Anger…

anger-1462088_1280.png

Image by Pixabay.com

 

“When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on…” Thomas Jefferso

 

What do you think when you read this quote?

Do you think of anger or frustration?

Or something else?

What is the best way to handle anger?

Is it better to hide it inside you, and never show what you feel?

Or should you vent your spleen, regardless of terrifying the cat?

Some people scream into a pillow or punch the wall… I tried that once and nearly broke my hand.

 

I have been surrounded by angry people for most of my life, and this has surely been the primary cause of the length of my own personal rope.

Having more patience than most people, it must seem as though my rope has no end, but I can assure you that you wouldn’t want to be around me if I ever do reach the end of it.

I have seen first-hand what a bad temper can do to both people and situations, and it’s never good. More damage is done in temper than almost anything else on this planet.

 

Over the years, I have become very good at controlling my emotions. I can be positively seething inside, but no one would ever know. Sometimes it is more difficult and I get perilously close to blowing a fuse. This is when I usually go for a walk.

Even if it isn’t far enough, it usually allows me to rein in some of my errant rope.

 

‘Give someone enough rope, and let them hang themselves…’

 

What do you do when you can see the end of your rope approaching?

 

Advertisements

Warning Light?

 

 

New_1_DSCF2547.JPG

We have a mystery and a creepy one at that. We noticed it a while ago and try as we might, we cannot figure out what it is or what is causing it.

We are quite used to the spooky goings-on around us, as weird things have been happening to us for a very long time. Some of the things have been a bit scary, like the time all of the mirror tiles in the hall were removed during the night and stacked neatly against the wall. Or the times we smell pipe tobacco or perfume that vanishes as quickly as it comes.

Our cat constantly watches things, things we can’t see and follows them around the room with his eyes.  Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I see an old woman dressed in old-fashioned clothes in our kitchen and she seems very at home and interested in what I am doing. Our house is very old, built in 1887, so there are probably many echoes of the past in every brick!

Our lights flicker and switch off all the time, and we have had them checked, but it still happens, so when I caught sight of a strange red light among the bushes outside the front room window, I wasn’t unduly alarmed.

Curious, hell yes. It looked similar to those standby lights that all modern appliances seem to have these days.  I was sure it was outside, but it could only be seen from inside the room. Trouble was, we couldn’t find the source of the reflection, and why it was only visible from certain angles.

For ages, we thought it must have a simple explanation, but the harder we thought about it, the less sense it made. Forced to rethink, we wondered if it could be supernatural as nothing else made sense. The problem with this idea was why? And why was it there at all?

It looked for all the world as if something was sitting in the bushes outside our window. We hunted high and low, both inside and outside the window, but found nothing that could be causing it.

It had to be something reflecting on the glass, but our investigations revealed nothing. Maybe it could be a reflection from somewhere else, but where?

This has been going on for several months and we are no nearer finding the cause.

And before you say it, we know that reflections can be misleading, but it is driving us nuts!

Could it really be a demon visitor, one with only one red eye, spying on us through the window?

What do you think it could be?

 

#WednesdayWriter: Nine Lives chapter three

I would dearly love some constructive criticism for the first book in my trilogy, Nine Lives.

So, if anyone has the time to read a chapter and let me know what you thought of it, I will be eternally grateful…

NL_banner.jpg

Chapter Three

Hospitals are quite different places at night, Jack thought, as he searched through storerooms and cupboards for something to wear that would identify him as someone with a right to be there. Even though no one seemed to notice him, he didn’t want any awkward questions.

He found a crumpled white coat which almost fit him and started his systematic search for the woman that was brought here earlier. She was supposed to have died, and from the pace the ambulance staff displayed, it was obvious they were not going to let her go without a fight.

He knew all about fighting. He fought to keep her too, for all the good it did him. She was never happy with their relationship, always hoping it would turn out right, refusing to believe she had made yet another mistake.

Knowing she thought of him in that way made him more determined than ever to find better ways to hurt her.

He promised that life with him would be different, and never explained quite how different it would be. In the beginning, she hadn’t questioned the way he treated her, but she made tentative, careful remarks about him being a bully every time his rough games left bruises on her skin.

The child, David, was more of a problem. More of a problem than he realised at the time and he found himself trying hard not to hurt him too much as this tended to make Kate angry. Instead, he began to slip sedatives into the beaker of juice Kate insisted the child needed to have to hand at all times. Eventually, the child stopped whining; becoming quiet and withdrawn, even from his mother.

An orderly pushing a hospital trolley along the corridor in front of him interrupted his thoughts. Someone was lying on the trolley with a sheet draped over them, was this her? Had she died? Then he noticed the foot peeping out from under the sheet. It was old and gnarled, definitely not belonging to Kate.

Conveniently, it was the hospital’s policy to put patient’s names on the door of their respective rooms, so he managed to find Kate quite quickly. As he peered through the small window in the door, he was keenly aware of all the possibilities that presented themselves. It was the middle of the night in an almost deserted hospital and he couldn’t believe his luck.

The room was dark, barely illuminated by a small lamp shining dimly on the bed. His pulse increased and his breathing became rapid as his eyes became used to the gloom and he found what he was looking for.

There was no one else in the room, so he quietly opened the door and walked to the foot of the bed, his eyes devouring every detail. She was asleep and hopefully would not awake and see him there. The machine was bleeping gently, the display changing slightly as he watched.

He was mesmerised by the image in front of him. She looked the picture of health, and unexpectedly beautiful.  Her wild, untameable hair framed her face with lazy curls; and of all the times he had looked at her, this image would stay with him forever. He expected to find her broken and beaten; looking every one of her forty-nine years and was gravely disappointed.

He couldn’t believe that just a few hours ago she was grey and deathly still, slowly dying, with people busily trying to save her life. Never the fittest person in the world, she smoked, was overweight and hardly ever exercised properly, how had she survived?

She was wearing a pastel coloured hospital gown, which seemed far too big. Thin plastic wires snaked from beneath the gown and made their way to the machine that was beside the bed, the display of shining numbers recording the state of her health.

He stared down at her face, peacefully unlined as sleep relaxed her muscles. The face he had once adored to the point of insanity and madness. They had been so good together, more than good, it had been amazing and he never understood how she came to walk away from him, leaving him inconsolable.

He could not stop staring at her face, the face he would once have willingly died for before his adoration turned him into a hateful monster that was capable of anything.

He wanted to touch her, needed to touch her and knew what would happen if she awoke and saw him.

The familiar heat started to rise in his chest, making its way slowly up his neck until his face glowed scarlet in the gloom. His fists clenched and he raised them, looking at his fingers turning white with the pressure.

‘Why did you have to leave me, Kate, hmm…?’ he said quietly, knowing as he said it that he had no idea what he wanted to do if he was honest. Most of the time he wanted her dead and constant scenarios played in his head of how and when it could happen. If the power of thought could do anything at all, she should be dead, not lying peacefully in a hospital bed looking more beautiful than he remembered.

His eyes were drawn to her arms lying on the sheet, tubes and wires attached at several points. A large clamp-like device on her right wrist appeared to be leaking, the red stain spreading out on the sheet, growing larger by the minute. That doesn’t look good, he thought. If it was trying to control an artery, it wasn’t working. He knew that a person could bleed to death in a matter of minutes from an arterial bleed and he studied the growth of the stain with interest. It was getting bigger, much bigger and he felt a weird kind of excitement beginning to build. He wanted to loosen it a bit more somehow and started to look for a way to make this happen. Just as he thought he discovered a way, he heard a noise in the corridor outside. Someone was coming.

Outside, in the cold air, he felt deflated. A few more minutes were all he needed. It was becoming more than annoying to be denied so many times. Was it time to stop playing around and do something about Kate once and for all?


What do you think of Jack?

Come out, come out, wherever you are…

child-3323374_1920(1).jpg

image by Pixabay.com

 

I have been trying to sort out my ever-growing collection of photographs as I am a bit of a hoarder; things have been getting out of hand lately. Actually finding what I’m looking for is proving to be not only impossible but downright frustrating, even though I know what I’m looking for is there somewhere.

I put my ultra-patient hat on and set to work, but soon realised that I might still be doing it this time next year, so I gave up. I would have to do a section at a time, fitting the time in as and when possible.

Fast forward to the following day, when I was looking for yet another image on Pixabay.com. If you have ever used this site, you will know that you have to enter your requirement in their search box and with one click, they give you pages of exactly what you are looking for.

I realised that this same system is in operation on many other sites too. There are search boxes everywhere, and this got me thinking. Why can’t we have a search box on our own image files?

Just think, instead of scrolling endlessly through dozens of folders and hundreds of images, you could just enter the relevant word and hey presto, no more frustration!

I just know that round about now, someone is going to tell me that there is already such a system. So, why don’t I know about it, and who is going to tell me how to get it?

 

#WednesdayWriter ~ Nine Lives ~ Chapter Two

NL_banner.jpg

Nine Lives was my debut novel, one I made such a lot of mistakes with.

Feel free to comment, advise or criticise, as I am very interested in improving my craft.

Chapter One received some valuable advice last week, please keep it coming!

Even though it might never be perfect, your first book is always special, isn’t it?

To this end, I will be posting a chapter every Wednesday…

Chapter Two

What happened next was a bit like trying to watch a film through a heavy net curtain. There seemed to be far too many people in her flat, and no one appeared to be talking to her or each other. Foul tasting pills were pushed into her mouth. She wanted a drink of water but couldn’t seem to get anyone’s attention. Then something was wrapped around her arm and she was dimly aware of someone looking at her.

Something warm and fluffy gently pushed against her hand and she realised it was Dylan, back to check on her again. He was an intelligent animal and always seemed to know when she needed to fuss him. What would happen to him if she weren’t around?

Then she was pulled to her feet, what was happening now? Where were they taking her? Two men in bright Day-Glo jackets led her outside to a waiting ambulance. She didn’t understand how she was walking; she wasn’t in control of her legs. How was she moving? What was happening to her? Worry about finishing her latest artwork tried to take shape in her head, but she couldn’t seem to make herself care about anything. She was glad she had cleaned the paint from her fingers earlier and that was all that seemed to matter.

Once inside the ambulance, more pieces of equipment were attached to her and machinery hummed and bleeped. One of the men was talking, and it all sounded far away and very technical. Then the ambulance started up and the ride to the hospital was a nightmare. There didn’t seem to be enough room to swing a cat what with all the equipment, and the ambulance man was not exactly skinny. He seemed to be putting his hands all over her to keep his balance. The driver must be a maniac.

When she arrived at the hospital, she expected to see the emergency department, but they took her to what appeared to be a state of the art operating theatre. She didn’t know it at the time but this was where they usually took people who were having a heart attack. This was technology at its finest but she was in no state to appreciate any of it. By this time she was pumped so full of morphine she literally didn’t care if it snowed. Nurses tried to reassure her, but she didn’t care what they did. They asked if there was anyone she wanted them to call, and she shook her head. There was her brother Danny, or her agent and friend Samantha Cameron, but she didn’t want either of them there, so she said no, there was no one. That suddenly seemed so incredibly sad she felt like crying.

The pain in her chest was bad, and for some peculiar reason, it wasn’t bothering her much. Whatever the doctor was doing was nothing worse than someone holding her arm tightly. She looked in his direction and all she could see above the mask he wore were his dark eyes, concentrating hard on something in front of him. They seemed to be kind eyes if a little young. She wondered if he was tired. It was late after all, she heard the nurses talking about being woken up to come and help her.

All the machines and equipment around her seemed to be wrapped in plastic bags, and it struck her as funny they hadn’t unwrapped everything when they bought them. No, that wasn’t right, was it?

Something was happening to her arm, he was squeezing it harder than before and then he said something about feeling something cold. Was he talking to her?

Then she felt it, a weird coldness was slowly creeping up her arm and into her chest. What was he doing? She was so tired and desperately wanted to fall asleep and it wasn’t happening.

A strong waft of a familiar fragrance drifted over her as she lay there, and she struggled to open her eyes, expecting to see a nurse close by, but no one was close enough, so where had it come from?

For some inexplicable reason, the scent of flowers made her think of her mother. She died when Kate was sixteen and because of her miserable childhood, made infinitely more miserable by her mother, Kate should have hated her. All the time she was growing up, Kate thought she did.

Now, all Kate felt was sadness for the woman who clearly hadn’t been happy either, never managing to find anything to make her life worthwhile.

After all this time, Kate still missed not having a proper mother.  She never had a dad either; he died during the war so he had the ultimate excuse. Try as she might, Kate could never come up with a decent excuse for her mother’s behaviour. She had always been achingly absent whenever Kate needed someone to comfort her and it would have been nice to have someone to rely on, no matter what.


A long time seemed to pass, with all the people in the room busy doing something and calling out to each other, and she couldn’t quite figure out what they were saying. It was as though she was seeing things with the wrong glasses on. Everything was blurred and out of focus. Then she was moved again, the trolley she was lying on pushed down seemingly endless corridors ending up in a dimly lit room, being made comfortable by an attractive, dark-haired nurse dressed in what looked like blue pyjamas. There were plastic stickers with wires attached all over Kate’s chest and something tight and painful clamped to her wrist. Apart from this, she felt much better. The pain had stopped, so that was something.

The nurse brought her a cup of tea and nothing had ever tasted so good. Suddenly she knew she was going to be all right, she was not going to die after all, and might finally be able to go to sleep, even with the machine bleeping gently by the bed…


See you all next week!

A Quick Question…

banner-1090830_1920.jpg

 

Do you know where the stories you write come from?

What if they have already happened in some other reality, time or space we know nothing about?

What if that is where it really comes from?

It reminds me of the saying to be careful what you wish for, so maybe we should be careful what we write and put back into the universe…

We Have Been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award!

real-neat-blog-award.png

 

bloggers-bash-voting.jpeg

 

Just one day after we were nominated on the Annual Bloggers Bash in the Best Pal category, we have been nominated for the Really Neat Award too! Two very good reasons for this delighted look on our faces…

We thank Stevie Turner for nominating us for this honour, and the rules are as follows:

 

  • 1.Put the award logo on your blog.
  • 2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • 3. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • 4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, and ask them 7 questions.
  • 5.Let them know you have nominated them.

Stevie has asked us these questions…

Just one day after we were nominated for the Annual Bloggers Bash in the Best Pal category, we have been nominated for the Really Neat Award too! Two very good reasons for this delighted look on our faces…

We thank Stevie Turner for nominating us for this honour, and the rules are as follows:

Whom do you admire?

This is an easy question, for we are surrounded by the achievements of several family members at the moment. One by one, our offspring have surpassed expectations and gone over and beyond the call of duty, causing much puffing up of chests and proud smiley faces. There are times when being a parent is the best job in the world!

Are You a Cat or Dog person?

This is harder to answer, for we are all animal lovers in our family. We have Merlin, a black and white cat who is 14 years old this year, and regularly dog sit a pair of young sausage dog puppies. But my favourite animals are horses…

Do you like city or countryside living?

Definitely the countryside or better yet, countryside by the sea!

Are you an outside or an inside person?

Always an outside person, I even write out of doors, weather permitting…

Do you still see people from your childhood?

I don’t think there were any people in my childhood, I am an orphan and remember being a bit lonely most of the time…

Facebook heaven or hell?

Neither, it is just an online social club, to meet and communicate with other writers/bloggers…

Do you like your holidays hot or cold?

I prefer action, adventurous holidays, so like the weather to be clement. My idea of hell is to sunbathe in a hot climate…

So, now it is our turn to nominate some people for ‘The Real Neat Blog Award’ and ask them seven questions.

Here are the eight people we have nominated:

sknicholls

Rathertoofondofbooks

Besonian

Tina Frisco

Rachel poli

Nottomatoes

Deborah Jay

Here are your questions everybody!

  • Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?
  • Do you play music or have the TV on when reading?
  • One book at a time or several?
  • Do you ever write in your books?
  • Do you have a specific place for reading?
  • Do you use bookmarks?
  • Which author do you really admire?

 

I hope we have done this correctly, as it has been a while and just a bit rusty!

 

 

 

Flash Fiction 99 word Challenge for The Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks prompt was to be about a bat and a bat cave…

white bat X2.jpg

The Ghost Bat

It is said that an old hermit lived in the old bat cave many moons ago.  Children called him the batman, chanting behind him as he roamed the woods for herbs to make his potions.

The villagers never worried about the old hermit, leaving food by the cave for him and children would often watch the hermit make his potions.

He had once been a doctor and he still travelled through the village caring for those who needed his potions. On one of those trips, the children noticed the white ghost bat fly from the folds of Henry’s sleeve…

white bat.jpg

 

This turned out to be a lovely coincidence, coming so soon after the flash fiction about a Raven. Anita had dreamed of a white Raven, so that’s what we wrote about.

This weeks prompt was a bat, so out of curiosity we wondered if there was such a thing as a white bat?

And there was. Something weird going on here, and I wonder what will be next?

Murder at the Cat Flap!

merlinx1.png

Long Suffering Merlin!

 

I recently wrote a post about how our house was fast becoming a cat motel and the need for a revolving door cat flap. It was an amusing situation, although it was costing us extra money for the extra cat food.

But with the onset of The Beast from the East and all this snow and ice, the situation has changed dramatically and there have been even more feline visitors. I try not to think that they are all suffering from malnutrition, that they just prefer our cat Merlin’s menu to their own, but for whatever the reason our cat flap is subject to some serious abuse.

Before all this pitifully cold weather, our visitors were amenable and very respectful of the facilities. Merlin tolerated the frequent invasion of his territory, preferring to watch from a distance. He obviously trusted us to make up the shortfall in his rations, and although we moaned about it from time to time, it was rather sweet to see so many cats wandering through our kitchen.

This situation has changed dramatically with the weather and a new arrival. He is a huge cat, with long black shaggy fur that almost brushes the ground when he walks. His tail, also long and shaggy, must be the envy of every cat in the neighbourhood. He isn’t scared or respectful, although he seems to want to be friendly, the least he could do, I suppose, seeing as he comes back several times a day! But we have discovered, alarmingly, that Merlin cannot abide him. He will ignore Shaggy’s presence if he is elsewhere in the house, but if he is anywhere near the kitchen, all hell breaks loose and I fear for Merlin and the cat flap.

 

DSC_0242.jpg

“It’s not my fault that Merlin doesn’t like me!”

I don’t like hearing cats fight, even though I know it isn’t usually to the death, just a lot of wailing and hissing, but the sounds coming from our kitchen I swear could chill your blood! I think the cat flap suffers the most and may have to be replaced, sooner rather than later.

We worry about Merlin a lot more these days, as he isn’t getting any younger. He will be 14 years old in May and on bad days, he can’t quite do what he used to be able to do. We have talked about locking the cat flap at night (something Merlin will not tolerate. The last time we had to for medical reasons, he almost ripped it off the door!) Hardly any point though, for most of the fights happen during the day. We also talked about moving Merlin’s food upstairs, and out of reach, but the thought of Shaggy patrolling the house, looking for food soon stopped that idea.

The other question that keeps me awake at night is why does Merlin resent this cat and not any of  the others? I have heard that other, less endowed male cats automatically fear male cats that still have all of their bits (I think you know which bits I refer to). This may well be the case, for I have been watching Shaggy when he leaves our house, stuffed to the gills with the best quality cat food. He backs up to several things in our yard and shakes his rear end at them. This, I believe is scent marking and something only entire males can do. This upset me even further, for not only does Merlin have to put up with Shaggy’s presence and attitude (and loss of feeding privileges), he is also surrounded by the smell of Shaggy everywhere he goes!

I am thinking of getting one of those water pistols to try to deter Shaggy, but I think I already know I would be wasting my time. This huge cat, although lovely, is not welcome in our house, and I hope he finds another cat hotel and soon!

If anyone can suggest a solution for poor old Merlin, we would love to hear it!