My new year's resolution was to set aside at least one afternoon for writing per week. I love submitting to short story and flash fiction competitions! ✍️ So far I've kept my resolution but we're only two weeks into the year! You can check out a selection of my work here: https://ko-fi.com/carrieonwriting and of course I've entered the Biopage contest! 😀 https://www.biopage.com/post/de-dahlification
Just 1 month until the release of, A Touch Eldritch, the first of an annual series, written for young teenagers. A collection of short stories to make you cringe, horror and spooky stories on the fringe. I am looking forward to hearing the feedback on this my first collection of short stories.
Once scared, once hurt, once used, once betrayed, never trusts again. The emotional rollercoaster one goes through along this process is immensely exhausting to the point they don't want to try it again in the fear that it could end in failure again. A broken heart shatters into pieces like glass, it takes time and struggle to be put back together but nonetheless it's still broken, the cracks still there, sure it's been glued together and fixed like putting puzzle pieces together but in the end, it's just one touch away from breaking down again. Trusting some the first time is easy cause you've hot nothing to lose but trusting again is tough, cause you've experienced the loss and the eminent pain is something that can't just be erased from one's mind. So when that person prepares themselves to trust again, they know the consequences, they know they could potentially face failure but they still try, ready to embrace the pain all over again if it's a hoax again just because of that glimmer of hope that this time maybe it'll be different. But no one can live life with being scared, no one can move ahead without experiencing pain or hurt, in order to get to the end of the rainbow, one has to struggle, so try, maybe not today but someday, when you feel a sense of sincerity in a kind heart. But till then, love yourself.
We both sat back down in silence for a moment, neither sure how to bridge the gap. Finally, he spoke. “I'm trying, honey. I'm trying to do as you asked, but it's so hard. I need the liquor since I have nothing else in my life. Every day is just so hard. It's so hard being alone. Having nothing, being nothing. I can't-“ I was supposed to play the part of a therapist. He was supposed to be just another client. But seeing him now, seeing him bare his soul, I knew I was fooling myself. Ivy was right, this counsel was beyond my capabilities. “Are you still drinking?” He looked at me with such doleful eyes. “Yes.” “How much?” “Nearly-“he paused. “Nearly same as before.” “Then we're done here.” I said with an air of finality. “No, please! I can change! I-“ “Dad- Henry. You said that last time. And the time before that. You said that when mom died.” I was shaking. “I can't do it. I can't watch you waste away. I've tried to help. I failed.” “No, honey, you didn't! I'm doing so much better because of you!” He was lying. I could see his physical condition deteriorating. If anything, he was doing worse. “Henry Price, I'm sorry, but I can't help you.” I really thought that maybe this time I could. I let myself believe that maybe he could change. I agreed to this meeting knowing full well it was him knocking at my door. I was being a fool, he hadn't changed since last we met. “Please- please don't do this, honey.” “I'm going to have to ask you to leave now. Our time has expired.” I could feel the emptiness in my chest, a total disconnect from my own emotions. I was operating on auto-pilot. “Furthermore, I will no longer be able to take you in as a client. I can refer you to other therapists if need be. But effective immediately, your patronage has been terminated.” The naked grief on his face said so much. But, just as it normally goes, his grief transformed to anger. He stared at me in open contempt one final time. “Fine. So be it. It seems I've lost both a wife and a daughter then.” I watched him leave, staring at his back the entire time. He never turned back once. Never tried to speak nor argue. Henry Price walked with a purposeful stride. He had found his resolve. THE END
“That's a lot to unpack, Henry. Quite a few crosses to bear. Why don't we focus on one at a time, shall we? Let's talk about the alcohol.” I said. It took every ounce of effort to keep my composure. Henry seemed deflated when I directed the conversation down this avenue. Reluctantly he adhered. “What do you want me to say? I drink. I need it. Can't live without. Don't want to. It helps me ease the pain.” “And you don't think that's contributing to your current problem of being lost?” “Contributing? It's the only thing that's helping. If it weren't for the liquor, I'd have absolutely nothing left!” I felt my teeth grinding at his omission. “But you don't think the liquor played a part in that?” I said. My tone was much more aggressive then I'd have liked it to be. I was sitting up, straight as an arrow, staring transfixed on Henry Price. “No! The drink has nothing to do with it, okay? My wife passed and now my daughter won't even speak a word to me. That's the root of my problems!” “Well what about before your wife passed? Did you or did you not already have issue with drinking?” Henry sat up so that he could turn and look my way. We were staring at each other, no longer hiding behind pretense. “So I like to have a drink every now and then,” he said ruefully. “So what? Everyone does. It's normal, ain't it?” “Normal,” I said my teeth clenched. “Is not consuming a bottle of whiskey a day. Normal is drinking one bottle of beer, not an entire case every single day.” He was shouting now. “You don't get to say what's what! You think you know so much! But you don't! You don't know what it's like to lose a wife and have your own daughter cut you out of their life!” I couldn't take it anymore. “No, but I know what it's like to lose a mom!” I gave him a seething gaze. “And you know what? I also know what it feels like to lose a dad.” “I'm. Right. Here!” He bellowed. “You're not!” I was yelling now, nearly at the top of my lungs. “Don't you dare try to pretend you're you. We both know what you've become and I won't have it! I told you- I told you! You either kick your drinking habit to the curb or never speak to me again.” “I lost your mother! Don't you know how hard this is for me?” “No! You were drinking long before she died. Don't give me that crap! You did this! You did this with your drinking! She's gone because of it!” The shouting match had reached such a crescendo that Ivy had to interrupt our session. She crashed through the door, a mortified look on her face. “W-what is going on here!? I can hear you from outside the building! The next client has excused herself!” We both turned to her and felt her ire cast upon us. Our heads hung low and we both offered a sheepish apology of sorts. “I knew this was a bad idea,” Ivy said. “Your open door policy should not have extended towards family. You should have known better! If you two can't continue this conversation peacefully, then I'm going to have to end this meeting immediately.” Henry-my father-apologized as best he could. “I won't be a bother anymore, I just need to get some stuff off my chest.” “Then keep your voices down.” She said. Before she left, she shot me a withering gaze that told me her message went doubly so for me.
I'm not sure I expect it. Or want it to. To say it's getting better could mean things returning to 'normal.' I wasn't thrilled with what was becoming normal. I don't see things getting 'better' in the sense things return to normal. What was normal for me wasn't acceptable to others, and shouldn't have been acceptable to me. But it was, if only because what wasn't acceptable as normal to others, wasn't affecting me. Now, it's affecting me. I want it to affect me. I don't want things to get better if it means going back to the way things were.
Will you love to be among the ace writers that will feature in the second edition of our anthology? Will you love to lend your voice through prose, poetry, photo story or essay on salient themes affecting the world? If yes, then this message is for you. Tales Group is an arm of the blog: TalesFromTheOtherLand. This Group is a community of creative minds that provide a platform for sharing creative works & ideas, with the aim of educating, entertaining and also spotlighting writers. The Tales Group has begun activities for the publication of the 2nd edition of its annual eBook – (an anthology)- comprising poems, essays, photo stories & short stories. In line with recent global happenings, this year's edition focuses on: Migration & Epidemics as themes. Based on the above themes, we call for entries from writers of diverse climes that will love to be part of this rich compendium. The aims of this eBook project are: To explore the variety of ideas on the themes in focus. To promote the global visibility of authors & writers. To create a convergence of literary ideas and styles in one book. To encourage social change & a paradigm shift for the attainment of world peace & productivity. It is hoped that through the diverse themes and the multicultural composition of contributors, a melting-pot of ideas, perspectives, styles and flavour will be created in this entertaining compendium. Thus, interested persons are to send in entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org Specifications: All entries must be the brainchild of the author, no plagiarism. Entries must be ‘fresh'. It MUSTN'T be published on the social media or any other medium. Authors are free to explore sub themes in their entries but this must be within the confines of the major themes. The entries must not attack persons, Institutions or religions in their contents. Clearly state the title, word count and genre of each entry at the first line of each work. Clearly state the author's name or pen name. Include a Bio of the author & a portrait photo. Authors should state a means where they can be contacted ( in case readers would love to follow their works.) Entries should come in Microsoft word, single line spacing, with font size 11; Times New Roman font style. Poetry For Poetry, a minimum of 3 entries and a maximum of 5 are needed for your submissions to be valid. Prose (short stories/flash fiction): A minimum of 2 entries & a maximum of 3 entries. Word count b/w (1600 words as minimum to 3000 words as maximum.) Essays: A maximum of 2 entries. Word count- 1500 words maximum. Photo Story: The images should depict one of the themes; it should be original – (that is, the contributor should be the person that took the photo.) The dates when the photos were taken & location(s) should be stated. Entries under this category must be a minimum of 3 & a maximum of 5 entries. The images should be in JPEG format – 1600 x 1200 pixel. N/B: We accept diverse forms of creativity circling around the themes. This anthology will not be Monetized when published. It will be launched on various online stores; accessibility to this content will be FREE. The Tales Group owns the right of Publication and distribution of this anthology. Contributors to this project will gain the rights to be part of Tales Groupin house Community – where they can get access to publishing their future contents on our blog at a subsidised cost; have access to our online audience on our blog; get access to our consultants that provide services such as editing of manuscripts, blog contents, book cover designing, Website creation; and solicited professional advice/ mentorship on creative writing. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES IS APRIL 17th, 2020. TalesFromTheOtherLand (TFOL )GROUP retains the copyright. Even if you're not interested in sending in entries, be sure to check out our previous anthology titled: Tales and Twists. Thank you!
We perched precariously on the edge of his seats. Dust and the stuffy atmosphere of the room weighed in on us. Drenched in the truth of it all, I fixed my gaze on the great bookshelf across the other side of the room; a second skin to the wall. The tall sash windows streaming sunlight through that half of the library, splintering the shelf with solid shards of light: the collections of various works obscured. Their spines were dark emeralds, royal blues, and rich red wines. Gold embossed titles glittered sharply through the blocks of amber where disturbed motes spiralled: ghostly unsettled pools of spinning, lost particles. The solicitor cleared his throat. My attention snapped back to the cold reality of the room; and my dead uncle's affairs. In this moment, I saw the look of bewilderment on my cousins' faces, all directed at me. The leather upholstery of Uncle Barty's chair grew warm beneath me. “Did you hear me, Miss Devonshire? The entire estate?” I swallowed, my throat catching on the dust. The vastness of the room and circle of seething relatives suffocated me, as if someone was replacing the air with steam. Outside, I touched the lion's head. He lay on his belly in the entranceway, sightlessly surveying the gardens. A patch of moss had grown over his eyes. Lightly clutching his cheeks, I stared into his old grey face as if my uncle was in there somewhere; turned to stone by the coldness of our own family. Uncle Barty had always loved my thick, curly blonde hair. When I was little, Barty would to lift me up on to the lion's back and laugh at how I'd stolen his mane. I stood there, welling up, my forehead gently pressed against the lion's. The closest thing to our last hug. He was cold, and cooled my burning head, slowing its panicky buzzing. I let out a long-suppressed sigh and pulled myself up straight. As I walked back through the hall, turning left at the long corridor of rich silk wallpaper, I heard raised voices. I thought of the lion and walk faster, stalking, gathering pace, taking deeper strides; until I pushed past the big oak doors into the library. It fell into a stony silence. “Ah, Miss Devonshire, you're back. Would you like some water? I've poured you a glass. It must be quite a shock, understandably, but Bartholomew always did say that you were-” “She coerced him. You made him write that, Cassie. You used your smile and tossed your hair about like you always do, and guilt tripped him into leaving you all this. Why would he choose you over his own children, fucking hell?” my cousin burst out, the one who flew in yesterday from halfway across the world. Not a moment too late to hear the will. “Michael,” I began, not knowing if I could finish without cracking. “Michael, when was the last time you saw him? Any of you?” Another silence. “Checked up on him?” Nothing. “You're his own children and you couldn't even pick up the phone, could you? He loved you and you just did nothing!” I choked, frustrated by how emotional I sounded when I wanted to roar in their faces. Michael and his sisters twitched in their seats, dry-eyed. Taking a sip of water, I seethed at how they had left their last living parent to die, alone. Michael sunning himself into a thick leathery tan out on a veranda; Judith and Suzanne blissfully spending their trust funds. I would have done anything to see mine again, to embrace them and feel their warmth on my skin, just one last time. The years I had taken to contemplate how precious each particle of my parents had been; from a hazy, half-forgotten vision of an idyllic childhood together. Soon, the Pride dispersed. I climbed on the lion's back and watched them leave our kingdom. They stepped into lined up cabs and trailed away, ant-like. Going on to God knows where; the solicitor too.
With the wind blowing in your hair and the sun shining on your face, one can find little to complain about. With the ocean colliding upon the sand and the shells spread around the beach, one should find peace. But there is no peace. As the mind forces thoughts, ones unwanted, on to the brain. And the body aches of pains of all sorts of origins. Bruises and scrapes litter the body. No one can be sure where they came from. Strangers don't stop to ask what's wrong. It may be strange for someone to be sitting on the beach on a cold winter day, but everyone has their own life. Everyone has their own issues. Nobody has the time to care. So, as you sit on the beach, with the cold air rushing through your hair and the sun radiating it's bright but frigid rays directly on you, you feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. As if the inside of you was just a cold bottomless pit. No end, no beginning. But empty. All that's inside of you is the dark nothingness that haunts you. It's like you don't have warm blood, circulating through your body. As you even feel cold to the touch. You could even think that your heart isn't pumping. Your lifeless. Motionless. Sitting there on the beach, anyone would think you were just mesmerized by the ocean. But your just trying to feel. Anything. You hope to be happy. To find something to enjoy. To fill the pit inside you. But it all seems impossible. How do you fill something that's endless? Something that doesn't even seem to want to be filled? The only thing you want to do is feel. But the easiest way to feel is through pain. So your left in what seems like an endless cycle of hopelessness. Nowhere to go and no way to get out. All you can ever feel is empty.