Midnight

I once wrote of stars,

to forget them, in love,

as they too once forgot,

and abandoned the sky

leaving the night blind

 

I once thought love a curse,

a beauty shadowed,

a glass heart shattered

and left in pieces

to shine in the morning dew

 

When I no longer looked to the sky,

had forgotten the stars,

and left myself blind,

weary of the darkest hour,

I found you in midnight

 

I found you in the abandoned sky

and eternity of our nights

 

I no longer needed to search the sky

you brought its stars to me on upturned palms

I gave you my heart

that you might hold it amongst them

 

And that we may find eternity

and eternity will be our midnight

The Depth of Us

Words not yet written will soon spill from hands

that have felt and touched and scraped across such different paths

and wiped from eyes tears that spilled for the past

We glance yet we do not speak to the stranger on the street

If only our mind would wander from fear and solitude

to a place of kindness, acceptance, away from our servitude

to our empty acceptance of loneliness, of life as you and I

as separate and unspoken our pain may be

understand the notion of what it means to yearn for humanity

For we are the ones that will guide our future

our words written without blood on our hands

our poems littered across the streets of this land.

Elizabeth

“I know you…”

I was repeating myself; in my mind, with my voice.

I was saying, “I know you, I know you,” mentally screaming, “I know you!” and I did, I knew her.

The light of a church shone brightly nearby and in it I could see her fair hair, her eyes: their depth and their emotion. The slight figure I had only recently held in the very hands she now restrained; how small and helpless se had seemed then.

My wrists weren’t bound but the pressure of her delicate hands holding them together felt like they were clad by iron.

I could feel the sweat dripping down my bow as I desperately tried to move my fingertips.

Reaching a hand upwards she ran it smoothly over my cheek, feeling the moisture on my face; my sweat, the heat of her breath on my skin.

She inhaled quickly, suddenly drawing her hand down to my throat and within seconds pushing me backwards.

My head cracked off solid stone and although already wet with sweat I knew the liquid now soaking through my hair was blood.

I gasped as her lips came to my neck. As I felt the sharp sting of her teeth piercing my skin, the pain of them sinking into a vein, the sensation of my mind opening to such an impossible possibility as I realised I had been expecting all of this but refusing to believe it to be true.

I felt my eyes begin to blur and body begin to numb, but my thoughts were clear and no, I could not go down this easily.

I clawed at her hair, tangling its waves in my fingers, pulling at the strands with what strength I had left.

I tried to scream, but I could muster little sound, little more than a spluttering that sounded more like I was going to vomit the word vampire than scream it.

Before me I could still see the lights of the church, how dim they were becoming, and with an emotion I cannot explain I realised my body was failing me.

I was but moments away from death…

I felt my limbs weaken, I felt the faintness, I felt the exhaustion, the submission, I felt my hands weakly fall down her back and I felt my lips part as I choked what I thought to be my last words:

“Elizabeth, please.”

“You are too alike. I thought that by ridding myself of you she would be gone; would no longer haunt me.”

I sighed knowing that such a thing to say should be followed by an outburst of tears. But I had cried, cried until I thought no longer tears could flow, and now it appeared as though they could not.

I placed my hand on his head as I felt him stir. It was gently that he did but I felt a rush of content flood through me knowing I had stopped in time. My peace ended abruptly as with his next movement I felt him begin to shake. I had given him my own blood in an attempt to heal him. It wouldn’t matter the type, my blood could heal any I had fed on, a way to redeem one’s self I thought bitterly and grunted a laugh.

I took a deep breath and looked down at him; he looked so weak, so helpless. I wanted to pull him closer, to tell him I was sorry and beg for forgiveness, but instead I chose to do something I thought I would never have the courage to do.

I pulled my coat which I had laid over him higher to cover his neck and the wound which I had caused. He needed to be kept warm. If I had the strength I would have moved him, but from trying to revive him I now had little; I was drained.

Steadying my breath I held my voice no higher than a whisper as I began:

“You know what I am, you always knew.” I said to him, as though replying to his previous comments, only a life time too late.

“But how I came to be, what led my path to yours, the result of which could have been your death in exchange for my eternal life, you will learn only through my story.

“A story I am finally willing to tell.”

You know, just yesterday I was talking to someone about how we get from A to B when writing a story. This is part of my A. When I get an idea, I first get a feel for it in my head, and then I write something in that world. I never have, and probably (unfortunately) never will, go straight to the plotting board. I like to write a sample first, something that gets me into the mood of the story. I found when I wrote my book that the final story turned out very differently to what I had first started writing, and I can’t help but wonder where I would have taken this story.

It was going to be about Elizabeth, our main vampire lady, and the love story that had destroyed her. Nothing new there then, but that’s okay. It was also going to somewhat link in with the Verity story I posted a few weeks ago, but now I know that Verity will be a part of my series, I don’t think Elizabeth will be joining her.

Anyway, about the writing: it ain’t awful. It’s when I was developing how to write. Now, I’m kind of over that over emphasis on everything that I seemed to have enjoyed doing back then. I’m also not so big on writing in first person, which I seem to have also done a lot of in the past. Supposedly, young adults (and I was a young adult when writing most of my Flashback Friday Fiction) relate better to first person, so I find it interesting that it’s also how I wrote. My book isn’t in first person, however. I now prefer to write in third and be a bit of an omniscient narrator (I know all your secrets, mwahaha).

Another thing I’m not so keen on is the switch in point of view so early in the story. It just confuses things and I’m fairly certain that I had planned for the story to be told all from Elizabeth’s point of view. I suppose I was going for some kind of reaction, wanting the reader to somewhat fear Elizabeth and see her as a mysterious character before I introduced her as the main.

I don’t have any plans to write this story. It actually might be one of the only stories that I’ve started and don’t plan to go back to. I think it’s because of how serious I planned it to be. I don’t recall having any characters in mind to add humour and now when I write I like to have those characters. Also, vampires. I don’t believe vampires have been done to death in literature, I just think that for me they have. I was massively interested in vampires as a teenager and read a lot about vampire mythology and, of course, I was a huge fan of Anne Rice. Now, I just feel bored the minute I see something is about vampires. Although, I do still really want to watch What We Do in the Shadows!

Until next writing time machine,

-A

Vindictive

Gavin leaned over the sandcastle: it had turrets, a flag and even a small Lego man at the lollipop stick drawbridge.

Paul had done well, but Paul had also eaten the colour blue.

Clenched in purpling fingertips the spade felt warm, and Gavin believed that if he did not act quickly it would melt and be all the evidence Miss Yordel would need.

He brought it down much harder than when he had knighted his dog, and with a satisfying clomp the Lego man was buried beneath the avalanche of sand.

“Vindictive,” Miss Yordel said, pointing to the chalk board, “the strong desire for revenge.”

Five Sentence Flash Fiction – Writing Prompt “Vindictive”

Spoiled

She walked alone at midnight to ease her mind.

No man beside her, no escort to assure she retained her modesty.

“Spoiled,” they hissed with their eyes narrowed as if to shield them from her sin.

“Rape,” she whispered, her hand tightly gripping that of the one that shook her free.

She wept goodbye to midnight, she wept goodbye to all she wanted to be.

Five Sentence Flash Fiction – Writing Prompt “Spoiled”

Forgotten

She stumbled again, the wind grasping at her shawl and pulling at her white hair whilst the brambles she had fallen upon ripped open her thick brown tights.

Her veins protruded like wiry blue snakes with the pressure she placed on her hands as she pushed up from the ground.

The curved grey stone felt cold on her palms, and the lettering carved into it rough on her delicate finger tips.

“Never,” she said weakly, and brushed away the fallen leaves and creeping ivy that year after year had fought to take claim of her husband’s gravestone.

“You’ll never be forgotten.”

Five Sentence Flash Fiction – Writing Prompt “Forgotten”

Kinda Late to the PitMad Party

A couple of weeks ago Twitter became this weird place where authors threw out tweets to pitch their books to agents. If you haven’t heard of it before it is called #PitMad and was started by Brenda Drake.

My experience with the event wasn’t a successful one, but I still learned something from it because, let me tell you, pitching your book in 140 characters isn’t easy. Especially, if like me, you’re writing a multi-stranded novel that follows more than one story, with more than one character goal. But, it made me think about what the core of my story is. Once all the world building has been stripped away; the grandeur of the characters and what they represent, what images they evoke from their names alone; once the action and the emotion is forgotten what is the story about and are the stakes strong enough. It is partly down to PitMad that I realized in my queries to agents I hadn’t been getting to the stakes; I hadn’t shown them in their most basic form. If X does not achieve Y then all Z will break loose! I focused on the world and on the characters, and not what was important to those characters.

I’m not saying this is why I’m not having any success, heck I’ve only just started querying, but I’m always trying to think of ways to better my query. For one, other than during PitMad, I’ve not yet tried querying from Robin’s side of the story, and given that Sophie is Death’s daughter (the usual side I query from) and the whole grim reaper thing is kinda done to death (haw haw), maybe a fresher perspective will catch someone’s eye rather than something possibly considered stale. Bah, I don’t know!

I’m hoping my new (shorter) word count has made the book sharper. I’m down from 113,000 to 89,000. This number might still change! Given that I’ve chopped out full chapters, I might post them up on here.

Thankfully, there is another PitMad coming up in the next couple of months, it actually happens four times a year. I’m hoping to already have someone’s attention by then, but if not I’ll be joining the ranks again! Admittedly, my heart wasn’t in it this time round and I wasn’t able to post as often as is recommended. It was the same day as my axolotl’s operation and my thoughts were with Hoshi. He pulled through the operation (somehow!) but then sadly died a few hours later. I’ll by writing a post just for him, but I’ll post a picture of him here anyway. Such a handsome little guy he was!

user14823_pic14386_1296922818

Oh! And here are a couple of links I found useful while preparing for PitMad.

Brenda Drakes website: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitmad/

Ava Jae writes a lot about PitMad and also helped some people develop their pitches: http://avajae.blogspot.co.uk/

If you took part in PitMad then let me know how it went for you. I know some of my friends over at Litopia had a successful experience so I’d definitely recommend giving it a try!

-A