Friday 1 June 2012

#FridayFlash - The Fishwives

The fishwives stand in a line along the sea wall, their arms outstretched as if they’d hold back the tide. They wear near-identical clothing, choosing the drab colours of those who dwell in the Underground City. The only difference between them is within the lace motifs of their mud brown shawls, motifs which mirror the intricate cables of their clans.

An excited chatter begins, tearing along the line. Movement is sighted at the bottleneck into the bay - their husbands return. The sea boils and churns, waves parting to spit forth the menfolk. Their grey scales gleam in the fading light; fins and gills put the husbands halfway between fish and men. Webbed hands clutch treasures of the deep, and muscular arms throw the catch of the day to the fishwives.

Some women cram baskets with fish and crabs, others seize precious stones and assorted detritus, the spoils of many shipwrecks beyond the bay. Their hauls depleted, the men turn and dive beyond the waves. They flick powerful tails in goodbye as they return to the depths.

The fishwives load the baskets onto carts, and haul them towards the gaping tunnels at the foot of the cliffs. Bereft of their husbands but laden with bounty, they begin the slow trudge back towards the Underground City. Their goods will soon appear in the markets and junk shops, their pockets lined with copper.

* * *

This story is set in the same universe as my laryngitis-inspired tale, Vault of Lost Voices.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

More free e-books!

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about FREE e-books, notably the Yin and Yang Book by eMergent Publishing. Well they're at it again, and this time you can pick up the Eighty Nine anthology, which features my own story, Thirty Years In The Bathroom. Based on the song title of the same name by The Wonderstuff, released in 1989, I went for a Hollywood twist on the Dorian Grey story, set against the backdrop of the Batman premiere.

Eighty Nine is free from Amazon US and Amazon UK until 8:59am on Friday (UK time) and 11.59pm on Thursday (US Pacific time).

Some Background
The third literary mix tape EIGHTY NINE, based on a playlist of 26 songs from the year 1989, went on sale in October 2011. Editor Jodi Cleghorn randomly assigned a song per author and asked them to create a story around the song that reimagined the events of 1989 through a speculative fiction lens. The 26 authors from the Nothing But Flowers anthology chose the songs for the playlist. Blake Byrnes, a final year fine arts student, turned an accidental promo photograph into the ‘eighties grunge’ cover, based on the character “Amiga” from Dale Challener Roe’s story Shrödinger’s Cat. Byrnes’ artwork provided the visual template for the character of “Amiga” in Devin Watson’s live action book trailer.

1989: a cusp between decades. The year the Berlin Wall came down and Voyager went up. Ted Bundy and Emperor Hirohito died. The birth of the first Bush administration and computer virus. In San Francisco and Newcastle the ground shook, in Chernobyl it melted. Tiananmen Square rocked the world and Tank Man imprinted on the international consciousness. Communism and Thatcherism began their decline, Islamic fundamentalism its rise. It was the year Batman burst onto the big screen, we went back to the future (again), Indiana Jones made it a trifecta at the box office and Michael Damian told us to rock on. Based on a play list of 26 songs released in 1989, Eighty Nine re-imagines the social, political, cultural and personal experiences at the end of the decade which gave the world mullets, crimped hair, neon-coloured clothing, acid-wash denim, keytars, the walkman, Live Aid, the first compact disc and MTV.

Monday 28 May 2012

Photo Prompt 87

New prompt available!

If you want to use the prompt, all I ask is that you include a link to this entry and a credit to me for the photograph, and that you post a link to your story in the comments box below so I can see what you've come up with! If you don't comment on this entry, then I can't comment on your story.
The 87th prompt is Ruins (actually Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness!).

Urquhart Castle

All photo prompts are my own photography - you can find more of it on Flickr. You can also buy my prints from Deviantart. 20% of all proceeds go to charity - the other 80% go towards my PhD fees!