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Zoom Skid Crash Bang

July 28, 2013 19 comments

Daily Prompt: A to Z – Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

All I remembered from the accident was a screeching of tyres, a spinning sensation and a loud bang. Brakes were applied of course – but far too late.

Cars are my life. Driven recklessly they can obviously be dangerous, but I do that for a living. Expert on the track, I drive rally cars. Formula 1 it’s not, but it’s still a thrill, a real spectator sport and I’m good. Good enough to find myself on the podium more often than not.

Here’s the thing though. I’m not so good that I never make mistakes, and today’s mistake was a big one. Just because I’ve finally caught the race leader doesn’t mean I should try to overtake on a tight corner at such a reckless speed.

Knocking on Death’s door has always pretty much been my thing – I’m a danger junkie – but this was taking it way too far.

Living dangerously is one thing, living stupidly is quite another.

My driving skills are quite prodigious, but not enough to save me from an uncontrolled skid – that’s why they call it “uncontrolled”.

No way to stop – the car clipped the verge, glanced off a tree and flipped. Over and over it rolled, finally coming to rest on its roof, the front smashed inwards against my legs. Pain lanced through me – though I don’t remember much about the crash, I remember that much. Quiet fell then, the only sound a hissing as steam leaked from the cracked radiator. Random thoughts flitted through my pain-racked mind – my home, my childhood, my first love until finally, I blacked out.

Suddenly the world intruded and I found myself lying in a bed surrounded by beeping machines – a hospital bed, then. Try as I might I couldn’t move my legs, but they hurt like hell – that had to be a good sign, right?

Unbelievably I had suffered no permanent damage. Very lucky, they all said – it could have been so much worse. Way worse. X-rays were taken and confirmed the diagnosis. Yes, both my legs were broken, but they’d heal and no other damage to report – I’d be back on the race track next season.

Zoom, skid, crash, bang.

Facebook – Friend or Foe?

July 2, 2013 30 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap – Facebook – to poke or to puke?

So this Facebook thing – a force for good, or an insidious evil? A social network – some may say the social network – in a world in which the inhabitants are increasingly obsessed with sharing every detail of their lives and of course with revelling in the thrills and mishaps of others.

Let’s break it down.

Responsibility – at the end of the day, what I post is down to me

Make no mistake, whether I intend the whole world to read what I write or it’s only intended for “friends”, what I post on any social network, including Facebook, is my responsibility. No-one else’s.

In the heat of the moment it’s easy to post something I may later regret. I rarely post to Facebook using my phone (which is always nearby) – my big clumsy fingers are not phone-friendly. I often find that by the time I’ve fired up the laptop I’ve gone off the boil. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to post that after all?

How many people have found themselves in trouble for posting something “inappropriate”?

Read more…

Nature, No Question

June 30, 2013 15 comments

Daily Prompt: The Natural World – Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

Photographers, artists, and poets: show us NATURE.

I’m the  type of chap who prefers being at least reasonably close to nature. That’s fairly easy since I live in Cornwall, in the far South West of England.

Perranporth, Cornwall

Perranporth, Cornwall

I often visit Godrevy when I fancy a nice quiet walk – beaches, cliffs and moorland. It’s only a few miles from my house.

Godrevy, Cornwall

Godrevy, Cornwall

I spent many, many holidays in the North of Scotland.

Scotland

Somewhere in the North of Scotland

I lived in Cork, Ireland for four years.

Ireland

This little lake is either in County Cork or County Kerry – I was never sure where the border was

I’ve lived in Cork city, Guildford and Stuttgart – all cities, but I prefer nature, and it was never too far away!

I guess I’ve been pretty lucky.

 

Until the End of Time

June 30, 2013 29 comments

Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal – You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

June 2013
A potion of eternal youth! Can this be true? I drank it, but don’t feel any different. Time will tell.

February 2014
Slipped down the stairs today, felt my neck crack. My body went numb. Seconds later I felt a tingling – my neck has healed. The potion was real! I can’t die.

I can’t die!

I must make plans.

Read more…

Fool on a Bike

June 26, 2013 11 comments

Daily Prompt: Trains, Planes, and Automobiles – You’re going on a cross-country trip. Airplane, train, bus, or car? (Or something else entirely — bike? Hot air balloon?)

Chad was a dreamer. A dreamer and a fool. Everyone knew it. Chad knew everyone knew it. And he didn’t care.

He’d had ideas for this, ideas for that. He thought they’d make him famous. Some great invention, or a feat of daring. Nothing ever came of any of them. In fact, his biggest claim to fame was that he failed at absolutely everything. People often wondered how that could be – out of all of his thousands of hair-brained schemes, surely he would have accidentally succeeded at least once? Read more…

I Think Not

June 23, 2013 5 comments

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You – If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NO.

I’m going to do a picture for this prompt for a change! Here it is – it doesn’t exactly say “NO” but it looks like it would be a good idea not to proceed past this point.

Stop

Go no further!

Weirdly, this was on a way-marker post I saw during a forest walk in Coed y Brenin forest park during my recent holiday in Wales. It looked like just another trail and was marked as part of a mountain bike route.

Fortunately, the trail I was following went the other way, so I didn’t have to find out what this rather ominous sign referred to :-).

For the record, I wouldn’t ban any words from general usage. Words are just a way to express thoughts and ideas. Banning the word doesn’t ban the idea – a new word would quickly be invented to express it.

Message in a Bottle

May 30, 2013 14 comments

Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads – Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

1907

The little girl carefully folds the note, written in her own childish hand, and pushes it into the bottle, sealing it with a cork her mother gave her.

“Hi my name is Emily and I’m 6 and I live in America and I like horses and I want to be your friend.”

She walks down to the shore, picking her way over the sand until she reaches the water’s edge. She watches the surf breaking on the beach for a few minutes and then, giving the bottle one last look, throws it into the ocean. Although she can’t throw it very far, the current takes it and soon it is lost from view.

1973

Picking through rock pools looking for crabs and other exciting things, a sudden flash of light catches the boy’s eye. On closer inspection he sees it is the sunlight glinting off a bottle, wedged between two rocks near the water line. He picks it up and sees a note inside. His eyes light up – this is the most exciting thing he has ever found! He works the cork out and reads the note. Who is Emily, from so far away! He replaces the note and the cork and shows his mother. She places the bottle on the windowsill, her son’s treasure.

2003

The woman stumbles into the living room, terror etched on her face. The man, drunk, charges in after her, his hand raised. It’s not the first time. He pushes her against the wall. Throwing out her arms to catch herself, her fingers wrap around the bottle they’d bought in the local car boot sale in happier times. She spins and swings the bottle, catching him across the temple, smashing both bone and bottle. He grunts and falls. Blood trickles over the broken shards and stains the old, browning slip of paper, written with love and hope so long ago.