Stefanie Simpson

the place for short fiction and author info

Introduction — May 31, 2017

Introduction

 

This blog is for short stories, and flash fiction.

I have many works in progress and ideas for more, though many never come together, so this blog is where I’ll share those scenes and ideas.

Please expect strong language, explicit content, and adult themes throughout my work.

Content warnings will be used.

If you want more information on my published works please come look at my Amzon pages!

New City Series – Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk

For more details on my contemporary romances, click here – Books

 

The Serpentine God – Amazon.com Amazno.co.uk

All words are my own and may not be reproduced elsewhere.

 

#FlashFicHive Prompt: create a story from a film character. — August 4, 2017

#FlashFicHive Prompt: create a story from a film character.

Based on The Labyrinth and The Goblin King – Jareth, this is version one of the prompt. The second is very different.

704 words

Revenge.

A kingdom of magic in ruin and chaos was good for no one. After too long alone in his palace, Jareth put his labyrinth in order.

Yet he watched her through a mirror, unable to look away, and his resentment grew.  Her life, her choices, the man she chose, the child she bore, were so insipid. So ordinary.

Jareth was disappointed and – unexpectedly – not bored by it. His interest never waned.

Goblins returned to their lives, in time. The city was rebuilt. Poor souls were caught in Jareth’s magic, but none were her. None challenged him as she did, even if they stayed.

Every night he returned to the mirror. To her, and in time, her child.

Elina was just like her mother. Black, wavy hair fell around her pale sweet face.

Jareth wanted her for his own, a cruel thread wove in his heart, and he spun it into gold. He wanted to play.

He waited until she was sixteen, just as her mother was.

He infected the girl’s dreams, offered wild hopes and revelations. She was sweet and kind and lost in what he gave her. At night he sought her out. She dreamt of owls, of dancing and love, and when he appeared one starlit night, her eyes lit up with wonder and interest.

Standing before the thing he most desired in a charming gold coat that glittered at her with his feathery hair and owlish touches, the Goblin King was beautiful and powerful, and he knew it.

The lights came on, startling Jareth. His blood rushed at the sight in front of him.

Sarah.

Older now, a life lived in her eyes, causing him anger, and something else. Regret perhaps or longing; all those years watching her age and move through an ordinary life hardened his resolve.

“We did this once so why are you here?”

“Sarah, you look old.”

She raised her head. “I am, thank you.”

Elina looked at her mother and the wild danger that she knew already.

“Tread carefully, Sarah,” he said, glancing at the girl.

“You cannot take her. No one asked you here, and no one made a wish.”

“Are you sure of that? I have watched you from afar, I have waited patiently, but find myself disappointed in you. The choices of your life and what could have been for you had you stayed with me makes me curious. But this creature,” he gestured at the bed, “is  lovely, as lovely as you were.”

Sarah moved slowly with no naive innocence or wide-eyed wonder at the Goblin King. Her hard eyes glared.

“You had no power then, and you don’t now. For a time I wondered if you were real or if I’d made it all up, but when Elina told me of her dreams,  I knew I hadn’t.” Sarah moved across the room, holding his attention as Elina slipped out of bed.

Jareth narrowed his eyes, and pulling a crystal from the air twisted it into a coming horror, and as he was about to set it free, Sarah brought out a gilded cage from nearby.

Jareth paused. “All I ask is that you do as I say. I will take her-”

“No, you won’t.”

Elina caught hold of the crystal in his hand before Jareth could unleash it, and threw it at him. He turned as it smashed into fragments against him, his image shattering with it, and in the roar of sharp noise, he turned back into the owl.

He flew frantically around the room before heading to the window, but it shut before he could escape. A blanket was thrown over him, pulling him down to the floor. He flapped violently, screeching.

And then he was in the cage, the little door shut firmly and locked.

“Say your right words,” Sarah mocked. “Now, mighty Goblin King, you are a pet. Enjoy him, Elina.”

The beauty that gazed at him through the bars smiled. The last fragments of his illusions and magic faded, glittering into dust, and there was just Elina in the dark.

He titled his head.

“Don’t worry Jareth, just do as I say, and you will be free.”

 

#FlashFicHive ‘The Argument’ —

#FlashFicHive ‘The Argument’

From June’s prompts, and late to be uplaoded, here is a 250 word flash.

CW: Contains sadness and tragedy of the road.

At a quarter past eleven, the best comeback entered Pete’s thoughts. The fight with Abbie had been going on for a week.

A week.

With a huff he pulled on some clothes and stomped down out of his building, jamming on his bike helmet.

Revving his engine a few times, he pulled out of the garages and into the quiet dark.

His bike cut through the silence, and in his hurry, he took the parkway.

Either side of him, along the narrow road, darkness hid the beauty of the wild park. Pete always loved it. He and Abbie had their first real date there, a picnic. He’d been chased by wasps for ten minutes, and they ended up having a mad snogging session in his car.

He smiled as he rounded a sharp bend. Instead of continuing their fight, he wanted to kiss her and pull her close.

He saw it too late.

The beams of the car hit him hard at the peak of a hill, blinding his vision. Driving in the middle of the lane, the car weaved a little. Pete swerved to avoid them, but too late.

The car struck the bike in a crunching squeal that barely registered as he vaulted over the car. The bike went in one direction, and him in another.

All he thought as he flew, rolling in a blur, was that it was a shame he’d never see Abbie again. Or kiss her. Or say he was sorry.

#FlashFicHive challenge – word cloud 2 — June 26, 2017

#FlashFicHive challenge – word cloud 2

Genre: Crime – Horror. Word count 124 – 458 – 371 (final word count)

A Nightmare in Consequences

The dream was the same, a nightmare, falling, terror strangling him, his wife clinging tight, her screams unending as they went. Tangled in her dress, drenched in terror, they were both screaming.

Waking to darkness, sweat pooled on his skin as he heaved his breath, hair dripping, and sheets soaked. Wiping the saltiness from his eyes, he reached over and felt her arm; her cool, smooth skin reassuring him.

Taking a deep breath, slowing his heart, he sat up and nearly vomited.

A fly buzzed somewhere in the dark and landed. He turned, and in the dim light, he watched the fly crawl over his wife’s face. Her eyes were half-open and body completely still.

He waved his hand, and it flew off, the thick sound of its flight echoing in his thoughts. The man whispered garbled words in the dark, but a weight sat in his mind, halting his voice.

On shaky legs, he went to the kitchen and forced water down his throat. His body felt dry, having sweated out all the fluid in his body. He walked back to the bedroom, watching her from the doorway, and for a second she looked asleep, but she wasn’t.

The crisis had passed, but the consequences were coming.

He went back to bed, closed his eyes, and welcomed the terror that waited.

Looking at the ceiling, a hint of dawn already creeping, sleep evaded him. A hand touched his arm, and he turned his head to see his wife smile at him. His mouth opened wide as she grabbed him, and they fell through the bed down into a dark pit, screaming and tangled in each other.

Struggling against her, he wanted the end, he wanted it over, and with a guttural scream, they tumbled down endlessly, locked in struggle.

Air rushed his ears, drowning his screams.  In the darkness he felt her, but could not see her. Turning over, spinning through nothing, he understood.

His frantic struggle wore him down. All fight left him. A worn, broken spirit in the arms of the woman he once loved and betrayed.

They no longer fell, but floated, always with her, trapped in her arms, tormented with her hands around his throat.

Forever.

 

#FlashFicHive Word Cloud Challenge — June 21, 2017

#FlashFicHive Word Cloud Challenge

From the word cloud given as a prompt, and images I chose, here is my flash fiction piece.

 

Demon Lesson

 

Crawt pulled his hood low over his face and led the pony away from the dismal remains of the village. The poor creature was laden with riches and gold – the accumulated wealth of the place that had tried to destroy him.

He smiled, his repulsive face curling in disgust at the people who tortured him; an exiled demon, afraid and alone, and they abused him.

Immortality had its burdens. Hanged, drowned, and lashed in the stocks, yet he did not die.

He limped on the narrow path away from the grim place, out to the countryside where he’d be free to find peace. His eyes glowed as he passed Mirelda the fair. The maiden released him from the chains and healed his wounds. She didn’t flinch at his mangled demon form, or the lash marks, but looked sad. Rolling his shoulder, he felt pain in his back, marred and scarred from weeks of punishment.

Her eyes filled with tears as she watched in silence with the rest of the village. Crawt’s lip curled higher, revealing his fangs.

How malleable these people were. Soft and weak of body and mind.

Uncounted years of existence had passed where he doled out punishment to humans. He supposed it was some justification that he should endure retribution. To them, he was a form of evil, and they do their duty by vanquishing him.

Alas, in their pursuit of justice, they grew cruel, and the villagers learnt no secrets and knew no promises of eternity or salvation. But with their humanity tested, their treatment solidified his understanding of these creatures as inferior and foolish.

Crawt took everything he could from them and felt no sorrow for it, only hatred.

Except for the woman, for she alone was kind, she made the way for him to take what he wanted, and take he did.

His step faltered in the mud, and turning a little, he heard her step. He grinned and walked on, the pony following obediently, as did Mirelda.

 

335 words

 

#FlashFicHive GIF challenge — June 14, 2017

#FlashFicHive GIF challenge

tenor

Flash fiction inspired by this gif.

 

Gothic Romance.

 

Memory of the sea

A door slammed, and the wind screamed in the chimney. Petra didn’t flinch at the noise but picked at the ice on the inside of the window, her mind elsewhere, in the past.

The floor creaked, a door upstairs opened and closed, bringing her back from her thoughts.

“I’d like to go out.”

The whistling draft answered.

Petra paid no attention to the rotting, swollen wood of the windows or the cracked panes. She didn’t notice the empty rooms, or that spiders and beetles resided in the hall as she walked through the desolate house.

Standing before the locked front door, and without her keys, the desire to be free of her prison swept her.

“Let me go.”

The house went quiet.

“Let me go, please.” Her weary voice and spirit were desperate. The silence thick.

The creeping at her back began as a cold caress. Her lips trembled, and tears fell. She remembered his warmth and hold; the sweet love of what was lost.

Fear prickled; the feeling of someone standing close behind her, and she felt his touch. She tried to fight and resist the allure but couldn’t.

The atmosphere crackled, tension in the air made her skin goose, and she felt his frozen lips on her neck.

Sobbing, her head fell back to his shoulder, and surrendered.

Pulled close, Petra spun to face what she couldn’t look at.

“Petra.”

She shuddered, mouth lax, and found herself walking. Compelled to move forward, steps painful and filled with dread.

On the landing, she held the smooth round newel post, knuckles white, and breath misted in the cold.

“Petra.” Her name was an echo; it came from the walls and the wind. Compelled onward to her bedroom, she struggled. She would not submit to the madness again.

The pull and promise of the past, full of memories flooded her mind.

She screamed so loud, it echoed through the house, and the groaning quietened. Taking the opportunity, she fled down the landing to a disused room that had once been her sanctuary.

She slammed the door and turned the key in the lock, thankful it was there and slid down to the door. Feeling the cold for the first time, her tears were icy on her face, and she tucked her hands under her arms.

Faded linseed oil and paint scented the air, bringing her to her senses.

Her gaze landed on a large unfinished painting. The past came forward, one of summer and wild youth.

Down the dune, she ran with paint box in one hand and easel in the other. Her hat blew away in the rush, and dumping her things on the pebbles, she set up to catch the sight of two tall ships sailing out to sea.

The proud vessels moved slowly on the water, which undulated and sparkled in the sun.

The smell of salt on the wind and sound of gulls in the distance were happiness, and she worked madly to capture the ships before they grew small. Paint flecked her dress, a smudge on her cheek, and her hair blew all about her.

She didn’t hear footsteps crunching towards her as she frantically worked.

“Petra.”

She looked at the man, startled from her work.

“Sebastian,” caution shone in her eyes. A wave pulled her, the tide coming in.

“Let me help you.” The rich son from the big estate grinned his sharp grin. Petra was afraid and fascinated by the way he looked at her.

He carried her easel, held her hand as her dress dripped everywhere, making him laugh. He reached out and wiped at the paint on her face, a glint in his eye.

Petra shivered as she opened her eyes. Behind her, the door groaned, pressure pushed at it.

“Sebastian.”

The whistling stopped, the door stilled, and the key slowly turned in the lock. Petra no longer cared if it was madness or damnation. All she wanted was her beloved.

It was time, and Petra looked at the painting again, remembering the majesty of those two ships, appearing like lovers exploring the seas.

Eternal cold and madness were hers, but Sebastian had come back from the dead, and she would join him.

 

701 words

 

#FlashFicHive Challenge: redraft — June 7, 2017

#FlashFicHive Challenge: redraft

Bound

Behind Tern and Grace, the town grew small in the dark night. With hands clasped tightly, they ran for their lives into the wilderness.

Cast out into the dangers of wild, reaching the ancient forest was the only hope of survival. Stories of the magic and the realm beyond had long held sway with their people. No one came back from the world beyond their sanctuary. Predators that outmatched their own strength were hunting them, and the sound of their cries on the wind meant they were catching up.

Across hilly grasslands they fled, hearts pounding, muscles screaming as the howling cries closing in.

Forbidden and far from home, the old forest loomed in the distance.

Exhausted, Grace pulled Tern to a stop.

“I can’t go on.”

He pulled her close as the cold wind stung. “We have to, there is no choice now. It is this or death.”

Holding tight to him, his pain and tears made her heart clench. Another howl made them turn to the blackness behind, their home long out of sight.

“I’m sorry I did this to us. To you. You could have been bound to someone else by now.”

“I’m not sorry. We will make it, and hope. But we must move, now.”

With that, he pulled her behind him, the ground sloping down, and they neared the trees. Rushing into the wood, the bracken dry underfoot, sheltered from the wind, they kept their courage.

In the distance, a faint light shone, and they headed for it, leaping over fallen trees, dodging branches.

Strength surged with the end before them. Their pursuers made the woods. Tern held Grace’s hand tighter.

The precipice hung over water beneath it, mist hovered, filtering light that shone upward.

“This is it,” Tern panted as they came to a stop.

Grace heaved her breath as she peered over the edge.

“What if there’s nothing? What if it is just a story?”

“Then we die together, on our terms. We did nothing wrong, but make our own match and fall in love, but it’s done now.” He cupped her face, taking a last kiss.

“We were enemies once.” She said softly, even though the noises grew louder. “I remember thinking how much I hated you.”

“I thought you were cold.”

“I’d rather live like this than have lived without you.”

They looked at each other, then Grace took his hand, and with a nod, they ran forward, leaping into the unknown.

 

joao-silas-104961

 

word count: 411 words.

FlashFicHive. Challenge one — June 2, 2017

FlashFicHive. Challenge one

Song: Jack Savoretti: “We Are Bound.”

Lyrics

Planned a great escape

Keep the wolves away

Together we can hide like runaways

We can find a way

See the sun again

You and I are meant for better days

 

We’re not the enemy

Tired of saying we’re sorry for our love

We are bound to a place where they won’t follow

Where we are bound

Our hearts will take us there

It’s just a game of truth or dare

 

Leave the broken dream

Find the missing key

Nobody told us how hard this would be

Keep the memories

Only what we need

Until we find some time that we can believe

 

We’re not the enemy

Tired of saying we’re sorry for our love

We are bound to a place where they won’t follow

Where we are bound

Our hearts will take us there

It’s just a game of truth or dare

 

Promises fade

Well, I promise that ours will remain

Don’t be afraid

To walk down this path that we’ve made

 

We are bound to a place where they won’t follow

Where we are bound

Our hearts will take us there

It just a game of truth

We are bound to a place where they won’t follow

Where we are bound

Our hearts will take us there

It just a game of truth or dare

 

Planned a great escape

Keep the wolves away

You and I are meant for greater days

 

Storyline one

Escape.

Fantasy, non-human star-crossed lovers, escaping from forbidden love into the unknown. Running through the night, chased by families to kill them for being together.  Leap to unknown.

Storyline two

Dare.

f/m couple, in bed. Bound, trust, kiss, undone, love, lost and completely alone in the world. Both healing and broken souls. Honeymoon.

 

Draft one – Escape.

wordcount – 335

Night cooled as the lovers ran with the sound of wolves howling behind, crossing fields into a small wood.

Tern, with his huge frame and bright amber eyes, turned to Grace. With her face bright with fear in the moonlight, he kissed her. Possibly for the last time, yet he needed to feel her warm body against his, and her soft lips in a kiss.

“You can go back.” He held her tight.

“Never.”

Her delicate voice made his heart clench. “You can have a life, go back to your family. No one knows what will happen if we do this.”

“There is no home for me here, only death. I will be an outcast, apart from our kind forever. They will kill us. We made our choice when we became bound. We must try. We’re dead anyway.”

Tears shone in her eyes, and he nodded, as the howling gained.

“Come on.” He grabbed her hand again, and they ran into the forest, his keen sight leading them through the ancient trees. They jumped felled logs, their agile strength guiding them into the unknown.

The sound of pursuit faded in the thick woods. Their families, who were now their enemies, feared the old magic at the edge of the world.

There was no other choice; it was the only way out, to be together, and escape the enmity of their families. They might die, and live beyond for all time together, or the stories were real, and another world waited for them.

Faint light glowed, a shining pool in the dark.

Fear surged, and with it, hope.

They stood panting at the precipice, the mist below hovered over the water beneath.

The howling neared; the sound of their pursuers gaining.

The lovers looked at each other, and with a nod, hands clasped tight, they leapt. The cold hit them as they were sucked down into the unknown beyond the magic of the wood.

Not once did he let her hand go, nor would he again.

A death — May 31, 2017

A death

CW: violence and language.

Jemma focused on the sound of her breathing, her ears rang, and her heart was beating so hard, her body pulsed with it.

Slowing her breath, she tasted the musty metal smell in the boot of the car where she was tied up.

The freezing cold no longer bit because of all the hours she had been in the boot. It became hotter as they drove. Her body jostled, her wrists were cut by the zip ties, and her body was taut and stiff as her ankles were tied to her wrists behind her.

Sweat covered her, and even though it was hot, she shivered.

She swallowed the bile that sat at the back of her throat, and part of her shut down. She couldn’t feel anything. She was going to die.

In those fear soaked hours in the boot, she wondered how it could have been different, but there was no changing reality. There were consequences to her actions.

Cause and effect. She stole information and money from some dangerous men, now she had to pay.

The car stopped. She swallowed the bile again.

The cold air and swirling snow struck her, waking her up, flaring the panic in her body, but not her mind.

The two men grabbed her, and she struggled; she wouldn’t make it easy, but she was little more than an animal to them, and her life was disposable. For a second she looked them in the eyes and pitied them, how awful to be so devoid of any approximation of love or humanity. How sad it was that they only bore hate.

Such delicate men, hiding behind an illusion of strength; they were nothing. The world wouldn’t remember them, and if anyone did they wouldn’t be mourned, it would be with a sigh of relief.

Jemma was set down on her side, and the hard freezing ground pressed into her. She was only wearing jeans, her para boots, and a long sleeve t-shirt. Her body, damp with sweat dropped in temperature and she shivered harder.

If they didn’t shoot her, she’d die from the cold soon enough, at least she wouldn’t be raped; it was too cold for that.

She closed her eyes hard and opened them, she let her vision clear as the light no longer blinded her, and she looked at the woods around them. The thin trunks and bare branches were laced with snow, and the ground was covered with it.

It was so beautiful. She smiled, at least she was going to die where it was beautiful. She took a deep breath.

The two men righted her onto her knees.

“Do you know what’s going to happen?”

The man’s voice broke her composure, her violent shivering was out of fear as much as cold. She looked up and tilted her head.

Her voice chattered through her shaking. “What happened to you, so that you’d end up such a fucking shit?”

He slapped her hard, and she smiled at him.

“See?”

“You’re going to die, bitch.”

“Calling me a bitch is case in point. You’re such an obvious little man.” She raised a brow, and she saw the rage slice through him, her own rising with it.

The second man stopped him. He was handsome, more than the older thug. The second man turned to her.

“Give us the money and the flash drive.”

She said nothing.

A cold hardness went over his face, and he stepped near to her. “Where’s the flash drive and the money?”

There were no words left to say and no way out of this. Only anger and inevitability.

The man with the gun raised his hand and pointed it at her face. “Yeah? Looks like you lose from this perspective.”

Yes, it was such a beautiful place to die.