Stay indoors at dawn they say. Keep safe at dusk. When the time eaters are at work, turning night into day and day into night by eating away the layers in between. Keep still as they slip through the spaces between the seconds, as I’ve heard that sometimes the time eaters can be indiscriminate about their food. Time to them is just time, regardless of its source.
They care not for your attachments or for your affections, only for the time which you are yet to use from your years. They are enticed by your youth, and tempted by its promise. So stay safe in the twilight hours, and pray they don’t notice you, or the time which you don’t have to give.
*on my way in to work one morning, I was asked a rather unusual question by a stranger – which provides the inspiration behind this little piece..
“Yeah, pink shirt. Go!” Freddie nudged him forward. His prey drew closer, weaving through the crowd without breaking her pace.
He stood frozen in place, heart pounding in his chest as he watched her walk past, close enough for him to smell her perfume. Taking a deep breath, he moved towards her, jogging lightly to catch up.
“Excuse me.” She was only a few steps ahead now. “Excuse me, Miss.”
She turned to look at him, hand raised, ready to swat away his sales pitch. “No thanks. I’m in a hur..” She stopped when she saw that he wasn’t selling anything, and he jumped in for the kill. “I was wondering if I could…could I smell your feet?” She stared at him, synapses struggling to stack the words into order.
“Could I smell your feet?” She glanced down, feeling exposed in a pair of flip-flops.
“No. um.. No.” Before she said any more, he turned and disappeared into the crowd, heading back towards his friend.
Ben! Over there! Freddie was on the move, signaling towards a woman in a green dress who was walking towards Town Square. He pulled out his notebook and etched another line on the page. Five.
“So I killed him. So what, he was dying anyway.” He had diabetes. “Yeah well that’s a disease isn’t it?” She tapped tiny embers into the night, the shiny things on her fingers glinting in the darkness. “You know, on average at least one person dies on every cruise? There are a lot of sad people out there, looking for a painless exit.” Or just a lot of cold hearted murderers. “Anyway, what do you care.” She flicked her hair like she did just before a point was about to made, and stretched her arms across the rails. “All that is in the past, now we can ride on the oceans forever on the Sea Princess.” She laughed into her cigarette, drawing on it one more time before flicking the dying butt over the rail. She bent down to pick up her shoes. Black water churned beneath them. Let’s go back in, it’s freezing out here. A soft nudge and she tipped over. “Oh shit. Help me up!” She fell laughing onto the smooth deck. I pulled her up and brought her close, inhaling that familiar scent of wine and nicotine, barely masking the headache inducing perfume. She looked up at me, reaching her hands up towards the back of my neck. I gave her a smile and hoisted her over the rail. Farewell my love. I won’t miss you.
Sometimes our writing is inspired by the least expected things, isn’t it?
I hear you creature. Thudding around up there, clawing at dark crevices in your desperate attempts to flee. Why do you run now, when your invasion was a success? Is it because your plunder is now your prison. Although your prison is in fact your refuge. From me. Because I don’t appreciate my home being invaded, my possessions defiled, my comfort ruffled. Your arrival may have been at your choice, however your departure is very much at mine. And don’t think that you can leave before I have your head for a crumb of cheese.
I’m thrilled that Rachel from Creatopath has nominated me for the Blog Tour Award. I always love reading her stories for the weekly flash fiction challenges, and checking out the creative ventures on her blog, so thanks once again for the nomination Rachel! This award involves answering four questions about writing. The rules are:
- Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given on your nomination – I was given Monday 27 April.
- Give your nominees the rules, and a specific Monday to post. My nominees can post on Monday 18 May.
- Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
- Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
Here are the four questions and my answers:
Q.1. What are you working on at the moment? At the moment I’m working on a paranormal/suspense novella (or novel, depending on how many words the story needs to be told) based on a flash fiction piece I wrote a while ago called White Manor. It’s about a woman who inherits her family estate and has to deal with some unexpected events involving the house, and learning a thing or two about herself along the way. I started it as part of CampNaNoWriMo this month but haven’t got a hope in hell of actually finishing it by the end of the month now so I’ll keep playing with it and use the next Camp in July to finish the first draft if I haven’t done so by then. I’m also finishing up two short stories that I’ve had sitting around since the start of the year.
Q.2. How does your work differ from others in your genre? My writing voice inevitably gravitates towards humour/satire because I find it difficult to take life too seriously, so even though my current project is quite a dark story, it’s probably going to be coloured with humour somehow. Also, my protagonists tend to be female because a) its easier for me to relate to a woman and b) I think that there are enough male characters out there saving the world/galaxy/universe already, so I see it as my duty to strive towards balancing the equation 🙂
Q.3. Why do you write or create what you do? I love all forms of creative expression, whether its art, photography or film. Writing just happens to be the form I feel most comfortable with because it allows you to create people and places and alternate realities without getting paint all over your hands or having to get wet/cold/hot/dirty to capture that perfect shot. In saying that, I’d happily get out there for the perfect shot if I didn’t have two young children to care for!
Q.4. How does your writing/creative process work? I’m not a very disciplined person by nature, and that combined with a cheeky toddler and 6 month old baby, create a challenging environment for a regular writing habit. The following tools and techniques are helpful:
- Limiting the use of social media. It would be very easy to wile away the hours socialising online, so I’ve purposefully broken my Facebook habit, and don’t have any other social media accounts. Blogging, and socialising with the WordPress community is enough for now.
- Limiting my blogging commitments. As much as I’d love to feed my addiction to flash fictioning and photography by participating in more challenges, I limit myself to two flash fiction challenges a week (Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Mondays Finish the Story, and the Daily Post Photography Challenge).
- I like to work on a few projects at the same time, usually of different genres, so that way when I start running out of steam with one story I switch to a different one for a few days.
- Even if I’m writing a story about transgender aliens planning an Elvis convention, I always make sure to research the subject area in order to give the story some level of plausibility.
- I like to start with an overall outline, and then a paragraph or so for each chapter to have some kind of structure to start with. Nothing too set in stone of course, as characters like to do their own thing most times don’t they?
- I use Scrivener, which makes it easy to move between chapters and scenes, and to shuffle things around.
- I’ve become a fan of writing sprints after being at CampNaNoWrimo, and find its a helpful way to quickly dump whatever’s lingering in the subconscious onto a page – its amazing how much you can write down in a 10 minute sprint, before treating yourself to a tea/coffee and bikkies!
- I also use the notes feature on my phone to jot down ideas and inspiration on the run, and then save them to Dropbox for later (I save everything in Dropbox now after suffering the horror of a crashed computer not long ago.)
Well, that’s enough about me – time to pass the baton on to some writers whose work I look forward to reading each week. Without further ado, my nominees for the Blog Tour Award are:
- draliman at Draliman on Life;
- purpleanais at Arawenaragonstar;
- Kathryn Player at Thoughts of a Curlyhaired Essex Girl; and
- Dave at ParkInkSpot.