Tile Tales – Drain

Some days you just want to shower, wash your woes away and start again with a new day tomorrow.


Want to play along?

I love playing around with the magnetic poetry blocks.
I’m no poetry writer so I prefer to create a short story of sorts.
The kits can be found here (and they are free):

Original – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Original/kit/
Poet – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Poet/kit/
Love – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Love/kit/
Mustache – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Mustache/kit/
Nature – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Nature/kit/
Geek – http://play.magneticpoetry.com/poem/Geek/kit/
KL 💗

Little Heroes – Shadows – A Short Story

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”

― Helen Keller

“Quick, grab the loot.”

“No, stay in the shadows, I’m sure someone’s coming”.

“I don’t want to stay in the shadows”

“Why? Are you scaaaaarreeeddd? Look if you are too scared to do this, I’ll grab the loot myself.”

“No. I can do this”

“Right, you wait here whilst I check the coast is clear.”

The creak of the door immediately gave away their location.


“Alex! James! Get yourselves back to bed this instant!” The bedroom light switched on startling two young boys. In the doorway stood an angry woman with her hands on her hips.

“Mum… we were only after a midnight snack,” Alex whined.

“You’ve already been told. Any more of that nonsense and James will be going home. You know you were only allowed to have a sleepover if you boys went to bed on time.”

The boys skulked over to the bed, wading through a trail of dolls and cars and toy guns.

“Fine! You can have a quick hot chocolate but then it’s straight back to bed.

“Mum?”

“What Alex?”

“Can we have marshmallows too?”

“I suppose…but then bed.”

“Score!” The two boys said triumphantly. It had been worth waiting in the shadows after all.


“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” ― Helen Keller

Originally written in response to:

These two little toe-rags originally appeared escaping their bedtime in an earlier post: Little Women and Little Heroes – A Short Story, I hope you enjoy their return.

Take Care.
KL

Nothing beats hearing the right words at the right time

Nothing beats hearing the right words at the right time.

Francheska

Sam curled up in a ball, she pulled the blanket over her head and sobbed into the sheets. The force of the sob caused her to choke and cough but she couldn’t stop, her whole body needed her to cry, to release some of the pent-up pain, anger and frustration. Eventually, the noises stopped, her breathing calmed and she lay on the bed exhausted. Removing the quilt she rolled over and lay staring up at the ceiling. She had no idea how long she lay there but she could see the light from behind the curtains was fading and causing shadows to dance along the ceiling. Her phone rang loudly startling her.

“Hello?”

“Hi, just calling to say that’s me setting off now.”

“Okay.” She sat herself up on the bed, she needed to go to the bathroom, wash her face and then try to muster the energy to face preparing tea.

“Have you been crying again?”

“Yes,” her voice escaped her in little more than a whisper.

“Okay, I’ll be home as soon as I can to give you the biggest hug.” Despite her mood, she smiled. “Don’t worry love, we’ll get through this together.”

“Okay, see you soon.”

“Love you.”


Nothing beats hearing the right words at the right time. – Francheska

Originally written in response to:

Intelligence Is Really A Kind of Taste…

How had she got here? Her mother always told her she had the worst taste in men. So she had decided to try something new, so here she was.

She sat across the table listening. Listening… Listening…

Don’t glance at the clock, don’t glance at the clock.

3 Minutes left. Dammit, you glanced at the clock. 3 more minutes being harangued by this guy.

She nodded politely. Took another sip. Another guy with no interesting properties she could quantify.

Why was she doing this to herself?

Blimey, they loved the sound of their voice, didn’t they?

Buzzzzz

Thank god.

She glanced at the next guy approaching.

“Hi there.”

“Hi”

“Do you want to tell me a bit about yourself?”

“Well, I am Jack,” taps his name badge. “Which is the perfect name as people would refer to me as a jack of all trades.”

Nervous chuckle.

“Oh, that’s interesting, in what way?”

“I’m currently looking into creating a new app that will help low-cost families, it searches the supermarkets’ deals for that week and creates the lowest cost menu for them.”

“Wow, that doesn’t really sound jack of all trades.”

“Well, I’m also gathering together a team of savvy elders who are putting together old-style hints and tips to help the next generation.”

“Wow. That’s impressive, makes my life seem pretty boring. All I do is go to work and come home.”

“Oh, I never asked, what do you do?”

“Oh, I am just a software engineer.”

“Really, you might be just the person I am looking for actually. I do have some software algorithms I’m struggling to figure out.”

“Erm..” she paused.

“You would be helping people and… well, it would be a good way to get to know each other.”

Buzzzzz

Oh no.

“Yeah, I’d like that.”

He smiled and ticked his sheet as she ticked hers.

Maybe she’d finally figured out what she wanted her taste in men to be… and maybe her mother would give her some peace at last.


Intelligence is really a kind of taste: taste in ideas

Originally written in response to:

  • Ragtag Daily Prompt – Peace
  • Fandango’s One-Word Challenge – Harangue

Much Love.

KL

Little Women and Little Heroes – A Short Story

The gunshots echoed around the room.

“No, no, no……”, a tiny voice shouted into the darkness. “Not Tony, we can’t have lost Tony.”

“Pull it together man. We’ve got to get the rest of the gang to safety. We’ll come back for Tony.”

In two’s the men made their way for cover. Safely in shelter one of them dared to turn on the light.

“Geoff, what are you doing? Do you want us to get caught?”

“Chill, we’re in the all-clear.” In the distance, they could hear glasses clinking, laughter and soft music. Still, it was clear some of the guys were nervous. They’d been caught out before and they knew the repercussions.

“Look we’ll hunker down here for a while. See if we can get one or two of those vehicles started and then head out.”

More laughter drifted through the air towards them, and they heard a door banging in the distance. Ignoring it they focussed on the cars. How many would they need to fit everyone in?


“Alex! James! Get yourselves back to bed this instant!” The bedroom light switched on startling two young boys. In the doorway stood an angry woman with her hands on her hips.

“Mum… It was just getting to the good bit,” Alex whined.

“You’ve already been told. Any more of that nonsense and James will be going home. You know you were only allowed to have a sleepover if you boys went to bed on time.” She walked into the room and removed some of the dolls the boys were playing with.

The boys skulked over to bed, wading through a trail of dolls and cars and toy guns.

“I expect this mess to be cleaned up first thing in the morning, then you can have these back.” His mother said then with a whoosh she switched off the light and closed the door.

“What now?” came a quiet voice in the dark. A dull torchlight appeared under the bedsheets.

“Give them five minutes to get back to their dinner party and we can play again.” “Yea, now we’ve really got to rescue Tony!”  


“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”
She-preferred-imaginary-heroes-to-real-ones: Louisa-May-Alcott – Quote

Originally written in response to:

Take Care.
KL

Review of The Anniversary (short story collection)

The Anniversary by Veronica Henry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cover – The Anniversary. Image by KL Caley


📖 A collection of short stories which all revolve around an anniversary of some kind (finished off with a few recipes from the Hairy Bikers). This book contains short stories from Fanny Blake, Elizabeth Buchan, Rowan Coleman, Jenny Colgan, Philippa Gregory, Matt Haig, Veronica Henry, Andy McNab, Richard Madeley and John O’Farrell.

✍️I’m pleased to say that the entire collection was enjoyable and featured quite a range of stories, timelines and writing styles. See below a quick summary of a few of them to whet the appetite:

The Other Half by Fanny Blake is about a young single mum who has taken on a taxi job to support her family after her husband ran off with her best friend. It’s a funny, warm, light-hearted story with a great ending.

Moment of Glory by Elizabeth Buchan is a wonderful flash into the second world war. Ellen, now a stay-at-home mother, was working at a top-secret signals base. She gives us a little insight into life at the station. It’s a sweet uplifting story, championing motherhood. The type of tale you would expect to find in a people’s friend magazine.

Birthday Secrets by Rowan Coleman is an intriguing little tale giving an insight into families discussing LGBTQ+ within the household and opening up to partners/parents about it. It’s a kind, positive story and handled with a brilliant sense of positive normality.

May Day by Philippa Gregory was my favourite story of the bunch. It follows Henry VIII sixth wife, Katherine Parr but more interestingly it tells the story of St Tryphine, a woman forced against her will to marry her father’s husband. Exploring her husband’s castle, she finds some secret rooms which contain several of the murdered remains of her husband’s previous wives. The two stories are brilliantly woven together. Historical fiction at its finest.
💭 Overall View: Needless to say, I liked this book. It is part of the “quick reads” collection which I like to intersperse between larger novels. The idea of this collection is exactly as it says on the tin (or should that be cover), a shorter than normal book by world-leading authors. Well worth the £1 cover price and highly recommended.

👍 Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

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Enjoy ❤️. Like 👍. Share 😊.

The facts are only ever a part of a story. Philippa Gregory
The facts are only ever a part of a story. Philippa Gregory Quote.

Review of The Last Dance by Victoria Heslop – 3.5 Stars.

The Last Dance: And Other StoriesThe Last Dance: And Other Stories by Victoria Hislop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a quirky little book which I picked up after a visit to Athens hoping it would capture some of the pretty Greek city between its pages.

Some of the stories have a bit of a moral to them particularly the Kafenion which tells the story of twin brothers who get an equal share in their fathers café but are forever jealous of the other and find it difficult to share.

The Periptero is another little story that holds a bit of moral within the tale, telling the story of a young flashy man who flaunts his money and wealth in front of an elderly newspaper kiosk owner who has learned the value of the little things. Will the young man get his comeuppance for his greed and vanity?

The writing in this book is often very beautiful and very evocative of Greek settings. For example:

“Manos worked through the night and with a giant can of white emulsion and a roller he swiftly covered the stained anaglypta. Soon the place was transformed. He repainted the bar in a bright blue and resolved to paint the frames of two chairs each night until they were all in matching azure. The effect was dramatic.”

All the stories are quite slow burning which is fine for a holiday read but just something people looking for a fast action page-turner should be aware.

Despite the book containing ten short stories all the characters were quite unique and a joy to read about. Of these, one of my favourites was Kyria Kakanidis from the story “The Lesson”. Her character was smart, humble, and overall very likeable. Well-portrayed by the author. The Last Dance - internal image

 

As I said this is a quirky little book.

 

I think it’s probably a 3.5 stars. It is slow and despite being short stories the author spends a long time on description rather than getting to the plot. Also, the stories have limited conversations so sometimes you get page after page of words without dialogue to break it up. This can be a little off-putting. However, the stories themselves are joyful. There is a well-thought out range of tales and I enjoyed the authors not with photos and inspirations behind the pieces.

 

Please leave a like if you think my review/feedback of the item was helpful to you. Alternatively, please contact me if you want me to clarify something in my review.

View all my reviews

The Storm

The storm had grounded all planes.

airport-image-by-dawn-miller

People stood muttering to one another, some yelled angrily at the flight teams, some napped uncomfortably on the harsh metal chairs. It was during the chaos that Alfie escaped. Making his way down the restricted corridors, he couldn’t help his excitement. He had always been curious by airports, now he had a chance to explore. When the tannoy went off calling his name he ignored it. Eventually, he made his way to a doorway where an air hostess was announcing they had been cleared for flight – slipping his way past the queuing muttering people he moved down a long gangway. He stood with a large family, smiling at a boy about his age. The air hostess moved out the way to allow them all past and he found he was on an aeroplane, time to find a new hiding place. He fell asleep beneath a large holdall, waking some time later. He was excited to tell his family of his great adventure. He just needed to get home now.


Short fiction piece of 175 words for FFfAW challenge – This week’s photo prompt is provided by Dawn Miller. Thank you Dawn!

Click on the frog to see more flash fiction inspired by this image 🙂

 

Saying Goodbye

Voyages, trips, journeys. Why did everyone think they were good things? Couldn’t things just stay the same? Emily looked at Ben sitting next to her on the couch. He took her hand gently.

“Don’t worry Emily. Don’t be sad, it’ll be okay.” He said but it just made her more upset.

“I don’t want to go I’ll miss you too much.” She said between sniffles.

Emily’s mum walked in. “Emily time to get in the car. It’s two weeks at camp, not death row!” She said pointing to the door. It was going to be a long two weeks.

airplane image - courtesy of Rich Voza - friday fictioneers
Aeroplane Image courtesy of Rich Voza for Friday Fictioneers

 


Originally written in response to Friday Fictioneers.

Using the above image tell a story in 100 words or less.

The Story of Arthur and Rose – #Writephoto

I was sitting on a bench by the river studying on a perfect April day, the sun was shining warm upon my skin and a gentle breeze occasionally rifled the pages laid out around me. Engrossed in the course-work laid out before me I was unaware of the little old man wandering along the pathway until he was beside me on the bench.

“Morning,” he said cheerfully as I glanced up at him from my books.

“Morning”, I replied and watched as the little old man sat down on the end of the bench, a beautiful bouquet of roses wrapped in twine filling his withered hands. I moved some of my books to allow him more room but he never moved and seemed happy just to sit in his spot watching the river glide past. After 10 minutes, the old man stood and walked towards the little bridge going over the river but instead of stepping on it, he made his way down the pathway and ever so gently placed the flowers in the water and watched them drift away down the river. Once they were out of sight, he made his way back up the bank across the little bridge and away.

I stared after his disappearing form, my mind trying to understand the strangely beautiful sight it had just witnessed. The flowers must have been fake, I thought. When he disappeared from view I returned to my books and soon the moment was forgotten.

As the beautiful weather continued, I returned to my favourite study spot as often as possible. Exactly one week after the first incident, the old man appeared once again. I struggled to suppress my excitement when he sat down beside me with the most beautiful flowers once again with the same greeting as before. My eyes focussed on the flowers, they were definitely real.

“Those flowers are beautiful”, I stammered trying to encourage conversation.

“Thank you, I grow them special for my wife, her favourite is the roses”, the old man responded and then turned his head towards the water. His eyes glazed over as he stared out and despite nothing else being said, I understood that the moment was private and his own. Once again after a brief period he stood and made his way to the water, delicately placed the flowers and watched as the water took them away.

This continued every week until my exams were over, we said little to each other apart from the same greeting and I understood the moment was his. Then summer started and I forgot all about the little old man who made the trip to the river each week.

In September, school restarted and I returned to my same study spot, I couldn’t deny my excitement when I saw the crooked figure walking towards me, his routine remained unchanged. Yet, this time, my eyes couldn’t stop staring at him, his step was much slower, his back was now a lot more hunched and his eyes looking deep and sallow in their sockets. I returned to my books as he sat down, trying to stop the staring but I couldn’t help my eyes returning from over the pages.

“Hi Kayley,” he said towards me.

“How did you know…” I started but his withered hand stretched out and returned to the notebook on the bench, my name in bold on the cover. I laughed in response.

“My name is Arthur.” I sat upright and leaned towards him taking his old hand gently I gave it one short shake.

“Pleased to meet you, Arthur”.  He nodded then stood up to leave, but after struggling to catch his breath he landed back heavily on the bench.

“Are you okay, Arthur?”. I threw my books down and fled to his side, picking up his roses that had fallen heavily onto the floor. A few of the stems had broken and as I handed them back to Arthur tears fell from his eyes.

“Oh no. I have broken my promise.” He mumbled under his breath.

“It’s okay Arthur, they aren’t that bad and you only put them in the river anyway.” I said trying to soothe him, but his eyes turned dark and hard as he looked at me, the pain glistening through the tears.

“I don’t put them in the river. I send them to my wife.” Confusion filled my face and I tried not to question him as I could see he was getting more and more upset. He slowly got control of his breathing, then looking at my anguished face continued.

“When my wife agreed to marry me I promised her flowers every week for the rest of her life. She was taken from me far too young and it was her wishes that her ashes be scattered in the river.” I nodded understanding and watched as he outstretched his arm. “It was that bridge I proposed to her. But once I scattered her ashes I had nowhere to send her flowers, then I realised the river would take them to her for me. I have sent her flowers every week since until I can be with her.” At that, he gave a hefty cough. “I don’t think that will be long now. And look at those flowers, I cannot send her those.”

I followed his gaze down to the sorry looking bunch of flowers. In a moment of inspiration I carefully untied the twine and removed the broken flowers, there wasn’t much left but a few strong roses remained. I stood up and wandered from the bench selecting some long grass stems, some ferns and some purple flowers from a tree and some big white daisies. Returning to the bench I selected the best from my collection and structured them by height with the roses featured prominently in the middle. Carefully taking the twine I wrapped them back up and handed them to Arthur’s trembling hands.

“Will she accept these, Arthur?” I asked cautiously.

“She will love them.” I nodded and slipping the rest of my books in my bag stood and helped him up.Roses

“Why don’t you let me walk with you, Arthur? I think I have been sat too long.” He nodded and I eased him off the bench. We walked arm in arm to the riverbed where he placed the flowers then I walked alongside him, to his front door just over the bridge.

“Thank you, Kayley.” He said as I stepped away from the doorway.

“Arthur, what was your wife’s name?” I asked.

“Rose.” I nodded just the once then left, knowing I had intruded on his personal space enough.

The next week I sat by the riverbed but Arthur didn’t return. I waited and waited but he didn’t show. Eventually, I stood and made my way over the bridge towards his home. As I did I searched the river for a sign he had been and I had missed him. My heart caught in my throat as on the opposite bank the bouquet I made stood caught in reeds. It hadn’t floated down the river. I reached over into the water and pushed the dying flowers on their way but once again they got stuck. I pushed them once more and finally they floated off down the river. Walking to Arthur’s house I could see people stood outside in a huddle. I stopped to listen and it turned out Arthur had been found in his greenhouse that morning.

I smiled as I walked away, my heart finding peace in the sadness. Arthur was taking Rose her flowers.

The next week I returned to the bench but my mind couldn’t focus. I kept looking for Arthur to appear, knowing that he wouldn’t. Frustrated, I looked at the crumpled pages before me. Ripping the page from the book, I began to fold and fold my mind lost in the motion. With my masterpiece complete I stood up and walked to the small pathway beside the bridge. Leaning carefully towards the water I placed the paper rose in the river and watched as it floated away. So, if you ever see a paper rose in the water, you know it’s just me saying hello to Arthur and Rose.

Origami River Rose


Originally written in response to this week’s photo prompt for Sue Vincents #writephoto challenge. A bit of a risk but I hope people enjoy it; romance isn’t really my genre but sometimes a story just wants to be told.