A to Z Challenge | B

The Words

“Beatitude: Beatitude is from the Latin beatus, meaning happy. Beatitude is a state of high and unremitting bliss. In theology the word relates to any of the blessings given by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount as recounted in the Gospel of Matthew and so beatitude can mean a divine blessing bestowed upon somebody. A feeling of beatitude befell him as he lay lounging in the bath.”

“Brumal: Something brumal is indicative of or occurs during the winter and often, naturally, relates to seasonal changes in the weather. The brumal blasts of cold damp air really troubled his asthma.

“Bestir: The verb to bestir has been in English since AD 900. The root is in the Old English word bestyren, which meant to pile up wood, presumably for a fire. To bestir means to rouse from inactivity, as in to wake up. The link to woodpiles is probably related to the practice of stoking up a fire that may have dwindled or gone out while the householders were sleeping.”

(from “1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary” by Joseph Piercy)

An Old Friend

His bones creaked as he bestirred from his bed. His oak house was as old as him, the large room simple but all he needed. The first signs of winter crept in through the cracks, and it took Jack a while to fumble the fire on and thaw through his bones and his home. He peered through the thin glass to see the dirt brown leaves swirl up in the brumal breeze. It may not be hot inside, but he was certainly glad not to be out in the pinching chill.

Jack readied the pot of coffee, slow but certain in his movements so not to waste the grains. Sleeping steam woke above the pot and spread its warmth into the air. He poured himself a mug and sunk into his armchair, it embraced him, his favourite companion. Jack needed no book, no newspaper and didn’t need to busy his hands. His mind kept still in the moment, deep roasty aromas filled his senses, and as he took the first sip of his morning coffee, beatitude curled in his lap, an old friend.

A to Z Challenge | A

The Words

“Aberrant – If something is aberrant it is deviating in some fashion or manner from the norm. Aberrant is a direct borrow from the Latin word aberrāns, meaning to go astray. A secondary meaning relates to behaviour, specifically bad behaviour or behaviour considered out of character or abnormal. Such aberrant behaviour will not be tolerated.

“Acarpous: An Anglicization of the Greek word karpós, meaning fruit. Karpós is steeped in Greek mythology. In English, the addition of the prefix a as a negation gives us a word meaning simply, without fruit or barren. The word can also be used as a synonym for sterile or unfruitful in a figurative sense.”

“Adumbrate: Adumbrate is a word much beloved of academics, particularly historians and literary critics. Derived from umbra, Latin for shadow, an action can often adumbrate or foreshadow another future action or consequence. In literary narratives, for example, one action adumbrates a further development in the plot. Adumbrate is also sometimes used in the sense of overshadow. The prophecies of the three witches adumbrate the fate of Macbeth.

(from “1000 Words to Expand Your Vocabulary” by Joseph Piercy)

Chocolate Bunny

Today I DM’d a D&D session for the first time, it was an Easter one shot and I had so much fun. One of the player characters was a super cute bunny that also gashed his skin open to use the blood magic within. Meet Num Num.

Num Num was a squat pink bunny rabbit. His fur soft as bedding he found comfort in stroking his own tummy. Although altogether the ideal image of a bunny, the ruby stains on his fur from his blood mage training was an aberrant sight. A sight that adumbrated his future. Num Num’s pockets were acarpous of chocolate, so he determinedly bounded towards danger coated in the delicious sweet substance, with the hope of the treat and too naive to seriously think the danger could be real.

March Writing Challenge | Day 31

Wow! Can I just say how amazed I am to make it all the way through my March Writing Challenge! I have written every day, no post was prewritten or back dated, and I’ve explored so many topics and had so much fun. Also so importantly I’ve grown my little patch of internet along the way and met some awesome writers and poets. It’s lovely to have you guys reading my writing and to be able to be inspired by yours as well. So thank you!

I got to the 100 follower mark! Yay. And hopefully I will keep burrowing into this lovely community. ☺️

Next up is the April A to Z Challenge! Here’s my theme reveal. Let’s hope I can keep up with my new challenge goals and also keep interacting with everyone and joining other prompts along the way. Happy Spring!

Find full details of the challenge here.

“His eyes weren’t normal.”

A shiver crept around the camp fire. We waited, baited for more.

“They were the most beautiful blue, clearer than tropical oceans. I was in love. But when I went closer, they changed. The pearls of blue melted into slits of obsidian. The purest pits of darkness that light itself is not fast enough to escape from.”

Charlotte paused. The crackle of the fire overshadowed its warmth, leaving room for a chill. Charlotte had always been known for her beauty, her confidence. She drew people in to her. Men. Women. Children. Everyone felt comfort around her as if she was the real fire. Her tone was still calm but her words were changing the atmosphere. Just like she’d always created attraction, instead a pulse was emanating from her, almost warding us off.

“When I saw those eyes, I should have known I was already deep in the spider’s web. I should have cowered. But instead, I fled. Or I tried to. But really I had no hope as it was not just his eyes that had now changed. His limbs had lengthened, stretched out and gaunt. They sported dagger claws black as a starless sky.”

“Come on now Char! This is getting really creepy. Even the fire wants to leave.” I gestured at the fire pit, the flames cowering to the floor. The atmosphere was palpable and I was trying to slash through it with a blunt knife.

“I thought you wanted a scary story, I’m nearly finished!” without awaiting approval Charlotte ploughed on. “As I was saying, I knew there was no hope for me. I was lured in by his presence, and now I was lost to life. As I ran, it took only two bounds for him to catch up to me and halt me. His thin nails were so sharp that my clothes were torn without fraying. His scratch down my back held me in place. I was so scared no noise could escape my lips. That’s why none of you heard me… There was nothing to hear. I hope you heed my warning, there really is no point in running.”

Just before the fire finally escaped, the only one of us who did, we could see Charlotte’s friendly eyes turn to piecing black slits. There wasn’t even time to scream.

March Writing Challenge | Day 30

Find full details of the challenge here.

I was happy living once. My home was large and spacious, warm light flooded every nook and I was content. Every morning I would wake in my white linen bedspread and the light would rise to greet me. I was energetic making my mourning routine an engaging ritual. Meditation, washing, yoga, dressing. Fresh faced for breakfast.

The table provided whatever I desired, and along with it a serene corner of my home to eat each meal. The rest of my day was spent reading fantastical fiction about imaginary worlds, cleaning my space, writing my own stories, exercising and then settling down for sleep.

I read about other humans in books, sometimes whole colonies of them lived together, some even sharing beds. I always found this concept hard to consider, the idea of another ‘person’. I’d feel so crowded. I mainly wrote about one person worlds like mine. I was so grateful it was just me.

Until one day my world broke. Or that’s the only way I could understand it at the time. One morning I sat at my table and it didn’t light up. I couldn’t chose my breakfast, I couldn’t understand how table could do this to me. All day I went without food. I’d never experienced hunger before but it reminded me of some of the books I’d read, some people didn’t have food. But they usually didn’t have homes either, living in masses on ‘streets’.

My world didn’t have streets, just my one big home, bed, table, bookshelves, bathroom. I didn’t understand the appeal of empty outdoor spaces, they sounded overwhelming.

The night after the day of hunger I found it hard to sleep. And that’s when the door appeared. My world had never had a door before, and now there was a door and it was opening. Opening to what?! How did a world open. I’d never read or imagined a world opening. The next thing I saw froze me in my bed, if I’d have seen me, I would have looked petrified. Torrents of stillness rolled over me as something else created movement into my home.

The first ever human that wasn’t me entered my world.

To be continued… maybe.

March Writing Challenge | Day 29

Find full details of the challenge here.

Purple neon lights swarm around you, the room you’re in swaying with each beat of the bass. Strangers sip drinks and shout above the tunes to be heard by each other. Multiple archways line the four walls. You need to find your friends or at least a way out of this crazy maze.

You feel like no matter which door you take you’ll just end up back in this same purple blur. You stumble forward anyway and choose a way at random, defeat in your eyes. Your hopelessness triggers an awe in this world that gives you a lifeline. You’re no longer fun to play with. The house throws you up. Vomit discarded on the path. You pull yourself away. One of the lucky survivors.

March Writing Challenge | Day 28

Find full details of the challenge here.

Jason’s skinny jeans creased as he crouched to examine the mustard glow. A small pot of gold stared up, as surprised to see him as he was to see it. He’d ended up in a different building to normal, although grungy as the rest. Another swig of JD and coke sweetened his throat and he thought of all the ways this gold could sweeten his life. How many bottles of his favourite spirit he could buy! Some top notch tobacco, not this shit cheap stuff. Oh and he’d pay his Mum back too, she could stop moaning. He’d pay her back so he owed her nothing and then he’d be out of there…

He took another drag making him heady, too light to hear other sounds.

But it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d turned around at the footsteps, the owner of those footsteps would have acted the same either way. The dark suited heavy walked swiftly up to the scrawny youth. One pop to the back of the head. He guided the body down so the blood would not tarnish the gold. With the silencer on, no sound marked the end of Jason’s life, just like his life hadn’t made much noise itself.

March Writing Challenge | Day 27

I felt myself imagining all the creepy ways I could take this prompt but went for something different for me.

Find full details of the challenge here.

She smiles at me, shy but bright. I fall into her eyes and see every grin she’s ever given me. I fall into my mind and imagine all the ways I would make her happy. Each way I would treat her with care, each delicate act that could show my love. My thoughts swirl into fantasies of romantic novels and cheesy love films, characters replaced with me and her. I replay snippets of conversation, allowing freedom as they morph into admissions of lust and devotion.

My eyes refocus as I come back to this moment in reality, this true moment.

“It’s not just in your head. I’m here with you now. I like you.”

My world ignites with anticipation, my emotions hurt with all the pain that could be if she were to leave. I finally gather the gut to leave my mind fully and trust in what could be. I lean into kiss her, she leans in to kiss me.