Magic and More with @MoriKaithor!

Hei! I’m Mori Kaithor, I’m French and I’m currently a student in book publishing. I would love to become a full time writer in the future but otherwise I’ll be content with being able to do it just as a passion. I’m trying to pick up as many skills as I can but I’m often way too lazy still I managed to be a decent cook and speak five languages outside of French (Spanish, English, Danish, Turkish and currently learning Korean), I know it doesn’t look like I’m a lazy person but I have a ratio of 70% procrastination so it leaves me 30% to be efficient (note that the ratio still works in my time to be efficient).

MM: What do you love most about writing? What speaks to you?

MK: I just love to create, if I didn’t write I would have looked for another media to support my creation, most likely video games or comics in collaboration with a drawer. I have a large universe in my head and I really had to let it out at some point because it started to make me depressed to not show it. In short, world building is my stuff and novella ensue 🙂

MM: So, what have you written?

MK: I wrote quite a fair lot of shorts before starting my fantasy series to train myself a bit I would say. I am pretty fond of horror for short stories and sometimes I write humoristic ones but I keep those for myself because I think its way too offensive for anyone else but me 🙂

I also tried many formats to write like three sentences stories or ten words stories to be as efficient as possible in showing my narration intent and convey it to the reader.

MM: When did you know writing was for you?

MK: My English teacher made us do a writing project where I had to write a gothic tale and it just went bam in my head I should do that. Since then, I’m having my fun defining my universe.

MM: What are you working on at this minute? What was the inspiration for it?

MK: Currently, I’m writing Tales of SeliVatis: Timelines, it’s a weekly fantasy serial and it marks the start of a somewhat historic anthology of my universe. I won’t write any novella about the events before the start of the book (probably) and I will show how the societies evolve with magic instead of technology. If you want to know what happens before E1820, the year at the start of my book, I have The Everything Book, it’s a lore book written by an important character of my story, The Librarian, an immortal individual that holds many secrets of the world. In this lore book, you’ll learn about many things in my universe: countries, magic, religions…

It’s a lore book, duh.

I was inspired by reading way too much tropes and thought about how I could add my own spice to those already overused and defined themes like time travels, Chosen Ones (I hate those btw)…

MM: What was the first story you ever remember writing, and what was it about? How does it compare to your writing now?

MK: It was about a blue monster that ate fingers except if you gave him chocolate sticks. It was supposed to be humoristic at first but it slowly became an horror story, I stored it somewhere but I think I would cringe a lot reading it.

MM: Do you work to an outline or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? Plotter or Pantser?

MK: I’m a hybrid, I like to know where I’m going sure so I already have all my chapters organised in bullet points lists till chapter 50 so I know what characters does what or where they are going.

Then, I’m doing the pantser stuff, I read my bullet points and I let the flow going until my imagination is dry.

MM: What draws you to flash-fiction, to #FP? What do you love and hate about it?

MK: I like flash fiction or #FP for experimentation mostly, I like to try out sentences I could probably put somewhere in a future story and see how well it works. Like I said before, it’s all about being efficient in your words.

MM: Who are your writing inspirations? How do they influence your creativity?

MK: I love surreal artists like Dali, especially because they try to explore the human mind which I try to do as well when I create a diverse cast of characters.

I’m pretty fond of absurd comedy from authors like Alfred Jarry or Eugene Ionesco, dark themes under the disguise of comedy. This is probably where I got my somewhat cynical tone in my work.

Finally, Tolkien and Adrzej Sapowski for the fantasy themes they put in their works that inspired me greatly.

MM: What is your favorite motivational phrase or musing on writing, and why? What about it really hits home?

MK:Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.”

Salvador Dali

That has been my mentality since a long time, everyone does mistakes. If you can’t understand where or when you’re wrong you’ll never progress and that’s how I try to grow as an artist and as a person.

MM: What is the hardest thing about writing for you?

MK: For me, it’s adjusting the pieces of the puzzle in my head. It’s not hard to have ideas but the hard thing comes when you want to develop that ideas into chapters and divide that idea into an organised mess than you can start putting on paper.


MM: What do you tell yourself every time it gets hard? Every time the stars stop aligning? What do you do when writer’s block knocks on your creative door?

MK: If it gets hard, I take a little break, forcing myself will only result in something that is completely bland or uninteresting at least for me. If I still can’t write for a few days, I just write a sentence every day until my flow goes back. Finally, if I’m really hard on the writer’s block train, I’m switching WIP, I write a short story so my main WIP can mature for a few weeks until I go back to it.

MM: Do you have any secret and wacky writing rituals that help the words flow?

MK: I generally like to have my five senses occupied to be able to concentrate on the writing, otherwise it’s really hard for me to focus.

In five steps it looks like that:

-Eyes on the computer

-Metal/classical music in my ears until my ears are ringing

-Chewing on something, generally a piece of gum or chocolate or drinking a cup of tea

-Hand on the mouse

-Incense burning

Then I’m completely ready, in general, to write something.

MM: What advice would you give to aspiring writers and poets, anyone who wants to free the art within? What helped you make it to this point?

MK: If you have it, do it you can just make art for yourself. Art is not always meant for other, sometimes it’s just medication for yourself, it can be your little secret garden.

I don’t really know what helped me to that point, probably sheer willpower but I’m still not sure.

MM: What genres do you find yourself most drawn to? In your books and in your #FP’s?

MK: I’m mostly attracted to fantasy, sci-fi and horror because those three are closely related and you can pretty much use all the theme in one of these genre to make it in another one. Also these genres are the ones I made my culture with, excluding the classics. In #FP, it depends sometimes I can have a nice line of romance (even if I hate writing that), themes call different points of view and I try switching as much as possible to try something out.

MM: Sooo … reading anything good lately? Any recommendations?

MK: I read the entire Witcher series after getting into the game I love the English translations it’s absolutely amazing J.  I almost regret that some good part got skipped in the game.

There is also On Ugliness by Umberto Eco that is great for people that have interest in art or history and for research purposes. It’s illustrated and classified by themes and it’s a really good source of knowledge. I love the part about Witchcraft.

Finally, since I’m a poor student, I can’t buy all the books I want so I read everything that interest me for free, so here’s some good works by some Twitter pals you can read for free.

-Victorian Mistress by Jesse Stuart, if you want something out of the nowadays stereotypical teenager vampire story.

-Beaufort Scales by Kim M. Watt, a great collection of short stories with an amazing dragon.

-A Patriot’s Tale by Nicole Pierman, historical fiction in the setting of the American Revolution.

MM: Any last thoughts for our readers?

MK: First, shout out to my friend @Daiyana_Cosplay who drew my profile picture, she’s a cosplayer and an amazing artist overall. Check her out on Twitter, I’m sure she’ll love it!

Top ten maltesers in a bag of maltesers:

  • The first one
  • The one you get after working on your book
  • The on at the end of the bag
  • The one in the handful you took
  • The one that is stuck to another one
  • The one that you ate in half to check its inside
  • The one that you confused for your stroopwafel
  • The one you throw on your computer out of rage
  • The one that you put in your pistol replica
  • The one that you put in the box of gums to confuse co-workers

I’m ending it with two quotes from Jean-Claude Van Damme, it’s unrelated but I do what I want.

“If you talk to your bleach when you’re washing dishes, it’s less concentrated.”

“If you phone a psychic and she doesn’t answer the phone before it rings, hang up.”

MM: How can readers discover more about you and you work?  

MK: Well, I have a twitter @MoriKaithor, a Wattpad still Mori Kaithor and I used to have a blog which I’ll reopen at some point so I can fill you in with random stuff and useless top tens.


        A Bargain     

 By Mori Kaithor


Eric could not believe what he found in his backyard, a key with a sticker “Basement” on it. He moved only one week ago and wondered why he could not open the door while the nervous and fidgety landlord gave him supposedly all the keys.

He could remember how he came across the “deal of the century” like he said himself, after trying numerous real estate agencies. One day, Eric, following a failed deal -related to the poor student situation he was in- was accosted by a thin man with bags under his eyes but clearly well-dressed once he went out of the agency.

The man proposed him a deal, he could offer him a house ten times better than any of the offers he tried for just a hundred euros of rent monthly. What a bargain!

As any of you would have been suspicious, Eric, naive as he was followed him without a second thought.

But he was not lying apparently, the thin man led him just a few meters further from their original position, passing a public park with the promised housing at the end of the stone path.

Eric could not believe that such a manor could be rented for just a hundred, he did not think two times before handshaking the landlord. They both entered the property and signed the deal in minutes.

“Oh well.’ Eric thought. “I should not worry too much about those matters, I have everything I want.”

He picked up the key, stuffed it into his pocket and went back to the manor. The manor was a work of art, taller than the surrounding trees, large red stone walls and a garden that you could fall in love with. Eric thought that perhaps the cost of a hundred was due to the fact that the large bell that used to be suspended in the bell tower was sitting in an unstable manner on the second floor after crushing the upper ones. But the landlord assured him that it was safe.

He admired the horizon one last time, returned home and dashed into bed.

His sleep was agitated, he dreamed about cities and people chanting in a circle. The chant slowly seeped into his mind until he mumbled.

“The Green is the colour of Man. The Door is a Rainbow. We are the Light, your Gaze is a Shadow.” He repeated in the same rhythm with long pauses between each sentence.

Suddenly the dream stopped when he sworn something grabbed his soul, a weird sensation. It was similar to having your head squished by a hydraulic pump and losing every marker of time and space.

But he could not wake up, he was trapped in a state of semi-sleep with a paralyzed body. Eric did not know what to do, pinned to his bed by phantom hands on every limb. Slowly, figures started to draw themselves in the dark. First the nose, then the jaw and finally the eyes. Their mouths were sewn by a red thread. Suddenly one of them put his hands on both of his cheeks and stared directly into his eyes.

“I am the potter, you are the clay. You are the lost lamb, we are the shepherds.” The shadow whispered in an ear-ripping voice.

Another one took the place of the first with the same gesture.

“You must bow. I am Three.” This one whispered in a calm but irritating voice.

The last one did not replace the second in the same position but still whispered in an energetic but nasty voice.

“Your river is fear, mine is mercy. Your heart is stone, mine let the river flow.”

Once they were done, they disappeared in the shadows of his home, leaving him staring at the ceiling with his eyes wide open and bloodshot.

Silence. Sensations slowly returned to his body, he could move his fingers, slightly, but not much more for the time being.

Eric felt drained, emotionally in particular because of the nightmarish figures. He continued to fight his own body for a moment to try to jump to the bathroom in order to clear his mind and when it finally happened, his own strength surprised him and he fell off his bed. While laying on the floor like a poor imitation of a turtle, blood started oozing out of his nose due to the impact.

He dragged himself to the bathroom, opposite to his bedroom, crawling on the floor, partially stunned and bloody.

Then, Eric pulled himself up using the sink and gazed at his reflection in the mirror. He was in a bad shape -similar to the consequences of a street fight- and more importantly, the visions could not be erased from his mind. He was dizzy and unsteady on his feet but cleaned himself up with splashes of water and a towel.

Eric grumbled and went back to his bed, limp-legged.

“What a nightmare.” He thought. “I hope I did not break anything with my fall…”

Thus, his first week in his manor ended on a sour note, to say the least.

In the morning, Eric could not take his breakfast. His hand was aimlessly dipping his buttered bread in his coffee. After all, he could not forget last night. His eyes wandered through the windows until he caught another disturbing sight. A puppet-like figure, limbs tied by strings, making slows steps in his garden before disappearing in a cast of mist. He dropped his bread, causing his coffee to splash on his white shirt and more importantly some burning pain.

He screamed more of surprise than agony but he would be late if he were to change and thought he could hide the stain with his jacket.

This would later prove to be completely useless, the stain started from his collar to his armpit and could not be covered completely.


His day was terrible as well. Eric’s focus was at his lowest point and repeated a process similar to his bread with his pen and notebook.

Hallucinations kept bothering him, one in particular. His teacher’s face was changing to be more horrific hour by hour. It started “simply” with the skin shedding and falling on the ground but now, grey flesh grew back on the skull with dirty patches of hair at the wrong places -the throat for example- and more importantly, a new pair of eyes were floating near him, staring at Eric.

Eric breath started to be rugged after all the pressure he was put under these last hours. Most likely, he could not keep his face straight and the last spit of composure he might have is nowhere to be found. He stood up and went home in a hurry, even forgetting his notes and bag.

On his way home, he was assaulted by voices in his head.

“We are freedom. The Door is the Rainbow.”

“We are calling you, The Green is the colour of Man.”

“We are waiting for you. We are the Light, your gaze is a Shadow.”

With this, Eric began to perceive more and more perverse visions.

The most terrifying one was a child killing his father with a stone shot by a slingshot between the eyes.

The closer he was from his home, the stronger the voices and the visions were.

The phantomatic limbs again. Grabbing his limbs, slowed him down and the further he was going forward, the more he was pinned down to the ground. One step left from his door but he could not move anymore, the mass of arms finally stopped him. The three shadows stared at him, with a smile revealing crooked teeth.

“Come we are waiting. You have been chosen.” They whispered at the same time.

Then, they released him but the cold sensation of their hands stayed on his skin, unlike the other time. But at this point, Eric was not the same anymore, his instinct told him to go to the basement. They were waiting for him. His eyes became paler until his irises were blank and the way he moved, his humanity could be questioned.

Slowly, the front door was opened, the stairs to the basement were descended and Eric stood in front of the basement door. He knew he had to wait for something. A few moments later and the front door was closed, steps sounds were coming from the back. Suddenly, a pair of hands grabbed his shoulders. Eric did not react, he knew the thing he waited came.

“Come, Eric, the Masters are waiting for you.” The landlord whispered in his ear.

Then, the thin man took the basement key from his pocket and opened the basement. A room without light and a foul stench of decay.

“Akim, we are pleased.” Three voices shouted in the background.

“I am delighted of this honour. The device worked. I am ready to ascend.” The landlord answered.

“Come and be blessed.”

“Eric, it’s your turn now, bring them new devotees to serve them. The basement key is the device, plant it somewhere in the garden for the next initiate.”

The landlord opened Eric palm and put the key in his hand. Then, he engulfed himself in the back of the room. Silence before only sounds of bone-crushing and flesh tearing could be picked up.

“Eric, your duty is to bring us a new landlord. Once you did, you will ascend.” The three voices shouted.

“It will be my utmost pleasure.” Eric answered.



Double Trouble 2-Months of #200WT!

Welcome to the double trouble two months of #200WT!
It’s been a hard, insane, and nutso couple of weeks and months but we’re not gonna go into it! We’re talking about the future now.
In everything that’s been happening and not been happening, we’ve been working hard on a ton of things and it’s all coming together. FINALLY.
So now … NOW we’re gonna have some fun and get ahead on a ton of things. For the remainder of March and April, we are going to publish both month’s themes and all can be written together or apart, however you like! BE CREATIVE, FOLKS, THIS IS YOUR TASK AND THIS IS YOUR MISSION!
And so, without further chit-chat and et cetera, here are the two months of themes that we are putting out into the world!

The #200WT themes for March:




Sounds cool, right? Ahh, I’m excited for these …
Oh! And the #200WT themes for April are as follows:




Whooo! There you have it! The double trouble two months of #200WT. I am so excited. I’m excited to have this going again! Seriously, I feel like this is a whole new chapter for 200 Word Tuesdays and I’m so looking forward to seeing all the new stories and everything.
I’m staring down the business end of my 22nd birthday in April, and I want that day to mean something more than me aging for another useless year. I want to start really living the vision I’ve had for Musae Mosaic for so long and with a lot of luck and no small amount of hard work, I think it’s possible that together, we can create the magazine I dream it can be. The ultimate platform where we can celebrate the many vibes and voices in this world, in writing, in art and creativity. This is my calling and now is the time to heed it.
So … guess who’s going all in from now on and guess who’s changing the way this magazines gonna work??
That’s right! I am yours and I am devoted to your art, your writing and your voice!
That’s my vow.

Until next time, and until we meet again over your awesome #200WT’s, have fun! Be cool! Stay safe and stay creative! Keep writing! 🙂

The @Lord_Stabdagger Super Special #200WT Edition

The last couple of weeks have been hard. Hard and full of potential, and full of work. But its beginning to come together and in a big way.
To illustrate this perfectly …we’ve been keeping a kind of huge secret from the world for the last year and a half.
And this is the first you’re hearing of it!
This secret has been in development for months and months, and it’s been an evolving process of learning and applying those learnings to new things, and it all comes down to a perfect, client-centred and fully qualified way of connecting artists to their completely unique superpower …
It has been a period of a lot of faith. Faith in this project, and a lot of faith in ourselves, and now … the tables have finally turned. Its results time! 😊
In that whole vein, it’s also a new day for all that we’re doing on Musae Mosaic and we’re looking into some major changes and while we’re nervous, it’s also pretty exciting!
We hope you’re excited too. Everything we’re doing is for you! 😉
And now … to #200WT!
This is the last edition we have that is going to follow the format we’ve been having for the last few months, and we’re looking forward to some changes!
For this edition, we have something very special for you. There were no other submissions this week, but … something amazing happened and we got a MEGA submission from our very own, @Lord_Stabdagger, based on the beginning of his chain story, Run for your Death. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? With that in mind, we decided to run with this chain story and this story alone, so … without further ado, we present … the @Lord_Stabdagger Super Special #200WT Edition!

Run for your Death

By Lord Stabdagger

Part 1:

Robert had never been happier. Finally, after several years of hard work his life was exactly where he wanted it to go. In the morning he starts his new job and by the end of the year he’ll be set for life.
He stands in front of his wardrobe mirror admiring the new suit he’ll be wearing, totally absorbed in his own self-worth, when all of a sudden, “Good morning,” came a voice behind him.
He turned to find a tall elderly gentleman dressed in tweed, sitting on the end of his bed, casually smoking an old-fashioned pipe.
“Who the hell are you! How did you get in here!”
“Oh, don’t worry about me, I’m simply here to deliver a message.”
“Get out or I’ll call the police!”
“Police? Don’t be ridiculous they won’t help you. Nobody will, but perhaps I can help you to help yourself.”
“Who are you!”
“I have many names, but usually people refer to me as the Grim Reaper.”
“I haven’t got time for this!” He went to grab the old man, but he wasn’t there.
“Exactly,” said the old man, leaning against the wardrobe, “you haven’t got time.”
“What? How? What?”
“You’ve only got until eleven thirty-six tomorrow morning.”

Part 2:

“I’m going to die at half eleven tomorrow morning?”
“Thirty-six, yes.”
“And how may I ask am I going to die?”
“You’re going to jump off peak cliff.”
“What the bloody hell for!?”
“Because the alternatives are far more gruesome. You’d be far better off jumping from a great height.”
Robert laughed, and the old man smiled.
“Tell Brian I’m going to kill him!” said Robert.
“Brian? Do you think this is a prank?”
“Well of course it’s a bloody prank! You’re no more the Grim Reaper than my late Granddad!”
“So, you’re not convinced?”
“No. I am NOT convinced!”
“I see. Would you rather, I looked like, this?”
Moments later Robert was as white as a ghost and frozen to the spot. The old man lent against the wardrobe with his arms folded, sporting a smug grin.
“I’d sit down if I were you,” he said. Robert slowly sat on the bed.
“Why?” he asked, “but, why?”
“I know. I disagree with it myself. I tried to argue your case, but they decided your time is up.”
“The powers that be. My employers.”
“Look, I don’t make the rules, I simply collect the reapings. But there is a plus side to all of this.”
“Is there?”

Part 3:

“You get to choose how you’re going to die. Personally, I’d go with the cliff.”
“Why? What’s the alternative?”
“Tomorrow morning there’s going to be a series of potential disasters that for you will prove quite fatal.”
“Such as?”
“Now let’s see, two motor vehicle accidents, a gas explosion, a stabbing, the fall of a heavy object, and an electrocution. If you don’t take my advice, one of these alternatives will be your downfall.”
“Why is the cliff any better?”
“It’s a thousand-foot sheer drop. With your nervous disposition you’ll be dead before you hit the rocks.”
“Oh, cheers.”
“My pleasure.”
“But why me? Why now? I’ve just,”
“Yes, I know. A young hard-working man, just got your life in order, a prosperous future ahead of you, terrible waste.”
“This isn’t happening. I’m asleep, I must be!”
“You’re not asleep.”
“Then I’m hallucinating!”
“Then, then, I, I must be –”
“You’re wide awake and fully aware. This isn’t a dream. You’re going to die tomorrow morning and I strongly suggest you exit via the cliff.”
“But, I don’t want to die.”
“Nobody does, except for a small minority.”
“Isn’t there anything you can do for me?”
“Afraid not.”

Part 4:

Robert sat dumbfounded.
“Look on the bright side,” said the old man, “at least you’ve had prior warning. When the moment comes it won’t be quite so bad.”
“That isn’t helping.”
“Mmm, comfort was never my strong point. Anyway, I must be off, I have several appointments at the hospital before visiting a pile-up on the motorway. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“All day! I’ll stay right here, therefore I cannot be involved in any accidents.”
“Oh really?”
“Of course! Why else would you take the trouble to warn me in advance?”
“Stay if you wish. It won’t change anything.”
“Why? What could possibly happen to me here?”
“Oh, you’d be unpleasantly surprised. Trust me on that.”
Robert was suddenly alone. The only sound was the frantic pounding of his heart thumping in time with the ticking of the clock on the wall. With every second that passed the time of his demise grew nearer. He thought about the list of deadly encounters that were supposed to happen tomorrow, then realised a slight floor in the old man’s plans. There aren’t any cliffs for hundreds of miles. The old man’s voice echoed through his mind, ‘you’re going to die tomorrow.’
“The hell I am!” he spat and grabbed a suitcase.

Part 5:

An hour later, he’s on his way to the train station. The old git didn’t mention trains. A trip to his uncle’s house out in the middle of nowhere should keep him safe; miles and miles of open flat land and not a cliff in sight. Of course, his plans will need to be delayed and rearranged, plenty of time for that after cheating death in the morning.
By eleven thirty-six he’ll be tucked up in bed watching the football on Sky Sports, then lunch with a pint to celebrate at the Kings Head, then back on the road to success. Perfect.
Waiting in line to buy a ticket he’s growing impatient. The people before him are foreign and can hardly speak English, arguing with the ticket man. Time is passing. His train will soon be leaving. Another one thunders past causing the building to shake and dust is falling on his face. He brushes it away and looks up. Above the window roof was an old concrete statue. As the train passed he could see it moving slightly. ‘The fall of a heavy object,’ came the old man’s voice. “LOOK OUT!” he called and dived out of the way.

Part 6:

His suitcase was flattened by the statue as it came crashing down, he just managed to get clear and ran out onto the platform. As the panic ensued he caught his breath and realised he’d need a new form of transport as no doubt the trains will be cancelled for the time being.
He ran to the nearest bus depot and hunted for a rout that’ll take him as close to his uncle’s as possible. The only way to do it would be using several routs taking far too long to reach his destination in good time.
The only option left was a cab. ‘Two motor vehicle accidents,’ came the old man’s voice through his mind. Risky, but in theory, reaching his uncles would be quicker by car.
He hurried through the nearby streets to find a cab, and finally saw a free one pull up beside a pub. A woman was just about to open its door when he barged into the back and slammed the door behind him and commanded the driver to go. The driver was an elderly man a little hard of hearing, and eventually agreed to take him the long distance after throwing him a wad of cash.

Part 7:

The journey would take at least three hours and the driver needed fuel. They pulled up to a gas station just out of town and Robert went to use the bathroom while the driver filled up.
As the driver was waiting in line to pay, Robert joined the queue with a handful of snacks for the journey. The young man at the till was raising his voice at the assistant; then pulled out a long knife demanding cash from everyone. The driver, an X-soldier, challenged the youth believing he was still able to tackle a man in a fight. Remembering what the reaper said, Robert dived behind a stall to hide, only to feel the cold steel of another blade held to his throat. He raised his hands and stood slowly, his assailant escorting him to the other crook, being wrestled by the driver.
They broke up, the crook threw his knife, the driver ducked, and the knife was now heading straight for Robert’s chest.
A moment later, he was on the floor, and his captor was falling to his knees with the knife in his throat. The driver launched himself on the other crook, and Robert scurried away, got in the cab, and sped off at high speed.

Part 8:

With a full tank and a racing heart he shot down the road like a bullet, narrowly avoiding a collision with a truck as he rejoined the carriageway.
His shirt felt damp, then realised his captor’s knife had cut into his skin as he dived out of the way. Luckily it wasn’t a deep cut.
Minutes later he was finally beginning to calm down. Night was falling as well as a thickening fog and ahead of him the traffic was slowing down. He tried to overtake as much as he could until forced to stop. ‘I’m off to a smash up on the motorway,’ came that voice again. This must be the smash he was talking about.
Robert tried to be patient as the jam went on for up to an hour. He’d be half way to his Uncle’s by now. Growing restless he got out of the cab and walked ahead to try and see the commotion through the fog. Many cars were beeping their horns and above them was the sound of a truck horn, blasting repeatedly. Behind him there came a mighty crash and several vehicles were ploughed past him by an articulated lorry that failed to see the traffic jam in time.

Part 9:

Among the carnage was his cab, now small enough to fit into another car’s boot. Robert just stood there between two cars that missed the action, frozen with shock and disbelief. That must have been the first of the two motor accidents the old man mentioned.
Bewildered at his near miss with certain death he wondered with the frantic crowd towards the pile up. Through the fog he could see the truck was a tank carrying fuel and it had tipped onto its side leaking petrol from a split. Sensing what was about to happen he turned and fort his way back in the opposite direction. Moments later, an enormous fireball lit up the scene
The force of which sent him flying into a field beside the road. He landed on a stack of hay. He looked behind him at the inferno; then lay back down hyperventilating. Above him the sky was a series of thick black lines. An electric pylon was stood next to the haystack. The cables were stretched over the road, and the flames were just tall enough to reach them. ‘An electrocution.’
“You have got to be *&$%:~# kidding me!” he said, and rolled off the haystack just in the nick of time.

Part 10:

The cable was weakened by the heat and snapped away from its holding, falling directly where he was laying. The haystack was now a bonfire and poor old Robert was staggering as fast as he could away from the chaos.
A short while later he wakes up in an Ambulance, his neck cleaned and dressed. Only one Paramedic is attending him as the staff is spread thinly.
The medic checks him over and leaves him to rest while he attends to other people. Robert lay back. There was no hope of reaching his Uncle’s now and thought of being in hospital was the safest place on Earth.
He chuckled to himself, confidant he’d beaten the Reaper at his own game, when a familiar voice caught his attention.
“There you are,” it said.
“Brian? What the hell are you doing here?”
“Looking for you. We were going to pay you a visit, but we saw you heading for the train station. You weren’t thinking of leaving, were you?”
A chill ran through his body. “No, erm, it isn’t like that, wait.”
A big man got in, a large hairy fist and everything went black.

Part 11:

Many hours later he awoke, his head pounding, his jaw aching. He was sitting in an old wooden chair in a dingy room. Outside he could hear crashing waves and seagulls. As his vision came clear he was surrounded by a bunch of big blokes. Before him was his friend stood behind another man seated before him in a leather armchair.
“Welcome back,” said the man.
“Where am I?” he groaned.
“I’m very disappointed in you, Robert. You’ve let me down.”
“No, you don’t understand, I was –”
Robert recognised the voice and forced his eyes to focus. The man sitting before him was someone he knew quite well, or so he thought. “Uncle! But, how, what –?”
“This morning was going to be your big chance to prove yourself. But it seems you had plans of your own.”
“You’re the boss?”
“You always were a big disappointment, Robert, like your mother always said. She’d be so ashamed of you now.”
“No, you don’t understand, I wasn’t bailing I was, I was –”
“I was, I was –” he couldn’t tell them he’d had a visit from the Reaper himself and desperately tried to think of something.
His Uncle nodded to the big man behind Robert.
“No! Wait! I can explain!”

Part 12:

The big man had the defibrillator from the ambulance attached to a car battery. He was about to put it to the sides of Robert’s head when he caused the chair to fall back, knocking the man off balance. He fell in such a way as to electrocute himself.
The other men pulled out knives and stood ready.
“Please,” he begged, “there’s no need for this!”
“Finish him!”
Robert wasn’t much of a fighter, but he was good at getting out of the way. As the men went for him they ended up stabbing each other.
“Oh, for Christ’s sake!” shouted his Uncle, then pulled out a gun and tried to shoot him. Again, Robert dodged and weaved then threw himself out the nearest window. He landed on the body of a men they killed earlier. Instead of panicking he quickly looked at the dead man’s watch, 11:29am, and ran like mad.
Behind him he heard two cars roaring after him, so he ran as fast as he was able, not knowing where he was or where he was going.
The cars weaved across his path trying to run him down, his Uncle took the odd pot shot from his window missing every time.

Part 13:

Robert stopped by a large rock to catch his breath. His friend took the opportunity to try and crush him against it. Robert dived; his friend panicked and hit the rock head on with a loud crash.
Now his Uncle, the boss, was heading straight for him. He ran, and ran, and ran. He dived over a line of small bushes hoping to dodge another attempt on his life and found himself falling.
“Excellent choice,” said the old man, casually falling beside him as though he was lying down, gently puffing on his pipe.
“Yes, yes, yes I get that a lot.”
“Sorry, it isn’t part of my job description. Don’t worry, it’ll all be over in a moment.”
“You brought this on yourself.”
“Life is full of choices and you live according to the consequences.”
“Do you really believe your cut out to be a gangster? You couldn’t fight your way from a paper bag.”
“Have you?”
“Look, I can’t save lives, but I can grant last wishes.”

Part 14:

“It doesn’t quite work like that I’m afraid. You see, you’re here because of someone else’s last wish.”
“Please! I swear I’ll change my ways! There must be something you can do!”
“Mmm, well, mmm, not really, no.”
“You are such a complete and utter… shouldn’t I have landed by now?”
“Yes, about a minute ago.”
“Then why haven’t I?”
“We’re having such a lovely chat I thought I’d prolong the moment.”
“Your unbelievable! How can you live with yourself?”
“I don’t live at all.”
“Look, please, I swear I will turn my life around! Just give me one more chance!”
“Are you a man of your word?”
“Yes! Yes, I am! I AM!”
“I’m not convinced.”
“I swear on my mother’s grave!”
“Your mother’s grave? That’s a shame. Very well I’ll take it up with head office.
The old man vanished. The sharp pointy rocks were getting closer very fast. He screamed and screamed, then landed with such force that his bed fell to bits and his bedside table went flying across the room.
He looked around as he caught his breath. No rocks, no waves, just his room. “What the! How… I’M ALIVE!” He laughed like a madman and jumped on the remains of his bed.

Part 15:

“Only so long as you keep your word,” said the old man, leaning against the wardrobe. Robert nearly jumped out of his skin.
“I’ve spoken to the powers that be,” said the old man, “they have plans for you.”
“Yes. You stay on the straight and narrow and good things will be waiting for you.”
“You mean this wasn’t all just a –”
“Dream? Good heavens no.” The old man hinted at the tall mirror on the front of the wardrobe. Robert was a mess. The radio turned itself on tuned into a news programme describing the catastrophe on the motorway the night before. Robert fell flat on his arse with the realisation it was all real.
“So, we’re agreed?” asked the old man.
“Yes,” said Robert.
“Splendid. Right, I’ll be off, and If I were you I’d get cleaned up and pay a visit to your mother this afternoon.”
The old man smiled. “Remember what I said about last wishes? I’ll see you again in a few years’ time, unless of course you go back on your word. Cheerio.”
Robert spent the afternoon with his mother while his Uncle and friends were arrested during an armed bank robbery that went horrible wrong.
But at least as his mother breather her final breath, her dying wish came true.

Author: Lord Stabdagger
Twitter: @Lord_Stabdagger  
Website: castle-stabdagger/blog

BookBabble Interview – Awakening Passions with @demiurgent_G

Here it is! The very first of its kind, celebrating a long-time Musae Mosaic community member and wonderful friend, Alicia Wallace, with her new book Awakening Passions!

MM: So … tell us about you as an author. How long have you been writing?

   AW: I started writing in school, thanks to an hour a week that was dedicated to story writing. At the time I read a lot of Enid Blyton and my writing reflected / mimicked that. I only stop writing when my mental health makes it impossible, and even when I’m really ill I sometimes try poetry. The funny thing is, it’s not for the writing. It’s always about the storytelling for me – and the times my writing takes the biggest hit is when I’m most socially active, because I’m telling my stories out loud.

MM: Give us an outline of this book.

AW: During the Regency period, when ladies weren’t allowed to know sex existed until they were married, and young ladies weren’t allowed to be with gentlemen outside their immediate family unescorted, two orphaned young ladies are cast onto Society. The rules are drummed into them over and over, with different impacts. One of the girls is healthy, curious and naively willing to risk her life for a bit of fun. The other discovered her sexuality in a very traumatic way and is now convinced she’s the lowest of the low. They meet several men, among them a pair of gentlemen rakes who decide to play with the girls’ affections, for their own reasons.

MM: What message do you feel your book most openly conveys?

AW: I hope it says that it doesn’t matter what the “rules” are, or how rigidly you adhere to them, the most important thing is that you have the courage to be honest about yourself and you treat everyone with kindness, dignity and respect. Treating people differently because they don’t fit a particular mould is harmful to us all, and going against popular opinion can be very, very hard.

MM: When did this project begin for you? From the first seed of inspiration to the finished product?

AW: Even today girls get a lot of mixed messages – you’re either a slut or a prude, you’re too much of one thing or not enough of the other, so it’s really hard to figure out who we are as individuals – and this is in an age where we talk about sex very openly. Even in the most supportive environment, you still get bombarded with messages from films, media, etc. It’s almost impossible to think about sexuality as a teen or young adult without a sense of confusion at best. 200 years ago, when to express any interest in a young man could be considered unseemly, it must have been dreadful. So I spent a while exploring that idea. It took about 18 months before I felt able to commit words to a page, and that was for NaNoWriMo. I wrote the whole novel in about 40k words originally, which is fortunate because I have a massive problem with ski slope endings. I spent the last week of November padding out the end and wrapping everything up and ended up with my very first full novel. The process didn’t end there, but I’ll talk about editing later.

MM: How did it feel, getting the story out from you and onto the pages, and out into the world at last?

AW: It was amazing. I was so proud just to have finished writing something that long. It really broke down an internal barrier for me because since then I’ve written several long-form stories, and the process gets easier each time. I also have to confess, even though this isn’t a “proper” publishing contract, when I realised some complete stranger had read the book (my first royalties of 24p came in from the US where someone read the whole thing on Kindle Unlimited) I actually screamed. I had an awful cold at the time so it wasn’t a particularly impressive scream, but it was an amazing feeling. I was – still am – overjoyed.

MM: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

AW: Getting to know the characters was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most amazing part. I’d written a lot of short stories, vignettes and other bits and bats, but nothing where I’d been so close to a character before. When I started writing, I thought Helen was a real person and everyone else acted as a support structure for her. It wasn’t until I was half way through writing that I realised they were all real people. It was funny – I’d had a scene in mind from the very start of writing, based in a ballroom where George’s ex-mistress is trying to seduce him back to her and he throws her over for Helen. I swear, when I reached that part of the book and tried to write it, for a second I was stood in that ballroom with them and they all looked at me in varying shades of disgust and ridicule. They collectively refused to do what I wanted and I thought: “Well, that’s me told.” I stopped writing, re-read the novel from the start and edited big chunks that didn’t feel right. By the time I got to the ballroom the story was *completely* different and infinitely better.

MM: What was the hardest part of writing this book? The parts that really through you for a loop?

AW: Editing! You know how proud I was when I finished the 50k words? Well, I stupidly thought that I’d written a good book and I kept thinking that for almost two years. After a long break I came back to read it again (I wanted to feel good about myself) and discovered it was deeply flawed. I was very upset, very embarrassed and got to work hacking and slashing it into something that would be readable to people who aren’t me.
That experience basically made me immune to hurt from any constructive criticism, though, so I’m very glad it happened. It also taught me a lot about *big* mistakes I need to avoid which I rigidly adhere to – number one being it doesn’t matter how much I know about the regency. I’ve written a novel, not a thesis. If the facts aren’t absolutely 100% essential no arguments no nothing THEY’RE OUT!

MM: Throughout the writing of your book, which character did you feel you most related to? And how did you feel their character development impacted you?

AW: I originally intended Helen (aside from the crippling sexuality issues) to be very similar to me. I thought that would make her more authentic, but the truth is I’m far too eccentric to be a repressed Regency lady. George’s sister, Marianne, was originally a more or less throwaway character that was only there to display all of my eccentricities, but she turned into a very beautiful, lovely person, with a phenomenal amount of strength and generosity within her. Her back story made me cry like a baby the day I discovered it.

MM: How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?

AW: Georgette Heyer – I think that’s the most common response from people who’ve written a Regency romance and with good reason. Her knowledge of the era was impeccable and she was capable of writing the most ridiculous things in a way that made them seem either frivolous or threatening depending on how seriously she wanted you to take the character. The Duke of Avon is a masterpiece – by turns awful and alluring, depending on the nature of the scene. Anyway, after reading Heyer, I got into Austen, and then I devoured every Regency Mills and Boon that came my way. It seemed like the easiest place to start writing – some of those M&B were not great, and I was sure I could do better!   

MM: What kinds of research went into this book and what are some of the references used in it?

AW: Oh I love me some research! I own *many* books about the Regency era (by which I inaccurately mean everything between 1793 and 1820) covering politics, social structure, wardrobes, weapons, food, slang and other such things. I also use the internet a lot: one lovely thing I refer to are the historical maps you can find online because they can give you a real sense of place – this is one of my favourites:

As well as maps, you can find church records online quite easily and to me the ability to refer to the curate of a particular church by the name of the guy who was there at the time was a lovely feeling. Also, although I’ve been trained not to rely too heavily on Wikipedia, it can be a great place to pick up on gossipy tidbits about some of the more prominent figures of the age that might not be accurate, but can embellish your sense of place without overwhelming the reader.

MM: Did this book have a soundtrack? Music that you loved listening to?

AW: I listen to Radio 2 while I write. If I try to choose my own music I end up with a very limited selection. However, the Jeremy Vine show isn’t to my taste – it’s too often people arguing, which is very disruptive when I’m writing – so if I’m at home on a weekday, I turn the radio off at 12 and take a 2 hour lunch break!
However, I do have a music playlist on Youtube that I sometimes set to random and bury myself in. It started a mellow background music for when I play the Sims, but it’s good for writing too. Hopefully the link will work!

MM: Any chance of a sequel? 🙂

AW: Marianne’s story is waiting to be told. I know roughly what happens to her, I just haven’t been able to find her voice yet. If people want it, that will be more than enough encouragement for me to work harder at getting that written.

MM: What do your plans for future projects include at this point?

AW: This is quite a long list, but crucially, I’ve switched my primary genre into thrillers. I’ve just finished writing one called “A Better Place” which I’m going all out on getting an agent for (as soon as I pull together a pitch/ query) and I’ve started a new one called “After Life.”
“A Better Place” is the story of three women who are linked by a murder: the killer, the victim and the detective investigating. It was a dark, dark thing to write, but I’m very proud of the finished product.
“After Life” is the story of a man who has been murdered, and in his death he learns he’s one of many victims of a serial killer who has been going for over a decade. One of his fellow victims – one of the first to die – is deeply distressed by the fact that her killer has never once thought of her death, and he is determined to help the police catch him and help her find some peace.   

MM: Do you write just anywhere or do you like having your own little nook where the muse feels most at home?

AW: I can write anywhere there’s a keyboard, really, but I live with a dream that when I’m a full time writer, I will have a shed that gets really cold in winter. There will be an electric heater, a kettle and my computer, and I will huddle over the keyboard like Scrooge at his desk, with fingerless gloves and a nightcap on.
My current flat has storage heaters so I spend a lot of time being cold and it really helps me focus 😊
I’d love this:

But I accumulate clutter so it would end up looking like this:

MM: What books have most inspired your writing insofar?

AW: Enid Blyton was my very first inspiration, but as I matured I took on Austen, Dickens, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie, Boris Akunin and, of course, Terry Pratchett. I live in hope that one day I will be able to write with the sheer artistry of Sir Terry, but failing that I’ll settle for twists like Akunin, satire like Austen, or characterisation like Dickens.

MM: How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion, and how do you feel it enriches you?

AW: Storytelling is, for me, a way of life. I can’t give directions (according to my boyfriend) without segueing into a narrative form of speech. Instead of “next left” it’s “you’ll see a left coming up in a minute, we’re turning there.” It makes some parts of my working life really easy though – I have to write reports and convert notes into presentation speak, or textbook entries, and it takes me an hour to do what takes other people days, because I do it *all the time*. I never stop writing and the transferable skills are fantastic.

MM: How do you feel this book impacted you, impacted the way you tell stories and share them with the world?

AW: I learned a lot about things to avoid from my first draft, and I also learned that I can actually do it. That, for me, was *huge*. The other element – sharing with the world – I’ve noticed that when I wrote this book I was very reluctant to ask people for feedback because I didn’t think I had the right to subject them to it, even when I felt it was “finished”. It felt very invasive. Nowadays I’m happy to throw my early drafts around to find out if they feel like something people would want to read, and that’s really good for me.

MM: How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?

AW: As it isn’t a traditional publishing contract, I didn’t go through the period of anticipation after signing a contract and getting a proof copy. I used Kindle Direct Publishing and banned myself from looking at Amazon for almost 48 hours. When I realised it was up, I basically went Twitter crazy. I was so, so happy. Then I figured out how the reports work and learned I’d made 24p in royalties. I’m not kidding, I was more excited by that than I was when I earned my degree.

MM: What advice would you like to pass on to fellow writers still working on the fulfilment of the literary dream?

AW: I’m not there yet, but I’d say there are 3 things:
1) Stop apologising. I know you do. “I wrote this, but it’s probably not very good,” “I don’t think people will really like it,” etc. You think you’re being humble but you’re actually saying “Obviously, you’re incapable of judging the merits of my novel, so I’ll tell you what to think before you read it.” It’s a weird self defence thing, and no-one cares what you think. You wrote that book for readers, not for you. It doesn’t matter what *you* think. It matters what your readers think. Stop telling them what to think. I did this a lot in my early days and once I was made aware of it actually made the whole process of getting feedback so much less awkward.
2) The book isn’t about what you know. I made this mistake in my first draft and it irritates me immensely when I see it in other writers. If you’re writing a book about building a ship, spending the first 20 pages talking about how the engines are assembled within the framework only shows off that you have done your research. If it doesn’t further the plot, cut it out. It’s highly unlikely that two experienced engineers are going to be having a conversation and one tells the other “You probably don’t know about this really major thing in our field that had been happening for the last 20 years” and if they do, it had better be because you’re highlighting what a patronising ass they are. (I’m sorry, this is getting a little ranty😊 )
3) No criticism is bad. It may be painful, but that isn’t the same thing. If someone tells you your plot doesn’t make sense, there’s no point in arguing: the reader is telling you their truth, and you write for readers. Ask for more information – what their issue is and why it doesn’t make sense. They may, after all, have skimmed over a really important point. But that’s not strictly their failing either. That’s not to say you won’t get people picking on ridiculous things “Your psycho is from Birmingham. My mum’s from Birmingham.” (has actually been levied at me as a criticism, I kid you not) and obviously, there will be times when 99% of your readers get it and you have to decide how much work you need to put in for that 1% and whether it will negatively impact the rest of your readers.

MM: Anything more you’d like to add?

AW: The hardest thing about writing fiction is authenticity. We all have our own voices, and finding that voice takes a lot of work, but it’s wroth the effort. I could pick out a Terry Pratchett piece – even an early one – very quickly. Same with Stephen Fry, Bill Bryson and many more. When you write with the “correct” voice, it makes a huge difference to the authenticity of the piece.

If you’re writing fan fiction, using the voice of the original writer let’s you get away with a *lot*.
If you’re writing historical or fantasy pieces, try to get a feel for how the people of that time or place would speak.
If you’re writing just as you but struggling to find your voice? Well, playing around with other people’s voices is a good way to learn your own and it will absolutely make a difference.

MM: Where can your loyal fans find you?

AW: I’d like to open with a book pitch once more: Check it out! My first ever published book!
I have a blog where I regularly post short fiction, poetry and the occasional irate discourse on some unimportant facet of life.
I live on Twitter. I’m @demiurgent_g. Currently my timeline is very full of my new book and this cold I have, but it will get better soon, I promise! Follow me – I have many amazing friends that I retweet and chat with. Your life will be enriched by knowing them, even if my cat’s antics fail to entertain you.

Excerpt of Awakening Passions …  
By Ruth Richardson

It was a long time before they met again, but their aunt’s reaction had been so strong that as soon as she spied him, Helen murmured to Rose “Earl of Langley and of Fallon, and Lord of Highton.” Rose snapped her fan open and hid her giggles behind it. The list of My Lord Hazlemere’s titles had become their mantra after their aunt had recited the whole amount trying to make clear to them his importance. Both girls found such an ostentation to be stuffy and it rather prejudiced them against the poor gentleman. Rose found his quiet reserve to be dull after her recent experiences with more forward, younger gentlemen. Helen initially considered him to be slow and tedious, but under a feeling of obligation to her aunt – and both girls were truly grateful for the opportunity their aunt had offered them – she persevered with him, trying to find some way to converse with him that wouldn’t leave her utterly bored. Through desperation one day she had made an observation on the recent Corn Laws that she had learned about through her morning habit of working through puzzles and reading newspapers. Instead of responding with horror that a woman should know such a thing he responded in kind and they spent almost half an hour discussing the politics of the day. When the conversation broke up he eyed her with new interest and she considered him with more favour than previously.
Now they met regularly at similar social functions – sometimes only for half an hour before one party or both departed – but such was the nature of the society they moved in that their circles continuously overlapped. Rose found those circles to be increasingly narrow and bereft of interest. Helen felt she had met at least one real friend and considered herself to be lucky. Their aunt observed the budding relationship and although she reflected to herself that she would have expected a man with a history such as Hazlemere’s to be more interested in the lively Rose than the sedate Helen, she was happy as long as one of the girls landed such a prize.
She did not look with such favour on George Carstairs however and her eyes narrowed as he entered the room one evening while they were at a ball. While Hazlemere had renounced his rakish ways over a year ago, Carstairs was still renowned for his appalling behaviour and lax approach to the rules of high society and now that she had two young maidens to care for, Lady Agatha found herself questioning how reliable his reputation was for being no despoiler of innocents. Unfortunately, for some reason, Rose appeared to have caught his eye and he was now spending time around her. Aunt Agatha would have been horrified had she known the truth as to how that came about.
At a ball a few nights previously, Rose had been bewailing to Helen the tedium of their admirers, after a particularly miserable country dance with a parson’s son and she cried out “Why are all the gentlemen so boring, tedious and safe? I want excitement and adventure!”
Upon hearing this Helen practically recoiled.
“Oh, Helen, I know you don’t want that, but I do! I want a man who will excite me, interest me, play with me and make this more fun! You can keep your dull, safe, tedious Hazlemere. I know he is exactly what you want, and you have no competition from me. I want more. I won’t settle for being a middle aged wife with children and nothing joyful in my life before I turn twenty. I want to live a little first! I want someone like…” she trailed off and looked around the room, a huge sparkling ballroom with throngs of people until she spied one dark, eagle eyed man bending over a sparkling red-head in her early thirties. “I want someone like him.”
Helen stared across the floor at the dark man and felt a surge of danger rising inside her. Everything in her head screamed out that he was a bad thing to be too close to. She tried to convince Rose that it was silly to get involved with a man like him but she was adamant. When he casually strolled out to a balcony fifteen minutes after the girls first saw him Rose followed and Helen, unable to let her sister fall headlong into danger without at least as much protection as Helen’s presence could provide, followed. Rose elegantly tripped onto the balcony and dramatically thrust aside a curtain to almost collide with the gentleman in question.
When she spoke to him “Oh! Forgive me sir, are we welcome in your domain?” his initial response was to attempt to retreat, but he appeared to rethink when he saw Helen following her onto the balcony. Helen was mortified when she caught his eyes on her and tried to shrink behind the curtain her sister was holding, her aunt’s strictures on proper behaviour echoing in her mind.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Miss..?” The gentleman spoke and his voice was deep and gravelly, somehow completely in keeping with the feeling of danger that was thrumming through Helen.
“Miss Rose Collins,” she bobbed a curtsey and he bowed and turned his gaze to Helen. “This is Helen, my sister. She thinks we shouldn’t be here so she probably won’t talk to you.”
Helen gasped in horror. Such rudeness was beyond her comprehension and she was truly scandalised by the attitude her sister was taking. He saw her face and read the distress in Helen’s eyes as clearly as if she had shouted it aloud.
“Lord George Carstairs,” he bowed. As he did so, he gestured with the right hand which held a cigarillo. “If you will forgive me, ladies, I withdrew to partake.”
Helen didn’t find the smell of tobacco too unpleasant and was torn between reassuring him that he had no need to apologise and the need to retreat from this situation as rapidly as possible. While she fluctuated in confusion, Rose tilted her head and twittered, attempting to thrust her breasts forward to entice his gaze while declaring that she enjoyed the scent of tobacco so much that it seemed unfair that ladies were not given the freedom to indulge.
“It is,” she stated, “one of the many freedoms gentlemen have that I find the lack of to be so constricting as a lady. I’m sure you could introduce me to others.” George Carstairs was not the sort of man to allow a chit of a girl to lead conversation in a way that this one was attempting to and her clumsiness was wholly unappealing to him. He found himself more in sympathy with her sister’s horror than interested in her own aggressive flirtation.
Noticing the glance Lord Carstairs cast Helen, Rose moved forward to reclaim his attention. “My sister is a little shy, and disapproves of meeting you like this. But then, she prefers a gentleman to be like the eternally dreary Marquis of Hazlemere with his endless prosing on about stuffy politics and farming. I want a man to be adventurous, to be entertaining and to seek out danger; not stay at home every night with no more interest in fun and frolic than a bishop!”
Helen’s horror had turned into mortification as her more forward sister began to disparage a gentleman who she had truly begun to esteem and George Carstairs’ lips twitched as the only thing he wished for upon hearing a thoroughly inaccurate opinion of Hazlemere came true – that the man himself should hear it as George watched.

February #200WT Themes

February has come! We’ve made it through January relatively unscathed and … it feels good! Yeah!
Anyway, with an amazing month of #200WT’s in our pocket, we have a beautiful month ahead! And so, the themes are …




It’s February. Month of all le amour, but … it doesn’t have to be all hot and heavy! Use all the imagination you want and twist and turn the words about, in any way you need!
Time will tell, of course, what kinds of words will be shared with #200WT this month and we can’t wait to read them all!
Remember, of course, that you are welcome to share media you like with your new submissions, no more than 2 per submission, but we hope it helps paint a lovely picture of your story.
In the meantime, have a lovely, lovely month!
*blows you all a kiss*

Terrifying Talents #200WT Edition!

Well, what a Tuesday it has been so far! A lot has been happening and I am so excited about the next couple of days. The next couple of days, I think, are going to be some of the most exciting make-or-break days of our future and we’re at this point where we’re just saying … “Bring it on!”
Challenges are yes, challenging, but exciting. There’s so much to be excited about and now, as we are on the cusp of so many awesome things, I feel like these are the days that will end up mattering the most. In the greater scheme of things, our hope today, is our success tomorrow.
And that’s why today of all days, I feel closer to this job and to all of you than ever before and that, I think, will never end.
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who has supported and participated in the #MyFPNominee Project insofar and I hope you’ll continue to nominate your favourite authors for the Monday Author Interview program. We still have plenty of time left to fill in every Monday of 2018 with an amazing author’s words, work and wonders. I hope you’ll join in on that journey and that we get to see you on the interview list too!
And now, with all the flowery things aside, onto #200WT! Wow, are there some things in this edition … it’s juicy, scary, (really, very scary, it feel like Halloween came early this year!) and utterly delicious. I can’t wait for you to delve right in!
So in honour of the gorgeous horrors that lie in wait, without further ado … I present the Terrifying Talents #200WT Edition!

Human Sensations

By Lady Stabdagger

It was everything he dreamed it would be and more. Every crunch of blade against bone was music to his ears. For years the image haunted his dreams willing him to experience it for real but he just never had the opportunity before now. It was a pity really, she was such a pretty young lady but unfortunately for her she found herself in the wrong place at the right time. He had no inhibitions now; no one around to stop him. Of course he had his fun with her first before he got around to the torture. Her screams will remain with him for years to come; his dream finally realised. The feel of her flesh as he plunged his hands into her open abdomen was exquisite. No longer was this experience just a fantasy that happened in his own head night after night and it never will be again. He craved more. He wonder what his dreams would cook up next; he wanted to have every human experience possible. Today the experience of torture, tomorrow who knows. He will be ready. He disposed of the young lady; throwing her corpse to the pigs. Time to prepare for his next adventure. He took out a cloth and began wiping the slate clean for a new day.

By: Lady Stabdagger

      The Artist

By Joanne Karina Gray

Part 1:
He painted almost constantly. It was his hardest one yet.
Each color spoke to him, whispered in his ear to set his brush in their embrace and streak it across his canvas. He didn’t listen to them.
This was his masterpiece. He would go down in history for this one.
Up there with the other artists, he would be standing with the likes of Picasso or Da Vinci. He grew excited just thinking of it all.
His canvas had begun as a blank page in time. A clean slate just begging to be remade, and he was the Artist.
His brushes dipped and clanged against each other on the smooth construct of art he had created.
He thought of how he had come to acquire this canvas he painted on, he thought of the soft brush gliding against the painting, he thought of his child.
They were all his children, he loved them completely, not that anyone else would understand it. No one understood the type of love he had for each of his creations. He smiled softly and looked around his gallery, each creation rest against the wall, pinned by golden pins to keep them stable.
His dear beauties …

Part 2:
Each canvas was different, he knew this despite being confined to his house of cedar wood and smoke, deep in the forest behind the city.
There were canvases of sunshine, cherry blossoms, vanilla candles and colors of dusk. These canvases were sweet and innocent and could only take soft hues such as peach and rose petal touches to the surface.
There were canvases of marble floors, roman temples, black ink, and the smell of earth after rain. These types usually embraced the color of darkness, the heavy blacks and the cherished grays of stormy nights.
There were canvases of stars, little blushes that trailed all the way down, subtle touches. These canvases were the Artist’s favorite kind. They could hold so much color, they could hold his every feeling which he poured into their lifeless frame and they glowed when he brought them to life with his paints.
These thoughts danced their way across the Artist’s mind as he painted, stroking his small brush through the blood red paint he favored.
His strokes were calculated, each of them perfect and beautiful and mathematically measured to fit to every corner of his wonderful creation.
Outside there was a hoot of an owl and he was startled, his brush going skew and messing up his equations, his perfect design.

Part 3:
He was filled with fury and he dropped his brush, smashing his fist against the canvas so that stale blood mingled with the hectic red of his paint.
He breathed heavily. In. Out. In. Out.
One, he counted in his mind, taking a deep breath with the number.
Two, his conscience murmured, calming him down further.
Three, he took a deep breath and lifted his fist from his dear canvas.
“I’m sorry, darling, I lost my temper- but that’s over now. Everything can be fixed, perhaps you even look better this way.” He murmured lovingly, caressing his recovered brush against her smooth skin, marred only with the evidence of his anger. It didn’t do much to the canvas, she was already damaged but he found beauty in it regardless of her imperfections.
The canvas had been a ballerina laced with daydreams. She emulated fallen angels with her sweet smile. He told her, as he walked her to her car in the night, that she was art, heartbreaking, breathtaking, like a butterfly trapped by society. Shining shimmer pearl tears cascaded down her smooth cheeks, her love was her sacrifice but she would be remembered just as he would.
She was, after all, the canvas he adored so.

Part 4:
His canvas was finished. It had taken him a long time, longer than any of his others. But she was finished now and he felt tears trickle down his cheek to mingle with the splatters of paint against her skin.
She was beautiful.
He lifted his porcelain canvas tenderly and grabbed the tin of golden pins. His masterpiece would be the front row exhibit in his gallery.
She was placed in the middle of the others and he fell to his knees in front of them, weeping like a baby as his finished work was revealed to him.
They were all angels, fallen from the heavens and he had found them and painted the celestial words across their skin.
He was a true Artist and he knew it. His gallery proved it.
Each vision of midnight beauty, each of these wonders he had been gifted with were beautiful, his children and he loved them unconditionally.
He loved them when he heard the whine of sirens outside his gallery.
He loved them when those- those uneducated people hammered on his door.
He loved them when they burst in and shackled chains around his wrists.
He loved them to infinity even when he closed his eyes for the last time, much like all those artists he had admired, they had all ascended to the heavens and it was his turn now.
He was happy.
There was a jolt of pain and then he was blissful and unaware.
He sighed.

Author: Joanne Karina Gray
Twitter: @Fyremancer 

Run for your death

By Lord Stabdagger 

Part 1:
Robert had never been happier. Finally, after several years of hard work his life was exactly where he wanted it to go. In the morning he starts his new job and by the end of the year he’ll be set for life.
He stands in front of his wardrobe mirror admiring the new suit he’ll be wearing, totally absorbed in his own self worth, when all of a sudden, “Good morning,” came a voice behind him.
He turned to find a tall elderly gentleman dressed in tweed, sitting on the end of his bed, casually smoking an old fashioned pipe.
“Who the hell are you! How did you get in here!”
“Oh don’t worry about me, I’m simply here to deliver a message.”
“Get out or I’ll call the police!”
“Police? Don’t be ridicules they won’t help you. Nobody will, but perhaps I can help you to help your self.”
“Who are you!”
“I have many names, but usually people refer to me as the Grim Reaper.”
“I haven’t got time for this!” He went to grab the old man, but wasn’t there.
“Exactly,” said the old man, leaning against the wardrobe, “you haven’t got time.”
“What? How? What?”
“You’ve only got until eleven thirty six tomorrow morning.”

Part 2:
“I’m going to die at half eleven tomorrow morning?”
“Thirty six, yes.”
“And how may I ask am I going to die?”
“You’re going to jump off peak cliff.”
“What the bloody hell for!?”
“Because the alternatives are far more gruesome. You’d be far better off jumping from a great height.”
Robert laughed and the old man smiled.
“Tell Brian I’m going to kill him!” said Robert.
“Brian? Do you think this is a prank?”
“Well of course it’s a bloody prank! You’re no more the Grim Reaper than my late Granddad!”
“So you’re not convinced?”
“No. I am NOT convinced!”
“I see. Would you rather, I looked like, this?”
Moments later Robert was as white as a ghost and frozen to the spot. The old man lent against the wardrobe with his arms folded sporting a smug grin. “I’d sit down if I were you,” he said. Robert slowly sat on the bed. “Why?” he asked, “but, why?”
“I know. I disagree with is my self. I tried to argue your case but they decided your time is up.”
“The powers that be. My employers.”
“Look, I don’t make the rules I simply collect the reapings. But there is a plus side to all of this.”
“Is there?”

Part 3:
“You get to choose how you’re going to die. Personally, I’d go with the cliff.”
“Why? What’s the alternative?”
“Tomorrow morning there’s going to be a series of potential disasters that for you will prove quite fatal.”
“Such as?”
“Now lets see, two motor vehicle accidents, a gas explosion, a stabbing, the fall of a heavy object, and an electrocution. If you don’t take my advice, one of these alternatives will be your downfall.”
“Why is the cliff any better?”
“It’s a thousand foot sheer drop. With your nervous disposition you’ll be dead before you hit the rocks.”
“Oh, cheers.”
“My pleasure.”
“But why me? Why now? I’ve just –”
“Yes I know. A young hard working man, just got your life in order, a prosperous future ahead of you, terrible waste.”
“This isn’t happening. I’m asleep, I must be!”
“You’re not asleep.”
“Then I’m hallucinating!”
“Then, then, I, I must be,-”
“You’re wide awake and fully aware. This isn’t a dream. You’re going to die tomorrow morning and I strongly suggest you exit via the cliff.”
“But, I don’t want to die.”
“Nobody does, except for a small minority.”
“Isn’t there anything you can do for me?”
“Afraid not.”

Author: Lord Stabdagger
Twitter: @Lord_Stabdagger  


By Lara Savine

People spoke of dreams as flights of fantasy, mere moments in the ever-evolving, learning, feeling mind. Nightmares were dark moments, but moments nonetheless.
My psychiatrist’s rhetoric was true. Confront your nightmares head-on and they won’t frighten you anymore. They’re all in your head and in your mind, you are the master.
My nightmares terrorized me. Until I took up the sword of my psyche and I terrorized them. They weren’t nightmares. Yes, they were in my mind, but they were as real as I was.
I learned how to conquer them; bend them to my will.
The day they shoved me into a white room with iron bars, I screamed so hard, I coughed blood. I begged them to let me go. Let me out. I wasn’t the bad one. I wasn’t anything but a girl, lonely, scared, locked in her mind with only her demons for company. They never listened.
They never cared.
I was broken.
That night, my soul was so raw from the betrayal, my demons sprang out from me.
They knelt to me; cowered from me, afraid.
But they asked me how they could serve me.
I told them to find the ones who locked me in here. Find them, and show them the pain and terror I’d endured my whole life.
I remember my laughter as the asylum rang with dying screams; as the haven for all tortured souls became the hell of those who put us here.
I remembered how just it felt; being the nightmare I finally embraced.

Author: Lara Meone Savine
Twitter: @LoonyMoonyLara

Magical Things #200WT Edition

Wow. This is such an exciting day!
I could scream! I literally could SCREAM!
I have to say, life and work is a balance so often lost in the mires of mediocrity and sometimes, it’s like a mud that drags your feet down deeper and deeper and one can’t escape it all the time but … that said, to counter it, there are just days, just events that come to pass that completely banish away the tiredness that sometimes feels so overwhelming. And those days are such a joy!
This hasn’t been an easy beginning of the year, but a day like today is filled with hope, full of excitement and things that really feel like it’s propelling your cause further in life.
My wonderful day is the beginning of the #MyFPNominee Project over on Twitter for the next month, wherein we nominate our favourite author for interviews every Monday for the rest of 2018. It’s going to be huge and exciting, and I can’t wait to share a bigger, more involved and engaging Musae Mosaic with all of you.
In case you haven’t yet seen or heard of #MyFPNominee, everything you need to know is in this link.
#200WT today is one of the reasons why after a hard beginning to the year, the light is finally beginning to shine through. It’s a day of sharing and storytelling, and to us, what could be more perfect, right? 🙂
Today signifies more than a clean slate, or a new beginning, it’s a concrete feeling of finally being on the right track with things in life. And I have a feeling that just as #200WT today will surely be a huge success, tomorrow, the day after, and the lifetime henceforth will be magical one.
And we want to thank you for being part of it 🙂
In honor of that sentiment … allow us to present the Magical Things #200WT Edition!

The Austrian pt 1

By Thomas Thayer 

The gun weighed like an anchor dragging a derelict to the lake bottom. Yet he could lift it. He manipulated it stoically, feeling the index finger of his left hand on the trigger, the molded caress of the sandalwood inset on the grip, the icy steel of the barrel winking back at him from a few inches away. That wink meant one thing. Choose.

Davis placed the unregistered deathbringer on the dash of his car and took another long draw from a half-full bottle of Crown. Halfway to hammered and handling a hot handgun ain’t smart, bud, he thought. But he also thought Fuck it, this shit ends tonight one way or another. He smiled at the thought of an end – a road diverging in the mist, with no idea what lay beyond. Do I go right.. or left?

“Well whatcha do is you walk right in thurr an’ bussa cap in that mothertrucker,” he slurred. Mr. Crown’s waking up and he thinks he has the answers. But Mr. Crown ain’t the one who’s 80k deep in hoc to a bookie with bad manners.

Davis knew it. He also knew if he didn’t merc buddy tonight, he’d be dead tomorrow.

The Austrian pt 2

He eyed the cannon again and again between swigs. There’s a bullet in there with a name on it. Davis knew it. He polished off the last of Mr. Crown, tossed the empty into the backseat, grabbed the metal from the dash and exited the 80s automoboat. Caprice Classics, man, they don’t make ‘em like these anymore.

He tucked the gun into a concealed padded pocket in his winter jacket and made for the side door of the bookie’s establishment. The pawn shop was quiet. 2 a.m. will do that, but he knew the Austrian would be awake in his office counting his day’s take. He also knew that the Austrian would have one or two heavies around to stand watch in case any funny business sparked off. This was going to have to be quick and dirty, but if executed correctly, he’d be able to slip away easily. He rapped the entrance code on the side door – Two-quick, three-long, four-quick, one – and held his breath for a response. Latches began to slowly click open on the inside of the steel door.

“Game time,” he whispered to himself. “One way or another, it’s time to wipe the slate clean.”

The Austrian pt 3

Two heavies. The Mario Brothers. You can’t make this shit up. Italian FOBs with forged documentation both named Mario, no relation. Both 6-and-a-half-plus and borderline 300. Mario #1 let Davis into the narrow corridor while Mario #2 felt him up for any funny business. Finding none, Davis smiled inwardly. It was a good thing because as he was turning down the corridor, #2 pinned him against the wall and placed one fat cannelloni finger in his face.

“No funny business,” he warned in heavy Italian. Davis gave an imperceptible nod and was ushered down to a door with a wooden name plate. There was no name, though. Just an outline of the political boundaries of a county. Austria. Buddy’s got ego.

#1 lifted a lunchbox of a hand and rapped on the door before entering slowly. The room was small and surprisingly austere. An outsider would never know that the Austrian was running a bookie and fentanyl ring out of here. But that was kind of the point.

“Leave him,” the Austrian said without looking up. Davis slipped away from the heavies into a corner of the room as the Mario Brothers turned to leave.

That’s when things went sideways.

The Austrian pt 4

The Mario Brothers didn’t expect the gun. They had patted him down and everything and were usually very thorough, but the custom pocket in the bulky jacket hid the shape and weight of the cannon perfectly. They had their backs to Davis as he wheeled around, peeled the gun from inside his right breast and blasted two shots a piece into the backs of the Italians. There was definitely a bullet in there with a name on it.

The Austrian’s eyes widened in horror. The carnage, it was unfathomable but real all the same and there was nothing he could do to slow the momentum. #1 was slumped awkwardly against the doorframe, struggling to breathe while #2 was half in the hallway in a pool. Very dead.

Davis held the gun steadily in his left hand, smile spreading across his stubbly face as he slowly shifted his gaze to the Austrian. “Alright, mothertrucker. You’re next.”

The Austrian moved to reach for the top drawer of his desk which held a sawed-off pump shotgun but was stopped immediately by a warning shot punching through the top of the desk. That’s when Davis heard another bang and felt his side heat up.

The Austrian pt 5

A white hot agony ripped through his right rib cage and it was suddenly harder to breathe. Mario #1 had been mortally wounded, yes, but not dead, and he had managed to free his .38 and put a bullet between two of Davis’ ribs into his right lung. Davis shifted his attention to #1 for a split-second so he could finish the job, but this left the Austrian free to retrieve his own boomstick.

Suddenly, Davis knew his plan was cooked, just as he was. Turning back, he saw an ominous sight. Two stubby barrels of a gunmetal grey shotgun levelled directly at his face. A cold sweat rippled across his back and down his legs as he clutched his right arm to his wounded right side ever tighter.

“Who’s the mothertrucker n– ,” the Austrian started but was unable to finish. He had intended to splatter the rear wall with Davis’ grey matter as he finished the question but the gun wouldn’t fire. Davis promptly regained composure and levelled his own pistol again. His warning shot had blown away the trigger mechanism on the Austrian’s shotty. The Austrian knew.

“Okay,” Davis coughed. “You’re coming outside with me. Let’s go.”

The Austrian pt 6

Davis’ plan was toast. He had intended to waste the Austrian with the gun he had stolen earlier from his pawn shop. He would’ve been able to sneak away; the gloves he wore would protect from print identification. But Mario #1 had shot that to shit. Literally.

Davis forced the Austrian through the backdoor and onto the sidewalk. 2 a.m. Dead calm. His cough was worse now. Every hack produced blood. Mortal wound. Little time. Davis pulled out a burner phone.

“I’m gonna make a call and– “ He coughed loudly and buckled. Searing pain ripped through his abdomen and yet, he managed to keep the gun on the Austrian’s back. “ –and then I’m gonna end this.”

Davis dialed three soft beeps: “Hello … yes, I’d like to report a murder… white male, early 40s, shot to the head, non-responsive… Dundas and Richmond.”

The Austrian heard the click of the phone. It was quiet. He knew what was next. Or so he thought. But then, inexplicably, Davis forced the gun into the Austrian’s hand then quickly retracted it. He stepped back two paces and levelled at his own temple.

There’s a bullet in here with a name on it.

Author: Thomas Thayer
Twitter: @TCThay3r

A Touch of Spring

 By Lara Savine

The picture of serenity … nature the way the poets envisioned it, gentle and sweet.
But amidst all blossoming words and sentiments, lingered the subtle bite of menace and foreboding. And though my garden was awash with flowers, sweet as peals of a child’s laughter, menace lurked amidst the delphiniums.
I smiled serenely, my sarong barely covering the full flesh of a new season on my body.
I picked up his finger. It was so fresh, it still bled and I gave it forth to earth as it nourished his fading life.
What the mortals thought of as beautiful was violent. Changing seasons, every year a new successor and now, as the last winter was dying, his body was repurposed into spring.
Poetic. But violent.
‘Fascinating, isn’t it?’ I whispered, heedless of his blood-soaked sighs, limbs littering his living grave. ‘That life is born out of death, and where the icicle dies, the flower survives. I, too, will die someday, give way to the summering suns … funny that I actually yearn for it …’
I stroked his mutilated face.
‘I pity you. It was your misfortune that I am who I am,’ I whispered. ‘Misfortune that I was chosen to reap you. You Seasons all say spring, oh spring, be she so gentle! Spring, be she so sweet!’ I sighed, the world around me glowing in blood-red light. ‘You never remember that spring murders winter, and for once … Spring just took a few millennia to enjoy it.”

Author: Lara Meone Savine
Twitter: @LoonyMoonyLara 

Clean Slate

By Marj

“Take the cloth, woman. Clean it. It has to be spotless.”

He pointed at the floor.

She bent down, wobbling before her knees touched the floor. Her arthritis made her wince. The cold stone, harsh and unforgiving, mocked her as she started to rub. He could not have thought of a more painful punishment for her.

Time passed. Tendons screeched as she moved down the hall. Tears fell as each movement crushed her will. This was what it was all about. This was the payback for all her sins. How she hated him!

Standing at the back, he watched her. He wasn’t without a heart, in spite of what she thought. Each tear that dripped down, each crunch of bone against bone, each rub of the cloth punished him as well. She had to acknowledge her sins and beg for forgiveness. There was no other way of expiation: it had to be this way.

At last she finished.

“I’m done” she murmured as she collapsed.

“Yes, you are. Thank you. Your sins are…. forgiven.”

She turned her head to look at him one last time.

“Clean slate?”

He nodded. One last sigh and he closed her eyes with his hand.

Author: Marj
Twitter: @whithernow

Down to earth

By Lady Stabdagger

This was amazing; she was getting such a rush. Carrie felt absolutely weightless and she was enjoying every minute of it. She was so happy Julia agreed to come with her or she might have changed her mind at the last minute. Just the sheer sensations she was feeling at the moment was enough to convince her she had made the right choice. She would definitely do this again. It felt like she was flying. Closing her eyes for a moment she could almost imagine herself to have wings, flapping them up and down, gliding through the clouds. She imagined herself being able to fly all over the world. First she imagined herself a swan gracefully taking flight over lakes and rivers. Her imagination took over; now she was a witch defying the laws of gravity, the very elements at her every command. One thing Carrie excelled at was her overactive imagination. It could take her places her books never could; one day she would write her own stories full of all manner of magical things, but for now she would enjoy flying. Julia shouted out to her but with the wind rushing through her ears she couldn’t hear what was being said. Her dreams came to an abrupt end. Lost in her imagination, Carrie forgot to open her parachute.

Author: Lady Stabdagger
Twitter: @ladystabdagger

A Fresh Start

By Larysia Woropay

Hot water fogged up the shower’s glass, obscuring the feminine figure behind it. She sighed, craning her neck as rivulets ran down her chest. She grabbed the soap and vigorously lathered.

Suds met blood too tenacious for water alone. She scrubbed her skin, knowing she’d have to bleach the tub. The floors. The walls. Maybe tear up the carpet. Replace it.

Not that it mattered.

The house was hers now.

But it might prove suspicious to do the “renovations” anytime too soon. She’d just have to be thorough until the coast was clear.

Her muscles eased under the spray of water. She had been so tense. Feral. She launched at him in a craze, her hand rising and falling with the knife. It felt like a fever dream.

But it had happened.

He was shocked she did something this time. This would be her last black eye. Still, she’d rather not be charged. She wasn’t getting manslaughter because she fought back for once! No. This was her fresh start. He simply “left” her. Vanished. Men did it all the time.

Even though his body was currently slumped over downstairs.




She started, then wiped the fogged glass. Heart racing, she reminded herself dead men couldn’t walk.

But what she saw proved otherwise.

Author: Larysia Woropay
Twitter: @Larysia

A New Day

By Kieron Circuit

It’s a new day. That’s what I tell myself every morning.
It’s a struggle to open my eyes, not because of tiredness, but to delay the start of a day I know will look and smell like the rest. I repeat my mantra with steady breathing, breaking my concentration briefly to wonder when getting out of bed became such a big thing. Where did my enthusiasm go? I lie here zestless, devoid of zest.
I roll from the mattress onto the floor. I decided a short time ago for some irrational reason that the bed was too high.
My routine is in fact, too routine and I scoff at myself in bathroom mirror. I want to embrace change but I’m afraid, yet I don’t know what I’m afraid of. Every new day is a challenge. The hands of the clock move at the same steady speed as the day progresses. There will be more tomorrows, more chances to change, more opportunities to reset and try this ‘living’ thing again.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll wave to my neighbour, baby steps and all that. I stifle the voice that tells me I’m kidding myself, bullied by my own internal monologue.
When it’s night again I can allow the darkness to swallow me whole, bath in its blackness. It’s my only relief.

Author: Kieron Circuit
Twitter: @callow_explorer

#MyFPNominee Guidelines and Information

Hello, and welcome to the #MyFPNominee Project page!

So why does Monday have to be all so terrible, right? For some years now, we’ve been running the Monday Author Interview program and sharing it with a worldwide audience to kind of alleviate the horror of a Monday.
And we want that to grow and grow, and now … now we can!

We know! 🙂

Nominating Authors:

From the 16th of January to the 16th of February, we have launched a little game. The idea is to select up to 48 authors and more for future #MondayAuthorInterviews on the magazine, and bring together more people in the beautiful Musae Mosaic Community. The bigger it is, the more authors we can reach, the more magic there is to share, and this is nothing but full of joy and benefit for all.

For the #MyFPNominee Project, we are asking you, the Musae Mosaic Community and everyone else this project can reach, to nominate your selected author in a tweet to @MusaeMosaic. You can also save this media banner onto your device and add it to your nomination tweet.

You can select and nominate as many authors as you desire, and help get the word out about this month-long project as well.
Any author nominee with 20 and above Likes on their nomination tweet will be added to the list of 48 and more authors to feature throughout the year of 2018 and even beyond 🙂

To nominate your selected authors, tweet your authors name and handle to @MusaeMosaic, with why you find this author so inspiring and why you’d love to see their name on the magazine!

You can even nominate yourself, in the same fashion! 🙂

Please note that only one author per nomination tweet is acceptable. We want to give all authors their own gorgeous tweet to shine in!

Every nomination will be retweeted, and shared and we will share the highest Liked nominees at the end of every day 🙂
Remember, 20 Likes and above, and your nominated author, (AND EVEN YOU!) will be added to the list.

To Nominated Authors: If your nomination goes above and beyond 20 Likes, DM us your email and we will send you a letter with the guidelines and questions to your interview. You can Like and RT your own nomination, because we think you’re awesome and we want to know about you like anything! 🙂
If for any reason, you do not wish to join the #MondayAuthorInterview program, you are more than welcome to decline. No hard feelings! In the end, it’s all for fun and we just want you to have as much of it as possible 🙂

For Suggesting Questions:

You will also have the ability to choose new questions for the revised standard interviews, and to do so, simply use the hashtag #MyFPNominee and in brackets add #FP Question.


Your question here.
(#FP Question)

Again, the question suggestion with 20 Likes and above will make the list. If you have any further questions, we are just a DM away and we welcome any input and ideas!
This will be running for a month, but the power of the creativity and community together, we can do some seriously cool things!
So nominate your authors, as many of them as you can, and as many times as you want. Even yourself. ESPECIALLY YOURSELF!
And share this all over, because we want to share all of this with you. We want to share the magical thing creativity and community can do. It’s our biggest dream for Musae Mosaic, and with your help, we can make this dream come true in a huge and wonderful way!
So hit that heart as many times as you can, and nominate until all we run out of authors in the world! 🙂
Thank you for always being so amazing and supportive with Musae Mosaic.
We wouldn’t have come this far without you!

The Musae Mosaic Team,

Get Ready to Get Going!

Hellooooo, world and … Happy Monday!
I don’t know if such a thing as a happy Monday exists, but if it does, a very Happy Monday to you all. I hope it’s a good, strong and mega-productive week and that the crap stays at an all time low!
We never know, it can happen!
We wanted to talk to ya’ll about something.
In the last three years, we’ve been having an on-going thing with interviews and getting to really know our community of amazing people. It’s been the most remarkable and rewarding thing, to just dig in there and find out more about these awesome people we know as friends and so much more …
And we aren’t about to stop, buuut … we just figured, you know, we want to ask you whom you wanna get to know on this interview program. We wanted to share the ability to choose authors to be featured on this magazine and we want to use it to expand the community and what we do on Musae Mosaic. It’s all an integral thing and we were always a community driven project. We want you to have more of a say in it, more of a helping hand in forging the new path this magazine will without a doubt undertake.

In the next few weeks and months, not only will this initiative grow and include more, but it will be taking on new forms as well, as we, the GRAY Girls, further our mission to give voice, confidence and so much more to authors, aspiring and achieving, all around the world.
And we want it to basically begin here!
So. Here’s the challenge.
Here’s the dare.
We want you, the Musae Mosaic community, to nominate as many authors you want for the Musae Mosaic Interview Program. As many authors, whether they’ve been interviewed before or not, the nomination is yours!
You can even nominate YOURSELF!
Tweet it to @MusaeMosaic with the hashtag #MyFPNominee, and tweet it with why you want this author to be interviewed, what you love about them and what stands out about them! The tweet with above 20 Likes wins and your nominated author will be put on our list!

You can also, with the same hashtag #MyFPNominee, add questions you would like to have added to the standard #FP Interview list and the most insightful questions, again with above 20 Likes, will be added. (Only up to 8 and maximum 10 new questions will be added to the list.)
To add a question to the list, tweet it to @MusaeMosaic with the hashtag and #FP Question in brackets.


Your question here.

(#FP Question)

This little competition will run from the 16th of January to the 16th of February. One whole month. Let’s see if in one month, we can get enough authors in on this program to last us the year!
To last the entire year, on this community integration initiative, we will need approximately 48 authors to fill every Monday there is, with the exception of New Years Eve.
Hit that little heart as much as you possibly can, even on your own name!
We want to hear from you. We want to know about you.
We want you to be the tile we can’t live without on the huge, wonderful mosaic that makes this magazine strong, beautiful, bright and inclusive. Without you, there’s a hole in it and only you can make that tile as amazing as it is.
Please share this post wherever you can, and join in this challenge from 16th Jan to 16th Feb.
You can be the reason why an author you love finds a place to sing their song in this great, super connected day and age.
So nominate your authors.
We will be here to welcome them.

Fantasia #200WT Edition

After weeks and months of no #200WT … today is a personal victory for me. Despite the huge thunderstorms we had that knocked the electricity out!
It would have been a nightmare, to let something as loved as 200 Word Tuesdays. This was the beautiful creation of @ReeDwithaBee, and entrusted to us, and now it’s part of Musae Mosaic …and it wouldn’t be the same without it. There would be a hollowness nothing we could do would fill.
For a while back there, I thought there would be no saving it. I really thought it would be one of the things I had to farewell in this New Year and here we are, still endeavoring to be stronger than ever, dedicated to what we love.
This is wonderful!
This feels right, because the art of conserving and sustaining art is impassion, even when it’s like looking through a rose tainted window on an empty world. Even when it feels like there’s nothing there. A blind faith in something that feels as though it’s fading, this is what renewed my enthusiasm in #200WT. That if I continued, I would see it thrive again. And that brings us to today, where even with a small start, there is more love and hope for this program than ever before.
And so I’d like to say thank you to each and every one of you who has participated today and in all the #200WT Editions past. Thank you for sharing your words and keeping us going, throughout the ravages of real life, and so on. Thank you for believing in us enough to share your words through our little operation here.
Every step of this journey would have been impossible without you.
Thank you for everything. We won’t stop this journey, not for any impediment in its path.
And with that said and done, I present to you … the Fantasia #200WT Edition!


By Stabdagger Junior

Chapter 1: The Northumbrian Landing.

In Northumbria 866 AD, my ship ended its long voyage at the shores of Northumbria, not too far off Hadrian’s wall. We set up a camp and waited for the other ships to arrive at the shore lines. It was but 4 days later that we received notice from the second ship that the other three of the five ships had been lost and taken by the storm. We carried on our journey to a nearby Anglo-Saxon village. We gave no warning, and attacked. Their defence was a disrespect to our power. They put up a decent fight, but heeded the first few minutes of our attack; calling their men to arms, at too late a time. We had already ransacked most of the homes and killed their people. It was too late for them to win, but they did not retreat. Instead they were stupid, yet not cowardly; they stood, they fought, they died. But as true men, not as weak boys. We took the village and fortified it. We left some men behind to take care of the place, whilst me and the others set out to make more homes for our kin. We went onward to battle again. I hold this amulet that my wife has bestowed upon me. For good luck.

Chapter 2: The York Preparations.

We soon found more of our men who had landed by the shores of Mercia. We set foot North and prepared for battle. Our leaders, Halfdan and Ivar The Boneless, lead us into battle with care. We set up camp just ouside of what we now call “York”. They devised a battle strategy, in which I helped as i was valued for my tactical prowess in battle and my ability to improvise a plan to get my men out of any situation. We agreed that we should attack on the 1st day of the 11th month. All Saints Day, one of the great festivals in York. This gave us an advantage as most people were open to have our swords staked through their guts and arrows burrowed into their heads. We stayed put, hidden from the enemy line. They did not suspect a thing. We made sure that our weapons were in fine condition, and our spirits just as sharp as our swords. Little did we know that this was going to be a hard battle to win. We made more preparations over the days and had our men training. We continued to devise a strategic formation for our kin. I prepare myself for the coming days and pin the amulet around my neck. For hope.

Chapter 3: The Invasion of York.

At last, the 1st came and we set foot for York. We attacked with haste and made sure to protect all of our numbers. The enemy were very much surprised with our method of attacking, as they’d heard many rumours of how we usually fight. We flooded the gate with the blood of our foes and charged forward. Then we went all out blood shedding crazy. We were an unstoppable force. Thor cast a storm o’er the battle field and gave us strength. After a short time the enemies still stood strong. It was a bloody good battle if I hadn’t seen one before. I took a moment to admire the pure beauty of the world around me; but it wasn’t what I thought it was. I looked behind myself and saw that there were many ally bodies lying there. Weaklings. I looked forth and took up arms alongside my kin, Ivar The Boneless. It was hours before we started to hear the sound of dying men and screaming families silence itself. We continued forth and fought with all our might. They knew in their hearts that there was no defence that could withstand Vikings. Ren Skønhed, pure beauty. I cleanse the blood off of the amulet. For purity.

Chapter 4: Danelaw.

The battle was won, at last. We burnt their bodies and let the smoke head towards the south of Mercia. We later received news that one of our fortifications had failed in Wessex. Twas a mere distraction. We had taken the strong point of the English North. We now owned Northumbria and Mercia; but not completely. They had still managed to hold off certain villages from our ultimate forces because of the shortage of men. We lost many good souls, but weak ones. I was instructed to stay in York and protect it from invaders. Others set foot for East Anglia and Wessex to finish off what our other kin could not. From there was a lot of blood and ale. More ships were lost in the storm, and we wonder why the Gods took them. We held York for a year. And now, I, Beowolf, stand to defend York against the ones whom I took York from. It should be a blodig smuk kamp, bloody beautiful battle. However, my age has worn onto me and I’m most likely not going to see the end of this moment. I clutch my dead wife’s amulet and stand ready to fight. “Charge!”
Now the amulet… is shattered. And my cold corpse lays dead. In death do we part.

Author: Stabdagger jr
Twitter: @Stabdagger_Jr


By Thomas Thayer

A young man in a white labcoat lifted a small beaker of a clear liquid in front of his bespeckled face. His coworker, beard obscuring a narrow jawline, began to speak and a conversation ensued:

Labcoat: “Now THIS is impressive stuff!”
Beard: “Verdict?”
Labcoat: “This is definitely the purest shale gasoline ever harvested on the continent.”
Beard: “Actual clean slate. Whodathunkit?”
Labcoat: “Yessir. Once Operations are informed that focusing on shale deposits with critical slate composition garner pure shale gas, they will revolutionize fracking by cleaning the refining process.”
Beard: “That’s cool, but what about all of the chemicals used in the process itself? –“

Labcoat placed the beaker beside his workstation, took off his glasses, and proceeded to massage his furrowed brow.

Beard: “–It’s a multisyllabic cornucopia of unknown consequences. Did you hear about that farmer from Wyoming who set his tapwater on fire?”
Labcoat: “Lies.”
Beard: “Or about the increased cancer rates due to proximity of frack ops?”
Labcoat: “Fake news.”
Beard: “But it was docum-“
Labcoat: “Planted by environmental groups to further their cause.”
Beard: “What about the earthqua– ”

The ground shook noticeably for about three seconds.

Labcoat: “Just shut up and take your bonus.”

Author: Thomas Thayer
Twitter: @TCThay3r

In the dark hours

By Becky Spence

After midnight I stare. Into a mirror. Into another me. I see you, my broken reflection, cracked. The glass smooth as ice. I touch the surface, unblemished. Yet in shattered glass you’re there. Caught in a gleam. A hint of a dream. Behind you dusky mountains, a sun that burns hot, that stings at my face. Here on my landing, stood barefoot on the carpet I touch my cheek raging red. I know the scent of the meadow. The taste of the wind. The sound of the waves in the great oceans of Ophin.

I close my eyes, sit knees held tight. I’m here. In my home. My landing. My stairs. Yet I know these things. Though I don’t know you. Night after night I’m drawn. Into the world through the mirror. The world I cannot touch.

Seasons move, colours dance. Red to yellow, brown to grey. A crisp white that blinds as the snow falls. You grow closer, never changing, moving to the foreground in stop motion. You have my scar, my speckled eyes. Our hands reach out. Fingers stretched, inches and a world apart. I touch the glass. Fall away. Into the mirror, broken dreams.

We are one and you are free.

Author: Becky Spence
Twitter: @bex_spence

The Mouth

By Lara Meone Savine

She leaned against one such wall, plastered in psychedelic graffiti, staring musingly at the slime slathered ground.
She didn’t move. Not even when the man staggered by into the alley.
And she breathed in, tasting the wine, whiskey and cheap sex scented aura he left in his wake. Good meal, she thought.
The underbelly of the city was starving. It hadn’t fed since the plague, and it was hungry. The Mouth liked new flavors, these sweet, salty fresh reprobates, gorged upon a diet of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
She followed him in.
‘Got time for a bite?’ she said cheerfully, gripping the huge silver skewer behind her back.
‘Whaa –uuugh!’ he began incredulously, and ended choking, his vital organs flooding with blood. It trickled out of his mouth as he stood there, impaled against the stone, a vast blue gratified mouth behind him.
‘Time for a bite?’ she asked again, eyes flickering to the Mouth.
The wall rumbled with dark, soft, laughter.
And the Mouth’s comical tongue flicked the dead man’s blood, the ground shuddering. Its painted jowls gaped; the metalwork in the building forged itself into teeth, tearing into sin-soaked flesh, the symphony of tearing meat and metal screeching, sprays of blood decorating its lips …
The tongue licked it off, tatters of skin hanging from the teeth, grinning.
‘It was delicious.’
The wall rumbled and closed, brick by brick, painted mouth resuming its everlasting smirk, burying the remains of its meal under the foundations of the city.
‘Until breakfast, then,’ she said. ‘Goodnight, baby!’

Author: Lara Meone Savine
Twitter: @LoonyMoonyLara

Leap Day

 By Thomas Thayer 

“I’m sorry, but we have to let you go.” The HR rep didn’t even want to make eye contact. Neither did his bosses. He had asked them multiple times over the course of the weeks leading up to the meeting about his fate with no response. “You’ll do great things. This is just a speed bump.”

Yeah. Speed bump.

One’s speed bump is another’s ramp into the stratosphere, he thought. He shook hands with the figures around the table – luke-warm sentiment as far as common business practices go – and promptly stepped out into a damp streetscape.

He was oddly relieved. Losing your job and sole source of income should have been shocking. It should have induced some form of panic. What will I do now? How will I make ends meet? How do I explain this to my wife? All valid questions, but accompanied by no alarm.

This was the quintessential clean slate. His mind pinged with opportunity and anticipation. New adventures and chances to learn and grow beckoned down the road and this was just the ticket.

The bus rolled up and stopped. The doors swung open.

It was a February afternoon. Leap day. Your speed bump is my….

Author: Thomas Thayer
Twitter: @TCThay3r