Pretending To Sleep

The floorboard by the bed creaks. Soft footfall moves away, growing quieter and quieter until… Another creak. This one is more of a groan. A throaty groan that means they are at the door. There’s a hole there, maybe. A big hole that has since been hidden by wood. That’s why the creak sounds like a groan. It’s the sound a person makes when they’re stepped on.

Now they’re at door, what comes next is closing it. It’s a quiet sound, a little whoosh and then a click. The whoosh barely ever heard. The click is. The click means it’s safe to open your eyes. The click means it’s safe to move. You have to be quick, though, because they might come back. Sometimes it’s safer not to move at all. Especially when they might be listening.

The click is taking a while. If you can imagine that person in their hidey-hole, imagine them holding their breath. Imagine them with the weight pressing down on them, becoming more unbearable with every passing second. They’re waiting for the click. Or rather, the moment just before the click when the weight eases away and the door is pulled shut.


A hiss of breath. A sigh of relief, maybe, for the weight is gone. Or just the sound of a silken dressing gown moving across the floor.

Don’t move yet. Don’t look. They might still be there. If they hear the wet sweep of eyelids lifting, they’ll be back. Go to sleep. It’s bedtime.

Wait just a few seconds until the light switch flicks. Now move. Slide further under the covers, into the warm dark, where no one can hurt you. Especially not the body under the floorboards, who scratches and moans.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Top 10 Reasons Readers Abandon Books

I embody my worst fear as a writer. I’ve got books on my shelf with bookmarks in the middle and I don’t have any idea when or if I’ll pick them up again. If I’m abandoning books, other people are too. But why?

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3 Things Video Games Teach Us About Writing First Chapters

When searching for writing tips, video games are rarely used as case studies. Which is sad. And disappointing. Fantastic stories are told through games, let’s acknowledge what they can teach us about writing.

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What My 2019 Reading Challenge Taught Me

Happy New Year, everyone! At the start of 2019, I posted 5 New Year Resolutions for Writers. Since it has been 12 months (12 MONTHS?!) – here’s a refresher:

Writers should be the most enthusiastic readers, but let’s be honest, a lot of us either put it off or don’t make the time.

I’d been away from reading for a while when I wrote that, so it made sense to challenge myself to get back into something I used to love.

I didn’t exactly succeed.

Don’t get me wrong, things went pretty well for the first few months, but after abandoning a few books halfway through, I let my reading challenge slide, as anyone following my goodreads will tell you. Life happened. I started a new job. My writing stalled. Even this blog started to gather dust.

Reading, like any hobby, requires dedication. More than people think. As I navigate my twenties, I’m anxious that I’m not doing the the things I enjoy as much as I used to. I’ve never had a ton of hobbies, but I seem to have fewer now than I did when I was younger.

This worries me. I worry that my life is slipping away, that I don’t have good memories, or the ones I do have aren’t good enough. Which is, in all honesty, complete bogus. Doesn’t a twenty-something have enough to worry about than if they’re happy enough? What’s good is living in a state of dissatisfaction?

Still it’s easy to let things slide. It’s also easy to turn hobbies into chores and let them overwhelm us. As much as I want to make time for the things I care about, I want to still care and to enjoy them.

This year, instead of a list of resolutions, just remember to make time for the things you care about. Nurture your hobbies, have fun with them, and don’t let them overwhelm you.

Happy To Help

“I’m going to find you and smash your skull in.” The call ended with a clatter. She didn’t have time to process what happened. The next customer was fed through the telephone and the call process started again.

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