A Witch’s Heart

I’m excited to announce that Fantasia Divinity have included another of my short stories in one of their anthologies. The Evil Within, is a fairy tale collection where the stories are told from an unusual perspective…that of the villain.

Description from Goodreads

Everyone knows of the Evil Queen who cursed Snow White with an apple, of the Sea Witch who offered an impossible bargain to a little mermaid, of Mother Gothel who locked Rapunzel in a secret tower, and of the wolf who tried to eat a little girl in a red hood, but no one knows why. What secrets lie in these notorious villains’ past that drove them to commit the atrocities we know so well?

Featuring 12 stories inspired by the villains from classic fairy tales and folklore, this anthology delves into the evil hiding within the stories we love.

Including stories inspired by Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin and more!

A Witch’s Heart

My story in the anthology is A Witch’s Heart, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Wild Swans”, and tells the tale of what occurred in the evil stepmother’s past that would make her want to turn her husband’s children into swans.


Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Goodreads

On the Run – Part 5

To read the previous parts of the story, follow the links: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four


On the other side of the gatehouse the world fell into darkness once more, a darkness that grew deeper the further away we moved from the bonfires by the fence.  Still the two men upfront ignored me.  We drove on.  I don’t know for how long.  I dozed off and on – there was nothing else to do – until something caught my attention.

Out of the darkness appeared a multitude of lights, illuminating the strangest building I had ever seen.  In the city, buildings, no matter what they were, be they houses or factories, were all concrete and glass and metal.  Most people described them as being cheap and functional unless you were an architect, who preferred the words “fresh” and “clean”.  The building in front of us was different.  It was made out of brick, a material I had only read about in old books, and it looked really old.  At each end of the long rectangular structure, that was perhaps five or six floors high, was a tower that rose up into the sky, dwarfing the central part of the building.  To say that it looked imposing would have been an understatement.

The car pulled up at the front of the house, where the lights were brightest.  The glare from them hurt my eyes.  Then the door was opened.

“You’re to come with us, sir.”  Two men were waiting by the side of the vehicle.

I got out and stretched my legs, which were stiff after hours of sitting still.  “Where are we?” I asked, wondering if this time someone might give me answer, but my question went unnoticed.

“This way,” one of the men said, before turning and moving towards the building.  The other one waited for me to start walking and brought up the rear.  I felt suspiciously like I was under guard.

On entering the building, people stopped whatever they were doing and openly stared at me, making me nervous.  What made me feel worse was that in our wake, I could distinctly hear my name being said in amongst the excited whispering.  How did they know who I was and why did it warrant this kind of reaction?

Up stairs and along corridors we went.  I tried to remember the route taken, but it was impossible.  Doors that I assumed would lead to rooms instead led to other corridors full of more doors.  I very quickly became disoriented.  Finally we stopped outside one room.  The man leading pushed open the door and indicated for me to enter, which I did.  I had assumed that there was someone in there waiting for me, hopefully with some explanation as to what was going on.  However, as soon as the door closed behind me, I heard the sound of a key turning in the lock and I realised my mistake.

I was trapped.


This was written in response to Emily’s Sunday Scrawl #5 photo prompt, over at A Writer’s Beginning.  Thanks for the inspiration, Emily 🙂

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #16 – Colours

A word and photo prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  Use the prompts separately or together.  It’s up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes (it’s not a competition) but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Colours

Photo Prompt

 

Challenge

Prose Challenge – Pick a saying that has a colour in it (green as envy, seeing red, blue murder, not black and white, etc) and write a story about it, using no more than 100 words.

Poetry Challenge – Write a poem of any length that includes all the colours of the rainbow.

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!

Late Summer Sunshine

This is for the Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge, that Kiwinana is hosting over at Ramblings of a Writer.  Below is my effort for week 2; the words are “late” and “summer”.  The prompt can be found here.  Go and check it out!


Late summer sunshine

Caress, nurture fields of gold

Cornucopia

On the Run – Part 4

To read the previous parts of the story, follow the links: Part One, Part Two, Part Three


I walked through the snow in silence, my worries about the night drawing in only marginally lessened by the finding of the concealed path.  I tried to whistle a tune but I couldn’t think of any.

I hadn’t gone far when the stillness shattered.  A loud bang, somewhere in the distance, caused me to start violently.  Recollections of dawn raids in the city came back to me in an instant, along with the fear and the panic that always accompanied them.  I could not pinpoint the source of the sound, nor the direction it came from.

It took me a good few minutes to calm down. Only after I had reasoned with myself that I was no longer in the city, and that I was safer here than I had been in months, did I do the one thing I could do: keep walking.

A little while after that it was fully dark, and some time after that – I had no way to tell how long – I caught the gentle purr of an engine.  And it was getting louder.  There was nowhere for me to hide.  I was cold and tired.  So I just stood there and waited.

Lights appeared ahead of me.  I raised my arms to shield my eyes from the blinding brightness.  A car stopped a few metres away.

“Are you Luke Ridgeway?” a voice called out the window.

“Yes…but how do you know that?”  My question was ignored.

“You’re to come with us, sir.  We would’ve met you at the gate but the snow slowed us down and then we blew a tire.”

“Come with you where?”

“We are not at liberty to disclose that information, sir.  Please get in.  Or stay out here and perish.  Your choice.”

It wasn’t really much of a choice, so I discarded the dead branch and climbed in.

There were two men sitting in the front of the car; a driver and a passenger.  From the moment I got in, they talked quietly amongst themselves, and ignored me.  I fell asleep.

I was jolted awake, as the car bumped along an uneven surface.  I looked out of the windscreen and saw what looked to be bonfires stretched along the outside of a huge fence that loomed before us.

The vehicle paused at a gatehouse, where armed guards were stationed.  One of the more senior personnel approached the car and the driver handed him a piece of paper which he proceeded to read.  On looking up he stared at me intently, but directed his question to the driver.

“Are you sure?”  There was a trace of both excitement and disbelief in his voice.

“That’s what I was told.  I know nothing else.”

The man nodded, stepped back and waved us through the gate.  It clanged closed behind us with an ominous sound that sent chills right through me.

Something didn’t feel right here.  What had I gotten myself into?


This was written in response to Emily’s Sunday Scrawl #4 photo prompt, over at A Writer’s Beginning.  Thanks for the inspiration, Emily 🙂

Weekend Writing Prompt #15 – Intricate

A word and photo prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  Use the prompts separately or together.  It’s up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes (it’s not a competition) but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Intricate

Photo Prompt

 

Challenge

Prose Challenge – Write a story in 250 words that begins with the line: “It’s an intricate problem.”

Poetry Challenge – Write a poem in no more than 13 lines inspired by the intricacies of life.

Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!

Water and Deep

These are for the Weekly Haiku Prompt Challenge, that Kiwinana has just started over at Ramblings of a Writer.  Below is my effort for week 1; the words are “deep” and “water”.  The prompt can be found here.  Go and check it out!


The water runs deep

Like turbulent emotions

They ebb and flow

*

Splishing and splashing

Floundering in deep water

All-consuming love