#BlogBattle: Castle #poetry #daughters #mothers #family

https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2020/03/03/blogbattle-castle/

This poem is for my daughters who have had their share of troubles. Some minor, some more major. This is for them, and for all the young women out there who have to be brave sometimes in extraordinary circumstances. We are living in difficult, frightening times with the inner cities being home to knife crimes and gangs. Coupled with this are many other hazards for young women nowadays.

Two young girls, one blonde one dark, my girls,

My daughters, grown now. I remember

trips, sunshine, parks, castles,

Ball parks, parties, giggles,

Sleepovers. 

Oh, the sleepovers! Crazy friends, fights, bullies, 

Shenanigans, strange confessions.

It was simpler then

How life changes.

Until hormones raging

Enter the boyfriends staying over

Not, if dad has his way. Ever. They plead.

Determined. He weakens, gives in.

I do too, not knowing

What to do.

Starts off well, until tears, heartbreak,

A hug, a kiss. Mr. Blue Eyes

is not so carefree I say, but girls

in love don’t listen.

Who would?

Don’t trust a player, I cry. Do they take

My advice? Sometimes not enough.

They ask friends, me, everyone,

Make choices.

I sigh.

Now the drama’s nearly over. I tremble.

Expecting the next crisis to come

rippling around the lake.

The waters swaying. It’s stiller now.

They’re wiser.

I’m ecstatic! They’ve escaped their troubles

They’ve put up their moats. Hurrah.

Don’t cry my beauties. 

You did the right thing

The waters yelling.

Nasty slaps, stares, cheats, assorted

Vicious nasties, hooded hoodlums

And gangs don’t make a man

But kindness does, you’ll see

Find your soulmate 

For your own dear castle. Rejoice

my lovelies you’ve learnt 

To be brave and true.

I’m so proud

Of you.

Two girls, older now, two blondes,

Both lighter, my girls, my daughters

Such a sweet reflection

My dearest castle,

My family. 

For all the mothers and daughters out there this poem is for you.

Stay safe and well.

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-j-mallon

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#BlogBattle: Flower – Mr Sagitarrius

 

This is my entry for Rachael Ritchey’s #BlogBattle – Flower https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/flower/

This is inspired by my frequent visits to the Botanic Gardens in Cambridge. It truly is a magical place.

Mr Sagittarius

I know I am dying so I have come to bid all my loves and especially my dearest orchid a final farewell. I pray I will surrender my soul to a place that will be as sweet as this hot house garden. I have a bequest in my pocket. It includes a generous sum of money for a park bench in honour of this magnificent garden. I will ask for a few simple words to be engraved on my bench when I pass to the garden of death.

It will say:

 

Mr Sagitarrius Died This Day in This Snow Drop Garden.

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Forgive me – I am ninety two,

I forgot all but two of my loves’ names,

My first and my last.

But I remember my orchid.

Love is a garden.

It is divine.

Everyday my old limbs pay a visit to the Botanic Garden in Cambridge. I hate routine, but my aching joints oblige when my lonely soul is in need of  feminine company. It is winter and in this season of chills, chilblains, snow and ice my favourite haunt is the glasshouses. There my ancient heart is warmed and I reminisce about… LOVE.

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My eyes begin a familiar journey. First alighting on one of many beauties, my first love! The bird of paradise flower which I stumbled across in Papua New Guinea when I was an innocent. I was an adventurer, then.  But, once awakened by the attentions of Ruth I became a Casanova! I fell in love, or perhaps in lust with Ruth – a dark-skinned beauty. I still remember the curve of her youthful skin and the way she used to gyrate her hips to entice me to join her in bed.

I linger in silent contemplation remembering Ruth and our amorous nights. Oh, what regrets followed the sudden demise of our fiery liaison.  The never-ending jealousies were a sign of my Sagittarius failings, and my dare I say it?

Inability to commit.

Here I go again. Even at my advanced age my old knees fight the urge to rest and move on… longing to see…  my next conquest.

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There she is! Oh sigh. What a divine creature. Twirling on tiptoe, my ballerina flower. Yes, how you could dance, pirouetting on pointe. I remember you in Swan Lake. How perfect you were, your tutu twirling around as your hair remained still. Such a picture of perfection characterised by that tight bun. How I relished swiftly untwirling your hair and removing all of your clothing the very same night. And dare I say it? There was an encore! But even you could not keep my attention for long. Not when there was such a fire in my belly.

 

There she is!  Wicked creature, I blame this red glory for breaking us up.

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She rose up to demand my attention like a pompon ablaze, sharp-witted with spikes of outrageous character. Oh, how this strange flower reminds me of her. She had bright red hair, and such a quirky personality.  I was hooked and yet, I regret, her true name escapes me, so I nickname you Calliandra. My mind is not as sharp as it used to be. Please forgive me, my beautiful red bonnet.

If by any chance we ever meet again I would rest my head on your shoulder. I’d begin by stroking your hair to get close to you. I’d caress you until intoxicated by your scent I would trace tiny trails of tender kisses down your perfect body. Sigh, the memory of this is almost too much for me. I feel quite giddy. Let me rest for a moment in a quiet corner. Or, I fear that some well-meaning but overzealous first aider will attach that defibrillator to me! Please don’t bother. It’s not needed.

 

I should have known you wouldn’t let me rest you selfish wench!

Narcissus, my daffodil.

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You command attention and I obey. Your beauty is cunning and without compare and yet I sense there is something lacking.

You are too selfish.

You cannot love.

 

My orchid….

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I should have visited you first. Please forgive me dearest sweetheart. You were the most exquisite of them all. My last, my first true love, an oriental flower, slender, graceful, full of charm, but, oh so fragile. I should have known. Oh, how I miss you. Now I am a ghost and lost without you. I settled for you, forgetting all others. Now I, this ghost of regret, understands the true nature of love. And now you pay me back for my thoughtlessness – your cruel ghost avoids me.

How could you be so wicked?

Perhaps you never died.

True beauty never does.

 

©M J Mallon

 

 

Hope you liked my story. I really enjoyed doing this one!

Bye for now,

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

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Blog Battle – My Heart Is A Cave

This is my entry for Blog Battle, it is a poem so hope that is okay! I didn’t have time to write a full story as I didn’t get home from work until 7.30pm and the prompt seemed to scream poem, poem, poem!

I had the idea for this poem whilst walking to work this morning. I often get inspiration in the early hours of the day. I love the idea of a heart being like a cave – my title!

My Heart Is A Cave

My heart is a cave,
Hidden, dark and mysterious,
Stalactites and icy caverns,
Rock pools and hiding places.

No one visits anymore. I’m alone.
The ice is melting, and the stars seem so far away.
I long for light, life and laughter to discover me again.
I imagine it all.

While I wait ice drips in darling drops,
Drip, dropping.
The moon is high,
An orb of brilliant light, it grins at me.

I remember my past, days ago,
Children, a husband, lovers – even.
So I wait for someone to come,
For a torch to shine.

It comforts me that the moon is full.
Abundant.
Soon I will be reunited with you.
I imagine you smiling down on the cave.

©M J Mallon

Basic Rules:
The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.
Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

RULES
1000 words max (give or take a few)
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
Go for the entertainment value!
Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
Have fun!

 

Bye for now,

 

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Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

M J Mallon _ YA Author

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#Blog Battle: Blood Moon A Rip Of A Ride

Week 29 Theme is Ride

Date to Post: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

My entry for Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle this week is returning to a character I have visited in previous blog battles. This is an idea I am developing as a continuation from the first manuscript I have written, Krystallos.  I intend the sequel to Krystallos to be darker.  I am struggling with where to go with this so this is me flexing my writing muscles. Somehow writing this short story has really helped me solidify some ideas I have so I hope you like it. The focus is on the male character Ryder, and the inspiration this week has come from the Blood Moon!!

This sits very well with my blog theme this month which happens to be Halloween!!

If you’d like to join in #Blogbattle, I’d recommend that you do, it’s fun, here’s the link: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy

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Title: Blood Moon A Rip of A Ride

It began with a rocking horse, a child’s toy, its springs were old and needed replacing. Ryder discovered this antique wonder in a quirky street in the lanes in Brighton. He carried it down the colourful street, and joined the queue for the busy student bus back to campus. A couple of ladies stared at his greediness, his decadence, taking up two seats on the bus. Ryder smirked, and patted the rocking horse’s head. The ladies glared. The corner of his mouth twisted, a smile with obvious intent.

When he brought the rocking horse back to his flat, his flatmates exchanged glances, it did much to catalogue Ryder even further into the depths of the oddity section. Only Olivia, his recent conquest gave him the benefit of the doubt. He appreciated that and made a mental note to reward her later. A midnight kiss would be in order.

After he left the warm embrace of slumbering Olivia the moon lay heavy in the sky, its orb red against the blackness. Ryder hung out his bedroom window staring, pleading with the moon to notice him. He dangled precariously, goading the moon to come closer. The pumpkin moon glowed red, blood red, a bleeding heart. The rocking horse began to move slowly absorbing the moon’s vital blood energy. Ryder could hear it behind him, creaking joints jarring to and fro. Then he heard the sound of an ice cream van, its tune winding its way towards him. He hung further out of the window wondering about this strange phenomenon, an ice cream van in the middle of the night. He grabbed his jacket, rushing to catch the van before it disappeared.

Outside he dashed, his senses filled with the promise of a midnight feast of sugary ice-cream. But, no van appeared. He waited. Displeased. Again he heard the jingle of the van teasing him, laughing at his foolish, childlike desires. The music grew louder and louder, he covered his ears and turned away, now desperate to escape. The van came to a screeching halt just as he took his first step. Ryder smiled. The hatch opened, a man peered out. He had a round face, the roundest face that Ryder had ever seen, vanilla white, pock marked, hair as black as the midnight sky.

There were no signs to state what kind of ice cream he sold.  Ryder waited for him to speak.

“Well, I haven’t got all night, what do you want?” said the man, as his creamy white face turned a surly red.

“I’m not sure,” replied Ryder, “What ice creams do you sell?”

“Ice creams? What? No ice creams here young man.”

“But you’re riding in an ice cream van, playing the jingle calling hungry kids.”

“That’s true, but that’s not what I do.”

“What do you do?” asked Ryder, frowning.

“Hop aboard, ride the van and you’ll find out,” said the man, his face returning to its original brilliant white.

Ryder hesitated. This was strange, but Ryder thrived on strange, so he agreed. The man opened the back of the van and Ryder climbed in.

Inside the van Ryder could see only darkness. A blackness drifted towards him filling his senses with a bleak sense of loss. The man handed him a tiny torch that gave off brilliant light.

“Come, this way,” he said.

The van was motionless, yet Ryder could swear that he felt movement. They walked and walked further into the darkness.

Suddenly they stopped.

A bright light shone from the torch on to a patch of turf. How curious. This van was playing with Ryder’s senses, revealing a vast land which stretched its tendril like fingers, shadows extending everywhere.

Ryder recognised the land. It was no picnic venue. He sighed.

“Home,” he said.

“Yes,” said the man.

“Why have you brought me here?”

“It’s nearly Halloween lad, when tainted creatures must visit the place of their birth.”

He heard the sound of the fairground, the laughter, candy floss and excitement beckoning, but behind it all he knew there was the ride.

There was no point in pleading with the man, asking him to take him back. He had to accept his fate, whatever that might be.

“Come your ride awaits you,” said the man.

Ryder lifted heavy feet, a ghostly chill settling in his bones.

The man opened the door of the roller coaster and let him in. The rollercoaster groaned. Ryder’s soul cried.

A jingle began to play, a cheerful ditty, but Ryder knew this would be short lived, soon he would hear a tune that would throw him into oblivion, and there was nothing he could do. Nothing at all.

The clamp locked around him. He gripped the sides of his seat, clenched his teeth, and prepared to ride. It started off slowly, a gentle teasing introduction, but soon the ride picked up pace, the jingle attempting to keep up with the speed of the ride.

Ryder’s face and body took a vicious pounding, his flesh almost ripping from him, his heart exploding, sweat dripping from his brow.

Then it stopped. No gentle ending. Just abrupt, no time to think.

Ryder could only see shadows. No light, no moon, no sun, no happiness only the bleakest most appalling darkness. A blanket of despair.

Then he focused.

A figure appeared. Hazy. At first he was uncertain whether it was male or female, but as his eyes grew accustomed to the light he knew who it was.

“Hello mother,” he said.

His mother walked towards him, she unbuckled the clamp, but said nothing. It was not their way, emotion was not tolerated in this land of childlike dreams, and nightmares.

He touched his eye, but knew the answer already, the beautiful crystal had been wrenched, a rip caused by the ride. His eye wept.  What price would he pay for its release? Only time would tell.

Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Hope you enjoyed my story, do comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bye for now. My cartoon character takes this battling so seriously!!

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

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#Blog Battle. An Exercise in Fun: Orchid Girl

This is my entry for Rachael Ritchey’s writing Blog Battle: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Week 28 Theme is Orchid and the genre of my short story is Paranormal Romance.

Date to Post: Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Rules:
1.1000 words max
2.fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3.PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
4.Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
5.Go for the entertainment value!
6.State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
7.Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
8.Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
9.Have fun!

Orchid Girl

The heady exotic scent of the orchids reminded him of a time long ago. On that particular day he had filled his living room with a floral tribute to a past life which he celebrated each year without fail. But this time it was different, he had made special plans and now they were about to come to fruition. He waited nervously for the clock to announce that it was time for him to pick Suzie up. He could hardly contain his excitement; he set about making his house as beautiful as he could so that it would meet Suzie’s expectations. But would Suzie meet his?

He had been met with derision when he told his friends and family about his plans, a mail order bride how ridiculous! A middle aged, lonely old man, exhibiting signs of desperation that’s what they’d said, or intimidated.

He greeted his bride at the airport with a shy hug. An almost perfect vision of beauty, her petite frame, and jet black hair gleamed with a glossy, playful youthfulness but her delicate features couldn’t conceal a tragic expression that seemed irreversible.

He wondered how he was to bear looking at such a sad face for the rest of his life. He prayed that he could turn the sharp downwards turn of her lips to a smile.

The journey back to his house was more or less silent apart from short bursts of conversation, in which she replied with a yes or a no.

But when she walked into the living room, she couldn’t contain her enthusiasm.
“This pretty,” she said, pointing at the orchids, a hint of a smile playing seductively on the edge of her lovely lips.

The orchids had won a tiny place in her heart, orchids always did.

As the day departed and evening began to suggest itself Alfred’s nervousness increased. It was such a long time since he had gone to bed with a woman. So many years, he did not care to count how many. He worried about his wobbly tummy, his hairy chest smattered with tiny grey hairs. Would this young woman cry and sob into his sheets, would he be the cause of a further sharp downturn of her sweet lips?

He gave her privacy to get undressed, imagined her placing a silky negligee on the bed, slipping into it, and laying her head on his pillow. He imagined her black hair fanned out on the pillow, a sharp contrast to the crisp whiteness of the sheets. He plucked one of the orchids from its stem, and took it up to her intending to pop it into her hair.

When he walked into the bedroom the humid room reminded him of a stifling greenhouse. He opened the window to let in some fresh air. He daren’t look at her, not yet, that magical moment would come later. As the fresh air drifted into the room, he turned to undress her with his gaze, but he saw his foolishness straight away.

He sat on the edge of the crisp bed, his eyes brimming with tears. He deserved this. It was always the same, she never came. He wept, picking up his wedding picture, his wife Grace stared back at him. Grace’s smiling face could match the most beautiful of sunsets. He couldn’t bear it, why did he torture himself this way? She had died without his saying goodbye. No final farewell.

Every year it was the same, on the anniversary of her death, he always bought orchids, her favourite flower and he filled their home with them. But she didn’t come. He had resorted to shock tactics, imagining a fantasy to bring her back to him one last time. His fantasy scenarios never worked, he sensed her presence in their room, but she didn’t return to him. Why would she?

He didn’t deserve her. He cried, and cried. He lifted up the tiny bottle of pills, his hands trembled as he tipped them out. Such tiny pills, he thought, so harmless looking. The water next, one big gulp and it would be all over, no more suffering. But as he turned the lid of the bottle, he thought he saw a tiny movement. The glass had moved, it was no longer on his bedside table but appeared to be hovering before him. As he looked at the glass more closely he saw the sweet semblance of his wife, a shimmering sunset glow, holding death away from him. The water tipped, evaporating as it splashed.

Alfred couldn’t believe his eyes. She had come back, his Grace, his love. “It’s you,” he said, his voice cracked, breaking with emotion.
“Yes.”
“My Gracie, I’ve missed you so much. Why have you taken so long to come back to me?”

“Hurt lay heavy in my heart, so my friend time, became my healer. Now the time is right for you to live and love again. Now I can rest forever.”

  “No, Grace, please, there’s something I must tell you.”

“There’s no need, it has taken me a long while, but I forgive you Alfred. I always knew that you didn’t mean those hurtful words.”

“I’m so sorry Grace, I was stressed. I lost my temper, shouted at you, when I shouldn’t have. I blamed myself for your heart attack.”

“You’re not to blame Alfred. My heart attack wasn’t caused by anything you said. But all this crazy fantasising is giving me a ghost of a second heart attack! Promise me this Alfred, live your life. Let your fantasies become realities. Maybe not that mail order bride, that’s preposterous, but you know what I mean.”

“I promise, Grace.”

He tucked the living orchid in the wispy suggestion of her sunlit hair. She gifted him one last sunset smile, a whispered farewell, and the sweetest hint of a lover’s kiss.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Thanks for reading my blog battle entry I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment and let me know what you think.

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

#Blog Battle Writing Week 20: Prophet

 Well it’s time for another Blog Battle, if you haven’t come across Rachael Ritchey’s  Blog Battles here’s your chance to join in this fun community of writers.

This link will take you to her blog battle page: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

The rules are:

Week 20 Theme will be Prophet

Date to Post: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015


Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
  7. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  8. Have fun!

The prompt word this week is Prophet.  I thought I’d give you another little taster of my WIP, a children’s fantasy set in Edinburgh.  I have written about 12,000 words in total for this new manuscript, so there is still a long way to go! This is the opening chapter of Morag Eu-Fung’s adventures, which is still to be edited/critiqued, by my writing group so all comments appreciated.

Hope you enjoy!

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Grandma’s Prophesy

Morag shouted, a wide grin erupted on her moon-shaped face, any spirits evil or otherwise were probably deafened and finding a hiding place in a crater somewhere. Now Morag’s voice sounded hoarse. Eilidh rolled her eyes, and frowned, her forehead creasing tightly in a sisterly display of disapproval. Morag acknowledged the frown by sticking her tongue out at her sister, but it was too late, Eilidh had turned away totally missing Morag’s rebellious gesture.

Just at that very moment, the night sky lit up with another jubilant burst of fireworks. The rainbow of light seemed to catch Morag’s dark brown hair which hung loose, and then alighted on her coat which was unbuttoned, thrown on. Another burst of colour settled momentarily on her fingerless mittens. Morag’s face glowed, her breaths panting, like a tribe of joggers, trying to keep up with each quick step of excitement. As if to match the momentum of Morag’s breathing a sequence of fireworks burst into another wonderful display, light fell, illuminating the freckles on Eilidh’s face which squeezed together impersonating a series of tiny black dots. Somehow Eilidh’s freckles reminded Morag of what you might see after staring too long and hard at an optician’s bright light.

Morag’s dad had outdone himself. Where had he managed to find such a wonderful array of fireworks? The firecrackers had been noisy; the neighbours must be at breaking point by now. Morag imagined them in their houses gritting their teeth, and muttering with growing annoyance. She giggled. No doubt they could smell the aroma of burning bamboo sticks too. Anybody would think that they were living in Hong Kong or somewhere equally exotic, but no they were in Scotland, at least they were living in the capital city Edinburgh and not in some back water. The centre of Asian culture, no, not really, but most of the inhabitants of their house thought differently, and those who didn’t kept that opinion to themselves!

Mum, dad, grandma and grandpa joined them but watched from a distance. Morag and Eilidh huddled together in the back garden sharing this moment until Eilidh spoilt it with her selfish words.

“Come on Morag, let’s go, it’s over.”

Eilidh didn’t even have the decency to let the very last firework fizz out properly. Morag ignored her sister, she lingered, savouring the memory of the sight of the sparkling fireworks exploding into the darkness of the night, they might be gone but the atmosphere crackled with the promise of a New Year. She was so absorbed in her own thoughts that for a moment she hadn’t noticed everyone else trooping back into the house. But when she did she questioned why they always did as Eilidh said? Before Morag could wonder anymore Grandmother trudged up and grabbed her by the collar of her coat and yanked her back to reality.

“Whooa Grandma, I’m coming, stop pulling at my coat,” said Morag, as she turned for one last stolen glance at the night sky.

Grandmother might seem to be the patient one but when it came to tradition she was always the first one in line, on a mission, in a hurry, organising the family in her quiet, devoted way. She had come outside to collect Morag without bothering to put on her coat. Her black dress was tightly drawn across her plump body, acting as a fearsome barrier to the cold. Morag studied Grandmother Lean’s wrinkly, tired face. She’d been working really hard, busily preparing everything for Chinese New Year. Grandmother had very rarely sat down, whilst grandfather settled down into the best chair in the house and refused to get up! Typical grandfather!

The reunion dinner had been well worth all the effort. Morag’s favourite dumplings had sat like tempting morsels quivering with expectant anticipation on the dining table. Within one of the dumplings a gold coin  lay hidden and whoever found the coin was considered to be lucky. Morag had hoped that it would be her. She had looked at the dumplings hungrily and wondered which one to choose. Her hunger had got the better of her and she had chosen the biggest, fattest, one. In her haste she had opened her mouth wide and had taken an enormous bite, almost eating the dumpling whole. Of course, her elder sister had chosen the smaller more delicate dumpling and had found the gold coin. Typical! Why did her eldest sister have to be the lucky one? It was so unfair. Ugh! Still, maybe it was just as well, Morag had swallowed the gold coin last year by mistake, and they had had to rush her to hospital! After the gold coin incident, Eilidh had taken great delight in calling Morag a greedy pig. Morag didn’t want that name tag, even though the pig was one of the illustrious animals to grace the Chinese Zodiac.

The first day of this New Year had begun well. Grandmother Lean had greeted Morag and Eilidh with an individual ang pow, a little red packet.

“Spend it wisely, and all will be well,” Grandmother had prophesied.

Of course Grandmother hadn’t said this to Eilidh, she expected Eilidh to spend it wisely without being reminded. Eilidh would too, she knew how to get on the right side of grandmother and keep her sweet.

Morag had bowed respectfully to her grandmother, even though she was a bit annoyed by Grandmother selecting her for the “spend it wisely” message but she knew better than to say anything, and she certainly didn’t intend to open it in front of her. This was considered to be very rude! So she sneaked upstairs and opened the packet in her room, £20. Wow. She couldn’t wait to spend it.

She remembered her grandmother’s words.

“Spend it wisely.”

She loved her grandmother and knew that the spirits of her ancestors had been listening and that to disobey would be very, very, unwise. She must try her best to buy something worthy of her grandmother’s wish. She prophesied that she would be good, a little chuckle escaped betraying her like a prisoner from her lips.

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

Hope you like my #BlogBattle story. I’m enjoying writing this WIP. Do let me know what you think. I would love some opinions on the Chinese New Year Theme.  Thanks a million.

kk

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

 

 

 

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Blog Battle: Week 18 Theme Dream

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Today I’m taking part in Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle.

No it isn’t some kind of martial arts challenge it’s a fun writing battle.

Here’s the link to Rachael’s blog to find out more: http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

The Week 18 Theme is Dream –  this prompt appeals to me so much.

Where would we be if we didn’t dream? A very sad bunch of people I reckon. Sometimes dreams can help us escape from painful realities.

Here’s the rules of the battle:

Date to Post: Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Rules:
1.1000 words max
2.fictional tale (or true if you really want)
3.PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
4.Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
5.Go for the entertainment value!
6.Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
7.Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
8.Have fun!

Each winner will receive an awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.

Here’s my entry for the #Blog Battle.

It’s an excerpt from my manuscript, I hope you enjoy:  

Amelina couldn’t sleep. The stagnant air in the house felt like a tourniquet tightening around her neck choking her. Opening the windows made no difference whatsoever, feeling anxious; a sensation of dread overcame her. She felt as if she was tiptoeing on a floor of delicate eggshells. Strange voices and a laboured breathing came grumbling from the walls of the house, speaking in whispered unison, “Cursed house, Dreadful misfortune.”

Amelina slipped away from the cursed house into a dream. In her dream the pathway lay deserted, not a soul was about. The very dead of night beckoned. An eerie silence magnified every rustle, and quadrupled every whisper, in the breeze. The gentle sound of trickling water did much to sooth Amelina’s disturbed senses, but she had this strange feeling that someone was following her. Yet when she looked over her shoulder no one seemed to be there. No footprints, no churned up earth. Nothing. She tried to walk faster but her steps kept lagging behind, like a broken jigsaw piece, moving forward and back on a predetermined journey.

The whispering winds grew louder, and louder, until she forced herself to turn round to confront her growing fear. The shadow of an invisible man followed close behind her. Disconcerted, she tried to run, but stumbled as if this shadow’s long limbs were tripping her up. Just when she couldn’t take another step further, the howling winds stopped and the shadow vanished.

 With the shadow’s departure, the deep rooted sadness within her soul began to gradually vanish. She breathed in the liberating air, and walked as if this was a path she had taken many times before, but her expressionless face, glassy eyes and outstretched arms suggested that she was in some sort of a trance.

A strange creature appeared his body and features were held together with rotten, matted mud, skin and bones. He said nothing. His presence didn’t frighten Amelina; on the contrary her serene face gave the impression that she was staring at a glowing candle light.

The creature stood motionless. He pointed at the ground.

A tremor shook Amelina’s body, her teeth chattered and her ears rang with the sound of earth cracking below her feet. It seemed as if the whole world was tilting on its axis, and the only way out was via a slide with a beginning but no visible end. As soon as she put a tentative step onto the slide, it was over. No time for fear. Every emotion had compressed into seconds. It had been the ultimate adrenalin rush, blood pounding, heart ripping, ears splitting, and stomach churning.

She came crashing off the slide and landed onto a sparkling stone floor, instead of hurting her it cushioned her landing, like a silky feather down quilt. No longer afraid of the shadows, she felt welcomed.

At home. 

What a magnificent sight. Crystals on the walls of the buried cottage lit up in a myriad of welcoming shades, purple Amethyst, white Quartz, red Jade, blue Topaz, each colour announcing her long overdue welcome. Then as if this was not enough, lights twinkled and burst forth from each crystal in a jubilant display, a veritable firework extravaganza. Amelina sparkled from head to toe, light bounced off the walls of the stone cottage, finding a resting place on her face. She willed this spectacle to carry on, and on, but the glowing display began to taper off. In fact the colours became darker, glimmers of the crystals’ bright lights darkened to a menacing black and then lightened to a grey, washed out colour before turning a muddy brown. She could feel the skin on her face pucker, an orange peel texture stripped of all moisture, her body began to shiver and shake.

In desperation she lifted her head and looked up. All she could see before her was the strange creature; he stood some distance above on the open ground waiting. Waiting for what? To bury or help her? He held a rope ladder of skin and bones, which he began to lever down. She grimaced, but reached out and latched on to it. The creature hoisted her out effortlessly. They stood side by side for a moment. No time remained for them to exchange any words. The ground beneath Amelina’s feet shuddered, and cracked, she stepped back just in time. The creature was sucked into the depths of the earth, extending his arm in warning as he fell. The Cottage grew a distant memory swallowed in its entirety, each stone, pillar, and column buried. The further away it was, the smaller the Cottage had become, until it became no more than a tiny speck of inconsequential dust. An unnatural silence visited the abandoned ground in which the Cottage had been hidden. The mound of unsettled earth closed. The Creature and the Cottage were gone. No signs remained that they had ever been there.

Her body shifted a fraction as she stirred. She opened her eyes. Amelina’s heart fluttered like a caged bird. Then a brooding sense of darkness enveloped her, this blackness settled in her mood, taking centre stage in her thoughts.  She sighed, a resigned note of melancholy.  The disappointment was tangible. She couldn’t believe this strange episode could be so cruel, a dream that had teased her but had felt so real. She shrunk back down into her sheets, collapsing into life’s bittersweet reality.

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Bye for now, time for dreaming…

Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

Words good or bad, are my very own!

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Blog Battle Creative Writing Challenge: Spaghetti

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Today I’m taking part in author Rachael Richey’s Blog Battle Creative Writing Challenge: http://rachaelritchey.com/2015/06/30/blogbattle-week-16-spaghetti-entries-voting/

The challenge word this week is spaghetti. Ah this conjures up messy eating habits, and trips to Rome, well in my mind it does anyway!

The rules and details of joining in this blog battle are at the end of this post.

Here’s my entry. It’s about Spag and Hetti, twin pieces of spaghetti who are made out of the same piece of pasta but are very, very different!

The Spag and Hetti Twins 

 

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“Hey Spag what you think about those diners last night talking about punting in Cambridge?’ asked Hetti.

“You won’t catch me a punting Hetti I’m too bendy, I’d be all over the place, toppling those fine people into  mucky water. I ain’t no punting pasta,” replied Spag.

“Yeah, you said it! And you’d be messing up the punt with your tomato sauce, me brother.”

“I’m not a messy punter, don’t get all posh Fettucine, Rigatoni on me,” said Spag with a chuckle.

Hetti looked at his brother and smiled. Spag had always been a straight up spaghetti boy, served with Mama’s fine Italian sauce whereas Hetti preferred to be shaped into something different, moulded into a new style. Hetti had ambitions. He wanted to grace the finest Italian restaurants and be served all round the world.

“Hey Hetti you remember that time we were the centre piece in a messy party?”

“Yeah how could I ever forget! That’s ingrained in my pasta memory me brother.” Hetti winced. “The pasta sauce was all over their faces, dribbling down their mucky chins. It was everywhere.” replied Hetti.

“Yeah. The kids were cracking up, giggling non-stop. Then their mama she laughed so much she started clutching her chest. I thought she was going to have a heart attack,” said Spag talking faster and faster as if his pasta sauce was about to boil over.

Hetti put on his disapproving face. Spag knew that tell-tale look so well.

“Sometimes I think people are kind of silly, laughing so much, why can’t they eat pasta properly? They don’t have a clue, they got no pasta etiquette.”

“Hey stop being such a stuck up kill joy Hetti, they were just having a laugh. Those moments are the best, real family times, rare, just natural like, no TV, no outside stuff just being together sharing moments. Those are the memories they’ll remember when the kids are long gone and all grown up. They’re precious those special times.”

“You’re such a big softy Spag, no wonder your pasta’s prone to being soggy,” said Hetti playfully punching his brother in the tummy.

“Huh, just because you’re always so Al Dente, Hetti. Why you got to be so perfect? Sometimes it gets on my nerves. For pasta’s sake Hetti just let your hair down.”

“You’re telling me to let my hair down, that’s rich. You’ve got to stop being a mummy’s boy Spag. Don’t you want to explore, see the world?” asked Hetti looking at his brother curiously.

Spag raised his voice slightly, his pasta adam’s apple wobbling as he spoke. “I see and hear all I gonna see and hear every day in Mama’s restaurant. This is the best, nothing like it. Nowhere else compares. ”

“Huh, Mama’s restaurant, you and I we may be twins cut from the same piece of pasta but I just don’t understand you. When the nurse cut our spaghetti cord she did me a big favour, she made sure that I was the more handsome longer half, me brother.”

“More handsome longer half. What a cheek! Hetti don’t you go a winding me up, twist me around your annoying fork I’m not playing that game me brother.”

“You play the Spaghetti game every day Spag, you’re all meat balls, and tomato sauce you are. Where’s your imagination? Why you not come with me? Try something different, go somewhere different. It’ll be a blast. Let’s go exploring.”

“Where you going Hetti?” asked Spag raising an inquisitive eyebrow.

“I’m going to Italy me brother to the finest city, Rome. There we can learn all about the finest pasta, culture and history. ”

“How are you going to get to Rome, this cultural oasis Hetti?” asked Spag looking at his brother’s legs. “Those bendy legs won’t carry you further than your next serving plate, you’ll need crutches, better still a wheelchair. If you’re not careful they’ll feed your sorry ass to the lions in the Colloseum.”

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“Ha Ha. Stop looking at me legs. I can’t help it if they’re long and thin. Anyway I’ll show you Hetti, we’ll get there you’ll see.”

“How me brother? On a helicopter, a speed boat, a jet ski, or what about one of them posh cruise ships? That sounds more your style, or maybe you’re thinking of a flight on a pasta passport? You got your passport photo yet? That I got to see!”

Hetti laughed. His long thin pasta body wiggled. “I’ll find a way Spag. I always find a way, it’s a long challenging piece of pasta to get there but I’ll get there in the end.”

“Yeah, I can just see it now Boomerang Airlines, twirl your pasta around the boomerang and you might go as far as Australia, return trip the same day.”

“Ha Ha very funny. I’ll surprise you, you’ll see. I’m the final bite ain’t I?” said Hetti standing up taller, stretching to his full height.

“That you are me brother, that you are. I tell you what, you’re me brother and I love you like we’re the same piece of pasta so if you can get to Rome I’m a coming with you. I’ve heard all about Rome, the Colloseum, The Pantheum, The Spanish Steps, The Trevi fountain.

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“The beautiful Italian ladies!”

Spag sighed. Hetti sighed.

“I knew it. Never mind about family love. The ladies. Now, you want to come with me brother!”

Hetti inspected Spag as if he was searching for some magical secret ingredient. “You may be a bit on the small side but the ladies love you. I never figured that out me brother! How come? What you got that I lack?”

“You know the saying, size don’t matter. It’s me charm.”

Hetti grinned. “Yeah, and all of those lovely ladies they always smile real wistful like when they finish a plate of your finest Spag, you pasta devil, Spag!”

© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica.
Words good or bad, are my very own!

Here are the Voting rules, and rules of participating in Rachel’s Challenge:

Everyone, regardless of participation, who reads ALL the stories for the week may vote.

PLEASE VOTE for your top TWO favorites (not two for the same, though!).

Vote by 10 PM PST on SATURDAY so Rachel can announce the winner on SUNDAY!



Rules:

  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Post your story by Tuesday 11:59 PM PST
  7. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/orinclude a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  8. Have fun!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you liked my #BlogBattle story, maybe you might like to join in Rachel’s challenge too.

Do comment, say hi, I’d love to hear from you!

kk

Kyrosmagica xx

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