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The Most Important Thing by Juliet Boyd

posted 24 Apr 2016, 06:24 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 24 Apr 2016, 06:24 ]

Clod knew it was against the rules, but there was no way he was leaving home without the tools of his trade. He was an artist looking for inspiration. Even on another world that wasn’t going to change. It was so stupid of the authorities to say that personal objects could mark him out as different. They were only pencils. Anyway, he’d removed his clothes. He wasn’t an  idiot.

He pushed the pencils through the fabric of reality one at a time. They made a sharp popping sound, which was followed by a hiss of air. That didn’t worry him. His body would make a much bigger hole and it was against the rules of the universe for it not to close up again afterwards.

As Clod went through himself, the sensation on his body was like swimming through a sea of cling film. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t easy. When that was over, he began to claw at the dirt.

There were crowds of people waiting by the time he emerged – not all of them friendly, he could tell. They were like the toy soldiers he’d had as a kid. Not quite what he’d been expecting, but inspiration? You bet.

Small pellets fired at his skin as he leaned down to pick up the pencils. That was the least of his worries. All Clod could think was that he really should’ve brought his pencil sharpener with him, as well.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @memopipwrites on Instagram.

Dogs Don't Talk by Juliet Boyd

posted 22 Apr 2016, 10:04 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 22 Apr 2016, 10:05 ]

The thing is, humans, they like to think dogs understand them. Which they do, to a certain extent. Sit. Stay. You know the kind of thing? They also believe they understand what dogs are trying to say to them. Tongue lolling out and panting, they take as a smile. Sitting up and begging, they want food. Well, the second one’s true, generally, but you see where I’m going?


Anyways, all you got to do is say the words in dog talk and wait for them to respond. A ‘yes’ is all you need, as long as you get the question in at exactly the right time. It’s only a teensy-weensy trick. Kind of a trade secret, if you know what I mean. It doesn’t matter they can’t hear what you’re saying. No way. And once they say that word, you’re in and they have no idea what’s hit them. What I do is say it over and over. By the law of averages, I gotta hit gold sometime. It goes like this. Watch closely.

“Do you want to sell your soul to me? Do you want to sell your soul to me? Do you want to sell your soul to me? Hey, lady, ain’t you got no heart?”

Phew, it’s hot in here.

You don’t have to say that last bit. Sometimes, it gets a bit frustrating when they ignore you. Patience isn’t our thing.

Anyways, the worst part is squeezing yourself into the shape of a dog. That really is the pits.

Hey, this is an exclusive, isn’t it? You’re not selling it to the overground rags. ‘Cos if this got out, there’d be hell to pay.

________

Inspiration from this post by @sarahjhalstead on Instagram

The Library of Things by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:40 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:36 ]

It was hidden down a warren of backstreets. Honestly, Tom was surprised a specialist library all about the supernatural even existed. Beyond cool. It certainly looked the part. Stone arch with a frieze above depicting all manner of monsters. Large oak door that creaked ominously when pushed.

Inside was a small entrance hall with a corridor behind. His attention was drawn to a notice board set on a stand. It displayed a map. Pretty standard. There were whole rooms set aside for each creature. He gasped. This might take a while.

Tom stopped outside the door marked Vampire. There was a little graphic. A set of teeth with fangs and a drop of blood dripping from the left-hand side.  It made him smile.

He opened the door and reached for the light switch, seeing as the room was pitch black and the curtains were drawn. A hand grabbed his wrist from behind the door, icy-cold to the touch. His breath hitched, which was ridiculous. He wasn’t the only one who visited libraries.

“No need for that.” The voice was deep, male and had a distinct edge to it. “I can tell you everything you need to know, for a small charge.”

Tom turned to face him. When he saw the fangs glistening in the light from the corridor he had a sudden urge to run, but his feet wouldn’t comply.

He guessed his question had been answered.

Real.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @skybisonseamus on Instagram.

Booked by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:37 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:37 ]

Tara drew the short straw. The blow-up mattress in Diane and Greg’s library wouldn’t have been so bad if there’d been a window in the room, or the bookcases that covered every inch of the walls had been made of something other than jet-black, laminated wood. It was claustrophobic. Oppressive. Definitely not restful. She wasn’t going to be able to sleep. In a room full of books, she decided to read.

She settled on a classic and pulled it out. She did a double take. Behind was another row of books. A secret shelf. Intrigued, she reached in and let her fingers brush over the hidden tomes. Except, the row wasn’t complete, which was odd. The space felt cold, as if ... a breeze? She wondered if they’d blocked a window with a bookcase.
She started to pull out more of the books. There was no window.

Faced with a panel of lights and buttons, she leaned forward, placing her head into the gap. Too slow to react to the violent pull, her scream was caught and redefined with ease. Her body followed suit.

***

Greg tidied the books strewn across the floor. Everyone had left. The two of them had even done the washing up – a rare event this early the day after one of their dinner parties. The ones to which they invited people they met on the street. A format designed to encourage lively conversation between disparate minds, amongst other things.

The smell of freshly-printed words wafted toward him. He turned. Diane was leaning against the doorframe. “How is it?” he asked.

“Some people have boring lives, even when they’re fictionalised.”

He smiled. “Never mind, luv. Better luck next time?”

“We should’ve chosen the guy wearing the tee with the bats.”

He didn’t argue. She was probably right. But there would always be another opportunity to find the perfect story.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @paperbacksandpugs on Instagram.

Life in the Fast Lane by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:35 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:37 ]

Sarah eased down on the acceleration. The place she was approaching, it was like the intergalactic Spaghetti Junction. Signs flashed on every inch of the window in front of her. Multi-coloured arrows. Seemingly conflicting instructions. Ridiculous restrictions. She knew where she needed to go, just not how to navigate her way there in any sensible fashion. She was pretty sure the loop-the-loop manoeuvre that had popped into her head was not the correct solution.

She vented her frustration with the loudest sigh this side of Pluto.

She made her choice.

Straightaway, the sound of an alarm filled the capsule.

The door behind her swooshed open.

“I know,” she said, without even turning to face the instructor, “Another month in the simulator. I’m not safe enough for a real spacecraft yet.”

“One month? More like three.”

It wasn’t until she was well out of the building that she smiled. There were always ways to avoid having to do a real job. Maybe, next time, she’d actually perform the loop-the-loop.


__________

Inspiration from this post by @skybisonseamus on Instagram.

Spinning Out of Control by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:33 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:38 ]

The web encased the entire house. A cocoon of strands criss-crossing in too many places for there to be a safe way out. It had been like that for days.

They weren’t going to survive, she was sure of it.

He waved his arms in the air as he spoke. “It’s not my fault.”

“Oh, and I suppose that means it’s mine?”

“If the cap fits.”

It was always the same, an impasse made up of tit-for-tat blame.

He had initiated the affair, because she no longer took any notice of him. She no longer took notice, because he wasn’t the man she’d married. He wasn’t the man she’d married, because she’d told him he needed to get his own interests.

She couldn’t breathe. The web was wrapping tighter around them with every word they spoke.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @noyomoco on Instagram.

Doors Always Lead Somewhere by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:30 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:39 ]

A door is a door is a door, is it not? An entrance. An exit. An inside. An out.


Except, when it’s a portal. A now. A then. A world. A dimension. A reality.


An adventure.


Emily reached out her hand and pushed. She really hoped it was the latter.


__________


Inspiration from this post by @skybisonseamus on Instagram.

Off the Wall by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:29 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:39 ]

The crash, loud enough to wake the dead, wakes you, instead. You listen, your mind still fuzzy, thinking you imagined it.

There’s no way you can get back to sleep.

Glass, that’s what it was.

You push back the covers, begin a creep-walk to the window, on the balls of your feet, sucking in your breath.

It wasn’t the window. Not nearly that far.

Your scream is a strange mixture of gasped-in breath and blasted-out sound. It isn’t the shard of broken mirror, the one that slices into your toes, that chills your blood.

It’s the hand grabbing your ankle.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @skybisonseamus on Instagram.

Locked Forever by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 12:24 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:40 ]

Arthur took Jean’s hand in his and pushed the back door open .

She scrunched up her face. “It’s cold, Arthur. I don’t want to go out.”


He almost told her it was her fault. That she was the one who’d wanted a winter wedding, which was why she’d had a winter anniversary every year. For fifty years.


He chose something else. “You won’t regret it.” He hoped that was true.


She stared into his eyes for a second, searching, before acquiescing.


They stopped under the apple tree and he pulled the lock from his jacket pocket. It was pink, with both their names, hers above his, a heart between them.


“You know you’ve always wanted to put a lock on one of those bridges?” She nodded. her glistening eyes flitted from the lock to the short length of chain hung on the branches before them. “I thought we could do our own. That way, we can look out on it every day.”


“You know this is going to make us late for the party?”


“That one we’re not supposed to know about?”


“That’s the one.” She grinned. “I suppose they’ll have to wait.”


He held his hand over hers and they reached up and clicked the lock closed as one. It was a satisfying sound. Solid. Like their marriage.


She raised a playful eyebrow as she looked into his eyes. “Does this mean I’m stuck with you now?”


“Absolutely, unless you can find the key.” He held said key to his parted lips.


“Don’t you dare.”


“This, then.” He threw it into the bushes, then wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “We should go as we are, if we’re not supposed to know.”


“You’re wearing a tie.”


“Do I have to?”


“Arthur Bailey!”


He held up his hands.


Another fifty years? If only.

__________

Inspiration from this post by @noyomoco on Instagram.

The Birthday Gift by Juliet Boyd

posted 18 Apr 2016, 09:43 by Juliet Boyd   [ updated 20 Apr 2016, 10:40 ]

“A duck?”


From the look on her face, he guessed she wasn’t impressed by the gift.

“It’s bath salts. You know, one of—”

“I know what it is.”

He could tell from the way she looked up at the ceiling that she was holding back. His confidence wavered. It had been the wrong decision. He should’ve chosen the champagne, but he couldn’t change that now.

“I thought you’d like a soak. You should relax on your birthday. I’ll run the bath for you. What do you say?”

She crossed her arms. “Yes, you do that.”

***

He closed the door behind him, as she threw the duck into the water. He leaned against it, his bottom lip taking the brunt of his nerves. He desperately needed to pee, but he didn’t dare go back in.


Just how long did one of those things take to dissolve.


He’d almost given up when she screamed.

"Are you there?” she said.


“Uh-huh.” He couldn’t manage anything more.

The door clicked open. She reached out her hand, the ring already in place.

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Inspiration from this post by @skybisonseamus on Instagram

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