Categories
Books

R Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

“Ready to go?” Richard stood by the front door, keys in hand.

Rachel soon joined him. “Rather hard to know how to prepare without knowing where we’re going.”

Richard scanned Rachel’s body, taking in the tight jeans and bright t-shirt. “Really like the look,” he said.

Rachel followed Richard from the house to the car and settled herself into the passenger seat. “Really no way you’re going to tell me – not even a little hint?”

“Revelations will come in due course,” said Richard from the driving seat. Reaching into the glove compartment, he pulled out some black material, which he proceeded to fold several times before tying it round Rachel’s head, covering her eyes.”

“Really?”

“Rules state no peeping. Removal of blind will gather punishment.”

“Richard…”

“Right,” said Richard. Revving up the engine, he reversed down the drive and turned the back of the car to the right.

Right out of the drive, Rachel reckoned, meant they were going into town. Rachel tried to follow the route but soon got lost.

Reversing, presumably into a parking spot, Richard switched off the engine and clicked off his seatbelt. Rachel followed suit. Richard left the car, closing the door, and then appeared beside Rachel, having opened her door. Reaching for Rachel’s hand, he pulled her out and closed her door.

“Right, let’s go.”

Reverberations caused Rachel to assume they were in an underground carpark. Rising in a lift confirmed her assumption.

“Romantic experience, sir?” asked a man.

Richard must have nodded, before leading Rachel over plush carpet to a well-padded chair. Releasing the blindfold from her eyes, he said, “Happy anniversary!”

Rachel blinked and looked around her. “Ritz, in jeans?”

“Right,” said Richard. “Really good, designer jeans.”

Rachel shook her head. “Really ordinary, everyday jeans.”

“Really don’t care,” said Richard.

Relaxing to the comfort of not having to keep to norms, Rachel began to enjoy her special evening. Rules could be ignored, but for one. Reminding Richard that they married in July and not in June would be unwise.

Ritz

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Categories
Books

Q Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

Quaver felt peeved, as he always seemed to get the short end of the stick amongst his friends. Quite determined was he to rectify this situation when he went out to eat with Crotchet, Minim and Breve. Quaver, adhering to his plan for retribution, suggested the fast food place, and they all trooped in. Quickness wasn’t one of breve’s attributes, and this unfortunate fact caused him to lose his place in the queue. Queue-place-losing also applied to Minim and Crotchet, although their hesitation length was progressively shorter. Quaver, naturally, dallied for the shortest of time and was able to order.

Quivering, however, took place in Quaver’s shoes under the stern gaze of the other three, until he doled out his food in unequal proportions, giving the longest chips to Breve.

Quiet followed, during which Quaver made a secret vow to drop Crotchet, Minim and Breve and instead befriend Semi-quaver, Demi-semi-quaver and Hemi-demi-semi-quaver.

Quavers

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Categories
Books

P Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

“Private, those are. Personal and private,” my master exclaimed.

“Pray, sir, what distresses you so?” I enquired.

“Papers in this cabinet are not to be disturbed, in accordance with my express wishes.”

“Precisely, sir. Papers in that cabinet have not been disturbed by me.”

Pursing his lips, but opening them slightly, he struggled to keep his voice from exploding. “Please, then, inform me of the whereabouts of my teddy bear.”

Placing my hands behind my back, I stood to attention. “Perhaps it has escaped your notice, sir, but a teddy bear is not a paper.”

“Possibly so,” said my master, still looking grim. “Perhaps, nevertheless, you could inform me of the location of my poor teddy.”

“Poor teddy,” I said, “is in the arms of my granddaughter. Possibly I could retrieve it, although a limb or two might be lacking.”

“Please bring my teddy in one piece, for otherwise I shall have to consider harsher measures.”

“Promise, do I, that your teddy bear will be returned to you in pristine condition.”

Pristine condition, I reflected, remembering the chaos rendered by the little girl, could only be achieved if I paid a sum of money for a new teddy bear. Procurement of such a sum could be achieved by channelling off a very small fraction of the treasure I discovered sewn inside the old teddy bear.
TeddyBear

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Categories
Uncategorized

O Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

“Off the record,” he said, “where did you go off to yesterday?”

“Off to?” she asked. “Only to my mum.”

“On a train? Oh, I don’t think so.”

“Overlooking my actions, were you?”

“Only to make sure you were all right.”

“Oh really?”

“OK, so I was curious.”

“Oxford.”

“Oxford?”

“Oxford, where they filmed Hogwarts’ dining room.”

“Object being…”

“Only to learn the magic of getting you off my back.”

095.56POksfjordResized
N0 – not that Oxford!

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Categories
Books

N Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

“Nothing I don’t do ever goes right,” she said.

“Nothing?” he said. “Never? Negative today, aren’t we?”

“No,” she said. “Numbly truthful.”

“Noodle cooking you do well.”

“Noodle cooking – yes.”

“Number crunching.”

“Number crunching – yes.”

“Nursing.”

“Nursing – yes.”

“Novel writing.”

“Novel writing – yes.”

“Now, don’t you think you should edit your opening sentence?”

“Not at all. Nothing I don’t do ever goes right.”

“Now wait a minute…”

Novelist

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Categories
Books

M Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

Miss Carson surveyed the class as she made her entrance. Most of the kids, she was pleased to notice, were standing to attention and joining in the chorus of, “Good morning, Miss Carson.” Mandy and Martin were the only ones seated. Miss Carson’s response was followed by a scraping of chairs as the kids sat down.

“Mandy, why didn’t you stand up like everyone else?”

“My attention was diverted at that moment, Miss, so I failed to notice when you entered,” said Mandy.

“Make sure you pay attention in future, Mandy,” said Miss Carson. “Martin, why didn’t you stand up?”

Martin looked down at his desk, his lips firmly closed, his red cheeks clearly showing complicity in something or other.

“Martin, you’d better stay for a detention after school.”

Martin contemplated the unfairness of school. Miss Carson couldn’t know what happened before she came in and Martin couldn’t tell her – not in front of the whole class. Mandy, with the help of a few others, had tied Martin to his chair so that he couldn’t stand up. Mandy hadn’t stood up as she’d hurriedly untied the string after Miss Carson entered. Martin hadn’t wanted to be branded a tell-tale on top of everything else. Mandy had been counting on that.

Bindfaden 1

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The next story will appear on Sunday.

Categories
Books Letters from Elsewhere

Letters from Elsewhere: Ally

Letters from Elsewhere

My visitor today is… well… I think I’ll leave it to Jennifer Young to introduce him.

Dear Reader

How strange it is to be writing a letter. We don’t do that any more.

We do all sorts of things instead. We use texts and we use Facebook messenger. If we’re feeling particularly in-your-face we might go public with our communications. (Twitter works particularly effectively in getting a prompt response from customer service, and even government, departments, or so I’ve learned.) But for all that buzz of digital information, digital communication and digital tracking, there’s still a place for letters.

You’ll be thinking love letters, or I imagine you will. And indeed, there’s little more moving than a thoughtfully-written note to cry out that it’s for your eyes only (perhaps with a few judicious crossings-out, with like changed to love). After all, nobody ties up their texts with ribbon and keeps them in a shoebox with a pressed flower for future generations to discover.

But there’s another type of communication that only really resonates by letter. My book, Looking For Charlotte, begins with one such — and ends with one, too. It’s the antithesis of a love letter. It’s a suicide note — and a confession.

Dear Suzanne

I’m sorry.  I couldn’t help it. I know why I did it though – I did it because of all the things you did to me and the way you ruined my life. I did it because you never trusted me and you never tried to understand, because everything was black and I couldn’t see anything – light, hope, luck. 

I don’t hate you now.

She didn’t suffer. She was asleep and she never knew. I took her out into the sunshine and I buried her where she can be in peace, with the birds and the moors and the wide wide sky. She’s at home in Scotland.  And if she’s lonely she can see people, there are a couple of houses. There’s a big glass house and one with a rusty old car and there’s lots and lots of blue. She loved blue. You do too, don’t you?

I never realised that revenge makes you cold and dead inside.

Suzanne, I’m sorry. I know it’s too late now.  Poor little Charlie.  But I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.

Ally

Looking For Charlotte is a mystery-cum-romance based upon a true story. It combines love and loss and redemption as my heroine, Flora, sets out to find the body of little Charlotte Anderson so that Charlotte’s mother, Suzanne, can begin to pick up her life and start again. She has no connection with Charlotte or her family — she’s motivated by a desire to do good. And it begins with a letter.

It ends with a letter, too — a note from Suzanne to her late husband. Because there are some things that can only be communicated via pen and paper, even when we’re talking to the dead.

I love letters. Long may they drop through your letterbox

Jennifer

About Looking For Charlotte

Looking_For_Charlotte_by_Jennifer_Young_500Divorced and lonely, Flora Wilson is distraught when she hears news of the death of little Charlotte Anderson.

Charlotte’s father killed her and then himself, and although he left a letter with clues to the whereabouts of her grave, his two-year-old daughter still hasn’t been found.

Flora embarks on a quest to find Charlotte’s body to give the child’s mother closure, believing that by doing so she can somehow atone for her own failings as a mother.

As she hunts in winter through the remote moors of the Scottish Highlands, her obsession comes to threaten everything that’s important to her — her job, her friendship with her colleague Philip Metcalfe and her relationships with her three grown up children.

Looking For Charlotte is available from Tirgearr Publishing.

About Jennifer Young

With my morning cuppaJennifer Young is an Edinburgh-based writer and copywriter. She is interested in a wide range of subjects and writing media, perhaps reflecting the fact that she has both arts and science degrees. Jennifer has been writing fiction, including romantic fiction, for a number of years with several short stories already published. Looking For Charlotte, her third published novel, is inspired by a true story of loss and goodness, and is set in the beautiful but bleak Scottish highlands.

You can find Jennifer on:

***

So now you know: my visitor, Ally, is dead.

Categories
Books

L Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

Love was all around the lake. Lovers’ Lake, they called it for miles around. Lazing on its banks on this warm, sunny afternoon were at least fifty couples, each oblivious to the others. Levelling their eyes, each at one person only, they revelled in this bliss, oblivious to the rest of the world.

Lots of people in the village didn’t have partners, so they stayed away from Lovers’ Lake and waited for the day they would finally find a lover and be able to visit Lovers’ Lake. Legends of its beauty fired their longing. Lucifer, however, refused to stay away. Lucifer was the village idiot.

Laughter rang out when Lucifer arrived to sit alone by the lake. “Lucifer, go home. Lover have you none. Leave us lovers alone.”

“Lucifer won’t go home,” said Lucifer. “Lucifer is in love.”

Laughter again.

“Life is what Lucifer is in love with. Life in the form of birds and trees and everything that’s alive.”

Lucifer took his place by the lake and gazed at life, his true love.

Level-headed village people stopped calling Lucifer an idiot.

Lake in Switzerland

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

STOP PRESS: Neither Here Nor There is still on sale on Amazon, but not for long.

Categories
Uncategorized

K Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

“Kill,” said the king, his voice loud and masterful.

“Kind sir, most venerable ruler, I beg of you…”

“Kill.”

Knights stepped forward to march the prisoner away.

Kissing the king’s shoes, the next prisoner stood within his gaze.

“Kill,” said the king.

“Kind sir…”

“Kill.”

Knights marched the second prisoner away.

Kicking the king’s shoes, the third prisoner stood proud.

“Kill,” said the king

“Kill,” said the prisoner, pointing at the king.

Knights, confused, veered off their path leading to the prisoner and headed for the king.

“Keep this prisoner alive,” ordered the king. “Knight him and elevate his rank to that of King’s Advisor.”

Man or King on Throne with Kneeling Man (Supplicant)

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Categories
Books

J Story for the #atozchallenge

2016AtoZChallenge

The J Story

Jay entered the room and stopped dead. “Jerry! What do you think you’re doing?”

“Just doing my homework, Mum.”

Jay surveyed the scene, while attempting to banish thoughts of extra work from her mind. Jam neatly spread all over a jumper laid out on the bedspread. Juice in a glass jug standing on the jam at a precarious angle. Jelly wobbling on top.

Jutting out from the mess was a sheet of paper. Jay picked it up and read the typed words. “Join disparate items together to make an abstract sculpture.”

Jay turned back to the mess. “Just one thing; they’re not disparate – they all begin with J.”

Jauntily, Jerry grinned. “Just testing you.”

Jay nodded. “Just so.”

Jam

To US readers:

  • For jam, read jelly.
  • For jelly, read jello.

Links to previous A-Z stories:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z