The Tormenter

Short Story
By Stephanie Geary

Sitting outside the school gates, I wait nervously for Stan Foster to come out of class. My mind whirls at the prospect of seeing him, knowing what I must do. Nerves and fear play a part in making my decisions. I can see a crowd forming, they have heard about what will be happening shortly. Hands in pockets, I glance at the growing audience, knowing that I am about to be put on display and that I must perform. My hands are clammy, and I wipe them roughly down my school trousers. I pull a handful of change from my pocket and count the coins.

Not enough, I need more.

What will he say about that?

I see him making his way out of the school, a group of friends surrounding him, offering him encouragement. They all look this way, none of them wanting to admit that they play a part in this scenario. As they get closer, I feel my heart racing, adrenaline kicks in and I feel ready. My eyes never steel away from his, I stare him down and gulp down on the salty saliva building up in the back of mouth and throat. I feel nauseous, but I know that is due to the fire burning in my gut.

Racing towards Stan, I see the fear in his eyes as he sees me, his secondary school bully approaching him. He looks at me, tears ready to spill from his eyes and I feel the raw fear that comes from his every pore.

And I love it.

I wish that I didn’t! I feel the hold that I have over him and the feeling of being powerful is like a drug I can’t get enough of. I clench my fists eagerly.

My audience waits as I approach my prey; all eyes are on me. I cannot let them down.

 

Featured post

#BlogBlitz – Knowing You by Samantha Tonge

#BlogBlitz – Thursday 14th March

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Hi all,

I am here to introduce you to another fantastic book; this story was ingenious. Full of character and warmth, with just the right amount of mystery and twists. The character of Violet is someone who I can relate to. She is friendly, hard-working and flawed in ways. She is eager to find love but first she has to love herself, which makes for very fascinating and enjoyable reading.

Thanks as always must go to both the author and the blog host for inviting me on this blitz.

Rachel – www.rachelsrandomresources.com/
Samantha Tonge – http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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This book was a surprising good read; as I have stated in the past, I like to go into a book solely by looking at the cover and taglines. I try to only briefly read what the book is about, so that I can be completely surprised by what I read. This book was a charmer, that’s for sure. It was written brilliantly and held my interest from page turn to page turn.

Before I tell you more about the book, lets have a little bit about the author.


About the Author

Samantha Tonge

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Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris.

She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Links –

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/SamTongeWriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthaTongeAuthor
Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/


About the Book

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An abrupt change; a new friendship; a dark secret…

Kind-hearted Violet has never fitted in, but despite being bullied at school is now content. She is dating ambitious Lenny, has her dream job in publishing and runs a book club at the local retirement home.

However, when her relationship with Lenny begins to falter, Violet, hurt and alone, seeks the advice of her new flatmate, Bella. She changes her image and with her head held high aims to show that she doesn’t need Lenny in her life to be happy and successful.

Her long-term friends Mable and Farah worry about Bella’s influence and slowly Violet starts to distance herself from them. When she was a child, her closest confidant and companion was a boy called Flint. Her mother didn’t approve of their closeness and he suffered a terrible end. She won’t let the same thing happen to Bella, no matter what anyone says…

Knowing You is about friendship and knowing who to trust with your deepest secrets; it’s about taking control of your life and not being afraid to stand out. Perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan, Gail Honeyman and Amanda Prowse


My Review

When I first got a copy of this book for review, I read the first pages and mistook it for a ‘Bridget Jones’ style story. How wrong could I have been? Never judge a book by the cover and never judge a book by the first few pages….

This book took my initial assumptions and turned them upside down, because what we have here is something a whole lot more; this was a story that resonated with me. The character of Violet was painfully relatable and I found myself reading quickly through each page as I wanted to know how the story panned out. The ‘relationship’ between Violet and Bella is both endearing to read and mysterious. I delved deeper into this book eager to see where the paths of these characters went. The story blended perfectly with chapters which were written from when Violet was young, allowing us to see more into Violet and what makes her who she is. 

The writing in this book flowed brilliantly and I found it hard to put down. I had my nose almost pressed up against my kindle screen regularly until I had read through to the very last page! Brilliant writing! I felt the heartache Violet felt from the break-up with Lenny and sympathised with her as she struggled to move forward from it.

It is difficult to write a review sometimes without giving away so much of the book and believe me, I really do want to…but you guys have to trust me and give this book a go. It is a fantastic read and one I will be sharing with my friends and followers alike.

See below for purchase links


Conclusion

Perfect read! Perfectly written and with likeable, believable characters. I enjoyed reading every page of this book and you guys will too!

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars!

See below for purchase links

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Purchase Links

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07MX87BH1/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=ur2&tag=canelo-21

Apple – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/knowing-you/id1449854707?mt=11&uo=8&at=1000l5Q7

Google – https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=aRiEDwAAQBAJ

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/knowing-you-6

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#Blogtour – The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce

#blogtour – Wednesday 13th March

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Hi All

Welcome to my stop on this superb blog tour. I have a charming little number to introduce you to today, a book that was beautifully written and so easy to fall into. I have always had a soft spot for period drama writings, and this one was such a wonderful story to pore over.

Thanks as always must go to Rachel of Rachels Random Resources (www.rachelsrandomresources.com) and the wonderful author, Nicola Pryce (http://nicolapryce.co.uk)

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The Cornish Lady was easy to digest and I fell in love with the characters and the world that they inhabited. I loved the detail in the writing and I adored the character interactions. More than once I pored over the pages eagerly as I wanted to read how the story would pan out.

Before I ramble on about this story, let me tell you a little bit about the author.


About the Author

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Nicola Pryce came to writing after a career in nursing. She has an Open University degree in Humanities and is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer. She is lives in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and when she isn’t writing she’s probably gardening or scrubbing the decks. She and her husband love sailing and for the last twenty years they have sailed in and out of the romantic harbours of the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure: it is there where she sets her books.

The Cornish Lady is her fourth book: The others are Pengelly’s Daughter, The Captain’s Girl, and The Cornish Dressmaker.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers Association.

Social Media Links –
http://nicolapryce.co.uk
https://twitter.com/NPryce_Author
https://uk.pinterest.com/nicolapryceauth/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15249833.Nicola_Pryce
https://www.facebook.com/nicolaprycebooks/ 


About the Book

Cornwall:1796

The Cornish Lady

Educated, beautiful and the daughter of a prosperous merchant, Angelica Lilly has been invited to spend the summer in high society. Her father’s wealth is opening doors, and attracting marriage proposals, but Angelica still feels like an imposter among the aristocrats of Cornwall.

When her brother returns home, ill and under the influence of a dangerous man, Angelica’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Her one hope lies with coachman Henry Trevelyan, a softly spoken, educated man with kind eyes. But when Henry seemingly betrays Angelica, she has no one to turn to. Who is Henry, and what does he wallfulnt? And can Angelica save her brother from a terrible plot that threatens to ruin her entire family?

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cornish-Lady-Saga-ebook/dp/B07FY2G7RT
US – https://www.amazon.com/Cornish-Lady-Saga-ebook/dp/B07FY2G7RT


My Review

The book bio for this drew me in from the start. The fact that it was set in the beautiful area of Cornwall was invitation enough for me to start reading it, but I also loved the sound of the story.  I love a story that is full of history and intrigue and this little beauty didn’t disappoint.

I adored the aristocratic air that this story had about it and I welcomed the intricately built love story that is hidden within. Angelica was a very likeable character from the start and I sympathised with the worry she had over her brother, who has fallen under the influence of Jacob, a man who is dark and dangerous.

My favourite character in the book was the mysterious, kind hearted Henry Trevelyan. The interaction between him and Angelica were very enjoyable to read and I loved how their stories intertwined.

This story was brilliant from start to finish and I was not disappointed with how it concluded. I loved the setting, I loved the era that it was set and I loved the characters. A perfect lazy afternoon read.


Conclusion

This was a wonderful read, one that I enjoyed from start to finish. 

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars.

S x

Giveaway

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Cornish Lady, a box of Cornish Fudge and some bookmarks (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Click link below to enter

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494201/

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Book Review: Only we Know by Karen Perry

Hi all,

Welcome back guys, thanks for stopping by. Here is my review of Only We Know by Karen Perry.

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This was a surprisingly intense story, it had just the right amount of intrigue aswell as connecting characters in a way that had me believing in what I was reading.

This wonderful story comes from the combined imaginations of authors, Karen Gillece and Paul Perry. A couple of authors who have worked on some wonderful titles over the years. ‘A Girl Unknown’, ‘Can You Keep a Secret?’, and ‘Your Closest Friend’, to name but a few.


About the Author

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Karen Perry is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece.

Paul Perry is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books. A winner of The Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award, he is a writer and course director in poetry at the Faber Academy in Dublin.

Karen Gillece is the author of four critically acclaimed novels. In 2009 she won the European Union Prize for Literature (Ireland).


About the Book

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In 1982, an idyllic summer is shattered when three children play a game that ends in tragedy.

Now, thirty years later, Nick, Luke and Katie remain bound together by the truth of what happened that day.

But some secrets won’t stay buried.

And when Luke vanishes and the threatening messages begin, it becomes clear someone else knows the truth – and is intent on justice, no matter what the cost…


My Review

I started reading this book and I wasn’t sure how I felt about the characters. Luke was annoying in that ‘Rich Guy’ kind of way and I didn’t feel any connection to Katie, who felt needy and damaged. The only person I felt any type of feelings towards was Nick…at first.

You see this book takes all the judgements you had from the start and turns them on there head. What we have here is a wonderful suspenseful thriller that twists and turns from viewpoint to viewpoint. We see from Nick’s point of view as he struggles with his demons and then we see from Katie’s point of view as she drinks away hers. The story is taunting from the start, never giving too much away, always leaving you hanging on until the last few chapters. I love the fact that the story jumps back and forth 30 years so that we can read first hand what happened in the past. But with each step back into the past, we are still left wanting to know more…never quite knowing what happened on that fateful day until we get to the end….and then everything you thought you knew is changed.

I read through this book and loved the character interactions between the characters. I felt the brotherly love between Nick and Luke and understood the protectiveness Luke had for his younger brother. I felt the anger that they both had towards each other at the same time and I read with sadness when there family dynamic is ripped apart. Katie and Nick were bonded through childhood memories, both good and bad and I enjoyed reading more into their relationship.

The entire story was very well written and I felt myself easily drawn into it, not wanting to put it down until I had turned the very last page.


Conclusion

A fantastic read, which had me hooked with its suspenseful story.

Worth a read!

Rating – 4 out of 5 

Always a Writer

I am 37 years old and I must admit that I am probably one of the most ficklest people when it comes to deciding on what I want to do with my life! I mean a lot of people have already figured it out around about now, right?

Especially at the age that I am at; just shy of 40. I think what it comes down to with me is confidence…I am never confident enough that I can do what I want to do. I have never believed much in myself and I have always let that ‘nagging’ negative voice at the back of my head rule what I do with my life.

But now? Now I want to embrace what I have always enjoyed doing…and that is write. I have ummmed and ahhhed about dream jobs for so long that I was starting to drive myself insane.

Did I want to be a early years teacher? I mean the hours would fit wonderfully around my boys and I would have all of the holidays off with them. This job was a safe option.

Did I want to train to be a midwife? I have always envied the work that people in the NHS do and I often envisioned myself in a little medical uniform helping a lady to push a baby out of her ‘lady area’. And although I would have put my heart and soul into this role, there was a part of me that still didn’t feel like this was my DREAM job. It didn’t feel like it called to me…not like how writing does.

I remember the very first time I entered a writing competition. I was 5 years old and I was at school and I had written a small piece about noise. The teachers had loved it, and I was asked to read it out in front of the entire school. I was a bag of nerves reading it as all of the other children’s faces looked up at me from the hall floor, but I was so proud of myself. And my reward was a wonderful Sylvanian Families activity pack with colouring book and notepad. From an early age I had a passion for writing stories and reading them. I used to peruse my Nan’s reading library, always picking up my favourite, Anne Franks Diary, and reading for hours on end.

Over the years my love of stories has got stronger and my nose can always be found in a good book or I can be seen scribbling notes down for potential new stories and characters. One thing that has remained constant throughout my life is this; I love to write. Whether it be a fictional story or a review of a recent book, I love to let my mind wander and my fingers tap away on the keyboard. Even now, as I write this, I sit with a smile on my face. Its amazing how much I feel at peace when I am doing the one thing that I enjoy.

Today, I had a clear out of the house and got rid of some much needed clutter. In doing so, I found an old notepad in which I had scrapbooked entertainment magazine articles and features posts. These were from a few years ago now, but I remember doing it as a way to review how the pieces were put together. Another love of mine, is anything to do with celebrities. I cant hide the fact that I love a bit of gossip and the celebrities provide us with this ALL of the time and I love reading about it. One of my goals when I scrapbooked some of the pages out of my favourite gossip magazines at the time was to one day write for one of those magazines myself. I am not sure my goals are the same now entirely, but there on the pages is still the pouring’s from a girl who dreamed to write professionally.

I tell my sons everyday that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up and I will back them up every step of the way. I want them to know no dream is ever out their reach….so, I feel it is kind of my duty to set a good example.

I have quite recently contacted the local college about their NCTJ Journalism Course and I have an assessment booked for a months time. In the meantime, I am going to continue to create short stories; I am going to look into how to create a screenplay (as I have an idea I want to put together) and I am going to continue writing my book. One way or another, I will write professionally….preferably before I am 60!

 

In case you are curious, here are a few pictures of the scrap book I kept.

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#BookBlitz The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

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Hi all,

I have been reading away behind the scenes to bring you some Blogtour posts that you will love to read about. I have come across some fantastic reads and have enjoyed getting to know seemingly unknown authors along my ‘book-blogger’ travels.

The wonderful Rachel of Rachels Random Resources(www.rachelsrandomresources.com/) always has the best books to promote and I am always astounded at how brilliant the content is that she shares. 

Here is one example of a brilliant, well written story that made my heart soar as I read through it. 

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Big thanks as always must go to both Rachel and the author, Victoria Cooke for allowing me read and review Melissa’s story. 

This story had me captured from the very start, Melissa (or Lissa – exactly the way I call my own sister of the same name) was enchanting and I fell in love with her character. She was flawed as we all are in some way and she was at times unable to see her own worth but she was such a good character to get to know. 

Before I tell you more about this book, let me tell you a bit more about the author. 


About the Author

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Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor
https://twitter.com/victoriacooke10
https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter


About the Book

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Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

Purchase LinkgetBook.at/TheSecrettoFallinginLove


My Review

This story was quirky, loveable, fun and very easy to read. These are just some of the words I would use to describe this book.

I fell in love with Melissa’s character from the very start. Sure, she had some anxieties about herself as we all do, but she never failed to let that bring her down. She was strong-willed and I loved how bubbly and fun her character could be. 

The story was easy to get into and I enjoyed the character interactions, which were  believable because the dialogue was so well written. There was a definite chemistry between Melissa and her ‘love interests’ and I read with eagerness to see who won her heart. I was not disappointed in the least. This story wasn’t predictable; just when you thought you had figured out the story, then you bowled over by a twist that you didn’t see coming. I enjoyed reading this book and was pleasantly surprised with how it was concluded. 


Conclusion

I was expecting to like this book just from reading the description.  I love reading a romance book that is simple and easy to get into and I flowed quickly through this book and I enjoyed reading about the characters. I would have loved to have read more about the love interests and delved deeper into who they were, but this story was so well written, that it didn’t subtract away from the drama of it all.

One thing I did love about this book is how thought provoking it was. It seriously had me thinking about how much of my own life is controlled by technology and social media. It was interesting to read how obstacles could be overcome if those things were taken away. We as a society get so caught up in what is on our screens in front of us, that we fail to properly look and listen to what is going on around us. I feel like this story opened my eyes up a little and made me realise that I need to start putting my phone done more and see about living my life away from my phone. 

I would recommend anyone who loves this type of genre to give this book a try. Great first book by Victora, I look forward to reading more from her in the future. 

Rating – 4 out of 5

S x

Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494196/

Making Plans, Making Changes

Today has been productive to say the least.
I have been in touch the local college about there Journalism Course. The tutor I spoke with advised what the course entailed and offered to book me in for an assessment.
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I have also been looking more into how I can earn from my writing. My blog has been changed to the Premium plan and I have turned on Wordads, although I need more tutoring on this if anyone can help? 😀

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I am researching and I am ahead with my blog scheduling and I am feeling better than I have in months. For once I actually know without a doubt what I want to do. So I am taking a step forward everyday and I will hopefully see my goals and dreams realised. I just have to put the work in and hopefully belong I can be my own boss. 🙂

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Wish me luck on this journey! 😀

 

S x

 

Writing Goals

For those who follow me, you may have noticed that I haven’t added further posts connecting to the 30 Day Challenge that I set myself to write Flash Fiction. I haven’t forsaken this task, in fact I am working on pieces for you as I speak, but I put a slight pause on it as I put a few ‘personal issues’ right.

I have to say, I seriously enjoying getting back into the swing of writing. I love sitting and putting words down on the screen and stringing them together to make a sentence, which in turn makes a paragraph and so on. I love writing and have done for as far as I can remember. Life has played a part in slowing down my dreams and as much as I love my children and my husband, I am ready to start doing something for me. I don’t ever want to look back on my life and say that ‘I never tried’. So, I am looking at getting a qualification in Journalism. There is a local college to me which does a 12 month course and I am waiting a response from them as to when I can apply officially. It would be starting in September and yes, this would mean giving up my day job (scary, eeek) but I know I can’t keep putting my goals aside out of fear.

When I was younger, almost 20, I made  list of writing ambitions that I wanted to achieve. I wrote these in a notebook and I have recently come across these again. Some of these seem childish now, but I wanted to share them with you. Some of these I am still hoping I can achieve.

  • Write a book.
  • Write for a tabloid or girly magazine.
  • Write scripts for tv-shows, especially Buffy, Angel, Smallville and EastEnders (lol, I was a fan-girl for sure!)
  • Create a script/screenplay for my story, Emily (this has changed title and has been re-hashed a few times but if you look back at my previous post, Tainted Love, you will see the story that has stayed with me the past 20 years)
  • Interview a celebrity – especially Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Sarah Michelle Gellar (still do love these ladies!!)
  • Create a completely new soap opera, one that will be talked about all around the World (a girl has to have ambition, right?)
  • Write a book of short stories
  • Collaborate with another author, maybe Stephen King or Dean Koontz? (yeah, because they guys need my help to sell books. ;0))
  • Work for a local newspaper
  • Write Book Reviews (well, I do this one – See previous posts/blog tours)
  • Become a broadcast journalist and report on the news.
  • Present on television.

I have lived a happy life with my husband but now its time for me to create a career for myself. Some of the above points are way out of my reach, some are unrealistic and maybe all of the them will not be achieved at all, but one things for sure I am not going to sit around and not doing anything now. Here I go. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Day 4: 30 Day Flash Fiction Challenge

Day 4 – 30 Day Flash Fiction Challenge

‘His wife was having tea with the king and he didn’t even know about it’.

Now I see her

Arthur Miller could not believe his eyes, and at times it has been known for them to let him down; his ageing body was a minefield of late, but he knew he wasn’t seeing things now. There, right in front of him smiling back from the newspaper eating a cream tea with the King was non-other than his wife, Daisy. He blinked once, twice, three times and stared again at the image in front of him. Daisy was dressed in a rather fancy looking dress with her hair pinned up on top of her head and she was wearing make up for the first time in years. Arthur tried to remember whether his wife had mentioned this ‘special meeting’ to him. But he couldn’t recall anything.
Arthur checked the date of the paper; Monday 12th May 2039. Today was Tuesday, so this happened yesterday. Looking back at the article, it says that Daisy was picked out of thousands of people who had applied to meet King William V. To enter you had to write a compelling reason for why you thought you should meet him. Arthur looked up abruptly as an image appeared in his head of Daisy showing him a page she had torn out of the newspaper.
Arthur cursed himself for not noticing more of what his wife told him and guilt started to creep through his core. Little snippets of conversation started to trickle back and he remembered parts of conversations which he only half listened to.
‘Arthur, would you look at this in the paper?’ his wife had asked one sunny morning whilst he tried to watch the morning television; his mind automatically droning out the sound of his wife’s beautiful tones.
‘Arthur, what should I put as a reason for meeting the King?’ Daisy had asked when he was getting his coat on ready to leave the house to walk their dog.
‘They have written back, I am shortlisted!’
‘This is an official letter, I hope it isn’t a rejection.’
And yesterday as he was studying a detective programme, trying to figure out ‘Who Done it,’ she had sidled up to him and turned on the spot, asking him how she had looked.
‘Fine Luv, you look fine.’
Arthur knows he said this without actually looking up at her.
With each line spoken, Arthur cannot recall if he ever responded. He was always too busy reading about the local news, watching television or heading out of the house. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his wife; quite the contrary in fact, but it occurs to him suddenly how much he has taken Daisy for granted. They met over 40 years ago, and they have had a wonderful marriage, but at some point, he stopped listening to her. Arthur stopped paying her compliments, stopped taking her out on dates and stopped looking at her properly. For a long time now, he has stopped seeing the girl that he fell in love with.
The shame is thick and sticks to his skin. He can’t shake the feeling that he has let her down. Staring back down at the newspaper, it is as if he is seeing her for the first time in a long time. Her blue eyes are twinkling, and they are creased in the corners as though she is mid-laugh. The dress she is wearing hugs her slender figure beautifully; in all the years that they have been together she has never had to diet, even after having their two wonderful children. Daisy’s long grey-blonde hair is sitting up high on her head, looking as luscious and healthy as it always does. Staring at his wife properly like this for the first time in years takes his breath away.
‘Wow, she is beautiful.’
Arthur knows that he has wasted enough time being blinded by how amazing Daisy is, but he refuses to waste anymore. Getting up gingerly, gripping onto his cane that rests beside him, he busies himself around the kitchen. Daisy has not risen from bed yet, he has always been the early bird in their relationship and has always loved the quiet, but he now realises that the time without her is too empty. He wonders at how a simple photograph could break his stubborn old ways; but he is glad that it has.
Ten minutes later, Arthur is walking into the bedroom that they both share and places a breakfast tray with eggs, toast and a pot of tea next to the master bed. Daisy is slowly starting to wake to sound of him entering the room. Lifting her head of off the pillow, she spies the breakfast and smiles sweetly up at her husband. Their eyes meet and Arthur is taken aback by how beautiful she is after all of these years; Why did he stop looking?
‘Wow,’ Daisy proclaims, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’
She sits up and looks at her husband who sits down beside her.
‘I saw your photograph in the paper, Oh Luv, I am so sorry, I didn’t take enough notice.’
Daisy pats his hand and she smiles contently.
‘There you are…I knew your eyes would see me again if I was on the front of your favourite newspaper.’
Arthur takes her hand into his and pulls it up to his lips, placing a kiss on her fingers lightly.
‘I have stopped looking for way too long, I am so sorry love’.
Daisy smiles deeper and asks him to pass the newspaper which is resting under his arm. Arthur passes it and watches as she places her glasses on before turning to the main article inside and reading out loud.
‘My name is Daisy Miller and I would love to be chosen to have tea with the King. I have been married to my husband, Arthur for 43 years. When I first met my husband, we were deeply in love and spent every waking day together making plans for our future. Every minute spent with him has been wonderful, but as is the case with most relationships, we started to take one another for granted. We missed parts of conversation as we were too busy doing something else, we missed important moments because we didn’t have enough time to listen. And for the most part, we stopped making eye contact and seeing one another. Some would blame my husband, but in all honesty, it was both of us. He stopped looking for me, and I stopped making myself visible for him. The years of aging is a never-ending battle and I came to a point in my life when I stopped trying. I ditched the make-up and dressed in dowdy cardigans.
The reason for me applying for this isn’t just so I can eat a cream tea with William V, although it would be marvellous, of course. The main reason is because I know that the event will be photographed and maybe it will be some way for my husband to see the person he fell in love with all those years ago. I want to put my hair up in a bun like it was on the day that we first met, and I want to wear the same ruby red lipstick that I had on when we shared our first kiss. The dress I have in mind is similar to the one that I wore when he asked me to marry him. Let me show my husband that I am still in here; I have aged and weathered, but I am still that young girl who was swept off her feet by the charming young man who stole her heart.’
Daisy looks up from the newspaper, tears are running down her cheeks and she is smiling deeply. Arthur has never seen a more stunning woman in all his life, the fact that she has gone to all this trouble for him makes him feel like the proudest man alive.
How on earth did he stop seeing her?
From this point onwards, he will make sure that he never takes her for granted ever again.
After all this time, she is still his girl.

Flash Fiction
by Stephanie Geary

Day 3 – 30 Day Flash Fiction Challenge

Day 3: 30 Day Flash Fiction Challenge

‘The Language of Flowers, Pyjamas, a secret passageway’.

 

The Blossoming Weed


by Stephanie Geary

 
Stretching my arms above my head, I straighten my body as far as it will go, working out all the tiny kinks and aches that comes from lying in the same position all night. The strong smell of flowers surrounds me, and I breathe in its heady scent, furrowing my brow and try to think where the scent could be coming from. My neck is feeling less than normal today, and I wonder at how awkward I must have lay in my sleep for it to be hurting the way it does.
I open my eyes slowly, trying to shield them from the bright white light that is shining through my bedroom window. My mind is racing, I have woken up out of sleep and I am struggling to remember where I am, who I am or what I am. My head hurts and my fingers feel stiff and lifeless. I push myself up into a sitting position and look sideways at the blazing sunshine outside. I frown as I remember that its late December and that there shouldn’t be this much sun.
The inside of my mouth feels dry and I search aimlessly around the bed for a drink. I shield my eyes from the glow that is almost overpowering, and I stand up feebly as I aim to head to the kitchen to grab me some water. I rub my neck to try to release some of the tension that I can feel, but it doesn’t help much. The pain is not unbearable, but it isn’t pleasant either. I step through the doorway, the smell of flowers getting stronger; I try to remember if I brought any flowers that day or if anybody had brought any for me, but then I remember that 1) I don’t really like flowers and 2) I don’t have anybody in my life that would buy me any. In fact, I don’t have anybody full stop…suddenly my head spins and I feel completely disorientated. I close my eyes briefly as I try to steady myself.
Slowly, I open my eyes and I stare dumbfounded at my surroundings. The room I should find myself in is the kitchenette/living area, but the area I stand in looks unfamiliar. Everything from the décor to the shape of the room is wrong. My mind is spinning as I try desperately to understand what is happening, but I feel blank. My nerves are stretched, and I anxiously turn around on the spot trying to find something that I recognise. It is as though I have stepped through a secret passageway and stumbled onto a place that is unknown. And yet, I see my framed photographs on the hearth, and I see my pink ‘Girls Rulez’ mug on the coaster near the sofa but everything about this place feels wrong and disjointed.
I place my hands on the wall and hold myself up as I close my eyes against the tidal wave of panic that is threatening to spill out of me. I breathe in and out and concentrate on my counting as my councillor has advised. The room around me is spinning and I feel myself losing control. Tears well at the corner of my eyes as fragments of memories rush at me with astounding speed. My abusive parents, my destroyed childhood, my substance abuse, my recovery in rehab, my councillor meetings, my endless talks about how unfair my life is, my tears and anger at how unhappy I am. Flying at me like bats that have been disturbed in a cave, my memories crash into me and gradually start coming together. And then all is still. I remember.
Turning around and facing the bedroom doorway again I step gingerly back through it knowing what I will see. Everything is making sense now. The aching and stiffness in my limbs from lack of blood supply. The dry mouth from the gurgling last breaths I took. The pain in my neck caused by the rope which I used to hang myself. And there in the corner, silhouetted by the bright unearthly glow is my pyjama clad body, knees touching the floor and my head resting to the side hanging from a rope which is tethered to the top of my wardrobe.
I realise that I no longer feel anything. No pain, no remorse, no shame, no pity, no anger, no dread.
I feel nothing.
I simply am.
This is peace. This is what I was hoping for.
And then suddenly, the bright white light surrounds me and all at once I fade away and join the people who reside in the glow and amongst them all are vast amounts of beautiful blue violets.

 

Flash Fiction

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