The Jade Camel #7

Previously

Joey shook the woman’s hand awkwardly, regarding the smartly-dressed pair standing in front of him with a growing sense of unease; he wanted to turn away, but the man’s steady blue-grey gaze forced his feet to remain rooted to the spot. The woman smiled a thin-lipped smile, ‘we are looking for a new assistant, perhaps you might be interested?’ the woman’s smile broadened, although without a trace of warmth, while the grey-suited man moved in, taking Joey by the elbow, ‘Patterson will help you to the car.’

With a swish of her floor-length fur coat, the woman strode off, Patterson propelling a bemused Joey behind her, while the flunky, engaged to handle their luggage, followed in their wake, clutching a collection of leather and canvas bags.

Twenty minutes later, a midnight-blue Silver Shadow, with Patterson at the wheel, glided to a graceful halt outside a grand, several-storied red-brick building; Patterson got out, adjusting his immaculately-tailored jacket, before pacing around to the pavement side of the car and opening the front and rear passenger doors.

The woman stepped out, gesturing for Joey to join her. ‘I am Aurora,’ she threw out her arms in an expansive gesture, ‘welcome to my empire!’

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: GROWING, FEET, PANS
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: CANVAS

Read more #SixSentenceStories here!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which has mysteriously disappeared🐪

The Jade Camel (out-take)

Ceridwen regarded her visitor, there was something familiar about her, although she was sure they’d never met.

Cullen jumped up beside Cynthia and started grooming his silver-grey fur; Cynthia’s face lit up, ‘what a beautiful cat, a perfect pedigree, like my own handsome cat, Asmar,’ she smiled at Ceridwen, ‘I feel I already know you, being another of Ms Hall’s characters – we were talking about you when she came around to invite us to her book launch* this Friday,’ Cynthia caught Ceridwen’s puzzled expression, ‘ah, but you would know her by her pen name, Holly Atkins, I suppose.’

A flicker of recognition passed over Ceridwen’s face and Cynthia pressed on, ‘I came to warn you about the potential danger you’re in from the Jade Camel – that little statue that Joey found the other day – you must have felt its aura.’

‘I did sense something, but when Joey went out earlier whatever it was left with him.’

‘Just be careful, I don’t know what Ms Hall has planned for the little series you’re in, but that camel means trouble,’ Cynthia stood up, suddenly feeling rather faint. It was time to get back to the familiar surroundings of her own book.

~~~~~

*The author is indebted to Spira for the promo video


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: POTENTIAL, PEDIGREE, GROOMING
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: BOOK

Loads more great Sixes here!

Three things Challenge and Six Sentence Stories logos

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I STILL cannot locate 😉

The Jade Camel #6

Previously

‘The figurine is near, Patterson,’ the tall, turban-clad woman turned to her elegantly-suited companion, ‘I can tell, the vibration is strong,’ a smile spread across her carmine lips and her floor-length fur coat swayed as she swept across the deck of the RMS Redemption. The crew was preparing the vessel for disembarkation; following in her wake, Patterson with a graceful wave of his hand, signalled to a nearby lacky to attend to the mundane task of handling their luggage.

On the quayside, Joey broke open a new pack of cigarettes; he shoved the cellophane and silver paper into his pocket and drew out a battered yellow matchbox, turning from the malodorous Mersey breeze, a cigarette clamped between his lips. The match broke as he struck it, Joey cursed and fumbled another match from the box.

An arm, with a precise half-inch of shirt cuff showing from a fine grey-wool sleeve, proffered a flame from a silver lighter; the end of Joey’s cigarette flared and he inhaled deeply, nodding his thanks. The owner of the arm held the young man’s eyes with a hypnotic blue-grey stare; a regal-looking woman appeared at his side, extending her hand and smiling a red-lipped smile.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: YELL, CELL, TELL
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: MUNDANE

Read more #SixSentenceStories here

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I STILL cannot locate 😉

The Jade Camel #5

Previously

The sludgy stern wave of RMS Redemption smudged over the peach-coloured sands of Crosby Beach as she made her entry into the Port of Liverpool. Two figures stood silhouetted against the backdrop of the dismal docklands, the woman’s steely glare raking across the city, reaching out for something within its smoke-darkened dwellings.

Not 200 yards away, on the other side of the iconic Liver Building, Joey’s bus lurched to a halt, while a deafening blast from the Redemption’s horn, heralding her arrival, rumbled through the fabric of the towering edifice; Joey looked up, almost expecting the two birds that graced the building’s twin clock towers to take flight in alarm, and a quiver ran through his hand, as if the little camel statue had briefly flickered into life.

Cullen’s ears pricked at the distant sound of the ship’s horn and Ceridwen glanced up from the tarot cards in front of her. Troubled by the aura she’d sensed around her young neighbour, she turned to cartomancy in an attempt to divine its source. She turned over the Knight of Wands, mounted on his rambunctious steed, rearing up over three pyramids in the distance: not a card she’d normally associate with Joey.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: PEACH, REACH, BEACH
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: RAMBUNCTIOUS

Read more #SixSentenceStories here

Three Things Challenge and Six Sentence Stories logos

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I STILL cannot locate 😉

The Jade Camel #4

Previously

A gust of gritty air greeted Joey the moment he stepped outside, his keen eye falling on the bright blue ink of a bank note tumbling among the accumulating detritus scudding across the path. He scurried over, the front door slamming behind him, and fished a fiver from heap of kinked crimson leaves and dented dull-hued wrappers – a brand new five pound note! what were the chances of that? – his luck was surely changing.

Driving the note deep inside his back pocket, Joey headed towards the bus-stop with a spring in his step, sure of success in trading his new-found prize, and with none of the normal sinking feeling which frequently dogged his steps.

Joey’s fingers curled around the smooth curves of the jade camel nestled within his parka pocket as the bus lurched around the corner, offering him a panoramic view of the river Mersey from his privileged perch on the front seat of the top deck.

A huge four-funnelled cruise liner was entering Liverpool Bay, Joey wondered what it would be like to sail on such a vessel; he squinted to read the lettering on the curving bow: RMS Redemption.

Joey’s grip tightened on the camel.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: INK, KINK, SINK
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: REDEMPTION

More #SixSentenceStories here!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

The Jade Camel #3

Previously

Ceridwen shivered as she closed the door, Joey was a nice lad, a bit rough around the edges but he had a good heart – and he had Cullen’s approval; she smiled at her feline companion, she’d had him since he was barely weaned, having seen him cowering in the bushes all alone and mewing piteously, she’d known immediately that his little soul had been reaching out to hers.

She drew her cardigan around her narrow shoulders, armour against the unexpected feeling of foreboding that had accompanied Joey’s passage across the landing.

The feeling persisted as she fed Cullen, and as she nibbled on her own frugal supper; she glanced ceiling-wards where she could hear Joey moving about, the feeling was one she couldn’t quite describe, almost a vibration in the air, something she hadn’t experienced since that young woman had brought the strange little amulet to her.

The nagging feeling accompanied her through her dreams, faint glimpses of things that made no sense.

In the morning, sipping her herbal tea, she heard Joey’s rapid footsteps on the stairs; moments later the front door slammed. It was immediately apparent: what had been troubling her had left the building along with Joey.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: BEEN, SEEN, WEAN
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: SCRIBE

More #SixSentenceStories here!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

The Jade Camel #2

Previously

Arriving at his flat, one of many in a long street of dilapidated Georgian buildings, a grey cat wearing a velvet collar twined around Joey’s legs: ‘Alright Cullen, mate!’ he grinned down at the feline as he unlocked the door. The cat bounded up the stairs and stopped outside Flat 4 where it mewed expectantly; Ceridwen’s face appeared, her smile turning to a puzzled frown as Joey passed her door.

Inside his attic flat, Joey shed his parka and dropped onto the worn couch; shoving the crumpled quilt aside, he ripped open a grease-sodden packet of chips, laced with lurid-looking sauce and wolfed down a few mouthfuls, before leaning forward to switch on the TV; the flicker of the grainy monochrome picture the room’s only illumination as he devoured his supper.

Retrieving the prize that the river had given up earlier, Joey held it in the palm of his hand – a crouching camel, carved from greenish-brown stone – surely a find of great antiquity. His fingers tingled and his heartbeat quickened, a smile lit up Joey’s face; he felt energised, optimistic!

Joey stared at the camel, its mouth was slightly open; the little carving seemed to be grinning back at him.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: QUICKEN, QUIT, QUILT
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: WEAR

Read more #SixSentenceStories here!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

The Jade Camel #1

Joey hunkered down in the corner of the heavily-graffitied bus shelter, trying to evade the spiny tentacles of the stiffening breeze blowing off the river Mersey and up the eponymous street that led from Otterspool Promenade onto the busy pavement-cracked main road.

Jealousy coiled its long yellow fingers around him, clutching at the frayed edges of his grungy army-surplus parka as he watched the rich folk in their fancy cars hurtling past him on their way back to the city, while a dull summer sun slipped slowly into the west, raising an ironic eyebrow and casting a rose-tinted light over the poverty-stricken suburbs and abandoned factories of the urban fringe.

Now fumbling his pockets for his last fag, Joey’s grubby nail-bitten fingers fell upon his latest treasure; a smile twitched about his lips, smoothing his habitual scowl and suggesting the possibility of a less desolate future for its twenty-something wearer. His latest jaunt down to the low-tide river, grubbing about among the detritus lodged in the sludgy mudflats, had yielded his best find yet.

He gripped the object tightly, a glimmer of hope kindling; he’d be popping around to visit Phil ‘The Fence’ tomorrow.

Perhaps, finally he’d hit the jackpot.

next episode


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: JACKPOT, JAUNT, JEALOUSY
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: SHELTER

MORE SIXES HERE!

Photo credit: illustration from a book somewhere on my bookshelves which I cannot presently locate 😉

Do you believe in faeries? ~ finale

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

The True Owl-King beckoned his rescuers to follow; he flung open the front doors so forcefully that they hit the pink palace walls with a crash, causing the creatures on the emerald lawn to flap and fluster in a flurry of fluorescent wings.

The Owl-King’s gentle brown eyes found Florigia’s and he inclined his head, his gaze fell upon Lobelia and he grinned, then stepping onto the lawn, he prodded the glaucous insulation that encased the fallen Captain Stinger with a wary wingtip.

‘Your crafty and clever charms saved us all, elegant ladies,’ he beamed; he opened his wings to encompass the entire company: ‘let there be feasting and fun, let there be singing and stories,’ he swung around to face the palace doors where a collection of pastel-uniformed retainers had appeared, ‘bring honey cakes and nectar juice!’

‘I still don’t understand,’ mumbled Mr Eyre through a mouthful of cake as Bryony tilted the travelling-bracelet against the inside case of his pocket-watch; its message now read: Prophesy fulfilled, time’s up!

Greta squeezed Bethany’s shoulder: ‘you were the golden-haired child after all.’

The bracelet started to vibrate; pocketing his watch, Mr Eyre hastily grabbed the girls’ hands; moments later they vanished.


This concludes our little tale. I think we can safely assume that Mr Eyre, Bryony and Bethany returned as if they’d never been away, just in time for breakfast…

Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: CRAFT, COUSIN, CRASH
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: JUICE

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!
The novel is now also available as an audiobook – free on Audible with a 30 day trial.

MORE STORIES HERE!

Do you believe in faeries? ~ episode 20

Illustration from the Rose Fyleman Fairy Book

Previously

The window frame gave way and Mr Eyre burst through the opening: ‘Stop!’ his voice echoed around the almost-empty room; Bryony clambered after him and scurried over to join her sister, who was crouching behind the throne, wearing an expression of pained concentration.

Before Bryony could say anything, Bethany popped her head up from behind the throne and fired a stream of incomprehensible utterances at the tottering trio of arm-waving owlets; a moment later they crumpled like string-severed puppets and three white mice scuttled away into the shadows.

A low murmur accompanied what the two girls and their tutor initially took to be an optical illusion, as a shadowy figure started to assemble itself from the dancing dust motes, disturbed by the breeze from the breeched window; slowly, eyes and mouth materialised within a moon-shaped face. ‘Thank you,’ it beamed at Bethany, ‘your charm worked – you overcame those evil imps who impersonated me and tried to kill me; fortunately they couldn’t find me, even after taking my poor palace apart.’

The figure solidified into a regal, golden-robed individual, who retrieved the discarded crown and placed it on its head. ‘There is one, only one Owl-King, and I am he!’

/….to be continued.


Written in response to two challenges:

Di of Pensitivity 101’s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge: MICE, NEON, OPTICAL
Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge’s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt: EXPRESS

Bryony, Bethany and Mr Eyre first appeared in my historical fantasy fiction novel, Following the Green Rabbit. They’ve been begging to go on another adventure and now they’ve got their wish!
The novel is now also available as an audiobook – free on Audible with a 30 day trial.

MORE SIX SENTENCE STORIES HERE!