Category Archives: Fiction

Against all Odds

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Against all Odds

This is a flash fiction based on an exercise in writing group where we wrote stories based on song titles.  I chose a song I actually don’t like very much, just because I think the title transfers over to creating a story well!

Just a word of warning, the story contains content that some people may find distressing.

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Against all Odds

Early menopause. The words had echoed in her head every day since they’d been said. She’d been 32 years old. They’d been trying for a baby for six long unsuccessful years. Early menopause were the words that shattered the last of her splintered spirit. She gave up then. Curled under the blankets naked and shivering she had nothing left in her to produce tears. He couldn’t let it go. There were still options. They could still try. He stroked her hair trying to reach her but she was gone. Robotically she began injecting herself daily. They were still trying. The injections made her sick. Every morning kneeling on the bathroom floor. For years she had longed to be sick every morning. It worked. The doctor’s smile was wide when he told them. It worked. Two months later the same doctor held her hand after the miscarriage. He was so sorry. There are still options. You can still try. She gave up hope. There are still options. We can still try. Her husband’s hand felt strong in hers. Tears were streaming from her tired eyes. The doctor said it was a boy and placed her slick crying baby on her chest. It worked. She was 34 years old. They’d been trying for a baby for eight long years but it worked. It worked.

Copyright D M Day, 2017

100 Word Challenge – Risk

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100 Word Challenge – Risk

I haven’t done one of these for a while as everything’s been crazy work and rehearsal wise. Do please do come see me play Richard III, amongst others, in Shakespeare War Play if you can!  This is a challenge to write exactly 100 words either using the word risk,  or any form of the word, as one of the 100, or using risk as a prompt and implying it in the 100 words.  I have written this drabble using risk as a prompt.

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Spare Room

You’re moving out? Tomorrow! What am I supposed to do? Well yes I know I can get someone else in, but that’s not going to happen straight away. I’ll have to live by myself for about a month. Anything could happen. One of the bulbs could go out and I could trip over in the dark and crack my head. I might be cooking tea and the doorbell rings and before I know it the house has burnt down. You can’t leave me! What do you mean this is exactly why? Most accidents occur at home you know. Risky place.

Copyright, D M Day, 2017

Train of Thought

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Train of Thought

The rain is so heavy tonight. I’m cold and wet but at least the others can’t see my tears. It’s been all I can think about since it happened. His face, when he realised what he’d done. Apparently they all look like that. They’re there of their own free will, we reckon they’ll have thought about it for months, but that moment, before the impact, they stare at you in abject horror. And that three seconds, his face before I hit him and it was all over, will stay with me forever.

Afterwards, when my driver had been taken away wrapped up in a blanket, they brought me back here, and I haven’t moved since. We reckon my driver will have a lot of support and help until he’s back to his old self. That doesn’t happen for us though. We can’t leave the line, so they just put us out of the way, and leave us to rust. They haven’t even washed all the blood off my face.

I hear a whistling and know that the one they call Graham is coming to hide down here like he does every night. Apparently the stuff he smokes isn’t looked on well by the others with legs. Especially for a Railway Guard. I don’t care though. To me, he doesn’t look any less vacant than the rest of them.

He walks along with his head ducked down, water dripping down his uniform. He squeezes into the doorway of a shed and lights the white paper tube. Plumes of smoke leave his mouth and the smell filters towards me and I feel a little comforted. I feel like Graham would be one of the few who understood me. Always alone and not quite fitting onto the track in life he was given.

He grinds the end of the smoke into the wet ground and it disintegrates under his wet boots. He reaches into his pocket and takes out a peach. He’s always hungry after he smokes. He used to eat brown bars but then he started following round the one they call Angela and since then it’s always been peaches or little coloured sticks dipped into something that looks like the mushed up leaves that clog the lines.

He bites the peach and the juice drips onto his chin. I see the other one before he does. Creeping up through the rain, all in black. He wraps his arm around Graham’s neck and rests a shining sliver of metal against his throat. The peach, forgotten, drops into a puddle.

“Easy now,” this new one snarls into Graham’s ear. “Do as I say and nobody needs to die tonight.”

Graham’s eyes are spilling tears and a dark patch, barely visible amidst the rainwater, forms on the front of his trousers. “What do you want?” Graham stammers through his sobs.

More are appearing now. All in black, all creeping about. I’ve no idea how many there are, all I know is that there is only Graham who is free to move. Was free to move. I’m powerless.

“It’s very simple,” the one with gun mutters into Graham’s ear. “We have a bomb and we’re going to put it onto one of these trains. Then tomorrow,” he laughs now, low and sinister, “when it reaches Kings Cross, kaboom. All you have to do, Mr Matthews, is keep your mouth shut and pretend we were never here. Or, this pretty little thing”, he says letting go of Graham’s neck to retrieve a small black box from his pocket which lights up Graham’s tear soaked face, “will throw herself in front of one of them tomorrow. Understand?”

Graham nods slowly, his chest heaving with sobs.

“Good good.” The man with the shining blade smiles and nods at one of the others who uses something shiny to open up one of the other guys. None of them are waking up. Useless mindless lumps of metal.

If only there was something I could do.

Graham is stood shaking and crying and the others are faffing about inside one of the lads. I think of Angela. The way that Graham looks at her. Then her face is in my head, screaming the way that guy did, fear and terror, another guy rusting away in this yard, forgotten and blood soaked. It wouldn’t even be her choice. The sound of the screaming is filling my head. His screams. Her screams. Then out of nowhere there’s an ear splitting noise. Choo choo! All of the ones with legs jump around yelling and holding their heads. Choo choo! Is that me? Choo choo! It is! I don’t believe it. Then I remember. It’s the trick of our ancestors. Bus surely it’s not possible. The ones with legs took it away from us when it was no longer any use to them. And yet the noise comes over and over again. Louder and louder. Choo choo, choo choo, choo choooooooo! Graham stares at me open mouthed as more of his kind appear running and yelling. The ones they call police come then and the ones who threatened Graham are thrown face down onto the wet ground. All is saved. All will be well. I am a hero. No longer a killer.

Maybe they’ll even let me off the tracks.

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The noise fades and Graham sucks the last of the fruit from the peach stone and tosses it into the mud. He walks over to me, the same hazy look in his eyes that he always has. He pats the side of my aching head and smiles. ‘We’ll be getting you cleaned up in the morning old boy, he says. “No good leaving you here any longer. The inquest is done now. Back to work.”

He saunters off, whistling again. I’ve heard the others with legs talk about him. They think he’s weird, speaking to us trains as though we can understand him.

Copyright, D M Day, 2017

Beautiful

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Beautiful

I love spending time at the theatre, both on stage and in the audience.  As it gets colder, I guess I tend to spend more and more time at the theatre, and it also seems to be a lovely time to encourage people who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre to go.

Recently, I saw a wonderful new play, Amazing Grace, in Leeds with two friends, one of whom doesn’t go to the theatre often but has now faithfully promised to do just that.  Job done then!  Though, to be fair it’s far more due to the brilliant writing and acting in the play than my influence.  The play is a tragedy, about life, and love, and death, and all of those things which any good writer wants to capture properly during their career, but few manage this well.  It’s also a comedy, dark as night, cynical, blunt and painfully true.  The tragedy for you, if you haven’t seen it, is that its run has ended, though I would hope it’s gets at least one more as it deserves to be seen, by as many people as possible.

It also got me to thinking about how we see the world, how we see others, how others see the world and how others see us and how, we’ll never really know.  The truth is most of us are putting on a show every single day, and watching the shows presented to us by everyone else around us.  Reality is something so mysterious, constantly the subject of interpretation and misinterpretation, so unreal, that, in reality, we may never really know anything at all.  But we can try and find the beauty in what we do see.  The beauty of the show and the beauty behind the scenes, if and when we see it.

This is a piece of microfiction inspired all shows, theatrical and otherwise.

Beautiful

Beautiful. Dark eyes. Glossy lips. Eyes follow her like rainbows appearing after summer rain. She stares at her reflection. Beautiful. With drenched cotton wool it is wiped away. Sallow skin appears. Sunken eyes. Chapped lips dragging on a cigarette. The cotton wool is thrown away. Stained. Drenched in colour. Beautiful.

Copyright, D M Day, 2016

 

100 Word Challenge: Demon

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100 Word Challenge: Demon

This is a 100 word challenge using the word “demon” for inspiration, writing 100 words exactly – no more, no less. I could either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of my 100, or it could be implied.

I have written this piece of microfiction using “demon” as inspiration.

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Even if it killed us both

When he left I was heartbroken. Distraught. Couldn’t deal with it. He was my first. My only. I had to get him back. Even if it killed us both.

Her black eyes shone as she handed me the bag and gave me instructions. I had to follow them exactly, or who knew what could happen.

There was a whimper when I took my virgin’s blood, ear splitting bangs when I burnt my offerings.

And now he’s here. Standing on my doorstep, mouth smeared in blood, reeking of death.

I had to get him back. Even if it killed us both.

Copyright, D M Day, 2016

Soon

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Soon

This is a piece of flash fiction based on something I wrote for a writing group.  The prompt was a picture of an elderly couple walking along a street with their arms wrapped around each other.

Soon

Margaret shuffled along, her arm tightly wrapped around Harry’s waist. His arm was draped over her shoulders, protecting her from the winter chill. In his other hand he held a brightly polished cane which tapped the pavement, counting their steps along the chilly street. The sound made Margaret think of the passing of time, how things had been throughout their lives, how things were now, and what the future would hold for them. Fifty years together. Fifty years today.

‘I love you’, Margaret said, tightening her hold around Harry’s waist.

‘I love you too’, he said. ‘I always have, you know that.’

As they continued in silence, he knew she was crying. They reached the cafe that they had gone to every Tuesday at this time for the last fifty years. They walked in, sat at their usual table and their usual waitress walked over to them to take their usual order.

Margaret dabbed the tears from her eyes with the embroidered handkerchief he’d given her for her birthday thirty years ago. She laughed, the sound short and sharp. ‘Oh Harry’, she said. ‘How did we get so old?’

‘Meg’, he replied, pulling both of her withered hands to his lips and kissing them gently. ‘You are as beautiful as the day I met you.’

She cried again, silent tears streaming down her face. ‘Say it once more Harry’, she begged. ‘Just once more for old time’s sake.’ Harry sighed, looking up at the ceiling. ‘I know it isn’t true’, she continued, pleadingly, ‘but, well.’

He lowered his gaze and looked into her eyes. The same eyes that had stared at him with such hope in them every Tuesday for the last fifty years. He stroked her wrinkled cheek with the back of his hand. ‘Soon Meg. I promise. I’ll tell her our marriage is over. I’ll leave her, for you. Soon.’

Copyright D M Day 2016

Monkey Business

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Monkey Business

So since NaPoWriMo ended my life has been a bit crazy with finishing uni off (all done now – hurrah), moving house (not quite done yet – boo) and various other bits and bats so things have been a bit quiet on the blogging front.  But here’s a (very) short story I wrote for a little writing challenge.  The challenge was to write a 100 word story featuring the words “monkey”, “scarf” and “bench”.  Would love to see other people’s take on it as well, so feel free to tweet me @inkytitch.

Monkey Business

The monkey walked slowly through the park, rubbing his eyes, yawning, but not wanting to go home yet despite being exhausted.  He just couldn’t face yet another argument with his wife about employing humans.  ‘There aren’t that many left’, he’d told her.  ‘That’s their fault’, she’d screamed, slamming their bedroom door.  Sighing he sat on a nearby bench pulling his scarf tighter.  It was cold tonight.  It was always cold now.  The final war had almost blocked the sun out completely.  But Adam was a nice guy.  What his ancestors had done wasn’t his fault.  Why couldn’t she see that?

Copyright, D M Day, 2016