Wednesday 16 February 2022


 Hello there!

Welcome to WEP's Year of Music. First group/song to be featured is the Beatles and their iconic song, All You Need is Love.

For this challenge, I take you on a trip to Liverpool, the home of the Beatles. I've always loved park benches, so I imagined myself sitting on a park bench admiring the Beatles' statue on the waterfront. Park benches are under-rated. They can be great places to sit and dream and watch people living their lives.

Trigger warning: This #flashfiction contains drug taking. Given the subject matter, sorta has to, don't you think?

TAGLINE: There comes a time to stop running and embrace life.

Learning how to be you.

I stumble around the deserted waterfront at Pier Head, numb.

It seems wrong that the sun is shining this morning. This is Liverpool, after all. The sun rarely shines. A bleak day would be more fitting, but today the sun bores into my eyes, casts shadows on the cement. Casts shadows on my soul.

I pause a step. Stand at the edge of the pier where the murky River Mersey slaps waves onto the pylons. The ferries bob, tethered, waiting for a time when they'll run again. 

The sun embraces me. Offers comfort and warmth. I won’t give in to the grief ballooning in my chest. It’s quiet here on the pier. Peaceful. But my legs are shaky. I slow-walk to the bench in front of my favorite four local boys made good.

An hour ago it must have rained, because the bronze statues are slick and shiny. I feel like the Fab Four are out for a casual stroll, walking toward me, hope on their faces. Stillness steals over me, eating away at the paralysing shock of arriving at the hospital this morning to be told the worst news.

A flock of tourists vomits out of a huge bus slathered in peace signs and bright flowers and other sixties’ symbols. I’m about to be engulfed in a tidal wave. A burst of humanity surges toward me – vibrant, alive, optimistic – like the Beatles at the top of their game. I feel like a little fish swimming against the torrent, struggling to stay afloat, gasping for breath.

Lennox is dead.

Why is a busload of tourists belching toward me like a chattering of choughs?

Lennox is dead.

Why aren’t they at home, taking the pandemic seriously. Haven’t enough people died already?

Lennox is dead.

No guesses where these bright birds are heading.

The Beatles statue. 

A landmark. 

My city’s must-see piece of art.

The birds land. I am swamped by humanity. Surrounded. Overwhelmed. Overcome.

Cameras click, flower-holding fans in sixties’ psychedelic coats with peace symbols on the back, jeans, boots, Carnaby Street caps. They pose, arms around the Fab Four, kiss them, pay homage as only died-in-the-wool Beatles’ fans know how. To make it worse, they’re murdering my favorite Beatles’ song, All You Need is Love, making a game of it. Every time someone warbles the chorus, heads pop up from behind the boys, shouting, ‘love!’ ‘Love!’ ‘Love is all you need!’ All you need be damned.

I don’t know how I manage it, but I drift. Sleep. Dream of that dreary hospital room with its dreary view. Where Lennox breathed his last in a room full of impersonal machines, tended by angels in blue head-to-toe PPE gear, shields, goggles, the whole shebang.

The smell wakes me.

Earthy. Herby. Sweet.

I’ve never taken drugs, unlike the Beatles with their field trips to India to sit at the feet of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to study spirituality. In the statue in front of me, George’s belt has been engraved with a mantra revealing his deep interest in Indian spirituality. It was especially important to him, more than the sitar playing he toyed with.


I love the sitar in Norwegian Wood. I’ve nothing against Love You To from their 1966 album Revolver. George wrote and sung it and it features Indian instrumentation such as sitar and tabla. A digression from their usual sound. 

 But I digress.

That smell. I recognize marijuana from the hours I spent at Lennox’s bedside in the early stages of the illness before he went to hospital.

My heartbeat speeds up. Someone daring is sitting beside me. The tourists have gone. I squint my eyes. Not a beanie-clad, tousled haired, grubby person, but someone who embodies sophistication and privilege. His hair is blond, brushes his shoulders, unlike the Beatles with their black mop tops. From under his bangs, the pot smoker studies the foursome, a smile quirking his lips.

I sat holding Lennox’s hand while he smoked, but that was different. That was to alleviate the pain, to make the end more bearable. Medicinal cannabis. Which this is not.

I’m rooted to the spot. Wondering what will happen next.

The sunshine, the sweetness, the sexy smile.

He hands me the joint like we’re old friends at a party. He raises his eyebrows, interested, waiting to see what I’ll do.

I’m a stickler for doing the right thing. But what is the right thing here?

I take it.

First time ever I’ve smoked, but I do it for Lennox, somehow brings him closer.

I’m suddenly a woman who tries new things. Who knew that about me? Not me.

Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It's easy…

It hasn’t been easy.

My life has revolved around caring for my brother, Lennox, and before him, my elderly parents who succumbed in the first wave of the virus.

No one you can save that can't be saved

I hate that.

The smoke passes down my throat. Wraps around my lungs. Chokes me.

The tension pours from my pores.

He smiles but I see the sadness in his eyes. ‘I’m sorry, Karla. I’m here for you. Always.’

I take another drag. The air is warm, cloying. The sun seems brighter. Brilliant.

He stretches out his hand. I take it. He pulls me to my feet. Wraps his arm around my shoulders.

I’ve been running away from things all my life.

Now I’m running forward. With the love of my life, Johan.

Lyrics pound through my head:

There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy.

Will it be easy this time?


 I hope you enjoyed sitting on a park bench with me.

WORDS: 940


If you're into music, even if you're not, in April please join the writers at WEP who love using their imagination to respond to a prompt. We love newbies! And we love those blasts from the past who once wrote for us. Doesn't this image conjure up all sorts of story ideas?

Wednesday 2 February 2022

#IWSG FEBRUARY 2. A little bit of this and a little bit of that #amwriting ... and #amediting


Here we are gathered around the campfire for the February 2 IWSG post. Hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and getting into the writing year. 

I'm not going to answer the question this month, not really relevant, except to say I'm so sad at the loss of Anne Rice. A writer of unique vampire tales who heavily influenced my foray into the paranormal genre. Anne will be sorely missed by many.

My favorite Anne Rice novel.

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the February 2 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jacqui Murray, Sandra Cox, and Lee Lowery!

Thanks to these generous souls who have given of their time. Please visit them if you can.


How's your writing year shaping up? Interesting? Hard work? Motivated? 

As a recent #IWSG post asked us about regrets, and I, like many others, regretted not getting started earlier, I'm intent on making up for lost time.

I've been working on a huge re-write on one of my published stories which has had over 30,000 impressions on Amazon ads, but these impressions have been slow to result in clicks/sales. The Page Reads on Kindle Unlimited show me where readers are stopping. So when that happens, the advice is a re-write, change the cover, rewrite the blurb, republish. I thought it'd be a quick job, but no, little ole perfectionist me is involved, so it's taking ages, but I believe in it and I think I've improved the story no end. Then to the editor ... Then to the cover... Just teasing ... this is not it ...

Which puts me behind on my second Paris novel, full of yummy recipes, which is to be shared with my awesome critique partners at the end of this month. There's a stack of work to do on it since I first shared it with my critters, so it's adding a fair bit of pressure to my writing schedule.

Then there is the #WEP challenges for which I write a #flashfiction to a prompt every two months, along with several other writers who continue to blow me away with their talent. We've just launched the Year of Music onto an unsuspecting world. We kick off with the Beatles. Read our post HERE and consider joining us if you want to improve your writing or offer feedback to other writers.

This writing gig is always exciting, isn't it?

How many projects are you working on? Or do you like to work on one project and see it through to completion? 

And I should mention ... not so much a project for me now that I've won a place in the anthology, but still there demanding attention ...