Now, as 2014 comes to an end, I wanted to collect all my best pieces in one place, starting with my favourite compositions for FridayPhrases (known on Twitter by its short-hand hash-tag, #FP).
By 'best', I mean a combo of the ones I'm proud of, the ones that still make me giggle, the ones which received lots of stars and/or the ones that have triggered longer story ideas that still need to be written.
It's interesting to see the common threads that stretch through my different attempts, especially when they're all juxtaposed together. Here we go:
He didn't want to lose his home language; but over time, sentences splintered into words that in turn became misshapen, dusty or lost.
He loved to mime. He specialised in little fragments of mime at a time, which his audience loved and hated. His name was Morsel Marceau
Home was only a place in her head, in the memories that washed up. It was difficult to belong in the present.
2 May - Theme: Home again
Home: the hole of my heart.
Glowing moon flakes drifted to earth. On a dark road, a car eagerly ate a sliver. Its dim headlights shone bright again & it raced home
Sun & humidity hug my skin; streetscapes & smells echo buried memories; old language rhythms awaken from sleep. My home as palimpsest.
High in the clouds, winds rush to caress and slap. Far below, the world of surging blue dances and froths. And the albatross flies home
The café at the edge of the known world was dilapidated but brightly-lit, as though trying to keep patrons' murky pasts in the shadows
The bird liked to fly at night, above the world of warm slumber & shadows. It read the stars & swam lazily between winds & air currents.
When it was all over and the smoke cleared, they realised that all those who had been spared had poets' hearts
The dam water rushed into the town with the fury of a thousand summer storms. In froth and madness, the water hunted its victims.
As kids, they built sandcastles in the air laced w/ salt & sun. As adults, neither realised the other also felt the call of those dreams
A tiny tree of bare, stunted twigs. Spring brought white petals. Then came green apples, ripening into that first blush of sunlit ruby.
The music in her head taunted her for weeks. Then it bled into her skin, scribing endless notes&rhythms - like leaves on tangled vines.
The assassin squinted at the mangled car deep in the bush. His handiwork. He abseiled down to the metal grave and dug out the papers.
In her bubble of a flying machine, she chased the sun, dodging the grasping fingers of clouds that sought to trap her in their world.
The land before them sat, sullen and watchful. As they looked on, the mountains shrouded themselves in heavy mist and withdrew silently.
Beneath their feet, the earth softened into mud which glittered with the light of hundreds of trapped fireflies.
She looks through the glass at the vista of sun-sand-sea, then at the cleaning rag in her hand. Time to get on with polishing paradise.
And wander in awe
Through the far flung stars
Of storytellers' imaginations
as they draw big worlds
with few words
(includes a fieryverse prompt)
3 July - Theme: Quandary of the Inebriated Mariner
Mountain of grey basalt jagged in the sky. A skirt of greenery edged with white sands and a singing sea. Once a prison, now paradise.
He stands on the beach
Where waves crash
& dreams collide
Bottle in his hand
Ocean at his feet
Liquid caresses & promises
(includes a HeartSoup prompt)
Ian spent the day w/ his dad. They biked, hiked, sat in the shade & drew shapes in clouds. His dad vanished that night & never returned.
31 July - Theme: The Sky is Falling
I awaken just as I am thrown from the earth, tumbling endlessly towards a retreating sky until I find myself standing among the stars.
Atlantis did not sink; it retreated with its people beneath the sea. Those left behind wrote of myths to mourn their loss & to remember
Scared of the dark, the dragon used trees as torches to navigate the unknown woods In its wake, villagers feared the beast's evil intent
I gawped. A baby dragon had suddenly appeared on my desk. Grey, scaly & so ugly it was cute. It blinked, burped fire & singed my report
22 August - Theme: Harm's Way
I smuggled the baby dragon out of the office, needing to keep it out of harm's way. I didn't know it would be the one protecting me.
28 August - Theme: At Midnight
Cinderella began to untransform at midnight. She decoyed the Prince w/ a shoe & rang her Godmother. 'You forgot abt Daylight Savings?!'
As the crowd counted down to midnight, the cat burglar finalised the theft. Before the newer, lesser insurance policy came into effect.
In the day, the house was a picture of serene domesticity. At midnight, it was an unending nightmare of twisted bodies & silent screams
"D'you like getting swept off your feet?" He leered.
Her booted foot swept his legs out & he smacked to the floor, dazed.
11 September - Theme: The Muse
Rooftops painted silver
& a silhouette lounges
Lithe, elegant, vital
In a grey room
'Come back my muse!'
Her muse is most active on long car trips, spinning rich tales. But always fades b4 the trip ends, so stories die w/out a word written.
Her rarely-shared gift was to pull the right words from his head & slip them sweetly onto the screen. He veered from love to hate & back
18 September - Theme: A Sultry Night
Under a darkening slate-grey sky, the heavy air stirs not. In the lethargic street mischief pulses as eyes meet & smiles are exchanged.
It is a sultry night; on the sheer cliffs rising high to the sky, lichen shine in the moonlight & whisper secrets of civilisations lost.
25 September - Theme: Oblivion
The key, said the sea spirit, is to know, deep within, the call of water. The girl dove thru the waves into blue oblivion. & remembered
The oblivion of the night & her sorrow could engulf her. Instead, she unlocked her door & stepped into the light & her lover's embrace.
2 October - Theme: The Secret of Eggs
Explorers ransacked the cave for treasure. Not seeing the emu egg carvings told the story of how the world began, they just smashed them
The pathologist finished the autopsy & went straight to see the King. "You were right." She spoke grimly. "Humpty was pushed. Murdered!"
The last dodo ran, clutching her only egg. Chased by dogs & 2-legged monsters, she hid the egg in a volcanic swamp. It lies there still
9 October - Theme: Regrets
- Cupcake crumbs & icing decorated her fingers & face. She stared at the now-empty plate & felt deep abiding regret.
"Come with me if you want to live!" He said. Bullets whipped by. She took his hand & regretted it. Was that pus or snot on his fingers?
The cat finds a quiet corner of the orchestra pit to snuggle in for a nap as the
16 October- Theme: Discarded Pants
Pete scrabbled furiously through the shifting mountain of discarded pants. Reaching the door to Narnia had never been so difficult!!
The court gasped as the witness squealed then fumbled & discarded his pants onto the floor. The pants smouldered & burst into flame.
23 October - Tweets from the Bar
- She walks through a snow storm of lilac petals swept by the night wind. Inside the bar, heads are bowed reverently over lit-up tweets.
30 October - Theme: Descent into Depravity
- The angel hurled himself down the pit towards earth. New angels needed exposure to depravity in order to build up their immunity.
It was a fine line: if your angel wings got too dusty w/ depravity, you got stuck on earth & had to earn your chance to try again.
The woman of Lost City was wiry, w/ eyes hard as asphalt & a mouthful of obscenities; not descended into but a descendant of depravity.
She walks thru scenes of depravity, unmoved. She has planned her descent to this world carefully. She will do her job & she will leave.
6 November - Theme: Missed Opportunities
She stonily ignored the relentless, furious knocking at her door. Eventually Opportunity threw its hands up in disgust & walked away.
She was always careful about which opportunities to miss. This way, there was always something or someone else to blame. Never herself.
The mugger felt his face. A girl, alone, dark street - too good an opportunity to miss. Instead he'd been hit & mauled by claws & fire.
13 November - Theme: A Stranger's Promise
She stared at the masked face of her rescuer, forgetting the burning cut on her cheek. He said "Finish your journey. You will be safe."
The mail-order bride smiled too brightly at the stranger whose ring she now wore, whose hand held hers tight & whose name she now bore.
She stared into the newborn's eyes. "I will always look after you" she vowed & ran out of the hospital holding another mother's baby.
20 November - Theme: Tweets from the Dead
She wonders where her
Bony fingers paused mid-tweet to answer the phone. The rattled caller was told the manager wasn't in, it was skeleton staff only.
The spirits hovered amused as Jim tried his hardest to solidify just a fingertip. Enough to tap the phone & tweet "yes life after death"
27 November - Theme: Gratitude
Ms Grumpy glares at the stuff blooming all around her, huffs & stomps away from it. But the spread of gratitude follows her doggedly.
A Universe fuelled by our ener-qi
The lives of stars
Held bright by heart-light
Our world understood in
Longitude, latitude & gratitude
The girl was grateful for her malnourished body, which allowed her to hide when the men in green took the rest of the villagers away.
4 December - Theme: Too Much Information
He'd been acting so strange & odd lately. She hovered the mouse over the browser's 'History' tab. Did she really want to know? Did she?
The bankrobber held the hypochondriac hostage, who shared too much info abt eye parasites. The robber looked green as he gave himself up
11 December - Theme: Home for the Holidays
The migrant worker poured his love& savings into the parcel he posted home for the holidays, then ran to the factory for his next shift
18 December - Theme: Bad Habits
People had a bad habit of crowding Jim wherever he was browsing in the bookshop. Until he snapped. He now owns books w/ dark spatters.
26 December - Theme: Making Peace
She sat under the starlit sky, making peace w/ the upheavals & obstacles of the past year, clarifying her hopes & dreams for the future
She made her peace with her world and walked out across the ocean - towards the moon on the horizon, never looking back.
Their relationship just wasn't working out. She liked making peace but he just liked taking it ;-)