he’d wear them until holes
were worn through the soles
and the fabric of them
became crepe paper packing
on unwanted gifts.
They never matched his outfit,
or suited the occasion,
you could pick them out a mile off
three shades too bright
and a little too polished.
I could never take him seriously
when he came to my door
wearing his best apologies
and tried to explain to me
it was me who was wrong.
Overall 2016 has not been as good as 2015 for this blog. In 2015 my top posts were Family Holiday [439 views], The Princess’ Crown  and Intruder In The Garden  . This year I have struggled to get anywhere close to those numbers with my posts but I’m unsure if that’s because there has been a change in my writing habits or because the content on the site has moved from micro-fiction towards longer pieces.
Part of my plan for 2017 will be to go back to micro-fiction twice a week as it gives me a good chance to try lots of different genres and styles with my writing. It also creates a bank of story ideas to be drawn upon at a later date.
Hopefully I will be able to write some more pieces that match the quality of the following three:
“Smile!” chorused her parents, grinning themselves as Elaine stood beneath the rusted sign marking this trail as Route Illinois Sixty-Six. Elaine scowled.
How dare they drag her trekking through some stupid American Jungle when everyone else she knew was off to the new Neptune Spa Resort, or Jupiter’s six month musical festival, Fiz Brain.
“Come on sweetie,” her father coaxed. “What’s the matter?”
“Earth,” she spat. “Who even comes here anymore?”
“It’s very popular according to the travel agent,” said her mother.
“With old people” Elaine snapped. “It’s totally lame!”
“No Dad! This sucks. You’re ruining my life!”
The Princess’ Crown
“Once upon a time,” Illany panted, beads of sweat clinging to her eyebrows as Kilogi’s sword bore down on her own. “There was a princess who didn’t want her crown.” She shifted her weight and twisted Kilogi’s weapon to the right exposing his left side.
“Her father said no,” she continued, throwing herself forwards and smirking at crack of ribs breaking and Kilogi’s gasping howl. “She would carry her responsible just as he did.”
Kilogi stumbled and dropped his sword.
“So she gave the crown to the blacksmith.”
Her blade was against Kilogi’s neck.
“And said make me a sword.”
Intruder In The Garden
“What are you doing in my garden?” asked the fairy, her sword level with James’ nose.
The fairy, because that was the only word he could think of to describe the tiny, fluttering creature currently pointing her cutlass at him, was scowling.
“I asked you, what you’re doing in my garden!” she demanded.
“Your garden,” James spluttered. “This is my garden! I just bought it.”
“Pah,” the fairy snorted, “You humans. You cannot buy fairy gardens.”
“I could show you the paperwork,” James suggested.
“Paperwork!” laughed the fairy. “Trust me human, paperwork is the least of your concerns.”