Concoction – Paperback Cover Reveal

Summer 2019!

This Concoction of wonderfully diverse short stories will feed your appetite and leave you craving more. You’re not about to get stuck into a collection that fits neatly into one genre. Each story was born of a single word prompt, elements of horror and fantasy are most definitely guaranteed.

Each of these Scottish writers has a unique approach to storytelling. For each story they were given just one word to inspire and create a world of entertainment just for you. You will find pieces born of; Flesh, Blood, Bone and Haunted.

From scoring your poison, whether that be a good escape, drugs, sex or a bit of truth wrapped in a shroud of fiction, there just may well be some unexpected consequences that come along with the ride.

So, get comfy and let us serve you up a wee dram, a Scottish Concoction.

Game boy

I wish I had a touch of you.
Your swagger, your play.
The sense to stay away.
A fraction of your zingy zest.
Never put those dreams to rest.
Slick, street and charm.
Even nullifying the alarm.
Player boy, fake plastic toy.
Playing the loyalty game.
Making them insane.
Lost words and lyrics.
Legendary mimics.
Nothing real to add to the wheel.
Round and round.
Pound to the pound.
Replaying the old sound.
New spunk and old funk.
Taking the heat in every re-beat.
Corpse warming ‘til the harsh light of mourning.
You should’ve come with a fucking warning.

© Natasha Sinclair

New Order Disorder

Stuck in the mud; the heart is a-thud.

Another dud.

The tightening throat; tangled in knots.

Edit, revise, delete, repeat.

Sticking in loops; nauseating mud soup.

Shattered mind in broken tongue; where had it all begun?

Shards slashing on the way down.

Dead letters nestling in; stinging nettles grow within.

Type again, reply, no don’t…

Wait, that’s wrong!

Too much? Too little? Too dam late!

Let it go…

Letters in the grave; need to be ‘brave.’

Stick a label on it; Depression

Change the address.

Oodles of mess; time eclipsed by so much ‘missed.’

Misrepresented, mistimed, misdiagnosis, misunderstood, missed.

Return to sender 30 years later…

Wrong label, here’s a new one; ASD

New order from the so-called Disorder.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, all rights reserved.

Alarm

The obnoxious screeching tore through consciousness, wrenching from some distant dreamy place. One far more appealing than this. 6:00am screamed as heavy eyes flew startled open, red and dry. The Dead arm fought to shut that raging thing up. Fucking 6:00am!

Quiet now but that wasn’t to last, it never did. Soon I’d hear the echoes of other bellowing alarms chasing other slaves from sleep. Got to get the magic paper or the idea of it anyway. Pay service to the authorities, whoever the hell they were and contribute! To what, I don’t really know.

It’s all lies…

Lies that we follow almost mindlessly if not completely. Following until there’s nothing left.

I had only been sleeping two hours if I was lucky. Less in fact, I recall 4:00am, as I always do, so definitely not the round two. Desperately trying to empty my stupid head on to scrap pieces by my sunken bed. Open door at four. Evacuating this mad racket noise so I could sleep. The paper was completely drenched in scrawlings that made perfect sense at the time. Now appeared as if they were written by some foreign ghost. It was me though, it’s always just me. Even with the ghosts clambering and scratching at my exhausted soul, they couldn’t tell what was what. Scrambling for desperate scraps, something to cling to, or let go of. They weren’t the only ones. At least they were dead.

I never sleep enough, never was programmed for the job. Maybe that’s what came of all that screaming in the night or was just some missed connection before even then. It’s harder for this mind to shut up when everything else does. So much echo within echo bouncing off metal over and over again.

When will the 6:00am screeching be done with me? Maybe one day Death will cast her final shadow before it starts. Stuck for an eternity in that dreamy place before the alarm excitedly bellows; a surprise whip lashing my back raw. That will surely be more than two round hours…

Or I’ll be stuck somewhere else, scratching at your soul…

I hate alarms.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, all rights reserved

Out of Colour

She was so incredibly vibrant, effervescent even. Life cascaded over her and she soaked it up; osmosis from grey to all illuminating colour.

They couldn’t know of the tortured girl hiding behind long straggly hair in the corner depths of her soul. Trying not to breathe, holding her head still between her hands and knees; frightened little anchoress within.

She painted the outside with hypnotic kaleidoscopic colour. Energy was electrifying and luminescent. Rich from living, a friend to everyone, my love.

After the years of youth though; too much mayhem and noise, too much of that painted face. Too many troubles to keep buried behind a smile, she ran all out of colour.

I see her try sometimes. Try to paint it on. Her skin only soaks it into the dead grey; cracking, peeling, painful and raw. Hermit grey, only shade in the shadows.

There’s barely any precious life left.

(C) Natasha Sinclair, All rights reserved

Gemma’s Teddy

The breeze wafted through the thick deep orange curtains. Bathing the drab third floor flat. Manky midden air from the rising summer heat mingled with the rising damp of the crumbling tenement walls. A fresh lick of paint only tricked the eyes. Festering rot just beneath that thin surface. Gemma sat in the corner of the living room, face blotchy red in desperate tears. Huddled into her baby wrapped in his pale blue teddy blanket. Dead. Still. Rocking back and forth quietly sobbing; “I just needed you to stop screaming, just for a minute.”

“You can wake up now, Teddy…”

(C) Natasha Sinclair 2019.

Previously published by Writingwriters.net for Drabble #5