When The Muse Spits Blood – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

These gums are splinter strewn with pencil shards
from musing on ideas,
chewing the fat,
picking bones from the meat of a thought
until it sits on the page just right
stripped to sinew,
muscles drawn tight
pure power
in a few dangerous words.

Heatwave

The Spring was wet,

enough that the trees still look alive above the yellow grass,

their roots searching out hidden wells to keep from losing too many leaves.

In their shade the heat has baked the ground into a bad ceramic,

the glaze already chipped and cracked in this overheated kiln.

Camouflaged by brittle stalks the sacrifices go unnoticed,

dust to dust, ashes to ashes, the trees can only stand so long.

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A New Friday Fiction Link Up: What Happens Next Is Up To You!

I’ve been taking part in fiction challenges for years but there never seem to be many for short story writers that want to tackle something longer than a hundred words. The best I’ve found is Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenges.

Seeing as there seems to be this shortage, I thought I might try my hand at kick-starting my own Friday Short Story Challenges. This week you have a carry on the story piece. You can add a single paragraph in the comments below and work with others readers to create a piece with many authors, or you can whisk away the start of the story from below and post your own full blown piece to your blog.

Guidelines:

  • You can either add a paragraph in the comments below or write a full story carrying on from the snippet below on your own blog and add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of the page.
  • If you’re adding to the story in the comments then try and reply to the story thread instead of the main post as that should keep things nice and simple for readers. (She says as if more than one person is likely to respond.)
  • Word Count. If your posting on your own site go as big or small as you like, but if it’s in the comments it’s probably best to keep it to a paragraph at most. That said, you can always bob back later and add another plot twist in later along the line!
  • If you’d like to reblog or share this then that would be wonderful. These sort of challenges only really work if we can get people involved.
  • If you write something then please check out the other contributions as well. We all like to see that our work is being read and commenting is a great way to get to know some of your fellow bloggers.
  • Most importantly! Have fun.

Next Saturday (12th August) I’ll do a feature post which will include snippets from all the blogs that take part and link back to their sites.

Fancy the challenge? Then take a look below and get writing! It’s over to you now:

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The pocket watch has sixteen hands and they all pointed in the same direction. Twelve. It was ridiculous really, who would want a watch that didn’t tell the time, never mind one that had sixteen hands, none of which had ever moved a millimetre. Marcel clicked the watch closed and slid it inside his jacket pocket. He was used to the weight of it bumping against his ribs as he walked and when it wasn’t there he missed it. Missed the useless bit of junk like a limb.

He waited for the little man to light up green on the crossing and checked both ways. The way was clear and he followed as the crowds surged forward, carrying him from one side of the road to the other.

Forty-Seven, Ivy Road. He counted the numbers beside the doors of the shops as he passed. Forty-Nine, Fifty-One, Fifty-Three…

There was a space between the end of Fifty-One and Fifty Five. Barely wide enough for a grown man to squeeze through but just about there. He ran over the address in his head  and counted down the street again. Yes he decided. He’d found the right place.

Inside his gloves he could feel his fingers itching, impatient to get to work. They were trembling too.

One step, that was all it would take.

One step…

Reviewers Wanted!

Edwin and Sammy hunt monsters. They’ve been at it for centuries and they’re not planning on stopping any time soon.

Except things are stirring. Things that haven’t stirred in a long, long, long time and it’s got a certain zombie with a hording problem all jumpy, and he wants Edwin and Sammy to fix it.

They just have to find out what it is.

A few months ago I started working on Solitary Creatures. It’s set in the modern day and the first four parts are up on the site starting here. This April I will be using the story line for my CampNaNoWriMo project so it will begin to feature a lot more heavily on the site.

What I’m looking for is readers who will be willing to give it a read and let me know what they think. I’m looking for honest, constructive feedback so if you don’t like it and want to tell me so, then that’s fine too.

If you’re interested then you can click the link above and it will take you to the first chapter or you can get to the story through the menu at the top of the site. I’ve included a sneak peak below to show you what you’re getting into.

‘Well he was a stubborn one wasn’t he!’ Edwin dragged his hands along his jeans to wipe off the worst of the blood. ‘I swear, it was like he didn’t want to die.’

Sammy mumbled something beneath his breath and continued to throw body part into the pit they’d dug just outside the farm boundary where the boggy peat land crept in and made the ground wet and dangerous.

The pair were sweating but Edwin was still grinning. It had been his idea to go after the vampire, his idea, not Sammy’s.

‘You sure you got all the pieces?’ he asked. He left Sammy unloading the truck and opened the passenger door to fish around in the glove box. Between the dead torch and a road map thirty years out of date he found the half smoked pack of cigarettes and tapped one out into his palm. ‘Don’t want to risk someone coming across some stray bit of Mr Baldy here and kicking up trouble.’

The end of the cigarette glowed red and he sucked in a lungful of smoke.

‘I got ’em all,’ Sammy muttered. ‘This isn’t the first time remember.’ He hurled the last segment of Mr Baldy into the hole and mopped his face with a bit of rag from his back pocket. ‘Your turn.’

Edwin nodded once and leaving the cigarette pinched between his teeth raised his hands up in front of him. The earth groaned and wavered. Frowning, Edwin adjusted his stance and shook out his arms. The earth groaned again, but this time the hole snapped shut with a wet squelch, leaving no trace of the grave at all.

‘You’re getting rusty. You didn’t even have to raise your hand two years ago.’

‘Yeah well, things change,’ snapped Edwin. ‘At least I’m more use that you.’

Solitary Creatures: Part One

Moments Of Magic

The memory has lost some of its sharpness,

like a photo with dog-eared corners

and thumb worn edges

rediscovered from somewhere forgotten

and old.

But I can still feel the scratch on my palms

of chunky stone walls

marching onward towards the shore

where the sea swam darkening

around the ruins of an ancient fort.

While the sun sunk beneath the waves

and I squinted for a sight of Ireland on the horizon,

and the sky turned red and orange and pink and…

green.

A single streak of emerald,

old news to the locals,

but pure magic to me.

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Stranraer – Scotland

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt: Vivid