O Come All Ye Faithful

It’s amazing what a person will do for love, isn’t it? Some will up sticks and move to another country. Others will get tattoos that declare ownership in one way or another. But me? Well, last year I took part in a reindeer race – where I was one of the reindeer – for my boyfriend, Kris, and this year?

This year I’m standing in the middle of a round clippy mat in the front room of Nick’s flat wearing nothing but a pair of black stockings and the big sparkly diamond ring that had been glamming up my left hand since last New Year’s Eve. Continue reading “O Come All Ye Faithful”

Christmas Memories

*Please be aware that this is a sad story, so if you’re feeling fragile maybe come back and read it later*

Of all the houses we looked at when we first decided to live together, this one had been the least like what we thought we wanted. I’d wanted an old doer upper, you’d wanted something newly built, but as soon as we cast our sceptical eyes on this place we knew it was the right one. It isn’t old, nor is it new. Kind of like our love.

I love this room. It’s warm in here. You were right when you said the log burning stove would still heat the place long after it burned out. And I was right when I said a wide, tall Christmas tree would look special in the bay window. Continue reading “Christmas Memories”

Carved in a Heart

*If you haven’t already, you can read part one of this story here*

Sitting at one of the outdoor tables at The Hand That Feeds – the bistro across the road to my office block which is owned by my father-in-law – I listen to my husband’s excited chatter. The family is opening up another three places within the next week, and Simon’s token ‘area manager’ job title is suddenly about to mean something. He’s delighted, and I’m delighted for him.

I really do adore this man. I love listening to him when he his exuberant nature takes over. He talks with his hands, throws his arms wide, his clear blue eyes sparkle like sunlight on water. He raises his voice and bangs the table, his contagious laugh spreading not just to whoever he’s talking to, but to anyone within earshot. Continue reading “Carved in a Heart”

It’s Been a While

Just as I walked in from the kitchen with a steaming bowl of popcorn in my hands, my housemate, Masie, squealed. She was over by the TV, flitting between Anna and Richie, arching her back so that Jack – who lived with us, too, and who just happened to be my best friend – couldn’t whip her ass with a rolled-up towel again.

When he saw I was back, Jack waggled his eyebrows and grinned at me. He had such a dopey smile. An all teeth and rosy cheeks one that made his eyes crinkle and his ears twitch. I’d never been able to ignore that smile. Every time I saw it, I never failed to return it with a helpless one of my own. But not tonight. Tonight, I was pissed at the world, and – best friend or not – he wasn’t getting a damned thing from me. I stared back at him, just long enough for him to register my lack of response, then rolled my eyes and joined our other housemate, Toni, on the floor. Continue reading “It’s Been a While”

The Big Finish

And the only date she’d ever gone on with him hadn’t even been a real date – just a stolen hour when he’d pulled her away from the rest of the party.
Excerpt from page 69 of ‘Fallen’ by Lauren Kate

The first friend I made when my family moved to Cedar Avenue was Britt Donaldson. We bumped into each other not five minutes after Dad’s car pulled up behind the removal van.  Most of the other kids had looked at us like they thought the Addams family had just moved in, but not Britt. She sat on the fence opposite our new house with pursed lips, her tiny nod telling me that she knew exactly what I was going through. Continue reading “The Big Finish”

Getting Lucky

A quick check of the clock informs me that it’s almost six. The last client went home fifteen minutes ago and all that’s left for me to do before I go home is clean the changing room. Dragging the mop bucket behind me with one hand, I sweep the corridor in a haphazard fashion. I’m missing bits, but I don’t care. My mind isn’t on work. It’s on something else entirely. That something?

Miss Lucky Bellamy. Continue reading “Getting Lucky”

The Uncalled For Call

Everything seems loud in a room that’s unnaturally quiet. A rogue gust of wind outside the window sounds like a tornado. The ticking of a clock sounds like a never-ending series of tiny exploding bombs. And your own heartbeat thudding in your ears sounds like the background to an eerie horror movie.

My gaze flicks to the clock, then after seeing that it’s almost five minutes to nine, it slides to the calendar. I always worry I’ll get the date wrong, but no. Today is the day. The anniversary of an event that should never have happened the first time, but had been happening at nine o’clock on this exact date for the past five years.

The drumming of my nails on the table is as loud as the thundering of hooves to my ears. I’ve never found anticipation easy to deal with, I’m just too impatient. Continue reading “The Uncalled For Call”

Sons of Satan

Screaming hinges was one of the worst sounds in the world. It set my teeth on edge and gave me an itch in my head that was impossible to scratch. I assessed the solid double doors in front of me with weary eyes. Weathered wood, wrought iron studs, and hinges that looked like they hadn’t moved in a thousand years. Yeah, this one was gonna be a screecher.

Grumbling quietly to myself, I let my fingers curl around the imposing black ring on the inner side of the door on the right. It was icy cold, making me shiver just like I had the first time I’d walked into this derelict old church. Something about the place felt off. Sinister. Continue reading “Sons of Satan”

Danse Macabre

We’ve been sitting in this mulchy undergrowth for over an hour. It’s cold, wet, and dark. The woodland floor is soft and decaying, but still alive with the comings and goings of critters preparing to bed down for the next seven months. They snuffle around us but don’t come close, actively avoiding the giants that have invaded their home.

Above us, leaves that have clung stubbornly to their branches crackle and scratch, making it sound like the tree is shivering and bending. I look up and see what looks like a thousand grotesquely long, gnarled fingers standing in silhouette against the almost full Harvest Moon, letting myself imagine the tree leaning over to warm itself in our collective body heat. Continue reading “Danse Macabre”

The Spider and the Fly

One by one, candles sputter to life on wrought iron stands and sconces along the back wall of the room. I’ve been leaning against the doorframe in the dark for so long it takes my eyes almost a full minute to adjust to the light, and once they do, my already thundering pulse beats just a little bit faster.

Because, even though I can see now, everything is still black. Walls, floor, bed frame and sheets…all black. Continue reading “The Spider and the Fly”