An Evening of Writing

I’ve been doing some more writing this evening, specifically to flesh out one of my short stories to a better length for the planned collection. The piece I’ve selected was around 3000 words when I started, and has now over doubled in size to around 7000 words.

I’m aiming to get each of the stories to between 5000 and 10000 words, though there are some that work as flash fiction that I may preserve. There are also some other seeds of stories that I’ve scribbled ideas or paragraphs for.

All in all then, a successful evening after a slightly tense working day. Hopefully I can keep this momentum up.

Above all else, I have at least managed to resist the temptation to actively write about anyone I know. Honest.

Short Story: Saving the World

There are few things as marvellous than the sight and sound of your partners plotting together. Well, I’m sure there are some who might find it frightening, but even that depends on whether you’ve annoyed them or have been playing silly buggers with someone’s heart.

In this case it was a calming and wonderful thing to come home to, even if the place did look like a bomb had hit it. There were pieces of paper and dismantled calendars mixed with glitter, glue, and a worrying number of empty coffee cups across the main living room.

They looked up at me, with identical grins that were verging on being slightly too wide. It was no exaggeration to say that there was an air of mischeviousness to the scene.

“We’ve been talking.” Em said. She tried and failed to look serious for a moment.

“Yes,” said Bea, “and you need to sit and listen.” A glitter-sprinkled hand patted the floor beside them authoritatively.

The automatic fear response of any male to the words “we’ve been talking” tried to kick in, but it was tempered by a mental admonishment to stop being a wuss. Nine times out of ten, especially with the expressions currently on their faces, it actually meant “There’s something we need you to do but it’s a bit cheeky because we know we could do it ourselves, so pretty please because there’s foot rubs and soppiness in it for you.”

I eased myself down to sit with them, sweeping a clear patch. It wasn’t particularly successful, and I ended up picking scraps of paper out from under me as I settled. I gave up worrying about the glitter long ago.

“Okay, so who’s rage-quit on the arts and craft project?” I received a dead arm from Em in retaliation while Bea laughed. I held up my working hand in surrender. “Ow! Okay then, sore point, okay!” We laughed, and I took a better look at the debris around me. “So, what am I being roped into?”

They grinned. That normally means trouble for someone, and the amount of mess suggested they were plotting something big.

“Well it’s like this,” said Bea, their eyes glinting. “It’s been a horrible year for so many people, and so many more people have given in and let their more horrible instincts out.” Bea smiled at Em as she reached over. Their fingers interlaced, with a faint glow around their fingertips as they made contact.

This was nothing unusual for them, most people have a glow when in love, it’s just not usually this visible. I always counted myself lucky to see it, even if it was sometimes unnerving.

“So..?” I reached out to them both and took their hands. On a conscious level, it was as simple and intimate as it looked, though perhaps my action also contained an urge to restrain what felt like an imminent explosion.

“Well, we thought we’d do something about it, so we’ve been assembling a Working. We’re going to invert the whole thing and make everything shiny again.” My heart sank and I gripped their hands more tightly. The glow spread, and I could feel the tug of their glamour.

“Really?” I kissed their fingertips. “You’re relying on me to be the voice of reason here?”

“What’s reason got to do with it?” Em laughed, and scraps of calendar began to char and lift into the air. Bea’s eyes were sparkling, and I felt the hairs on my arms raise in sheer panic – or possibly it was just static electricity.

People have compared their lovers to gods and goddesses all through the ages, but let me tell you, the experience of sharing your life with the real deal is terrifying. They won’t mind me saying that; I’m pretty sure they get a buzz out of it.

The glow was growing stronger, and I could feel tension stretching the air as my loves decided to change the world. I shook my head. Bea looked at me, quizzically, and squeezed my hand.

“This isn’t right.”

“You humans are being awful, you need to let love in.” Em said. “You’re always saying you need a kick up the arse when you’re being stupid. This is the same thing.”

“It bloody isn’t.”

“We’ll make this year great, just you see.” Bea smiled softly. I sighed, and prepared to possibly literally lose my head.

“No, you won’t. You’ll make an illusion, a glamour to snare the world, but it still won’t be real. And you’ll be changing me too. I thought you said you liked me how I am?”

They didn’t like that. The glow snapped out of existence and pieces of paper, card, glitter, bones, and candles all fell to the floor around us.

Silence fell in the room too. The goddesses looked at me, and I was very aware of how ephemeral I was. I was right though, and they just needed a moment.

Then they grinned again and told me to order pizza. Some orders from on high I’m very happy to follow. It’s a tough job saving the world, but I’m glad I’m the one who has to do it.

A New year Challenge

I’ve been meaning to get serious about writing again for a while, and regularly updating this site has been a step in that process. Now comes the next step: inspired by a challenge that Mre B set herself successfully last year where she set out to write a short story every day.

In a moment of enthusiasm I said if she was successful, I would match that goal this year, story for story with her. So here we are. Just as well I was planning to do it anyway.

I’m not making any commitments about story length or style – we’ll just see how they come along, won’t that be exciting?

New Short Fiction

I’ve just updated the Hidden Sunbury page with a link to a new story – The Church That Wasn’t There. This little nook of the site is going to be devoted to background and observational pieces around the novel “Autumn’s Teeth” that is currently in development, so the tone and content may shift and alter as I throw things up to see what sticks.