Thursday 24 December 2015

Advent Day Twenty-Four 2015

Advent Day Twenty-Four

December 24 2015

James Phillips

On Repeat

A cup of cold, stewed tea

Harry sips his tea and glares at a glittering purple reindeer, which sits on a shelf above the seat opposite his. It is one of many small and glittery decorations scattered around Maggie’s Diner. Christmas songs are playing through the café’s speakers; not loud enough to prevent conversation, but still obtrusive and annoying. A new song comes on the sound system, lots of sleigh bells chiming and jingling. He’s sure that he must have heard it three times already this morning. Harry thinks that the problem with Christmas songs is that there aren’t enough of them and so they all come round again and again, on repeat, day after day. It’s the same for the whole of December and it happens every year. It occurs to him that a good way to make his fortune is to write a new Christmas song every day. If he starts on the first of January and publishes the whole lot on the thirtieth of November, that will give him three hundred and thirty three songs. If each one averages three minutes and thirty seconds; Harry wrestles with the mental arithmetic, he’s faced with an endless series of threes and keeps losing count. He takes his notebook and the stub end of a pencil out of his pocket and writes the sum down, showing his workings just like Mrs Lettuce insisted. He starts to wonder if Mrs Lettuce is really the name of his old teacher, but then the numbers in his notebook catch his eye and bring him back to Christmas song writing. Three hundred and thirty three, he writes, multiplied by three, is nine hundred and ninety nine; add in the three hundred and three extra sets of thirty seconds and it comes to one thousand four hundred and forty eight minutes and thirty seconds.

Harry looks at this number and decides that it’s a good number. He is on the verge of going as far as to call it a very good number when he realises that it doesn’t mean very much as it is. He needs to convert minutes into hours. Harry feels an initial edge of panic grip him.  He’s going to have to divide by a number that is greater than nine. His long division has never been very strong and the spectre of Mrs Lettuce is so real that he can smell the lily of the valley. He is about to give up on the whole thing when he realises that, instead of sixty, he can divide by six and just move a decimal point afterwards and this makes him much happier. The memory of Mrs Lettuce fades and he starts to do the division. Half way through the sum, he stops when he realises that the answer comes to a bit more than two hundred and forty. He moves the decimal point and gets twenty four hours; a whole day. He’s done it!

Harry imagines himself meeting the Queen to receive his OBE and being received at Number Ten. He will be hailed as the man who saved Christmas. Everyone will be so much happier when no song has to be played more than once per day in the festive season.

It is a lovely image and Harry smiles as he pours himself a cup of cold, stewed tea from the white china pot he’s been nursing for hours. The tea doesn’t pour very well, dribbling into his saucer and onto the table top, where it mingles with the crumbs of a sandwich from earlier on.

What the world needs, is a universal spout design for teapots so that they all pour properly.

He imagines himself designing the perfect spout, installing a potter’s wheel and a kiln in his shed. Well, okay, getting a shed, erecting it and then installing them. He’ll have to attend pottery classes of course, but he has no doubt that he will show natural aptitude. How could it be otherwise when he is being driven by his vision of a perfectly poured cup of tea?

Maggie appears at his table and replaces the old pot with a new one.

‘There you are, Harry love,’ she says, ‘that one must be stewed and gone cold by now.’

She turns and returns to behind the counter and Harry watches her go.

A new song comes on the sound system, lots of sleigh bells chiming and jingling. He’s sure that he must have heard it three times already this morning. Harry thinks that the problem with Christmas songs is that there aren’t enough of them and so they all come round again and again, on repeat, day after day. It’s the same for the whole of December and it happens every year.

About the Author
James Phillips is a house husband from Bangor, North Wales. He spends his days writing, drinking tea and avoiding housework and his evenings playing and promoting live music. His blog is at

Published December 24 2015

Merry Christmas from all of us at CafeLit! See you in the New Year!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Advent Day Twenty-Two 2015

Advent Day Twenty-Two

December 22 2015

B. Lieve

Night Shift

Cold Milk

Small fingers pressed lightly to glass, tracing circles in the mist. Listening for the soft magical tinkle of sound that says he’s come. They laughed at her in school. You don’t really still believe he will, do you?

She listens for the silent tramp of snowy boots, the creak of the armchair, the soft pad of footsteps on the stairs, imagines mince pie crumbs in his beard. He must come, he promised.

As she turns she hears it; a soft magical tinkle of sound. A key in the door. Her mum’s voice. Dad? This year he did make it home.

About The Author
If you believe it, he will come.

Published December 22 2015

Monday 21 December 2015

Advent Day Twenty/Twenty-One 2015

Advent Day Twenty/Twenty-one

December 20/21 2015

Allison Symes

Telling The Time


I inherited the beautiful grandfather clock, aptly, from my grandfather. He swore it kept better time than Big Ben. I tried telling him that was the name of the bell but he was having none of it.
            Much as I miss my grandfather, part of me is glad he isn’t around to see his wonderful clock has gone horribly wrong. It has not been the same since that mouse got into the workings. Instead of chiming the hour, the bloody thing squeaks now. 
            On the plus side, I always know when it is 1 o’clock.

About the Author
Allison Symes is published by CaféLit, Bridge House Publishing, Alfie Dog Fiction, and Shortbread Short Stories.  She is a member of the Society of Authors and Association of Christian Writers. Her website is and blogs for Chandler’s Ford Today -

Published December 21 2015

Advent Day 18/19 2015

Advent Day Eighteen/Nineteen
December 18/19 2015
Dawn Knox

Christmas on the High Street

Unsweetened cranberry juice – seasonal but bitter and harsh

Like a rock in a river, he stood, while shoppers flowed around him, their faces resolute and haunted. No one acknowledged him. Their eyes darted this way and that, as they sought the quickest route into each shop.
            Well, there was so much to do on Christmas Eve.
            A young girl stopped in front of him and looked up silently, with questioning eyes, before her mother seized her hand and dragged her back into the crowd.
They’d celebrate his birthday tomorrow or that’s what they would claim to be doing. In reality, they didn’t want to know him at all.

About the Author
Dawn Knox is married with one son and has been writing for several years. She has had a YA ebook published, entitled Daffodil and the Thin Place and has written a script for a play to commemorate World War One, which has been performed in her home town and in Germany. Dawn enjoys a writing challenge and has had stories published in various anthologies, including horror and speculative fiction, as well as romances in several women's magazines

Published December 21 2015

Thursday 17 December 2015

Advent Day Seventeen 2015

Advent Day Seventeen
December 17 2015

Paula R C Readman

The Chimes At Midnight

Chilli Chocolate and Red Wine

I cross the wide expanse of the lawn at the front of Crowhurst Hall; a journey I’ve made many times before. However, this time it feels different.
            High above me the hunter’s moon casts its lengthy shadows as the first flurries of the season snowfall, swirling around me, whipped up by the bitter wind. Tugging at the fabric of my skirt it seems to sweep me up and carries me over the threshold of my home.

In the cold hallway I stand dressed in what was once my finery before the old long-case clock, studying its delicate, ornate hands. In the past, as a child, I found them fascinating too, but then they marked the passing of a happier time. Now as I watch the seconds tick away, I wait for its hourly chime, but they do not come.
            Evoking some half-remembered remark, I recall the past and the present like the sweeping hands of a clock run together. Yet, it seems like only yesterday when I heard it ring out its melancholy chimes to mark my passing. They resonated around my ice-cold body before the soil fell clattering upon my coffin lid as the mourners left me beneath the frosty ground.   

Now the only sound I hear is the ticking of the clock as I wonder what has disturbed the tranquillity of my eternal slumber.
            I know I cannot remain for long within these walls for I’m no longer welcome. He who robbed me of everything I held so dear would be outraged to know I’ve returned once more.
            My faded, black taffeta skirt rustles on the stone tiled floors as I move aimlessly around. For a moment I linger in the library as wisps of tenebrous memories comes flooding back.
            Suddenly I’m aware of some unfinished business, which may account for my homecoming. Climbing the marble staircase I pause; resting my hand lightly on its carved banister. Glancing up I see the gentle smiling faces of my beloved parents whom, with vacant, painted eyes stare back at me.
            As I reminisce about their untimely passing, something cold creeps across the back of my bony neck and shoulders making me shudder. I brush my fingertips across my icy cheek longing to feel unshed tears washing my face with warmth as I cry for what was once mine.

I enter my old dressing room and find that the chilling night air fills it with dampness. Prior to my death my servant, Annie, would’ve made sure a welcoming fire filled it with warmth and light, but now it’s as welcoming as a cold, empty grave.
            In the past, I would’ve sat before the large ornate mirror, with its exquisite carvings of cherubs, love hearts, and doves, combing my glossy, golden tresses while dreaming of my darling Henry’s return from London.
            I recall too how my heart leapt with pleasure on hearing the sound of his carriage on the cobbles outside my window, knowing soon in his embrace I would hear his sweet, whispered words of love.  
            Now seated before it all I see is bone-dry, cadaverous skin stretching across my emaciated face as I brush dirt and worms from all that remain of my hair.
Has time passed me by so quickly that I’m nothing, but bones?

The sound of the door catch lifting brings me out of my reverie and I dissolve into the shadows as a young girl, just ripening into womanhood glides into the room.         Crossing the pool of moonlight she heads in my direction.
            Her beauty astounds me.
            With raven-black hair, she’s clothed only in a long, white nightgown, her bare feet blue with cold. She moves around the room with exaggerated movements while opening and closing the drawers and cupboard doors. In her dream-like state, she seems to be searching for something.
            ‘How could he betray me so?’ she mutters.
            Stepping out of the shadows, I whisper, ‘Hello, young beauty, I wonder, did I disturb your slumber?’
            Though her tear-stained eyes are unblinking, something flickers across her forlorn face makes me realise that, unlike me, death has no claim on her, but something disturbs the noctambulist’s sleep.
            I follow her, but she shows no signs that she’s conscious of me.
            ‘Please, do not be afraid. I mean you no harm. What disturbs your sleep?’ I ask.  
            She turns, her golden eyes dart back and forth as though seeking out a sound.
            Aah, she does not see me, but hears me.
            She lifts her left hand to brush a strand of her raven hair from her lips when something shimmers in the moonlight.
            ‘What’s this you’re wearing?’ I raise my bony, dust-dry hand before her face so she can see what hangs on my fleshless finger, ‘It’s a ring? So he’s wed another, making us three?’ I say as my heart breaks, knowing I’ve failed again.
            Bewilderment settles on her face as her eyes begin to dilate, I realise then she sees me as a dream. Her soft voice carries neither weight nor sound, like a child’s sleeping breath, she asks, ‘Who are you?’
            ‘I’m Eleanor,’ I say “I’m back from whence I slept so peacefully to warn you. Though I’ve failed another I once tried to save. Fate was so cruel.’
            Her young brow creases as she stares right through me, then, as if she’s suddenly aware that I’m standing there.
            She steps back. Her hand flies to her mouth to stifle a cry. With trembling lips, she utters, ‘Incubus, Succubus, be gone!’
            In contempt, I shake my shrunken head as dirt, worms, and hair falls from me scattering around my bony feet.
            ‘I am neither. You may have youth and beauty on your side, but your days are numbered. As you see me standing before you, so you shall be one day. For there’s no escaping from the hands of time. I wish only to see you grow old and not die before time has lined your face.’

Suddenly the sound of the tolling clock echoes with the passing of another hour.
            ‘At last,’ I cry, holding out my fleshless arms as the mournful chimes resound through the sleeping house, and the ravages of time are undone.
I stand clothed once more, flesh upon flesh, muscle, and sinew. Time restores my golden blonde tresses, but I cannot linger. Vanity is a weakness for living as time isn’t mine.
            She too wakes into half-sleep and whispers, ‘You’re Lady Eleanor. I’ve seen your portrait, and your tomb in the cemetery. Five years have passed since you were murdered by an unknown intruder while your husband was away.’
            ‘What tale is this? Come; let me show you the truth, for it too will be your fate, if you aren’t careful.’
            ‘Not the truth!’ with a shudder, she hurries to her bedroom.
            I follow her in fear she’ll wake him.
            In my haste I step into her bedroom. I’m surprised to find how little has changed. All that we selected together for our love nest he now shares with another.
Wiping her tears, the noctambulist stares down at her sleeping husband.
            ‘Fear not, he sleeps,’ say I.
            She glances in my direction, her lower lip trembles as she whispers, ‘When I see him sleeping so peacefully, my heart is full of love. The way the curls of his black hair fall lightly on his ruddy cheek. See how his lips part as he breathes gently. See the line of his jaw, so strong. How could you not fall for such a man?’
            I laugh, ‘Sweet nightwalker, if you heart is full of so much love for this sleeping man, then what makes you roam alone while he sleeps so serenely?’
            A questioning look flickers across her innocent face, ‘Should I not fear you, Lady Eleanor, for am I not talking in my disturbed sleep with a ghost?’
            ‘I’m not here to do you harm. The living should not fear us who’ve passed over. We can do you no injury, sweet child. There’s one who is living that you need to fear far more.’
            ‘How can I trust you, you who have no right to be here?’
            ‘Let me join you in your nocturnal amble through my home. For I was a child here . . .’
            ‘This much I know,’ say she.
            ‘What troubles you so?’
            She gestures to the room, ‘There was another who called this house her home, but unlike you, she’s not a ghost.’
            ‘Come; let’s go where we can talk more freely.’
            As the noctambulist leaves, her husband rolls over. I feel the darkness within the room rearrange itself as I wait for him to awake so I can peer into his dark, soulless green eyes once more, but he sleeps on.

In the hallway, apart from the steady ticking of the clock, the only other sound is that of the noctambulist’s bare feet on the stone floor as we enter the library.
            As though she’s fully awake, she crosses to the fireplace and adds another log to the dying embers. With a crackle, the fresh dry wood ignites throwing its warmth and light around the room, but although its heat cannot warm my dry bones, I still shudder as the shadows of my past gathered in every corner waiting for me to tell my tale of betrayal. 
            ‘Please can you tell me about the other woman?’ I ask, though I fear the worst. For I had visited her on such a night, at least three years ago, to warn her the best I could that death would be at her door. Unlike this noctambulist, the second wife did not have a strong constitution.
            On that night before the clock struck the hour to restore me, I had stepped out of the shadows too early and she had gazed upon my worm eaten face. Her pitiful screams woke what was left of her household.

Standing at the French windows, the sleepwalker has her back to me, staring at the moon through the lightly falling snow.
            She turns and with a heavy sigh saying, ‘My husband has no right to marry me when he has a wife who lives in a mental asylum. I uncovered Lady Helen’s journal in the library and read about her fear of destitution. Her fears slowly descended her into madness. Unlike me, she was not strong, when Henry left her alone for days to travel to London. She feared he wouldn’t return. All too soon, the servants deserted her. With no money to pay them their wages, she roamed the icy corridors alone.
            Now you appeared, haunting me in my dreams . . . Oh, why do I doubt the man I love so true?’       
            ‘Do you not believe her?’ I ask, on hearing the hesitation in her voice. ‘Once I was like you believing every word he uttered. Now I am, but a ghost belonging to the borderland. Like Lady Helen and you, he deceived me too. Not for love he married me, but my father’s money. The day he drove the knife into my beating heart, he took pleasure in telling me so.’
            ‘Were you not killed by an unknown hand?’ she asks, puzzlement lining her clear complexion. 
            ‘No. The hand that took my life was none other than that of my husband, Henry. In this very room, he drove in his knife taking such delight in telling me how he’d taken my parents’ lives too, by having their carriage driven off the road. He’d discovered that my father had made inquiries in London’s high society, finding out that among the gambling set Henry was notorious for being in debt.
With my dying breath, I cursed him. That’s why I’m not free to sleep for eternity, until he has paid his debts in full to me.’
            ‘Oh, it’s all true,’ she sobs, ‘he married me for my money too. While he has been away, I uncovered his secrets here in the library. I found Lady Helen’s journal and a bloodied knife. I wanted so much to know the truth,’ Noctambulist whispers with a heavy-heart.
            She crosses to a shelf. Half-hidden in shadows, pulls out a jewelled handled knife, and lays it before me.
            ‘It’s the knife,’ I utter, ‘with which he took my life.’

Suddenly, the library door bursts open and Henry steps in. On seeing the noctambulist sitting alone, he booms, ‘Oh, I do declare, my new wife betrays me not with another, but I feel madness fills the air yet again.’ Laughing, he continued, ‘Am I so cursed to find that another I took to be my bride suffering from lunacy too.’

            I whisper to the noctambulist, ‘Dear lady, pray take your leave. The time has come to set us free. Take Lady Helen’s journal and keep it safe. Sleep deeply now until daybreaks.’ 
            Picking up the book, the noctambulist turns her back on Henry, and takes her leave without a word.
            He goes to follow, but the door slams shut. Watching in horror, he sees the key spin in the lock and vanishes.
            ‘What trickery is this?’ he cries in surprise.
            Then out of the shadows, I appear still beautiful in a dark unnatural way, as
 I was on the day he took my life.
            ‘None that I can see, my Lord, but revenge for those you’ve betrayed with your lies.’ Laughing, I lift the knife, ‘An eye for an eye.’
            His eyes widen with fear as the cold of the grave radiates from me. His face pales as he raises his trembling hands as if to protect himself.
            ‘This cannot be; you’re a ghost that I should not see. Dear God, help me and send this devil back to the ground where she should be.’
            The French windows burst open as the fire goes out. Shadows draw around him with a sudden lurch; he drops to the ground. Protruding from his chest, the bejewelled knife immerse in his cold, black heart.
            I stand over him as his confused spirit begins to rise.
            Staring down at his dying self, he whispers, ‘What have you done to me?’
            ‘Time to pay for your sins. Now come follow me,’ I turn towards the open doors.
            ‘You cannot do this to me! I’m still breathing and can be saved,’ he screams. With a wave of my hand, he has no choice and reluctantly trails after me.

We cross the lawn to the cemetery. In the freshly fallen snow, only his footprints will be seen by everyone when the new day breaks.
In the distance, I hear the old hall clock ring out its melancholy chimes for the passing of the hour as the old day becomes the new. I sink into my grave, dragging with me what remained of Henry’s conscious self, down to lay at my side.
            Suddenly aware of his surroundings, Henry turns to face me, just as the worms slither back into my eye sockets, nostrils, mouth, and hair as time takes back what it had restored to me. His scream fills our narrow space.
            “Oh, such joys at last to have you here beside me in this cold ground, dearest Henry. Did you think you could escape our wedding vows? Let no man put asunder not even death could keep us part.”
            As I slip peacefully into eternal sleep with my husband at my side, the tombstone above our head now tells the truth; ‘An unknown intruder murdered us who lie beneath this cold, cold ground’.

About the Author
Paula R C Readman has won two short story competitions one which was the Harrogate Crime Writing competition, when Mark Billingham picked her story as the overall winner. She has also been published by English Heritage, Parthian Books and Bridge House in their anthologies. To find out more about her writing:

Published December 17 2015

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Advent Day Sixteen 2015

Advent Day Sixteen
December 16 2015

Laura van Weegen

An Alternative Nativity

An iced black guillermo

(an espresso over a couple slices of lime)

6 months to 0 AD
Finally I've 'done' the deed. I’m going to be a daddy. :o>
Retweets: 3   Favourites: 1

Day before 0 AD
@The1TheOnlyBigG The "virgin" mother is about to pop & I’ve got to pay the bleeding tax. #GiveUsASubMate #RipOffJudea
Retweets: 2,678   Favourites: 467

Day before 0 AD
In a stable having a baby!!! Scared but can’t change my mind now. LOL. Hope @The1TheOnlyBigG can make it. ;)
Retweets: 897   Favourites: 936

Day before 0 AD
Alas no but remember @JoeDaCarpenter #GoodGuy #HesAKeeper
Retweets: 639    Favourites: 437


0 AD   
Proud of ya @MaryDollBC & good news is he has all his essentials #JesusAFutureSuperStar
Retweets: 3,897   Favourites: 1,523                                                    

0 AD + 1     
One proud mama but going to have to change my Twitter account to @MaryDollAD. #1stWorldProblem.  ;D
Retweets: 32,945   Favourites:  76,113

0 AD
Work slow but anyone else seen ... #NewStarInSky. Sod the sheep tonight I off to check this out. Boom! Who’s coming?
Retweets: 21,765   Favourites: 13,439

0 AD
@ImABaadBoy Where you at, want to join the fun??
Retweets: 105   Favourites: 27

0 AD
@PeteTheFollower Bethlehem. Get here quick, it’s all about to kick off!!!
Retweets: 105,694   Favourites: 78,682


0 AD
Woah #NewStarInSky #JesusAFutureSuperStar - Do u see a link? We do.  #Booyashaka!!!  Going to buy cool stuff for the wee man!
Retweets: 345,678   Favourites:  245,781

0 AD
#WasntExpectingThat @The3Hipsters @TheBaadBoy Thanx for gifts & stuff @MaryDollBC is delighted.
Retweets: 655,129   Favourites:  489,781


0 AD + 1
#JesusAFutureSuperStar Watch out for his tour people, he's going to be huge. #YouHeardItHereFirst
Retweets: 818,336   Favourites:  1,027,472

0 AD + 1
@JoeDaCarpenter                                                            but need to get the boy on the road #TheTourStartsNow #JesusAFutureSuperStar, first stop Egypt.
Retweets: 2,489,557   Favourites:  1,936,651                                                                                   

About the Author
Laura likes playing with new forms of language and is partial to a bit of #Flash. #JustSaying  ;)

Published December 16 2015

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Advent Day 15 2015

Advent Day Fifteen
December 15 2015
Susan A. Eames


Mango Smoothie

Chloe hated Christmas. She hated the hype. She hated the premature TV commercials. She hated the shops with their unimaginative, repetitive decorations. She hated the annual regurgitation of Christmas music playing on a monotonous loop. Most of all, she hated Father Christmas.
            As a child, she had been traumatised by the large man dressed in red with his big white beard. She had been taken to see Santa in his grotto and forced to sit in his capacious lap. When two hairy hands enfolded her and stroked her hair like a creepy murderer soothing his victim, she froze. But when she smelt his sour breath as he chanted 'Ho ho ho,' she screamed in panic until her mother rescued her from his clutches.
            When she learned that this terrifying man was going to actually come down the chimney into her own home on Christmas Eve she refused to sleep alone. So Chloe's despairing parents told her the truth about the myth of Father Christmas at the tender age of four and a half.
Chloe never lost her fear of creepy Santa in his grotto and even into adulthood her loathing had developed into a full blown irrational, but very real, phobia.
            Of course, it wasn't difficult to avoid these pseudo-Santas when she grew up. She solved the problem by holidaying every Christmas in countries that had no such traditions.
            This year she chose Fiji, safe in the knowledge that a holiday on a South Pacific island was about as far removed from Santa with his sledge and snow-dusted reindeer as one could imagine. But Chloe had failed to do her research and didn't know that Christian missionaries had transformed the Cannibal Isles in the nineteenth century.
            She walked along the dusty main street in a shocked daze. Upbeat versions of traditional Carols blared. Tatty fake Christmas trees and limp tinsel adorned the shops. She turned a corner and was confronted by the most extraordinary Santa in his grotto that she'd ever seen. Her instinct to flee was overshadowed by curiosity as she stared at the apparition. This was an interpretation of Santa in his grotto like no other.
The grotto was a bower fashioned from coconut palm fronds, decorated with red and pink hibiscus flowers and sweet scented frangipani. Like many Fijian men, Santa was absolutely gorgeous. Built like your archetypal rugby player, muscles bulged under his red t-shirt and shorts. No faux white beard or big belly for this Santa. He wore the traditional red hat, but with the addition of red hibiscus flowers tucked behind his ears.
            Apart from his good looks, perhaps the most arresting difference was his cool dude sunglasses.
            He seemed to be enjoying himself hugely – laughing and beckoning to the children who willingly went to him, shouldering each other in their eagerness to sit on his lap.
            For the first time in her life, Chloe wanted to sit on Santa's lap too.

About the Author
Susan A. Eames left England over twenty five years ago to explore the world and dive its oceans. She has had travel articles and short fiction published on three continents. After several fascinating years living in Fiji she has relocated to West Cork in Ireland.

Published December 15 2015

Monday 14 December 2015

Advent Day Fourteen 2015

Advent Day Fourteen
December 14 2015
Angela Haffenden

Dear Santa

A Glass of Milk

Dear Santa,

This Christmas, I wish for world peace.

This Christmas, I wish for all poverty and disease to be eradicated, and global warming to end.

This Christmas, I wish for my family and friends to be happy, healthy and prosperous.

This Christmas, I wish for the power to always do the right thing.

Santa, can I also ask that this Christmas Eve that my children go to sleep early, and for my husband to fix the bloody squeaky floorboard that threatens to wake them when I creep into their rooms to put out their stockings?

Yours sincerely,
A. Mother.

About the Author
Angela Haffenden is a mother of four children. She is also responsible for a husband, a dog and an ageing father. She writes mainly to stay sane. She lives by the sea and writes in a cabin in the garden.

Published December 14 2015

Advent Day Thirteen 2015

Advent Day Thirteen
December 13 2015
Linda Flynn

Wake up Call

Golden Dream (a cocktail)

Catch a cliché full of illusory situations as we open the curtains to the pantomime of life...

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a beautiful princess, who was as fair as fair can (unnaturally) be. She was as good as she was beautiful, which in case you were wondering, was very good indeed.
Her only problem was that she required an excessive amount of beauty sleep, one hundred years to be precise.
            So, when the handsome prince in tight fitting breeches found her, she was enjoying a little shut eye.
            One sight of her completely took his breath away. (To tell the truth he was also a tad breathless on account of having to hack his way through the undergrowth surrounding the castle, as a good gardener could not be found for love or money.) Which was almost as bad as wading through her massive shoe collection, in fact he nearly got himself impaled on one of her ruby slippers. But then a girl can never have too many pairs of shoes.
            Anyway, to cut to the chase, the prince kissed her ruby red, perfect Cupid’s bow lips. When she could get a word in edgeways, the princess opened her big brown Bambi eyes and said, “My Prince!” Which was perhaps a bit presumptuous and premature.
            Notwithstanding, they married in haste in an intimate ceremony, with just a thousand or two honoured guests, some of whom they knew.
Certainly the blushing bride looked radiant at the side of her perfect prince, as she anticipated a life of wedded bliss in the happily ever after.
True, she had a problem or two with her mother-in- law, who would put a hard pea under the mattress of her bed and who gave her a glass slipper as a bit of a joke. She wasn’t sure about all that stuff about talking to her reflection in the mirror either.
            Even the prince appeared to have picked up one or two bad habits on the way. He certainly owned some beautiful things, but in her opinion he spent far too much time frantically rubbing on his magic lamp.
Of course he was entitled to own his ugly duckling and his share of furry friends, after all every dog must have his day; it was just that pushy little Puss in Boots that she couldn’t stand.

Over time she began to realise that he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly hers, but that there was no point in crying over spilt milk.
            Nor could she really understand why the prince would insist upon climbing up her long flowing hair to reach their tower room, when there was a perfectly good spiral staircase.
            On reaching the summit he would scratch his head and mutter, “I’m sure I came in here for something.”
            It was at that point that she realised that the perfect prince she had married had turned into a flipping frog.
            The best that she could hope for was to wake up and discover that it had all been just a dream.

About the Author
Linda Flynn has had two humorous novels published: Hate at First Bite for 7 – 9 year olds and My Dad’s a Drag, for teenagers. Both won Best First Chapter in The Writers’ Billboard competition.
She has six educational books with the Heinemann Fiction Project. In addition she has written for a number of newspapers and magazines, including theatre reviews and several articles on dogs.
Her short stories with Bridge House include: two adult stories, To Take Flight, in the Going Places anthology  and I knew it in the Bath in Something Hidden, as well as The Wild Ones, for teenagers in Devils, Demons and Werewolves. Two children’s short stories: The Secret Messenger and Timid Tim were included in Hippo-Dee-Doo-Dah.

On 15th November 2015, Linda’s latest short story, Snowdrop was published in the Bridge House Christmas anthology, Snowflakes.
            Linda also works as a Head of English and PR at a school in Middlesex. Her interests include swimming, reading, walking her rescue dogs and far too much time spent daydreaming.

Linda’s website is: 

Published December 13 2015