Watch the eyes…

“Dolls turn malignant late at night. They stare at you with those glassy eyes. I won’t say they are plotting, but I can’t say they aren’t.” – Stephen King

Jessica rolled over and stared at the curtains, but that didn’t help, now she couldn’t see where they were looking or what they were doing. Giving up she turned back over. Had they moved again? She wasn’t sure, but she thought they might have. Her sister was in the next room, she could go wake her, but that would involve another discussion of how 16-year-olds should not be afraid of dolls, a discussion she would rather not have again. Jessica had suggested to her mother that they get rid of them and her mother had been horrified, the dolls had been a gift from her grandma, how could she want rid of them?

Giving up Jessica got up, turned the light on and headed straight to the dolls picking them up. Turning them over in her hands she couldn’t deny that they were beautiful. The Eskimo with her little spear and the Indian with her tomahawk, both prized possessions of the world that her grandma had passed onto her. Yet, the pale skin, glassy eyes and petite mouth seemed to mock her. Especially when the light was limited.eyes

It had started a month after her grandma had passed, she had awoken from empty dreams to what she was sure was whispering. When she rolled over in the direction of the dolls it had stopped. Putting it down to lack of sleep or a leftover dream she dismissed it and went back to sleep. Yet, it happened again the next night. Jessica searched her memory and was sure she had not been dreaming, but she couldn’t explain it and in her tired state sleep came once again. This happened every night for a few weeks, then at the height of her exhaustion stopped. Or so Jess had thought.

After a weekend of blissful sleep, Jessica began to put it behind her, laughing at herself as the sound of the whispering replayed itself occasionally in her memory. Finally, Jessica was convinced it must have been a dream.

But dreams do not move things. That had started a few nights ago. The first night Jessica had been woken up by a smashing sound, her heart pounding she had scanned the room to see her jewellery box laid smashed on the floor. She couldn’t be sure but the dolls behind seemed to have moved forward. That was the first time Jessica mentioned moving the dolls from her room, the reaction wasn’t good. A weak shelf had been blamed and the dolls moved to a higher shelf. The dolls hadn’t liked that.

Amongst Jessica’s old bears from her childhood, the dolls had looked small and fragile. Finally relaxed Jessica could once again drift back off to sleep. That night no noise had woken had and in the morning, she groggily sat up in bed with the smug satisfaction of a full nights sleep. Until she saw it. Tiny flecks of fluff littered the floor below her bedroom. As Jessica stood up she felt something touch her foot, glancing down she gulped down a scream, as the head of what was once a small Koala teddy lay touching her foot. The rest of the bear seemed to be scattered around the room. Jessica glanced up at the shelves, she couldn’t be sure but she sensed the dolls were smiling.

Now it was back to nighttime again. Jessica couldn’t help the nervous glances towards the shelves that kept her from sleeping. She was sure the dolls were moving again. Giving up, she threw the blankets off the bed and lifted the two dolls off the shelf. Should she divide them? No, she decided putting them outside her bedroom door. Closing the door quietly, she went back to bed pulled the blankets back around her and finally fell asleep.eyes

At breakfast she was quiet. Her mum and sister chatted away as normal but Jessica just listened, nodding occasionally. She had devised a plan. Her dad was coming to get her in an hour, she would take the dolls to his house, then bury them under the big ash tree in the garden. It had to work.

Her dad arrived to get her as he did each Sunday and Jessica climbed into the car dumping the backpack with the dolls and trowel into the footwell.

“We going on a hike or something?” Her dad said jokingly.

“Got studying I need to do for a test tomorrow,” Jessica replied then glanced out the window. Her dad seemed to accept this and moved off. It was quite a drive out to his house. As soon as the car was in the drive Jessica was pulling her back from the car and launching herself towards the tree.

“Wait” her dad called. “Can’t we have lunch first?”

Jessica glanced longingly at the tree. Then nodded and made her way towards the house. Her stepmom, stepbrother Danny, and Sam the dog were all excited to see her The smell of food filled the house, it appeared a full lunch had been prepared. Danny chatted eagerly at Jessica, she tried to join in but her head kept returning to her backpack in the porch with the dolls in it.

After helping clear up, she used the studying excuse and made her way from the house. Setting out the blanket she began to dig below it. The trowel was small and she wasn’t getting anywhere fast but after an hour or so the hole was finally big enough to drop them in. Her stomach clenched as she piled the dirt back onto the little dolls but eventually it was done and after stamping down the ground she lifted her backpack and blanket and made her way back indoors. She found Danny with his books on the floor, Sam close behind him. She couldn’t believe Danny was at Pre-school already, he still seemed so little to her. After a few hours playing hide and seek with her Danny and Sam, Jessica and her dad set back off for home. Smiling all the way Jessica couldn’t wait to get to bed that night.eyes

The next day coming home from school Jessica’s mobile rang. Her dad wanted to know how her test had gone. After a few blank seconds, Jessica remembered it was the excuse she had given him for the backpack. “Yup fine”. She responded non-committedly. She could hear her little brother making noise in the background.

“What’s up with Danny?” she asked.

“Oh nothing, Sam dug up some old dolls in the garden. So Danny and I are cleaning them up so they can go in his room”.

Oh no, Jess gulped and dropped the phone. Danny. 


 

My quote for this week comes from novelist Stephen King who Tweeted:

“Dolls turn malignant late at night. They stare at you with those glassy eyes. I won’t say they are plotting, but I can’t say they aren’t.”

Probably a slightly darker turn for my Writers Quote #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWWednesday this week, but you can always rely on Stephen King to give a bit of inspiration. After a few weeks of feeling unproductive, these prompts have given me the boost (or kick up the xxx) I needed, which is certainly helping me feel more positive. The range others post each week is so positive and creative. So, check out Colleen @  Silverthreading and Ronovan’s BEWOW for more inspirational quotes to keep you writing. 

KL ❤

 

 

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Boab’s Tree

I climb higher and higher into the branches.

“What are you doing, Boab?” shouted my brother from the ground, his hands on his hips, his face pouting slightly.

“Declaring this tree as mine.” I bellowed back and begin to rummage in my backpack. I was prepared. I had stolen borrowed some of dad’s tool from the shed and some wood and had even made a sign.

“What are you talking about?” he yelled back but I ignored him and he began muttering and trying to find a way to follow me up. Why couldn’t he see it? This tree had everything we needed. It was perfect. It even had some well-located holes and branches to allow me to climb, my brother being a little shorter was struggling. I hear him puff and pant with exertion then as he gets a little closer I reached down my hand and pulled him up.

“Woww…” he exhaled loudly looking around at the canopy of branches.

“See.” I say and smiled in my triumph, maybe there was hope for him after all.

“Aren’t you worried about that?” he pointed to a large hole in the centre of the tree.

“What? The hole? No, that’s what makes this tree perfect – we are going to climb in and make it a den. No-one will find it and no-one will see it?”

“But won’t it be dark?”

“Well, we’ll hollow out a few light holes.” Dan looks at me with a face that conveys his doubt at the plan but putting trust in his older brother nods, I nod back and we got to work. Within a few hours, we had a ladder in and out of the tree, a sign declaring the den as ours and a second ladder ready to be dropped into the hole.

“Boab, aren’t you scared something might be in there?” Dan asks thrusting his chubby finger in the direction of the hole.

“Well,” I hesitate, I hadn’t really thought of that, then my resolve returns. “We’ve been banging around all day Dan, if something was down there, it would have run off or ran at us by now.”

Grabbing hold of the rope I launched myself into the tight space. At first, the opening seemed to get narrower and narrowed my backpack scraping tightly against the wall. When I glanced back out towards the light I could see Dan large eyes peering over the edge his mouth hanging upon in a little o shape. I focussed on the task and began climbing further and further down, looking at Dan was making me nervous. I hadn’t realised white quite how engrossed I was until Dan’s little voice echoed down the tree trunk.

“Boab, are you still there? Are you alright?” his worried voice echoed down to me. I looked up expecting to see him and realised I couldn’t. Actually I couldn’t see much, I gulped a little admitting to myself I hadn’t really expected it to be this dark. But the hole was opening wider again and my backpack no longer scraped off the side. So I must be near the bottom I thought and with this little bit of reassurance, I kept going lower and lower giving a quick “I’m fine” up the hole to Dan.

I went from climbing steadily to placing my foot on a hard surface. It actually took me by surprise and I feel unsteadily from the room to the ground landing quite painfully onto my knees with an oomph. I stayed still for a few minutes listening. What if Dan had been right and there was someone else down here? After nothing but silence greeted me, I rummaged in my backpack pulling out the lamps from my dad’s workshop. Flicking the first one on I glance up towards the hole I had climbed through and was shocked to see the roots of trees coming through the ceiling.

“Wow,” The sound escaped my mouth without me knowing and was quickly followed by Dan’s eager voice.

“What? What is it Boab? What have you found? Is it safe?”

Boab's Tree Image

“Children need art and stories and poems and music.” Philip Pullman

I ignored him for a minute as I moved my torch around the room. I struggled to take it in, it was a large circular space with more tree roots covering the walls. Beside one of the walls, there were two chairs. Shining the torch carefully on the floor I made my way to the wall, my mind struggling to take in what I could see… books. Between the lines of the roots, someone had placed books. I moved the torch around and everywhere I looked was more and more. Someone had used the gnarled roots as bookshelves.

“Dan, quick climb down you’ve got to see this.”

I ran back to my backpack and pulled out the other torches. I placed them on the floor around the room so that their light filled the room. In every space, there seemed to be more and more books. I pulled the sheets off of the chairs then stepped back into the middle of the room to admire my work just as Dan got to the bottom. He glanced around the room.

“Wow,” I turned and grinned at him.

“Boab, you found a secret cave filled with books.”

Walking over to the shelf I lifted one of the dusty books off and blew on it as hard as I could. Opening it I sat on one of the chairs and smiled up at Dan.

“No Dan, I found a secret cave filled with treasure”.


“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWlove and food and fresh air and play.” – Philip Pullman
This post was originally inspired by a FRIDAY FICTION prompt with RONOVAN WRITES   but I struggled with where to take the story. I then found an article by Philip Pullman which gave me my #BEWOW/ #Writer’sQuoteWednesday – inspiring me to move the story along, I hope everyone enjoyed. KL ❤

Strong Females

J.K Rowling made the following statement: j.k.rowling - feminism

(source of quote – http://www.theatozreview.com/2013/06/23/jk-rowlings-20-quotes-on-writing/)

It made me wonder about selecting your characters and deciding which ones to be strong and which are weak. I am writing a historical fiction based novel which has a duel storyline.

In the historical storyline a woman is rejected from her husband (as he has taken up with a new mistress), blocked from seeing her children, forced from her home, her friends and the society she had once been part of. Her story plays a lot on the trauma her husband puts her through, (but she is not totally without sin!) in some cases she leads to her own downfall, threatening her husband, drinking excessively, even scaring the children. She is by no means a weak female despite what society throws at her and goes through a wide variety of emotions.

In the modern storyline my main female character challenges some traditional female stereotypes. She is a divorced single mother, who has recently been promoted, but she already works at a busy hospital a variety of hours. She is quite envious of her ex’s relationship with their daughter built because he works from home. As it is a modern divorce they both get 50/50 access. Meanwhile she has recently lost her mother, and is trying to support her grieving father. She is struggling to keep on top of everything but there is nothing she wants to sacrifice.cs lewis quote - hardships

Both females are strong but in different ways, they both ultimately just want a happy family life. I never intended to write these things in either a male or a female perspective, the characters drove themselves and the circumstances drove their stories. The characters faced hardships and have to overcome them, as C.S. Lewis put it. I think the modern story could even have been written as a male character I chose female as I felt it fit better with the historical timeline.

Is this something other writers do, openly decide whether their character should be male or female? Does gender of a character make a difference in todays society? What helps them decide that and do you ever change your mind?

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There was a Google+ thread in which a writer asked, “how do you write female characters?” and someone answered:

1) I think of a character. 2) I make them female.

I love this answer, because I think gender plays very little part in what makes a good or strong character.

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Part of #BeWoW and Writer’s Quote Wednesday. #Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWClick HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.WordPress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester. Sorry guys, I might have cheated a little having two quotes in here but I liked them both. KL

Make sure to share a song, poem, or a quote, by a writer that inspired you in your own life!

Also entered into Just Jot It January to the Just Jot It January – 2016prompt – sacrifice. To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your #Jusjojan post.

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Quote in full (just in case the image isn’t readable)

“Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, ‘Well, you know, she’s just a mother.’ And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I’d always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, ‘Well, I’m going to raise my family and that’s going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that’s my choice.’ Doesn’t mean that that’s all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield.”

Clouds and Dreams

The dream world can be an amazing thing, it can reveal to you your wildest desires, your worst fears or just away of processing your days trials and tribulations.

I have always been an active dreamer and they can be quite vivid, a while back I had a horrid nightmare and actually remembered to make a record of it – most agreed it was quite creepy. If you have a read, let me know what you think. Who knows I might even have the foundation of a horror story there. 🙂

Unfortunately, I also sleep-talk. This is a family trait and both my parents do it. My mother does it so vividly that while on holiday in Tunisia one year, she picked up the phone and started having a conversation, the hotel had a 24 hour manned reception but unfortunately (or fortunately) their English wasn’t great, so they hung up on her and sent an English speaking member of staff to the room. On answering the door and having an intense discussion with the staff member who insisted the call came from our room, we realised what had happened, and my mother immediately blushed admitting she had dreamt she was on the phone to someone! We moved the phone to the other side of the room after that! Good job she hadn’t ordered room service – lol!  

So here is my Cloud and Quote combo. This photo was taken on a beautiful spot in Scotland, we really did feel like we could reach the clouds.

J.K.Rowling - Dreams quote.png

 ———————————————————–#Writer’s Quote Wednesday & #BeWoWPart of #BeWoW, Be Writing on Wednesday and Writer’s Quote Wednesday – J.K. Rowling. Click HERE for more Quotes on SilverThreading.com hosted by Colleen Chesebro or HERE for RonovanWrites.Wordpress.com hosted by Ronovan Hester.

I combined this with today’sJust Jot It January – 2016 JusJoJan 6th topicCloud

To find the rules for Just Jot It January, click here and join in today. It’s never too late! And don’t forget to ping back your January 6th post! The “Cloud” prompt is brought to you by Geoff Lepard at TanGental. If you don’t already know him, check out his blog!

Hope you enjoyed. Do any of you sleep-talk or experience vivid dreams?

KL ❤