#tuesdayuseitinasentence : If only

Bed sheets, linen

Image : Pixabay

His gaze fell upon the flower still clinging behind her ear. Its petals were flushed coral, curled back like lips parted in surprise. Her hair tumbled from its clip, curls lapping her neck. A tangle of sheets pillowed her head, exposed a shoulder, an arm thrown behind her, fingers still gripping the fabric even now.

If only she had said yes.


Well, that went creepier than I expected!

Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today the word is GAZE. Pop along here and join the fun.

#tuesdayuseitinasentence : Hard and black and heavy

‘It was just an accident. There was no reason.’ He wants to sit down, you can see it in his body language, the uncertain bobbing between standing and the hard backed chair.

It’s ridiculous, of course. There are always reasons. He was rushing home to watch the match on TV; he only had a provisional licence and was driving alone; the road was wet and the brake pads were worn. All small decisions he made that led to this.

There’s a spot of dried blood on his neck from where he’s caught himself shaving and his shirt’s grey from overwashing, crinkled as if it’s just been pulled from the laundry basket.

The sight makes me furious. That he didn’t deem this day important enough to buy a new shirt. That he’s too lazy to iron the old one.

That my son isn’t worth the effort.

Finally he sits. I sense his relief at being out of the spotlight and my anger rises again. So much has centred around him – what he did, what he thought, his excuses – and not around Jamie. As if the loss of our boy is merely a supporting act to the main attraction.

Someone speaks, but I’m not sure who and he’s rising from his seat, being led from the dock. Just for a moment he looks up, looks right at me, quickly looks away.

But not before I’ve seen him, seen his smallness, how his fear has shrunk him, has burrowed inside, hollowing him out until there’s nothing but terror, hard and black and heavy. His shoelace flaps loose, pattering on the floor tiles. He’s so young, so very young.

And I’m crying.


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventure’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. The word today is REASON. Why not pop along here and join in?

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Winking into darkness

Earth rise - earth from the moon

Image : Pixabay


There was no one to feel the blast, to bend under the pressure wave or see the glass turn to powder in the window frames, the bricks vapourise beyond dust.

No one was there when the tsunamis hit, dissolving what remained of the houses and factories, the schools and churches, washing the land clean of man.

Everyone from the blue green planet was strapped inside their metal pods, breathing recycled air, drinking recycled water, flying to new worlds burning under new suns.

Some would always yearn for the old life, but all that was left of home now were stories, myths of warm oceans and blue skies. And soon even they vanished like a distant star winking into darkness.


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence – this week the word is BLAST. See here to join in and to read the other stories.



#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Contents and all

Shopping trolley, homeless person

Image : Pixabay


Rita was the kind of old lady people euphemistically call a ‘colourful character’.

She walked the streets of our town pushing an old supermarket shopping trolley draped with carrier bags, leaving lengths of string and elastic bands and the smell of unwashed skin in her wake.

Small children made a sport of tugging at her bags so they shed their load of plastic bottle caps and cigarette packets on the pavement, a grubby confetti trail to show she’d passed that way.

She cursed continually – at the weather, at people, at the sky. She swore as she rooted through the bins, truffling for half-eaten burgers and discarded sandwiches, though she never really spoke to anyone – at least no one who was actually there.

Her trolley was found by the canal, bags rustling, wheels squeaking as the wind juddered it back and forth along the footpath.

The supermarket refused to take the trolley back so it went to landfill, contents and all.


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayusitinasentence. See the word – this week it’s COLOURFUL – and use it in a story or post. See here to join in.



#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Her dark armour

Goth girl

Image : Pixabay

The assumption that those deserving of love will receive it is a fallacy, as sweet and baseless and fragile as a nest of spun sugar.

Made from wishful thinking, this misguided idea takes shape in the naive and guileless through every honey dipped romantic comedy, every page of rose hued chick-lit, every strained simile in every heart stuffed, petal strewn, cliche crafted love song.

That’s why Nesta prefers to watch slasher movies while reading Stephen King novels and listening to Fleshcrawl on her phone. Together, they are her dark armour.

Then she meets Stevie, who shares her thoughts on love, on The Shining and the Saw movies. And who loves German death metal …


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventures’ #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word – this week it’s FALACY – and write a tale.

See here for more about Fleshcrawl.

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Cola Supernova

Red chilli pepper in front of grey

Image : Pixabay


He talks about her all through lunch at work, over the radio blaring eighties hits. ‘There’s a heat between us when we touch. It’s animal,’ he says. His mate turns the radio up a notch.

She’s out with a friend getting a manicure and when asked about him she shrugs, turns back to her celebrity magazine, the candid snap of a drunken starlet. ‘Have you seen the thighs on her?’

He buys a ring second hand, too big for its velvet box. When he buffs it on his sleeve and holds it to the light, it glows white hot, a supernova caught between his fingers.

She booked the restaurant – mid-price but not too shabby – and part way through dessert, he drops to one knee and her heart sinks. She’s just taken a mouthful of pavlova and before it melts on her tongue, before she has chance to speak, she sees the size of the diamond. Suddenly, his tight suit looks hipster cool, his features chiselled not gaunt. ‘Okay.’ She smiles through a mouthful of cream.

Fifteen years later, the ring is on the table between them, a chunk of gaudy ice. Funny how that stone never seems to catch the light anymore.


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventure’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. Today the prompt word is HEAT. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

The title is a play on the Oasis song, Champagne Supernova.


#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Devils rising from the sea

Illuminated manuscript, gold leaf, calligraphy

Image Pixabay


‘Brother Ablenden.’ The old man was still bent at the manuscript, quill scratching in his cribbed hand.

Orvin waited, hoping Ablenden would come without him having to pull him away.

The rumours had first wound their way towards them along the coast path, through pilgrims toiling south to Lindisfarne and Durham. There had been tales of dragon ships breathing fire, steered by devils with horns and cloven hooves. But they had felt like myths until the first house fell, all the brothers slaughtered at their prayers, reliquaries melting in the fires that followed.

This morning Halwende had seen them first – spots on the horizon, sails flapping red against the blue dawn. Now the dragon ships were off the coast, the sound of their oars growing louder with every minute, water glinting at their wake as if the sea was on fire.

Father Abbot had sent the icons away days before, wrapped in linen, bundled in saddle bags. But the books … Orvin gazed around the scriptorium, at the shelves of leather bound manuscripts, gold bosses shining in the candlelight like bites of the sun captured. The brothers were too few and too frail to carry them away. Orvin’s heart ached for the hours of diligence and toil wasted.


The old man looked up from the vellum with squinting, mole like eyes. ‘Brother Orvin?’ He seemed surprised to see him, though his name had been spoken four times. With ink blackened fingers, Ablenden placed his quill in the inkwell. ‘Are they almost here?’

Orvin nodded, unable to speak.

‘Come,’ said the old monk. ‘Help me to my knees. We must pray.’

As Orvin gave him his arm, he saw the page Ablenden had been working on. It was an illumination of the beast with seven heads in gold and sapphire and jade, rising from the sea  …


Written for Stephanie at Word Adventure’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. This week’s word is ICON. Not it’s not Tuesday and I am very late, but in hope that Stephanie will forgive me. See here to read the other stories and to join in.