Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hope - A Short Story/ Flash Fiction

Here's another of the pieces I worked on for Folded Word's 24/7. A 250 word story, called "Hope".


I was a idealist at first. I joined the police force to catch criminals. To make the world a safer place. To give people hope that they would not be raped or robbed or killed as they walked down the street some day.

I was naive. When I think of myself back then, I think of Pandora and her box. She too was naive. She opened that box and allowed all the evil in the world to escape. Hope was the only good thing to emerge.

For all that she assisted the escape of everything evil, at least Pandora did give hope a chance as well. I cannot even make that claim any longer. Tonight I must tell a parent that her child is dead. For months we have searched for the girl and her abductor. All that mother has had to cling to, was hope.

Tonight I shall take that away. As I anticipate the woman’s reaction, I feel more like the evil Pandora let out, than the girl herself, or a bringer of hope.

I try to think like a criminal in order to catch them, but all too often, like today, I fail. That failure ensures the death of innocents. It takes away any hope their loved ones have of seeing them again. And yet if I were to succeed in thinking like them – embracing evil in order to save a life – would I be the one for whom all hope would be lost? 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to tell if you're becoming a grown up

It's very easy to accidentally slip into being a grown up. Unlike 'adult' however, which is a term that is bestowed upon you depending on your age, 'grown-up' refers much more to a state of mind, and the related observable behaviours. Some people are born grown up, while others are lucky enough never to succumb to the urge to become one.

Here are some behaviours which might indicate that you're turning into a grown up *shudder*

- When you find some bubble-wrap, instead of bursting the little air filled bubbles and giggling like a lunatic, you fold it and put it aside in case you might need it to wrap something in, sometime.

 - You watch the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and instead of laughing and rooting for Ferris, you wish his parents would catch him, ground him, stop giving him pocket money, supervise his activity more carefully, and allow his teachers to make him repeat his school year. Because he's a naughty boy and should be punished. (If, however, you read that last sentence and think with a wicked grin: ooh, spanking, kinky - there may yet be hope for you!).

 -You watch the film Dirty Dancing and think that Baby should not only be put in a corner, she should stay there until her next birthday - she's only 17 and therefore just a child, damnit!

 - You fail to giggle at any hilarious slip of the tongue or inadvertent humour in a serious situation - and not only do you fail to do so, you roll your eyes at anyone who does find it funny.

 - You think the internet is strange and scary and populated by serial killers, so you refuse to use it for anything but communicating with people you know in real life - and shopping. Because saving a little money is more important than having an open mind.

- When you get an Argos catalogue, you go straight to the home appliances and furnishings section, skipping past computers, gadgets, toys and games and any other fun stuff.

 - You no longer look for shapes in clouds. If you look for shapes in clouds but no longer see, remark on, or laugh at rude ones, you may be in some danger of becoming a grown up.

 - You arrange your life around when the soaps are on.

 - You get a voucher for Boots and spend it on vitamins and toothpaste rather than hairdye/condoms/electric blue eyeshadow

If you spot any of these signs in yourself or a friend, be afraid - be very, very afraid! Go watch a funny film, read a comic, or draw a doodle. Then go look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself for a while. it might help you - and the idea that you're doing it because I told you to will sure help me get a giggle and remain childish at heart!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What I'm working on...

Friday update!

Well I managed the 24 part of the 24/7 writing challenge - writing a piece every day for the first 24 days of August. The final part involves working on editing/revising a piece every day for the final seven days of the month. So far, so good! I tend to edit the twitter fics as I go, but the flash fiction pieces and the poems do need work, so there's plenty to keep me busy there.

Also, I'm working on an erotic horror story. It's for an anthology but I don't know if I'd use my own name if it got accepted...still, cross that bridge when I come to it I suppose! Got to finish the story, edit the story and submit the story then hope it gets selected before I really need to worry about the blush factor!

Also working on a story about a strange little hillbilly town. Inspired by a village near where I live - the radio always goes funny when I drive near it, and it gave me an idea for a story. Only got a few hundred words so far though, got a lot of work to do so far on that one.

No work on any of the other pieces I'm supposed to be working on. Got a couple of rejections this week as well as the acceptance so I need to go hunt through duotrope for some more markets to send them too. One is a sadistic serial killer story, the other a flash fiction piece detailing one woman's reaction to the end of the world.

So yeah, some nice lighthearted pieces there, as always! Heehee. Got quite a bit done this week considering I've had a lot of other stuff happening, so a good week overall!

Thanks for congrats and other comments by the way, they're all very much appreciated! I really like knowing that I'm not just talking to myself on here!

Acceptance, yay!

That's right folks, I seem to be on a roll at the moment.

Or, it could be the fact that I'm actually constantly and consistently sending out my pieces. Like the lotto, if you're not in, you can't win. For years I wrote and left stories sitting on my laptop, submitting them nowhere. I didn't particularly improve as a writer by doing this, and it certainly did nothing to help my confidence as one. A handful of acceptances this Summer and I'm spending a lot of time grinning like a maniac. Which is because I look crazy when I'm happy, not because I'm a maniac. Honest.

So to return to the point - I got another piece accepted. My story Cat Food, about a hungry cat that turns on the family that owns it, will appear in Fearology 2: Beware all Animals Great and Small. 

I'm really looking forward to getting my own copy as it sounds like a great book. I'm a pet lover and an animal lover - but I find it's best to accept that most animals would eat you if it came to it. Cats, in particular. What's the point in self-delusion?  Heehee.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another twitter piece - Comedy Hypnotist

I'm too tired and busy to come up with a proper blog post today, so have a fun little twitter fiction/poem :-) Proper update tomorrow, I promise!

Comedy Hypnotist

Comedy Hypnotist
Words strike fear in him
I do not wish
To think I am a chicken
He says

Escapes his lips
Alongside a sob

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another twitter fiction - Small Things to be Grateful For

Another twitter fiction for you today :-) This one is called Small Things to be Grateful For. Don't forget, you can read some of my longer fiction pieces by clicking the tab above :-) Same goes for poetry.

Small Things to be Grateful For

Twenty of them. Lined up in a row. I was grateful for the machine gun. Meant I didn't have to look them in the eye, do them one by one.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A twitter fiction - Beetroot

I have no energy at all today. Busy week ahead and I feel like I've been hit by a bus, or possibly a train (being hit by a train would in fact be quite an impressive achievement on my part, since there aren't any in this part of the country). So blog entries may be few and far between this week, or you may get lucky if I decide to put a few short fiction pieces up! Here is one to start anyway. A dark twitterfic! :-)

He added beetroot to the juicer, loving how it resembled blood. Not mere speculation. He had used that juicer to dispose of body parts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Each house has its own insect population

It's true. I have no idea why, but each house seems to be home to particular insects far more than others.

The last house I lived in - fruit flies. Yucky little things that meant I had to leave a piece of tissue over a wine glass at all times or they would start dive bombing it and drowning.

This house - moths. Thankfully not the big scary fat-bodied creepy ones, but the little ones, that eat your clothes.

The houses are only a few miles from each other, so I have no idea where this diversity in insect population comes from. The old house also had a lot of other sorts of flies, which may have been because it was beside a farm, but I don't know if that explains the fruit flies.

There also seem to be a lot of wasps in the new house. Not sure why that is either, but thankfully they're quite slow and stupid, and I've been almost enjoying swatting them with catalogues and magazines. I may not be allergic to wasp stings, but I sure don't like them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Yay, acceptances!

Yes, that's right, acceptances, plural! The 's' is not a typo! It has been a good week.

A short story I wrote, called "Special" has been selected for the forthcoming Bloodbound Books anthology, Rock is Dead: Dark Tales inspired by Music.

I also had a poem accepted by Sam's Dot Publishing for their magazine for young people, Beyond Centauri. The poem is called "Be smart, be tough, be lucky", and will feature in the October 2010 issue.

Don't forget you can pre-order Stitched Up!, the anthology from House of Horror which will feature one of my stories, White Christmas, a tale of zombies crashing the holiday season!

At present the price is just £9.99 including shipping from House of Horror bookshop - but next Tuesday the free shipping offer will be gone, so get yours now! If you order this anthology, please mention my name while ordering as I get additional royalties if you do so.

So, overall it has been a good week for writing - two acceptances, and I've been quite prolific. Here's hoping it continues, on both counts!

Cover art images ©The artists, follow the links in the relevant posts to learn more about them

What I'm working on...

Friday once again and time for an update!

I've had a reasonably prolific week this time. Still no work on any of the stories I'm supposed to be working on, but I did write three short stories, two apocalypse-type ones, one of which has been sent out, the other will be after a good edit later today, and a serial-killer piece which has also been edited and submitted.

I've managed to write something every day for 24/7 - nearly at the end of the 24 part now, next week the focus turns to editing work. It has been a very good challenge though, and while some pieces will need a lot of editing and others may never see the light of day, I have come up with a few pieces that I'm quite proud of - including the microfiction that I posted yesterday, A Meeting.

So the other apocalypse piece needs to be edited, and I need to write a 24/7 piece for today - and the ideas just seem to be flowing at the moment, so I figure I should go with them and get them down, since I tend to have my fair share of dry spells! I wrote several poems last night in bed which I'll have to edit as well, and maybe send out - plenty to keep me busy over the coming week, I expect!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Meeting ([very] Short Story)

Wrote this today as my piece for day 19 (today) of Folded Word 24/7. It's just under 100 words (99 to be precise) so it's a micro-fiction. Enjoy!

A Meeting.

You look well, she tells me, with a sneer that suggests by “well” she means she’s surprised I’m not dead, or a junkie. She speaks to me in that condescending tone that threatens to bring me straight back to the school where she was principal and I was always on detention. My phone rings. I answer it and arrange a meeting. She stands in front of me, oblivious to the fact that I am a high-class whore, and I shall see her husband later to relieve him of some of their shared pension funds, as I do every week.

Gender and Genre

Many female writers, especially those who write and publish 'genre' fiction, use their initials rather than their first name.

This is because many male readers are unlikely to pick up a book by a woman, even if the cover, synopsis, etc, clearly indicate that it is not 'chick-lit'.

Fiction isn't the only place this bias occurs. When it comes to scientific journals as well, people pay more respect to articles written by people whose first name is male, or those with initials, than those with a female first name. Even though scientific studies are subject to the same rigour regardless of who submits them for peer review or publication.

I can understand that most guys don't want to read about shopping and shoes. In fact I'm very sympathetic - I don't want to read about shopping and shoes either. But it's the pastel pink colour of the cover that gives these contents away, not whether the author is a man or woman.

So why are men so reluctant to take work seriously if it's by a woman?

In case you're interested, by the way - I don't do this because I don't have a middle name, so no middle initial! That, and the fact that if I actually do well for myself as a writer, I want to make damn sure all the begrudgers and old school bullies etc know exactly who it is who has done so well for herself.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So many ways the world could end...

I love speculative dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction. The Road was one of the best films I've seen in a while. Delightfully grisly and dark. I also like older ones like The Stand. My favourite books include The Handmaid's tale, Oryx and Crake & Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood; 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World and Island by Aldous Huxley.In fact there are loads of others too, but those are just the ones I can remember right now.

I find it hard to write speculative or post apocalyptic fiction though. My biggest difficulty seems to lie with the specifics of what goes wrong with the current world, and why. Not that I think everything is rosy and we're heading into a bright future - the opposite, in fact. The way I see it, there are so many scary possibilities, it's hard to pick just one.

Which way will the world end or change forever? Environmental destruction, religious dictatorship, fascist dictatorship, nuclear accidents, scientific experiments gone wrong...the list is long and slightly overwhelming.

There, isn't that a nice optimistic post before I go to bed? Haha. Sorry! Lots of opportunities for great fiction - I just hope they stay fictional. And that I manage to write some of them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Film/Movie - differences in the "same" language.

Here in Europe we call films, films. I know many of them are now shot on digital, but they're called films because they are (were) shot on film, and played on reels of it in the cinema.

In the USA they call them movies. As in, thing that something moves in. It's kind of babytalk really. First there were stills, then movies, then talkies...and for some reason, movies stuck and they still call them that. And because we watch ones that are made there, we start to call them movies as well.

Language is weird sometimes. Changes in it spread like a rash, or a virus.

As a writer, it can be fun to play around with it. Like trying to write very differently to how I normally talk. My story "White Christmas", that will be published in the forthcoming anthology, Stitched Up! for example, has a lot of 'Americanisms' in it, because it's set in the USA. It was difficult to write words like 'flashlight' instead of 'torch', but it was probably a good writing exercise. And since it got accepted, I'm going to take it that it worked!

Still - I'm just going to invite arguments here, and say that the USA way is wrong :-P

PS - if you order a copy of Stitched Up!, please mention my name, I get royalties if you do!  Thank you :-)

Monday, August 16, 2010


I've spent so much time this summer doing what feels like nothing.

It involves a lot of reading, quite a bit of writing, loads of manuscript formatting to send stories out, dog walking, reading interesting blogs, playing mafia wars on facebook, eating, writing this blog...these sorts of things.

Today is the first day however that I can register for my course for the next year. Which will be my final year. I have three modules left to do in order to obtain a degree: A sociology research module, a cognitive psychology module, and a basic literature module just to make up the numbers.

I do love literature but it might be weird studying it. Will it make me feel completely inadequate as a writer? The module is being revised but as far as I know it'll still have Shakespeare (Hamlet - which I've never actually read before, and am kind of looking forward to, even though I know the basic premise of the story), Ibsen (A Doll's House, which I read when I was 18 or so and have long since forgotten) and Yeats (Bleugh - moany old git of a poet who never stopped bloody complaining), plus a few others.

One of the reasons I didn't study it before is that there isn't an awful lot that a Literature degree leads to - except teaching, and I think I'd rather blow my head off than be a teacher in the existing education system at least. Hence the sociology and psychology - though seeing as there are no jobs going at all these days, I could probably put down on my CV that I have a degree in advanced nuclear engineering and still be told I'm under qualified to work at a checkout.

And then of course there's the fact that assignment deadlines tend to be in mid December, mid February and early April. With a newborn baby, that will be interesting. I might not have much time to focus on doing anything but scraping a bare minimum of marks in Lit, as it's the other two modules which will count toward my final degree marks.

I really should try to get a headstart, and start reading Hamlet or something now. But I have several books from the library that I really want to read first, like H.P. Lovecraft's short stories, and a book about the science behind Star Trek. And then there are loads of other things to do as well, like write. And pick a fantasy football team. And....and....and...

So I might as well enjoy doing nothing and feeling little baby kicks and stuff while I can....as I may be very busy over the Winter! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

What I'm working on...

Friday again - already!  The week has flown past, and I've been busy with family & friends stuff and some early onset nesting - or at least the urge to sort out the study, as has already been documented here.

Have managed to do some writing as well though.  I'm still managing a piece a day for Folded Word 24/7 - though admittedly, this week has seen more twitter fiction, rather than longer pieces (and when micro fiction and flash fiction are "longer pieces" that's bad!). So I suppose there might be a lesson in that - writing every day is a good idea, sure, but if there's something specific to do every day and only a little will suffice, there's a temptation to say that I'm then done with writing for the day.

I did managed to edit the evil serial killer story, and submitted it - so fingers crossed on that one!

As well as this, I got around to resubmitting several pieces that had been rejected over the past few weeks. So not an entirely unproductive week, even if I haven't gone near the sci-fi/time travel story, or the fantasy epic. Both are still just swirling around in my muddled head, alongside umpteen other vague ideas. Who knows which I'll write first? Watch this space to see...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Follow up to the nerd/geek dilemma

So I was in the library today and I saw a book about the science behind Star Trek. Obviously, I got it out.

I also got very excited about now being able to take out 10 books at a time, rather than 6.

I also really, really, really want it to clear up tonight so I can see shooting stars aka the Perseid Meteor Shower.

Maybe I'm neither nerd nor geek, just a big oversized child.

Oh well. It'll help me relate to the baby better, hopefully!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Am I a nerd or a geek?

Am I a nerd or a geek?

I'm the techiest person in my family....but compared to real tech heads I don't know much. I'm definitely the one who gets called on to fix minor computer problems though, and the one my friends ask about how to download, where to download from, and why their computer is going slow or weird all of a sudden (The answer by the way, is generally: run CC cleaner, run malwarebites, defrag and restart et voila! Should be fine again now).That's roughly where my knowledge stops, but I do like to know how to do things myself so when my computer f**ks up I tend to take it apart, literally and figuratively, depending on the problem, to try to work out what's wrong and how to fix it.

I keep my own computer desktop very tidy - only 7 icons. Everything is filed away in a system that probably makes sense only to me. My house on the other hand, is frequently a mess.Once again however, there is a system. It just doesn't look like it.

I got very excited today about alphabetising my books. I mean, it was actually loads of fun. Really.

I actually like learning. As long as it's a subject I have some interest in, that is.

I prefer words to numbers. In fact, I'm not really a big fan of numbers - unless the lotto wants to throw mine up some week, but that's different.

I like science but in the following order: 1. Biology; 2. Chemistry; 3. Physics. 

I'm addicted to the internet, mostly social networking sites and writing sites.

So, people of the internet - am I a nerd or a geek? What's the difference anyway?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Music to write to, or a distraction?

Sometimes a tune, or several of them in a row to be more precise, playing in the background can be inspirational when writing. They can help me focus on the writing, make sure I don't hear the phone ringing or the dogs barking as long as the volume is turned up, and so on.

On other occasions though, the music - or more particularly, the lyrics - can be a massive distraction. I first discovered this curiosity about 12 years ago when I was studying for my Leaving Cert, with Nirvana, Pixies, Pearl Jam and so on blasting from the stereo. As I wrote notes, the lyrics would magically find their way into what I was writing. I could have sworn I was writing only about the life cycle of the liver fluke or the properties of ethanol, but somehow the occasional sentence bore more resemblance to the majestic poetry of Kurt Cobain than the contents of my biology or chemistry textbooks.

It was around then that I realised that I might not be the best person when it comes to multitasking. But shhh! Don't tell anyone.

Sometimes another distraction when using music while writing is just choosing the playlist. I could spend ages going through my CDs, or lining up a youtube playlist. When I've finally chosen my music, I'm in need of a break!

An alternative is to just flick the radio on - but there are several downsides to this. The main ones are:
1. Most chart music is so awful it will distract me to the point where I won't write the lyrics down instead of my own words, I will use the pen to stab myself in the eardrum.
2. There might be things like news on the radio, which tend to distract me by making me angry at politicians, corporations, and the various wide ranging types of bullshit that happens all across the world.

So often, when I write, I don't bother listening to music. Which is a pity, as I do love music. Still, it saves a lot of hassle when editing!

Friday, August 6, 2010

What I'm working on...

Yup, Friday again, time for an update.

Working hard on doing a piece of some sort every day for Folded Word 24/7.

Haven't done today's yet though.

Have done very little writing this week apart from those tasks though, so everything else is still in the pipeline.

I do have various ideas, but so far they're just vague scribbles in my bedside notebook. Maybe by next week, they'll start to be something more.

Published 2 twitter fictions today on twitter. Old ones. Here they are to save you the trouble of going to my twitter feed:

Turning. Ticking. Hands on the clock move. I stay still. if I move, they will see me. If they see me, I will die. I stay still. 

"Dead", she whispered. Whose death? I wondered. I stepped out of my hiding place. She didn't react. Didn't see me. Oh no. I'm dead?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Writing Every Day

Writing every day is one of those things that writers are always told to do, in lists of things that writers should do if they want to be successful. Or good, for that matter, which as I'm sure you know, is frequently not the same thing at all.

I've never been particularly good at it. I get days when I write so much and so intensely that I forget to eat, that I would probably forget to breathe if it wasn't automatic. And then there are other days I can't write a thing - I could stare at the laptop or a page all day, and fail to get a single meaningful or otherwise word down.

All the same, I figured it was worth a try, at least once. So for the month of August (handy timing, as I'll be back to study in another month) I'm participating in 24/7 by Folded Word. The challenge is to write something every day. There are prompts which we can choose to use or ignore, and there are several types of writing:

-Twitter fiction (up to 140 characters)
-Micro fiction (40-100 words)
-Flash fiction (101-500 words)
-Twitter poetry (up to 140 characters)
-Prose poems (up to 100 words)
-Short poetry of any form (up to 8 lines).

So far I've written 2 micro fictions, 2 twitter fictions, and a twitter poem. As yet I haven't used any of the prompts, and my pieces have been pretty varied regarding genres. I may post some of them here at some stage, but not yet!

Now, to see if I can write anything else today...a twitfic is very short, after all!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's in a name?

Sometimes I just call my characters any old thing...but it's rare. Usually I take time, put a lot of effort into figuring out their names. Something that suits them, by the sound of it, or the meaning, or some association (even if only in my head).

There's a downside to writing loads - I've had a lot of characters over the years. Therefore, a lot of names.

Add this to all the names of characters in
1. Books I've read,
2. Films I've watched
3. TV shows I've seen


...Not to mention all those real life people I've met...

...and there are suddenly very few names in the books that don't have some sort of association. Considering I like dark stories, they aren't necessarily positive associations either. or even if they aren't exactly negative...well, they might not be exactly what I want for a child.

I don't mean any offence to any people who have the following names, by the way - they're just examples, and the associations associated (?!) are all just in my head...everyone sees these things differently, which is probably why we all have different names to start with.

Say, Beth, for a girl. I like the name - but it's technically short for Elizabeth, and I don't like that much. Plus, there's Beth in Little Women. Poor, brave, tragic Beth, in Little Women. So that's out.

And that's just one example.

Plus - a character only has to live with a name for the duration of a story. A child though - he or she will have to live with the name for their entire life.

Choosing names....so difficult!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Facebook apps

Like most people, I get annoyed by a plethora of facebook apps cluttering up my newsfeed. In general, I just click the 'hide' button on them.

There is one I love though. It's called "How much money have I saved since I stopped smoking?".

You put in how many you smoked, how much they cost where you are, and what date you quit.

It tells you how much money you have saved, but also how many cigarettes you have skipped, and the increased life expectancy. I'm not sure what they base their statistics on for the latter, so it may be pure bullshit, but it's encouraging all the same.

It wasn't even the money that made me go "WOW?!" though. It was the amount of cigarettes. The idea that I've managed to go 148 days now without smoking, and saved nearly €700 is great. As is the 12 days added to my life expectancy. But it's the fact that 3700 cigarettes have gone unsmoked - that's the one that's left me flabbergasted.

A little scared at how quickly those 25 a day add up. Mostly though, really happy. And proud of myself.

It's an odd feeling, that. I'm not used to it. I think I like it though.

Yay for facebook apps. Also - this one just sits on my profile page, rather than cluttering up newsfeeds all the time. Win-win :-)

Bank Holiday Weekend

So my scheduled posts posted, that's good to know!

I wasn't on much as it was a bank holiday weekend, we wanted to treat it a bit like a mini-holiday.

Worked quite well. Did very little on Saturday as the other half had a killer toothache, but on Sunday we saw some friends and went to the cinema to see Inception (which was very good - layers of reality/what's real and what isn't, nicely confusing) and then yesterday, went to the zoo in Belfast. Haven't been to a zoo in about 8 or 9 years. Quite a few of the animals were asleep, though the sea lions were lively, and the Andean bears were great as well. Plus there was this giant hamster-type thing that I'd never heard of (and forgotten the name of again) before. Might post pictures another day!

Oh, and I got an email this morning - there was a problem with the orders for the House of Horror Stitched Up Anthology, so if you have ordered one, please cancel it through paypal!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A short story/flash fiction piece - Pink Robots

Pink Robots

It was white for a start, and had pink robots on it. Also, there was a valance sheet, with the same pattern, hanging over the edge of the bed; making it a place to shove things out of sight. Unfortunately they were poking out. Copies of the Beano alongside Playboys

“Thanks,” she said, taking the glass of vodka and coke he handed her when he came back in. She sat down on the bed. At least that let her take her eyes off the pattern on the duvet.

“Cheers,” he said, sitting beside her and putting his free hand on her thigh as he sipped his own drink.

>She nodded, not sure what else to say. The room had ruined the mood. Changed her perception of him; in the club he had seemed handsome. Sophisticated. She sipped her drink again as he pushed her skirt up and let his hands wander more.

“And you work in the hospital?” she asked again, trying to distract him with conversation while she worked out what to do.

“Night porter,” he nodded. “But not tonight, so that’s good!” he said with a grin that now seemed leery rather than cheekily flirtatious. His hand wandered further as he threw the rest of his drink into him and laid the glass on the floor, where it rolled under the bed, the pink robots on the valance sheet flapping for a few seconds. She thought longingly of her own bed, the satin sheets, the Chinese print bedspread. Wished she’d suggested her place rather than coming here with him.

“It’s not really what I expected, your room,” she commented as he started kissing her neck.

“Been like this for years, I don’t see the point in changing anything, it’d be too much hassle,” he replied, his voice muffled.

“Years?” she asked, shocked, then it dawned on her. “Is this your parents’ house?” she asked.

“Mmm,” he replied, undoing the buttons on her shirt. “And hard as it’ll be once I get started on you, try not to make too much noise, they don’t like it if I wake them.”

She coughed and spluttered and moved away from him, putting her glass on the nightstand and redoing her buttons. “Sorry, I can’t do this,” she muttered.

His face fell. “Well, that’s up to you,” he said, his tone despondent. “We can still lie here, if you want, just kiss and stuff. We don’t have to do anything.”

“I don’t just mean sex!” she hissed as she grabbed her coat. “I mean anything, here, with you! Look around, do you really think a woman would be turned on by a room like this?”

“Never met one before who cared,” he shrugged. “You’re awfully full of yourself – I get plenty of women back here that don’t go all frigid!”

“Frigid?” she spluttered. “You’re a loser who still lives at home with his parents, whose bedroom hasn’t changed in years!” she pulled on her coat and threw one of the Beano comics at him. “Don’t bother calling me a taxi, I’ll make my own way home!” She flounced out the door and stomped down the stairs, not caring if she woke the parents up.

“No more picking up men in clubs,” she muttered as she slammed the front door behind her, the thought of doing anything on a duvet with pink robots on it making her shudder.

An old piece, just a bit of a funny/silly one, thought I would share it here! Also, another scheduled post - so hope it appears at all!