Sometimes it is good to reblog especially if you get a chance to go behind the scenes of a Bloggers Bash. Follow the antics of Ali, Geoff, Sacha and Hugh, otherwise known in Geoff’s words as the gang of Four – Ali ‘bog diver’ Isaac, Hugh ‘The Welsh’ Roberts, The Geoffle and their Supreme Commander de Blog, Sacha ‘Eyebrows’ Black, at the dastardly bash. You won’t regret it…..
This Tuesday I am taking part in Rachael Ritchey’s Writing Blog Battle the prompt word this week is Scar. With a word like that how could I say no! My theme this month is scary, spooky, Halloween stuff and nonsense so with that in mind I’ve written a paranormal, contemporary romance. Or have I? Beaton just read through this (a fellow blog battler and in his cheeky way kind of said the category wasn’t quite right, so I suppose it might be safer to keep to Paranormal for now!??) I think it started off as a romance and wondered off somewhat, though at its core the romantic ideal, of true love, is central with all the angst that accompanies it!!
Here it is:
The scar woke her as it always did every morning, a sad throbbing sensation that sliced into her day. She couldn’t take the pain anymore. Today had to be different, the promise of a fishing adventure with Todd at the country park lake lay ahead of her. It wasn’t exactly the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean with red snapper to be caught, but it was Todd, fish and her and that was all that mattered. Todd had always held the undisputed title of Anna’s best friend, they had met at secondary school and been inseparable friends ever since.
She dressed quickly, and rushed to meet him. It was a lovely bright sunny day with no hint of rain. The lakeside was empty, its waters calm and still. Anna arrived first as she always did, she opened her folding chair and waited. She sighed. Todd was never on time, even for fishing! He didn’t have many faults except this one. She stared at the surface of the lake wondering what they would catch today, and spied a swan far off in the distance, landing near a speck of pond flora. Todd crept up on her, unannounced, placing his cold fingertips on her shoulder. She jumped.
“Todd! Quit doing that one of these days you’ll give me a heart attack!”
“Sorry Anna, you looked so absorbed in the mysteries of that lake, I just couldn’t help myself,” Todd’s face creased, striking out into a sweet smile.
Anna couldn’t help but smile back. Todd had that way with him, one smile and you just melted. It was good to see that smile again, it had been sadly lacking of late. Nevertheless she wondered why his fingers were cold on such a warm day.
Todd took out all of his fishing gear, set up his chair, and was soon fishing line in hand baited. Ready.
“Do you want to try your luck Anna, seeing as you’ve already cast a spell on that lake?” he asked handing the fishing rod to her, with a wink.
“Very funny Todd, I’m no witch, so there’s no need for your teasing!”
“Sometimes folks don’t know what they are until it hits them in the face.”
“What do you mean Todd?” asked Anna, grabbing the rod and casting it far out into the lake.
“You could heal that scar yourself you know,” he said.
Anna fell silent. The rod flopped into the water. Her shoulders slumped and the chair that she sat on appeared to cut a deeper groove into the ground.
“Some scars are there to remind us of past hurts so we don’t do the same foolish things again.”
“Yes, but you can’t carry it around with you forever Anna, you have to face that eventually.”
Anna could feel the scar throbbing, slicing, and tearing her apart. She wanted so badly to be rid of it, but a scar in the heart was not something you could cover with makeup. It was as deep as the lake she now sat at, permanent, and ached in a way that made every single day torture.
Todd took the rod off her, and cast it out again. Anna sat in silence contemplating Todd’s words.
Anna began to wonder if there were any fish at all or whether this was just a ruse by Todd to get her on her own to talk about Nick.
“Have you spoken to him?
“No, we are both as proud and stubborn as each other neither of us will give in.”
“Anna, you’ve got to make the first move, cast your spell on him again. He’s longing for you to call him.”
“How do you know Todd?”
‘I just know, Anna.”
Todd glanced down at his feet, not daring to look Anna in the eye.
Anna leant over, cupped his face in her hands and looked at Todd, really looked at him and knew in that instant that Todd loved her. Not just in the way you love a friend, there was so much more behind those dark eyes that had been hidden until now. Why had she been so blind?
She couldn’t cope with this revelation and the scar, it was too much.
“We always hurt each other Nick and I. We cut like twin knives slicing little irreparable notches in each other’s hearts. The scars ache so much, I don’t know if I can take that kind of love.”
“What kind of love do you want, Anna, the safe we’re just good friends kind?” asked Todd, his eyes surrendering the pain of his love to her.
The hurt in Todd’s eyes demonstrated another deep scar inflicted, why did life have to be so painful? Why couldn’t it be simple, uncomplicated like fishing? If only you could cast your line, find love, and live happily ever after. But it was never like that, ever, it was a bumpy, gut wrenching ride all the way, with a stop button that had the capability to wrench out your heart while it was still beating.
Anna sighed. If only she could love Todd, with his kind eyes, warm heart and ready smile. But she knew she couldn’t, that crazy breathless spark of passion, with its dangerous on off switch, didn’t exist with Todd. Only friends. Poor Todd.
“I want the kind that makes me know that I am alive. You’ll find love Todd, cast out again, I promise that you will.”
Todd did as Anna said, he couldn’t argue with a witch, he cast out his line, it circled a full arc, and splashed triumphantly, scattering fish in its wake.
A young woman appeared from the pathway behind them she gently tapped Todd on the shoulder. Todd turned and smiled, a hesitant smile, but there was a hint of hope in that smile. Anna’s scar ached slightly less in the knowledge that maybe her friend’s scar and cold, sad hands would be healed. There was only so much a good witch could do before Halloween!
This Monday I’m doing something a little bit different for #MondayBlogs I’m exercising my word muscles with the intention of entering into Chris the Story Reading Ape’s79 Words story challenge.
The next 79 story challenge entries will be going live soon – I’ve been a bit quick off the racing block – the shot gun hasn’t been fired just yet, so check the following link to the previous entry to find out more, and to read the previous entrants stories.
I believe when your entry is ready remember to check back with Chris for details how to enter. No cheating, wait for the shot gun!
79 words sounds pretty accurate, not much room for manoeuvre, I wander if I can rise to the challenge?
Well the good news is I have an idea, that’s a start. It’s funny where you find ideas, the other day I was out jogging, and being a seriously rubbish jogger (I kind of jog walk, mainly walk if I’m honest!) I don’t need much of an excuse to take any opportunity to stop and take an extended breather. So, on this particular day I saw this little shop, in the village that I’ve always been curious to go in and explore. So I took the plunge and went in, dressed in my leggings, and trainers, goodness knows what the shop keeper must have thought!
Anyway to cut a long story short it was an Alladin’s Cave of Antiques and inspired my flash fiction Halloween themed story below:
The Halloween Brooch
Inside the shop I heard raised voices. I lunged in. The mysterious voices began to whisper. It was cramped, hardly room to move or breathe. Antiques jostled for my attention on over stacked shelves. I picked up a tiny painted brooch of a young girl crying. I heard a high pitched scream echoing, then riotous laughter. When I saw my reflection in an antique mirror, I wailed. A wrinkled granny stared back at me wearing the brooch, she cackled.
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!!
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.
1000 words max
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
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
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
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)