Saturday 28 September 2013

A Cherokee Rose/ Daryl Dixon/Fan Fave/ TWD Blog Hop Emma


A taut bow, with a quick release, the arrow flew to its target, a thud between the eyes. The walker dropped. Emma edged forward, crossbow poised, retracting the arrow with a squelch, wiping it clean and moving on. Hunting for dinner was much harder now she was on the menu. A rustle up ahead stopped her. She waited, only to be met by silence.  A feeling she was being stalked shot adrenalin through her body. But her attention was drawn to tracks; a small dear, fresh too. And just up ahead she saw it. The creature was grazing, unaware of the danger. Silently, Emma raised her bow, her breath steady as her fingers pulled back, ready to release. Without warning, the deer fell. Startled, Emma kept her crossbow aimed where the deer once stood as a man approached it.

“Hey!” Emma whispered, “That’s mine!”

“Don’t see how when it’s my arrow.” Emma edged closer. “I don’t feel comfortable with you aiming that thing at me,”

“It’s not aiming at you,” Emma replied coolly, releasing the bow. A walker dropped.


“You can thank me later Daryl,” she replied with a smile, giving him a quick kiss.   

Emma had met Daryl whilst out hunting not long after the walkers came or turned; Emma wasn’t sure which. After having to kill her own mother and brother after they were bit, she was on her own, moving around the woods, stopping in barns for shelter, until Daryl. At first they hunted together; finding two bows better than one, sharing the spoils. Then Daryl invited Emma into his sanctuary once she had earned his trust. After that, he invited her into his bed. His brother, Merle, was less than thrilled. But somehow, the three got along; as long as there was enough food.

For so long it had just been Daryl and Merle and Daryl wouldn't have been half the man if it wasn’t for Merle looking out for him, saving him from the abuse of their father. That’s why he hunted; solitude kept him sane, focused his mind, ready for the onslaught when he got home. Little did he know how useful it would be now there were walkers.    

Merle eyed the deer hungrily, expertly butchering it quickly, disposing of the waste cleanly so as not to attract walkers. And they feasted.

The full moon looked down as Daryl let the cool air roll over him, sitting on the porch with a beer and a full belly, crossbow at his side. Despite the world turned on its head, he felt life was good and he could make a proper go of it. Not one for sharing, Daryl was ready now to share everything.

“Hey,” Emma said, sitting down next to him. Daryl pulled Emma in close, staring into her soul, running his fingers through her dark strands and showering her with feather like kisses, nuzzling her soft silky neck as she melted into his arms.

“I’ll keep watch tonight,” Merle said gruffly, plonking himself down. “Seriously, go and do what you do,” he grimaced, swigging on a beer.

Daryl curled into Emma and for the first time in a long time, since the walkers, he slept soundly. She gave him comfort and normality in a crazy world.

A crack shattered the silent night and Daryl was up, grabbing his trousers along with his crossbow, “Merle!”

“Walkers, god dam it!” Merle screamed, firing his gun again and again. “They’re everywhere!” The air was thick with the smell of rancid flesh, the sound of rasping and rattling as they dragged their carcasses towards fresh meat. Snarling, showing their teeth from which they ripped flesh from bone, they came. Daryl was quick with his bow, his aim true as one by one walkers fell. Emma joined him as Merle continued with the gun.

“Stay with me Emma, whatever you do, stay with me,” Daryl urged.

“We need to get out of here!” Merle yelled, “There’s too many of ‘em.” Daryl grabbed Emma’s hand and they ran, round the back of the house, Merle following. They could see the jeep, tantalisingly close but two walkers were heading towards them. Merle aimed his gun.

“Will you stop firing that thing!” Daryl shouted, firing his crossbow. A walker fell. But a knife piercing the skull finished him off. “Get to the jeep, I’ll be right there,” Daryl ordered as he reloaded and aimed. The walker fell in a pile of decaying flesh. Another appeared out of nowhere and Daryl swung round, knife impaled into the stomach, putrid guts spewing out over him. Sinking the knife into the skull finished the job. He heard the sound of the jeep choke into life, a scream from Emma and Merle’s gun firing. A walker dropped. Daryl jumped in and Merle sped, ramming into a walker before leaving their home for good. They drove into the night, the house and walkers far behind before Emma asked them to stop. Merle ignored her, wanting as much distance as possible behind them.

“Stop the jeep!” she yelled, “I've been bit!” The car swerved to a halt.

“What . . . . . How . . . . . . Where . . . . . . . Are you sure?” Daryl was a mass of confusion as he followed Emma from the jeep. She turned and faced him, tears running down her pallid cheeks as she showed him her ankle; blood still dripping from the deep gouge. Daryl stared, horror etched all over his face, burning deep into his heart.

“When I was getting into the jeep . . . . . . a walker . . . . . . I didn’t see it,” she sobbed. Daryl rushed to her, wrapping his strong arms around her. “I don’t want to turn Daryl. I saw my family turn, please don’t let me turn.”She kissed him, hard, wanting to devour him and stay like this forever.  

“I can’t.”  

“You have to.”

“Lay with me.” They curled up, beneath a tree where a bed of white roses bloomed, lying together, crying silently, until Emma fell into a sleep from which Daryl made sure she would never waken.


And that's my entry. A snippet into the life of Daryl Dixon before he met up with Rick and co. Thanks to Ruth Long over at bullishink and Lisa McCourt Hollar and Sarah Aisling for hosting this awesome event. Now go and find your inner zombie and write a tale of walkers. . . . . .

PS I was sooooo tempted to call Emma Lizzie. . . . . Love Daryl!!!! xxxx

Thursday 26 September 2013

Thursday Threads Then I Can Help You

It's been a while since I contributed to Thursday Threads over at Siobhan Muir's The Weird, the Wild and the Wicked. Actually, it's been a while since I submitted any flash fiction. But, slowly getting back into the groove and really hope you like this piece where the phrase 'then I can help you' has to be included somewhere in the story. And no more than 250 words. . . . . 

Her heart wasn’t just broken; it was shattered into sharp splinters of bitterness, puncturing all her memories with a thick, black slick of revenge. Molly had shed no more tears after finding Daniel tangled up with a mystery brunette. No more swollen, red face, no more wallowing on the sofa with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s in her Disney pjs.  

A passing comment had given her a new direction, a new focus, a new zeal for life. Meeting ‘H’ for the third time, Molly took extra care with her makeup, new hair and a more modern, sophisticated wardrobe that celebrated her figure. Her time was now spent pondering ‘H’ and what it stood for as well as how her friend knew him in the first place. He wasn’t one for giving information as he sat and listened to Molly’s tale, nodding occasionally before declaring, “then I can help you,” once Molly handed over the manila envelope across the sticky pub table. His large, tattooed hand reached out, not checking the contents before sliding it inside his deep leather pocket. It unnerved Molly.

“You won’t see me again, you won’t try to find me,” he said gruffly as he stood, towering above her.

“How will I know it’s done?” Molly’s ruby lips trembled.

“You’ll know.” He opened the battered pub door before turning back, “A word of advice; get rid of the gangster’s moll lippy; you’re supposed to be heartbroken, not putting out a hit.”


Tuesday 10 September 2013

Dear Willow- My Daily Picspiration piece

Dear Willow

Marcus stretched out an arm and on feeling the cold, crisp sheet, he awoke. The dim light of dawn slipped through the blinds, outlining the sumptuous bed, showing he was alone. He lay, staring up at the ceiling, sleep evading him as the big, cold empty bed mocked him. He glanced towards the door where the outline of a shoulder bag hung against what he knew was his favourite shirt. That frayed and faded denim shoulder bag! Everywhere Willow went, that bag always hung at her side. She called it her ‘day bag’ which was why it was hung on the back of the door; night time called for something glamorous, chic and small; just enough room for a lipstick, house key and cash. 

Marcus looked at the clock; ten past four. He imagined Willow would be hobbling along the street towards the beach for breakfast, watching the sun rise after dancing the night away, carrying her heels in her hands, enjoying the cool paving stones and sand against her sore feet. He smiled. What was the point of shoes you couldn’t possibly walk in, let alone dance in! But a whole wardrobe of assorted high heels proved he didn’t know what he was talking about. 

Eventually, Marcus rose from his emptiness, stopping at the door. Touching his shirt, he smelt Willow’s perfume. It was his favourite shirt because she looked so good in it, roaming around the flat as it draped her curves; just hiding what he knew was his. He closed his eyes, feeling her smooth, silky skin as his hands balled into fists, scrunching the shirt. He hated waking up and finding her absent. He hated the worry, the wondering and the anxiousness. He hated having to listen, straining his hearing for the sound of a cab outside, the key in the lock but hated it even more that the sounds were missing. 

The kettle boiled. Steam swirled around the window to the ceiling. As he drank his black coffee, Marcus saw the smiley face appear in the window. Willow always drew them. One would be waiting for him in the bathroom mirror after his shower and on the windows of his car. He didn’t mind the smiley faces but he drew the line at her leaving meat and two veg all over the car windows especially when he was stopped by the police. Another smile spread across his weary face, remembering such an incident and trying to explain the window art. Dangerous territory loomed. He hated being alone. Mornings were the worst; everything was so quiet. 

He reached for the notepad and pen that sat in the middle of the table. Flicking through the pages of notes to each other, he found a blank page. 

Hi Willow, he began to write, another fine morning, promising to be a glorious, sunny day. You always said the best part of clubbing was the morning sunrise on the beach and you’re amazed at how many people are ignorant to it but then, it’s more for you to enjoy. You’d hate the crowds if they descended on your special time and space. I have realised there is so much I now hate Willow. I’m not usually so full of it but right now I hate the world! He stopped, pen poised, waiting for his anger to dissipate.

I saw the smiley face you left me. Better than your previous artwork. But I still wish you were here rather than g- 
he was going to write gallivanting but knew it was wrong.You know how I hate an empty bed. You owe me. He paused. The jingling of milk bottles on door steps, a dog barking, a car starting. Life was waking up. 

So I guess I’ll be seeing you later, all bleary eyed and moaning you’re tired. Well it’s all self inflicted Willow, Honey. And please, don’t nag me for chocolate because you’re hung-over. I’m not going to stop off to buy you any. I’ll give you a hug instead. Boy, there is nothing I’d like more than a hug right now Willow. Today is going to be tough. But then you already know that. He stopped again, staring down at the words, words he knew were false. What on earth was he talking about? Chocolate? His hand wanted to screw the page up, knowing it was stupid, but instead he abruptly stood up. A hot shower soothed him and on throwing back the curtain he was met by the smiley face in the mirror. 

Marcus dressed in his charcoal suit with slim tie. He quickly buffed his shoes and took one last glance in the mirror then at the denim bag and white shirt. He gulped, taking a deep breath before closing the door. 

“You alright mate?” Neville asked as Marcus sat in the passenger seat. “I guess that’s a dumb question. Here.” He handed Marcus a bottle a beer. 

“It’s a bit early for this.” 

“Thought you might need a little bit of courage,” Neville replied with a shrug. Marcus knew he meant well and cracked open the bottle. He’d been up hours already so technically it was lunchtime as far as his body clock was concerned. “I also got you this.” Neville handed over a small red rose for his buttonhole. Marcus stroked the delicate petals, Willow’s favourite flower which was his fault. It was their first date and he drunkenly bought her a red rose from a seller in the pub. Everyone did it and he felt a bit of a prat for doing it but she loved it especially when even now, he still bought her the single red rose when in the pub, three years later. Why had he waited three years for today? He thought he had all the time in the world. How wrong was he? The buttonhole in place, flanked by Neville, he walked into the room where Willow’s parents were waiting next to their drowsy daughter. 

She looked beautiful. 

Willow’s dark hair was glossy, her lips stained in a frosty pink. She held a small bouquet of red roses in her delicate hands where her nails had been painted in her favourite colour; purple. She opened her eyes and they sparkled, well at least to Marcus. They would always sparkle. Marcus sat by her, taking her hand, planting a gentle kiss on her warm lips. 

“I guess we’d better do this thing,” smiled Marcus, “if you still want me?” It was a joke. nerves getting the better of him. 

“You know I do Marcus.” Willow’s whisper was barely audible. A nurse adjusted the equipment and the wedding service began. It was over in five minutes. Willow and Marcus were now married, surrounded by flowers, cards and balloons as well as monitors, wires and drips. 

“I wrote you another letter,” Marcus began, a tear running down his cheek. He had found writing letters to Willow was his coping mechanism,“but I forgot it.” He always forgot them. They were for his eyes only. 

“Tell me what it said.” She closed her eyes as he told her about the silly heels he’d miss, the smiley faces, her late nights out as he waited for her to come home, hating the wait. But she would never be coming home, not now, after the taxi ride home ended up in a collision with a stolen car a week ago. 

The tears ran freely down his face, dripping onto her soft hand. He heard the gut wrenching sobs of her parents and Neville. Time was precious and vanishing quicker than water through a sieve. Lastly, he spoke about that tatty denim bag and white shirt, before declaring his love for her always. He knew they were the last words Willow heard. The strong, caring hand of Willow’s father rested on his trembling shoulder as Marcus cried helplessly, burying his head in Willow’s fading warmth. 

If you enjoyed this tale, inspired by a picture prompt, them please visit where you can read and comment on this story and others by amazing writers. xxx

Monday 9 September 2013

'My friends and I' - Annie And Alfie Gray with an A

Art work by Micah-Van-Zandt

Annie and Alfie Gray with an A

Sleep faded away despite Annie’s resistance. Her body ached, her head throbbed and her mouth was sandpaper but whilst she slept, those things didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. Her eyes fluttered and light forced its way in. She tried to move her arm, now tingling painfully. Her legs were under a dead weight. She was hot. The bodies around her didn’t stir as she kicked one away and pushed the other, trampled over a third and stepped over a slumbering minefield. The toilet stank. There was no toilet paper. The mirror was cracked but Annie could see the hollow face staring back; eyes dark and smudged with makeup, cheeks sallow, lips pink and dry crusted with specks of white. Only one hooped earring hung in her tangled bleached blonde hair that sat on naked shoulders. She stared hard into the mirror but nothing changed. The empty, shallow face stared back, offering nothing.

“Hey Sugar,” Alfie purred, standing at the toilet. “Great night Babe.”  Annie took his word for it.  Every night for the past month had been one long drink and drugs orgy and not much singing. But then her heyday was fifteen years ago where she had achieved her dream; a number one album and single with a sell out tour. Then she met David, her husband. Fell madly in love. They married, had children, lived in the perfect home with perfect neighbours, the best school and fantastic holidays. The band and fame faded away. But Alfie never did. Alfie Gray, ‘Gray with an A’ as he always said turned up on her door step with promises of stardom on the reunion tour. Her star would shine again he had promised. She didn’t need persuasion. Suburbia wasn’t for Annie and nothing David said could keep her away from tasting success again or the noise of the crowd and the buzz of singing live. She could hear the pleading words of David; reminding her of where they met and going on tour would just undo all the good work she had put in, the fifteen years without a drop to drink. Annie sloshed ice cold water on her face to rid the image of her sober husband, the smiling faces of her twins; their thirteenth birthday approaching. She had promised she’d be home for that. But David didn’t believe her, knew that once Alfie had his greasy fingers all over her, he wouldn’t see her again, not his Annie anyway. He might, if he was lucky, see her spread across the newspapers in a drunken haze or in a hospital bed waiting for a transplant. He suspected it would be neither; unlucky in seeing her in a coffin because of ‘Alfie Gray with an A’ and their addiction to each other which would do more damage than any drugs or booze concoction. Annie suspected he was right about Alfie and the coffin but it was her choice, her road and she couldn’t change direction even if she wanted to.       

“Washing away the guilt?” Alfie observed, standing behind her. He had lost almost everything once Annie left all those years ago but he had never forgotten her, her voice, her body, her energy. Tracking her down had taken every last penny and all his sanity. She was no good for him, theirs was a volatile relationship that would only end in destruction but he lived when she was near and however short that was, it was worth every second. Annie smiled, following him back to the bedroom still littered with bodies, empty bottles and the tail- tale signs of a drug cocktail. She lit up a cigarette as Alfie passed her a bottle still holding the dregs of flat champagne; an unorthodox breakfast that fitted perfectly into her life now.

“When’s my next gig Alfie? I haven’t sung in over a week.”

“Well Annie, you kinda screwed that one up yourself. High on stage, forgetting your words. It got ugly. The audience started throwing crap at you.”

“Well I might as well go home then.”

“Is that what you really want?”

“You know what I want Alfie.” She threw the bottle on the bed, watching it bounce off a sleeping, naked body before rolling to the floor.

“Ok.” He leant across, grazing his mouth on her’s. “I’ll get you the gig,” he mumbled, caressing her breast as he kissed her harder. She tasted the stale alcohol but it was Alfie. She combed her fingers through his matted hair. The body stirred next to her and she pulled away.

“The gig Alfie,” she reminded, pulling on a robe before locking herself in the bathroom for some solitude.

A shower and a plate of waffles filled Annie with vigour. But not as much as Alfie, when he came up with a gig for the next night. It had taken him most of the day but he had done what he said he would do which is what Annie loved about him. Alfie always saw her right whether it be a gig or a fix and he had come back with both.

“Sugar, it’s you and me all the way.” He popped the champagne then waved a sachet of white powder under her nose; all the goodness and ideas of cleaning up now gone as the night signalled party time. “Thought we’d celebrate in style now we have the place to ourselves.”

Annie eyed the prizes in front of her; Alfie Gray with an A being the main one. She looked out across the balcony under a sky full of stars and the brightest moon she had ever seen. She looked back towards the crumpled bed sheets and then to Alfie.   

“Sweet dreams Sugar, our last night in this dump.” Alfie smiled. She smiled back, tranquility settling over her. She rolled a twenty, her husband’s words echoing in her mind, knowing it was their last night. Period.



I haven't written many musical pieces but after winning a The Mid-week-Blues-Buster, my confidence was sky high so when Ruth Long asked for a band of writers to write for an album called My Friends and I, I jumped at the chance. 

Ruth's friend Big Earl Matthews has put out a CD of local bands (local to Ruth lol, somewhere in USofA).  The CD is called My Friends and I  and can be found on spotifyamazon and cdbaby

Thirteen awesome writers have chosen a song and written a story of between 700-1000 words. My song, 'History and Love' by Patty Castillo Davis, already told a powerful story with fantastic imagery so my job wasn't too hard. I just hope I have done it justice!!

My story is going to be part of an ebook with a fantastic cover design that matches the style of the CD cover by the artist Micah-Van-Zandt  You can find me bottom right of the picture. So cool! 

Here are the list of writers (including me) participating in the project where you can click on their names and read their stories to this fab album.