Underdog Edited by Tobias Madden | Spoiler-Free Book Review

Heyo Bookaholics!

Absolutely Stunning!

Hands down the best anthology I have had the pleasure of reading. I wanted so badly to read a continuation of all of these stories, and I hope so so much, to hear more from these twelve wonderful authors.

Blurb:

Short tales from the Australian writers of tomorrow.

#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenage readers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.

Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation's culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA.

Stories are written by 12 unpublished authors from all over our wonderful country of Australia. You can find my post on the Underdog Book Launch in the link or by searching it on my blog.

REVIEW!

Since this anthology wasn’t centred around a specific theme other than the prompt “your Australia,” which is really really vague, I will briefly review a few stories and talk about the feel of the novel overall. I also want to point out that I will be choosing stories that hit me hard and that I felt the deep urge to read more from. I loved every story I read in this anthology and cherished those few pages I got to spend with each character, knowing it’s probably the last.

Meet and Greet by Michael Earp – This is the cutest meet-cute story that I have ever had the pleasure of reading! It is every book lover’s dream to have a situation where they find love or at least a cute human at a book event. Finding someone who cherishes the same passion that you do is a beautiful passionate connection that ignites something in the heart.

Chemical Expression by Jes Layton – I find it hard to believe that in this day and age of new and wonderful contemporary fiction in the 21st century, that I have yet to read a story with a gender queer main character. To be honest, maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong location but I am so so glad that Jes has been given the chance to shine and put her wonderful human beans out there in the world! You can read my interview with Jes Layton on my blog by clicking this link.

The Bees by Stacey Malacari – These haunting few pages tells us the story of what would happen if we keep ignoring global warming, denying its existence and leading to an earth-shattering event. The results would be catastrophic.

Living Rose by Kaneana May – The last story, and the one I most connected with. I saw so many aspects of myself in the character of Rose. I try to be a carefree woman in a busy world full of expectations. Where there are so many things going on – uni, work, assignments, etc – but people rarely take time to live!

I want to read more of these stories, and if I cannot, then I want more from all of these authors!! So I hope that in the future I see their names on novels displayed on the shelves of book stores like Dymocks, and I get the opportunity to attend their launches and celebrate with them.

Imma go now and fangirl over Lucifer and Chloe as I re-watch the series in time for season four to be on out on Netflix in May!

★ Rating ★

I rated this book a ★★★★★ (5/5 stars) for obvious reasons. It’s beautifully written; it’s Australian; it’s modern; and best of all, it has given new and upcoming writers their chance to shine. This book allowed people to be able to put the label published author on their resume, and opened doors for all 12 of these wonderful people to continue gifting their talent to the world!

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What’s your favourite Underdog story? xx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.
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Cute OTP Story Prompts (SW#26)

Heyo Bookaholics!

Beating the Writer’s Block!

Inspired by tumblr text posts that are seen all over social networking sites and usually appear unwarranted and when you least expect them. They’re always so cute, angsty, and just overall adorable figments of the writer’s imagination.

I know that reading other people’s OTP story prompts has helped me clear my writer’s block and inspired me to write, so I hope that my little mismatched ideas do the same.

Feel free to use these as story prompts or one-shot ideas, maybe even make them into a story of your own! Please credit me if you do and pretty please link me to your story because I’d love to read it 🙂

CUTE STORY PROMPTS!

* Person A is lying on their back on the bed, holding the phone up to the ceiling and ignoring the pain in their arms. ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ is playing on the screen. Person B is standing at the foot of the bed, out of sight, twirling a ring between their fingers teeth clenched and shoulders tense. “Hey.” Person B scares Person A into dropping the phone onto their nose. “I have a question.” Person A sits up, concerned by the shake in their lover’s voice. B takes a deep breath; “Do you want to pick out a dress too?” “I’m more of a suit kinda person.” A laughs out a reply, which dies out as they watch Person B drop to their knee holding up a simple gold ring with small markings around it.

* Person A bites their fingernails and this bothers Person B, so Person B offers to paint Person A’s nails. They take two hours trying to make it perfect, doing nail art, gradients, watching YouTube videos; yet the nails turn out so so ugly! Person A is so overwhelmed by love and promises to keep the painting in perfect condition for as long as possible, layering on excessive clear coat polish to seal off the artwork. Person A forces themselves to stop nail biting and keeps the polish on for weeks until it begins to crack, and peel, but Person B repaints them.

* Person B hurries out of the rain and into their house to find Person A wrapped in a blanket lying on the couch. Person B creeps up alongside the couch and crawl on top, wrapping their arms around their significant other. The two lie there all night, finally rising when they cannot discern their stomach rumbles from the storm outside.

* Person A is staring lazily into the oven, watching their cake rise and Person B comes up behind, scaring Person A into turning around and thrusting a bunch of wild Daisies in their face. The tiny flowers held ridiculously between Person B’s thumb and forefinger.

* Person B wakes up to Person A tapping their face lightly and singing along to the rhythm alternatively Person B wakes up to Person A softly running a make-up brush up and down their face.

* Person A and B are standing side-by-side brushing their teeth in front of the mirror. That’s it.

* Person A is throwing pillows around the bedroom, mad about something. Person B can hear the noise from the kitchen and goes about lighting all the candles in the vicinity, opening a packet of chips and turning on Harry Potter, listening as Person A makes a different noise: feet pattering across the hallway.

Did you enjoy these? This is my first attempt at this and now my brain is fried. Goodnight xx
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If you happen to use any of these ideas, please give me credit xxx

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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Over Her Face (SW#23) – Short Story

Heyo Bookaholics!

It’s been busy.

Once upon a time, there was a King who had two sons. One was tall with long blonde hair and broad shoulders. His name was Tristan. The other son was shorter, older with cropped chestnut brown hair, and the beginnings of a beard forming around his jaw.

The King was content with his heirs. Two respectable young men who could hold their own in a battle. He raised them all on his own, with a little help from the maiden who lived within the castle, but she was a lowly peasant and would not be given credit for anything.

It came a time where the men must choose a wife. A woman on the throne appeased the people of the kingdom and helped the men keep up appearances. The King held a contest: Bachelor style. The pressure was on for the oldest son, Tristan to find a respectable, well presented, noble wife to rule beside him when his father passed on the kingdom.

The youngest son didn’t have the same expectations over his head. So little rested in his hands, his name wasn’t even known by those of the kingdom. Everyone presumed that he would be killed in a battle before he could collect his first tithe. Let me tell you, friends, to never underestimate those who are lesser, even if they are above yourself. Remember their names because they will remember yours.

The day the women arrived, they were followed each by a servant of both male and female orientations. The Tristan and his brother stared out into the courtyard from the window high up in the castle, watching the women shoo away their fussing mothers, and accept last goodbyes from their fathers who pushed the servants along behind their daughters.

Tristan smiled at it all, scanning the eligible bachelorettes for a face that he would like to wake up to every morning. A face that would represent the kingdom in the years to come. Someone who would age gracefully with him. The youngest son just starred.

Lips pursed together, he held back a scowl at this nonsense; they were never going to find love this way. Buth their father didn’t want love for them, nor happiness. He just wanted heirs and a for the kingdom to remain in his family. Foolish really, the younger brother thought. Would all mean nothing when he is dead?

The boys stood and watched until all the women had entered the castle. Their rooms had been set up by handmaidens provided by the King himself. Only the best for his sons’ future wife.

“Let us refresh. We will meet the ladies for dinner.” The King spoke from behind them. Hope resonated in his deep voice as he clapped a hand on each of his sons’ shoulder and squeezed. Again the younger brother tried his best not to wince or flinch and stayed positive for his father’s sake.

“Yes, lets.” Tristan replied joyously, flashing a mischievous smile at his brother before calling for a guard to escort them down to their temporary lodging.

The trio followed five armed men through the castle. Bridges connected each wing of the castle and spanned across the top of the main ballroom, with staircases leading to the upper and lower rooms. Making it to the top-most floor in the east wing, the King and his sons were greeted by servants who knelt at their feet and pledged their allegiance to the King current and future. The current King had ensured that their three rooms were heavily guarded and away from the guests and were well stocked with servants of course.

The youngest son took in his room and wasn’t sure whether to be happy or angry. Someone had gone through his room at home and brought over his treasure box. He touched the lid of the carved wooden box and did a quick visual sweep of his room to make sure there were no unexpected guests, before lifting it.

He placed the lid on the floor beside the box and frantically shuffled through the contents to ensure nothing had been moved or removed. No one knew what was in here, not even Tristan. He pulled out letter after letter after letter, reading the dates and counting them in his head. 27 in total. A few flower petals and blades of grass fell out with the letters and the younger brother smiled.

Those nights in another garden. Lying on the grass, exchanging letters and reading them out to each other in soft low voices. The forbidden love that existed in more mediums than it should. Now he would be forced to marry another. A woman at that.

A knock sounded at the door and Tristan’s voice drifted through the cracks.

“Brother? Are you ready? Dinner is soon.” He heard Tristan’s hand on the handle, the grinding as it turned.

“No, I am not ready brother! Please stay outside.” He tried to keep the rustling down and was sure his voice hid his most of his fanatic rush to hide the letters. The wood and paper staining red and green as he shoved in the flowers and grass on top. A sharp scrapping sound echoed around the room and Tristan spoke again.

“Brother is everything okay?” The younger brother looked at the box safely under his bed and smiled.

“Yes, brother.” He replied. Straightened out his clothed, slapped on a smile and stood in front of the door turning the nob. “I am ready.” Tristan looked like a King already. He deserved it truly. Standing there in the most regal blue coat, all he needed was the right crown atop his head and he could move mountains with his charm.

“Let’s meet the ladies.”

“Lets.” Tristan grabbed his brother’s arm, leading him down to the dining hall where 15 noble women sat all beautifully groomed and dressed up, expecting to be the wives of the King’s sons.

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I had so so much fin writing this!!! What did you think??

Would you like to see a continuation of this?

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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A snippet of my novel, The Inversion! (SW#22)

Heyo Bookaholics!

I love sharing things about the book I’m writing and today I give you all something special! A snippet/ flashback from one of the characters in the novel!

Currently Chapter 19

NO ONE BUT Vince knew about the kiss. They were as close of friends as anyone else in the group. She’d told him to be at her house at exactly 5pm so they would make it to the party on time, joking that she’d leave without him if he was late.

It was five to five when Norelle heard a knock at the door of her house and grabbing the keys off of the hook she prepared herself to playfully scold Vince for being late, a smile complementing the day-dreamy look in her eyes.

She swung the door open and opened her mouth but stopped short of saying anything because they’re on her porch stood a beautiful girl, a braided halo of gold wrapped around her head and pearls of blue hung from her ears catching the light from the house.

When she spoke, her voice sounded like warm milk before bed, smooth and silken. “I thought I’d take you up on that offer.” Every thought disappeared from Norelle’s mind as the beautiful girl leaned in towards her.

It happened so slowly, yet was over so soon and Norelle didn’t even have a chance to savour the feeling of the other woman’s lips on her own. She stood here as still as stone, hands hanging awkwardly in the air, stiff, not knowing where to rest.

The woman in front of her smiled and let out a little choking sound, snapping Norelle back into the moment. Forcing a smile in response to the most unflattering laugh ever she remembered her floating arms and shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans and grabbed at the material to stop the shaking.

“Uh, so what was the offer?” Her smart inner voice had been bested by the idiot inside her. Norelle felt her heart shedding metaphorical tears and she internally chastised her own brain and tongue for the horrible communication skills.

The woman before her actually giggled this time. Norelle liked it. She liked it very much and made sure to tell her brain to remember that deep sweet sound.

The two women just stood there staring at each other, both equally as shocked at what went down although there was no doubting that the woman whose hand was brushing Norelle’s testingly was very pleased with her actions. With a burst of confidence, Norelle grabbed her hand stopping it from swinging and now looking equally as smug, pulled the other woman closer, this time savouring the closeness and taking in the musky scent of her perfume.

She lingered with their lips only millimetres apart, slowly, teasingly she leaned forward and brushed their lips together before pushing her away harshly.

The two girls were illuminated by the headlights of a car pulling into the driveway beside them. The redness of Norelle’s face was lessened in the light but the fear in her widened eyes said it all.

No one could know.

No one could know.

The pressure building up in her chest made her want to scream and cry and throw her arms around but she resisted, instead staring at the woman in front of her, the nurse she was wanted to be needed to protect those around her before she herself was okay, and she would run through fire if it meant that Dani would be her perfect self. Dani stood before Norelle with the same expression of fear, tense and as afraid as ever. Norelle took small solace in the fact that she hadn’t bolted at the first sound, but Dani was stronger than that; always has been and will never stop now, not when this was her boldest move yet.

A car door slammed and the two women remained on the porch, eyes still locked in silent communication though no words were getting through. No words but tears. Tears were leaking from Dani’s left eye rolling down the side of her nose and Norelle stepped forward, warily wrapping both her arms around the woman’s neck; one hand cradling Dani’s head and the other tracing circles in the nape of the woman’s neck. Dani leaned into Norelle, fitting her head perfectly in the curve of her neck breathing in the sweet peppermint scent of the woman.

The gravel in the driveway crunched as someone walked closer to the embracing women and Norelle tightened her arms around Dani and turned her head ever so slightly to the left, watching a dark silhouette in a baseball cap walk tentatively towards them.

She would recognise that gait from anywhere, but it was hard to summon a smile when she knew what he had potentially seen. What he would do with this information was to be found out as he gave a little shout to announce his presence.

“Hey.” His voice broke at the end, the uneven tone apologetic towards Norelle. She smiled at his approaching figure, not wanting to scare Dani and lifted her hand away from the woman’s head to wave.

She chose not to ignore Dani but to test him. As Vince strode towards her, Norelle unwrapped her arms from around Dani’s neck and dropped from balancing on the tips of her toes to standing on flat feet once again. She placed her forehead against Dani’s and spoke ever so softly.

“He’s my best friend. We can trust him if he says anything I’ll hit him.” Dani let out a small chuckle and lifted her head.

“I’m glad I came over tonight.” She whispered back. “But I must be leaving.” Norelle wanted to wake up to that voice every morning, hear it say goodnight to her in the evenings and listen to it scream out her name. Dani placed a soft kiss upon Norelle’s nose and turned to leave, ignoring Vince’s presence.

Norelle watched her back as she disappeared out the front gate and didn’t even notice when Vince clapped his hand down on her shoulder, only acknowledging him when he spoke up.

“Okay. What was that?” He punctuated every word dumbfounded. “Since when did you have a girlfriend? You are the actual worst at keeping secrets.”

“Surprise.” Norelle said in a monotone voice waving her fingers in his face as sarcastic jazz hands. “I’m just finding this out at the same time as you. Further proving that I’m the actual worst at secrets.” She finally looked away from the gate and at Vince, though didn’t make eye contact.

“Well shit.” Vince just nodded his head back and forth like a metronome unsure what to say. Norelle just looked away, back towards the gate longingly, though it didn’t last long until Vince stuck his head in front of her face, brows creased and mouth agape. “Wait so do you even know her?” He exclaimed.

Norelle smiled knowingly. “Of course silly. We’ve just never done.” She paused unsure of what to call what just happened but settled on “that.” Vince nodded, seeming to understand everything and more.

“So are you two doing anything tonight? Should I leave?” He was making those awkward hand gestures that looked like he was chopping air or trying to mimic DJ hands, slowly moving backward in the direction towards his car.

“No no no, please don’t leave.” Norelle laughed watching him exhale gratefully. He came back to her, hugged her and held her at arm’s length taking in her outfit. Light wash jeans, a white t-shirt and white sneakers; not at all party ready.

“Then get changed woman. I can’t have you coming to the party with me looking like this.” At that he gestured at her whole outfit and pushed her inside, closing the door behind them.

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Thoughts??

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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The Room Of Nightmares (SW#21) – Short Story

Heyo Bookaholics!

There was no plan for this one…

There was no plan for any of them.

The Room Of Nightmares.

Where are you?

The room is bare, no walls or doors, or tables, or chairs. The room has white walls, bright white walls. Not like the freshly painted kind either. These are the kind that look like they were crafted of a matte white sheet smoothed to perfection, no shine at all.

You spin around and around and around and around trying to catch any small detail by passing quickly over the room. It had to have been 10 minutes and you’ve checked everything excessively, even the depths of your memory in which you found nothing but white blinding lights.

You tried so hard to conjure a memory but for all the life in you, you couldn’t remember a doorway or a struggle in which one would suspect they’d see if they had watched many blockbuster movies.

It wasn’t a situation you’d willingly put yourself into. No, you are too much of a homebody. You need your laptop, phone, bed, and things around you, this was not right.

You don’t know what time it is anymore.

Your clothes are usually black. Black leggings, t-shirt, hoodie, socks, hair ties. Everything. Black. But there is only white in here. You can hear your heart in your ears now. The walls beat out that rhythmic thump thump, thump thump.

You can feel it through the floor. It makes your legs turn to jelly and they shake violently beneath you so you spread them out hoping a change in stance fixes your issue, but the trembling continues rising higher up your legs.

The shivers approach your pelvis and you feel them on the inside of your thighs. You know there’s nothing to grab hold of and the feeling keeps rising, your bladder feels full suddenly, the urge to pee is prevalent and you start bending your knees, bouncing, feeling short bursts of reprieve for everything.

The shakes are in your fingers now and your head shakes violently looking everywhere in the room for a way out or a way in. A way to be heard or be seen; but then a thought comes to you, just as you feel pins and needles tickles your toes inside your white shoes.

The thought remains in your head as you reach down to rip apart the shoelaces, frustrated by your shaking hands. The pins and needles begin rising but you refuse to let your body touch the floor; sitting will mean defeat but you need these shoes off now.

A voice rings out over the thump thump thump. It fills your head, and the room around you vibrating the walls and floor, forcing you to give up and endure the feet pain that has now turned your feet numb, your body to follow.

What if you are being watched?

What if this is a test?

That voice is you. Your subconscious thoughts, saving and protecting you as your mind should when your body cannot fend for itself. The last line of defence has shown itself.

Something in your mind, a wiser power tells you to tilt your head upward. Your staring right into the corner, where two walls and the roof meet. Your eyes flick from one corner to the next, to the next, to the next. The similarities are obvious; the differences, not so much.

A different coloured dot marks each corner. Just small enough for you to make out with the most intense of concentrations.

“Red, Green, Yellow, Orange.”

No sooner had the words left your mouth, feeling came back into your neck, muscles loosening, the pins and needles less painful than before. Another Idea came to you. If the words spoken gave your reprieve, then the rainbow would cure all; and you spoke again.

“Red, Orange, Yellow, Green.”

Like a headrush, you could feel everything again. The thumping in the walls vanished and so did the vibrations in the walls and floor. If things couldn’t get any weirder, you notice the white from the walls vanishing, turning to a hazy grey, then to an all the way clear glass.

Your optometrist stands at a control panel behind the glass to your left; a satisfied smile on their face. They lean down and press a button on the panel and speak directly to you.

“You have passed the first test. Now for test two.”

They press the button again and silence overwhelms you once more. Before you have a chance to register changes, the walls turn back to a hazy grey and then the same white as before; your eyes as wide as saucers and feet planted to the spot like trees, nothing made sense. One thought runs through your mind.

Where the bloody hell are you?

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What clichés do you like to read about?

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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It’s Only A Game (SW #19) Part 2

Heyo Bookaholics!

Coz you liked Part 1 so much!

If you haven’t read Part 1 of this story, I suggest that you go read that right now by clicking on this link!

Part 2:

You had a dinner? Like a date dinner?” I exclaim incredulously, maybe putting a little too much emphasis on the word ‘you’. What do you expect? Some crazy daemon looking dude appears in my kitchen making himself at home saying that I summoned him and made him miss a dinner. Sue me if you think someone as hideous, not beautiful as this would have a date.

“Yes, a dinner date! Oh my gosh, you humans are all the same.” He replies so mournfully placing his head into his red clawed hands. After a small silence, two words boom from his mouth that shake me up. “WAKE UP!”

I’m unsure if it was the severe unexpectedness of the shout or if there was some sort of magic going on but I felt all of the tiredness evaporate from my body and it was as if I’d woken up at my usual 10am without a raging hangover and eight hours sleep.

“Wow man, thanks. I thought you said you were going to ruin my day but this is great!” I feel so awake right now, I can dance or run a marathon, or do something more achievable like make breakfast without collapsing.

“Well I was going to, but you’re just so frustrating.” He smirks an unexpectedly sexy quirk of the lips. Maybe seeing me happy entertains him? Is that weird for happiness to amuse such a creature? I calm myself down and grabbed another glass from the cupboard as well as toast.

“Easy questions first.” I start, placing my loot down in neat lines along the bench, everything taking me a few minutes to line up and position. “What would you like to eat and drink?” I turn back to face my red skinned house intruder, guest who’s stare is fixated strangely on the spirit board still on the table.

“Your flesh and blood please, toasted and freshly drawn respectively.” My eyes widen. I’m no longer calling him my house guest nope, nope abort mission! The one time I try to be nice and it backfires! My wide eyes look everywhere but the intruder as I place four slices of toast in the toaster and poured a glass or orange juice for myself choosing to ignore the vile request.

I hear chuckling behind me, then full blown laughter. Let me tell you that if you ever have a red skinned daemon looking dude intrude on you, make him laugh! That sound is the sweetest most melodic sound my ears have ever heard and I would play it on repeat till the end of my days.

From behind me, he – whom I must really need to ask his name – speaks between breaths of dying laughter. I catch enough of the sounds to piece together what he’s saying, going something like; “I’ll have what you’re having.”

“Well, that’s better.” I try to joke. Handing over the plate and glass that I’d prepared for myself, saying a little  “here you go sir” then turning back to the kitchen.

The house becomes silent suddenly and I can only hope that he is eating or picking at his food. I turned around to see my guest, not eating but staring uncomfortably at the table in front of him.

“What’s wrong? Do you not like Vegemite?” I ask worriedly.

“I don’t like being called sir.” Uh okay, that’s cool why was he so nervous? Maybe he was a super old person whom I am offending by acknowledging his possibly super old age.

“But you still like Vegemite right?” Sue me for just making sure my breakfast delicacy is to my new friend’s liking.

“Uhh about that…” He trailed off. Oh, come one I thought we were going to be best friends and eat Vegemite out of the jar together on the couch while watching The Bachelor and judge all the girls and the horrible way in which channel 7 likes to portray them. “It’s bitter like my soul.” I met the answer with a look of confusion at which he laughed, and that wonderful sound filled my house once more. I will swear on everything that my anxiety has been cured hearing that sound.

I was going to end this story at Part 2, but if you want the story to keep going please let me know!

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What are your thoughts on Part 2 of It’s Only A Game??

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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Planned Conversations (SW#18) : Therapy

Heyo Bookaholics!

Some things cannot stay in my head…

Therapy

“So I’ve decided not to take the medication.” My therapist and I had just settled into our respective seats facing each other when I broke the news – if it is even ‘news’ at all. I’d been thinking on her proposal for two weeks now, but deep down I knew, I really knew that medication isn’t the right thing for me.

“Why? I think you should consider it.” She replied, leaning forward in her chair slightly, shuffling around, then leaning back again comfortably. I knew where she was coming from, and yes I’d most certainly considered it. One can only consider something for so long before making up their mind.

She said it last week that medication would give me some time to calm my physiological symptoms and focus on working on my mental ones. It sounded appealing and quite tempting but I said no, though not without reasons of course.

“I don’t want to have an easy way.” I began, taking a deep breath to continue but she stole my floor. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to word what I wanted to say, but it’s what came out first. Agh.

“It won’t be cheating.” she started, but I cut her off before she could repeat herself; again. The same spiel I’d even said to myself before I’d heard it aloud from her.

“Oh I know that, but my mind is effed up. I don’t think it’s cheating per say, more like.” I paused again looking for the right words. “Ignorning.” My brain actually came up with something decent for once. Good job brain, mental pay on the back for you. “I’ll ignore it and put off my recovery of my mental state because well to me it’ll be fixed physically I can deal with the mental shit later.” I was just rambling again like I usually do; I guess maybe this shows the progress of how well I’ve come to identify my weaknesses.

I’m sure she was used to my ramblings and self-depreciating talks by now, but I still feel bad when I did it. Though for some odd reason I could control my ramblings when in this room, so I stopped speaking and scratched my nose a little. Don’t judge, it was itchy and I think there was crusty bit hiding away.

“But that’s why you come here isn’t it?” She took my pause, and subsequent internal monologue as a cue to talk. I would’ve done the same if in her position; the question was relevant though (thankfully) and lead me to my next point.

“Yes, but you know how bad my procrastination is?” Some reason that came out as a question, regardless I continued talking, confident in my argument. Or as confident as I can be when the introductory paragraph of my final exam essay begins with ‘In this essay…’.

“I want to work on that first. My work ethic and avoidance bullshit is something I need to fix first. I honestly believe it’s 99% of my problems.” I took a deep breath, stupidly fearing her response; and yes, I am so thinking of that 99 problems meme. Sue me.

“Look it’s up to you, but just keep it in mind.” She sounded wary but not trying to push anything, probably fearing my mental instability and glad for the lack of windows as she saw me eyeing the door.

I wasn’t intentionally looking for, or thinking of an escape, I just needed a place to look other than her eyes (too intimidating) and I just so happened to choose the door which just so happens to lead outside, a place I’m thinking I want to be more than here. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked being here it’s a good reprieve from my hectic life, but there were some things that even I felt hard admitting to myself.

Often times I feel ashamed and horrified I could even conjure up such thoughts and I hide my face, my eyes, all the ways one could look past my happy-go-lucky facade. I would break down and tell everything, or I’d keep it inside, far too deep that even I didn’t know the seed existed until I leave the sessions. Maybe I should tell her that?

Her voice breaks my thoughts. “Are you okay?” I look up at her face a painting of soft concern. All her intentions are to help me in every way possible and if she’s spending her time with me, I could spend just as much time on myself to get better.

“I think so.” I reply back, glad to have someone with me. Glad to have spoken the truth of how I feel. First I take charge of my actions then I’ll conquer my thoughts; at least I hope it works like that.

“So tell me.” She starts again; not entirely dismissing our earlier conversation, rather starting afresh; as if our earlier exchange happened yesterday. “How have you been?” I answer truthfully and simply, going into detail where I see fit. This isn’t a hard question for a chatterbox like me and I calm down talking about myself while she takes notes and listens, her facial expressions matching accordingly.

Part 2 of ‘It’s Only A Game’ will be up next week xx 2

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With Love Bree xx

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It’s Only A Game – Short Story (SW #17)

Heyo Bookaholics!

R U OK?

For this storytime, I chose to write from a prompt found off of Pinterest. I see so many of the posts in this format and I’ve always wanted to write using them but never had the idea on what to write until now! The prompt I am using is pictured below. I didn’t attach a link as I am unsure of the official origin of the photo, but I believe it could be from this tumblr.

Disclaimer: It is Thursday the 13th of September today, which is ‘R U OK? Day’. Please turn to your neighbour, friends, family, anyone and make sure that they’re okay, and please please look after yourself.

Cont…

Last night was fun. I don’t remember much past 10pm, but I’m sure it has something to do with excessive alcohol consumption and maybe some small – very tiny – usage of recreational drugs; hence why I am now hobbling into the kitchen at 1pm begging for water and a panadol.

My vision blurring at the edges as I feel my way through my darkened house. The blinds all still drawn from the night before. Sober me is a legend. Any hint of light sends a sharp pain through my temples, far too much for my sensitive eyes to process right now.

I continued to shuffle down the hallway by feel, my foot brushing the bottom of my old bed frame that sat in the hallway and I cursed myself for not moving it sooner. I exit out into the living room and grimace. It’s brighter out here, but if I’m quick, I could go back to my dark sanctuary sooner.

My hand whacks against something hard, probably a chair, one I don’t remember being there last time – as you can tell this same situation has occurred before – but I didn’t bother to check, so very determined to get what I need and leave; but it seems like that today isn’t going to work out that way.

I’d reach the kitchen in a few steps and slam a glass down into the sink, the sound echoing around the empty house splitting my brain in two. I always leave a glass on the bench as it doesn’t seem logical to wash it if I am constantly drinking (water) anyways. The rushing water is lulling me back to sleep and I didn’t even try to fight the heaviness that washed over my head, shoulders and eyelids as they became too heavy to hold open.

Laughter sounds from behind me and I join in, giggling at something I don’t care to even identify. The feeling of scraping at the back of my throat halted my laughter as I tried to take in air, the simple task now difficult and painful; so I do the logical thing and reach for water, my hand instantly hitting the waterfall of cold water still flowing into the sink, never having filled the cup I’d placed in there.

“You humans really are dumb.” Someone behind me begins to speak, their voice masculine, but smooth like honey (I know cliché but true). That shocked me awake, my hand yanking away from under the tap, water splashing all over the countertop and floor. More laughter. More mess to clean up.

“WHAT IN THE SHEET!!” I scream, the sound of my own astonishment sending another split through my already decaying brain. Sitting atop the chair that had indeed moved from its original position is a scrawny red-skinned male with a singular horn protruding from his forehead; his hand lifts giving me the most unpleasant view of charred black nails at the tips of long boney fingers.

He laughed more and kept staring at me. “You called me, remember?” Humour and accusation hang in his words and I have no damn idea of what he wants me to remember. Right now I just want to remember to stop hallucinating and to move the hell out of here because these jeans I am wearing feel wet down the inside of my leg.

“Okay so I’m hallucinating and I can’t even remember what happened last night. Damn Susan said those pills were clean.” I mutter crazily to myself trying to will the daemon out of my kitchen, as well as ignore the fact that on my table lies a spirit board, the planchette still on the board.

“Oh no Susan was most certainly telling you the truth about those pills. Still dumb of you to take them.” It speaks again and I begin doing the only logical thing I can think of. I pray. “You know that won’t work if you don’t believe in the prayers right?” Oh, now it’s as much of a smartass as I am. We will not get along, he cannot stay here – wait he isn’t real!

“Shut up! Shut up! You aren’t real!” I’m trying to convince myself mentally and verbally but all evidence suggests that I have actually woken up, and my headache isn’t just from alcohol anymore but stress.

“I most certainly am real, so rude of you to suggest it after what you did to me last night! I am also hungry but I had to cancel my dinner to come when you stupid kids called me, so imma make your life shitty now.” Okay, we really are not going to get along.

PART 2…?

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If you liked this I really want to hear your thoughts on what part two would be about and if you’d be keen on reading more?

Comment your favourite writing prompts below so we can share them around with each other!!

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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Burning Anger (Short Story)

Heyo Bookaholics.

Welcome back to another storytime. This one isn’t as dark as the other one but deals with intense emotions that may be many can relate to. I hope you enjoy x

Burning Anger

She tastes her bile in her throat. The vile bitter taste of it making her face scrunch up in disgust, swallowing back down the urge to vomit felt like effort wasted.

A burning flower blooming in her chest begging to be extinguished. The heat flushing her face, her ears, nose; causing her temperature to rise and a dizzying feeling to set in behind her eyes. In her rage, she paused, calming enough to asses the extremity of that relentless pounding inside her head, remembering the vile taste of bile in her mouth and the constant burning heat all over, rising outwards from her chest.

As suddenly as she was able to pause it, her anger returned crushing over her like a wave. The pounding in her head burst into a thundering pain, and stars exploded in front of her eyes as negative thoughts filled her mind, and once again she began spiralling.

She lifts her hand, barely hesitating for a second knowing the damage of what is to be done; of what she has wanted to do in all her moments of rage before this one, and swipes her hand along the dresser top.

The noise echoes throughout the house, as the ornaments and trinkets fall to the floor with a loud crash, clatter, and ting, ting of the smaller more delicate items as they skitter across the floor.

With every collision. With every crack that formed, she smiled the burning in her chest cooling to an icy chill, a pain that felt less like a relief and more like salt to an open wound; and as she stood, watching pieces skitter across the floor, her heart pounding in her hears and those stars still spotting her vision, she began to fully process the damage she’d just caused. The mess she must soon clean.

In.Pause. Out. Pause.

In. Pause. Out. Pause.

In. Pause. Out. Pause.

Her breaths filled her lungs before she released them, holding each until she felt she could no more.
She just stared furiously at the mess she had made. Angry at her decision. Angry at herself. ANGRY AT THE WORLD!

It was then she snapped; screaming a deep, guttural scream that came from some deep hurt part inside of her. The part that was burning. The part that she believed would no longer feel happiness. She crouched down into a squat, avoiding all the shattered pieces of her possessions now strewn across the floor; all her possessions and memories replicating how they appeared inside her broken mind, and there she sat, as broken as the pieces on the floor; her only logical thought was to clean.

Clean up her mess. The mess she had made of her room and of herself.

Once cleaning she could allow herself to grieve the lost possessions, convince herself she didn’t need them anyway; that holding on to sentiments meant nothing, when the memories attached are so jarring to behold. Until then, she would think of nothing; not even the bad thoughts could hurt her more than she has already hurt herself.

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What did you think?

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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Thank You, With Love Bree xx


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Alley Murders

Heyo Bookaholics!

“I write best when I’m waiting for the train.”

Not sure what’s going on in this story but I love this style of writing. I can express my ideas in short bursts but still pack in all the information and feeling I want to deliver without giving a full-length novel like post.

Alley Murders.
He liked to walk down alleyways,
Where the smell was pungent and the air had a green tinge to it.

He liked to breathe in deep,
Smell the place where his soul left his body, the awful stench of blood and soon the shit-like smell of his rotting corpse.
The sweet perfume of his killer becomes stronger as he reaches the spot where he was murdered. 

He liked to listen,
To the sounds of his chocking breaths as the blood bubbled up his throat, and the oxygen to his brain dwindled. 
The clack clack clack of heels on concrete resonated in his head as his killer walked away; their steps hitting the floor in a slow anagonising pattern.

He liked to open his eyes,
To see the graffiti painted walls and black garbage bags lining the alley;
The syringes and tissues that litter the floor, remnants of drug users squatting and passing through, uncaring.
Semi-permanent residents in this semi-permanent world where even memories don't remain.

He likes to feel,
Feel the presence of others who have passed.
Feel their pain as they fall to the floor.
Feel their beating hearts as they pray to their God begging in vain for mercy in the next life, mercy in this life, repenting the sins they aren't even sorry for.

He returns,
Everytime coming back looking for closure that never comes.
He wants to meet the one they all leave with.
Night after night, after days in a year;
He walks into the alley, 
Breathing in deep,
Listening,
Opening his eyes,
 and Feeling;
Hoping to leave in a different fashion in which he had entered.

They confront him,
Right as he is leaving,
At the mouth of the alley, giving up back to where he resides until his next visit.
"You've waited a long time."
He wants to see a being in all white emitting an etheral glow, holding an outstretched hand to him;
He doesn't expect to know them.
He doesn't expect them to grab his shoulder;
Nor does he expect to feel the pain of his death again.

The searing pain in his chest as the blade sheathed itself inside his heart, cutting off all his blood supply;
And the preassure bulding up in his chest and lungs as oxygen fails to reach his brain; Blood starts pooling in his throat, chocking, he struggles to breathe.
Red drops fall from his body and onto the concrete below painting the alley with his DNA, evidence the police will eagerly scrape up.

Though no police will come this time.
No one will see the blood.
No one will see his body.
No one will see him ever again.

They looked at him as he lay there,
Dead again on the floor where he'd lay years earlier,
His face a grimice of pain and betrayal.
He was lied to about the passing.

"If you haven't left the earth they'll come for you and make sure you leave."
He thought it meant a passing over to another realm,
Not this,
A second death.
A pain twice over.

Dying doesn't get easier.

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What are your thoughts on dark, murder mystery stories? I love them and it seems like my stories are getting darker and darker but it matches my mood and that’s when I write best…

Leave your opinions in the comments or alternatively on my social media channels!
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With Love Bree xx

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© Jasper+Spice 2018. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without my permission. This post was not sponsored, all photos and graphics are of my own creation.