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

The Writer’s Conflict – Clash of the Quotes

The inspiration just won’t come
Surely I’m not the only one
Let’s turn to the greats for advice
There I should find something nice

A classic quote from Mr Thoreau
An essayist, poet and philosopher too
A Harvard College education
Plus much more I haven’t mentioned

So what’s his advice for me to do
“Write while the heat is in you”
My heat has cooled down indeed
Perhaps a break is what I need

But wait, a new quote, from Stephen King
A writer indeed above all things
His books are a favourite, his advice is a must
He is certainly a voice I would trust

So what’s his advice for me to do
I guess it’s something I already knew
“Just get up and go to work”
Get on with it, I think with a smirk

Fingers to keyboard I begin to type
The classic or conventional which is right
This is my creation, I’ll let you judge
But it was the King that provided me that nudge.

Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. Henry David Thoreau
Quote – Henry David Thoreau
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. Stephen King
Quote – Stephen King

Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

I often feel the devil and angel on my shoulders when it comes to writing. I have so many ideas but when I find decent time to write, they seem to escape me, I think that’s why I would lean towards Stephen King’s advice. Which quote do you feel more connected with?

KL

My Days with You

Day 1

9am: Your eyelids fluttered awake. I was watching. You giggled pushing me away from you and rubbing your sleepy eyes. And sitting up to have a stretch. I pulled you back into the duvet, kissing you, playing with your hair, caressing your subtle soft skin. At first you joined in playfully but soon things got hotter, heavier, and I found myself sliding off your pyjama shorts and taking things further. It was ecstasy.

10am: I set you up on the little bistro table on the patio with a hot cuppa then set to making you breakfast. I watched through the patio doors as your hands twirled the cup handle. You soaked in the garden, the birds, the sounds of the world moving busily outside, whilst we stayed here in our sheltered cocoon. You glance towards me and catch me watching, give me a smile and return for another sip of your cup. I take my attention back to the breakfast but at each opportunity, my gaze wanders back to you.

1pm: We set off in the car to the marina. You turn the radio up and we sing loudly to all the cheesy tracks that play. I wish the car was a soft-top so we could put the roof down and I could see the wind flow through your hair and watch as you raise your arms in the air dancing in your seat. Actually, I don’t, that would be a complete waste of a wish. Especially in my circumstances. 

3pm: The marina is too busy. People are everywhere, you love it, stopping to idly chat to passersby or stroking the occasional dog out on a stroll with its owner. It’s too much for me, I hang back and give the odd nod if someone looks over enquiringly. Sensing my hesitation, you suggest a picnic. I head back to the car for the rug in the back whilst you gather us some food. We climb the grass to the cliffside and find a secluded area on top where we can survey the bay and the little boats moving in and out. I pick a daisy from the long grass and place it in your hair. The freckles across your nose and cheeks seem to glow brighter in the sun as you smile and laugh and chatter. I nod and eat my sandwich, all I really want to do is kiss you, kiss you and never stop.

7pm: I shower and stand in the doorway, watching you put your mascara on, the concentration on your face makes me smile. Then goes the earrings 1, 2. You turn and find me staring, then give me a little twirl. “Wow”, you push me away jokingly but there is no other word to describe you. You are quite literally breathtaking to me. A car horn beeps outside, the taxi announcing its arrival. It sends you into a flurry of action grabbing shows, handbags, coats and scarves.

10pm: Dinner was incredible. Everything just perfect. Even the moment I dropped the napkin, reached down to get it and surprised you with a small box. The jewel inside sparkling. Not as big as I would have liked but everything I wanted to say. My shyness swept over me as the restaurant grew silent but you saved the day like you always do, bursting in with a resounding “yes”. Cheering erupted around us, champagne followed and pats on the back from strangers. Your happiness once again extending to find a home in others. My favourite, the elderly couple two tables down, who shared their story, 55 years together, no regrets. Their one piece of advice – make every moment count. A further taxi arriving to take us home. I wonder if I should have arranged more, dancing or a club but I just want to spend the rest of the evening alone with you. Just you.

Day 2

2200 hours: My gear is shifted, from car to truck to plane to helicopter. I hated saying goodbye. It’s the worst part. I don’t fear what I go into, I don’t fear the weapons, I don’t fear the bad guys. I fear the pain I see in your eyes when I leave. That someday, you might not wait for me to return. This morning as you stood at the door with nothing on your feet. You reached your arms around me and kissed me. Then whispered gently “See you soon.”


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right. I know, it’s Friday but I was a bit behind. I absolutely loved this quote, it appeared to pop out at me. So beautiful and it led me to this story of romantic devotion, time being the most crucial element. We don’t always realise when we are short on time and if we did, would we do things differently, view things differently, savour those simple uncomplicated moments. I would hope so, but perhaps I am more soppy and sentimental than I would claim to be – haha.

Much Love
KL

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Hope

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”

― John F. Kennedy

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to hang out with one of the special little guys in my life. He’s super smart, totally adorable and I just know in his own way he’s going to change the world.

Childhood is a different thing for his generation, than mine or any before us. At his young age, he was so excited to show me his birthday present, a pc. I’m sure many parents fear such a thing becoming the wanted gift, yet despite all it’s granduer, one of the exciting things to him was all the lights changing colour, showing me, that innocence is still there, for now. There is no doubt, children are growing up quicker, how could they not with so much knowledge at their finger-tips?

His mother is one of my favourite humans on earth, like him, she’s so incredibly smart, strong and brave. Her quick-thinking wit is one of my favourite aspects of her personality.

They used to live in an old Victorian house. One day, in his wisdom, the young man and one of his friends decided to turn off all the lights and have a ghost hunt. My friend (being the secret genius that she is), took a blue tooth speaker and hid it under a bed. Just as the boys gave up hope of finding their ghost in the attic suddenly ghostly noises began downstairs. It is amazing how quickly the boys no longer wanted to find a ghost.

Thanks to the magic of the modern age, this pure delight was all caught on camera. Enjoy!

Heath and Devon’s Ghost Adventure Video

The boys still don’t know about the speaker! So, maybe technology does have a place in preserving innocence and imagination? Maybe it just takes us adults thinking outside of the box about how to use technology in more adventurous ways. It may not be building dens, and making mud pies but this video shows kids just being kids and having an adventure, and I love it.


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (#WQWWC – Hope) now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Much Love
KL

Healing

I started researching healing ideas for this post and I was immediately drawn to this quote by William Wordsworth:

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart – WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

I wrote and re-wrote several posts but nothing felt right. So in my frustration I took to google and after a few wasted clicks around, I came across an article on gods of healing. Inspired I put pen to page (in reality fingers to keyboard) and started to pen a story about the Asclepius but in reality, the legend itself is really rather interesting so I thought I would share it instead.

The story of Asclepius

The ancient Greek god of healing and a son of Apollo, Asclepius is till today, still widely associated with medical assistance.

His staff is the de facto symbol of modern paramedic forces. Historically, many temples of Asclepius were also located throughout Ancient Greece. The most famous of these at Epidaurus is today, one of the most visited and important archeological sites in Greece.

Within Greek mythology, Asclepius was born in Epidaurus, the child of Apollo and a Thessalian princess named Coronis. Taught the art of medicine by the legendary Centaur Chiron, Asclepius eventually became so skilled with healing, he could even resurrect the dead.

Regrettably, doing so infuriated Hades, the Lord of the Greek Underworld, and on Hades’ complaint, Zeus struck Asclepius dead with a lightning bolt. The deceased physician was then placed among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus by Zeus. Later, Zeus also resurrected Asclepius and made him one of the Greek gods of healing.

INTERESTING FACT – THE WRONG STAFF

Many paramedic establishments use the “wrong” staff as a representation of medical assistance. In Greek myths, any staff with two serpents is that of Hermes, the Messenger God. Asclepius’ staff has only one serpent.

I have another story brewing in my head around the wrong staff ^ but it’s not coming to flesh either. I need my muse to pull her socks up and land on an idea, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy the quote and a bit of greek mythology.


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC – Healing). used to take part in this wonderful prompt many years ago when it was run by Colleen and Ronovan, so I was pretty pleased to have recently come across it again now hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Much Love
KL

*Source Information on Asclepius: https://owlcation.com/humanities/gods-of-healing

National Limerick Day – 12th May

Observed annually on May 12th, National Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear (May 12, 1812 – Jan. 29, 1888).  Lear is known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose, and limericks.

N2W National Limerick Day poster.

The day also celebrates the limerick poem. Limerick poems were popularized by Edward Lear’s book “Book of Nonsense” in 1846. A limerick is a very short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a limerick, there are five lines. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth line rhyme together.

The Limerick also has a particular rhythm which is officially described as anapestic trimeter. 

THERE WAS A YOUNG LADY

There was a Young Lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.

Edward Lear

While Lear is credited with popularizing the Limerick, the poetry style existed long before the publication of his book. Even so, the Limerick celebrates fun turns of phrase, rhythm, and humour in short form. It also plays with words and peoples’ expectations.

There was a Young Lady of Ryde: Edward Lear

NATIONAL LIMERICK DAY HISTORY

According to National Day Calendar, they are unable to find the creator of this poetry day. However, the day has been observed since at least 1984.
Source: https://nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-limerick-day-may-12/

WQWWC – Mother

This week Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge takes a look back at beauty and Mother’s Day. Remember you can take this beautiful topic anywhere you want to take it. To check out the prompt visit Marsha @ TCHistoryGal.Net

In honour of Limerick day I have had a go written a Limerick about mothers:

There was a day dedicated to mothers
A day celebrated by many others
All lived in good cheer,
celebrating year after year
Everything that they do for us!

KL Caley

Not too bad but I prefer this one:

A girl came across a huge spider
The creature suspiciously eyed her
She let out a scream
Then felt very mean
As the hoover captured the creature beside her

KL Caley

My grandfather was amazing at them, although many of his would have been unrepeatable and probably shouldn’t have been said in front of little ears but I thought they were pure joy, told with the charm of the Irish.

Over to you….I’d love to see any of your limerick creations.

Please leave me a link if you write any.

Much Love
KL

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – World Earth Day Mash-up

As some of you may be aware, Thursday is Earth Day. In recognition of this, this week, I’ve decided to dedicate a post each day with information I have found inspirational or helpful. I’m a big believer in small changes can make a big difference.

This week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge topic is Nutrition or Nourishment. It seemed too good an opportunity not to combine them both. One of the best quotes.

Lorax – Earth Day Image – Dr Seuss

Over the last few years, I have made small steps to change my habits for the better. Here are some simple things I have done:

  • Rechargeable batteries: Almost every battery in my house is now replaced with rechargeable batteries. Simple, easy and will probably save you money in the long term. Actually, even the pound shop rechargeable ones are pretty good for stuff like tv remotes.
  • Fold-up shopping bags: Obviously, we all know to take our own shopping bags with us, which I think most people do these days for a big shop. But what about when you just pop in somewhere for a quick shop (bread, milk or the emergency bottle of wine)? Fold-up shopping bags. You can buy these from Wilko. The fold-up ones are great to shove 1 or 2 in the glove box of your car for in case of emergency. They fold to about 6cm x 6cm so take up no room at all. Stops those emergency or excessive bag purchases.
  • Meal Plan: This is probably one of my favourite things (fit’s my OCD habits nicely). I like to meal plan as much as possible. The UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index revealed that 17% of the food available to consumers – in shops, households and restaurants – goes directly into the bin. Some 60% of that waste is in the home. The 923 million tonnes of food being wasted each year would fill 23 million 40-tonne trucks. Bumper-to-bumper, enough to circle the Earth seven times. If it were a country, food waste would be the third-highest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
    • My problem with meal plans is I like to do a big shop, then little top-up shops. Most meal plans are weekly, but I don’t have the time to generate one each week. So, I have created a monthly meal plan (attached). It’s fairly straightforward but basically, I write out my cupboard, fridge and freezer stocks. I write a list of favourite meal ideas. Combine the two. Write out the plan. Fill in the shopping list. Hey presto. Then each week I am only getting top-up shops; like bread, milk and fresh produce.
Printable Monthly Foodplan by KL Caley
  • Meat Free Monday: This is regarded as the easiest way to help save the world. I try to incorporate one meat-free meal a week into my food plan. Check out this website for your impact calculator. For those wondering how to get started, I highly recommend slow-cooked sweet potato and lentil curry, one of our favourites.
  • Switch to the Slow Cooker: I try to use the slow-cooker at least once or twice a week (often the meals portions make it more than once meal also). Popular wisdom says that a slow cooker uses only as much energy as a light bulb. The numbers back the theory: seven hours of crockpot cooking uses 0.7 kilowatt-hours of energy, whereas baking the same meal in an electric oven for one hour uses 2.0 kWh. In terms of CO2, if a meal requires one hour to cook on an electric oven it uses 2.7 pounds of C02, whereas a crockpot uses 0.9 pounds of C02 for seven hours. The numbers vary depending on the source but all are in agreement Slow Cookers, save you time, money and energy. Check out this website for some more info.
  • LED Bulbs: This one is obvious, and I think most people will now have changed all their normal lightbulbs for lamps etc. But every now and then we notice some additional bulbs we haven’t switched, such as the cooker extractor fan and kickboard lighting.
  • Grow your own: Super simple and interesting to do with the kids. It’s amazing how much you can grow with very little effort. We started off a few years ago with crops in pots on our patio, we now have an allotment. Growing your own is so rewarding, relaxing and interesting. A water butt is a cheap way to collect rainwater too, for those (rare as they may be in the North East of England), dry spells.
  • Switch Soaps: There are a lot of businesses now doing soap and shampoo bars. These tend to last a lot longer than plastic bottles and are often used with local and sustainable products. A friend of mine runs Soap out of the Garden (although there are probably companies more local to yourself). Her products are lovely, she uses all-natural products and avoids palm oils too. They also make lovely gifts.
  • Tassimo Coffee Pods: I wrote to both Tassimo, my MP and my local council last year over concerns about the lack of recycling in the North East of England – yes I am that person now! Anyway, I was delighted to be informed recently that Tassimo has introduced a free return service meaning they are now recyclable… called PODBACK. Tassimo is already quite a clever little machine, it reads each cartridge individually, knows exactly how much water is needed, how long it takes to brew your drink and the optimal temperature. This way, it only uses the minimum amount of water and energy, no waste. Now the pods are easy to return to be recycled.

I’m sure there are many, many more but those are the ones springing to the top of my mind now. Is there any you can think of?

Much Love
KL ❤


Originally written in response to Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge (WQWWC – Nourishment). A wonderful prompt hosted by Marsha Ingrao at Always Right.

Dissolution

The monk put his head down as the discussion got heated. The royal commissioner had just finished reporting his findings and left. His report stating the monks were seriously breaking the rules they should be living by.

The monk knew it was his fault, he had gone to the Royal Commissioner in confidence. He had only meant to get his abbot in trouble, he lived a life of luxury while the rest of the order lived on a pittance.

The Royal Commissioner had grossly exaggerated his report and now the monastery was to be closed, they had a month to leave. Maybe they would reconsider? Or get an endowment to support the monastery themselves?

For now, he’d go to pray…tomorrow was another day.

trust_innocent_liars_tool_stephen king


Story originally written for Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge #WQWWC – Innocent.

How to participate? Select a quote that inspires you. Then write a short piece of flash fiction or poetry to share with us using the quote either in your story or as the title of your masterpiece. Then link back to Colleen at :-

https://silverthreading.com/2016/08/10/wqwwc-writers-quote-wednesday-writing-challenge-innocence/

Watching from the shadows

I followed her carefully, all in black it was easier to merge into the shadows. The tree-lined street my perfect disguise. Occasionally the earth would shift beneath my weight, it would send a noise out into the night, but her own heavy footsteps and sharp breathing covered any sounds I would make. Creeping closer and closer I could smell her scent drifting towards me, the sweet perfume was mixed by another scent one she didn’t even realise she was exuding, fear. She should feel me near her, but I wonder if that just made her rush even more.
                    She reached the corner and took the opportunity to glance back to the shadows. I knew she would do it and I stood silently waiting. Her eyes caught mine. The bright green of them startled her for a second and then she smiled at me. She hurried away again but I could move quicker than she could and easily caught up. She didn’t know it yet but she needed me to follow her. As she neared the underpass that headed back to her tired estate my hair began to stand on end. This was it, this was the place.
           The first shape stepped out of the shadow forcing her to slow. She moved to the other side of the road and continued forward when a second shape appeared. She froze. The two shapes turned towards each other and then simultaneously began to advance towards her. She took a step or two back, her mind confused. As she came back out of the underpass the two shapes emerged from directly behind her, stretching out to grasp her. I took the moment to surprise them and drop out of the tree I was on, clawing at one of the shapes as I fell. As soon as I reached the ground I hissed and stepped towards  the other, but it vanished back into the darkness of the underpass and away. The other stumbled backwards moving into the recess it had appeared from. I turned my head and looked at the girl, my green eyes held strong. She came towards me and placed her hand gently on my head.
                    “Aren’t you a clever cat to save me?” she cooed at me, and although normally I would hate it, I allowed her to. I already felt the connection with her, even though her change hadn’t yet begun. Yes, I definitely was meant to be her familiar.


Originally written for Mystery – this week’s Writers Quote Wednesday Edgar Allan Poe - Mysterious Cat WritingWriting Challenge #WQWWC with this amazing Edgar Allan Poe quote, but unfortunately I didn’t quite get it finished on time. So hopefully Ronovan won’t mind the slight adjustment so I could add it to his Friday Fiction Challenge using the surprise them.

When you have a dog in your life…

…there is always reason to laugh!

A Bit Long in the Tooth

Our oldest little woof, is now over 11 years old
Not a hugely old age, for a mongrel I’m told
But changes have started, life’s taken its toll
And some of these changes, are starting to show

It started around the eyes, (as most ladies will know)
Although it isn’t wrinkles, that started to show
Her patches were once a lovely deep brown
But they’re now speckled white, with the odd grey around

She’s a lot more tired and, loves nothing more than a nap
(and I must say, I’m a bit envious of that)
But when she curls up, into a nice doggy dream
She snores the house down, ’til I’m ready to scream

She’s always been the boss, the one to lead
But her direction is off, causing laughter indeed
On her daily walk, she caused such a lark
By charging at the poo bin and proceeding to bark

There is also the incident with the sneaky lamppost
That must have snuck up beside her and said boo like a ghost
She didn’t like it, not one bit
And gave it a good barking too, she looked such a…ditz

Another walk lately was a scene quite mad,
She had heard the rustling of a carrier bag
Assuming it was an enemy, she set off on foot
Disappointed at the outcome, although it was such a hoot

So, time has come, to keep her on the lead
It won’t be easy and she won’t be best pleased
The problem with her craziness is it’s me that looks mad
Laughing alone in a field with a dog and a bag!

 

Millie asleep
Catching up on a nap!

 



Originally written in response to #WQWWCLaddie - Dog laughter tail
by Colleen and Ronovan over at Silverthreading. Check it out for more inspirational writing quotes with today’s theme “Laughter”. Hope my attempt gave a few more people a giggle. KL ❤