Photo Story Challenge Fiction – Phoebe and Damon cross worlds

Today’s post is a short fiction for the Photo Story Challenge hosted by @RadinaValova on twitter (Photo: Radina Valova). Her blog is – check her out!

The rules are to use the photo as a prompt and to begin with the word ‘No’ and end with the word ‘road’. This photo sparked some ideas for my old project, Light Breaks, so I have based it in that world.


“No green fields, no tall palaces, no twinkly lights, are you sure this is fairyland?”

Damon flicked a frown at me, his jaw tightening. My heart fluttered and I stretched my legs out, watching the dirt form eddies around my feet. The dried out wood of the stoop caught on my jeans as i leaned away, keeping my hands from reaching out to him.

“I told you before, Phoebe, the word is Fae. And yes, I’m sure we are in Aelfinhame.” Those beautiful dark eyes shimmered with flickers of sliver light – he was becoming less human the further away from the city we got. “Are you never serious?”

My lips curled up even as the burning heat of loss settled deeper into my chest. “Sometimes things are too awful. I can’t cry all the time. Besides, I was being serious.”

It certainly didn’t look like any fairyland I’d ever read about. Bare hills covered with grey scrubby bushes rose steeply behind the dilapidated shack whose stoop we sat on. It reminded me of the new roads built through the valley for the motorway, as if it had been both forgotten and was looming in anticipation. I stopped my legs from jiggling when Damon huffed and shifted away from the echoing judder of the step. I brushed the dirt off my jeans, warm and sun soaked. Could you get sunburned in fairyland?

Damon had become increasingly withdrawn as we’d approached in the car that was now parked out the back of the two broken shells that you could hardly still call buildings. I eyed him sidelong. His glamour was slipping, and he seemed increasingly more real, more solid as we waited.

The dried out step shifted as he stood up and I had to put out a hand to balance myself. I leaned on my hand and gazed up at him, his long black coat hanging from broad shoulders more Matrix-like than Fae. I let myself look, soaking in his strength, the aura of darkness that promised that whatever was about to happen, I wouldn’t be alone.

His eyes met mine. “It’s an entry point.”

I deliberately scanned the vast open nowhere stretching out to the horizon and raised my brows at him. “Why yes, that’s so very obvious.”

A small tug at the corner of his mouth made my pulse jump again.

“We don’t want it to look like a gateway, but I’m guessing if you try you’ll see it.”

Shivers ran down my back. “More spells? You know, I’m still waiting for that wand.”

The step underneath me shuddered as Eru came out of the shack. His rucksack landed next to my feet, and i shook dust off my shoes.

“Do you get wings as well?” he asked.

Damon didn’t roll his eyes at us but it looked as if it was only through great restraint on his part. He turned away instead, his eyes raking the horizon.

“Do I look like I have wings?”

Eru leaned on the post and twinkled down at me “As long as they’re proper ones and not those silly gauze things you wore on Halloween I think you’ll look very much the part.”

Halloween. Ella dressed up as a mini fairy princess and insisting I wear wings too. Tears prickled and I had to swallow the ache that closed my throat. Eru’s face dropped and he sat down to put an arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer in a hug. “I’m sorry, Pheebs. I didn’t think.”

Tears were pointless. I brushed at them and smiled, tight and small but I hoped he realised I meant it. “It’s okay.”

The sun dimmed as Damon loomed in front of me and I blinked up at him. “It isn’t okay, Phoebe but it will be. I promised I’d help you get her back and I intend to keep that promise.”

I nodded, not trusting my voice but attempting another smile.

He stretched out a hand and pulled me up. Eru leaned back, a frown settling on his brow.

Damon wiped a renegade tear from the corner of my eye, the warmth of his touch spreading across my skin, easing my pounding heart a little. “Our doorman approaches. We will get to her, Phoebe. Do not doubt it.”

I could see her face in my mind, happy smile twisting to a mask of fear. I rubbed my chest trying to reduce the pain squeezing my heart.

“Is that your doorman?” Eru’s voice cut through the visions in my mind and I followed his gaze to where a small person, all hair and big coat, was approaching out of the sparse wasteland.

Damon squeezed my shoulder and stepped away. “Yes. Brychan has been doorman here for as long as I can remember, but I suspect for longer still.”

Stretching out behind the doorman the horizon shimmered, a darkly shaded path appearing behind him as he shuffled ever closer.

I flicked my eyes to Damon who was looking not at the darkness opening in the middle of the sun drenched plain, but at me.

“There it is Phoebe. The way to Aelfinhame and the way to your daughter. We will pass from one world to the next through the shadows of the Darkening Road.”

fiction, Tuesday Trying

Tuesday Trying – a superhero love story

Today’s writing is inspired by a prompt given to me by Adam Guillemette at

you’d think that staring down the barrel of cupid’s arrow, one would feel elated

as with all these challenges I write them in about an hour and then press publish, so they’re not polished – but they’re a great exercise to keep me trying different ways of writing and different genres.  This one ties into a plot bunny of mine where a superhero falls for the villain. As soon as I decided on her name (and it is so hard to find a name for a villain that isn’t already taken..) I realised it fit perfectly with the backstory for my plot bunny character. I’m tired and it’s not my best work but I’m keen to develop it further some day.


You’d think that staring down the barrel of cupid’s arrow, one would feel elated. Stomach churning bile probably doesn’t feature in the manual, even if a racing heart does. Guilt shouldn’t be a part of it. At least, not at the beginning.

“Have you met Ophelia McDonald?”

I shook my head at our host, forcing a smile.

Her lips, red and fierce, quirked up and I rubbed my jaw, trying to release the tension. What the hell was wrong with me? It was a pretty easy code: me – hero, her – villain, never the twain shall meet but they fight.

But the code hadn’t counted on the sparkle in her grey eyes and the way her smile promised things. It certainly hadn’t factored in the dress. Fighting with women had never been something I liked, even when they were dressed head to toe in leather armour and threatening the world with annihilation. It would be impossible to hurt her while she was wearing that stupid yellow dress.


For god’s sake what kind of villain wore daisies on their clothes?

“Commander Stevens, don’t say you’ve forgotten me already? It’s okay Sarah, we’ve met. The Commander just doesn’t remember poor little me.”

Night. A warehouse. Seconds to spare before the building blew up with the guard still trapped inside. Her eyes. I hadn’t been able to get them out of my mind. Mocking. Beckoning. Daring. I’d let her go and rescued the guard, just as she’d known I would. That’s the thing about being a hero, you always have to do the right thing. And the right thing that night two weeks ago was giving up the case with the data clips in it to save a life.

“I’m sorry.” My heart had stopped racing but my breath still caught at the way she flicked her unruly curls off her shoulder. “I admit I thought I recognised you but I wasn’t sure; I had a different name in mind.”

Medusa. Not that she could really turn people to stone but she had the power to still your heartbeat, slow it to an infinitesimal pace so you were as good as stone.  That is, if you weren’t fast enough to avoid her touch. Which I was.

Our host smiled happily at us and sent us in the direction of the drinks table. Hundreds of tall flutes of frothy gold covered the tables lining the path down to the gardens. I cast a sidelong glance at her, her head barely topping my shoulder, dark curls bouncing as she walked. Champagne wasn’t going to cut it.

By mutual and unspoken consent we took our drinks down to the edge of the path, close to where the band was setting up, where we could smile at everyone while we spoke knives at each other.

“I had expected your boss.”

“He didn’t think he’d fit in. I offered.”

I eyed her consideringly. She certainly fit in.

“So what’s the deal? You think you can incapacitate Lady Morgan’s security and take the rest of the map? Because it ain’t gonna happen.”

She smiled and my heart raced again. I took a sip of the sickly champagne to wet my throat.

“What if I told you tonight was off the record, so to speak. That I didn’t come here to steal anything?”

“I’d say you’re lying.”

Her laugh was deep and throaty, and unexpected. “You’d be right. I’m lying. But it’s not the only thing I hope to steal.”

She stepped closer as she spoke, her hand about to land on my chest before I took a step back. I eyed her and she shrugged, her mouth twisted. “I wasn’t going to hurt you Max.”

Hearing my name on her lips did hurt.

“Forgive me if I don’t believe that one either.”

Her eyes weren’t grey, they were pure silver, and as I looked at her, her mouth pinched now and a small line between her brows, I saw them flecked with gold.

“Believe what you like, I don’t want to hurt you. I asked my boss if I could meet with you, ask you to back off. You don’t understand what we’re trying to do, Max. I hoped that if you did, you’d let me take it and I wouldn’t have to fight you.”

My brain told me she was lying but my heart heard the urgent truth in her words, the bluntness of her tone with no coquetry to soften it. There was no way her boss would let us off that easy, but maybe she did believe it. I frowned, as if the lowering of my brows could force down the hope that shot through me.


She was a villain. Their plan, her plan, would put millions of lives at risk. The fact that cupid’s arrow had met its mark was irrelevant.

I might have fallen in love with her, but I’d still fight her.

It’s what heroes do.

Music sounded, wafting over us as the band began playing. She looked away and I had to fight not to tuck her hair behind her ear. I’d been an idiot thinking that cupid’s arrow had dodged me two weeks ago. I had been enchanted then and I was enchanted now. Silly yellow dress and all.

It was probably just frustration that had darkened those beautiful eyes. Cupid’s arrow didn’t always go both ways.

An impulse struck me and I spoke before I could think better of it. I found I’d rather regret doing it than never having done it.

“Dance with me?”

She looked back in surprise and I could read every emotion on her face. No wonder she wore a mask when she fought.

I took the champagne from her hand, placing both empty flutes on the ground next to us. Straightening I held out a hand.

Her smile was no longer fierce; it was warm and, ridiculous as it felt, I thought it was a smile just for me.

She stopped just before she touched my hand and met my eyes. “Do you trust me, Max?”

I looked down at her, saw the anxiety she tried to hide behind the mask. “I trust you, Medusa”

Her eyes shimmered silver and gold and when her hand took mine I felt it; an energy restrained, held in check. We smiled at each other and I wished the world away for just another 10 minutes.

Stepping closer she raised her other hand to my shoulder.

“Well then, Max. Let’s face the music, and dance while we can.”


fiction, Personal, Tuesday Trying

Tuesday Trying – “loving someone doesn’t make them deserve you”.

Today’s piece is inspired both by this quote and by the pain so many of us have felt from loving people who don’t treat us well. I tend to write these Tuesday pieces in about an hour so it is unpolished, but very much from the heart. The challenge for me was to work the line in somewhere and to write about the pain without making it melodramatic, and to Show not Tell.



The vice was back around her heart. Tight and unforgiving. This time though it had spread through her chest so that every breath pushed against a reminder of how little she meant.


Her hands gripped the steering wheel.  This was ridiculous. She’d been sitting here for at least 20 minutes. She gazed down the street towards the house. The early evening sunshine made a pretty dappled pattern on the path outside her gate.


If I had a car crash, I could go to hospital and be out of it for a while. Just a while.


She shook her head and took the keys from the ignition. People thought anxiety was a flighty nervous thing, but to her it was a heaviness. It settled on her like a coat as she opened the door, stifling in its weight. She had a sudden intense wish that the breeze could lift it away. But the air danced around her, oblivious. Continue reading “Tuesday Trying – “loving someone doesn’t make them deserve you”.”

fiction, Tuesday Trying

Tuesday Trying – a Mermaid Conspiracy



Today’s Tuesday Trying was inspired by a Twitter conversation. If you’re on twitter you might have seen an exchange between a woman who claimed that the Megalodon was still in existence and a whole bunch of marine scientists who said ‘uhh…not so much’. What hooked me was her claim that the existence of the Megalodon was known but hushed up because otherwise the government would experiment on them ‘just like the mermaids’.


That’s right. Continue reading “Tuesday Trying – a Mermaid Conspiracy”

fiction, Tuesday Trying

Tuesday Trying – “All I had left of my wings was a single, solitary feather”


Today’s prompt is another in first person but I decided to mix it up and make it a piece of dialogue instead, working on creating a part of a story that fits with some plot bunnies of mine. I hope you enjoy it.

Writing Prompt 2


Elena gazed upwards, as though through the snowy boughs she could still see the birds in flight. She could hear them still. The soft and silent winter air disturbed by the rhythmic thrum of strong black wings. She squeezed her eyes shut, blinking to get out the pain. It had been so long.

Movement on her left had her straighten her shoulders and turn to Max. The heavy frown was back on his brows and those eyes that had laughed so much this morning were cold.

“Had you planned on telling me?” Continue reading “Tuesday Trying – “All I had left of my wings was a single, solitary feather””