Category Archives: Fiction

Mr. Nowhere -Free Flash Fiction

In the darkest region of your mind, you give him life. That small spark of creation, the tiny curiosity that resides in the hearts of all mankind, breathes shape into him. Your fear, and your doubt, and your hate, gifts him more life. He’s here now. He’s watching. He knows you know.

He’s the figure that moves in your peripheral, and the ghastly nothingness left behind when you turn your head to catch him. He’s the shadow in the corner of the room, darker than all other shadows—so dark and dense you know it has form. He’s the whisper in your ear, the tingle of breath over your shoulder. He’s almost a part of you.

He’s the overwhelming feeling of heaviness when you have your back turned to the room, the sense of eyes on you while you go about your home alone. He’s the paper that drops from the fridge behind you while you lean into the dishwasher to collect your cutlery. He’s the answer to all the questions you never dare ask. The doubting, the brush-offs, the ‘ahh it must be the wind’s.’

Every footstep you hear behind you when you walk down the hall, that’s him too.

When you walk beneath the moonlight, and the street lights cast an eery orange in the cold fog around you, he is what follows just out of sight. He is what looms around each corner, what watches from behind every bush. He stalks your most horrific dreams, orchestrating your terror like a puppeteer pulling the strings.

He is the voice that tells you to give up. To just let it go and give in to nothingness. Every deep, dark, frightening thought that enters your mind, is his coercive tongue massaging your ear.

He’s why the kids wont go to bed—why they say they’re scared when we say they’re being silly and need to go to sleep. He stands in the corner while you plead with them, smirking over your shoulder. He’s the creature that stalks them while you’re getting your downtime, the figure they squeeze their eyes closed tight to ignore. He rustles their covers and scrapes the underneath of their beds while they sob themselves into an uneasy sleep.

He hovers above you, only an inch from your face while you lay your head back in the bath to rinse the shampoo from you hair. He’s the creak across the hallway that’s always ‘just the pipes,’ that hideous feeling of terror on a windy night. He’s the stillness between breaths in the dark, the monster in the garden, staring up at your bedroom window until you fall asleep.

You’ll feel him at his most powerful in a thunderstorm, when the world shakes and the sky cracks open. He’s there, in the dark, whenever you’re not looking. He’s the figure just outside the reaches of the flickering candlelight as you make your way to the fuse box. He’s the roar of the heating as the boiler flicks on in the middle of the night.

He feeds off you in the day, leeching your life away with every small seed of doubt. In the dark is where he thrives. He looms over the bed every time you close your eyes, silently begging you to open them. When you do, he dematerialises and hides in the shadows, leaving just a feeling behind. A frequency. You can feel him, you can almost hear his vibration, but he hides just out of sight.

Showing himself to you would be less fun than this. He wants your pulse raised, your breathing shallow, and your mind racing. He wants you convincing yourself that it’s just your imagination until you pull the covers tighter around you and close your eyes once more.

He is here now. Watching. Waiting. Just beyond the light of your screen. Hungry for your terror. He’s under your bed while you read this, or resting his head on the pillow beside you. He’s in the corner of the room, or scratching at the glass of your window. He’s just behind the office door, or in the bathroom at school. He is everywhere, waiting for you to pretend he isn’t. Waiting for you to pretend he doesn’t exist.

Don’t let him know you know. Don’t let him see.

You’ll only make him angry.


Apologies in advance if I’ve made you feel uneasy… I didn’t want to. He made me do it. If you leave a comment and let me know what you thought, He might just leave you be for a while. Have you had much trouble with Him in the past? Where does He commonly crop up in your life? I’m eager to know how He stalks your days and nights.

Most of my activity happens over at Facebook, so please come join me over there. There’s a prize draw for a digital Amazon gift card once the page reaches 1000 likes!

The Dreamer -Free Flash Fiction

Every week over at Fiction Writer’s Group, we share a photo prompt for a flash fiction piece. The word limit is 300, which ninety-five percent of the time is no problem for me. This prompt, however, proved difficult. Trying to extract a 300 word story was almost impossible! I had grand fantasy plots running around my head, stories of a shaman travelling the spirit realm to save her dying mother from cancer, and more. What I ended up with is a kind of mingling of all those ideas into one, and a decision to work those ideas into a short story/novella for my upcoming collection. For now, I hope you enjoy this short but sweet story, ‘The Dreamer.’

Free flash fiction cover photo. A photo prompt of a girl and a lion sitting on a tree branch, both with peacock feathers accentuating their hair.
Photo prompt for flash fiction: Source Unknown.

Poppy Pringle lives in an ordinary semi-detached home in Western London. Her ordinary father, Peter Pringle (prefers Mr Pringle), cuts his front and back lawns at an ordinary height at ordinary times throughout the week, and her ordinary mother, Priscilla Pringle, has ordinary hair and ordinary makeup, and all around dresses as one ordinarily would for the ordinary office job that takes up her painfully ordinary nine-to-five.

To the outside world, Poppy lives the most ordinary, uneventful, and dare I say unremarkable life a young girl in Western London could live. Her neighbours would watch her skip up and down the road picking bunches of flowers for her mother, and they’d say, “There’s that cute little Poppy from down the road,” while silently, in the deepest, darkest regions of their psyche, curse her for ripping up their marigolds and petunias as if it hadn’t taken time and money to create their own gardens. Her teachers would look upon her delicate frame and impressive test-results and say, “A good’en, that Poppy Pringle- if only she were less vacant and could make some friends.”

Princess Parthinia of the Outer Realm was anything but ordinary. Her chocolate brown skin and rosey cheeks resonated perfectly with the golden back drop of the ever-setting sun. Silver fireflies would dart around her wherever she walked, and her beautiful strands of hair, comparable only to the feathers of a peacock, would accentuate her beauty in this magical world.

Stories of her and her great companion, Patch, the lioness with a peacock mane, were told the world over.

Poppy Pringle was Princess Parthinia, and Princess Parthinia was Poppy Pringle, separated only by her great-grandmother’s feather necklace.

What she didn’t know yet, was that each of her worlds depended on her.

* * * * *

So, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed it. Honestly, it was so hard to tie that off in such a short amount of words. You can trust that Poppy Pringle and Princess Parthinia will return soon. Let me know what kind of stories this image inspires in you in the comments below!

Enjoy flash fiction pieces like this one? You can choose from an ever growing collection between 300 and 1000 words right here!

More Flash Fiction

My Slice’a Freedom -Free Flash Fiction

The following flash fiction was hastily created for the Kanturk Arts Festival flash fiction competition, based on the below photo prompt. When I first saw the image, I was struck with a sense of loneliness and hiding. I was put in mind of the awful conditions in which black people had to suffer during the times of slavery in America. I remembered reading of situations in the past, where certain whites would help to shield and hide those who’ve escaped captivity, either beneath barns, in attics, or anywhere else for that matter. Sadly, those instances were too few, and no amount of fiction or storytelling can ever romanticise or undo the horrific wrongs of our world at that time. In this image I saw an escaped slave, working in solitude to create tailored items. The story expanded from there, as you’ll read in a second.

In any case, sadly this piece didn’t pick up a win in the contest, and while I think the story has its own merit, I felt squeezing the story into only 500 words was an injustice to the characters and themes I initially envisioned. (You can read the winning pieces here.) I researched extensively for this story (hence the short time to write the thing), and I discovered the amazing story of Nat Turner and the small revolution that would go on to change the face of slavery forever, for better AND worse. I highly recommend you spend a few moments going to research him once you’re done here. While I do like the end result, my heart wasn’t truly in this rendition of the story. Upon learning and researching for the story I had in mind, I quickly realised that I didn’t have enough words to convey all I wanted to in the way I wanted to. So in a way I feel blessed with another chance to tell the story I want to at a later date. For now though, please enjoy this abridged flash fiction piece.


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Are you Vin Buckley that created this painting? Please get in touch with a link to your work.

Gabe stitched through the leather with a careful precision, paying close attention to the tattered pages strewn across the workstation. Moonlight filtered in through cracks in the overhead floorboards, bright and heavy as the night of the revolt. Shadows flickered and shifted across the damp blocks, the flame of his lantern casting a taller, thicker version of himself on the opposite wall. He watched himself work in shadow form, free from scars and riches and class. Not a black man, a white man, a soldier, or a slave. Just a man, working his craft in calm solitude. Shadows revealed the reality of humankind, each equal in the absence of colour.

His wounds had healed up to tightened scars stretched out across his skin, a few pale additions to the tally that claimed most of his back. He tied off his final stitch, wondering what became of the brothers and sisters that followed Nat Turner toward freedom. Robert told him many escaped just like Gabe, but many died too. 

Gabe packed the finished product into a dusty box he excavated from beneath the workstation, and placed it neatly beneath his bed frame. Sleep came fast and without complaint. 

He awoke to the sound of Robert creaking his way down the ladder, moaning and groaning as he did. “Wakey-wakey, Kid,” he said, breathless, “I come bearing good fruit and bad news.” 

“I’ll take the fruit,” Gabe replied, “the news can wait a while.”

Robert placed the basket on the bed beside him, sighing as he did. “Actually Gabe, it can’t. Nat Turner’s been captured. They hanged him and a whole bunch more at Jerusalem. With what’s happened, they’re stricter than ever. Scared too.”

“Oh the white folk are scared,” he retorted, “s’that right?” Gabe shook his head while he processed it. His best friend, born and raised on Ben Travis’ plantation, gone. Dead. Silenced by the hangman. “Jesus Nat. God was menna-be on our side.”

Robert placed a rough hand on his shoulder. “God’s as much a slave to us as you are to them, Gabe. He’s bound to those with the loudest voices.”

“You mean with the most guns.” Gabe pulled out the box from beneath the bed and handed it to Robert, the burden of the news weighing heavily in the features of his face.

Robert opened the box to reveal the finest pair of boots he ever laid eyes upon. The blueprint he never dared lift from the paper himself, now crafted to perfection. “Gabe, did you… How?”

“I fallowed’ya sketches. Was thinking if they good enough, maybe I keep making ‘em?”

Robert stood silently, inspecting them in awe.

“Sir, your generosity’s seen me safe, but I may never walk free. These boots, they can run free and wild. Travel the highs and lows of all the great states, go on a’ventures. They’ll see men marry fine wives and drink fine wine. Each pair’ll carry a little piece of me with ‘em. For now I can only dream of freedom. But these boots… these boots can go where I can’t.’ 

“My slice’a freedom.”


For what it’s worth, I can’t wait to tell this story again, and do it the justice it deserves. Think of this as just a tiny snapshot of the greater story in play. Of course I can only  imagine the tragic circumstances of what it was like to exist back then, and can I even imagine what it would’ve been like to be black back then? What I can say for certain is that  I can do my best to relate the sense of entrapment, loneliness, struggle, fear, and torture, while being awestruck of the hope, love, and fight that never escaped those poor souls that were treated so terribly. A truly awful period in history. Shameful.

Shadows revealed the reality of humankind, each equal in the absence of colour.

Like this story? Try out my favourite flash fiction on this site so far: Endgame.

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The Sky Rip -Free Flash Fiction

Quick online reads is a free online flash fiction series bought to you by author Gary D Holdaway

The morning it all changed was an ordinary one. Joanna sat out on the porch in her usual chair with her usual cup of instant—one and a half spoons of coffee, two heaped spoons of sugar, and just the right splash of milk. The birds sang their usual tunes in all their usual trees, and the gentle breeze bought along it a medium temperature somewhere perfectly between too-hot-for-her-gown and too-cool-to-shiver in-her-pyjama-top.

“Morning Love!” Called Old-Jim from his side of the picket fence, while collecting his usual paper. He tipped his cowboy hat and winked before pulling the door closed behind him, as he usually did.

All the world was exactly as it should be. The lawn needed mowing and the leaves needed blowing, which Edgar would do once she woke him and he consumed the two eggs, toast, and orange juice she laid out for him. It was a routine that run as surely as the Patel’s opening their recently converted ‘Spar’ shop down the road, consistent, reliable, and dependable.

She now wonders how she didn’t notice right away, and how Old-Jim had missed it too, but when she stretched her arms above her head and leaned back on the chair that had moulded to her shape over years of loyal dedication, she saw that the sky had a black void running right through the middle, like two halves of blue paper had been torn apart from either side.

When she saw it, she choked on her coffee and fell backwards out of her chair, scrambling back to her feet in a panicked frenzy to get another look.

“Edgar! Edgar, come down here!” She shouted. Her voice must’ve reflected the sheer panic that consumed her being, because Old-Jim came running out onto his lawn and through the small gate to meet her, just as fast as Edgar appeared beside her tying the rope of his inside-out dressing gown, huffing and puffing like a man who’d just run a 200m sprint.

He started to ask what was wrong, but the words were silenced as he saw it too. The three of them stood bedazzled on the front porch, captivated by the bizarre and frightening sky-rip. What was it? Where had it come from? What did it mean? The questions batted between the three of them in a blind back and forth, gaining no ground as they went. Once you saw it, it was hard to look away from it. It was entrancing.

Other neighbours had started to rouse by now, and they each stood by their own houses, on their own porches and lawns, staring up at the sky.

It wasn’t like the sky had opened to reveal the universe or anything like that. There were no stars and galaxies to be seen. No planets or satellites or meteorites. It was an absence. A black, gaping, nothingness.

Joanna pulled herself away long enough to look at her husband. He was wearing his absent, dumbfounded look, reserved only for football matches, or when she asked a question he felt was too self-explanatory to ask. He was a dick actually. Why did she put up with him? Come to think of it, as she stared up into the void, she realised she had never loved him. What was love worth, anyway? What was the point? Had she ever loved anyone? Her mother never showed her any warmth, her father made a hollow attempt to shoehorn his way back into her life. Even her brother… what a selfish bastard.

In the next minutes, hours, days, months—how long had it been?—she stared at the sky-rip, deconstructing the fabric of her reality. Life itself was as black and empty as the void that captivated her vision. The delicate warmth, the gentle breeze, the presence of those around her, time itself, fell away into nothingness as the blackness consumed more and more of her vision, eating it’s way out toward the edges with each passing, still moment.

Eventually the blackness would take all of her, and with that her life would be over. She knew it, she could feel it. She wanted it. Begged for it. The quicker the blackness consumed her the quicker her torturous existence was over.

She didn’t know, stood motionless and consumed by the void in her silk gown and years old pyjamas, but those around her were feeling the same. Their false realities upturned and twisted into the truth of all humanity. They were nothing but a cancer on the world. I took from them my warmth, and with it their hope, faith, love, passion, and kindness. They had proven how worthless they were. How much they didn’t deserve the lives I so kindly bestowed upon them.

I gifted them with the tools to thrive, and they refashioned them into weapons of separation and destruction, fighting over who’s right and who’s wrong. Constantly taking from the world without giving back. Consuming, consuming, consuming. Insatiable in their hunger for power and control.

The Sky-rip consumed Joanna’s mind. She, alongside the rest of the world, fell into the limitless blackness, never to be unleashed upon the earth again.


Today’s flash fiction took that particular turn somewhere in the middle, and was entirely unplanned. From the very first sentence, the story revealed itself, unfolding line by line right up til the end. I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but I’m happy it did. I’m very happy with the concept here. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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I Need To Wee -Free Flash Fiction

I need to wee. I’ve needed to wee for ages. Each time I readjust my position, each time the bed bounces slightly beneath my weight, each time I so much as breath a little too heavy and fill my lungs enough to raise me from the bed, I feel it wanting to burst out.

I probably should go for a wee. But I won’t. Not because I’m comfy, because I’m not. I’m laying on my stomach propped up on my elbows, my neck craned upwards to stare at the tiny screen cupped between my hands. Not because I don’t desperately need to go, we’ve already established how conscious I am of the fact.

The truth is I won’t get up and go for a wee because I’m answering automated Facebook questions on my phone, and I’m having way too much fun. These brief moments of time—I say brief, but we all know how ten minutes easily becomes a couple hours—are bizarre, transcendent things. I find myself slipping into a trance-like state, where I’m as free as I’ll ever be, outside of myself somehow. Is it because I’m so deep into technology, bedazzled by the stuff, or because I’m so deep within myself?

Movement has ceased to nothing, thinking has become instantaneous, and all I am is reading and typing in almost perfect unison. There’s no second guessing or deliberating before the answer comes out. It springs to mind, and is simply a thing in an instant. It’s an instant thing from a mind in a moment. Maybe funny, maybe uplifting, maybe cringe-worthy. But definitely something, and definitely thoughtless. Well, maybe not thoughtless but, certainly not simulated or rehearsed. Not crafted by any means.

I still need a wee,

and I still haven’t been.

I’ve answered ten more questions,

or maybe fifteen.

What am I writing poetry now? What even is this? Those of sane mind would think I’m drinking, but I most certainly am not. Perhaps I’m being cleverly unclever, transparently mysterious? Perhaps I’m telling a retelling of a telling I told myself moments before I did in fact go for a wee. Perhaps I held my wee in so long it pushed me into some bizarre delirium.

or maybe, just maybe, the instantaneous freedoms found in answering questions on instinct, finding answers within myself, have blessed me with a temporary honesty. A brief flux in space and time where words and thought mesh, and the world is let into my mind.

When you think about it, and I mean really think about it, you don’t truly own or lay claim to anything other than your own mind. Your thoughts are all you have control over. Everything else is just everything else, which means only to be influenced, advised, or less, containing its own mind and randomness. Even your body has a mind if it’s own. Err… does that make two minds? Anyway, Isn’t that funny? And why does that fit here, in my story? It doesn’t. So let’s get back to it.

And what story was I even telling here?

Oh yeah! A wee. I still need a wee, but I haven’t been yet.

I’m gonna go do that now.


today’s quick online read was inspired by my evening’s events. While putting the kids to bed I relax in the next room and casually browse through social media. Tonight, I discovered the ‘answer a question’ feature in Facebook, and had a hell of a lot of fun just going through them and answering. The kids fell asleep long before my fun was over, and once I realised it was time to move, an hour had slipped by! And, you guessed it, I needed a wee.

Anyway, in the same fashion I went about my questions, I thought it’d be fun to write a stream of consciousness style flash fiction, that leaves you probably perplexed but hopefully amused, and perhaps even a little sympathetic to the character and his woes. It is easy to become so engrossed in our screens and the influences transmitted through them, that we lose ourselves for a while. Maybe it’s time to sit down and honestly answer a whole string of questions like I did tonight, and answer them instinctively, be they funny, cynical, serious, or depressing, if only just to free our minds from the constraints we place on them, and be free with who we are.

I hope you enjoyed tonight’s post. Until next time!

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If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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Demi-Gods Exist -Free Flash Fiction

Today’s entry is an experimental work in progress for a longer piece of fiction, with a bunch of kinks that need ironing out. Still, I like the direction and wanted to share this early draft with you. I like the perspective, but certain aspects need further depth, and some situations could do with a little tweaking. Specifically the section taking place in the school. Anyway, it’s coming up for the sixth week since I quickly tapped this out, so will be due a proper rewrite! The finished piece will be almost unrecognisable, and I won’t be able to share publicly, so I figured I’d share it with you now. Hope you enjoy!


Demigods exist. I know, because I am one. I guess I’ve been a demigod since I was born, but to be honest, I’m not really sure how it works. Am I actually the son of Odin? Or is it that I was chosen somehow at a later date? My name plucked from a hat in Asgard (where the Gods live) perhaps?

Maybe you’re asking yourself how on earth I can be a demigod, and have no idea how it all works? Well, it’s complicated. There are like, clues, ya’know? The first and most obvious of them is that I can feel them. They’re with me with everything I do. They’re constantly over my shoulder, whispering in my ear, guiding me.

Just earlier today I was walking the dog. Mum didn’t get back ‘til late and she still had to walk Thor, put Freya to bed, and have a shower, all before cooking for us. I was absolutely starving, so I told her I’d walk the dog for her while she carries on with the rest. Fair deal, right? It’s what they were telling me to do, anyway. I’ve learned I don’t have much choice when they’re telling me to do something. The voice gets louder and louder, until my urge to give in is just too strong to ignore. I’ll end up getting out of bed in the middle of the night to do my homework, or feeling so desperate to do something that I end up doing anything (like the dishes, or changing Freya’s diaper) just to busy myself. It really can be quite stressful, this demigod business.

Anyway, out I stepped into the cold. It was a dark evening. All winter evenings are dark, but it seemed spookier this evening because the air was heavy and the fog was dense, the streetlights painting the whole floor with a deep orange glow. My footsteps echoed down the street, Thor’s excited breathing filling in the rest of the silence. The quietest of sounds seem so loud at night, don’t you think? And when footsteps echo behind you on the path, and your eyes get tired and everything seems to get darker in an instant, and all you can think of doing is running without looking back because you’re pretty certain someone or something is behind you…

I calmed myself down. It’s nothing, I told myself. Still, I peeked over my shoulder, and I could hear my heart thumping through my chest. As I rounded the blind corner of the back path, just before the end where it meets the main road and the street lights start again, I saw a man. A dark man. He stood still at the corner, beneath the streetlight, his shadow stretching out in all directions. Long cloak flapping in the wind, his hat hiding his face behind thick, black, emptiness. With him was a dog, as still and eery as the man that stood beside him.

My brain said ‘Odin.’

Then my brain, in a deeper, raspier voice, replied, ‘Correct.’

I stopped where I stood. In a sharp snap of the neck he looked at me, and the weight of the air suddenly pressed hard against my shoulders. I had to tense my entire body to stop it from flooring me. I can only describe the feeling as the weight of power. Sheer, overwhelming power, radiating from this ethereal apparition. That cold, dark, heaviness. It happens when I pray to Him sometimes, too.

Thor’s thirsty breathing stopped as he pulled his tongue back inside his mouth, both bored from sitting, and unsure of this figure in the distance. I had two choices. Face this man, or turn around and walk back the way I came. I made the smart choice and turned around, walking all the way home as fast as I could.

Do you see how he called me out on purpose? Just to catch me and tell me something? It’s not nice. It’s scary and imposing and I don’t want it. But they wont leave me alone.

Another clue is how uncomfortable I feel in this world, like I’m not supposed to be here. Like I’m different, somehow. Other kids laugh, and joke, about silly things. They obsess over girls and video games. Sometimes they even cry when little things like disagreements happen. I try to help, but it never seems to work out.

A few weeks ago, Jonah Benson was upset over how his girlfriend had held hands with Brent Talbot. He sat beside me in home room, scratching love hearts into his desk between the initials J.B. And S.H —Standing for Sarah Henson, obviously. I told him not to worry, that kid relationships never last anyway- It’s all about learning to be an adult at this point in life. He stared at me blankly for a second, stopped inscribing initials with that pencil, and stabbed me in the hand with it!

I don’t get it! I only told him what the Gods tell me. They give me lessons all day everyday, and nobody wants to hear them. So what am I, as a demigod, supposed to do? Just ignore them myself because the world is too lost to save? I rushed to the medical room crying, pencil still dangling out of my hand. When Mrs Lonsdale pulled it out, there was a tiny red hole surrounded with the grey of the lead. It was actually pretty cool to look at, but it wicked hurt. “I’m going to send you home, Danny,” She said in her kind, delicate voice, “I’ll call your mum.”

I liked Mrs Lonsdale, she had a beautiful soul. Shortly after, she led me out of the school and into the parking lot, where my mum waited for me with the engine running. She knows I like it when the blowers stay warm. There’s nothing better than warm air rushing at your face after being out in the cold. Mum had to go back to work, so she left me at home with Freya, Thor, and our nanny Ethel. She didn’t like me very much, I had heard her telling mum one time (listening when I wasn’t supposed to be) that I’m the reason dad left. That I was too different for him to cope with. That my ‘artism’ was too much for him. I guess she meant that I was too artistic? Who knows? She was always nice though, and we all watched TV together until mum got home.

After dinner, mum tucked me in my bed and read me the stories of Asgard. My favourite ones, like how Loki transforms into a female horse to stop a giant and his steed from winning a bet, or when he convinces two sets of dwarves to compete against each other for the favour of Asgard, securing six epic items for the Gods. I like Loki, he’s different too.

She kissed me on the head, gave me my medication and a sip of water, and walked to the door.

“I love you Danny,” she said, “You being different isn’t a bad thing, you know? You’re gonna do great things.”

She turned out the light.


So there you go, a slung together, clunky story with a lot of mystery at this point. Still, I hope you can see through the blackened layer to see glimmers of the diamond beneath. I’m excited to have a do-over with this one. So what did you think? Do you have any suggestions that could help me in my upcoming rewrite? Let me know in the comments!

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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Like A Nettle Sting -Free Flash Fiction

Cam didn’t like walking in the woods anymore. Actually, he hated it. Since Toby was born, he’d developed a bit of a gut. And a bit of a flabby chest. And his arms, legs, back, neck—they developed a bit of chunk too. When he’s honest with himself, he declares it as a joke—“Not everyone can say they earned 100 pounds for no work at all!”—but it’s anything but funny. That hundred pounds meant he could no longer climb the stairs without stopping to catch his breath, or have a comfortable bath. That hundred pounds made his knees feel like they were gonna snap in half each time he put some weight on them. That hundred pounds, the hundred pounds that came almost exclusively from chain fast-food restaurants and gallons of fizzy drink, added up to him hating walking in the woods, despite the beaming smile on his son’s face as he danced through the bluebells and told himself stories of fairies and monsters.

Toby was the spitting image of Cam—pre fat gain, of course. He had golden hair that trailed into little curls around his ears and shined white in the light of the sun, a button nose that pointed ever-so-slightly up to the sky, and squeezable, squidgable cheeks that, when pinched, forced uncontrollable giggles from him. He was the stereotype gleeful kid, with a cuteness factor plus ten.

“Careful mate,” he said as Toby neared a rogue patch of nettles, “they’ll hurt ya.” By then it was too late, and as any parent knows, there’s no teaching a child before he’s learned for himself. Cam watched his arm bury itself in the nettles up to the elbow and pull out just as fast—if not faster—along a sequence of screams and cries that frightened the birds off their overhead perches.

The next five minutes were dedicated exclusively to calming him down, cycling through each technique in sequence until one showed some sign of progress. Tickling, that was a no-no. Swing-swing, that didn’t work. Real tears—not the crocodile kind—were streaming by the time Cam managed to console him. He rocked him slowly up and down, left and right, a few haphazard sniffles where Toby’s breath struggled to returned to normal.

The boy needed his mummy. Cam wasn’t cut out to be dad, mum, best friend, and all in between. He wasn’t sure anyone was, not really. He was the kind of father to come home after a long day, get the kids all excited before bed—have their happy hour, as Claire called it—and then relax in front of the box with Claires head in his lap, stroking her hair as she dozed off.

God how he wished he could have her back. Sure, they argued, and they argued hard. But they loved each other even harder.

Cam thought back to one evening a year or so before. It was around five, but the winter darkness had already claimed the night. He remembers that day well because It was so cold out in the yard, and one of the younger lads had turned up wrapped in multiple different layers. It looked like he had doubled in size overnight! The boys bantered him heavy that day, and every day beyond that until the sun felt brave enough to peek its head out again. That boy though, the boy with all the layers, was the only one of them to not go off sick all winter. Each day, no matter what, he turned up to lug wood and brick, mix mortar and dig dig dig.

Claire had had a rough day too. It was written all over her face the second he stepped through the door, muddy boots traipsing in dirt behind him. Not his proudest moment. She blasted him the second she laid eyes on those brown pools where the slush had defrosted off his soles, and rightfully so, it was mindless.

After Cam and Toby’s happy hour, they all sat to eat dinner together as they always did, but the air was blue that night. Hardly a word spoken between them, the tension thick like smoke. Claire barely stopped to swallow her last bite before she had whipped Toby out his seat and got him tucked up in bed.

Cam stayed downstairs and took the plates through to the kitchen. His thinking was that he’d do the washing up, whip round all the toys in the living room, and light some candles around the bath so they could share one. Right?

Wrong.

Claire stomped down the stairs and blanked him on her way past into the kitchen. Cam stood with Toby’s little doll in his hands, the one he pushed along in his cousins secondhand toy pram. He followed her through to the kitchen, where she stood still at the sink, staring out the window.

“What’s up with you?” He asked, coming up behind her and taking her in his arms.

Wrong again.

She shook him off and turned to face him. “What’s up with me, Cam, really? What’s up with you? I spend all day keeping Toby happy, tidying up behind him, doing all the cooking, take him for his bath, put him to bed, listen to him moan, and cry, and scream, and giggle, and bang his blocks on the floor to the same songs playing on repeat all day long. And then you come home, have your little happy hour with him, and you’re best friend all of a sudden. Job done, TV time. You’ve had such a hard day right?”

They argued then. Where Cam should’ve listened, he felt the misplaced need to fight his case. He had had a hard day. And if he didn’t have his fun time with Toby, when would he? He was out all day. He was sorry about the mud on the floor, but the ground was soaking wet outside and he didn’t want to bring wet feet through the house. The back and forth went from the kitchen, to the front room, back into the kitchen, out into the garden for a cigarette, and finally back in to the living room, that stupid doll dangling from its leg in Cam’s hand all the while.

“Claire, I’m not saying I have it any harder than you. You chose the hardest job in the world. I know for a fact I couldn’t do it.”

“Well you seem to think you can just throw all his toys in the corner and that’s that.”

“No I—“ Claire snatched the doll from his hand then, and chucked it into the pile of toys beside the tv unit to demonstrate. Where Cam didn’t let go of the leg, it tore straight from the body. Now a dolls leg dangled from Cam’s hand, and a legless doll—that had seen better days—rested atop a pile of assorted toys with a foolish, lifeless grin fixed on its face. Claire couldn’t help but laugh, and neither could Cam.

In a few short seconds, they had gone from arguing to giggling like children, one of the rare hilarities of parenthood. One of the moments that put everything in perspective. They made up, they made love, and they fell asleep in each other’s arms with a smile on their faces.

Cam could remember each separate feature of her face. Each curve, each angle, each expression.. Sometimes, while he was cleaning, or working, or grocery shopping, he’d have brief flashes of memory, where he’d see her as clear as anyone still living. He’d drift away into the good times—the best times—and the hard times.

He saw her now, out in the middle of the woods with the sun shining through her. Gently rocking Toby back and forth with her beside him, her hand on his, whispering in his ear. “You’re doing good, Cam. Hang in there.”

Tip The Author

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Endgame -Free Flash Fiction


When Marcy was diagnosed with lung cancer, she knew she had to make some changes. Terminal was the news, and once she delivered it to her nearest and dearest—only having broken down to tears once or twice—she headed home to get in some much needed planning time.

She booted up her computer and opened a blank document, where she stared at the blinking cursor for what seemed like an eternity. After a few more minutes of blankness, she typed, “I’m going to die soon,” and stared at those haunting words while she tried to make sense of what it meant.

This was it. As her grandson, Jimmy, would say, she’s reached her endgame. Well, that wouldn’t be so bad if she hadn’t played it so damned safe all this time. Where all the other players hung out in bars, experienced fleeting romance, and got into epic side quests, Marcy carefully played the main story, donating all her skill points to a singular track: longevity.

Now with that skill-tree nerfed, what was she left with? What was the point in ginger and kale smoothies, or six gym classes a week, when her days were numbered? Her whole life she had prepared only for a longer endgame, and now in some sick twist, in some corrupted save file, she was stripped of all those efforts and left with no help from the developers.

She was angry at first. At herself. At the world. At the miserable faces on the sidewalk, taking for granted the one gift they all have in common. But what good could anger do? She could hitch up her skirt and ‘break bad,’ but Heisenberg wasn’t her style. Neither was rage-quitting with a bottle of whiskey and a pack of sleeping pills.

Racking her brains for a while, she backspaced her first few words into oblivion, and opted for a new one. All caps. ENDGAME.

She was too late for a reset, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t enjoy the last expansion with the character she had built so far.

Beneath the title she typed out a list of urges she had suppressed over the years. At the top was McDonald’s, beneath that pizza, sleep all day, and skydiving. When satisfied with her list, she smiled at herself, tapped enter a couple times, and typed ‘freedom.’

With that, she grabbed her keys and her purse, buttoned her coat, and bounced to the door.

Claiming an entire booth—living on the wild side—Marcy took her first ravenous bite of a Big mac. She ordered large fries, nacho-cheese bites, and five chicken selects on the side. Jimmy ordered his usual twenty nuggets and slathered them in bbq sauce as he shovelled them in whole.

Any hint of disapproval was switched out for amusement. Where McDonald’s had always come begrudgingly, it was now the best place in the world.

“I’ve gotta say Grandma,” Jimmy said between bites, “I like how you’re dealing with this.”

“Well you’d approve of anything so long as fast food is involved,” she joked.

“No I mean it. Real-talk. You deserve to let your hair down.” He paused, dropping a half eaten fry back into the box, a look on his face like he’d lost his appetite. “It’s so fucking unfair.”

“Language!” She hissed, eyeing the couple of kids in the booth to the right of them. In truth, she didn’t want to get caught up in the fairness conversation. Fair or not, it was happening. She was surprised to see him so worked up though. He had a level view on life and death. Even when his parents (Marcy’s daughter and her husband) died, he showed a level of acceptance far beyond his years. “And don’t start all that… I’m relying on you to show me a good time while I’m still able. If I thought you’d whine about it I’d have gone it alone.”

Jimmy took a deep breath and sat back against the padded bench seat, propping his arms up either side like one of the cool kids from a late 70s musical. He was only a toothpick short of Danny Zuko. “Okay grandma, what you got in mind?”

“I may be dying, but I’ve still got a few quests left in me.”

“And you wanna party-up with me? You know there ain’t no respawn?”

Marcy smiled the cheekiest of smiles. “Darling, I’m banking on it.”

Word count: 739

Father’s Rage -Free Flash Fiction

Today’s entry comes at a huge delay! Photography blogger, Fragglerocking, was kind enough to provide a photo prompt for a flash fiction. You should definitely check out her site! She goes on tons of cool adventures with her camera, and always has some amazing shots to share with us.

I toyed with ideas for this one for a while, and settled on one in particular. In the middle of writing though, it changed track a little. I was going to write a scene where the children in the story were watching their parents fight through a window as it all went horribly wrong, but in approaching that point in the story, I realised that during intense fear, it’s as if we are existing in a dream state, watching ourselves act on instinct from outside of ourselves. I stuck with that and am satisfied with it’s tie-in to the prompt. Now, let’s get on with it!


Rebecca and I sat on my bed, trying our best not to listen. We were supposed to be sleeping, but my father’s voice bounced off every wall in the house, and vibrated up the stairs into our bedroom.

Sometimes Mummy left the chain off the door, but never when Daddy had been drinking. When Daddy was drinking, the chain stayed on. We didn’t come out, he didn’t come in. Out of sight, out of mind, out of reach. Out of everything but earshot.

“Jimmy, I’m scared,” Rebecca said, cradling the pillow around her ears like I showed her, “Why is daddy so angry?” Her eyes glistened with the tears she fought back, big and blue—too big for her face—like our mother.

I put my hands on hers and pressed the pillow firmer against her ears. “Don’t worry Becks.” I kissed her on the head and laid her back on the bed. “Just don’t listen, okay? Try and get some sleep.”

The shouting got louder then, and Mummy made the mistake of shouting back. The sound of a slap cracked through the house. Silence.

Silence.

Silence that stretched a lifetime.

Rebecca darted upright. I sat perfectly still, holding my breath. Rebecca shuffled closer and nuzzled her head into my shoulder. We had both heard the sound of our father’s back-hander before. Had each felt it’s sting for ourselves. This was different. Had Mummy… slapped him?

Seconds after we heard the sound of smashing and crashing all throughout the downstairs, while father screamed words we weren’t allowed to say at the top of his lungs. Becks cuddled up to me, shaking. Mum was quiet now, probably cowering in the corner while father tore through the house like an enraged bull. I’d seen it before, and the next morning always included helping mum clean up the wreckage while she quietly sobbed, whimpering as she crunched down from where father had broken and bruised her ribs.

I pushed Rebecca off and leapt up to my bedroom door, banging and kicking and screaming, “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” All I could do to help. I had to get out of the room. I wasn’t sure what I could do, if anything, but I couldn’t sit on the bed quietly while my mum was abused and intimidated any longer. It had to stop.

Becks was crying now, and rocking back and forward on the bed. Still wrapped in her quilt, still cradling the pillow around her head. The side of my hand was aching with impact shock, but I kept banging. Kept screaming. I’d scream and I’d bang until I pushed out a hole in my door if I had to, even if it broke every bone in my hand. In a rush of wisdom beyond my years, I felt how my mother must’ve felt. Desperate to escape, desperate to fight back and end it, But powerless. My obstacle was a stupid wooden door with a two pound chain from ‘Discount Hardware UK,’ while hers was a sixteen stone man fuelled with drink and hate.

I banged and kicked and screamed and cried, entranced, dazed, desperate. The whole time was a blur, like a dream. Like I was watching myself from behind a glass window, sad and scared and secretly hoping that the door held true.

The sound of the doorbell ended the sounds of our father’s destruction. My panic faded away in that second, and I came back to myself. Becks continued to whimper and rock on the mattress. flashing red and blue lights illuminated the bedroom ceiling. I ran to the window and peered down to the street. The police were here. Thank God, someone had called them. I released a long, shuddering breath. How long had it been since I breathed?

A few minutes rolled by. I could hear hushed voices from the hall by the front door all the while, but couldn’t make out what they were saying. The one officer that had been loitering by the patrol car rushed toward the house, and a moment later both officers dragged father back to the car in handcuffs. They stuffed him in the back as he resisted, the taller officer punching him in the back of the head as he went.

One of them called something in on the radio—the shorter one with a Starsky-and-Hutch moustache—and they both headed back toward the house.

I didn’t think anything of it until officer Gomez came up to our room, and told us that we’d have to stay there for a little while while he and officer Rickly called some of their friends.

We were ushered out of the house that night, and by that time there were lots more vehicles outside. The first-responder car and an ambulance, two more police cars, and a Channel 5 news van.

Becks and I never saw our mother again. Our grandmother didn’t let us go to the funeral. She told us it was too much for children to go through at our age, and that some things are for adults only. We stayed with our neighbour while our grandparents drove off in black.

Our father will never be released. He’ll die in prison. Becks and I agreed that even if he does get out, we’ll kill him. He’ll never be free.

And neither will we.


Like flash fiction like this one? I publish one or two each week to give me a creative break from my longer works. Leave me a prompt or idea for the next one and I’ll add it to the list!

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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5 Facebook Fan Page Tips- Let’s Help Each Other Out +Community Camera Roll Fun!

Over at Facebook, I post all kinds of events and content exclusive to that community. Over time I intend Facebook to be my main social hub, where I engage with the community, host giveaways, and offer exclusive content and events.

For your chance at a £25 Amazon gift card, head there now!

Today, I posted an event calling for the community to post a photo from their camera roll for me to fashion a story from in the comments. Being only a small page in its infancy, I’ve only had two entries so far, but I’m proud of those two! I wanted to share with you the first couple of photos, and the consequent stories they inspired.

But first, I’d like to exchange a few tips and tricks in Facebook page growth, From the absolute beginning to your first 100. Growing from your first thousand becomes much easier, but the initial run up to that can be a hard, lonely slog.

So let’s make a deal. I’ll share five tips and ideas with you, and in the comments, you offer me one in exchange, okay?

If you’d like to link to your facebook page down in the comments, go for it. I’ll click straight over and give you a like. Return the favour by doing the same here 😉 Without any further delay, here are my top five Facebook fan page tips.

  1. Giveaways- Offer something for free in exchange for a like and share.
  1. Link To It- in blog posts, in your email signature, on twitter, in groups when called to. People can’t find it if you don’t put it out there!
  1. Focus On Engaging Posts– write the kind of posts that encourage likes, shares, comments, etc. Engagement on a post shows in the newsfeeds of their friends!
  1. Offer Exclusive Content- give people a reason to follow your Facebook page. If it’s just the same as your twitter, G+, and blog, why should they be there?
  1. Post Image & Video Content- it’s more eye catching, engaging, and shareable. Attention spans are low on social media.

So with that out the way, what are your tips and tricks? How do you increase audience and engagement on Facebook? From zero to your first hundred. From one hundred to a thousand. From a thousand to beyond… Remember to let me know in the comments.

Moving on, let’s jump into a couple of the stories inspired by my small community today. I was lucky to have been offered two great photos to work from!


Valley Of Rocks

Image submitted by Peter Thompson

After a casual stroll we hit the Valley Of Rocks. In spite of my wife’s enthusiastic response, I didn’t see much special. A few stones stacked atop one another. She spoke of the jagged formations, and the erosion something-or-other. Wow, I could have seen that on David Attenborough, only I’d be warm, dry, and comfortable. Instead, I’m shivering my tits off on the coast in November. Still, I smiled and nodded and agreed. It was safer that way.

After some humming-and-harring between my wife and herself, she decided it’d be fun to walk the extra five miles to The Hunters Inn.

‘Maybe there’s a gift shop,’ she reasoned, ‘and we could get lunch. Make a day of it.’ Great. Food. That sounds good. Five miles of windy coast wasn’t about to dissuade me from filling my guts. If there’s one thing I love above all else—excluding the nearest and dearest, of course—it’s food.

After an hour of lunging down the coast, holding the hood of my Jacket up over my head against the persistent gusts, we came upon The Hunters Inn.

That would’ve been great, but the bloody hunter wasn’t in! Closed for remodelling! And they didn’t think to maybe, I don’t know, put some sort of notice on the sign FIVE MILES BACK?

We lugged ourselves back along the coastal path, this time downwind, but now dripping from the heavy rain that just couldn’t bare to wait another hour before coming down. It wasn’t forecast of course, that would suggest that any organisation in the UK had some idea of what it was doing.

We arrived back to the car out of breath, soaked, and chilled to the bone. The windscreen fogged up the instant the engine was running, but it’d be another ten minutes before the old rust bucket delivered air that felt even slightly warm.

Julie, I love you. But next time I’m picking the day out. He pulled the urn out from under his jacket and placed it on the passenger seat. He removed the bucket-list from his glove compartment and checked off the ‘Valley Of Stones.’

I miss you, Julie.


Walking Away

Image submitted by Janet Bayes

He turned to face her once more, before frowning and walking away. A faceless silhouette, a shadow that stretched before him as far as their history stretched back. Step by painful step, out of their lives for good.

Away from her, away from the kids, away from the life they built together. She liked to think that final look was a second of hesitation, a momentary lapse in resolve. Despite everything she had done, he was torn about leaving.

The sun set into the ocean, alongside her heart. He never stopped to look back again.


So there we have it, two fun facebook stories, free from any pressure or expectation. As long or as short as the image inspired, born from the generous submissions from my community. You should give something like this a try on your own facebook page.

So, you remember that deal we made right? Leave me a comment with your Facebook fan page tips and drop a link to your own page. Let’s each expand our audiences!

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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The Awakening -Free Flash Fiction

Today’s quick online read comes from the photo prompt above. Each week, myself, Ian Steventon, and T J Kelly challenge each other to write a piece of fiction in under 1000 words. You can check their entries out by following the links above, but for now, grab a quick coffee, and enjoy!


When Marcus headed out into the woods for his routine walk, he didn’t expect to end up running for his life away from a horde of ritualistic maniacs. He raced across dense woodland, fighting through patches of nettles and leaping low shrubbery as he went, his face and legs cut raw from hostile twigs and branches. His lungs were on fire, his breath shallow gasps of air that cut through the silence of the trees in short, raspy bursts.

He could hear them on his tail, their own crazed breathing blaring in his ears, as if some sinister playlist injected the sound straight through headphones. The pounding of their boots grew ever louder. Ever closer.

He didn’t dare look back. He knew if he did he could fall, or slow down, or be petrified through fright. Robed monsters in the fading light, shrouded in the ghastly shadows of twilight. He knew what would happen if they got him. After what he’d seen they couldn’t let him go. Worm food. And by what sickly means? For what twisted goal?

No. He must keep going. Must get safe. He’d sprint all the way home, where Dinah was getting ready to serve her famous red pepper and tomato tacos, where Lucy bashed her toy cars across the wooden floor and drove her mummy mad through the noise. He’d lock all the doors and check them twice, dial 999, run Lucy a bath, and tell Dinah all about what he’d seen. The police would arrive at the old castle ruins, and the vile lunatics would’ve cleared out. They’d find the poor girl where they left her. Cut up, bled out, tied to a wooden structure suspended over demonic symbols and mystical ornaments, all speckled red with splashes of gore.

He’d never, never, forget that girl. Her pallid face drained of all life. All hope. Her small, delicate fingers curled around that expressionless doll, it’s leg torn from it’s torso and tossed aside like trash. Her last remaining scrap of innocence, the only comfort along her final breath.

He felt a blunt pain where a rock struck the right of his pelvis, another along the center of his spine. That one hurt. He didn’t care. He had to keep going. Had to get to Dinah. Had to call the police. That little girl’s parents needed to know what happened to her. They deserved to grieve their daughter.

The next thing Marcus felt was a sharp pain across the top of his head that sent multicoloured stars darting across his vision. The impact sent him crashing to the earth, and then, nothing.

* * * * *

When Marcus awoke he was roped up on the same wooden structure that he had witnessed just before. His body was bruised, beaten, and dripping with blood. Smaller cuts had clotted with darkened chunks and scabs, his cheeks warm where the wound on his head continued to stream out across his face. Surrounding him were the robed figures, their faces a hostile red where the flickering candle light illuminated them against the blackness of night.

“He awakes,” One declared, throwing his arms out to the side as if in worship. The congregation repeated him a second later in a monotonous droan. He awakes. “This man, this Marcus Frank Hammer,” He read from the ID card he had removed from his wallet, “Believes he can interrupt our sacred awakening ritual. This, this Outsider!”

Outsider, Outsider.

Marcus was frozen in fright. The ritual items that lay decoratively beneath the young girl before, had been replaced by a circular pit, stacked high with logs and kindling. The smell of fuel saturated his nostrils, kept him dizzy. Unfocused.

“we all know the punishment for such crimes,” he said, his icy gaze locked to Marcus’ panicked eyes.

Burn him, burn him

Marcus tugged against the ropes that bound him to the structure, all his might failing him. “Though such burdens are hard to bare, it falls upon us now to make the hard choices.”

A mound of fresh earth lay off to the side where Marcus guessed the little girl was buried. After all, they had to make room for him up on the wicker-man. Round two. A double meal for the sickos. What a sacred, bless-ed day.

Images flashed across his mind, polaroids darting in and out of focus. Dinah in a candle-lit bath, Lucy’s gleeful expression Christmas morning, a loaf of his mothers homemade onion bread. He could smell that. Along the waves of imagery came tsunamis of feeling, floods of emotion, he himself a mixture of anger, fear, sorrow, and rage. The thought of never seeing his family again sunk him into a low he had never felt before. A stilling, overwhelming numbness. Just blackness in the cold reality of his situation. He was never gonna make it home. His entire family, all of his friends, would have to suffer his loss.

“He was too young,” they’d say, “And the way it happened, gasp, nobody deserves that.” He could hear their condolences as clearly as the first strike of the match. On the second, flame came, and it was tossed into the fuel-soaked fire pit.

It came in an instant—sickening, blinding pain. Nothing but panic, noise, heat, smoke. The smell. The smell of his own body burning. The smell of the paraffin. Just seconds after, the pain stopped. Gone almost as fast as it came. His first few layers of skin had all but melted from his body, now just a dangling, skinless figure of muscle and bone.

In these moments he accepted his fate. Accepted death. Willed it. Anything to end the torment, the sight of the robed freaks rejoicing around him, the tiny, pale hand that had burst out of the earth. He tried to scream but he already was. He tried to close his eyes but he couldn’t. His gaze locked onto the one thing he didn’t want to see. Couldn’t bare to see. Wished he’d never seen.

The soulless, pale little dead girl crawling out the earth, tiny limbs bloodied and dirtied and dragging her back above ground. An expressionless creature of evil, each of it’s breaths a raspy growl from the very depths of it’s throat. Eyes red and hungry, thirsty for blood and pain and death.

“Behold the awakening!”

Behold, behold.

The creature stood before him, dead eyes reading his soul. Haunting his final moment, his final breath, dead hand clutching that legless, lifeless doll.

She smiled.


Like flash fictions like this one? Subscribe for more bite size stories 2-3 times per week. Got some ideas for my next one? Anything you’d change about this one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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The Dome- Quick Online Reads by Ian Steventon

For those of you who are new here, myself, Ian Steventon, and TJ Kelly have an ongoing collaboration, where each week one of us elects a photo prompt, and we set off to write a short interpretation of it. Both Colony 81, and The Fury Of The Godless stories in my ‘quick online reads’ collection, are examples of the fun and games our collab has already generated!

Today, I’m showcasing Ian’s interpretation of the prompt. I thought it was great! Ian uses his prose to drop us straight into this divided world, where the healthy are separated from the sick, and we instantly feel the curiosity put forward through the main character. If this piece of flash fiction leaves you wanting more, help me convince him to carry on with it by littering his post with pleading comments!

Ian Steventon Author


“When did the sickness start?” Asked Emma, as she looked out beyond the dome that enclosed them. Her father turned to face her, she thought she saw the sadness within him again, but he smiled, that magnificent smile that cured her of all her ills.
“It all happened so quickly, the domes were built for protection while you were still a young baby, they help to keep us safe, to keep the world safe, you know that.”
Emma looked out beyond the shimmering glass, everything looked so normal, the sun was shining, trees moved gently in the breeze. She saw birds rise up above the treetops and watched as they disappeared into the distance.
“Yes, but I wish I could go outside, feel the sun on my face, the breeze through my hair.”
Her father’s face suddenly darkened. “Don’t ever talk like that Emma, you know damn well we…

View original post 975 more words

Colony 81 -Free Flash Fiction

Today’s entry was inspired by the photo above, but it didn’t begin there. The title and premise for Colony 81 were concocted a few years back, but the project was left on the back burner while I focused my efforts elsewhere. Spending a little time in that world today has inspired me to tell a fuller story, a tale of power, sacrifice, and rebellion. If the following short is enough to leave you wanting more, let me know in the comments below. For now, grab yourself a quick drink, light a cigarette, and enjoy the next five minutes.


Cover for quick online reads entry Colony 81
What do you think of the cover I designed a few years back? Keep it, or scrap it and start over?

Jonah Reeves only ever knew life within the stone white walls of Colony 81. He had supposedly been shipped down from Utopia at the age of five—a promise baby from the fortunate, a declaration that ‘we will come back for you’—but he didn’t remember anything that wasn’t wheat fields and grey clothing. He knew it was all bullshit anyway. Nobody down on earth would ever be collected and taken up, not while the Utopians needed them to farm their food, purify their water, and provide all the resources they needed to stay up there. Jonah was many things, but a fool wasn’t one of them. They were slaves, and he knew it. His birth parents threw him away to keep their own spot on the ship, and he knew that too.

Nobody knew how many colonies were walled in, but it was clear they each fulfilled a separate purpose. They had water delivered in barrels marked 64, fresh clothes bundled in grey bags with the number 128 stitched into them. The highest number the colonists in 81 were aware of, was 342, from the numbers stamped on the side of the fruit crates that got delivered each week.

Jonah sat alone with his back pressed up against the colony wall, shaping multicoloured energy balls with his hands. After the riots and wars—the reaction to the launch of the Utopia—were over, people of all castes and creeds were bundled into the colonies. Families were separated, communities torn apart, and each colony was left with a diverse group of individuals that had to become cohesive. Religions and beliefs were abandoned or adapted, and in that simplicity, something new was formed.

No longer was there a God, or an Allah. As the years went on, there was never mention of Christianity, or Paganism, or Hinduism, or Sikh. They had no need for religion anymore. What came in its place had no name, only a voice they could all hear. A whisper on a quiet night, a feeling of connectivity that couldn’t quite be described. Some called it the Source, others, the voice of the earth. The Truth. The message they all ignored, the point they all missed. The silence that spoke all noise, the nothingness that encompassed everything in existence, living and breathing and powering the whole thing.

For years it beckoned out, shrouded by wars and technology, drowned out by the sound of their own voices. Had they quietened down a little, worked together rather than in opposition, they would’ve heard it before things got bad. But things did get bad, and it took tearing the world apart to find it.

Jonah watched as the balls shifted from red, to blue, to yellow, to green, floating and coming back down, dancing and stretching and shrinking at his will. Those small bubbles were a part of his essence, a part of everything’s essence. Translucent star-stuff, given form through focus and intent.

“You’ll get seen doing that one day.” Jonah looked up, and the energy dissipated at once in a sudden pop. Grace stood before him, the setting sun illuminating the edges of her silhouette in a pink-orange hue.

“You’ve gotta stop sneaking up on me,” he said, shuffling his knees under his body to come cross-legged in the cracked earth. He reached out and grabbed her hand, pulling her to him. “You make me nervous standing above me like that.”

“Deal, as soon as you stop playing with your magic shit in public.” She sat opposite him, wearing her I-love-you-but-I’m-not-quite-happy expression—a half smile pulled up to the left, equal parts happiness and concern glazing the surface of her amber eyes. She really was beautiful. It still left him breathless at times, softening his resolve, cooling the fires that burned inside him.

He sighed. “I’m just practicing Gracie. Gotta figure it out.” He played around in the dirt with his index finger, drawing swirls and squiggles without purpose. Her soft hands took hold of his face and pulled it inline with hers, kissing him before pulling back to meet his eyes.

“Well figure this. If they see it they’ll kill you, probably after tearing you open to find out what it is.”

“I can tell them what it is.”

“But they won’t care what you tell them. They’ll wanna see for themselves.” She took his hands and they sat in silence for a few moments, tracing the lines in each others skin. Farmers hands, both of them, but Grace’s were softer somehow. Warmer.

“Gracie listen—“

“No, you listen Jonah. Whatever you’re thinking, it has to stop right now. Put it away.” Her voice raised, but remained hushed as if others were listening. They were miles from the chalets, but something about Jonah’s discovery put her on edge. Scared her into caution. “What you’ve found here is beautiful. It’s amazing. You’re amazing. But it doesn’t change anything, and it can’t. We’re trapped down here on a dying planet. They’re up there with all the power. You come out with something like this, we’re sitting ducks. They’ll kill us all just in case.”

Jonah squeezed against her grip, smiling. “I know,” he sighed, “I’ll be more careful.”

“It’s just dangerous, I don’t want to lose you.”

“I know,” he said again, this time sounding more certain. He pressed himself up to his feet and pulled her up with him, pulling her in. He stroked her hair while she rested her head on his shoulder, coarse from the grit of the fields, but still softer than his somehow.

“Keep it to that bedroom thing, like the fireflies, okay?” She whispered, pressing her lips to his neck suggestively.

“Of course,” he lied, ‘let’s get back home.”

They walked the few miles through the wheat back to the chalet, rough hand in softer rough hand, appreciating the comfort of each other and the fading light of the sun, painting the sky a dazzling blend of purple, red, and pink. By the time they reached the tiny stone hut they called home, Jonah had the beginnings of a plan.

It didn’t include hiding his discovery.


This post is part of an ongoing collaboration between myself, Ian Steventon, and TJ Kelly. For their interpretations of this photo prompt, check out The Dome by Ian, and Secret, Secret, I Have a Secret!! By TJ.

So there it is. The dialogue and setting can be fleshed out so much more, and there’s a much greater story to be told here. But now I ask you, Would you like me to carry this on? Before the new year I’ll be launching a web series for you lovelies, so if you want this in my list of potentials, or would like me to add parts to this in the coming weeks, let me know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow for more posts like this, alongside blogging and writing tips to take your writing to the next level. Thanks for reading ☺️

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Like flash fictions like this one? You’ll love:

The Fury Of The Godless

The Man In The Hat

The Cabin

The Fury Of The Godless -Free Flash Fiction

The northmen came ashore along a terrifying storm, their dragon-fronted ships illuminated by angular cracks of lighting. The clouds thundered with violence and aggression, their satanic false-gods shuddering the ground around the monastery.

Gwain had seen many men in his years—both through war, and through his work with the church—but none as ghastly and gigantic as those that fought through the water that day. Inhumanly large monsters, with red and golden hair that whipped around them like sparks in a blacksmith’s forge.

The heathens seemed unbothered by the cold. Muscular animals barely covered in haphazard strips of leather and cloth, traipsing through the icy water like the frost giants their pagan myths warned of.

A small cluster of Northumbrian soldiers were garrisoned at the monastery. They came seeking salvation and God’s blessing, and were instead met with short axes, blood, and painful death. You could hear the carving of their flesh, the cracking of their bones, over the roars of thunder.

Gwain watched as blood painted the waves a sickly red, severed body parts washed out to sea.

The men burst through the doors as if they were made of parchment, nothing but a thin veil between the Christians and the heathens. They slaughtered their way through the monastery one by one, monks foolishly attempting to hold the monsters back with brooms and ornamental daggers. They demolished all that they could. The pews chopped to pieces, the shelves and lanterns demolished. Fires formed where fallen candles met broken furniture, lending the northmen a devilish red glow that reflected their intent.

Those that abandoned God in favour of their own lives, those that fell to their knees and held their hands in the air, those that begged—were chained and pulled out into the storm. They’d meet a fate worse than death. Eternal damnation and torment. A thousand lifetimes of torture and Godlessness.

Gwain stood at the alter facing them, patiently awaiting his violent end. He was old and tired, ready to embrace his peace. His bones had begun to creak as he went about his daily business, his chest rattling with each short breath. He’d reached the age where kings seemed young, and he didn’t want to live to much older than that.

The heathen that first barged into the monastery, a monster of a man with golden hair and piercing blue eyes, fixed his inquisitive gaze on him. It was the same look he gave all the monks he struck down with his dripping axe, as they knelt and bowed their heads to God. Gwain wasn’t afraid to admit his fear. No, God was not going to save him. No, God’s love didn’t seem all that comforting. No, God wasn’t going to numb the pain of what happens next.

Flames licked the air with a newfound taste for destruction, hungry for more with each passing second. The dense heat pulled sweat from each pore on Gwain’s frail body—or was that the anticipation of the death that grew closer with each step the Northman took in his direction? Each pew battered with the back of his axe? Each monk with the thirsty blade? He could feel the smoke building up in his lungs, taste it in the air.

The Northman, fixed on Gwain, headed toward him with an amused look reflected in his features. He was enjoying all the slaughter. Or was it the power? He had certainly earned his pride. Gwain had watched as he gracefully cut through the Northumbrians in all their armour. Spears, swords, and all. With nothing but a small chunk of sharpened iron and an oddly decorated wooden shield. The monks and the brooms were just the dessert.

The heathen stood before him now, a full head taller and a musculature to rival the Greek statues, a body and size Gwain—as a knight of Camelot, one of Arthur’s own table at that—could’ve only dreamed of when he was still swinging his sword. Face to face with the monster, he didn’t look all that monstrous at all. He looked the same as the hundreds of other men Gwain had faced down, just larger and less burdened by the fear of God—that of course being the fear of those that had built their countries around Godliness. Unlike Gwain, this heathen was a truly free man.

Free from duty. Free from judgement. From God.

Gwain met the man’s gaze with a look of his own. One of understanding and acceptance. His puzzlement became amusement, and then, something that resembled respect.

Another heathen came launching out from behind him, axe raised and ready to swing. The blue eyed Northman held up a hand, and the other stopped. They exchanged words in a foreign tongue. Challenging each other in whispered hisses.

After a few moments of silence, the other sighed and turned his back, continuing to destroy whatever the fire hadn’t already consumed.

The heathen looked once more into Gwain’s eyes, flipped his axe, and hit him square in the forehead with the wooden hilt.

* * * * *

Gwain awoke surrounded by the carnage—the alter, the pews, all ruined—the perfect metaphor for his faith in God.

Lungs heavy with smoke, most of the building on fire, Gwain drew his last breath with his dying wish never more clear in his mind. All he and his brothers had suffered, all they had withheld themselves from. All the restraint, the fear, and the control.

No more. The reckoning has come.

Let the church burn.


This post comes as a result of a less-than-1000-word-challenge based on the photo prompt above. A fun collaboration between myself and Ian Steventon, soon to include another wonderful writer, where we take it in turns each week to set the prompt, and get to relish in the differences between our pieces. Seeing the variation in inspiration a simple prompt can have is astounding!

I’m not entirely happy with this piece. I have had the hardest week at work so far, and I feel flat and lifeless. It took a lot of effort to not let that show through in this piece (though I think it does somewhat). I hope you all enjoy it despite the struggle it took to bring it to your screens!

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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More Short Reads Online

The Man In The Hat- Free Flash Fiction

Over at Fiction Writers Group, we run a weekly flash fiction contest based on a random photo prompt elected for that week. The maximum word count is 300 words. I thought this exercise would be a nice addition to my blog, and a great challenge for you guys to play along with too. Please do get involved, and tag me in your entries so I get a notification when your piece is posted. I can’t wait to read them!

The following entry is my attempt at this prompt. I think for the 300 word count, I bit off a little more than I could chew. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for a long time, but in much longer form. A short story, novella, perhaps even a novel. Either way, it’s what the prompt evoked, and we’ve gotta play the cards we’re dealt, right? I’ll leave it with this. I tried my best to squeeze a story that is bursting out of me, in a few short words, and I enjoyed it! I hope you do too.


Danny sat frozen to his seat, arm rests creaking beneath the strength of his grip, as the other passengers screamed and braced and grabbed on to whatever they could. The lightning struck either side of the plane, destroying each jet in unnatural unison. They hurtled toward the ground at unthinkable speed, near-vertical in their decent. Those unlucky enough to be out of their seats had been launched to the back of the plane, lying mangled and bleeding, dead on impact.

Danny didn’t move. He forced his eyes closed, tried to stay calm, coaching himself as he raced toward death. It’s over, there’s nothing I can do about it. No use panicking now, it’s done. Accept it. It won’t hurt. He shouted these words in his mind like a mantra, desperately trying to ignore the eery face of the man in 3A. The man in the hat. The man who’s seat was now empty, not a trace of him left. Newspaper gone, food cleared, tray folded up, as if he were never there. That face was burned into Danny’s mind. The face that right before the strikes looked directly at him—into him—and winked.

Was it just his mind that whispered the words in that moment? Something to do with the panic, that caused him to think in some twisted, ethereal voice?

‘Myself, sacrificed to myself.’

He heard it again as the plane impacted the ground, saw that face once more, and then, nothing.

Danny awoke sweating and nauseous. He pushed himself up onto all fours, revealing scattered pieces of burning metal and plane parts as far as he could see. Body parts and blood and bone littered across the earth. He stood, dumbfounded. Inspected himself.

Not a scratch.

Myself, sacrificed to myself.


Bonus points to whoever figures out who the man in the hat is, and what it all means! What do you think? Let me know in the comments

Tip The Author

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you for your attention span! If you enjoy my content, help me make a living by leaving a tip. Every pound goes toward creating more fiction, reading more books to review, and creating artwork, sketches, tutorials, and lifestyle posts for you to enjoy. I appreciate any and all help! A little really does go a long way!

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The Cabin -Free Flash Fiction

Today I’m over at beetleypete’s wordpress account, sharing a story that, while not perfect in its execution, was fun to write and is hopefully fun to read.

He’s a great writer himself, and his blog is always a pleasure to scroll through. Once you’re done with this, I’d recommend checking out some of his own work. You won’t be disappointed!

For more Flash Fiction like this, check out some of the following posts!

beetleypete

I am delighted to be able to present a guest post from a young British writer, Gary Holdaway. Here is his own short bio.

A young writer from the UK with big ideas, and an even bigger passion for words. A multigenre author of both novels and short fiction, Gary has a flare for the suspenseful, the frightening, and the unknown.

It is a short story, inspired by this photo.

The Cabin

In the time it had taken Dr Mark E. Redwood to trek the nine miles through dense woodland before finally arriving at the cabin, he had tripped at least six times, soaked his feet in a failed attempt to jump a small creek, and had picked up multiple scratches to his face and neck fighting through malicious low branches. He was useless when it came to the outdoors. Hopelessly, utterly useless. But he didn’t care. He had to…

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