#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks 99 word challenge is Comet…

 

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COMET

When I look at a comet, having been lucky enough to see one, I see a giant snowman, throwing a ball of ice across our night sky, with its tail of dust.

We look upon it with wonder.

Could this giant hand be playing Rounder’s, or maybe Alleygobs with giant marbles? Is there someone on the other side of our dark sky ready to catch them, to hold onto them for too long before we see them again?

Could it be an invisible jockey riding a sky horse or maybe a knight from some forgotten age, looking for Merlin?

A Boy Called Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 ~ Belated Review #Fiction @marciameara

This is the first of my ‘missing’ reviews… 

 

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In Book 2 of the Wake-Robin Ridge series, Marcia Meara, author of Swamp Ghosts and Finding Hunter, returns to the rugged beauty of the North Carolina mountains, introducing a little boy whose remarkable gift will change the world for everyone he meets.

“Evil’s comin’, boy…comin’ fast. Look for the man with eyes like winter skies, and hair like a crow’s wing. He’s the one you gotta find.”

 

The remote mountain wilderness of North Carolina swallowed up the ten-year-old boy as he made his way down from the primitive camp where his grandparents had kept him hidden all his life. His dying grandmother, gifted with the Sight, set him on a quest to find the Good People, and though he is filled with fear and wary of civilization, Rabbit is determined to keep his promise to her. When he crosses paths with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, neither their lives nor his, are ever the same again.

The extraordinary little boy called Rabbit has the power to light up the darkness, and the resourcefulness to save himself from the one person his grandparents had hoped would never find him. His dangerous and bittersweet journey will touch you in unexpected ways, and once you’ve let Rabbit into your heart, you’ll never forget him.

 

Our Review

Rabbit has the gift of ‘seeing’ like his grandmother, but will it help him to find where he belongs?

Rabbit has a father, someone he has never met. Someone his grandmother warned him about. He has turned up wanting his son, but Rabbit knows he must keep away from him and stay with Sarah and MacKenzie Cole, but will he be allowed to stay there?

This is a heartbreaking story, one that broke mine over and over again. Rabbit is a wonderful child and deserves to find happiness, even though it seems impossible.

Although you know that things must get worse before they can get better, some of the good stuff will have you reaching for the tissues too…

 

 

About the Author

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Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Three years later, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go! Marcia has published six books to date, all of which are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format: Wake-Robin Ridge A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2 Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3 Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2 Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love You can reach Marcia via email at mmeara@cfl.rr.com or on the following social media sites: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/ Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com Twitter: @marciameara Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/ To keep up with the latest news and giveaways, sign up for Marcia’s Mail List here: https://marciamearawrites.com/mail-list-win-free-stuff/

When I tried to post this review on Amazon.co.uk, it was rejected like this …

But I have successfully (I hope!) just posted it to Amazon.com…

Fingers crossed everyone!

(Does anyone have an ideas why the UK Amazon failed?)

#Writephoto ~ Circle

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CIRCLE

I had gone for a walk beside the lake and barely remember bumping my head on a low hanging tree branch.

The small lump on the side of my head told me I had.

Feeling dizzy, I must have fallen and found myself leaning against a five-foot monolith. I counted eight more around me and a broken altar stood in the centre.

I sat there feeling as if I had fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole and into a stone circle. Hoping I had not broken my phone, having landed on my backside, I retrieved it from my back pocket and snapped away.

Rubbing at my eyes now at the sight of nine ladies in flowing robes, of which I was one, holding hands with the other eight. Was I glimpsing my former life or had the lump on my head grown to twice the size?

I could still feel the stone against my back, the scene before me began slowly fading, taking the other me with it.

As I sat there, I could still feel the hands I had been holding inside the circle.

I cannot be in two places at once, I must be dreaming. Yet the proof was in my hand. I flicked through the images, feeling the bark of the tree at my back…

 

 

Another lovely #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent… 

Apologies…

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I am not sure how it happened, but all I can do is offer everyone involved my heartfelt apologies. It may not even be my fault, what with Amazon ditching people’s reviews all over the place.

This blogging business is sometimes very complicated and although I am an idiot even on a good day, I thought I was keeping a handle on all the important bits. I mean, I had all my notes and prompts, lists and instructions, to ensure I don’t forget anything important.

But it is beginning to look as though I have been forgetting one of the most important parts of reviewing some of the books we read. Most of you will know the basic premise when you have finished reading a good book. We write a blog post about it including our review, and then we post this review to Amazon and Goodreads.

Now, unless Amazon has been eating some of our reviews, it would appear I have been missing out one of these important steps. I have done an extensive check of our reviews and these are my findings. Eighty reviews have found their way to Amazon, but about twenty or so have not. Some of these were arc copies and I wondered if that had something to do with it, but then I discovered that others were copies I had bought, so no solution there.

I cannot tell you how mortified I am, or how I have allowed this to happen. I cannot think of any reason or excuse for these omissions.

We will, of course, repost all of these reviews and notify the authors concerned.

I am sure someone must have noticed this error and chose not to comment, and for those who were kind enough to spare my feelings, I am grateful. But if you had pulled me up I could have put this right sooner.

As it is, I am sure I will not forget again.

If Amazon did have something to do with this, it will be interesting to see what happens when I repost these reviews.

PS:   One thing I haven’t been doing, is stating clearly that our reviews have been written from an arc copy, gifted by the author for an honest review. Something else I will not forget to do in the future…

The Cup…

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THE CUP

When knights of old

Crossed desert sands

Looking for what was lost.

Did they find the wooden cup?

Was it hidden in plain sight?

Where could fools not see?

Does it heal as legend tells

Or is it just a wooden cup?

Anita Dawes 2018

I WAS CALLED

 

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I was visiting a church to take a rubbing, and as I wandered through the aisles, I fell beneath the cross. Not because I had been struck by some Holy visitation, I simply tripped, not paying attention to my feet. As I felt the cold tiles through my clothing, I had to wonder if I had tripped by accident or some higher purpose.

As I left the church, I felt a hand on my back, gentle and warm. I spun around to see who had touched me. No one stood behind me, yet I could still feel the touch.

Reaching home, the first thing I did was take a shower to wash the weird feeling from my back. I let the water run for a long time, but the feeling remained for three days. I am 24 years old and have never felt religious, yet I found myself reading the bible. The idea of becoming a priest slowly growing inside me.

Who or what had touched me I cannot tell, yet it sent me on a path I had never thought of. I am now a part of something bigger than myself. I had gambled my short life with God and lost. So now he has me.

I have joined the priesthood…

Anita Dawes 2018

#Wordle 364

We just love doing these… find more at https://thesundaywhirl.wordpress.com

 

 

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The dusty street where Sarah lived was being washed clean by today’s rain.

She had chosen this village, this street, having been told she would find the peace and quiet she had been longing for.

As a shy yet brilliant writer, the small house seemed the same, shy, forgotten. A perfect fit. Sarah thought she could work well there. Thoughts rippled through her mind, leading her to a new idea.

Being shy from an early age had left Sarah on the outside and alone for most of her life. She had heard people whisper about her, mistaking her shyness for snobbery. She wished she could blend in the way other people did. How could she tell them of her longing to be like other people, to laugh, to go out dancing. She had been asked in the past, but always refused.

The lilting sound of rain on the window added to the thoughts already growing in her mind. She would yield to them, write them in her new novel.

As she was about to move from the window to start working, she caught sight from the corner of her eye, the brilliant speckled breast of a thrush. And Toby, her neighbour’s cat about to give chase.

To Sarah, this was the life outside her window. She picked up her pen and waited for the new words to begin, to tell people all about the shy young woman behind the rain-spattered window…

#WednesdayWriters: Nine Lives ~ chapter15

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Chapter Fifteen

Later that evening, as Kate was sorting through her painting supplies to decide what she needed to stock up on, she thought she heard a child crying. She often heard all manner of sounds coming from the neighbours, and as far as she knew, no one had any children.

She looked around the room for Dylan, thinking it could be him and the silver tabby was nowhere in sight. It had sounded more like a child than a cat, she thought, and the memory of David suddenly burst into her mind.

He was so small when he was born, too small to have caused so much trouble.

The first hint something was wrong happened the morning after David was born. She awoke in the hospital bed and tried to move her legs, thinking she would get up and go to the bathroom. But something didn’t feel right. Her left leg felt heavy and awkward and didn’t want to move.

She pulled back the covers and discovered a red, angry leg, which had swollen considerably. She called to a passing nurse who took one look, told Kate not to move for any reason, and summoned the doctor.

It was a thrombosis, a blood clot, which apparently could travel to her heart or brain if she as much as moved an eyelash.

Being told she must not move on pain of death, so soon after the rigours of childbirth seemed to work the oracle. Kate simply froze, far too frightened and exhausted to think straight. They gave her medication, and over the next few days the swelling gradually went down and the danger passed.

Thinking about it now, Kate wondered idly if it counted as a life lost. They said she could have died after all. So how many was it? Possibly five or six, she thought.

Kate had tried to be a good mother, never complaining or resenting the demands of her tiny red-faced dictator. She was always a patient person but David pushed her to hell and back. He never seemed to sleep like other babies or behave as she thought a baby should.

She remembered him standing up in his cot every night, grinning at her like a Cheshire cat, almost as if he knew he was being infuriating.

Having a child had not worked for Kate. Instead of having the opportunity to show the world just how it should be done, she had managed to screw it up and do a worse job than her mother. Despite her struggle to do all the right things, David grew up hating her and she never knew why.

Surprisingly, John took to being a substitute father like a duck to water. He never spoke of Michael at all. It was as though his own son didn’t exist and Kate thought she understood. John kept hinting she should marry him and settle down. Forget any dreams she might still have about finding a better life. Kate couldn’t stop expecting to see Michael, couldn’t believe he could stay away. Surely, he would want to at least look at his son?

The time passed and David grew into a moody, rebellious toddler, and if she still had dreams of a better life, she tried to forget them. Which wasn’t easy, as the voice tormented her almost on a daily basis, constantly reminding her of the mess she had made of her life. Kate had started to think it wanted her to do something drastic, like jump under a bus, and she refused to listen, stubbornly holding on to the little bit of hope she had left.

Most people see life in black and white, and for Kate, there were a million shades of grey, plus some mystifying element that eluded her whenever she tried to concentrate on it.

Whatever it was, it was always tantalisingly close and out of reach at the same time. Why was it so difficult for her to find love? She had searched long and hard deep down inside herself, and the elusive answer simply danced away whenever she came close to it.

Kate tried to remember what had made David hate her so and her mind refused to cooperate. It was late; she should pack up and go to bed. No point worrying about any of it, was there?

The voice in her head stopped her in her tracks, asking if she had ever considered that someone else might have influenced her son. Why did it say that? It might explain why she could never quite put her finger on the cause of her son’s hatred. His feelings were strong, so he obviously thought he had a good reason to be so angry. It would also explain why she had always felt it was not anything to do with her. If it wasn’t her fault, why did he hate her so much?

Kate tried to switch her brain off as easily as she flipped the light switch on her way to bed, but the thought it might have been someone else’s fault went with her and she knew she would have trouble sleeping.

She had lain awake for most of the night, convinced she could hear a child crying. Dylan had not made an appearance, which was odd because he never stayed out all night. She would have to look for him when she returned from the art suppliers in Guildford.

She spent most of Tuesday morning carefully choosing the paint and canvases she would need, blissfully happy to be able to do what she loved so much, never regarding it as work. She decided to stop for lunch before catching the next train home and found herself in a smart new Italian place where the food turned out to be good and the waiters treated her like royalty.

Despite her surroundings, she found herself thinking about the mysterious crying child, which in turn made her think of the day Michael did, in fact, turn up all those years ago. Typically, it had to be a day when she looked her worst. Her hair, longer and messier than ever, needed washing and David was being his most frustrating, throwing his toys all over the place one minute then demanding things and throwing them on the floor too.

Don’t do this today, she remembered thinking, but Michael wasn’t taking any notice of his child. He was staring at her, almost as though he hadn’t  looked at her before. John was at work, and Kate didn’t want to think what might happen if Michael was still there when he came home.

‘You’re looking good Kate.’ he said softly, his oh so blue eyes twinkling just as she remembered. Something inside her seemed to move and stretch its legs. What was she supposed to make of this visit? What did he want?

She stood up straight and looked him in the eyes. ‘Why are you here Michael?’

He smiled nervously and pushed his fingers through his hair, a habit that was all too familiar. ‘I wanted to see you.’

Kate was having a lot of trouble keeping herself detached. The way he looked and the things he was doing brought back so many memories she couldn’t concentrate. How long had it been? It must have been eighteen months since he had walked away. What had brought him back now? She had supposed he would be married by then as he was too good looking to stay single for long.

She had to sit down. Her legs were beginning to demand it and she hesitated, knowing he would take it as a signal to be all over her like a rash. She compromised and leaned against the windowsill. ‘Why did you want to see me, I would have thought you would have better things to do.’

He had the grace to look awkward and gave a nervous laugh. ‘I couldn’t stop thinking about you, so here I am.’

And just what do you expect me to do about that, she thought. The next thought slipped unbidden into her mind and made her swallow so hard, she almost choked. Did he still love her?

The voice warned her of falling for Michael’s charms again, and to remember how badly he had hurt her.

‘Oh shut up!’

‘Pardon?’ he said, looking anxious.

‘Oh not you, Michael, I was thinking aloud. Would you like a cup of coffee?’

Why had she offered hospitality? She should throw him out, and for some reason, she couldn’t bring herself to be angry with him. He always did have that effect on her.

It was getting late, John could be home anytime soon and she knew all hell would break loose if Michael was still there.

‘Your dad will be home soon, she said, pointedly.

He didn’t look at all worried. Don’t tell me he’s grown a pair since I saw him last, she thought. He had picked up one of David’s toy cars and was turning it repeatedly in his hands, seemingly without a care in the world. She waited for David to notice one of his toys was in someone else’s hands and go into his usual spoilt brat routine and scream to get it back, and he didn’t. She knew he had noticed, for he was watching Michael intently, studying him from behind the armchair.

‘Why are you here, Kate?’

As if you care where I am, she thought. ‘Where else would I go?’

‘There must be better places, than here with him…’

‘He has been good to both of us,’ when no one else was, she felt like adding.

Suddenly she decided she would not be playing his games again, not even for a social visit. ‘I think you should go now. I want you to leave.’

He stood up and crossed the room to stand in front of her at the window. ‘Don’t be like that Kate, I have missed you.’

Oh no, you don’t, she thought and pushed past him to get to the front door. He was right behind her and put out his hand to stop her from opening the door. ‘You don’t really want to throw me out, do you?’

He was standing so close; she could feel the heat coming off his body on the bare skin of her arm. The familiar smell of his aftershave washed over her, evoking so many wonderful memories of their romantic past.

With an extraordinary effort, she managed to pull herself together and gritted her teeth, desperately trying to remember she still hated him.

He leaned towards her and tucked a stray curl behind her ear. ‘Beautiful as ever Kate, I must visit you again and soon.’

He opened the door, which meant squeezing past her. Her body disobeyed every command she gave it and long forgotten sensations came back to life. It was all she could do not to grab him and melt in his arms.

By some miracle, she held herself together and managed to close the door behind him. She stood there for a moment, trying to decide how she felt. She didn’t have to think about it, it was obvious she still loved him. She just hoped it wasn’t obvious to him.

Thinking about Michael usually depressed her but that wasn’t happening today. She felt almost elated and that was insane. It was all of thirty years ago, surely all thoughts of Michael and their ill-fated romance should have been buried long ago?

On the way home, she called in at the local supermarket for there was hardly any food in the flat and Dylan’s was running low too; which reminded her, she hadn’t seen him that morning. Where was he?

When she arrived home, she checked all his favourite hiding places and the silver tabby was in none of them. She checked the cat flap still worked as it had been known to get stuck occasionally, much to Dylan’s annoyance. You would think she had done it just to annoy him, the way he carried on.

Kate was getting worried now. She hadn’t seen him for at least two days and it wasn’t like him at all.

She walked across the road to her neighbour and knocked on the door, waiting patiently for the old woman to make her way to the front door,

‘Hello Janet, I was wondering if you had seen Dylan lately? And how are you these days,’ she added guiltily. Kate thought she looked a bit tired, not quite her usual perky self.

‘Oh I’m not so bad, and no, I haven’t seen his Lordship for a while now. How long has he been missing?’

‘About two days, I think. I hope he’s all right.’

‘I’m sure he is Kate, although there has been a strange car parked outside number ten for over a week now. Nobody ever gets out of it though, not that I’ve seen anyway.’

‘I’ll have to ask around. Do you need anything Janet?’

‘I’m fine; you go and find Dylan, that’s more important.’

‘He’s not more important than you, take care…’

None of the other neighbours had seen Dylan either and by the time she was back home she was worried. She had a quick look at the car Janet mentioned, it was a green Vauxhall and beaten up enough to be her brothers, but the inside was so clean and tidy she dismissed the idea. It had probably been dumped anyway.

It was possible Dylan had gone walkabout, although he had stopped doing that a long time ago. He was too old now, wasn’t he? Apart from ringing the local vet and reporting him missing, she couldn’t think what else to do. She knew cats do sometimes up sticks and move on when the mood takes them. She just hoped that wasn’t what had happened as she would miss him terribly.

 

Where is Dylan, the cat? And why is she remembering Michael, after all this time?

 

#BlogBattle: Moon

The August 2018 Blog Battle

The prompt word for August is MOON

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My silver lady hangs safely among the stars,

Swimming through the firmament on her 28-day cycle.

Shedding her light upon the earth

Often she sits in the pale blue sky during the day

On dark nights, she brings romance and mystery

Often time’s shady dealings are done beneath her gaze

Yet for me, she is my lady bringing magic

A time of spells, for love and luck

She is known for inspiration, which all writers need

A friend since early childhood and remains so to this day

At 72, the years have been long. I whisper my thoughts to her

On nights when I cannot see her, still I whisper

As I know she is out there somewhere in the world

I believe she has stopped me losing my marbles

My mind as sharp as it was years ago

My friend ever watching me, my white ghost, one I can never be afraid of.

If I have a problem or a question,

She will often answer with a solution.

In my teens, I would walk the streets late at night just to be with her

While she watches over me I feel safe. I know nothing can harm me

I know that it is said that the full moon brings madness

For me, her beautiful white light brings only joy

A feeling of someone who loves me, cares enough to send comfort.

Whenever the moon is missing from my night sky

I feel jealous of other continents where she shines

As if a lover has been taken from me, I await her return

When she arrives, I lie in my garden when the moon is full

I watch the clouds slide across her face as if powdering her cheeks

The coloured halo as she shines through a cloud

What secrets she could tell of days long gone

When Adam and Eve first made love, her light upon them

God turned his face away, sending them from the garden.

She was there when Noah built the Ark and when the pyramids were built

When Arthur drew the sword from the stone

What secrets she could tell of Stonehenge

Of Merlin, his wand pulling lightning from the sky to build Camelot

To summon Arthurs Knights to sit at the round table

She was there at my birth and seeped into my soul

Lovers swear undying love beneath her light

Artists and poets need her to lay colour on canvas, words on paper

Those who are lost find their way home

Her light shining a path beneath their feet

No need to feel lost or lonely, speak to her

I do, she holds all my secrets close and

Like Pandora’s Box, never lets them out again

They are secrets after all.

Some believe her to be nothing but a lump of hollow rock

I say they have lost their soul.

Scientists try to tell us she is nothing but a satellite

That appeared from nowhere, placing herself in perfect position.

They tell us of a time when the earth had no moon

Still, I say they are soulless, empty

They speak of the dark side of the moon as if there is evil there

I know there are dark and dangerous things in our universe

The moon is not one of them

There are many great wonders in our universe

Many more moons

Jupiter has so many I cannot count them

I feel the splendour, yet cannot fall in love at their sight

Saturn, with its beautiful rings, the stars

All fade beside our own moon

The new moon, fingernail moon, Hunter’s moon, blood moon

These are her many faces.

Those of us who have found a soulmate beneath the full moon

Will tell you nothing can compare with the magic she shines on us

For she is the Holy Grail, the Philosophers Stone

All the things people have searched for over a million years

Our moon puts old magic and new into the air.

I know there are those who use her power for the dark arts

The weak minded that have held onto life’s pain

Trying to get even with some poor soul with spells of darkness

There are those who would remind you

The moon has no light of her own, that she steals it from the sun

I say it matters not where she gets it from.

The light was the first thing brought into the Universe

Therefore it is good.

Where would we be without it?

Would you want to go back to a time when the world was dark

Hiding in caves, crawling around and jumping at shadows?

I for one would rather stand in the light of the moon a while longer

I know we would not be where we are without the sun

Everything is linked, the moon the shiniest of these links

She turns the tides, not only of the seas

She turns man’s fortunes, bringing fame and fortune

Prestige and position to those who seek it

I don’t care that the moon has to steal her light

To shine her magic on all of us.

Take a walk in the woods late at night, beneath a full moon

I dare you to tell me you feel nothing, no love, no magic

It is there. Wake up to it. Keep it with you when you leave the woods

It will help you face life’s troubles and find your own magic

Let it be the voice that whispers when you need it

Share it with others if you can, it will come back double

And be with you always

I found my magic when I was ten years old

Each night when the moon shines above me

I thank her for being there to watch over me and my family

I hope and pray that you find that one love to get you through this life

If I could, I would have the full moon shining outside my bedroom window every night

I bless the day I found her…

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#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Another lovely 99 word challenge:

This weeks prompt is “Peering From the Woods”

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About an hour into the woods, I thought I heard a sound. Just ahead of me, peering through the trees I could see 12 standing stones with a large stone table in the middle. I had never seen these before so I took dozens of photographs.

The air seemed to whisper with strange sounds, almost words I could not hear.

I reached home and downloaded them. My breath was taken by the sight of King Arthur and his knights. There had been no one there. Had my imagination imprinted these images, or was it my desire to be there?