Jack and Jill – #RituStyle

Way back in May, I attempted the Story a Day in May challenge, and I have to proudly say that I managed to finish it. A short story, or scene every day. Some longer, some shorter. One that has developed into a novella that I hope to publish soon enough, some scenes that will debut in book two, and a few that may never see the light of day.

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But there are a few that I think deserve an airing…

This one had the following prompt:

Choose a nursery rhyme. That is going to be the plot of your story. The key with this exercise is that now choose an author whose voice you love. Write that story with that character, but in the voice of the author you chose.

I chose Jack and Jill. Here is the full version.

 Jack and Jill went up the hill
 To fetch a pail of water
 Jack fell down And broke his crown
 And Jill came tumbling after 
 
 Up Jack got and home did trot
 As fast as he could caper
 He went to bed
 To mend his head
 With vinegar and brown paper 

And here is my little, silly take!

Jack and Jill held the pail between them, each with a hand on the handle, swinging it gently as they went up the hill.

Jack’s thumb brushed Jill’s hand, accidentally, she thought, as a quickening was felt in her heart, and quite possibly somewhere further south.

She glanced over to him, but he appeared oblivious. Probably all in her mind, as usual.

She didn’t know whose idea it had been to wash the car at the bottom of the hill, but she was more than happy to spend time with this gorgeous specimen. But, to wash, you needed water, and there was, conveniently, a well up at the top of the hill.

Nearing the well, Jill sped up, desperately trying to show how athletic and fit she was, by reaching the summit first, but she hadn’t counted upon the rock that Jack stumbled over.

She gasped as he fell forwards, but it looked like he was about to right himself. Then he lost his footing and went tumbling down the hill, the bucket racing after him because she had let go of it when he first stumbled.

She reached out into the air as if to stop him, but quite obviously that wasn’t going to help because she was still at the top, and he was, well somewhere near the bottom.

The car stopped his rolling, and, from where she stood, it looked like he’d managed to bump his head, rather nastily, on the bucket, as they rolled down, the bucket obviously thinking this was a fun activity, trying to get to the bottom first.

Jill carefully made her way to the bottom of the hill, as fast as she could, but ended the journey with a short tumble of her own. Brushing herself off as she stood, she cursed herself for hurrying.

“Jack! Are you okay? Oh my god, you’re bleeding!” A trickle of blood was making its way down his left temple.

“Am I?” He raised a hand to his forehead, searching for a sore spot, and finding the wetness, looked at the lowered fingers tinged with his blood.

Seeing his suddenly paled complexion, Jill sat down by his side. “Okay, now, what we are going to do, when you feel ready, is I’m going to help you up, and then get you in the car. I can drive us to the hospital – that is if you don’t mind me driving – and we can get you checked out.”

Rummaging in his front jeans pocket, Jack pulled out his set of keys. “Here.” He threw them over to her. “But no hospital. I’m fine. Let’s just go back to my place. I’ve got a first aid kit at home, and it’s nothing, really, just a little bump.”

“But, what if you’ve got a concussion?” Working as a Teaching Assistant at school, Jill was aware of the magic Wet Paper Towel method of making things better, but that was a good way to appease hypochondriac kids… This was a real injury! With blood! She got up and offered her arm to her patient.

“Nah, it’s not.” He took hold of her arm and pulled himself up, almost bringing her back to the ground in the process.

They got in the car, and she gently manoeuvred his precious VW Golf away from the hill, and back onto the road back home.

He stood in the bathroom, looking at his small, but impressive cut, right on his hairline. “At least I can hide that scar with all this hair.”

“Forget that for now, let me clean it, and put a plaster on.” Jill had located the First Aid Kit and taken out some antiseptic and a plaster. She led him to the bedroom, where he could sit down, and she was able to see the injury. “Hmm. It is a bit deep. Are you sure you don’t want to get it seen to? It might need stitches.”

“It’ll be fine.” He looked at my supplies, ready on the bed. “I don’t think Savlon will help. Look, let me sort this out.”

He disappeared to the kitchen, then back in the bathroom. A few moments later, he reappeared, reeking of vinegar, with a strip of brown paper wrapped around his head.

Taking in my look of shock mixed with confusion, he laughed. “Okay, so my name is Jack. Short for Jaikishen. I’ve grown up with a whole host of Indian home remedies, and this,” he pointed to his head, “is one. My Gran, back home, swears that vinegar heals anything.”

“But that’s got to sting!” My own eyes were starting to smart from the smell. Heaven knows what it felt like on his open cut.

“You’ll see, in the morning, it’ll be barely visible.” He sat down on the bed and pulled me down next to him.

“Oh, so I’ll be here to see that, in the morning, will I?” A bit presumptuous, but I wouldn’t mind.

“Well, I might need a night nurse…” He leant in for a kiss.

It would have been a bit longer, but I had to break it. I knew I was kissing the most handsome man ever, but I couldn’t stop thinking about food…

I settled him in his bed, tucking him in, and went to make a cup of tea.

Romance would have to wait until he smelled less like a fish and chip supper, complete with paper wrapping.

August 15: Flash Fiction Challenge

Charli’s Carrot Ranch prompt today:

August 15, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a sweet jam. It can take you to the kitchen or the smokey room of a back-alley bar. What makes it sweet? Go where the prompt leads you!

Since I’m neck-deep in editing my novel, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to some of the characters, adapted from the novel, in a situation they find themselves, on a train in India. Meet Aashi, my main character and Arjun, someone who may become quite important to her!

Train Jam

Arjun peeled back the cover of the tray and peered at the contents.

Two cooling pieces of toast lay there, with a pat of white butter and a container containing something that was jelly-like with a luminous pink glow.

“What’s that?” he grimaced.

“I think you’ll find it’s jam.” Aashi couldn’t help but smirk at his expression.

“That’s not like any jam I’ve ever seen before.”

“Well you’re not in England anymore, either. It’s Indian jam, made to cater for the Western travellers. Probably filled with sugar, colouring, sugar, flavouring and a bit more sugar. Just don’t expect strawberries!”

Bookinton’s Finish The Sory Challenge 2

I was appproached by fellow blogger Tanmay Jain, of Bookinton Blog to ask whether I would participate in a writing challenge with a difference this month. The Finish The Story Challenge 2. 2 because he ran one similar last year and wanted to extend the challenge to a few more bloggers. It is an opportunity to streach creativity, and share others stories too!

Intrigued, as ever…. I decided to step up, and this is what we are doing.

There are 5 bloggers, myself included, who have submitted a prompt.

Each of us will answer the prompt with a 250 word flash fiction piece on set days.

Let me introduce you to the others who are taking part.

1)Tanmay Jain

Tanmay Jain is a blogger, book reviewer, writer and bibliophile from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He has been reading books since he was a child and hasn’t stopped since. He started his first blog in 2016 and since that, after many unsuccessful attempts at managing a successful blog, he landed on his current and most successful blog, Scion of Society. Tanmay dabbles mostly in fiction writing but sometimes wanders off to poetry, book reviewing and writing tips. He is an editor for his school magazine, X-rays. He’s a teenage writer, aspiring author, and a budding blogger.

Blog – Bookinton

Blog Linkwww.bookinton.wordpress.com

Twitter IDwww.twitter.com/Tanmay_and_Jain

Facebook ID –  www.facebook.com/TheBookintonBlog

Prompt – There was something extraordinarily ordinary about murder than people just didn’t get!

2)Nideesh Samant

A weaver or short stories, mostly dark ones…

https://thedarknetizen.wordpress.com

Twitterwww.twitter.com/darthnid

Prompt  – A standard corporate boardroom meeting is und1erway, but the boss has hidden motives…

3)Sascha Darlington

Tech writer, creative writer and book blogger from Washington, DC

Blog – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored

Bloghttps://saschadarlington.me
Twitter IDwww.twitter.com/darling_sascha

Prompt – A non-risk-taking writer has writer’s block, so they decide to do something they’ve never done before to inspire them.

4)Suchita Agarwal

A writer and content creator, Suchita Agarwal believes words are where the magic is. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and WordPress. She goes by talesofsuchita.

Blog – Tales of Suchita

Blog Link – https://talesofsuchita.wordpress.com/

Twitter IDhttps://twitter.com/talesOfsuchita

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/talesofsuchita/

Prompt – The last thing I remember

And then there is me… who has a HUGE amount written in her bio, and SM Links too, but then you know me… I cannot actually stop talking/writing, and you know I waffle… but if you wanted to read/connect… here you are!

5)Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother.

The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry.

Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes.

A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards.

Ritu is happily married, and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the furbaby Sonu Singh.

Having published an anthology of poetry, Poetic RITUals, she is currently working on some short stories, and a novel, to be published in the near future.

BlogBut I Smile Anyway

Blog Linkwww.butismileanyway.com

Twitterwww.twitter.com/PhantomGiggler

Facebook IDhttps://www.facebook.com/butismileanyway/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/phantom_giggler/

Told you mine was long!

And here’s my prompt for the rest of the guys!

Prompt – I saw mummy kissing Santa Claus. I did. Well, not Santa, but some fat bearded dude, who wasn’t my dad…

Soooo … there you have it… for now!

The prompts are going to be answered as of 11th May, and the works are kicking off with my take of Sascha Darlington’s prompt… no pressure!!!

Hope you enjoy reading my efforts, and if you feel the urge, feel free to use the prompts and link back so I can read yours too!

Random Elef-Act of Kind-Mouse

Dear Diana has a monthly prompt going on, using a picture. It is a speculative fiction prompt, so we can write whatever we want, and this photo has been popping up into my reader on such a regular basis… things started to form in my mind…

The stormy winds did blow
The house it teetered so
The mice called for help from friend or foe
Their voices carried, but where did they go?

The snowflakes made a different sound
The elephant felt it in the ground
She followed over hill and mound
And this was what old Ellie found

A family made of her biggest fear
As she approached they raised a cheer
Even the littlest appeared to peer
And Mummy Mouse, she wiped a tear

"Oh Elephant, so big and strong,
We've been stranded for so long.
To leave us now would be so wrong.
Restore us please, to where we belong."

Ellie's fears took second place
She hid them behind a smiling face
And with surprising elephantine grace
She set the home in it's rightful place
 
The mousey family were delighted
Their huge misfortunes had been righted
Into their lives, Ellie was invited
And a lifelong friendship, that night, ingnited

A random act of kindness, see
Can change the lives of you and me
Ellie and Mother Mouse in a tree
Share a lesson in humanity

Ritu 2019

New #writephoto

Sue’s #WritePhoto prompt:


“It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me, and I’m feeling good.” The Nina Simone lyrics played in Sophie’s head as she stared out over the cliff.

Peter looked over at her, smiled, and placed his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer.

Sophie returned the smile, snuggling into his body.

It had been a fraught two years, from the severe heart attack, through the treatment and discovery that a simple bypass wouldn’t be enough to now.

The heart they thought wouldn’t be strong enough to beat for her had finally been replaced via transplant, and she had been given a very positive prognosis for the future.

Her rock, Peter, had arranged for this recuperation break away and the idyllic setting was perfect. She had been given a new chance at life and she wasn’t going to waste it on regrets, false friends or regrets, but her mind wandered to the one person she would have loved to share her new start with.

Jill.

Her best friend since childhood. They had done everything together and would have done anything for each other.

And Jill had given the ultimate sacrifice.

A tragic car accident claimed her life, and yet, even after her death, she had thought of her friend, gifting her own heart to her.

Sophie raised an imaginary glass up to the sky, tipped it heavenwards, and whispered, “Cheers Jill. I love you.”

She squeezed Peter’s arm. “It’s getting cold. I think we should head back,” and they turned slowly, making their way back towards their lodge.

#writephoto

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