The Cabin


Join us for a progressive writing experiment! Laura from  and Simon from Planet Simon came up with the idea that we work together on a story ‘seed’ and let it out into the blogoshpere she has begun the story with only a few paragraphs and a title, I’ve added a little too! Let’s see where this goes! 




She put her face upwards and let the warm water of the shower run over, into her hair, down her body, and around her feet. She stood in there for quite some time, without washing or moving anything except her hands over her face and hair. Perhaps this was more of an emotional and mental cleanse, for certain she wanted all of the past 72 hours erased from her, like the water that now so easily disappeared into the drain.

She had arrived at his apartment that evening when the sun was just sinking below the horizon. Her body went limp as she got out of the car and collapsed into his waiting embrace. Little was said between the two, for all that needed speaking in that moment was said in silence as their arms found each other. He gently pulled her sleeping children from the car as she retreated to the bathroom.

The children. She rubbed her face gently with the warm water as she thought of them now, sharing two large beds and snuggled together. They knew very little, and she had to keep it that way for the foreseeable future. Little was said to them on the day of their abrupt departure, but her calm, quiet voice and pleading eyes told them what they needed to know.

Only one person could she tell. Barbara. The kind of friend a person lives a lifetime praying to have. The friend you can tell everything and then nothing, and she would understand always.


She let out another sigh when she thought of her dear friend, whom she would likely not see again. And she worried for her as well. She had put her at risk by confiding in her and asking for help. But then she remembered how strong Barbara was and they had both helped each other out of many difficult situations. Barbara had lost a child to leukemia several years ago, and while the pain was unbearable, she bore it with all the grace, love and acceptance that could only be seen as admirable.

Her thoughts continued to drift as the water came down… to her husband who walked out after their third and last child was born. She had been grocery shopping after a long day at work and came home to find him gone, his side of the closet empty and drawers void of his personal effects. She never received answers to the gnawing questions, yet within a few weeks of his disappearance, she did receive a petition for divorce. Within a few months, it was settled through attorneys without her ever seeing him. Child support had been established, but as his employer was unknown, or he was not working, she never received one cent. No goodbye. No answers. No money. Just a hollowness in her heart and stomach that woke up with her every morning.

Barbara had been there for that, too. She was kind and gentle with the kids, who are also left with their own pain and questions pertaining to their sudden abandonment. How ironic was it now that she was far from her home without telling anyone. No warning, no explanation, just another emptiness in her life that left her asking why.


All this was now in the past though, the event so of the last few days had seemed a whirlwind and she wasn’t sure yet how safe she was. There was no way the mob could fine here here? Could they? She had done exactly as Robert had told her, she had not driven directly, there was no record of this place and she had destroyed her phone and thrown it away.

Yet there was this feeling she couldn’t shake.

The sun was setting, with the children asleep she allowed herself a moment of quiet out on the porch. Sat there in the rocking chair she allowed the sun to warm her and for a little time she forgot about what had happened and why she was here in this beautiful hideaway. As the sun started to touch the edge of the lake she walked around to the side, looking up into to the hills there suddenly as she looked up her heart froze.

A simple flash up in the hills stunned her into total fear.

Was there someone up there watching them? Was there something up there that the sun had glinted on, the thoughts ran through her like a raging river, uncontrollable at first. The she calmed and realised that if someone was watching she mustn’t do anything to arouse their suspicion.

But the next questions in her head were – should she go up and look or should she run?


I’m going to tag this to lolsyslibrary to carry on this story, if at any time someone can not carry this on, please tag it back to either Simon or Laura (see links at the top. Copy an paste the story as you receive it, mark where you stop and tag it on to the next person. Please keep the links as this will mean we can keep track of the story as it grows.

Thanks Bloggies!

Have fun with this.

Simon & Laura

Awesome Fantasy Maps from Soraya Corcoran

I saw this post on Saraya’s blog and I had to share it with you becasue she’s done such an amazing job on her art work:

Fantasy Maps

No fantasy book is complete without a map.

These are both maps for my own projects: Captain of Fortune and The Cursed Ashtian.

Lantha is a simple map, showing where all the major cities and towns are located around the country. Valen has more detail, with roads and forests added in.


via Cartography – Soraya Corcoran

A reblog or Press it wouldn’t have done it justice – So I’ve kind of copied the post in – I hope that’s ok Soraya. But seriously have a look at her blog!


Introducing Parallel Magic: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Show

Kate M Colby has created the Parallel Magic podcast, so for all of those into Scifi and dark fantasy reading this is something you should look into!


Kate M. Colby

If you read my January update or follow me on social media, you’ve probably caught the unofficial announcements… but now, I’m pleased to officially introduce Parallel Magic: The Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Show.

Parallel Magic PodcastIn this podcast, Jonas Lee (my friend and fellow author) and I discuss science fiction and fantasy novels over a drink. We started the show to create a virtual book club, where sci-fi/fantasy readers from around the world could chat about the books we love while enjoying the simple camaraderie of a drink (alcohol optional, of course!).

Thus far, we’ve aired two episodes. The first dives into Scythe by Neal Shusterman, along with all the existential crises a book about (im)mortality can bring. The second episode, which aired today, covers Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, as well as my first embarrassing Champagne pop, epic space battles, and the book’s brain-blowing (and not-so-brain-blowing twists).


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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Short Stories

Over the last couple of years I’ve written a number of short and not so short stories and trying to give them the visibility they deserve is a bit hard when they’re hidden behind a menu system on my blog page. So I’ve put as many of them as I can find on this post and I’m going to pin it on my page.

Many of them aren’t finished, but you know – Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.



The Titan Mystery

The Titan Mystery is my longest running story, set in the far future the commander and crew of the star ship Tycho become trapped in time and space while investigating a gigantic spacecraft that seems to be from distant future.

The only way for them to find a way to get free is to board the Titan and see what they can find out. What they discover is beyond they wildest dreams and nightmares.


The Titan Mystery

The Titan Mystery – Part 2

The Titan Mystery – Part 3

The Titan Mystery – Part 4

The Titan Mystery – Part 5

The Titan Mystery – Part 6

The Titan Mystery – Part 7

The Titan Mystery – Part 8

The Titan Mystery – Part 9

The Titan Mystery – Part 10

The Titan Mystery – Part 11

The Titan Mystery – Part 12

The Titan Mystery – Part 13

The Titan Mystery – Part 14

The Titan Mystery – Part 15

The Titan Mystery – Part 16

The Titan Mystery – The Conclusion



Scorched Planet

Featured Image -- 2972

While on a less than routine mission to recover the data from a monitoring station David Hicks watches as a spacecraft passes over him and lands in the distance. Rather than being rescued by his partner he disobeys orders to find out more. He was prepared for aliens and maybe death, but not what’s inside that spacecraft.

The Scorched Planet

Scorched Planet Part 2

Scorched Planet Part 3

Scorched Planet Part 4


Dark Horizons


Dr Henry Jeffries runs the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the mission is going well until a government official arrives with armed soldiers and a few other strange looking visitors. The mission is secretly hijacked and Dr Jeffries and his team are forced to stay and help until the flyby is complete. But why is this happening?

Dark Horizons (Chapter 1 – Obol Discovered)

Dark Horizons (Chapter 2 – Interference)

Dark Horizons Part 3 – Encounters

Dark Horizons Part 4 – Aftermath


On the Brink of Midnight

planet city 2

Midnight fails to fall on Sela’s home world and the consequences are going to be catastrophic for his whole race if he can’t find out why this is happening. With time short, Tira his partner and his brain as his only tools Sela finds out that their world is under attack with little to fight back with.

On the brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blogbattle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #Blog Battle #Scifi

On the Brink of Midnight #BlogBattle # Scifi



The Adventures of Minecraft Steve

Planet Simon -Minecraft

Minecraft Steve is having a load of adventures with creepers, zombie pigmen and rogue crafters. It’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes.

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 1

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 2

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 3

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 4

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 5


Eternal Darkness


This short piece is part of a concept and I’m excited about where it may lead. Chronos is entering orbit of a supermassive black hole, it’s mission it to take humanity further into the future than it would ever survive. Perhaps until the end of time.

Eternal Darkness


There’s loads more and I need to work and promote all of them, and this is something I hope to do more of so keep watching!

Simon 🙂



Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 4

Steve was lost for words as he watched Mike walking towards him, Sword drawn.

“Steve, it would be best for us all if you just throw the key over!” Mike told him, in a threatening tone.

“No – put the sword down!” She told him. Mike lifted the sword and at that point there was the sound of a smashing glass bottle. Steve covered his face, he could smell something very strange as he uncovered his face and looked up to see Mike, motionless.

“What happened?” Steve asked.

“Oh, just a little something I concocted a while ago, it’s amazing what spiders eyes and a little secret ingredient can do!” Preeta told Steve with some pride. “It’s a slowness potion, but much stronger than the usual potion.”

“So he’s moving very slowly?”

“Yes.” Preeta replied.

Steve stood in front of Mike, sticking his tongue out he blew raspberries at him “Come and get me now Mike!” Steve jeered at him. “You can’t can you?”

“I don’t know how long this will last Steve.” Preeta told Steve.

“I have an idea!” Steve said as he took Mike’s sword and all his other things. Steve began building an obsidian wall around Mike, sealing him in. “Quick, this way!” Steve motioned to Preeta, knocking a hole in the wall to make an opening. Quickly Steve built a wall around Mike’s prison. He then filled it with water, moving back Steve then filled the rest of the chamber with lava, before sealing it and heading out.

Preeta looked at Steve “That’s quite a prison you made!” smiling at Steve.

“I wanted to make sure!” Steve replied. “Where are we now?” Looking around Steve could see brilliant white buildings, a large and intricate structure in the centre of the city. But none of it was familiar.

“Where we are isn’t important.” Preeta told Steve “But we’re going to that building in the centre” Preeta pointed at the intricate structure in the centre. “The key to unlocking the city is there. Be careful, most of the monsters are now gone, but you know what creepers can be like!”

“Yes I do!” Steve replied, thinking back to all the creepers he had to deal with in his adventures.

Preeta started walking towards the centre of the city, Steve following as they both jumped up an down in the way a crafter does. Despite the glorious white buildings the inner streets were shrouded and dark. Preeta slowed thought these streets and Steve followed.

Ahead the groans of a rogue zombie could be heard. Preeta stopped “You better go ahead of me – you have a sword after all! Just keep going down this street, we’ll son get to the light temple.”

“Is that what that is Preeta? A light temple?”

“Hurry Steve, I’ll be right behind you.”

Taking his diamond sword Steve took the lead , at the next cross road he stopped and looked around. He saw the zombie marking away, groaning to itself.

“All clear – lets go!” Steve whispered back. As Steve looked back he saw what was behind Preeta. He ran past him and lashed his sword out at the errant creeper. Two more came from nowhere and he was able to take them down before they blew up. Taking the explosive they left he guided Preeta through the long, dark alleyways quickly eventually arriving at the gates of the light temple.

“Where do we take this key?” Steve asked Preeta, resting after rushing to get to the temple. It was still light, bu there wasn’t much daytime left.

“Through these doors and in the centre of the temple are the doors to the source. The key will open these doors and then free the people of this city.” Preeta reached out to open the doors to the temple. Steve stopped him.

“Hang on – listen.” Behind the doors there was movement, noise. Steve wasn’t sure what it was. To the side were steps that led up the wall. Steve climbed them and stopped at the top of the wall as he looked over. Preeta also stopped and looked over.

“I can see where we need to go Preeta.” Steve exclaimed.

“So can I – but the place is filled with monsters!” Preeta sounded downhearted. After all of this to be stopped so close to the end. The floor was filled with creepers and zombies and skeletons.

“There!” said Steve pointing “I’ll bet Mike put down those spawners! Bu I have no idea how we can get to them.”

Preeta looked at Steve and smiled “Wait here crafter. I have an idea!”

With that Preeta was gone. Steve watched with interest, this he had to see!

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2016

No ownership claimed on images

Find other stories from the Adventures of Minecraft Steve: Adventures of Minecraft Steve

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 2

Following on from his last adventure, Steve has stumbled across the lost city of Minos and he needs to help free it’s people to get back home:


Steve was standing there, the city was so magnificent, he couldn’t help but stare at it’s beauty – he was was in awe! The buildings were made in pure white marble, the setting sun shone off their walls and edges like glass, the city was falling into darkness with the sun setting fast.

“We must hurry now!” said Preeta “As darkness falls the monsters will come out – they are here to keep out any rescuers!”

“Let’s hurry then, is there somewhere safe we can go?”

“Yes” Preeta replied “follow me quickly!” with that Preeta was off, faster than Steve could run. He could still see him but he was getting further and further away. Around him Steve could hear the moans of the zombies and the rattle of the skeletons emerging from their slumber.

“Quickly young crafter!” Preeta shouted back to Steve “Time is short!”

As fast as he could Steve ran toward Preeta, his diamond sword drawn and ready to defend himself and Preeta. In moments he had caught up with Preeta a host of monsters was making their way towards him. Swinging his sword Steve cut down two zombies and a skeleton. He turned back and some creepers were creeping menacingly toward him. Cutting them down with some swift strokes they were down before they could explode.

“Flick the switch near to you crafter!” Preeta told Steve – he flicked it and nothing happened. Looking around, Steve felt anxious as the monsters crept closer.

“Flick it back up crafter, we need to flick our switches at the same time!” Preeta quickly explained. Steve wasn’t going to question Preeta, he flicked the switch up, looked across at Preeta.

“Now!” Steve shouted. They both flicked their switches down and a stone door slid across. Wasting no time they both shot into the doorway, Preeta flicked a switch up while he was inside and the door slid shut. Turning Steve noticed a skeleton had made it inside, slicing at the skeleton with his sword it soon collapsed on the floor.

Suddenly there was quiet. The distant sound of monsters now safely behind the thick walls. Looking around there was light in the room. But no torches, Steve walked up to the glowing stone and touched it. The stone felt faintly warm on his fingers.

“Glowstone?” Steve asked Preeta.

“Yes.” Preeta answered.

“I’ve heard about it – I thought it was a myth!”

“It’s not a myth crafter – if you know where to find it it is common, but it’s not without danger to find it.”

“Call me Steve – where does it come from?” He probed Preeta – very curious about the unusual stone.

“It comes from the Nether realm Steve, where the monsters are far more dangerous and the Nether Dragons rule over their hoards of gems and other precious blocks!”

“Nether dragons? I’ve seen one before and I helped it back to it’s realm. Are we in the nether realm? This whole place should be dark and underground, yet the sun is here!”

“So many questions Steve – in good time you will understand the answers. But before you do – we must free my people. This entrance to the city was safe as two are needed to open the door. The one evil crafter could not enter here, despite all his best efforts. From here we must find where the gold keys have been hidden so we can unlock the gates to the enchanted halls of Minos. The people are there, trapped, but hidden.”

“How do we find these keys?” Steve asked, almost afraid to as somehow he knew this wasn’t going to be as easy as it sounded.

“Through here Steve.” Preeta showed him another large stone doorway, he opened it with a lever and beyond was a dark hallway, just big enough for one person.

“What’s in there?” Steve asked uneasily, this trip was getting worse the further it went on.

“I don’t know Steve.” Preeta answered flatly, I cannot enter this place. It is enchanted, kept safe so none from the city may enter. You must go in and come back with the keys, or we will be trapped here in this city and these monsters!”

“This doesn’t look good – it’s dark!” Steve protested. “There’s none of your glowstone! There could be anything down there!”

Preeta shrugged “Yes – there might!” he said calmly. “But we know what’s out there – don’t we?” he pointed to the door to the outside, where groans and rattles could just be heard.

Steve wasn’t happy – he gave Preeta a look of disapproval. He had a few torches left, putting one in the tunnel Steve advanced forward, diamond sword in hand.

To be continued…

©Simon Farnell 2016

No ownership claimed on images

Minecraft Steve and the Lost City – Part 1

It had been some time since Steve had been exploring on his own since Mike had turned up, but Steve had the opportunity since Mike had accidentally taken some poisionus potion, he thought he had made an invincibilty potion. Steve thought he shouldn’t have swapped the Golden apple for the spider eyeball.Mike was going to to be ill for a little while, so he left him in peace, took his diamond sword and other diamond tools and went out into the unkown.

Steve went exploring near the sea, looking for caves or anything else different or unusual. The normal holes in the ground that often appear were there, but Steve had spent a lot of time underground as wanted to explore something different. As he rounded a corner he spied an island he hadn’t seen before. He wasn’t sure, but even from where he was there was something he thought he could see that attracted him to it.

Getting out his diamond axe he chopped away at a tree and soon he had some planks and sticks to make a boat. In short time Steve was making his way over to the island. Luckily it wasn’t too far away. We he got there he climbed the island walls and was over the top. He soon relaised that some people had been here before. There was an old village, but no villagers, there was noone about. They had taken most of their stash too, nothing of value or use was left. He walked around some more and then noticed bubbling lava in a hole. This was dammed with a gate and a channel led away. Following the channel Steve had no idea what was going on, this seemed an unusual thing to create.

Soon he met with what appeared to be a cave, it was only small but dark. A crooked old sign with unreadable scriblings on was at the side. When Steve looked up he could see now what it was, a big old building hidden with plants and vines. This was the entrance to some old bulding, left for who knows how long. Steve wanted to explore the cave, but it was too dark, so drawing his tools he chopped wood and mined stone. he made a crafting table and a furnace and place them side by side. Steve made sticks and charcoal and soon had a good number of torches he could use to help him explore the building.

walking towards the doorway Steve stepped in and instantly dropped into darkness on the floor. It was quite a drop and he lost some health. Putting up some lamps around the room it seemed empty, the room he was in wasn’t too big. Steve made some steps out of Oak planks so that he could get out again, he didn’t have quite enough and would have to jump to get out. But at least he could get out. Drawing his sword Steve walked toward the corridor out of the entrace chamber. the corridor was made from bare stone and had strange markings and painting he had never seen before. Placing torches as he went Steve suddenly froze.

He recognised the sounds coming from ahead, zombies and skeletons we up ahead, but he couldn’t see anything yet. Creeping forward slowly he tried to see what was ahead. Placing a torch in front of him Steve could see a crowd of Zombies and Skeltons in a pit, running around in a random way, all of them making a noise that would strike fear into any crafter. He turned to leave, then noticed on his right a lever.

“What does this do?” Steve thought to himself, half afraid to flick it down, half daring himself. After a few moment he flicked the switch down a walkway streched out across the pit with the monsters in. It was narrow but passable, stepping out the door behind him closed shut as was trapped.

“Great!” He thought to himself “Now I have to go across!” Carefully Steve walked across the walkway, a few of the skeletons shot arrows at him, he managed to stay on and survived by eating golden apples. After what seemed like an hour he was across. Ahead was a new doorway, it was arched out of marble and gold and was obviously very special. He resisted the urge to mine the fine materials as now his main concern was getting home.

He walked though and ahead of him was a lever with a sign next to it. The sign read: To get home, flick this lever.

“In for a diamond…” Steve though as he flicked it. Out of the floor as if from no-where a villager in white robes appeared from on the diamond platform in front of him. The villager squeaked and moaned to him in a strange language that Steve could just understand.

“Hello” he said “I am Preeta, the high prient of the temple of the lost city of Minos. Thank you for releasing me.”

Steve smiled at him, not sure what to say.

“I need you help, the people of Minos are trapped and need help to be released. An evil crafter trapped them and myself long ago. To release my people is the only way you can get home now – will you help?”

“I will do what I can to help you Preeta.” Steve agreed, feeling like he had no choice. Preeta walked towards the large wall opposite the archway entrance. As he stepped onto a specially engraved stone, the wall opened up in front of them both. Sliding down the wall opened out onto the side of a huge hill and there in front of him was a huge city made from marble with gold and diamond lining the roads.

“The must be the lost city of Minos!” Steve thought to himself.

©Simon Farnell 2016

No ownership claimed on images



Mum, can I have some more?

It was half term and Will was bored. He was once again playing on Minecraft and had been helping to build a huge house with waterfall around it to protect it.

“Mum! Can I have some chocolate?”

“No you can’t!” Will’s mum said. “You need to have some breakfast first!”

“Ok” Will said, returning to his game. A few clicks on his controller and he had thrown the water over the tall pole, watching the water cascading down in and over the house. He spoke into his mic “Hey dude, I’m going but I’ll be back!” Will took off the headset and put ir down onto the sofa where he had been sitting. Will walked into the kitchen where mum was.

“I’m hungry mum. What can I have to eat?”

“Well there’s shreddies, or weeto’s or if you like you can have some toast.”

Will looked up at his mum and smiled cheekily “Can I have some toat with butter on? Can you make it please?”

“Yes, you can have some toast” his mum replied, “but you can make it yourself”

“Oh!” Will complained, he popped some bread into the toaster. A few minutes later he emerged from the kitchen with toast, cut up apple and a raw carrot and set about eating it while he got back onto his game. It seemed the waterfall had now grown and had enveloped the not only the house, but the surrounding area, flooding out the farm where there had been cows and chickens and pigs.

A while later he was at the skate park, Will loved the skate park and was taking his scooter up and down al the ramps. Climbing up onto the half tube, he teetered on the edge, pausing before going down and then flipping back and forth up and down the tube.

“C’mon Will, it’s time to go” Will’s mum told him “It’s cold and I want to get warm”

“Can I stay some more mum?” Will pleaded.

“No Will, it’s too cold” Will’s mum pleaded back. In a flash of genius she added “Let’s get some sweets” Will came off the half pipe and scooted after his mum.

“How much can I have?” Will asked.

“It depends what change I have, let’s see when we get to the shop” Pushing the door open to the shop Will left is scooter outside and followed his mum in. “Here’s 20p Will” producing the coin from her pocket she gave it to Will. Taking it he looked over the shelves full of sweets, pausing at the lollippops he picked up a handful.

“Mum, can I have some more?”

“Hang on Will” His mum replied, reaching and digging into her pocket “Here’s another 20p” she said, handing it to him. Will stood there counting for a few seconds.#

“Thanks Mum!” he said and wandered off to pay, emerging a minute later, already sucking on a lollipop. It wasn’t long and they were back home again, the ever increasing Minecraft water house had now turned into a water park, farm and creeper battleground with random holes where they had exploded.

Dinner time came and went, Shepherds Pie was always his favoiurite and he was sitting there watching Horrid Henry, listeneing to his parents always telling Henry to not be horrid.

“Mum, can I have some icecream?”

“Yes, but go and get it yourself.” mumbling under his breath Will paused the TV and get up and spooned the icream out into the bowl. He scooped some out and ate it and again. He liked doing that, it meant he got more without mum knowing. Sitting down again he watched all that Henry got up to and was then told to clean his teeth. Mum got up and watched his clean his teeth, it made sure he didn’t make a complete mess in the process of cleaning them.

Will trotted up to bed and got changed, slipping under his superheroes duvet he snuggled down, it was snowing outside and Will could see the huge flakes falloing outside.

“Mum, can I have a story?”

Will’s mum sighed “Yes, which story would you like?” showing him some of the books laying about he said.

“No, no, that’s got a spider in it.” Then he smiled “That one” It was a Minecraft story book from Stampy Cat himself. Will’s mum sat down and read it, it wasn’t that long and in a few minutes it was over, along with Will’s day. His eyes were closed and he was breathing heavily, oblivious to the snow building up on the window sill outside and the curtains being closed. Will’s mum knew that she had a whole evening before she heard the words… mum… can I?

But tomorrow was another day… tomorrow he was going to see his Gran.

© 2016 Simon Farnell

No Ownership claimed on image

This story was written for Rachael Ritchey’s blog battle, the theme was Lollipops


  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

The Pink Earphones

I’ve written this as a story submission for Georgie Girl’s writing competition. I hope you all enjoy it, it’s a bit of a deviation from my usual stories:

The Pink Earphones

Working in an office has always been dull for me. Sure I love what I do, but I can’t sit in the office all day. If I do, then I feel tired and I don’t work as well during the day. Really I should have been a farmer or the ranger of a nature reserve, instead I work on spreadsheets, trying to solve the many problems that we face trying to make our next microchip better. To clear my head I nearly always go for a walk during the lunch break and this is where my story begins!

The walk I go on is circular, so I end up where I began. There are the usual mix of people who do the same thing, there are naturally more during the summer than winter. I’m always amazed what some people wear, or rather don’t wear during the winter months though. I don’t feel the cold much, but while I’m shivering under my long winter coat there are those in just a shirt or the odd office girl in a tight blouse and mini skirt. But one person stood out, it wasn’t because she was outrageous, in face she was quite ordinary. She mostly wore jeans and had blonde crinkly hair. Often wearing sunglasses and listening to music with her pink earphones.

One day I realised one thing, I always saw her. No matter when I walked (because my schedule was erratic) I would always see her in the same place, walking towards me in front of a white building. The woman always seemed blind to the world around her. One time she was wolf whistled and told she was sexy by an old builder doing some work across the road. “Damn animal” I thought to myself. I made sure I reported him, but at the time the woman didn’t seem to notice, she carried on walking, her pink earphones plugged in.

I wanted to get this woman’s attention I decided, so I started off with small gestures. Smiling at first, nothing too cheesy a smile full of teeth can be very off putting. It was hard to say if she noticed, I couldn’t see her eyes behind those big sunglasses. She must have seen me though surely? I tried something more obvious, I smiled and said a little “Hi” or a subtle wave. But the blonde woman kept on walking as if I wasn’t there. Almost every lunch break I saw the woman, I was beginning to think she was blind or something. One day I was walking towards her, I had eaten a rather spicy curry the night before and I could feel it building as I got close. I clenched, trying to keep it in, but I knew this could make it worse. Just as I reached her *Parrrrrp* it was long and loud, I’m sure she heard it as I swear I  heard a chuckle. I stood watching for a moment as the woman walked on without a glance back.

Months went on, the leaves turned brown and fell, rains came as they always did, I took my walks and so did she. It gold colder and the rain turned to snow it was at this time that we met. She was walking toward me, the pink earphones in place and suddenly in a split second she was on the floor.

“Shit” I heard her curse as I ran up to her. I was amazed, four people walked by and didn’t stop. I got there to a mess of frizzy blonde hair, the pink earphones were sprawled over the floor and her palm was cut.

“Here, let me help you up” I said, offering my hand out. She reached out her unhurt hand, I took it and helped her up. There was a bench just next to us, I sat her on it and went back for the pink earphones. I walked back and sat next to her, offering her earphones back.

“These are yours I think”

“Yes, they are. Thank you” her hand was hurting, she nursed it as I drew out a clean tissue. Taking her hand, in mine I turned it over. There was some blood but the cut wasn’t bad.

“Let me clean this a little” I said to my surprise she let me. Her hand was cold and white, I gently dabbed to remove the blood. “How are you feeling? Did you hit your head?”

“No, I’m fine… thank you for stopping and helping.” She said. I sat down next to her, she started shivering so I took my coat off and put it over her.

“Thank you” she said again “Don’t I know you?” She asked.

“Not really” I answered “I’ve been trying to catch your attention for a while though”

“Ah, yes. You’re the goofy guy that pulls funny faces” She smiled as she said this “Do you also often randomly wave at people?”giggling as she asked.

“I didn’t think you had noticed. You never seemed to.” I answered, trying not to look her in the eye.

“Of course I did, I’m only listening to music, I’m not blind.” I could tell she was having great fun making fun of me. It became obvious I had completely underestimated the effect my action over the months had on her.

“Well now I have your attention, my name’s Greg and I’m pleased to meet you.”

“Well, Greg” She answered “Greg with the goofy smile, I’m Lucy and I’m pleased to meet you. But I need to get back to work”

“Can I walk you back?” I asked

“You’ll need to if you want your coat back.” smiling as she answered. I hadn’t seen her smile before. We got up and walked the short walk back to her work. When we got there, she turned around, slipped my coat off and handed it back to me.

“Well this is me goofy Greg” Again grinning, It seemed I was going to be permanently known as goofy.

“I’ll see you soon?” I asked.

“Perhaps”Lucy grinned I took this to be another tease at my expense, she kissed me on the cheek, her lips were cold, but the feeling behind the kiss was warm. Lucy then turned around and I watched as she went back into the building. I slipped off the coat and went back, when I had reached my desk, I put my hand in my pocket. There was something in there, pulling it out I found I had a music player and a set of pink earphones.

“Oh well” I thought “I’ll give them back next time I see her.”

The next day I didn’t see Lucy. Or the next day, for over a week I never saw Lucy, but the music player and the pink earphones were in my pocket. The weather had warmed a little on this particular day, I was taking my daily walk and decided to wander into the building where Lucy worked. In from of me there was a long curved receptionists workstation, a young lad y with long brunette hair smiled.

“Good afternoon sir, how can I help you?”

“Good afternoon” Reaching into my pocket I pulled out the music player an earphones “I have something belonging to a Lucy who I believe works here. She left this with me and I want to return it to her.” It was as I said this and put the music player and headphones onto the workstation that I realised something was wrong. The young girl’s face dropped and went sheet white. She composed herself enough to ask in a whisper “Where did you get that?”

Surprised at this reaction I replied calmly “From Lucy, tallish girl, slim, blonde frizzy hair. I bumped into her last week.” Trying to understand I asked “What’s the problem?”

“You can’t have got it from her last week.” The young girl was failing at holding back her tears.

“I did, I watched her walk into this building.”

“She died over a year ago.” The young girl struggled to get the words out, but finally I understood. I was standing there, dumbfounded, like an idiot. I didn’t know what to think, let alone say. For what seemed like an age I stood there, watching the young woman as she stared a me in disbelief, fighting back her tears. Without saying a word, I turned and left and never dared go to the building again.

I still took my walks, but I never saw Lucy again. I have tried to work out what happened and why, but at the end of the day maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe one day I will find out. Whatever happened, for brief time I shared that friendship with her. For a brief time I had caught her attention and I hold that time special to me.

Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell

No ownership claimed to image.





Minecraft Steve and the Island of Pumpkins #Blogbattle #fantasy

Once again I delve into battle for Rachael Ritchey’s blog battle. This week the word is shenanigans which was a bit hard for me, but here goes.


  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a linkback to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/orinclude a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

It had been a while since Steve had found the Ender Dragon in the cave and he had mainly stayed at home and organised all the things he had collected from the cave. Some of it had been put to very good use. The problem now was that he needed to protect his house better.  Fences and walls weren’t doing the trick as creepers kept exploding and making holes in them, the the zombie would come along and pull doors off the house. These shenanigans were getting tiresome and wasted all the things he collected. What he needed were some Iron Golums to help. He had tried to grow some pumpkins to finish them but again… the creepers would blow them up.


Steve thought about what he could do. Then he had an idea. Not far out to sea there was a small island where he could grow the pumpkins safely, then bring them back and finish his Iron Golums. He reckoned he only needed four or five Golums, if he kept them within some walls then they would stay and protect the house and not wander off.

“Brilliant” he thought. In no time he had put his crafting table to use and made two rowing boats (you needed to make sure that you had a spare one). He collected some golden apples, his diamond sword (one of many now) and his bow and arrows and set off to the sea.

In no time he reached the sea and started rowing across the water. The island was deserted and had lots of grassy area which would be good for planting and grwoing. It didn’t take long for him to make a planter and plant the seeds. With nothing more he could do he put a fence around the pumpkins with a gate and set off back home. For a few more days he would need to guard his house himself. When he got home Steve made some treches around the house to re-direct anyunwanted monsters from his house. This kind of worked, but again, the creepers seemed very good at making craters in the ground so he had to rebuild them. After a few more days passed Steve once again set off for the Island.

When he got there he found that his pumpkins had grown, some of his seeds had been Melons too, he wasn’t sure how this was put picked them all then planted some more before setting off back to make his defences. He built an outside wall made of wood blocks and within this made two more walls, with a fence around his home that was nice to look at. The walls were some distance from the house and there he made a cross of four iron blocks, he did this four times and built some steop to the top of each one. There he placed the final part – the pumpkins!

As he placed the pumpkin on each one the figure came to life, looked at him briefly and then wandered about in it’s own random fashion within the walls he had made.

“Ha! Get past my Golums now creepers!” he said to himself as the five of them wandered about and stood guard. A trench around the outer wall meant that nothing should get close. As it got dark Steve went into his house, had a few golden apples and a roast chicken for dinner and went to sleep.

In the morning he woke up and look outside. He couldn’t believe it! The walls were unharmed, but…

“Where are my Iron Golums?” He said aloud to himself.

The gates were closed and the walls were intact. They must have climbed over the walls to live a free life.  This wasn’t Steve day. In a momnet he decided that maybe Island living was for him, so he started packing his things to and find an island to live on. He left the house intact, but as he rowed off, he chuckled to himself as he had left dynamite traps all over the house and left the doors open.

“Let the creepers take it he thought”

Copyright Simon Farnell 2015

No ownership claimed on pictures – all found on google.

The Monster in the Mountain #Blogbattle #Fantasy

This is my entry for this weeks blogbattle run every week by my good friend Rachael Ritchey. This week’s word is Cave. Go and look up the blog battle section in Rachaels blog for rules and how to join in. If you are thinking about joining in, you should, there’s no pressure and it’s great fun!

Steve walked up to the cave in that curious way that crafters  do. Jumping and running, making sure to not touch the ground for too long as you never knew what was there. Steve approached the cave, he had seen it the day before just before night fell and decided to return to it the next day. Steve drew his diamond sword and made sure his bow was easy to get to. Creepers, zombies and all kinds of monsters liked to hang around in caves and he needed to get in there to find out what he could mine. coal, iron and diamonds were always needed and caves were the best place  to find them.

As he walked into the entrance he noticed and broken and weather worn sign, what it said he couldn’t read any of the words. with caution Steve entered and after a little way the darkness submitted to dim torch light and the dim glow emitted by a small lava flow. He found a number of blocks of coal and picked up his iron axe to dig it out. After collecting a few pieces of coal and cobblestone some more coal revealed itself and then some iron. This was turning out to be a good cave. Just then he froze, the low moan of a zombie could be heard and he looked up to find one walking towards him. He picked up his diamond sword again and charged towards him. A few swipes of his sword and the zombie was soon gone.

As Steve picked up his iron axe to begin mining again he heard something else. He wasn’t sure where from. Looking around he couldn’t find out where this noise was but he thought it was below him. finding what looked like a blocked passage he descended it, finding a few goodies on the way like the odd bit of gold or iron he dug down. He was definitely getting closer, the noise was getting louder and louder. Then the last blocks shattered and he stood there, stunned by what he saw. He had found a huge chamber with coal and iron and gold all over the walls and floor, lava pools lit the cave and made it look creepy. In the middle of the chamber was a huge Ender Dragon, sitting on top of a huge pile of gold ingots and diamonds.

Steve didn’t think the Ender Dragon had seen him yet. It seemed to be resting now… it didn’t seem to happy, or active as Steve approached it, bow at the ready and golden apples close at hand to help him heal if this turned into a fight.

“I know you’re there Steve – I can sense you” he heard a woman’s voice say in his head as clear as he might hear it with his ears.

“I’ve been waiting for someone to release me for a long time now. Will you release me? In return you can have all that this cave can give.”

“Err… yes…” Steve said aloud, unsure if he was meant to talk or think. “I will help you… but how? I don’t have the materials I need to make a portal”

“You don’t need to” The woman’s voice echoed in his head again “Take your axe and dig out around the raised area at the end of the chamber – it hides a portal”

“If I do this, will you promise not to hurt me?”

“I promise, I just want to get out of this cave and back to my kingdom in the Ender World.”

Steve walked over to the raised area, his pick axe ready to dig out the portal. He kept his weapons close and made sure he watched the Dragon as he dug. Sure enough he found a portal and dug and dug until it was completely uncovered. When the last stone was mined the Dragon grinned, flapped it’s wings and rose into the air.

“Thank you Steve. Today I will spare you, but if you venture into my world then you will not be as lucky again – Goodbye”

With a roar the Dragon dove into the portal and was gone in a flash. Steve looked round, as quickly as he could he collected all the coal, iron ore, diamonds and other useful things as he could. he threw away the cobblestone as he didn’t have room for that as well. But he kept some so he could seal the cave again. Steve left the portal open, he wasn’t sure why, maybe one day it would be useful, but if he ever ventured there again he was prepared to find any kind of horror from the Ender World waiting within.

With a hop and skip he left the cave, with all the riches he could dream of to fill his chests and furnace. Maybe one day he would return to the cave, maybe one day he would dare to enter the portal. Maybe… for now he had lots to things to craft and food to find and creepers t avoid.

Copyright 2015 Simon Farnell

No ownership claimed to images – Images found on Google.

Toothpaste and Tissue Paper #Blogbattle

I read a tweet last week that a good writer could make cleaning your teeth sound great. So in a hopefully surprise twist I’m going to write a story about cleaning your teeth. Whether it’s good or not is up to you guys. This is of course for Rachel Ritchey’s Blog Battle, huge thanks to the boss 🙂

“Go and clean you teeth Will” Mum called to him again. Was it the fourth or fifth time that he had been told to clean his teeth.

“OK mum!” Will shouted back, he didn’t want to be told again because mum would start getting mad now. Reaching for the purple toothbrush, Will carefully squeezed out a stripe of the cool blue paste over the bristles of his brush. He pulled the tap up and wet the brush, then stopped it, then lifted the tap again. He did this several times watching the water swirl down the plug hole. He always liked watching the water disappear like that. He scrubbed his teeth a few times, pulling the brush as he gripped it with his teeth. A long dribble of watery paste dripped down into the sink and was washed away with the water.

Will brushed his teeth a little more, making sure he reached his back teeth and looking at himself in the mirror while he brushed. Will pulled a funny face, scrunching his eyes and nose up. Then he stood there and gripped his toothbrush again waggling it up and down with his mouth. As he swung the toothbrush up he tried to make it touch his nose, but he couldn’t quite make it.

Will slipped the brush out and spat out the white gooey mess into the sink and watched it spin round and disappear down the hole. Will took his toothbrush and made swirly patterns with the paste on the mirror. After a few minutes he stood there and admired his work. Thinking he should clean it off, he stood there an wondered how. With a little tissue he wiped the mirror, but the tissue fell apart with the wet and made the mess worse. In a blinding flash he thought he could use the water from the tap. A handful of water wasn’t enough so turning the tap on full he squirted the mirror and most of the room with an uncontrollable jet of water. He finsihed and turned off the tap, the mirror wasn’t quite clean, but it would have to do.

“C’mon Will haven’t you done yet?” Called his mum “I hope you haven’t made a mess!”

“Coming Mum, no I haven’t!” Will shouted back, beating a hasty exit  he shut the door behind him.

“Right, lets see those teeth” Will grinned bearing his teeth as he felt a dibble of water at his feet.

“Well done Will, it’s bedtime” Grinning to himself Will followed his mum. Saying nothing about the mess otherwise he might not get his two chapters of Gangsta Granny. During his sleep Will would swear he heard a screech… but he didn’t wake up.

Copyright 2015 Simon Farnell