Category Archives: based on writing exercises

Falling Stars – Flash Fiction

Life-Of-Fiction-Falling-Star-Flash-Fiction

With a finger tracing over her skin, she connected the freckles, dot to dot on her arm, tracing out the constellation that she used to be a part of. A constellation forever changed because she was no longer apart of it; but there it was, upon her skin, preserving its place in history. A nod to how it was.
Looking around, she took in the sight of her surroundings. For so long she had glanced down upon the earth from her place in the heavens, and now she was looking at the earth from within it.
She didn’t know what to do with herself now. A life lived up in the skies and then suddenly banished.

*****

Exploring her new surroundings, she quickly got used to her new legs. She traversed through hillsides and woodland for several days before she happened upon any native humans. Spent her days walking and her nights admiring her sisters from a different point of view.
When she came across a small village, she found the natives to be very friendly, even if she didn’t always understand what it was they actually meant. The women got her bathed and gave her new robes to wear, like she was a doll to play with. Everybody was interested in her, asking lots of questions. They had never met an actual star before.
“What are you doing here then, and not up there?” asked one gentleman, pointing skyward.
“Well, I was banished” she stated, thinking this should’ve been general knowledge.
“how can a star be banished?” asked another
Her face grew sad, “I’d started to collapse,” she spoke softly, “I would’ve gone eventually, but on my own terms and in my own way – out with a bang and not a fizzle. They don’t want you breaking formation unless it’s on their terms though”

[304 words]

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Buttons

Drakes-The-Button-Down-Shirt-2

It was when a button popped off, straining under the pressure of holding his blue shirt closed, that he realised something needed to be done. That shirt was the largest one he could find in the shop when he’d brought it, only a few months ago.

The thought of going to a specialist clothes shop, always called something ridiculous like ‘Big & Mighty’, to buy even larger sizes scared him into action. He needed to lose the weight, and fast.

He decided to be smart about it, to go to a doctor first and get the right advice. Crash diets just never worked.

At the doctors though, rather than taking his vitals and discussing the best exercises and healthy meal options, or telling him off for being so glutinous, the doctor simply asked about his life and how things were.

Unsure of what this had to do with anything, he thought for a second before attempting to answer.

He hadn’t really thought about himself lately, figured he was kinda stuck on automatic mode so to speak, going through the motions of daily life without really reflecting on it.

“Well”, he spoke hesitantly, “erm, I’ve just been working really. My mom died last year and I haven’t really wanted to do anything else. Just getting on with it.”

“And how do you feel about your mother’s death?” the doctor asked

He stopped to consider this question before bursting into tears. At first they simply streaked down his cheeks but the more he spoke the more they flowed, harder and harder, his face turning the colour of sweet red cherries.

Through heaving sobs he explained how much he missed her, how he was an only child who never knew his father and with no other family to speak of.

He spent the best part of an hour crying his heart out, talking about his feelings of loneliness, emptiness and uncertainty for his future. He shook with emotion.

Eventually he began to settle and calm down, and as the tears started to ease and subside, the doctor asked him to stand in front of the mirror. A little repulsed at the idea of looking at his fat, puffy, tear-stained face, he slowly got up and stepped over to the other side of the room where a full length mirror hung on the wall. He lifted his gaze unwillingly.

However, rather than the red plum of a face he was expecting, he was surprised to see a much slimmer man staring back.

“All of your “fat” was in fact emotional baggage you’ve been harbouring since your mother passed. You’ve been bottling it all up and with no other release, it simply has to go somewhere. Your fat was the physical manifestation of what you were feeling inside.”

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All Lies

Lies-and-Truth

 

“Silly girl, do you think I actually loved you?”

She looked at him, her eyes questioning, her lips drying, her heart exploding,

“You certainly made it seem that way” came her meek response.

“You were just a part of the cover story,” he admitted, “but you can go away now”

His words were cold, aloof, uncaring. She was stunned into silence. Everything she thought she knew had been a lie.

She had questions but didn’t want to hear the answers; not right now. All she could do was do as she was told and go away. She got up from her seat outside of the café and started walking away, not wanting to spend another minute with him; not knowing where to go either.

She felt so hurt and alone. How could anybody do such a thing? Not only to lie about absolutely everything but to maintain that lie for so long. All of this time and it was lies; she didn’t know who she was anymore.

That man pretended to be her father. Her childhood, everything she had known, in a single moment, had ceased to exist.

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Growing Up

All children must eventually grow up.

Some mature faster than others but it happens to them all. You just cannot stop it. As time moves forward, speeding through the present, making every second history, children get older. They become disinterested in their passions, swapping and changing them on a whim. Developing, learning, growing. Not so innocent anymore; maybe a little jaded.

They leave behind their toys, and fascination of everything, but first of all he’ll forget about me, the imaginary friend.

flash-fiction-imaginary-friends

It started of slowly – one day he simply didn’t talk to me as much as he usually did. A little time passed and then there would be the odd days when he wouldn’t talk to me at all. These days became more common. I was still in his mind but he was unwilling to talk, to play; he was bored of me. He ignored me.

I’ll never forget the day that his auntie asked him if he still had an imaginary friend, her voice filled with an evil laughter. My eyes immediately looked over at him, waiting hopefully for him to recognise my existence again. He simply blushed and looked down at his feet whilst the grown-ups carried on their conversation. I could do nothing but walk out of the room, storming passed him, but still going unnoticed.

All of the time I had spent with that boy, playing with him, talking to him, being there for him when he felt all alone and that’s how he treats me. Too good for me now, too mature; doesn’t matter that I’m the one whose all alone now.

I can’t stay mad at him though. When he’s at school, I’ve noticed that a few of the other kids have imaginary friends that they are ignoring as well. It’s just the way it is, nothing personal.

The day will come when they will forget us completely. They won’t be able to recall our names, or the silly things we used to do together.

I’ve spoken to one of the other imaginary friends and he feels the exact same way, scared of what will happen next. Does another child choose us to be their friend? Do we just spend eternity doing nothing? Or, do we simply cease to exist?

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The Mystery of Her

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Day after day, year after year, he had said nothing of his affections. He often thought about doing so, of coming right out with it but he just couldn’t do it. Scared of more rejection, the fear of being even more alone if she spurned him. The one time he did try to tell her he got all flustered and was tripping over his words; he felt like an utter buffoon and came out with something else instead that made him feel completely foolish and left him too self-conscious. It was then he decided that having her as a friend was better than nothing at all, and all though he was completely infatuated with her, he would tell her nothing of his feelings.

They had met at the bookstore, bonded over a love of greek mythology, and since then remained good friends, meeting up a few times a week. She had told him of some on-off boyfriend but other than that she was a mystery to him, a complete enigma. In some ways he thought he knew her but often she would say or do something that made him think he didn’t. Somedays she would be perfectly normal, chatty and friendly, but sometimes she would speak in riddles, avoid answering questions, and always be looking around, almost disinterested.

The chatty friendly version of her became more frequent in their meetings, and whilst he yearned for her to feel the same as he did, he never acted upon his feelings.

One day, he received a phone call from some man. This man was a brother she had never mentioned before who wept down the phone as he told of how she had died in a car accident a few days before. He hung up the phone; not listening to the details of what had happened. He was in shock. He did not want to believe that she was dead.

*****

It took him a long time to bring himself round to visiting her grave. He wanted to do it, say one final goodbye, but it was too hard, too emotional. When he finally convinced himself to go, he stood at her headstone for some time before eventually, with a single tear strolling down his cheek he whispered,

“I love you” his chest heaved and his tears came stronger and harder.

“I love you too” came an emotional voice from behind him.

Slowly turning around, his eyes rested upon her. At the mere sight of her it felt like his heart was going to jump out of his throat.

There she stood, even more beautiful than he remembered. He couldn’t move, stricken with confusion and overwhelming love. The two looked and smiled at each other before he finally strode toward her, full of confidence he had never experienced before, pulled her into his arms, kissed her and held her like he was never going to let go.

“I thought you were dead” he exclaimed through tears of happiness

Nodding, she pulled away from him and took something out of her pocket to show him.

It was an ID card. Underneath the logo of Her Majesty’s Government was a photo of her, next to a name he didn’t recognise.

“Let’s go back to yours,” she suggested, “I’ve got some explaining to do”

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Impulse Buy

 

“I repeat, do not go outside. Board up all windows and doors”

It was the same on every channel they flicked through, well, except one channel who had decided to lighten the mood of the world with back to back reruns of Monty Python.

She felt fed up, like a caged animal, bored of waiting for all of this to blow over. She looked round at her boyfriend and the dog, both snoozing on the sofa. How could he sleep at a time like this?

Wondering over to the window, she peeked through the hole they had put through the board, she hated the idea of not being able to see any daylight at all. Across the road she could see neighbours boarding up their own windows, blocking out the signs of warmth and life within; a chill ran through her bones at the sight of so many darkened houses, full of frightened families huddled together.

She knelt down a little to cast her gaze upwards. The hole they had left wasn’t overly big, so she could only see a tiny fraction of the sky above but what she saw was enough to make her stomach sink further.

Jets soared high above, dipping and diving through clouds of smoke, pulling off amazing feats of ariel acrobatics. She would have been in awe if it weren’t for the aircrafts that were following them, zipping high and low, exchanging gunfire. They weren’t like anything she had seen before. Nobody had seen them before. But from now on they would be forever etched on to the minds of a generation. The aliens that invaded earth.

Weather the government or anybody knew about this before hand, remained unclear, the people were not being told, but it all seemed to happen so suddenly.

The existence of aliens as cold, hard truth made her feel tiny. But why were they here? The vast array of stars and planets that must be out there to explore and they come to planet earth to declare all out war? It just didn’t make sense.

The noise of weaponry and bombs grew fierce. She sat herself on the sofa next to sleeping boyfriend and dog, trying to distract herself, to simply wait for it to be over. She could only stare blankly at the tv though, unable to absorb anything she was watching with the fate of the world being decided in the skies above. The anxiety she felt stood strong in her heart, like a cement block within her chest.

An hour or two elapsed with no respite from her anxieties and fear that the end of the world was nigh, when there came a knock on her door. who on earth could that be? who in their right mind would venture out of the supposed safety of their home to come and see her?

She was going to ignore it, keep all windows and doors closed as instructed by government officials via all television networks; but the knocking became louder, more frantic, enough to finally awaken boyfriend.

“What on earth is going on?” he demanded

They went and stood in the hallway, staring at the front door. The knocking was replaced with a deeper, more hollow sound. Her heart racing, body shaking, as the front door was beaten down.

Confronted with men in black uniforms bearing a battering ram, they stepped aside to allow someone else through.

She instantly recognised one of the men, but she didn’t fully register him in her mind. For her attention was focused on the 8ft tall creature that had crouched down to enter into her home.

He stood silently, his eyes fixed on her. Nobody said anything. The silence became too much for her to bear. It was like this creature was staring into her soul and she felt utterly exposed. Was he trying to read her mind?

Eventually the silence was broken by the creature’s smooth baritone voice;

“The necklace.”

She looked confused, realising that he was pointing at the necklace that adorned her neck, the one she had purchased only a few days before from a little shop in Camden. It was a simple silver chain that had the most unusual stone she had ever seen as a pendent. But what had her necklace to do with the intergalactic warfare that had been going on?

One of the aide’s to the Prime Minister stepped in to encourage her to give the necklace to the creature now and ask questions later. So she removed the pendent, handing it to the aide, who then, rather nervously, handed it to the creature towering above them.

“My sincerest apologies Emperor,” the Prime Minister began, turning to leave and escorting the creature out, flanked by several member’s of the earth military men. She followed, standing in the doorway with boyfriend watching them go. She looked up to the sky to see a ceasefire between earth and alien aircraft. Ours sauntering back down, whilst theirs zoomed of into the sky, through the atmosphere, and back to whichever corner of the galaxy they originated from.

As quickly as it started, it was now over.

Nobody ever did stay with them to explain just what was going on, leaving her and the rest of the population to speculate; what was so special about that pendent?

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Soul Mates

soulmate-and-life-partners

She looked at the new ink scrawled across the inside of her wrist. It was smaller than she had thought it would be; but she had no idea really what to expect in appearance or in what it said. Everybody’s was different. Some people’s tattoos read nicely, whilst some had something silly or nonsensical emblazoned upon them – always on the inner wrist of the left hand. And it would make sense eventually, in context, when the person destined to be your soul mate would utter the words on your skin in their very first conversation with you.

For on the morn of your 18th birthday these words would appear, marking you for life with the very first words that would be uttered to you by your soul mate. It was a symbol of adulthood, and though some wouldn’t admit it, it was a great comfort to awake with one, for it was a sign that they were not destined to be alone.

She read the words, wondering what it would be like to hear them said aloud, wondering what her soul mate would look like, wondering how long she would have to wait to hear them. She stroked at her skin, thinking that it may be sore or delicate, but it wasn’t.

She felt impatient already. She now knew the very first thing that her soul mate would say to her, but her soul mate was yet to say them. How long would she have to wait?

◊◊◊

Years began to pass her by. She would occasionally wonder when it was going to happen, and sometimes think that it may not happen until old age, but she had become patient and just kept on waiting.

One night, a few months after her 24th birthday, when out with a friend, she finally heard the words spoken out loud, exactly as they were written on her skin; a tingling sensation rippled through her as he said them. The wait was over.

She responded to him and as she spoke she noticed him glance down at his own wrist.

“Did I say it?” she asked excitedly,

He nodded shyly,

“You said what’s on mine too”

They laughed nervously and began talking, getting to know each other.

“I guess you’re in my life for keeps now, considering we’re soul mates and all” he said as the night concluded.

She simply smiled at him and he leaned in for their first kiss.

◊◊◊

As the years passed by she hardly thought about her tattoo – she would occasionally glimpse at it if it caught her eye and remember fondly the night they met; the ink a little faded now. They certainly had their ups and downs but through it all he was her destiny.

So when one day, somebody else uttered those words, exactly as they were written; when she experienced the same skin-tingling sensation, she felt heart-broken. The joy she had felt when first hearing them was this time replaced with fear and confusion. What did this mean?

“Does this mean I’m breaking up with him?” she asked her mom, “I thought he was my destiny; that we would be together forever”

She felt on the brink of tears at the thought of losing him. She felt life was being so cruel.

“And this other person – she’s a girl! I’m not into girls that way”

Her mother chuckled quietly,

“Soul mates aren’t just our future husbands or wives. A soul mate is simply one who understands you; who lets you be yourself; who you have a deep and meaningful connection with – soul mates are love in all of its forms; be it romantic or platonic. And you my girl are very lucky to have more than one soul mate. Not many people do.”

 

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