#DystoniaAroundTheWorld Challenge, Short story

Flash Fiction for #DystoniaAroundTheWorld: The Fallen

Hello September! The beginning of my favourite season and Dystonia Awareness Month. As promised in my previous blog, I am sharing flash fiction written for the Dystonia Around The World challenge in aid throughout the month. My aim is to complete 1000 miles of writing to fundraise and spread awareness for Dystonia UK. I have faltered in my writing thanks to dystonia flaring but I am hoping to get back on track.For more information and my fundraising page, click here.

So following on from the woodland theme of A Walk in the Woods which I shared  to celebrate 100 miles, here is The Fallen.

 

The Fallen

 

Her long fingers ran over the ridges of the rough bark, and along the smoother lime lichen. They dipped into a furrow, disturbing a black beetle in its resting place. It scuttled away. A lone tear escaped, betraying her efforts of being stoic. She bit her lip and gulped the sob down. When the news came in, she hoped this magnificent solid specimen would survive, but the abundance of blue sky at their approach confirmed her fears. In full leaf and his splendour finery on display, he did not stand a chance when the high winds ripped through the woodland, uprooting the sturdy, and whipping the young, testing their resolve to survive.  The majestic were felled by an unforgiving and relentless storm set on destruction to transform the familiar and loved landscape. The words on the clipboard blurred as she marked her location on the map and scribbled on the form. Name: Quercus.

How many others would mourn the loss of the magnificent oak, the keeper of secrets, creator of memories? More than enough, she decided. There were those who stood under the green canopy for illicit kisses, the readers who immersed themselves in another world while cocooned in his branches and generations of children who learnt to climb on his accommodating lower limbs. She moved along to locate the lovers’ initials circled by a deeply scratched heart, a sign of their eternal love, except now it was over with the exposure of the labyrinth of roots ripped from the earth.

Age? She nibbled the end of her pencil. 569 years. Her certainty wavered but there was no time to check. The petrichor intensified as she bent down to place her ear and flat palm against the trunk, hoping to feel the low thud of his wooden heart. His silence matched the crows circling above.

No one knew it was coming. There was no warning. Her chest tightened. Except from Harold. His repeated mutterings of an incoming storm increased in strength the evening before, but they were ignored and then silenced by the turn of a bedroom key; all of them certain his prophecy belonged to a storm decades before, playing on a historical loop in his mind. It made no difference; it could not be stopped, but she could have captured the landscape in her memory one last time.

It’s the circle of life. The fallen would provide shelter and nutrient for the new, but the flash of neon yellow through the remaining trees and groan of machinery advancing said different. She pressed her lips to the bark and murmured her goodbye. With a flick of her black tipped delicate wings, she darted away.

 

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More soon. Take care and stay safe!

Love

just Kate

Sunny days, panicking and updates
Writing journey

Sunny days, Panic and Writing Updates

The poppies are out

July is here with some glorious days; my garden is looking colourful and the bees are happy. I wish I could say I was out there enjoying it with them but I am indoors attempting to edit/rewrite A Blend of Magic. The deadline to submit it to the NWS for critique in August is looming and I am beginning to admit defeat. My plan was to have it complete for the RNA conference this weekend, instead I am 20% through. Why? Life, health and being naturally slow at typing and thinking but mainly panic and procrastination – a writer’s curse. One I need to learn how to resolve – fast.

This weekend I will be at the RNA conference, I am a bundle of excitement and nerves. Excitement at being in an environment full of literary energy, authors to inspire and things to learn but nerves because to gain as much as I can I have to reach out from my introvert shell to talk to real people without the protective barrier of cyberspace. It is easier to be you on a screen when in reality nerves take over. Reading the emails others feeling the same and the RNA have been very supportive and friendly to try to break down those feelings. There are many writers I follow on social media and it will be good to put faces to their names and ideas. I also have a one to one sessions with an editor and two agents. This seems so unreal that my brain has forgotten to the worry about those at the moment. It will happen; it feels premature to talk to them but any pointers and advice they give must be helpful. Even if they tell me my plot sucks and try something else.

Another worry, is my health. Travelling and a couple of hours socialising always pushes my medication and the delicate balance between living and a flare to its limits. I am asking for a weekend of talks, workshops, socialising and learning. Maybe it will be kind and the inevitable payback will be delayed until I get home. If not, strangers will see dystonia in its full glory with me being unable to speak, and my body contorting into impossible positions. It is bad enough when it happens with family but in public the word embarrassment does not cover it but writing has become my escapism and if I want to move forward, I need to take this next step. Luckily, my daughter is stepping in to be my carer and accommodation is on ground level so there will be no stairs to argue with. My plan is to attend the activities on top of my agenda and anything else I manage will be a bonus. Even meeting like-minded people will be worth it. Wish me luck.

A Spoonie Life

Other news:

Last month I was interviewed about book blogging at From Under the Duvet for the RNA blog. It can be found here.

I wrote a piece of flash fiction which would please Elsie and it can be found here.

Happy writing!

Love