Good lord, it’s the twenty-fourth of February, already. I hate it when people do that, ‘WOW! It’s [INSERT TODAY’S DATE] already!’ but I do it myself all the time – the passage of time might be linear but our experience of it is so relative that it sneaks up on me all the time. Days might pass slowly, but weeks seem to flood past. One day you’re starting university and someone sneezes and you’re close to a year away from your thirtieth birthday, wondering if you’re really not that bothered about all the things you ‘should’ have done by now. I always have taken my time with things. My mother’s name for me when I was a child was ‘Hurry up!’ and my middle names were ‘we’ll be late!’ What I’m saying is, thirty or forty or fifty, I’ll get there when I get there. ‘Whether it’s writing,’ he said, stroking an invisible, long, white beard, ‘or relationships, or self-actualization, it can take time, but it’s time worth taking.’Continue reading “Old man climbs a mountain with the New Weird”
In November last year, I entered the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award. Whilst I didn’t win, I’m pleased to say that my short story, Flood Pain, scored highly enough to make it into the prize’s anthology, Cheval 12.
I’m chuffed (understatement). This is the first time I’ll be published as an adult, and I think I’ll be in some very good company.
I haven’t read the winning entries yet, but if previous years’ are any indication, they’re excellent. Congratulations to Eleanor Howe, whose poetry won over all, and Nathan Munday and Cynan Llwyd who won runner up prizes for poetry and fiction, respectively. There’s more info about the prize and the winners, here.
The anthology launches on the 31st May 2019.
I usually hate Sundays. They’re glum end stops that mark a potentially monotonous metre; the passing of weeks, made all the more blue if you’re not in love with your daily nine to five.
This Sunday has been a good one, though. I’ve been writing a lot lately, necessitated by the assignment deadline that’s bearing down on me. I hammered out 2,000 words on the first draft of a 17th century tragedy with some fantasy stuff thrown in, which will also be what I’m submitting for my assignment, or at least part of it, anyway. Continue reading “Sunday Blues, Atmospheric Photos and Space-flight Inspiration”
The moonlight that filtered through the tangled branches of the nightmare pines was tainted by their boughs, and where it touched the snowclad ground, black twins of the twisted branches lay. In the still night a single draught slid across the moonlight snow towards the peacefully slumbering farm. It slipped over a snow drift and gently tipped a latch on the stable door, creeping inside. In the gloom of the stable, something in the draught watched the black horse’s nostrils flare as it sensed the presence, whickering in fear. The draught swept across the hay-strewn floor, towards its prey.
At the horse’s scream, Karl jerked from his sleep, breathless and sweating. The house was silent but the scream still quivered in his ears, worming its way into his brain, thundering through his heart and racing in his breath. It shivered down his spine. Around him his dark bedroom loomed, and the formerly safe room, his day-time sanctuary from the arduous work of the farm, leaned in close as though waiting for its moment. Continue reading “Mare Ridden”
Frankie pulls up in her dad’s car, wearing white. She hops out of the black-green ’63 Mustang and leaves the engine running, glancing nervously at the house looming behind Cameron.
“Get the fuck in.” She growls, running around the hood. Cameron trots around the trunk and stuffs his black sports bag in the back, as Frankie slides gracefully into the passenger side. She’s 5’6” and sixteen, short, black hair, shaved to a quarter inch fuzz down the right hand side. There’s a tiny, round, silver stud high up in her ear that glints in the sunset as she gets in. She’s gorgeous. Cameron puts it in first and tries to pull off innocuously and quickly, but fails. The engine is loud. Frankie slides nervously down the seat, crinkling her white summer dress. She watches her mirror in silence until they hit the highway.
“Why am I driving?” Cameron asks after a while, quietly breaking the engine filled silence.
“No licence.” She says shortly.
The silent-tide rolls back in and they follow the curving asphalt through the pine trees as the sun goes down. There are few cars on the road, but Frankie still tenses visibly when they pass one. Cameron’s a year older than she is and has no more experience of law-breaking, but is able to hide his nervousness better. He grips the wheel white-knuckled and pretends that his guts don’t feel like they’re trying to escape.
“Nice dress,” he says, trying to take his mind off things. They curve right into a canyon lined with firs and unforgiving rock faces. “I’ve never seen you wear something like that before.” She normally wore jeans, t-shirts and half laced Doc-Martins. Sometimes her bottom half was obscured by overalls whose upper-half was tied around her waist. Frankie shrugs.
“New life, new start… new clothes seemed appropriate. My mother never grubbed around in jeans like me.” It gets darker and Cameron flicks on the Mustang’s lights, illuminating the twisting path in front of them. The double yellow line stretches for winding miles, its white twins following closely, gripping the canyon-side.
“Just don’t change too much, right?” Cameron smiles, trying to lighten the mood that has settled on them heavily, like the dark. “I quite like you how you are.”