Do’s, Don’ts and 14 Days

Week 3: Do’s and Don’ts and 14 Days of Inspiration

This week our task is an extended one. We each have to choose 14 things that inspire us whether that is a song or an image or even a person – whatever gets the creativity going! Armed with these inspirational items we have to write a piece ranging from a poem to a short story on each item for 14 days. Hopefully by the time we have completed this task we will have some amazing works to be proud of and even have a laugh at.

I gave a brief presentation highlighting the Do’s and Don’ts of writing that I’ve picked up over the years and i hope everyone learned at least one thing that will help them in their own journey to becoming literary legends!

Here is my first contribution:

14 Days of Inspiration – Day 1:

If I Had A Heart – Fever Ray

– – – – –

Prologue

I’ve heard the stories of the sacrifice made by Light and Dark every fifty years to keep the balance since I was a child. I’ve heard of the wars that ravaged our world for millennia before the truce was signed – a truce that only lasted as long as one child from Light and one child from Dark gave up their lives to maintain the power that kept the two halves separate and peaceful. I know why it is done, that without it we will be plunged into the ages long passed, but I cannot help but loathe it – because I am one of those children, one of the unlucky two whose lives will be ripped away as a result of the day and time they were born.

I was never given the chance to live and be happy. The weight of what I must do has hung on my shoulders for ten years, knowing each day that passes is one step closer to my murder. It pulled me down. Stripped me of everything. For so long I’ve tried to forget my fate and live the few precious years I’m allowed but no matter how hard I try to run I can never forget.

Chapter 1: Faye

“We ‘ada goodun ‘aventee?” Quinn squinted into the darkness, trying desperately to keep his footing on the smooth cobblestones on our way home.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at him when he lost his footing once again and nearly toppled over the low barrier separating us from the sheer cliff beside the road.

“Whoa there! This way, Tiger.” I snared a handful of worn grey shirt to steer his drunken form towards safer ground before he killed himself. “Such a lightweight.” I snorted to myself, barely able to resist the urge to reach out with one finger and push him over just for the hell of it. That was sated when, without my help, he tripped over the half-full bottle of spirits he’d just tossed to the ground and landed flat on his back.

Amusement bubbled up from my throat in the form of giggles which I attempted to bite back. He was quite a sight; all six feet of him sprawled out on the road with his shabby suit ripped in half a dozen places thanks to all the falling, head lolling from side to side as he moaned in pain from the hard impact of stone on his backside.

I couldn’t help it any longer. The giggles morphed into guffaws as I plopped myself down in front of him. I laughed until rivers of tears streamed down my cheeks, fully aware that we must look quite a sight sitting there in the middle of the road with torn clothes and cackling like no tomorrow while Quinn lay comatose beside me. It only made me laugh harder before gathering myself together long enough to make sure there were no other travellers on the road with us.

Relieved and a little saddened that this incident would stay between us I managed to haul the big lump of stupid I loved so much into an upright position. Quinn made no move to even try to open his eyes so, with a flex of my fingers, I drew back and slapped him as hard as I could across the cheek. That got him going in a hurry.

With a loud roar of protest slit green eyes popped open and he lunged at me. Even drunk off his butt Quinn was a force to be reckoned with so I hastily rolled to the side to avoid his grasping fingers and bared teeth. Having said this, his reflexes were rather slow. He barely had time to realise I was no longer in his grasp before his face collided with the ground, adding another round of bruises to the hefty collection he’d already gathered during the last few hours.

Cursing, he rolled on his back, one hand protectively cradling his nose. As soon as the colourful stream of words pouring from his mouth slowed to the occasional blaspheme he chanced opening his eyes once more to instantly hone in on me. “Ow.” he grumbled, tenderly wiping away the smears of blood from his face.

“Maybe you should lay off the spirits for a while, Q. You wouldn’t want to hurt yourself.”

He swiped at me, narrowly missing my thigh – and only because I jumped out of his reach – before crawling closer and dropping his head in my lap. “Never. Again.” He groaned, ferociously rubbing at his eyes with the heels of his palms.

“Ha!” I poked his jaw where a mottled purple bruise was already beginning to surface, earning a wince. “That’s what you said last week.”

Prying open one bloodshot eye he peered up at me through silver eyelashes and pouted, “Fa-aye.”

My eyes widened a moment before his lanky arms wrapped tightly around my waist and any breath I held in my lungs was forced out in a whoosh. “Q – can’t – can’t breathe, dammit!” desperately I clawed at his arms in an attempt to loosen their hold but if anything it made them tighten until finally with a whimper I gave in and went limp.

Pleased to have defeated at least once Quinn sat up and grinned happily, unaware that blood stained his teeth and turned the sharp predatory points into an ominous sight. I lived in Dark, I wasn’t afraid of sharp teeth or a little blood but even I recognised the threat Quinn would make if anyone crossed him.

One carefully aimed flick between the eyes banished the last of the results of his heavy drinking and earned a warning growl, “Sober yet, Sparky, or do you need another jolt back to reality?” I enquired sweetly, cracking my knuckles in invitation.

He rolled his eyes in response, shoving my side playfully, “You enjoy inflicting pain on me, woman.”

Enthusiastically I nodded, “You have no idea – especially when you drink enough spirits to kill the stars. What else did you expect me to do? Fawn over you like a new mother? I don’t think so, Q. You’re far too ugly for that.”

He tried to cover his chuckle with a cough but the sound that resulted only made us both laugh and flop back down on the road to stare up at the sky.

“My actions were justified.” Quinn whispered, sadness weighing his words down better than any stones.

“You would think the positions would be reversed what with it being me who’s dying today.” I tried to inject a carelessness into the words that was suddenly sapped from the conversation but by attempting to do so I only made them sound hollow, even to myself.

He scowled unpleasantly, the marks deigning him a Dark warrior flaring up his neck, emitting a glow the colour of moonlight. Unable to keep still he sat up, crossing his legs, “You’re just dying. It’s us who have to live with your death.” He rested his face in his hands, unwittingly covering himself with blood.

With a heavy sigh I mirrored his position before tugging his hands away from his face and offering a reassuring smile, “Six hours, Q, that’s all I have left. Now are we going to spend it sitting around sulking or are we going to make them the best six hours anyone’s ever had?”

Brushing away the anguish and pain of the events to come Quinn smiled at me warmly and shot up, “Well since you’re so insistent…” he held out his hand for me to take, fingers twitching with his need to get moving and distract himself, and me, from my fate.

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