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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Paranormal for Claudia

I stood there stunned, this was something I did not want to see. I felt the wrongness on a deep and spiritual level. Why did I have to be here standing watch, waiting for the inevitable. I knew that at any moment Claudia was going to come through the door, I would be powerless to stop her.

Claudia was a vision to me, she always had been. I remember the first time I saw her, drinking a hot chocolate outside a café. I was walking past and stumbled. Holding the steaming mug in two hands she took a sip. Her dark eyes looking into mine, the faintest smile playing across her lips as she watched. I righted myself looked at her and found myself laughing out loud. I had asked to join her at the table and the rest was history.

Claudia has a way of affecting my equilibrium, whenever she is around me I think up is down and left is right. Truly I have never met anyone who inspires me and understands me so well. From that first meeting I found Claudia to be generous, warm and a delight to be around. Love grew quickly in the fertile ground of our new relationship.

We had bought a house together, a little rough around the edges but it had character. Claudia swore blind it was haunted but I had just laughed. Work had been progressing nicely and now we had finished the guest bedroom. Our first visitor was Claudia's elder uncle visiting for a family get together. Claudia was excited about our guest and had been driving me crazy about keeping tidy.

Having to work late this evening Claudia had instructed me to get home early to check on Arthur. I had stopped off to get some wine for dinner. I wanted to make a good impression as it was important to Claudia. I called her from the store to see if she wanted anything else. I knew from the sound of her voice she was having one of those days. I decided to pick up a little treat to put a smile on her face. Roaming up and down the aisles I finally found her favourite hot chocolate. We enjoyed sitting out on the patio, early evening watching the sun go down whilst sipping at our drinks. To me the hot chocolate is a reminder of our meeting but for her it is a favourite drink.

I headed home to start dinner. It had been just my luck to get a flat tyre. I am not the most practical of men and it took me a while to wrestle the new wheel in place. I was sweating heavily and cursing my luck as I finally parked at home. I had grabbed the bags and got to the front door. I was disturbed as I noticed the door was ajar. I pushed it open slowly, something did not feel right. If there was a spirit residing in the house it would have been screaming do not go in. I should have listened.

I had moved through the house towards the kitchen, I quietly called out Arthur’s name to see if he was okay. Now standing here feeling the wrongness but paralysed with indecision I looked down at the body face down on the floor. I heard Claudia enter the house and call out my name. I wanted to shield her from this but was too weak. The door opened and she saw the body. Rushing past me to kneel on the floor. She called out “Arthur” over and over again. I felt her grief, a kick in my my guts that nearly doubled me over.

Claudia started to roll the body over, tears were streaming down her face. The head turned last of all. As I looked into my unblinking eyes, Arthur finally came into the kitchen....

Friday, 26 April 2013

14 Twisted Tales to Enthrall - Flash Fiction Stories

This is my first published work entitled:

14 Twisted Tales to Enthrall – Flash Fiction Stories

A book I created with my dear friend Mary Papas who is already an Author of a book of Flash Fiction Stories called 'Take Off Your Mask'. I have thought about publishing some stories for some time and as luck would have it Mary was also ready for a new adventure.

So began our collaboration, we decided to each write stories that would hopefully leave the reader wanting more. Over the next few weeks we sent stories back and forth as we whittled it down to the great ones you can read today.

I would like to thank Mary for her support and help. This my first foray into actually Publishing work for sale. Mary has made this a really enjoyable experience and I would heartily recommend you check her out:

Twitter: @MaryPapas2

The stories have all been proof read by Julia who is UK based. Julia as well as being very good at what she does has reasonable rates and can be found:

Twitter: @ProofreadJulia

The stunning cover was created by Vicky Theodoreli who is very talented and took our basic instructions and brought it to life. Vicky has an awesome portfolio which can be found on her site. Vicky can be found:

Twitter: @VickyTheodoreli

The links to this exciting book are:

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Safe Haven

The diagnosis for survival was not looking good. It was hard not to be dejected after losing so many friends. There were five of us left now sat huddled in the dark, shivering with cold as well as fear. I was glad the others could not see me, the fear etched into my face would not have settled nerves. It was nearly time to move again, staying in one place too long was a sure way to get dead.

We had already enjoyed this oasis of calm for longer than was prudent but dammit we needed the rest. Exhausted we had found this room and quickly made it home. No one had any energy left to keep watch, we had just collapsed and slept. We had been running for hours, no time for food or water.

I woke up alert, moving into a crouch. I was ready to run again but experience taught me patience. Listening for a repeat of the sound that had woken me, I waited. It came again and I relaxed. Just crying nothing to worry about, unless the sobbing grew louder. I do not know when it was I became numb to sorrow. If I had to guess, I would say the moment my wife was ripped from me in a crimson spray of blood.

I remember scrubbing the blood from me. Even now I can still feel its sticky wetness all over me. I am sick of blood and death, I try to remember better times. Two years now I have lived life on the run with my new family. Moving by day and hiding by night had become the routine, our lifeline. Never staying in the same place twice. It was the only way to avoid the seekers.

I do not know where they came from but in the space of three days most of the population had been wiped out. Bodies were left where they fell, so I knew we were not food. Maybe they just liked to kill, the sound of screaming the spray of blood. I had come to think of them as the artists of death. Small pockets of us remained, every now and then we managed to kill one of them. We were not so much waging war but buying time to run.

Heading across the country towards the last known safe haven. A military bunker that was sending out a broadcast on repeat. It changed only in the date it left, so we all knew that it was still current. Hope was in short supply and I clung to this as a drowning man might cling to a twig. More than twenty of us had set out, I remember the excitement on their faces when we first heard the message. We thought we had it all, like the cat that got the cream.

As the weeks wore on, we lost people and found others. We all shared a mutual desire, to find shelter. To feel safe and not wake up in the dead of the night, heart pounding. Clothes sticking to the skin, a scream caught in the throat. It seemed we were no closer to our goal as I peeled the clothes from my skin.

The others were awake now, I could hear them all talking in whispers. A weary sound, the muted conversation. Defeat hung in the air and was as dangerous to our success as the enemy. I took charge, issuing hushed instructions to get ready. I moved to the window and slid the blackout blind to one side ever so slightly. Putting my eye to the gap I felt my heart jack hammer in my chest. I found myself staring in the large unblinking eye of death...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Meeting at the Cafe

Roberta sat in the cafe stiring her coffee. Staring at the patchwork of stains on the off-white table cloth. It had been one hell of a day. This was not the sort of place she would normally frequent but the artificial strip lighting had seemed an oasis on a gloomy day. The drizzle had been non stop all day coupled with the early nightfall was not a great combo. Picking up a sachet of sugar Roberta shook it gently before tearing the end. The sugar cascading down into the swirling drink. Once it had dissolved Roberta took a sip. The sweetness balancing out the bitterness of the strong coffee. Sitting back in her chair Roberta laced her fingers together around the mug. The warmth seeping into her as she was finally able to relax. Watching the passing glow of headlights Roberta became lost in her own world. So much so that she must have missed the clinking of the bell that signified the entrance of another stranger.

He was not handsome in the conventional sense but there was something about him. An air of confidence, he moved with what in the pictures they called a deadly grace. Roberta felt her heart skip when he met her eyes. She had never seen such green eyes. Emeralds could not compete with such beauty. He did not head to the counter but with a smile that turned him into the most desirable man she had ever seen, he walked over.

He gestured to the seat opposite and she nodded yes. She was not used to feeling like this and did not trust her voice. She felt herself flushing as the silence lengthened. He calmly sat opposite with a small smile playing on his lips. Roberta racked her brains for something to say, anything to break this silence. Nothing came to mind and so she sat there feeling foolish.

Why did he not order a drink, talk to her? Just sitting there looking so damn good. Roberta felt herself growing angry. This stranger was having a very profound affect. Why did this silence matter so much? There was something she could not put her finger on. With her anger Roberta found a reservoir of strength and determined she would not be the first to speak. In this battle of wills she would be the victor.

Making herself appear relaxed she slouched into her chair a little more. The cold hard plastic not making it very comfortable. Taking a long sip of the coffee Roberta studied him more over the rim of the mug. He was looking directly into her eyes and that look spoke more than words. Another sip of coffee and she really was not having to pretend to be relaxed.

In silence they held their conversation. Roberta letting go the angst of the day as he patiently sat there. His gaze conveying compassion. He truly understood, the weight of the day was gone and she knew her eyes were shining with new hope. Feeling better than she had in days, the joy shining from his eyes at her happiness moved her to tears.

Had any man ever understood her in this way? Roberta wondered if she would ever hear his voice or if she would ever need to. Without words he had healed what was broken. She wished she could do the same for him. Sorrow was in his gaze now. Emeralds glistening as moisture welled in them. She felt his pain and surprise at his own reaction to her.

His pain was almost unbearable, tears streamed down her face. If only she could help. Roberta looked on conveying hope and counselling patience. A look of sheer panic crossed his face. He moved for the first time his hands reaching across the table. Roberta place her mug on the table. And her hand was just about to intercept his when she was distracted.

The man who had served her the coffee early had come over. He looked concerned as he studied her face. Roberta realised how this must look and she was touched that he would take the time to come over. He said something to her and as she started to reply but stopped mid sentence. What was it he had said?
“A young woman like you should not be sitting all alone, crying.....”