Wings of lace – short story

A writing exercise I like to do is to button mash on my computer and get a string of random letters. I just start writing whatever comes to me, using each letter as the start of a new sentence. Every piece ends up so random and fun, and I never know where it’s going to go, or how I’ll use the letters.
Here is the string of letters for the following story: uirthnioeurghveiourgnvhauirganrgcaveirbuuahilrghmcarinfbj.


Until yesterday, I always thought the only way I could possibly fly was if I crafted my own wings out of lace and feathers. I don’t know how I many combinations I had tried in the past, but it, so far, was the only thing that worked.

Really, it can be a combination of any lace like fabric and something light, like feathers or wool.

The thing is this – I love to fly. Having the ability to fly is possibly the best feeling in the world. Nothing and nobody could stop me flying.

I had my lace and feather wings in the washing machine on a gentle cycle, when my mum burst into the laundry.

“Oh, you didn’t put anything in there,” she paused as she pointed at the machine, “because I was about to put the whites in with the bleach.”

Everything started to fall down around me, realising my beautiful wings were being tossed gently around in bleach.

Unfortunately, not even frantic pressing of buttons and slamming open of the door could stop the bleach from pooling in the water at the bottom of the machine, my wings a dead bird ball.

Reaching in, I pulled out the lace, feathers falling down in wet limps.

“Great.”h

“Honey, I’m so sorry,” mum frowned at the feather slush. “Very sorry.”

Even though I knew it probably wouldn’t help with anything, tears started to cascade down my face. I couldn’t look at the chaos anymore, and I closed my eyes as I turned away.

Only flying could help fix my mood, and the only known contraption I had was ruined. Unless I could find something to replace it straight away, I knew I was going to be in a slump forever.

Right then, my mum put her hand on my shoulder and said, “You know, you don’t need to make wings, right?”

Grinning at me, mum took my hand and pulled me to my room. No-one can help me to calm down the way my mum does. Virtually nothing could calm me down except wings, so I wasn’t sure what could possibly work, given the mess.

“How about this?” mum asked, pulling a makeshift set of wings from the back of my wardrobe.

“Actually, they’re just a prototype and can’t fly.”

“Unless these are specifically made not to fly, then I’m certain these will work.”

I looked at the poorly constructed lace and the bits of wool haphazardly tied on. Reflecting on it, these wings hadn’t seen the light of day in several years, and I wasn’t sure they could handle the sky.

Grasping the loose ends, I sighed.

“Alright.”

Nothing could cheer me up, except for wings. Right now, I was accepting of the fact I’d have to give these makeshifts a try. Granted, these were the first attempts at making wings, and there was a slim chance of these working, but they were my best bet.

Cuddling under the lace, I felt the tough “soft” wool pressing against my bare shoulders. And I wasn’t scared. Various pairs of wings had made me worried about trying them. None had worked, but my lace and feathers were the only ones that felt right, and it worked. Even though they were ruined, and all I had left was this shamble of an attempt, I wasn’t scared.

I stood at the edge of the roof, looking down at the landing spots of my failed attempt, and then up at my target – the biggest cloud in the sky.

“Ready?” mum called from the ground.

Bracing myself, I took a few steps back, and readied myself. Usually, it was a run up, throwing myself out to the wind and hope for the best. Until my last wings, I had ended down on the ground, not feeling the greatest. And I felt comfortable, like the last pair, ready to propel my across the sky, not anticipating a fall.

Holding onto the little edges, I held out my arms, feeling the wingspans.

I started to run those few steps to the edge, closed my eyes, and leapt.

Leaping into the air, there was a moment where my stomach dropped, feeling like there was a chance of falling. Regardless, I pushed that small feeling aside and threw my arms open.

Getting into the air was never the problem, it was staying there, and for a minute, I was pretty sure I was actually falling. However, I opened my eyes and found myself dipping into a soar.

Mum started to cheer, and I beamed, looking up at the trees in front of me.

Could it be that these initial wings were just as good as my favourite?

As I flew higher and higher, the house grew smaller, mum became a dot in the green, and the clouds grew closer. Reaching into the clouds, I thought about how sad I had been not long ago, worried I’d never get into the air again, to feel the clouds, and scare the birds.

I felt so free, my wings feeling so comfortable against my skin. Never had I flown without the ends of feathers pricking me.

Falling was always scary, but the nose-dive to the backyard was always tough. Bringing my wings around my body, I let gravity throw me back.

Just as I started to gracefully descend, a bird flew into me, throwing off my concentration, and propelling me in an un-ladylike fashion toward the ground.

The Beast – Short Story

It’s gaining on me, and fast. From behind, I hear the click of my predator get closer and closer.

In a flustered frenzy, trying to get away as fast as possible, I stumble around names. They’re letters discarded from the threat of the ever creeping monster.

I swipe a look at my friend – sweating, just like me, staring ahead, trying to go as fast as possible.

We’re fuelled mostly by coffee at this stage, and the remnants of the bitter bean lingers on my tongue.

This isn’t my first encounter with the beast, and it certainly won’t be my last, as it tries to get its grubby claws sunk into me day after day.

My hands wipe away sweat, as I try and power on, knowing escape is a fleeting opportunity, and provides momentary rest.

“I don’t think I can do it anymore,” I say to my friends.

One has earphones in, a way to distract from the beast, and listens to music, rather than its toxic clicks.

The other friend shakes her head. “We’ve got to go on. There’s no choice.”

I feel a sob rising in my throat, and my friend reaches a hand out to me. For a second, everything slows. We glance at each other, sharing a look of understanding.

*’We can get through this,’* I think, and give her a nod.

After returning it, we break from the distraction and return to the task of evasion.

My fingers glide, feeling the motivation replace caffeine as my main fuel.

I glanced at the clock in the corner of my laptop. It was quarter to five, and I had fifteen minutes to finish this assignment and leave the library. My fingers were a flurry, as they tapped the keys, and banged out the final paragraph.

The beast continued to creep, as I saved the document and raced to upload it in time.

While I could hear time clicking away, waiting for a false move, the document uploaded, and I had finally escaped unharmed yet again.

I would live to see another day.

Untitled – Short Story

Written as a dream sequence. Let me know if there are any phrases that stand out to you, and generally what you think. I want to expand this into something a bit bigger, although I don’t have an overarching plan for it yet.


I was walking down a path in a forest, streams of light pooling between the foliage. Somewhere forward was a waterfall, the rushing water reverberating through the trees.

Birds perched high above me, singing, calling, and replying to each other. They flew between the trees, not making a noise as they landed on branches. And there was something roaming through the underbrush. Something small. There was a movement on my left, passing between a tree and a boulder. I looked over and saw a brush of red against the large rock.

The path ahead twisted out of sight, around trees and curving away to the right. I knew this path, it would return to the left and travel down to the waterfall, where the crystalline water broke against itself and poured around the rocks, splashing against the bank, and travelling further down, to places not seen before by humans.

The rock with the red stood, beckoning me to venture forth, promising something of interest.

So, with a glance over my shoulder at the deserted path, I stepped into the plants.

Walking up to the boulder was no easy feat. Something squelched under my shoe, but the foliage covered it up. I felt something jump onto my back and my breath hitched. I reached back to grab it, but my hand made contact with nothingness, despite the feeling of legs scuttling about. Both hands went forth, grabbing, swatting, groping, but there was nothing there.

The legs continued.

I walked forward, finally reaching the rock. Lifting my fingers up, I swiped at the red and came back with a warm, wet, copper hand. It stunk of metal and I walked around the rock, looking for some more blood. It slowly sank away from the boulder and dragged along the plants lining the earth. I followed it.

As I walked, the waterfall seemed to get further away. The loud crashing that I was expecting soon fell into a distant memory of sapphire.

The red became thicker and seemed to settle in my nose. And suddenly, it stopped. The trail ended with thick, goopey gore nestled under a tree. It smelt fresh, not decomposing yet, although some flies seemed to have found it before me.

The Death of the Author – short story

This is a very short piece. The inspiration came to me while I was driving today. It’s an idea that I plan on investigating in length later. Based on the idea that once a book/story is written, the intent of the author is irrelevant because it’s in the hands of the reader to interpret. I could write an essay about this, but I’ll spare you.

Anyway, just putting the idea out. This would likely be the first draft of the final part of a larger story. Let me know if you like the idea and if you would read a longer version of this.


Today had just been exhausting. This had to be the second maths test Laura had failed in the last three weeks. It was also the first time she’d had two maths test in three weeks.

Maths was the last straw – the last piece of evidence she needed. All Laura had to do was find a way to persuade her author to make things more desirable.

She closed her eyes, turned off any source of sound, and tried to zone out.


The author heard a noise behind them and turned around.

A sixteen year old girl stood in the middle of the lounge room, looking a bit confused.

“What the hell are you doing here?” the author asked, standing up.

The girl stopped and looked at the author. Her eyes narrowed.

“You’re the author.”

“And you’re Laura,” the author said. “But you’re not supposed to be here.”

“You have to change my story.”

“I don’t have to do anything.”

Laura looked around the apartment. It was a small one bedroom, mostly white surfaces, minimalist. The fanciest thing here was the authors laptop, the thing controlling her life.

“At least change my maths score,” Laura said.

The author sighed and crossed their arms. “I don’t think you understand. Sometimes I write things because it was part of the plan. Sometimes, the characters are just idiots and don’t study hard enough.”

“I studied.”

“Not hard enough, evidently.”

Laura picked up a pair of scissors sitting on a bench. “What happens to me?”

“I don’t know yet. You’re the master of your own fate.”

Scoffing, Laura opened the scissors. “No, you’re the master of my fate.”

“I think it’s time for you to leave.”

The author turned around to start writing again, but before they could finish their sent


When I opened my sapphire eyes, I was lying on the ground. I never go on the ground, because it’s dirty, so this was really weird. Anyway, I stood up and brushed the dust from my short blonde hair. My red dress with white spots was a bit crinkled, but I smoothed it down and walked to a mirror.

The Bar – short story

This is another piece I wrote at uni. I’m planning on rewriting and expanding this piece. MasterChef is back tomorrow night, and with it, a recap.


I parked my car and walked into the bar. My favourite bartender was there, a friendly smile on her face as I approached.

She had blonde hair, pulled up in a bun. She wore a contagious smile, the black work uniform, and blue nail polish. I looked at her name tag that sat prominently on her shirt.

Beth.

“Hi, what can I get you?”

I wanted to say ‘my usual’, but I knew she wouldn’t know.

“Vodka and coke, thanks,” I said with a wink.

Beth grabbed a glass and put some ice in it.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

I paused. “Just this small town, you wouldn’t know it.” I waved a hand around, shaking it off.

“Oh?”

“Yeah, it’s in the middle of nowhere.”

She turned around as she nodded and grabbed the vodka from the shelf behind her. I watched her in the mirror as she bit her lip and grasped the bottle. Beth turned around and looked at the glass.

As she poured the vodka, she asked, “What brings you here?”

“Staying here for a while. I’m planning on moving here for my girlfriend.” I smiled again and she smiled before turning around to put the bottle back. She turned back.

“That’s nice.”

I nodded and watched as she poured the coke.

Beth put it on the counter, and told me how much my drink was. I handed over the money and bit my bottom lip.

“I’ve never really left Sydney,” she told me and I nodded.

“Yeah. Born and raised,” I said.

She seemed to take this as a question and nodded. “Yep. I’ll probably die here,” she said before her eyes widened. “Oh, sorry! That sounds so morbid.”

“No, it’s fine. I love morbid.”

I took my drink and sat at a table, watching the bar as she served a few more people and talked to the other patrons.

I watched for a few more minutes as a couple of men came up, flirted with her, and got their drink. I frowned as they did so, and her willingness to let them.

I downed my drink and came up to the bar as she poured a beer for the man next to me.

Beth frowned and sighed.

“Mike, I’m sorry to say this, but the keg has just run out.” She looked up at him and gave a small smile. “I’m gonna change it, and I’ll bring you the beer when I’m done.”

The man beside me nodded and she smiled before walking away from the bar.

I cleared my throat and leaned on the counter, my arms resting on the fluffy bar mats.

“I saw you flirting with her,” I said, nodding in the direction she had left.

Mike shrugged. “And?”

I looked him up and down. He had messy brown hair and narrowed brown eyes. His shirt was creased, as though he had worn it all day, and his jeans had dirt on them. I looked at his boots and scrunched my nose. They were unpolished and scuffed.

I made eye contact with him and he raised an eyebrow.

“Beth’s my girlfriend,” I told him.

He scoffed. “Yeah, sure.”

“I’m serious. I know nearly everything about her. Ask me anything.” He shook his head and rolled his eyes, taking a step away from the bar. “Seriously.”

“Alright,” he said, crossing his arms. “What are her parent’s names?”

I shook my head and sighed. “Easy. Tina and Markus.”

He turned around and returned to his table, shaking his head as he left.

I looked back at the bar, and admired my face in the mirror behind it. Beth still hadn’t returned and I was getting a little nervous. I hoped she was alright.

I smiled in relief as she returned, her face calm. Beth looked up at me and gave me a smile before grabbing a glass and pouring the beer.

“I’ll be with you in a sec,” she said.

I nodded and said, “No rush.”

Joey – short story

This is another piece that I wrote for uni. I’m not sure if I would re-write this, but I do have a few ideas to make this a bigger piece. Let me know what you think.


We followed Joey behind the sports shed and towards the oval.

“Are you sure there’s a good spot here?” Samantha asked.

Joey looked over her shoulder and rolled her eyes. “Of course I’m sure.”

She continued to march on, and I took a muesli bar out of my lunch box.

“Don’t eat!” Joey looked over at me. “We’re almost there.”

We arrived at a large tree, the branches stooping low and providing a lot of shade.

“Is this it?” Samantha asked.

“Is this it?! This is the best spot to have lunch! It’s close to the classroom for the end of lunch, but it’s also away from the boys, so it’s not noisy,” she told us, before sitting down against the trunk.

I sat down beside her and took out my muesli bar. “It is a pretty good spot.”

Samantha rolled her eyes and sat down as well.

Joanne “Joey” Miller was my best friend in year three. The last night I saw Joey, she was pulling on her faded green socks. They were a bit smelly, but she always wore them to bed.

“Ew!” Samantha shrieked, pointing at the monstrous socks. “What are those?!”

“They’re my socks. I have to wear them,” Joey told us.

“No, you don’t!” Samantha exclaimed as she scrunched up her nose.

“Yes, I do!” Joey slithered into her sleeping bag. “My dad gave them to me to keep the monsters away,” she muttered.

Samantha pinched her nose and battered at the air in front of her. “They stink!”

My mum came in and told us it was time to sleep, and she turned off the lights.

The next morning, Joey was cramming her sleeping bag away when her mum’s, Rosie and Christy, came to pick her up.

My mum talked to them both in hushed tones.

“I thought we talked about the socks, Joanne,” Joey’s mum Christy said.

Joey’s mama Rosie picked up her backpack. “We’ll talk about it at home. Come on, it’s time to go.”

Christy turned back to my mum. “Thanks for having her. And I’m sorry about that.”

“It’s no problem,” my mum said. “I just thought I’d let you know.”

Joey tucked her sleeping bag under her arm. “Bye, guys! See ya on Monday!”

But when Monday came, Joey wasn’t at school. Samantha and I thought it was weird. She liked to be at school early, so we decided she must have been sick.

Mum was waiting for me outside the classroom at the end of the day. She peered into the emptying room and looked down at me.

“Did Joey come to school today?” she asked me.

“No.”

“Have you seen or heard from her since Saturday?”

“I don’t think so. Why?”

Mum paused for a second, and she bowed down to me and looked me in the eye. “Jemima, I’ve got some bad news. Joey’s mums think that she’s run away.”

That night, as I was finishing my homework in the lounge room, dad watched the news. A lady started to cry and I looked up. It was Joey’s mums, Christy and Rosie. Cutting across them was a yellow banner on the screen that said, ‘Breaking news: ten-year-old girl missing’.

“We just want to find her,” Christy said.

Rosie held a photograph in her shaking hands. “We last saw her in these pyjamas.”

Christy looked at the photo. “She wasn’t wearing the green socks, though.”

Joey was wearing blue pyjamas with pink spots, and bright neon green socks. She stood like a starfish, her arms and legs spread wide, and she had a large smile on her face.

I frowned at the screen. She always wore the green socks. It didn’t make sense to me that she would be in her pyjamas without her socks.

A police officer started to talk, and I returned to my homework.

A few days later, mum took me to Joey’s house after school. She brought along a casserole. We sat in the lounge room with Christy. Joey’s grandparents were here, and Rosie was talking to them. A couple of my friends were here as well, with their parents. Most of them had brought along containers that looked like our casserole dish.

When I came back from the bathroom, I saw Rosie and she smiled at me.

“How are you, Jemima?”

I shrugged. “Alright, I guess.”

She nodded and I gave her a small smile.

“I bet you miss her,” she said and I nodded.

After a pause, I asked, “Why wasn’t she wearing her green socks?”

Her eyes widened at the question. “Oh. Well, er, they weren’t in very good condition, so we decided to throw them away. And she’s a big girl; she doesn’t need to wear socks to bed. There aren’t any monsters to keep away.”

I frowned back at her. “But she always wears them. She says she has to.”

Rosie’s eyes started to well with tears. “Really?”

I nodded. “Is that why she ran away? Because she didn’t have her socks?”

“Uh, I don’t know.” She paused and forced a smile. “Why don’t you try some of the sponge cake?”

She pointed at the table with food on it before leaving me. I saw her go to Christy, and put a hand on her arm. They seemed to whisper to each other, and I think Christy started to cry.