A Little Nostalgia

Hello! Rather than a CWS Summer Prompt today I’m giving you an old prompted piece, from a CWS meeting last October I think. I’ve recently discovered a few of these and so will be putting them up in due course!


At first, I was a little scared. Handling knives was something I tended to avoid back then, since from a very young age we are warned against them. But Mum had decided it was time, and so it was. I had to peel the potatoes for dinner. It was a task I didn’t particularly relish, although while I was afraid of knives and slightly annoyed that I couldn’t just keep watching TV, I also realised that Secret of the Kitchen was about to be revealed to me. It was almost… exciting.

Mum prepared me; wash your hands, wash the potato, how to handle the knife. Yet after a quick tutorial I was on my own. For the first few she observed my clumsy movements and corrected any occasional wrong stabs, then retreated to her own task, keeping watch, of course. Her hands were busily moving about the counter-tops.

By now I was very into the chopping and slicing, and had even bossily told my little sister to go away as I was busy ‘in the kitchen’. Unfortunately, my happy beginnings with potato peeling were not to last. It only took a single moment, after Mum had left the room in response to one the baby’s cries, and I managed to pull the knife slightly too far. A small chunk of my right thumb went flying off. It was only tiny, really, but how I stared in fascination at the miniature pale pink holes. For a millisecond they were empty, my body in shock, and then they flooded with red. Even then, I paused – they made me think of pink straws full of tomato soup.

It was only after the first drop fell that I started to scream.

Disclaimer: It really wasn’t that traumatic an event. I do still have an extremely tiny scar but it was just a rather colourful introduction to the world of cooking. Of course I’d done other things before but never been allowed an entire task by myself! I think I must have been around eight when this happened.


8. Butterfly

For this prompt I thought I’d do something quite different. It’s not exactly fiction – a description of one of my favourite places that I visited while on holiday. It was wonderful and I wanted to share something of it anyway, so this prompt was ideal! The place described is the Valley of the Butterflies. It was utterly beautiful and I really hope my description does it justice.

8. Butterfly

A visit to the Valley of the Butterflies midsummer is something of a delightful assault on the senses. The noise is something you gradually become aware of, like the sound of waves on a shore or the glow of moonlight. Layer by layer, it forms a continuously buzzing yet relaxing background. Hidden crickets chirping, multilingual chatter from visitors and staff alike, waterfalls gushing here and trickling there, the beat of footsteps up and down the path. Somehow, despite all of this, a sense of peace pervades the entire park – the tranquillity is in the wonder the sights of the Valley evoke.

The history of the park can be felt in the touch of the stone paths and wooden fencing, each part worn smooth by use. But the butterflies, or Tiger moths, as is their true name, provide the real attraction. A vivid flash of orange when they take flight, in order to fully appreciate their sheer number a visitor must wait for their own eyes to adjust and recognise the camouflage of black with small white stripes. They are simply everywhere, settled on leaves, bark, rocks, seats, man-made signs and poles. It becomes a game which brings with it the quick realisation that there is absolutely nowhere they won’t settle – including unsuspecting guests who stand still long enough!

The best environment to view the Tiger moths is the second part of the park. The path takes visitors deeper down into the valley until the mild foliage is transformed to sweeping lush vegetation – a perfect minute paradise.

I hope you enjoyed the post! If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Valley it’s definitely something I’d recommend.


Constance Cove

Hello! Today’s post is a response to the CWS Summer Blog Prompt #3, which was a random photo. I got a beautiful one by someone named Jun Amuan. All credit for the photo is theirs. My piece can be read without it, but possibly reads better after having seen the photo. I was quite surprised by how this came out – once I’d written it, I realised it was almost poetry, which isn’t something I write often.

 Constance Cove                     

Rocks. Hard on the feet and eagerly scrambled over.
Waves. Beautiful smashing sounds, covering their conversation.
Spray. Thrown up in playful splashes, crowning her with a droplet tiara.
Gulls. Cries splitting the air, a thousand eyes watchful with no one to report to.
Pier. Welcome wooden planks forming the bridge to their paradise.
Sun. Lighting the way, temptation in brilliant colour and mysterious silhouette.
Swim. Bravery unspoken and joy in childish games.
Safe. Skin on skin with eyes tight shut.
Love. Happiness accepted, sweet nothings in her ear.
Storm. Thunder and lightning at the end of the day.
Loss. One to blood-drenched France, the other a grand empty home.

Secret: Theirs, delicious and forever.

I hope you enjoyed it. When I first started considering this piece, I listened to ‘She’s always a woman’ by Fyte Dangerfield, although it moved away from that as I wrote it.


7. Bound

Hello! Drabble no. 7 is here. It’s a continuation of no. 6, really, occuring almost immediately afterward.

7. Bound

Twigs, branches and leaves all flashed by in a blur of green and brown, Alex’s feet pounding down the familiar path. His heart was thumping in his chest, blood racing around his body, and his mood was finally lifting. He may be speeding furiously through the forest, but a twenty-minute sprint and it was as if all of his anger and frustration were flowing out into the ground beneath him. Breath billowed out in short measured pants as he almost smiled, eyes focused on the glimmering spots of sunlight shimmering down between the late summer leaves. Yes, he was breaking more rules to do this – the forest was out of bounds to all Rosewood students. It was, however, a rule they didn’t tend to check on unless it was obvious. A single student, especially one who had been here for as long as Alex had, knew how not to be obvious.

Alex carried on running to the rhythmic pump of his heart, until the path began to curve and then forked, one half leading to the lake – wait, what?

It took his brain a second to catch up with his eyes. His usual company out here occasionally stretched to a suspicious badger or fox at night. But as he’d sped past the flat patch of grass that lead the way to the lake, three pairs of eyes had been watching him. Three pairs of eyes that were human, female, and very surprised. Alex shuddered to an awkward halt and waited for one of the girls to speak, a flush steadily rising up his cheeks.

The only difference between 6 and 7 is that this might possibly be an opening scene for the novel, or at least the introduction to Alex’s character. Hope you enjoyed it.


Rosewood Hall’s Junior Class Trip to the Art Galleries of London, or, Miss Newport’s Bad Day Out

Hello! Today I’m bringing my response to one of the CWS prompts as promised, although it’s not Prompt 3 because I wrote my response while away and as that one involves using the internet and obviously I couldn’t do that. So here’s the CWS Prompt 4: Write a piece containing only dialogue. I wrote this as a light-hearted piece as for a while I’ve mostly been writing heavy stuff.

Rosewood Hall’s Junior Class Trip to the Art Galleries of London, or, Miss Newport’s Bad Day Out

“Eliza, Natalie, Hannah… have you got your coat, Hannah?”

“Yes miss!”

“Good good… continuing, Sarah, Sally, Eleanor, Sophia… Sophia, mind out for the step.”

“Yes, I am, Miss Newport.”

“Good girl. Victoria, Alicia, Marie. Marie, do adjust your hat, we want to look presentable. Thank you.”

“Sorry, Miss Newport.”

“Charlotte… Holly… and lastly Christina. Wonderful. Well, girls, I can’t tell you how glad I am you’ve all managed to get her on time. Today, you must behave with the proper decorum as befits young ladies from this school -”

“Miss, miss, Lottie’s forgotten her pack!”

“Alicia, don’t shout so – no, Charlotte, you mustn’t run like that!”

I hope you enjoyed it. Up next will be drabble prompt seven.


6. Books

Hello! I know it’s been a while, and I did want to do some more scheduled posts,  but I’m afraid time ran away with me. I’ve been away for the last two weeks without internet access and so was unable to post, but I have been busy writing so I’ve got lots of updates ready. This is the next ‘drabble’ in the list, though it’s 300 words.

Warning: Adult language

6. Books

The room was completely covered in flapping bits of paper, sprawled across furniture and wheeling about with the wind. Realisation washed across Alex as he stood in the doorway. They were his books, ripped up beyond repair, beyond recognition, and left scattered. Not even his books, actually, but rare ones from the library. Despite this, he couldn’t even muster a groan at the thought of the massive fines that now awaited him. Eventually, he managed to process enough thought to decide to shut the window, at least stopping the pieces from flitting about and hitting him. The resounding thud of the frame dropping to the sill was louder than he intended, but it wasn’t at all satisfying. He sat down on his bed, paper crunching beneath his weight.


He considered revenge, physically or otherwise. No point. He knew exactly who was behind this. He might be tall for his age, but he was clumsy as hell and even if he’d been some sort of champion, five against one were the sort of odds the sensible avoided. If he retaliated in a different way, the feud would just mount up, tit for tat, and he couldn’t be bothered with that. Of course, he could tell Mr. Peters, the boarding house master, but he didn’t want to load anything else on top of him what with them just finding out about his wife’s cancer and all. And any other teacher he told would just sent it straight back to Mr. Peters.

Curiously, Alex felt nothing but a kind of dull misery vaguely probing at his heart. His gaze bounced about the room, unable to settle. He couldn’t bear seeing even a piece of the strewn remains of his precious books.

He stood suddenly. Screw this. He was going for a run.

For the curious, this is a character from my Siarlan novels, although this scene occurs a little before his introduction. Writing this also has made me realise that I have two MCs called Alex, so I probably ought to get onto changing that. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it, and I should be setting up some kind of post every two/three days. Next post should be a CWS prompt!


On Sundays

Another scheduled post, and another hideously late response to a CWS prompt. But I’m catching up! This one’s only short but hey, it works. For the original prompt post go here.

“Every day of the week I _________, but Sundays are different. On Sundays, I ­­________.”

“Every day of the week I run for an hour at 6:30am, but Sundays are different. On Sundays, I ­­run for an hour at 6:30pm. What’s life without a little variety?”

To check out the other responses go here.