Tag Archives: #continuethestory

Continue The Story.. The Society For The Protection Of Unwanted Objects.

Taking a deep breath, she put the old-fashioned key in the lock and turned it. She’d half expected it to stick, given the age of both, but the mechanism moved with ease and the of the shop door swung open before her.

What on earth was she supposed to do with the place?

The shop smelled stale and musty and slightly unclean – a bit like its previous owner, her late great-uncle. It had been over twenty years since she had last visited “The Society For The Protection Of Unwanted Objects.”  She’d been shocked to learn that she had inherited the place when her uncle had passed away three months beforehand. Growing up, she’d been passed around the family after the death of her parents, spending most of her childhood with her aunt. The shop had always been a bit of a sanctuary for her, seeing herself as the “unwanted object” in the family. As a child, she’d imagined the shop as a “real life” episode of Bagpuss; as an adult, she was at a loss as to what to make of it.

What did she know about running a shop?

Glancing round, all she could see before her was clutter and junk. A thick layer of dust covered everything in sight. Most of the items on the shelves and in the display cabinets looked as though they’d been there since her last visit.

Leaving the door open, she ventured further inside. A letter addressed to her, in her uncle’s shaking writing, lay amongst the dust bunnies on the glass counter. Leaving it unopened for now, she explored the rest of the shop. Both storerooms were piled high with yet more junk. The small kitchen cum sitting room right at the back of the building looked completely unchanged from her childhood and was desperately in need of a good clean.

“Oh, why, Uncle Samuel?” she sighed as she walked back through to the main shop.

A cough from the doorway startled her.

“Hi. Are you the new owner?” asked a tall guy with long dark hair, pulled back into a ponytail, his bare arms covered in tattoos. “I’m Sam. I’m your neighbour. I own the art gallery next door.”

A ray of sunlight broke through the clouds at that moment. With a cloud of dust motes creating an aura around him, he smiled.

Maybe he was the reason she was here….

Continue The Story- When You Come Face To Face With One Of Your Idols.

She couldn’t believe it. Was it really him? It was the same feeling every time. This was perhaps the sixth time she’d been in this position. Each time she got nervous, became tongue tied then babbled like an idiot for a few seconds before her moment of opportunity passed.

She swore to herself that this time would be different. She’d hold it together. She could manage to have a short sensible “normal” conversation with him.

There was only one person in front of her in the queue. Her heart was pounding. She had her gift for him clutched in her hand. A 1978 original red vinyl copy of Gerry Raffety’s City To City album. Would he like it? Did he already have it?

His assistant beckoned her into the small room.

There he was in front of her behind the counter. Heart pounding, she said, “Hi. How are you today?”

She gave him the gift, said it was one to add to his collection and that she hoped he didn’t already have it then she asked if he could sign her ticket and the two CDs that she’d brought with her.

As he went to sign the first one, the Sharpie marker ran dry. His assistant was duly despatched to find the pencil case with some fresh pens.

They were alone in the room. Unsure what to say, she asked how it felt to see his name rather than a band’s name on the cover of the record. He paused for a moment to think, smiled then said, “You know. you’re the first person to ask me that. Feels kind of surreal but then, Coral, you know how that feels.”

Her heart almost stopped.

This Continue The Story is based on one of my most precious memories. It tells the short tale of what happened at a “meet and greet” opportunity with a musician ( I’m loathe to use the term rockstar here) several years ago. Those who know me will have figured out who it was.

The part two to this happened several hours later as he returned to the small stage in The Garage, Glasgow for the encore. Before he started the last song of the night, he looked over to where I was standing with my friends and played a few bars of Baker Street. My heart melted.

Folk say “Don’t meet your idols. It’ll spoil the illusion”. I beg to differ.

Continue The Story – A 2021 Tale of Suspense

With her head spinning, she opened the box and poured the contents out onto the countertop. Lifting the instruction leaflet, she skimmed through it, carefully assembling the paraphernalia she needed from the scattered contents of the flat box.

Leaving the leaflet open at the step-by-step guide page, she opened the packet containing the testing tile. Next, she settled the plastic test tube/dropper into the round hole in the corner of the cardboard tray and peeled off the foil seal. Muttering, she wrestled with the small plastic bag designed for the rubbish until she got it open. Lastly, she opened the packet containing the small slender swab.

How hard could this be?               

Dreading the thought of how it would feel, she gingerly inserted the swab into her right nostril, guiding it in as far as it would go. As instructed, she swirled it around for a slow count of five then, her stomach heaving, she inserted it up her left nostril and repeated the count. Twitching her nose like Samantha from Bewitched, she put the slender swab into the test tube.

Her hands were clammy and trembling as she stirred it round and counted slowly to thirty then to five as she “squeezed” it out in the tube. Having discarded the swab in the small plastic bag, she pushed the stopper into place, eased the test tube out of the cardboard hole then dripped four drops into the sample section of the tile.

Offering up a silent prayer, she watched and waited….

Slowly the liquid soaked up through the tile. The timer on her phone clicked down second by painfully slow second.

Before her, the result emerged…

Continue The Story – Mariposa

She had never seen anything like it. She had only ever dreamed of seeing one. Now, there it was, just a few feet away from her.

It was beautiful! More beautiful than she could ever have imagined.

It was also bigger, much bigger, than she had anticipated. Its wingspan was wider than her handspan.

Oh, she could watch it all day!

Reaching for her camera, she took photo after photo of the beautiful creature before her.

Almost as if it knew it was being photographed, it slowly folded its majestic wings so that she could enjoy the view of the detailed pattern on the underside. It was almost as pretty underneath as it was with its wings spread wide.

She knew the others were already trekking on ahead and that she’d need to hurry to catch up, but she needed a few more moments with this precious creature.

They’d been trekking through the forest all day and were due back at their hotel in under an hour. This was the first one of its kind that she’d seen. It might be the only one she’d ever see.

She heard footsteps and looked up to see the tour guide, Miguel, approaching.

“Ah, hermoso,” he sighed as he stood beside her and followed her gaze. “Mariposa.”

“It’s a boy?” she quizzed.

Miguel nodded, “Only the males are so blue. And its not really blue. Is a trick of the light… it reflects.”

He paused, struggling for the English words to use. She nodded and smiled.

With a graceful movement, the blue morpho butterfly flitted away.

She gazed wistfully at the leaf where it had been.

(images sourced via Google- credits to the owner)

Continue The Story – Fact Or Fiction? (flash fiction)

She spotted him from across the bookstore. He was hard to miss with those mesmerising eyes, the smile that could melt even the coldest heart and his hair still tied back in a long dark ponytail now streaked with grey. He was also the last person she had expected to see here. Her heart skipped a beat. Did he know? Had he read any of the books?

“Are you ok?” asked the fan in front of her, who was waiting for her to sign their book for them.

“Sorry,” she apologised. “My bad. Just spotted an old friend.”

“You looked like you’d seen a ghost.”

Smiling, she said, “Something like that.”

With a flourish, she signed the book and handed it back.

Two hours and many autographs later, the book signing was drawing to a close. It had been her most successful yet. She was exhausted and her hand was throbbing from writing so many dedications and signing her name. In her heart, she knew she shouldn’t grumble. Her fans were loving her books and she was living her dream as a result. This latest novel was the penultimate one in the series, and she’d been plagued with questions all night about how it was all going to end. Was the heroine going to get her man?

“Hi. Can you sign this to Luke please?”

The voice hadn’t changed over the years. Her heart melted a little at the sound of it.

“Or should that be “To Storm”?”

She froze. Storm was the hotter than hell bad boy rockstar in the books.

“You know?” she whispered, feeling her cheeks flush as she looked up into his eyes.

“I’m flattered,” he admitted, flashing her a smile. “Would it be too presumptuous to offer to take you for a drink when you’re done here? We could discuss where this storyline goes next.”

“And if I say yes, is it going to ended happily ever after?”

“That remains to be seen,” he replied with a wink.

Continue The Story.. the power of the written word

I’ve used my Continue The Story journal several times since I picked it up on a whim back in July. As I flicked through the pages earlier, inspiration struck.

It was time. I reached for my pencil and stared at the blank lined page.

As a writer, its both a beautiful and a terrifying sight.

What story does this page have to tell?

Will it be like the TV series Once Upon A Time where the author’s words can change the future and give the characters the “happy ever after” that they deserve?

Will it be like Inkheart where, by reading the written words, the characters are brought to life and set free from the confines of the page?

Which of my characters would I set free? Oh, there’s a thought!

Just think, if I could set Jake Power and the other members of Silver Lake free then I could finally hear all those songs I’ve written about. Which one would I want them to play first?

Or, if I could free the dark angel from my Silently Watching short story series….hm…maybe not. I don’t want to be looking over my shoulder every time I go for a walk.

Imagine if you could write yourself into the story! The first place I’d write myself into would be the beach house in the Silver Lake series.

The possibilities are endless… if you have enough imagination, a blank page, and a pencil.

Tempted? Go on, give it a try. You’ve no idea where it will lead or who you’ll meet along the way.

Continue the Story – Beach Daydreams (flash fiction)

With the sun beating down on her, she knew in her heart that she had made the right decision to come to the beach. Thoughts of walking along the sand, of playing in the waves, of watching the seabirds dance in the shallows and the sights and sounds and aromas of the boardwalk had been beacons of hope during her darkest of days.

Now, as the sun rose on a beautifully clear June morning, the boardwalk ran behind her, the ocean sparkled and shimmered before her, and miles and miles of soft sand stretched into the distance on either side of her. It was still early, barely breakfast time, but around her the world was slowly coming to life. There were a few fishermen scattered along the shoreline, their rods dug deep into the sand. A few photographers were at work, capturing the beauty of the new day to share on social media. Those sunrise livestreams had brightened many a dark day.

Everything around her was just as she had hoped it would be and more.

As she gazed down the beach, she watched an early morning fitness junkie approach, pounding out the miles on the hard packed sand.

She felt as though she had stepped into the pages of one of her own novels; she felt as though she’d come home.

A relaxed smile playing on her lips, she began to meander down the beach, allowing her daydreams to play out as reality around her. Dreams do come true……

credits to the owner of the sunrise photo – Kevin Lynam Photography (photo is tagged)

You can find more of Kevin’s work on his website https://www.kevinlynamphotography.com

Continue the Story……

Last Wednesday, I spent the day in Glasgow shopping with my Girl Child. We did the usual mother/daughter things- coffee, shopping, lunch, more shopping. After so many long, restricted months, it was nice to just meander through the shops, masks on, doing something that felt “normal.”

One of our last stops of the day was Paperchase. I love that shop. As a writer ,what’s not to love – notebooks, journals, pens… oh I was in seventh heaven! I was also looking for a specific journal as a gift. As I searched for it, I spied this lonely book lying on the shelf.  It wasn’t what I was looking for, wasn’t what I was planning to buy but it spoke to me… no, more accurately, it screamed at me! I bought it. (Well, it was the only one left and it looked lonely…. and well it had pleaded with me…)

I’ll confess, creatively of late, I’ve struggled. Progress with Book Baby 7 has been painfully slow. For once, I actually have a clear idea of its storyline but putting pen to paper and stringing some sensible words together just hasn’t been happening. This isn’t writer’s block as such but more like burn out. The batteries were totally flat.

As I shared on here last week, I knew I needed a rest. And you know what? For once, I listened to myself.

I’m in the middle of my two-week 2021 Staycation. Week one has been hot and sunny (I love the sun!) and I’ve barely been indoors. After months of working in my living room, I can honestly say I’ve hardly set foot in it for 10 days. I’ve walked, I’ve run, I’ve practiced my yoga, I’ve listened to music, I’ve shopped, I’ve relaxed in the sun, and I’ve read and read and read (I’m on book 4 for this staycation). Apart from last week’s blog, I’ve not written a word.

Having bought the Continue the Story journal, it lay abandoned on my desk for three days before I picked it up and flicked through its pages. They whispered encouragingly…. I picked up a pencil, selected my prompt and tentatively tested the waters….

If you can’t read my handwritten scrawls, here’s the typed version of the short piece I wrote last night.

She’d waited a lifetime to see this view. Well, it felt like a lifetime- a hundred lifetimes! All those long cold months dreaming of this moment. Those endless dark depressing days where thoughts of this moment were the pot of gold at the end of her rainbow. The hours she had spent breathing stale clinical air, imagining it was clean salty ocean air.

As she’d sat on the plane the ay before, she’d fretted that she’d done the wrong thing. Was it too soon? What if the kids needed her? Would the cats be ok? Was four weeks too long to be away?

Despite her exhaustion, jet lag had kicked in. She’d been wide awake in the strange bed at 4am. With no one to answer to, no one to tip toe around for, she’d got up, showered and dressed, throwing on a vest tee, shorts then, as an afterthought, her Hard Rock Café hoodie. Slipping her bare feet into her flip flops, the key and her phone into her pocket, she left her rental apartment.

The pre-dawn air was still and cool. In a few short strides, she was across the worn planks of the boardwalk and heading down the nearest path. The sand felt icy cold on her feet as it flowed over her flip flops. Kicking them off, she padded down the beach towards the ocean.

Gentle waves lapped ashore. Sitting down on the soft sand out of reach of the waves, she hugged her knees and let out a long sigh as the sun started to rise above the horizon. Her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The creative batteries aren’t quite fully re-charged yet but they’re getting there.