Monday 26 October 2015

Monday Flash Fics: The Reward

The reward

“No. Stop. Please don’t.”

I try to pull us in the opposite direction, but I don’t stand a chance against Lily’s greater strength, combined with our forward momentum. Before I’ve even finished protesting, we are slap bang in the middle of the group of people who have gathered to study the poster. I hate crowds. Lily knows this and still she’s pulled me into one.

“A unicorn?” Hilarity and something close to contempt are obvious in the deep voice reaching my ears. “Somebody must think we’re all gullible fools.”

“Maybe it’s one of those television programmes,” another voice suggests. “You know what I mean;those shows where they trick people into making complete fools of themselves and then broadcast it on TV.”

Lily’s snickering beside me doesn’t make me feel any less anxious, and I pull at her hand, silently urging her to walk away from these people. Wilful, as she always is, she refuses to budge though, and I’m too scared to make my way through this crowd on my own or to create a scene.

“Next they’ll try and tell us vampires and shifters are real too.” Mocking laughter follows the words and fear ripples through me, making my heart beat faster and my forehead ache.

“I’m going to have a look,” someone else says. “It may be some sort of stunt or promotion. You never know, there might be something in it for those curious enough to investigate.”

And there you have it. Anger filters through my fear as I’m once again not surprised at the way the average human mind works. Why is their first thought always what’s in it for me?

“Mommy, can we go and look? I wanna find the unicorn. Please mommy, please?”

For the first time since Lily pulled me into the crowd I smile while I fervently hope this child’s mother won’t kill his still vivid and vibrant sense of wonder with harsh words. I breathe a sigh of relief when I hear her agree to the young boy’s request, and watch them as they stroll off toward the park’s entrance.

As if the boy and his mother have fired a starting gun the rest of the crowd follows and, caught in the middle, Lily and I have little choice but to move along with them.

“This is fun.” Lily laughs out loud, attracting attention from quite a few people. “Don’t you agree?”

“No!” I hiss the word in the hope only she will hear me. “Nothing good is going to come from this. Not a thing!”

I’m no longer sure which is stronger, my fear or my anger. At last she turns her head to look at me.

“You really are scared,” she says, her eyes full of concern.

“Yes. And you should be too.”

Without another word Lily stops walking and both of us stand in the middle of the path until the last of the group has disappeared around a corner. Only then do we move into the bushes to our right and walk on until we reach our secret clearing.

“I’m sorry, Mari,” Lily looks and sounds contrite. “It just that their stupidity never ceases to amaze or amuse me.”

“I know.” I sigh before pulling her into my arms. When we rub our foreheads together the small bumps there, hidden under our fringes, tingle. I close my eyes, relishing her comforting presence while I realise it will be a while before we’ll be able to shift again.


582 words

This intriguing image was found for us by Theo Fenraven, who appears to have a special talent for stumbling across the weird and the wonderful. J More flashes based on this photo can be found, as always, in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook. 

Tuesday 20 October 2015


And so it begins

Scenes from Adelaide Road, my new release, has gone on pre-order on the Pride Publishing Website today. And thus kicks off a release process that will last for one month and 11 days. The schedule is as follows:

October 20, 2015: Pre-order on Pride Publishing Website
November 3, 2015: Early download on Pride Publishing Website
December 1, 2015: General release day.

Don’t worry if you can’t keep all the dates straight, I will be posting again for every step in the release process J

Scenes from Adelaide Road is very close to my heart. I’ve grown very fond of both Lennart and Aidan and can’t wait to introduce them to the rest of the world.

The blurb:

Can a young man find the courage he never knew he had when faced with losing everything he holds dear?

A few months before his final exams in secondary school, nineteen-year-old Lennart Kelly discovers he’s inherited a house on Adelaide Road in Dublin from a grandfather he never knew. Having been ignored, bullied and abused for as long as he can remember, Lennart can’t wait to leave behind his father and the small town he grew up in. Moving away as soon as he finishes his exams doesn’t cure his deep-rooted insecurities though.

Meeting twenty-three-year-old Aidan Cassidy in a gay club on his second night in Dublin, scares Lennart. Used to being ignored and ridiculed, he doesn’t trust the attention he receives and can’t believe a man like Aidan could possibly be interested in him. It takes infinite patience and understanding from Aidan to slowly coax Lennart out of his shell.

But the past refuses to stay where it belongs and Lennart’s father is determined to take the house in Dublin off his son by whatever means necessary. Just when Lennart is learning to trust and embrace life, a violent attack threatens everything he holds dear. Suddenly Lennart is in danger of losing his house, the man he’s grown to love and maybe even his life. If Lennart wants to protect Aidan and safeguard his future, he’ll have to find the courage he never knew he had.


Chapter One

I took one step forward before retreating again. The wall against my back grounded me, taking some of my panic away. I stared across the street at the door, the bouncers and the slow trickle of people entering the club. I had waited for this moment, dreamed about it for months but now it had arrived I couldn’t find the courage to take the last fifteen steps separating me from the threshold.

I forced myself to breathe slowly while I counted up to ten and down to zero again. My body was on high alert, thoughts rushed through my mind and worry cramped my stomach. This was ridiculous. I only wanted to enter a club, discover what it was like on the inside in order to satisfy my curiosity. Here in Dublin, I had no reason to be afraid—there was no one to tell me what I could and couldn’t do, and, most importantly, nobody to frown upon me and who I was.

I was free at last, but I might as well still be shackled to my father and his rules for all the good it did me. I could hear the contemptuous words my dad used to spew at me whenever I’d attempted to create a social life for myself as if he stood next to me. ‘Don’t make a fool of yourself. Surely by now you’ve figured out people don’t want to be around you. Nobody likes a loser.’ I had hoped the distance between us would diminish his power over my thoughts. I’d been wrong.

Across the road two more men entered the club. They exchanged a few words with the bouncers and a burst of laughter reached my ears. I studied them. They looked just like me—nothing made them stand out as special or remarkable. Tight jeans, even tighter T-shirts, and loafers. Nothing about their appearance distinguished them from the people who walked past the club on their way to different venues.  Nothing, apart from the fact that some of them had been holding hands and others had their arms wrapped around each other, or hands stuffed into each other’s back pockets. Nothing, except that couples entering this club were either all male or all female. 

That stood out like a red flag in a black and white movie. I couldn’t imagine ever seeing that back home. The sight filled me with a longing so deep it hurt. I closed my eyes for a moment and allowed the soft June breeze to wash over me. I wanted to believe I could be one of those men one day. Nineteen years of being told I was nothing—not good enough, a disappointment as well as a disgrace—had me convinced my dream would always be that, a futile fantasy.

Time passed and I just stood there. I had to make up my mind—either bite the bullet, cross the road and enter the club or go back home. There would be no shame in going back to my house. I’d only arrived in Dublin two days ago. I didn’t have to hurry or force myself. This city was home now. I could visit this club and others like it whenever I wanted, or rather, whenever I found the courage. I half turned to start the short walk home before stopping myself. No. If I chickened out now I might never be brave enough to take the first step. Before I could change my mind again I stepped away from the wall, crossed the street and walked up to the door.

“Sorry, mate, we’ll need to see your ID.”

The bouncer sounded kind enough, but his words still left me fuming inside as I pulled my wallet out of my pocket and handed my age card over. Looking like a sixteen year old when my nineteenth birthday was months behind me sucked.

“Thanks. That’s grand. Enjoy your night.” The bouncers stepped aside and allowed me to enter the place I’d been longing and dreading to visit in equal measure.

What had I done? Why had I not gone home? Every instinct screamed at me to turn around and walk out again. I glimpsed bright lights, dark corners and a bar along the left hand wall before I lowered my gaze to the floor. I’d seen enough to know the place was relatively empty. A few bodies moved on the dance floor in the middle of the club and some people sat at the tables surrounding it. The music was loud and the beat travelled through my body, making my eardrums vibrate. I didn’t look up while I made my way to the far end of the bar where I picked the empty stool next to the wall.

The marble-like surface of the bar wasn’t interesting enough for all the attention I paid it, but I couldn’t bring myself to look up, never mind study my surroundings. I waited for someone to come and tell me I wasn’t welcome. It had happened whenever I’d found the courage to go out in the past and I couldn’t believe the same wouldn’t happen here. The setting had changed, but I was still the same as I’d always been.

“What can I get ya?” The bartender appeared out of nowhere, or maybe he’d been there all along.

“Bacardi and Coke, please.” I whispered the words and wasn’t surprised when I had to repeat them so he could hear me over the noise. I took advantage of the bartender having forced me to look up and studied my surroundings while I waited for my drink. The place was dimly lit and divided into various areas. On the far side, couches and coffee tables created comfortable looking seating areas. Near the door, where people were now entering in a steady flow, and at the opposite end of the large space, I saw high tables without seats. The dance floor in the middle of the room sparkled under the spotlights and steadily filled up with swaying bodies.

 The bartender had moved back to the centre of the bar to fix my drink and talked to a man while he did so, nodding his head when the man stopped talking. Despite the fear churning through my stomach, curiosity took over. Something about the customer with dark hair caught my attention. He was little more than a silhouette but I couldn’t pull my gaze away from him until he turned his head and looked straight at me. Shit. Muttering the soft curse, I diverted my attention back to the marble top of the bar and traced a dark line with my finger while trying to get my breathing under control. So much for staying inconspicuous while checking out the club. I fought the urge to look back up and establish whether or not the man was still looking at me. Don’t attract attention to yourself. The voice screamed in my head and I acknowledged its wisdom.

When my drink appeared in front of me on the bar, I paid for it without looking up or acknowledging the barman. I nearly spilled the rum and Coke as I picked it up. The combination of bubbles and alcohol hit the back of my throat as I drained half the cocktail in one gulp. Tears sprang to my eyes and I swallowed hard to keep from coughing. I couldn’t do this. Admitting defeat was easier than forcing myself to be braver than I’d ever be. I’d finish my drink and go home. Being alone wasn’t easy but I preferred it over the fear and tension keeping me on a knife’s edge right now. Maybe once I’d lived in Dublin a while longer, after I’d got a better feel for the place, this would be easier. After all there was no hurry. I’d no intention of ever going back home. I had a new place to live and the rest of my life to explore it.

My heart stopped jumping in my chest and my breathing slowed down as soon as I made my decision. My hand was almost steady when I reached for my glass again.

“Are you keeping this seat for anyone?”

I banged my head against the wall next to me as the barely audible voice addressed me. The shock of pain made me careless and without stopping to think, I looked up into the face of a beautiful man before immediately looking away again. Of course it was the same man I’d been staring at only a moment ago. I could feel colour rising up my cheeks, as a cold sweat broke out across my brow. I numbly shook my head and returned my gaze to the half-full glass in front of me.

I felt more than saw him sit down and could feel his gaze travel over my body. A voice in my head screamed at me to forget about the drink and just leave. I couldn’t do this. God only knew who he was, what he wanted. Why did he seek me out when only a few stools along the bar were occupied? I’d thought it might be safe to come here. I shouldn’t feel threatened. But what if I was wrong? What if there was no safe place for me? What if I hadn’t been singled out for the reason I’d always assumed but because I sent out this subconscious message, inviting people to bully me? I had never been able to figure out why my father detested me, why people looked down on me or why others got a kick out of hurting me, but it had been the one constant in my life. I’d no reason to believe it would be different here in Dublin.

“Is this your first time here?”

His voice was still barely discernible but I couldn’t detect any hostility in it. I nodded my head, unable to find my voice and grabbed my glass. Two deep swallows was all it took to finish what remained of my drink. I placed my hands on the bar, ready to push off and leave. Before I could raise myself, his hand landed on my arm.

“Don’t tell me you’re leaving already. I saw you come in—you’ve only just arrived.”

For a moment, curiosity overtook fear and I turned my head to really study him. He looked even better close up than he had from a distance. Black hair fell in unruly locks around his face, his fringe nearly hitting his dark eyes. His cheekbones stood out and created an interesting pattern of light and shadow on his face. I allowed my gaze to rest on his full, smiling lips for a moment before looking away again.

To be continued

Monday 19 October 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Hope


When they remove the blindfold it takes me a moment before I realise I’m not losing my eyesight. The instant I adjust to the foggy light I try to take a step back but a solid presence behind me makes it impossible.

“You’re not going anywhere but forwards.” The voice sounds as disembodied as it did the first time I heard it, when they caught me.

The rails on which the small cart in front of me sits are red from rust. I can’t tell for sure because of the fog, but I’m certain some of the supporting pillars have broken away from the structure or are about to crumble. The moment the thought hits me I hear the scream, high pitched and filled with anguish and despair. It doesn’t last long and silence descends again, leaving me to reflect that I wasn’t the only one being brought here.

I can’t believe I find myself in this position. I managed to avoid them for two years. I moved around, never staying in one place for longer than the few hours sleep I needed in order to keep going. I fought despair, refused to think about failure and, toward the end, even allowed myself to hope I might make it.

“Get in,” the voice orders.

I study the small cart resting on the rails in front of me. It looks at least as fragile and unreliable as the structure on which it sits.


I’m pushed forward and nearly fall. That would be the end of me. I’m not sure how high up we are—I can’t see the ground—but I know I wouldn’t survive if I fell. Then again, I don’t think I’m supposed to survive. Would falling be worse than following the orders?

While I sit down I reflect that once upon a time these structures were a source of terrifying fun. I don’t know where we are but it’s possible that I’ve been here before. I may have made this trip before, with my father, his arms around me as we sped up and down the rails in safety. There’s no father for me today, no strong arms, and I don’t think there’s a safe destination either. They came. They took over. They’ve been hunting us. I don’t know their purpose. I only know I’ve never seen anybody again, after they’d been taken.

I thought I might survive. Towards the end I believed I might make it to safety. My heart grew lighter, despair turning into optimism and then they were upon me.

“Want to know how we found you?” the voice asks.

I say nothing, but it makes no difference.

“Hope always shines bright in the middle of dark despair.”

A hard shove and the cart starts to move, slow at first and then gathering speed. I close my eyes and allow hope to die.


480 words

As always, more stories based on the same image can be found in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.

Monday 12 October 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Princess


Something disturbed my sleep and for a moment I wasn’t sure what had woken me. The bed didn’t feel big enough and for the first time in months I didn’t have a warm ball of fur curled up behind my bent knees. I blinked and squinted through my eyelashes and saw….her.

She was really here. After all the pain, the waiting, the despair, the moments when we thought it would never happen, the scares when it all appeared to be falling through, she was laying next to me, still fast asleep and making soft, cute noises.

Only six months had passed since we talked about giving up. Neither of us could see our way out of the situation we were in. The universe was conspiring against us. We would clear one hurdle only to discover another one waiting right behind it.

I pushed closer, draped my arm around her waist and rested my cheek against her soft hair. It didn’t feel like enough. I wanted to be closer still, crawl inside her, surgically attach myself to her, do anything to make sure we’d never be separated again.

Yesterday, when she came through the gate at the airport and we saw each other, the rest of the world ceased to exist. She let go of her luggage while I ran to close those last few yards between us. That first kiss felt like coming home. The tight band of worry which had been squeezing my heart for over a year at last let go and I got high on the relief rushing through me. Or maybe I got high on having her near, being able to see her, smell her and taste her.

I didn’t hear any of the comments our reunion provoked until we reluctantly pulled apart. Under any other circumstances the tut-tutting and the disapproving faces would have made me angry and confrontational. Yesterday all I did was smile. None of those nay-sayers could touch us. We’d fought for our coming together. We’d paid our dues, had needed to call on more patience than either of us thought we had, and it had been worth it. A solid wall of happiness surrounded us and none of their bigoted opinions could breech it.

I heard a soft meow and noticed Princess on the edge of the bed, studiously looking away from us. Poor kitty. She’d been the sole recipient of my attention since she was eight weeks old and she clearly didn’t enjoy sharing the limelight. I smiled while my thumb stroked the soft skin underneath it. Princess would get used to the new situation and learn to love the girl who holds my heart. After all, how could any creature not be entranced by her?


456 words.

Today’s flash is very special to me. I wrote it with two friends—who will remain nameless—in mind. Very soon now they’ll be able to embark on their life together and create their own happily ever after. The thought brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.

Other stories based on the same image will be posted in the Monday Flash Fics Group on Facebook.

Monday 5 October 2015

Monday Flash Fics: Auction


Jasper kept his head bowed and his eyes firmly fixed on the floor in front of him. Even if it hadn’t been the expected position, even if the coils circling his head weren’t forcing him to be passive and compliant, he wouldn’t have moved or looked around. How the fuck did I end up here?

“Gentlemen, feast your eyes on our next item.”

Item. Anger surged through Jasper. He was no fucking item. He was a man, exactly the same as any other man here. Except that he was naked, on stage and for sale, while the others were buyers. This was wrong. It should never have happened this way. He hadn’t signed up for any of this.

“This is your lucky night, valued customers. This specimen is a novice to our stage and trade. However, as the blue colour indicates, our object does have years of experience serving a Master.”
The audience didn’t hear the words the voice mumbled—“even if he is an insufferable brat”, before the sales pitch continued at the normal volume. “This is a fantastic opportunity if you’re in need of a subject ready to supply you with all you desire from the start.”

Jasper listened to the words, spoken by a voice he used to love. Until a few days ago he’d spent his days and nights with the man detailing his ‘virtues’ now. He’d trusted the words that used to come out of that mouth. Now he knew better, but now it was too late.

Suddenly being a passive victim wasn’t good enough anymore. Jasper tried to lift his head so he could glare at the audience about to bid on him. As soon as he raised his chin an inch, a searing pain shot through his head and down his spine. To Jasper’s shock it resulted in his cock filling with blood. There was nothing he could do except stare in horror at his dick, proudly pointing at the watching men who broke into applause and laughed out loud.

“That’s it gentlemen,” the torturous voice continued, place your bids now.”

Jasper didn’t need to be able to see the audience, to imagine anybody with an interest in buying him entering an amount on the little pad they’d been given. Not too long ago it had been his job to escort other young men onto the stage and, after the bidding was over, to the little cell where they’d wait for their new owner.

“Thank you, gentlemen. The bidding has now closed.” The voice paused before addressing someone to the side in a much softer tone. “Take him away and bring the next one.”

Once he’d been brought to one of the little waiting cells, the coils were removed and replaced with a blindfold while Jasper’s hands were cuffed behind his back.

Fear knotted his stomach while he waited. He knew how it worked. He’d lost whatever rights he used to have. His buyer’s will would be law. They’d replace the coils if he disobeyed. Time passed, although Jasper had no idea how much of it. The silence surrounding him was complete, like a wall closing in on him.

The sound of a door opening almost shocked him into raising his head but he resisted the urge, too afraid of having the coils reapplied. Footsteps came closer and Jasper had to concentrate on keeping his breathing under control.

Hands stroked his body and pinched his nipples. Lust mingled with fear and Jasper’s cock, which had shrunk only minutes ago, reasserted itself. A few firm strokes later, Jasper found himself gasping and torn between shame and need.

“Let that be a warning.”

The all too familiar voice shocked Jasper to the core.

“I’m not giving up on you yet. But the next time you break my rules….”

The voice left the sentence unfinished but Jasper had heard enough and sighed with relief before answering.

“Yes, Master.”


652 words

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