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The Penrath Chronicles : Blackest of Hearts

Spurred on from the moment she’d felt her father’s essence weakening Kendra had left the kitchen and was halfway down the hall before the coffee cup hit the floor and shattered. Kendra was halfway down the hall. The sensation of his fading image and a sense of dread being forced into her mind was one she’d only experienced once before. It lent speed to her movements and as quickly as she could she passed through the front door and down the drive dragging the car keys from her handbag as she went. With a snap of her fingers she unlocked the central locking and threw open the door before hurling herself into the driver’s seat in a single movement.   Even before the key was in the ignition she’d started to connect with the source of her father’s essence and from the moment the car headed toward the road at the end of the drive had concentrated on its source. Allowing it to guide her she drove as quickly as she dared ignoring the occasional blast of car horn from behind her as the panic she felt motivated her to take certain liberties where road safety was concerned. Fifteen minutes later the sense of dread she’d felt only increased when the hospital swung into view and she felt herself being drawn toward it. Less than a minute later she parked in the first empty space she found within the car park and disregarded the pay and display meter she raced straight through into the main entrance of the hospital. Taking a moment to stamp her feet to drive the snow from her shoes she then strode over to the reception and all but elbowed the woman standing there aside, “I’m looking for Arthur Weyland,” she said, “I understand he was brought here”. The young nurse on the other side of...

A Ghost of Eurydice

by Adam Wilby James watched as the last of the group departed from his pub, the door closing behind them almost in time with Kirsty McColl as she exchanged reminiscences with Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. Now that they were gone the bar was now empty and he wished them a safe trip home. The wind could clearly be heard blowing a storm outside and there would no doubt be tidying up to be done tomorrow. A fresh torrent of rain lashed against the windows and as he took a moment to look round at the Christmas decorations, in less than a week they would all be boxed up and back upstairs in the cupboard, all the better for them to be out of sight and out of mind in his opinion, he only put them up because it was expected for him to do so. A new song started playing on the jukebox and he checked his watch. A quarter past two in the afternoon and given that it was Christmas Day there were unlikely to be any more customers. The rest of day could now be his to kick off his shoes and sit upstairs with his feet up. There would no doubt be the usual feel-good Christmas TV on, inclusive of a token film in the vein of It’s a Wonderful Life, intermingled with a fair dose of TV drama. As he walked the length of the bar he reached out without needing to look and stroked a finger across her photograph which had long been positioned in the same place on the wall. Tomorrow it would be three years to the day since she’d been gone and he’d unquestionably feel the same sense of shame he always did, perhaps this year the conversations he’d have with customers would be enough of a distraction. If not...

Dusty ole Doll

Found this dusty little doll up in the attic, and remembered. Stories! Found them all crumpled, deteriorated, half moth-eaten, the fluff of her soul. “Let’s start this again,” she whispered, her voice tart and moldy. I liked her. “Sure, why not?” I embraced her. And then a silly thing. A weird thing. Unreal. It happened. Perhaps she simply disintegrated in my grasp, but I could swear – I still feel the itch – that she diffused into my skin. I feel different now. Confident. Inspired. (Hell, I look different, too (see above)) Or maybe that’s just the irradiated half-caff, half-nuked, pure toxic get-up-and-go drink festering in my gut. Whether or what, there’s gonna be some changes going on around this old joint. 1. I declare myself the dictator of my own realm. Muah ha ha haaaaaa 2. I declare a thumb war! 3. I do declare that I will post more often. Creatively. (Or not) 4. And I will try not to...

Phantom of the Pen

-by Lori Moritz Writing tools are important. Consider the tools above: a pen, a pen case, ink, and a Carnival of Venice Mask. Why are these important? The Pen There is nothing like writing by hand. It creates a mental time warp that slows thought down to perfect narrative speed. It buffers the mind enough to imbue language with passion, something I can’t get while typing at ludicrous speed illuminated by nothing but the milky backlight of a computer screen. Writing instruments are personal. I prefer fountain pens that are heavy. I can’t hold a pen like that; I must wield it. Fountain pens glide over the paper and magically make their mark independent from pressure or force. I can write for a long time riding the inertia and momentum of such a pen. The only trick is getting up enough force to start. (ahem) I also love how such pens vibrate in response to the texture of the paper. Point is: the correct writing tool will inspire you. Find the pen, the color, and the notebook! (the only thing missing in my photo…) that you LOVE. And write in it. Write stupid things. Write smart things. Write secrets and write puns. Test out a few until you find a favorite, and then incorporate your pen into your writing routine. Computer work is fine, but every writer needs to write a little by hand. The Pen Case: Simple. A wonderful pen must be protected from would be pen fiddlers. The case is the solution. Ink: The right color and consistency is a key partner to your pen. Not Pictured Here Paper: Make sure you get paper that doesn’t bleed. You should enjoy the texture of it. Try a few in various notebooks. Carnival of Venice Mask: If it makes you feel like part of the Eyes Wide Shut Cast,...

Exercise for Better Writing Ideas

By Lori Moritz This is not about a writing exercise… this is a writing about exercise… the physical kind. I have read it countless times by a countless number of successful writers: You should exercise your body if you want to exercise your mind. Now, I used to shrug this stuff off with an, “ of course!” But that was because I always maintained a strict exercise schedule consisting of running, biking, and weight-lifting… that is, until I had a baby. That sort of threw a wrench in the whole “I’m the healthiest writer in the Universe!!!” mantra. It wasn’t that I had no time to get the sweat on. Instead, I had absolutely no motivation to find out that I had gotten VERY out of shape. So, many months pass with absolutely NO exercise, and guess what… the same amount of months pass with NO writing or fresh writing ideas, either. Why was that? Well, I wasn’t exercising. So, how does exercise help the writing mind? For me, exercise forces me to get deep in thought… it is the only way I can avoid the pain of exertion. While deep in thought, the ideas flow. I can concentrate on character, plot line, dialogue… I find solutions to logical inconsistencies in my storyline… it’s amazing! Recently, I have had a dearth of ideas. Running cured that. It happened this weekend, when I decided to start back on the old routine. I took a four-mile loop around the neighborhood and ran into a patch of bees. In short, I got stung in the chest, back, and the upper left arm. I have an aunt that is deathly allergic to bees. I asked myself the question, “What if I were deathly allergic to bees?” I really could be. It runs in the family. I wondered if I should stop running and...

Writing Challenge

Time for a new challenge… it’s been awhile. Parameters: Write a short response to the prompt. Read and respond to other responses. Vote for your favorites by clicking the thumbs up. (Note, it will only let you vote once per user or per IP address) After enough responses and votes come in, a winner will be chosen. Prizes: At this time, the winning entry will receive a custom illustration for their story, and a featured post on my website. (For you to bedazzle everyone with!) Prompt: . It is said that a ghost roams this shanty farm. Who (Or What) is it? How long has it been there? Why does it lurk here? What does it see? Tell us its...

Zombie Dreams (with a Werewolf Cameo)

. Zombies are ruining my sleep…. . For the past few weeks, I can’t seem to escape a night without  having multiple dreams populated with horrific zombies in pursuit of my flesh. Last night, the dreams were extra memorable: I found myself in my childhood house. I stood outside at the very edge of the driveway and saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see three zombies by the swing set, taking note of my presence and coming for me. These zombies had some interesting features (zombie 3.0 Beta version, I think). They sported the usual rotten bodies… half face/half skull, shreds of flesh dangling with shreds of muddied clothing. They generally lumbered along, but they had ‘burst of speed.’ . Burst of speed! . Can you imagine a zombie creeping up on you from behind with burst of speed? It happened to me in the stairwell. (God knows why I decided to escape the zombie by going upstairs into a confined room. Maybe I was attempting to get up on the roof and throw the zombie off… I’m not necessarily the most intelligent person in my dreams, evidently.) I ascended the stairs, and a zombie came upon me with burst of speed. I had to kick it off. Thank god it didn’t bite me. Now get this, I grab a PENCIL to protect myself (thinking I could puncture its skull, har har). At this point the zombie starts singing. SINGING? Yes. Not the typical nasty moan you might expect. No, this was a siren’s call. It sounded so alluringly beautiful… haunting and pleasant… I had to turn around. I gaze upon this putrified thing at the bottom of the steps with brimming eyes. It sang at me again (Sang at me, ha!). I felt sorry for it. The sound made me long to...

Italio Calvino

I am currently reading If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italio Calvino. When I read the first pages, I didn’t like it. Then I read it again, altered my perspective a bit, and VOILA! It’s like what he was trying to do dawned on me. Anyone else have thoughts on...