Warm-Up

The exercise involves lying full-bodied on the floor for another to draw around your form. The purpose of said exercise is to articulate a sense for the flow of immobility, immobility as flow and thus possibility. Many groups attempted similar activities to great aplomb and connection. Artists collapsed upon their models. Models rose to heights of personal ascendence. Poetry collections were published. Limbs grew lithe in artificial moonlight. The studio upgraded its entire rigging. We brought new humans to practice passivity. Every pairing was a pool of pleasure. Who knew the flesh untouched could be so malleable. To cultivate the necessary unrest, ambient ocean sounds may be played directly into the model’s ear. Arousal. Here we are, rhythm of intermittent tide, a pencilled warble. This man has muscles that articulate a paradoxical vulnerability. It’s in his tattoos, which only the artist sees. A he or a she or neither, in which case a very special effect is reached. Systems fall into perfect error. Undulations of hair leave their impress upon carpets, but admittedly parquet floors were instructed. Recommendations swept away in paper flakes. Controversies stirred at the death of a single participant. They had scratched, I am just looking for a way out. It never occurred to the artist that the model was in fact referring to their very own body. Doors were locked and provisions made. They ate tinned peaches and dripped the slippery juice across each other’s faces. Some of them miss the practice as it was before. No good to dwell in the past. No good at all. The snapshots were flushed when authorities arrived. Time will tell, how else? Little white lines. Social media profiles in the boom era broke down when the 404 parade came round, desperate and percussive. I make of you a blade of rain, they said. This isn’t the eighties, the skin replied. There were twenty-two poems explaining aesthetic paralysis. A great deal of laughter and stuck-together A2 paper, resonant scent of impermanent ink. When your felt-tip skims my shoulders I melt like infinite butter. His tattoos twist, I drink them.

 

– Maria Sledmere

(04/02/18: ‘create’)

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Flash Fiction February Page Access

Attention everyone – due to a small bout of daftness, I forgot to categorise the page properly. Because of this, the page did not appear in the Flash Fiction February drop-down menu. I have tried to fix this but it doesn’t seem to want to add. I’ll do what I can to fix this bit, in the meantime, you can access the page through the link below.

Apologies again.

Flash Fiction February 2018

Group Novel – Chapter 10

I was flung into some kind of cell by a creature that was halfway between a snake and a tree. Flung with some force – skidding across the gravel floor and crashing into the solid wooden back of the cell. The tree-snake creature hissed something I couldn’t understand before half-slithering, half-hobbling away. I scrabbled to my feet and to the bars of my cell – I went to rattle them but saw that there were large nails sticking out of them.

   “They don’t like iron.”

I jumped at the sudden voice. Looking around, I saw the girl – Evangaline – half-hidden by shadow in the cell across from mine.

   “What?”

“The faeries. They don’t like iron. These cells are made for people of their kind.”

   “Their kind? What kind? Who is she? Who are you? What is this place? What do they want and what the fuck has happened to Marie?”

Evangaline stood and approached the iron-spiked bars of her cell,

“I’ll answer your questions, all of them, to the best of my knowledge – but first, I ask that you answer one for me.”

   “Fine.”

“What is the year?”

   “What?”

“What is the year?” I blinked a little. How long had Evangaline been stuck in this place?

   “2018,” I told her. When I did, she didn’t shout or scream or cry. She didn’t call me a lair or fall to the ground in despair. She just said,

“Oh.”

And yet that one sound held all the sorrow of a person whose entire world had broken apart.

   “When I came in here, it was 1906.”

“What?!”

My outburst was one of disbelief. One-hundred and twelve years. How could she be here after 112 years?

It took me a while to let that news sink in. I’m not sure how long – there were no windows in the cells, only an eerie glowing light from strange flowers along the walls. If it wasn’t a dungeon, it would be quite pretty. Eventually, I heard myself say,

“112 years?”

   “It would seem so,” said the voice across from me. “Do you still wish me to answer your questions?”

“Do you still want to answer them?” Evangaline nodded. “Then yes. I’m Alice. Alice Brodie.”

   “Evangaline Myers. But most people call… called me Eva. I hope that answer who I am.”

“But how did you get here? How have you been here for so long?”

   “The Queen tore my family apart. Drove both my parents to madness. She wasn’t having me too. She still won’t. As for my time here, the rules are different in her realm.”

“But who is she?”

   “The Faerie Queen, self-appointed. From what others in these cells say – she was banished from the Seelie court.”

“Ok,” I said. I had very little choice than to just accept what was going on. “What does she want with Marie?”

   “She needs a body. The Seelie court cast her out of her own form.”

“But why my Marie?”

   “That I cannot tell you. She has tried with many over the years. My mother. Me. Dozens of other women who had the misfortune to get lost in these woods. None have been compatible with her… not her soul – I doubt highly that she has one. Her essence, perhaps? I don’t know what makes your friend different, but she must be – to sustain the Queen.”

“What happened? To the others?”

   “Most burned up. Others went mad.”

If that was what happened to all the others, what was going to happen to Marie? I slumped against the wall of my cell. I had to do something. I had to get Marie back. No matter what it took, I had to get out of this cell.

Last Meeting of the Semester

Attention, Creative Writers! We will be hosting one last meeting of the semester. It’s not an official workshop – there are no tasks or anything – just a chance for you to bring along some of your work and to get to hear everyone else’s.

If you have a piece you’d like some help with, or just some feedback, or you just was to share it with the group then bring your work along. If you don’t want to share, that’s ok – but we assure you, everyone is very nice when it comes to feedback.
PS feel free to bring drinks if you wish – either to celebrate the end of term or just to ease the pain.

Usual time and place – hope to see you all there.

Gothic Fiction Workshop Sumission

The autumn air was particularly cold that evening. She felt it through the thick wool of her red sweater, how it chilled the marrow of her bones. It prompted the young woman to quicken her pace through the park but the biting cold continued nipping at the heels of her feet insistently. A feeling of restlessness gnawed at the back of her mind, urging the woman to keep moving.

The wind carried with it a forlorn howl that rustled the leaves above her head. They trembled frantically much like her chattering teeth, and so she stopped in her tracks to listen. All was still in the darkness beyond the dim, yellow light of the street lamp where she stood. It was as if though the forest itself had been silenced by an unexpected presence; one that the woman in the red sweater could not see in the thick gloom that had taken over the park.

She could no longer stand the eeriness of it all, and so she made a point to leave this place as quickly as possible. After all, home was just a short distance from the western entrance. It wouldn’t be too long now.

Alas, her haste lured the prowling beast from the shadow of the tall trees. Its eyes glowed white, roused by the thrill of the hunt. Her beating heart beckoned the creature out into the pale moonlight: the sweetest of songs for nightly terrors such as it.

A single bound was all it took to close the distance between them. Monstrous jaws found its chosen prey and quickly tore through the tender flesh linking her right shoulder to her slender neck. Its savagery created a hellish symphony of crushing bones, rupturing skin, and helpless gurgles for the blood and bile stuck in her throat prevented the woman from screaming. The beast feasted on her blood, and her blood fueled the Moon’s curse.

Tonight was a night of curses. It belonged to bloodlust and ravenous hunger.

Once sated, the creature returned to the dark depths of the forest, leaving behind the mangled body of its victim to be found soon thereafter by a pair of joggers on their routine run.

Hospital staff claim she had been viciously attacked within an inch of her life, but the wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a large animal of unknown origin. Canine, perhaps.

When the full moon shall crown the night sky, so it is that another will join the hunt…

 

By CR

2017/2018 Workshop Schedule

SEMESTER 1

20TH September – Introduction – Dram

27TH September – Settings & Objects – Dram

4TH October – Gothic Fiction – GUU Drawing Room

11TH October – Murder Mystery – GUU Drawing Room

18TH October – Fantasy – GUU Drawing Room

25TH October – Horror – GUU Drawing Room

1ST November – Poetry/Start of Povember – Unknown

8TH November – Shakespeare – GUU Drawing Room

15TH November – World Building & Maps – GUU Drawing Room

22ND November – Sci-Fi – GUU Drawing Room

29TH November – Script Writing – GUU Drawing Room

6TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

13TH December – Show & Tell – Dram

 

 

SEMESTER 2

10TH January – Cut-up Poetry/Refresher – GUU Drawing Room

17TH January – Plotting & Characters – GUU Drawing Room

24TH January – Fairy/Folk Tales – GUU Drawing Room

31ST January – Flash-Fiction – Unknown

7TH February – LGBT+  – Unknown

14TH February – Erotica – Unknown

21ST February – Villains – GUU Drawing Room

28TH February – Dead Genres – GUU Drawing Room

7TH March – Historical – GUU Drawing Room

14TH March – Graphic Novels – GUU Drawing Room

21ST March – Fanfiction – GUU Drawing Room

28TH March – Show &Tell/AGM – Dram

Flash Fiction Event

Hi everyone,

We’ve just received an invite to a Flash Fiction event this Thursday at Waterstones on Byres Road. It’s at 7:30 and there will be an author – Gary Duncan – who is launching his own Flash Fiction collection, You’re Not Supposed To Cry.

We’ve also been asked if anyone would like to read any of their own Flash Fictions out at the event. If so, drop us an email/fb message with the piece/s you’d like to read.

Hope to see you there 😃

Mummy’s Girl

‘Look, darling, I’ve got you a nice new dress. Want to try it on?’

Mutely, Jenny shook her head. She concentrated on moving the stiff limbs of her new teddy bear, stroking its bristly fur, but she still didn’t look up.

‘Sweetheart, that one’s dirty. This one’s almost the same, it’s nice and bright, I can wash that one and give it right back to you-’

‘No.’

It was the only word she’d said since she came. No to changing her dress, no to taking her hair out of the matching yellow ribbons. A gift from her mother, the dress had once been the colour of pineapples, of lemons. Maybe it had smelled like her.

Now the yellow was grey, and it smelled stale. Still, she refused to take it off.

They used to hope her mother would visit again, and bring her something else to wear- but, as the weeks went on, that seemed increasingly unlikely.

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 09/02, pineapple)

Don’t Say You Love Me

Eventually, they ban the word “love”.

It’s harmful, they claim. Causes too much hurt. But people find other ways to say “I love you”. They say “Let me know when you’re home, I don’t want you to go, are you cold, how was your day?” Everyone gets used to it, and then comes the same hurt. The same disappointment.

So they ban speech entirely.

They give up when they realise people can be left just as devastated when all that came before was a blown kiss, or a hand held over the heart.

When they realise people can hurt each other no matter what.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 10/02, censored)

Hate

He wanted to hate her.

He wanted to hate her when they had their first fight, and she blew everything out of proportion until they were screaming at each other over who cooked dinner more often. Instead, he knocked on her locked door with spaghetti carbonara at midnight. She let him in, and they ate in bed.

He wanted to hate her when she told him she didn’t care anymore. That she didn’t want to be with him, that if he couldn’t make an effort then she’d go home to her parents’ house and he wouldn’t ever hear from her again.

Instead, he bought her an engagement ring.

He wanted to hate her after they were married. When she’d sit in silence, staring at the television, ignoring their daughter tugging at her skirt. Instead, he took the baby and taught her the word “Mummy”.

He wanted to hate her when she left.

But he only ever loved her instead.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 11/02, thorn, ‘The roses are not less lovely…’)