Wednesday 1 December 2021

#WEPff NARCISSUS, by Caravaggio. My #flashfiction, A LIttle Reflection Can't hurt. And it's time for the December #IWSG and the delights of writing!

Hello and welcome to my blog!

Wow! I missed last month's IWSG cuz I was just so busy with everything writing related. Much the same this month. But I'll answer the second half of the suggested question - what delights you (about writing). I love everything about writing except sweating over the first draft - that's where my critique partners come in, but once I have my story down, it delights me to rewrite as many times as it takes, then share with betas and editors. But, added to that, I love that I'm a member of the blogosphere where we love to interact and help each other. So, when Damyanti asked me to put an article together on self-publishing, I was less than keen as I'm pretty new to the game, but I'm glad I chose to go ahead and do something for Damyanti who gets so many queries from her followers about

Damyanti is hosting me on her site. After you read my entry for WEP, Damyanti and I would be so happy if you drop by to read my article, A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing. Add to the conversation! 

Now, let's get WEP underway!

Welcome to WEP's final challenge for the year of 2021, Year of the Art. We've all thoroughly enjoyed being inspired by art prompts and honestly, I'm a bit sad that it's over. But, good news, 2022 is the Year of Music, where we're inspired to write by music titles and lyrics. Super exciting! 

The Year of Music kicks off in February 2022. 

Let's get down to the Art...Caravaggio's Narcissus. In my story, I've gone for Narcissus and Narcissa. I've strayed into vampire territory. Couldn't restrain myself. 

I hope you enjoy my flash! Those with sharp memories will recall I've taken the bones of a previous WEP entry and with some tweaking it was perfect for the challenge.

And a new innovation at WEP is that we write our own taglines - such good practise for submitting to agents/publishers/magazines/on book covers ... so ...

TAGLINE: Be careful what you wish for; you might just get it.

A Little Reflection Can’t Hurt


In perfect synchronicity, in the perfect silence of the night, two imposing figures ran side by side, shooting like arrows through trees and undergrowth. Moonbeams shone upon them, bathing them in surreal light.

Her name was Alessandra. His was Eduardo.

Eduardo took Alessandra’s hand and tugged her to a halt. ‘Before we feed, let’s go to our favorite place.’ Eduardo pointed deeper into the forest, where an abandoned track led away from the highway. The old path was pitted, potholed and pathetic, but it didn’t faze them. Their swift feet flew above the earth, propelled them into the sky whenever they craved the sheer joy of using their newfound powers.

Alessandra jerked his arm, dragged him under an overhanging branch of a Downy Birch. Despite her awesome powers of strength, intuition, enhanced sight and hearing, she was always nervous when Eduardo invited her to their favorite place. But her nerves coupled with a frisson of excitement. She thought of saying “no” for a nanosecond, but she hated to disappoint Eduardo after he’d been so good to her. ‘Oh let’s.’ She sucked in a deep breath. ‘I must try one more time before I give up.’

Eduardo wrapped his arm around her shoulders, drew her so close she felt his marble-hard body pressed against hers. ‘You are the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me, my darling,’ he said. ‘I’m so glad you’re mine for eternity. What a gift I have been given. I always loved Christmas in my human form, now Christmas comes every day I spend with you.’

Alessandra knew he was buttering her up to ease the disappointment she must surely feel when they reached the magical place. ‘You are the most perfect gift ever, Eduardo.’

As she ran, Alessandra’s mind returned to that night when everything changed…


…She was out on the town, such as it was. Her boyfriend hovered attentively, plying her with white sauvignon blanc until the rough edges of her dissatisfaction blurred.

Why are you so unhappy? he'd asked. What more could you want? Your life is perfect.

That’s what you think.

Over the rim of her glass, her eyes flew from her boring boyfriend and locked with a new arrival. Helloooo stranger. Few strangers came to this weird little island plonked in the middle of the North Sea. In his Savile Row suit and designer haircut, he oozed glitz and glamour.

And excitement.

As he stared at her, trembling possessed her whole body like an alien force had taken her over. Her boredom with her ho-hum life on the island was about to end. He was "big city". Glasgow? Aberdeen? Her knight in shining armor had come to rescue her.

The stranger did indeed rescue her from her life.

She’d clutched her glass of white wine until the stem broke, cutting the tip of her finger. Seawater jumped clear across the harbor wall and crashed against the glass windows. She sucked her finger and wondered if the glass might shatter and tip them all into the North Sea.

She thought it was part of the game when he ran her from the pub, covering her with his fancy cloak and took her driving into the forest in his sleek black Maserati. She’d never seen such a car. A change from clanking old tractors driven by dour farmers.

She thought it was part of the game when he drew her close, sucked her bleeding wound then threaded his fingers through her hair. Her whole body shivered as he murmured endearments. Oooohhhh.

She thought it was part of the game when she felt a strange sensation where his lips touched her neck.

But she knew it wasn’t a game when his teeth bit her throat. ‘Come, my lifeless bride. Come away with me. Be mine eternally.’

Her heart hammered. Her throat burned. Her body trembled.

Too late.

The myths about strange creatures who lurked on the island were true. Why had she dismissed them like she dismissed everything about her home? But who’d expect one of those creatures would drive a Maserati?

But thankfully, her boyfriend, Eduardo, had followed them in his beat-up Toyota.

He’d wrenched open the Maserati door, dragged Niccolò off her neck, pulled him outside.

Niccolò had spung up, pounded a fist into Eduardo’s temple. While he lay unconscious, and while Alessandra lay inert inside the car, Niccolò had drunk from Eduardo, then roared into the night after tossing her on the ground. 

Gods be praised, her boyfriend followed her into the Otherworld. 


Through mountains of musky leaves, she and Eduardo ran, hummus flying around their feet. Occasionally, just for thrills, they flew to the treetops, using their sharp vision to check out the distant landscape of gray sea and green hills, so beloved.

Alessandra smelt it before she saw it.

Their special stream. They knelt before the pristine water and played the game. Would it be different this time?

Pushing their faces close to the water, they tried, they really did. But no. Nothing. No image. No reflection. No chance of being Narcissus or Narcissa even with all their extraordinary powers. 

Disappointed, Alessandra plunged her face into the water. Do I even exist?  ‘Ohuhuh…aagh...’ Electricity shot through her body while Eduardo held her while she trembled with shock.

When the trembling ceased, Alessandra sighed. ‘Perhaps one day I’ll see my reflection.’ She bent down and scooped a handful of shimmering water, let it trail through her fingers. She might be slowly forgetting what she looked like, but she’d never forget the past events that brought her to a place where her reflection didn't reflect.

‘See yourself through my eyes, my love.’ With his long fingers, Eduardo traced the shape of her face. ‘Your hair is like black silk, and it is my never-ending thrill to run my fingers through it; your face is a heart, so dear to me as you gaze at me with your heart in your eyes. Your lips are soft and red,’ he followed their outline with a fingertip, ‘while your ears are two delicate white shells attuned to my love words.’

Alessandra was moved beyond words. ‘My love, I see myself reflected in your words. What need have I for any other?’


WORDS: 1040


You'll find this announcement everywhere I hope! Here are the WEP challenges for 2022, the Year of Music. If you've never written for us, accept the challenge in 2022. You can find a complete list of the music challenges HERE.

                             We'll rock on with All You Need is Love in February. How perfect!

And a reminder ~

Please drop by to read my article, A Beginner's Guide to Self-Publishing on Damyanti's blog. Add to the conversation! 

A large part of my author promotion is through BOOKFUNNEL. They are great for selling books and growing newsletters. If you click on this link in one of my current promos, GIFTS GALORE, it will lead you to a passel of books to choose from in various genres - Romance, Historical, Western, Suspense. Try it! 




Thank you!