Guardians of the Insculpo: Chapter 3.

Catch up on the prologue here and both Chapter one and two here.

Although she had forgotten the dream, the uneasy feeling had followed me around all day, casting a shadow over the day like a raincloud that threatened to rain, but never did. Millie, as always, acted like she couldn’t care less about the hardwork that mum and I had put in to making her day special. Determined not to let Millie put a damper on things, I kept my energy levels high with a constant stream of energy drink and worked tirelessly to put a positive spin on everything but it was hard to keep ignoring the flashes of hurt that spread across her mum’s face each time Millie gave a non committal grunt instead of a response to any suggestions. It was clear that she’d rather be anywhere else

“Who wants a cuppa?”  I asked in a desperate attempt to break the silence.  Passing mum, I placed my hand on her shoulders and squeezed as a sign that I was there for her. I hoped it was enough.
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Guardians of the Insculpo: Chapter 1 & 2.

Have you forgotten the prologue? Don’t worry, me too, but you can read it here!

I sat at the computer editing the book I’d been trying to complete for months. My latest attempt, which seemed like my millionth, was as bad as my first. At this rate I’d never get it finished. The ideas had flowed thick and fast when I first started but now, like most of my ideas recently, my inspiration was drying up. I bunched my hair up into a bun on top of my head and secured it with biros, a habit I’d picked up whilst at university, and downed another espresso in the vain hope that I would be inspired. Or at least caffeinated. With the rate at which I consumed them, I would have shares in Costa before the year was up. Why was this so hard? I had set myself a target of 2,000 words a day, a target I was determined to meet.  It shouldn’t be difficult, the bulk of the work was done; the first nine chapters were complete.  All I needed to do was edit and proof read it before sending it to mum to proof again before I put myself through the thankless task of sending it to potential agents for publication.

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The Mirrors.

I run the brush over my lips, the cold tickling me as my lipstick turns my pale lips a shocking shade of red. I kiss the mirror in front of me for luck, a superstition I do before every show and knock back the sherry in front of me to calm my nerves and steady my hands before pinning my hair back and continuing with my make-up.

A loud crash in the hallway makes me jump involuntarily. The mascara wand jolting into my eye and causing it to fill with water. Grabbing a tissue from my dresser, I hold it to my eye whilst listening to the panicked men who have now gathered in the hallway. Mumbled, unclear speech seeps through the walls and I can only make out a few words; ‘lighting’ ‘stage’ and ‘electrical fault’. Taking another sip of sherry, I count to ten before the knocking at the door begins.

“Come in” I call in my softest voice before the timid stage hand enters

“Sorry Miss Martin” he wavers, his voice barely audible. Good job I’ve heard this all before.

“Call me Virginia, please” I try to calm the poor boy, his looking like he’ll pass out but the prospect of calling me by my first name flusters him even more

“Sorry. V…Virginia. Right. Umm, it’s going to be a little while before you go on. The lighting, well it fell, and we’re working on it but it’s going to take some time.

The rising noise in the grand hall tells me that the crowd are growing impatient, restless in their wait for me. There’s nothing worse than 200 soldiers becoming bored in an enclosed space where alcohol is flowing freely. I spin my chair, years of practice make it flawless, and walk towards the stage hand, swinging the hips that have made me a household name. I won’t make it to the hall, I never do. So I have to get my fun somewhere. Dropping my robe, I smile as his mouth drops, “Well, best not keep them waiting. Maybe one of them will buy me a drink”

Closing the door behind me, I wait for it, the whooshing sound followed by the screams. A loud bang leaves a high pitch ringing in my ears. The screams drowned out only by the growing roar of a fire out of control. The stagehand runs past me and towards the noise, I am now completely alone. This had better work. I know there is nothing I can do but I can’t stop my panic rising as thick black smoke blankets the entrance to the grand hall and plunges the bright corridor into darkness. My throat burns as I inhale the acrid smoke, I get down on all fours, my continuous coughing burning my lungs. I try to think logically, to plan my escape but nothing comes. Confused and light headed, I try to see through the darkness. In front of my, the faint green glow of the fire exit brings a fleeting smile to my face – a chance. I crawl towards the light, my body screaming as my muscles are forced to pull my weight. With my last ounce of strength, I stand and throw my body weight at the door. As expected it’s sealed and with it my fate. Defeated, I fall to the floor and watch the fire rage towards me. It’s over. Flames lick at my skin, combining the sickly sweet smell of burning flesh with the already harmful smoke. I only have time to let out a silent scream before darkness descends.

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The Journey.

I open my eyes but am unable to move, my head letting out a searing pain as warning every time I attempt to. It’s taunting me, letting me know that last night’s shots were not a smart idea. My mouth feels dry as I slowly unstick my lips from one another and attempt to swallow what little saliva I have in my mouth. Running my tongue along the gritty covering that has now found home on my teeth, I slowly sit up and instantly feel the sting of bile rise in my throat. God, the movement of the train is threatening to give my late night kebab a repeat performance.

Wait a train! What train! I didn’t get on a train! My mind goes into overdrive, trying to make sense of the random snippets of last night’s events. Cost cutting pre drinks at mine. Taxi to Olnetios bar, on to a club. Kissing some stranger at the takeaways and then nothing.
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#RelationshipGoals

I saw this competition on the Twitter page of Elle. After kicking myself for not seeing it sooner, I set about trying to write the entry I would’ve submitted. It seemed so easy, write a 500 word essay on the theme ‘#relationshipgoals’. It could be about your relationship with anyone and what you want from it. Little did I know it would take me at least 6 days to write the first sentence.

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The killer you know.

Jayde inwardly cursed herself for her rebellious streak. According to Doctors a torn ACL in her knee should have rendered her practically immobile and, when she was on her legs, she was to walk with caution. Did she listen? Of course not, naively thinking that no injury could stop her. It was going well – for a while at least – until her pony sized puppy had got over excited at the sight of a wild rabbit and given chase. Now she was entrapped on a recliner with an ice pack on her rolled ankle and knee to help the swelling go down and bruising come out. Her partner Charlie, ever sympathetic, was glued to the his computer game killing aliens that were yet again trying to destroy earth. She stared at the blank screen in front of her, willing a story to pop into her head. Normally her creativity didn’t need encouragement at all but lately she seemed listless, easily agitated and constantly on edge. Something bad was going to happen, she just couldn’t figure out what.

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A writer that doesn’t write?

I started this blog with naive visions of a community of followers, all desperate to read the next post I put up. I’m not confident in many things, infact not much at all, but I know I can tell a good story. Like Stephen King I write from experience or nightmares, sometimes both, and really throw myself into the emotions of the character at any one time which leads to some fascinating car journeys home from work (I’ve bought on a panic attack once, just to write about it accurately). Within weeks I realised that blogging is not an instant ‘fame maker’ per say but I kept trying. Over the last few years, I’ve stopped completely – the occasional post going up followed by months of silence when viewers didn’t flock to my blog. I would look at people like Zoe Sugg, known as Zoella, Tanya Burr, Louise and other blogger/vloggers who have made a solid career out of blogging, each post getting thousands of comments and quickly spiralled into a deep depression where I questioned my ability to write.

One day I was sat watching Suits with my other half and a character, Jessica, said she had worked hard to build her Company from scratch (actually she’d stolen it from Daniel Hardman but lets not get into that). It was just a statement to move the episode along but it really hit home to me. I hadn’t tried, rather expected it to happen to me. How selfish is that? I want to be a novelist yet haven’t written a manuscript. I want followers but don’t follow people. I expect it to be handed to me on a plate and, at 26, I should certainly know better. It was nothing short of an epihany.

If I want people to reply to my stories, to start discussions surrounding what I’ve written or questions I’ve asked then I need to put the work in. The following are my targets:

* Start writing regularly – at least once a week, on a Sunday, building up to more.

* Reading/subscribing to other blogs I enjoy – simple really, share the love!

* Submit to competitions and really work at creating a ‘brand’ of myself – how can      people read my writing if I am not writing anything

* Be more personal – I am natural quite a recluse but I want you to get to know   me as well as my stories, often they overlap anyway

So I may not be Stephen King or Jodie Picoult…not just yet…but I am Sarah-Jayne, sometimes known as chronicles, and I will get my name out there! Now to find a pen…