Sunday, 25 May 2014

Flash Fiction: Card Reading

Julia stopped card reading on her thirty-fifth birthday. It used to be a favourite past time of hers, to leave the hectic stream of the high street and enter the bright, warm, orange infused glow of the greetings card shop, her glasses instantly misting and then clearing as she started to make her way to the with sympathy section. She’d always start there; she felt it grounded her, reminded her that she was mortal, made her appreciate the life she was living. She tried to remember those cards when she was frustrated, or angry, or just generally having a bad day. It sometimes even worked.

After her sobering start, she moved to the anniversary cards. She had no one to buy one for, but it didn’t stop her looking. Pastel colours or bright, bright reds and pinks, hearts, flowers, teddy bears… Soppy and silly, but so beautiful in their charming, clich├ęd way.

Other sections received a brief glance, and special occasions, such as Valentine’s or Christmas, necessitated a much longer rest stop in the shop, since it was often busier inside than out. But no matter what, the birthday cards were never ignored. This was what she came for. This was what she adored, and this is what she wanted. She spent long minutes, if not hours, searching for just the right card. Sometimes she came away with nothing. Usually she came away with nothing. So far, from her hundreds of visits to the shop, she had bought just seventeen cards. She only wanted one more.

She never bought her eighteenth card.

It was twenty years before that she went to the psychic to ask her one, specific question; When will I have a baby?

Before you are thirty-five, was the answer. Certain. Definite.

It never occurred to Julia that finding a man should be her priority if she was to achieve this goal. She didn’t think of that at all; instead she planned everything else, bought everything, painted and decorated a nursery, bought a stock of nappies and clothing in different sizes, opened up a savings account for her child’s education. She had so many toys she had to store most of them in the loft, in cardboard boxes, labelled ‘Baby’.

On her thirty-fifth birthday, Julia stopped card reading. She sat, silent tears of a lost life dripping onto the seventeen birthday cards she had so carefully picked out for her child. The eighteenth would stay in the shop. Someone else could have it.

©Lisamarie Lamb 2014 

Friday, 9 May 2014

The Book of Mandragore... Out Now! (9th May 2014)

The Book of Mandragore is out now in paperback and Kindle editions - this children's fantasy adventure book tells the tale of three friends (Alice, Caleb, and Lance), who must travel across unfriendly lands and battle with strange beasts and stranger people in order to find the three pieces of The Book of Mandragore. This magic book contains the spell of immortality, and there are many people who would love to get their hands on it...

Chapter 1
There is a place, in another world, another time, another planet, another dimension, that we can never know. We can’t see it. We cannot go there. It is impossible for us. But sometimes, in the dead of a winter’s night, a story floats down to us from the frosty stars. Stories of gods and battles, of quests and adventures. Of life and death. These stories are gathered up by the people who understand such things, and they are kept safe, waiting to be told.
This is just such a story.
And the time to tell it is now.
Once upon a time – which time isn’t important, and it may indeed have happened more than once – there were gods, ancient, wise, all knowing, and deadly, dully bored. They had a life that mortals would envy; no death, no pain, no fear of anything or anyone, and yet still they grew restless with their lot.
When they had finished creating new things and new creatures and new worlds, they did not know what to do. Until they created people. Their very own play things, smaller versions of themselves that they could twist and mould and bend to their will. It was all a game to them. Everything was just for sport. Kill a human here, reward one with gold there, ask too much of another, and allow more to have an easy life like the gods…
Now these immortal and immense beings had toys to play with. Real, living, breathing toys that would do anything to live in the world the gods had created for them, and therefore would do almost anything that was asked of them.
For millennia this was good, and boredom was broken.
Until one day…
The throne room of Eland, the great city of the gods, was quiet. Rouf, lord of the gods, creator of all, peered down from his throne of gold woven clouds and sighed. Another war was taking place, another shrine was being built. People were travelling across the country, others were farming, more still were creating their own cities and towns.
The game had become dull once more.
Rouf shifted in his seat and flicked at a speck of dust that had landed on his arm. He couldn’t feel it – he, and all the gods, could feel nothing – yet he knew that it looked out of place; and it was something to do. The half a second that it took to remove the mote was a pleasant relief.
“Arken!” he yelled into the mists that hovered around Eland, the place in which the gods lived. “Arken!”
Rouf’s right hand god, Arken, appeared in an instant, grinning. “Yes, my lord? Is there something I can do for you?” Please say yes, please say yes… Anything!
Rouf nodded slowly, dragging every movement out. He slipped from his throne and wandered over to the viewing platform, the one place in all of Eland that any god could see what was happening down in the world below. “I’m going to visit the world,” he said, glancing at Arken for a reaction. “I’m going to allow myself to be seen.”
Arken gasped. “But my lord! You can’t! It’s against the rules!”

Rouf laughed, and the sound bounced around the throne room, jumping into the sparkling corners and out again. “Rules? I made the rules, Arken! I will break them when I want to.”

Monday, 5 May 2014

The Book of Mandragore... Out Soon!

One book holds the spell that can make gods into men. One book holds the key to death. One man's life hangs in the balance. One world could die with him.

When The Book of Mandragore is ripped apart by feuding gods, it is up to three young adventurers to find the scattered pieces before anyone else does. If they find it first, they can save a man's life. If their enemy finds it first, the world will end in fire.

And the gods, good and evil, will just watch as the story unfolds...