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Tell me a story, he said (short Story: 1058 words)(PG)

It was a day like every other for Damian. Making coffee for the masses, putting little patterns in the foam – and taking special effort for those that would appreciate it (or because they looked cute).  And like every other day, when he got those first twenty minutes to have a break, he would reach into his back pocket, pull out his Tarot cards, shuffle them, take a deep breath and say…

“Tell me a story”.

The Cracked Tower.


“Can I borrow your jacket?” asked Tamsin.  “Gregory’s going to walk me home because we can’t drive like this and it’s freezing out!”

“Sure” replied Mary, “I’ll get a lift from Stacey when she goes; she’s not drinking tonight.”  Mary handed over the coat.

“I’ll get it back to you tomorrow” said Tamsin.

“No rush” said Mary, “I won’t need it until next weekend anyway.”


A couple of days later, Stacey phoned Mary.

“HOW COULD YOU???” she screamed at her.

“How could I what?” asked Mary.

“Of all the people – my best friend! I knew that Gregory was a lying toad, but you… I trusted you!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, OK, let’s play that game then.  Just tidied my house, and found YOUR COAT down the back of our bed on GREGORY’S SIDE!  I can’t believe it… you…”  the line went dead.

Mary felt a shiver of cold run through her.  Gregory and Stacey’s place was on the way home from the club and they would have had to pass by it to get to Tamsin’s… Mary tried to phone back, but it went straight to voicemail.  Immediately she called Tamsin.

“Where’s my coat?” asked Mary.

“Mine, somewhere” replied Tamsin.

“Only I need it sort of now…. there’s a receipt in the pocket that I need to be able to claim my expenses.  I’ll come over and pick it up if that’s OK – I’ve looked everywhere and it’s the only other place I can think it is.”

“Sure, OK, I’ll see you in five.”  Tamsin waited until it was clear that the line had been disconnected.  “You better get out of here quick” she said to Gregory.


Damian looked at the card.  The Cracked Tower.  What could it mean?  Perhaps the next card would offer something to the tale.  He pulled the second card and turned it over.

The Ten of Swords.


Mary was there in four minutes.  Actually she was there in three – plenty of time to see Gregory leave her place.  She walked up and knocked on the door.  Tamsin answered, looking a little flush.

“Wow! You were here quick! I … I haven’t had chance to look yet.”

“Don’t bother” said Mary. “I know where it is… you left it at Gregory’s place when he walked you home.  I just wanted to look you straight in the eye to tell you that.  Now, with all the calm I can possibly muster, I want to say two more things to you.  One: I just hope you have the balls to tell Stacey because it’s clear Gregory doesn’t. Two: Leave me the hell alone – forever.”

With that, Mary walked back to her car.  She got in, sat down and the adrenaline left her body – to be replaced with great heaves of tears.  Two friendships. Done and ended, all in the space of 15 minutes.

When she gathered herself, she drove to the coffee shop.  Perhaps Damian could make her a Latte.


Damian looked at his watch.  He had enough time to pull a card and perhaps grab a quick cigarette.  His expresso would have cooled enough to drink as a straight shot then.  The third card was almost expected.



Mary walked into the coffee shop.  Damian had returned and that made her feel a little better.  He shot the expresso with an almost guilty smile before smiling and saying to Mary, “You look like you need something stronger than a coffee.”

Mary smiled.  “Would be nice – but it’s a bit early in the day.  Skinny Latte please.”

With practiced fingers, Damian made the drink.  As he created the leaf pattern he said to Mary, “You know, baristas are like the day time bar tender.  You can tell us anything and it stays here.”  He smiled, a genuine warm smile and for a moment Mary forgot herself and smiled back.  “I may have to take you up on that… when it gets a little quiet here.”

Mary picked up her drink, turned and her eyes immediately latched onto Stacey’s. Stacey’s eyes widened, then a blaze of fury shot across her.  With her hands full of latte glass and saucer, Mary did the only thing she could – she dropped the whole thing.

“No Stacey – please – no – it wasn’t me!  Please!!”

The clatter of saucer, cup, glass brought Damian out in an instance.

“What’s happening?” he asked.  Before Stacey could say anything, or go, Mary exclaimed

“My friend was cheated on by someone – not me – but it looks like it is me, but it isn’t!!!”

Damian looked up – straight at Stacey.  “Is this your friend?” he asked.
“Yes” said Mary.

“NO.” said Stacey.

Damian stood up.  “Look, I’ve got enough to clear up here, but why don’t you sit there – and you sit there.  Give me a couple of moments – Hey Bill, can you clean this up – I’m going to see if I can hang on to two customers over here.”

Damian sat down with Stacey and Mary. Mary didn’t need prompting to help her – she immediately opened up and whilst Damian needed to get Stacey to listen, soon enough she was listening.  Damian went away and made up two more Skinny Lattes, complete with a heart in the foam, and brought it back to the table.

Stacey told Mary that she had suspected Gregory for a while, and had an idea that it was someone in their circle of friends.  She admitted that she had thought it was Mary because she got on so well with Gregory – Mary said that he’d made her laugh a couple of times, but he really wasn’t her type.   Damian sat and listened until he politely said “I think I need to go and help Bill.”


As Damian walked back to the coffee machine, the three cards he’d drawn from his Tarot deck were drawn back into his mind.  The whole story in three cards.

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A week in creativity (all)

Hi everyone!

Even allowing for it being a short working week, I’m quite pleased with the amount of creativity that has occurred.  I was fortunate that last weekend was a lovely day and I was able to get outside for some toy photography.  Additionally, I was able to make myself wait for things like the ink to dry on the paper – making it far easier to remove the pencil marks without smudging.

Anyways, onwards with the creations!

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day 10: flora
day 11: street. These three all use gas lamps!
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day 12: fauna. Designation: soft kitty, warm kitty
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day 13: story – to a happy life
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day 14: lights
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day 15: (creature) comfort
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day 16: egg

This week’s Instagram #wheresyawienerwednesday almost didn’t happen; however, I managed to remember in time and it also coincided with the viral video of the news reporter getting caught out on screen

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As well as the image for day 13 “Story” I also managed a two part drawing, “Home” and “Away”. They are a little Burton-esque but I’m pleased with their quirky nature:


And as it’s Easter, my Naughty Rabbits had to make an appearance.  I was quite fortunate that in a trip to a garden centre recently I found an artificial grass sample – perfect for bringing the outside in!

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I can’t eat another thing!
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We walked all this way for that? I don’t get it

I’ve included this last one because it has been bouncing around in my head for a little while now – and I think it was worth including to reflect the nature of creativity.  Around the world, people will be walking up hundreds of steps to look at something that is culturally important or significant – mostly because they are in that country and the guide book tells them that it is culturally important.  And I suspect that this sentiment will be echoed many times round the world.  Does it work as a creative image?  Probably not, but this is when creativity and art become that scenario when the idea is there, the image is mostly there (I know I need to crop and edit a little) but somehow you know it doesn’t quite work.

And yet “Easter Island” came to me in a flash.  Go figure.



So have a good Easter.  I’m not sure if I’ll post next week as I’m on leave, so perhaps it may be late… or I may save it all for a bumper catch up.  Have fun!

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A week in creativity (PG WARNING!!)

Hello everyone!  OK, let me start by pointing out the PG warning – there’s a reference in here to something that may be a little “adult” in one of the photo-a-day challenges.

So a new week – and a new approach to postcard art, partly inspired if I’m honest with that lovely picture I shared last week.  The technique is not new and in truth it’s pretty obvious; it’s LETTING THE INK DRY. I know – crazy right?  In pretty much every drawing I’ve done I’ve drawn it first in pencil, then used black ink and then added the colours. In between the black in and colouring is the “rubbing the visible pencil lines out” and it is here that the slow dawning of reality has finally caught up with me… often the black ink will not have dried, so I’ll either get a smudge, a streak… or the colours will be blurred at the edges.  Although this is a really obvious thing, I also recognise that it has a downside – I can’t just lose myself in several hours of one piece of art as I have to stop.  But I think the results have been good, especially for this week’s art which makes use of a lot of lettering.

Anyways, onwards!

I rather enjoyed my drawing this week – with the exception of “PURR” they have been used for blog posts in The Black Crane.

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Out on a walk around London’s Knightsbridge area this week I found this piece of art called “Unfurl”.  When I first saw it I was struck by its location – there isn’t an art gallery nearby, it just seemed to be be there.  I later found out the name of the piece but also that it had been purchased by donations from locals!

The Photo a day challenge went well, although there are a couple where I wasn’t happy with the subject matter – I felt that I had met the brief but with the minimum amount of effort possible.  But there will be days like that I guess.

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Happened this weekend: we had a visitor
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Frame(d): someone had painted over Joker’s Mum’s favourite picture and frame… but was it Joker?
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Letterbox (screen capture from my Instagram Account)
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Nooo! The word of the day is FORK!

Somehow just taking a picture of a fork seemed less… fun…

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Ok, that’s me for this week, have a great one and I’ll see you next time!

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Adventures in Normal (all)

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I have an idea on the tip of my tongue
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If you leave these lying around, I’m going to take a fence
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Batty: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.” – Bladerunner
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A week in creativity (all)

Hello everyone!

It’s been quite a fun week; some of the photo a day challenges have certainly allowed me to stretch the creative thinking and go in the non-standard direction! Additionally, for one of the images I definitely broke the “rules” of photography and I’ll explain why later.

But I’ll start with the inspirations this week – some direct, some not so.  I feel fortunate that I now live in Somerset, which is the home to the small town of Glastonbury (the small music gathering is nearby) and the Somerset Levels.  In Glastonbury there is a small man-made hill called the “Tor”; no-one really knows why it is there and there are some really wonderful myths and tales about it.  For me, it’s along some lovely country roads….

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The other inspiration this week came from a run.  The day challenge was “floating” and I was heading down a route of working out how I could draw a cloud and make it look like a Lego figure was floating – without the use of photo editing.  I’d also decided to go for a run and set off to Paddington (in case you were wondering I work in London during the week) and joined the Grand Union Canal with the intention of running up to Little Venice (a lovely location for photos etc) then following the canal to Regents Park where I would finish my jog at Baker Street Station.  As soon as I got to the Paddington Basin, I had the “ah-ha!” moment when I realised floating could be water-based!  As it was, on my run I was checking where I needed to go (just along from Little Venice the canal goes into a tunnel and there is no footpath, so I had to follow the roads) and I noticed that I wasn’t too far from the famous Abbey Road Recording studios – and the infamous crossing on the Beatles record cover.

Of course, it is worth noting to any visitors to London that the zebra crossing that you will photograph isn’t the one from the album cover – the council moved it a few hundred feet up the road.  But it’s good for the “I was there” photos!

So onto this week’s challenge images.

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A quiet moment
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Starts with P…
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Starts with T… breakfast!
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Happened this weekend – we had a visitor

Of the images, I felt that the “Quiet Moment” was probably the most interesting – and the one that in my book broke photography rules.  To be clear, these “rules” are more guidelines to framing your picture in a more pleasing and natural way (for example, getting the principle people on the “thirds” lines of an image, or being at the right height – so getting down to a child’s height to get the better picture angle).  In this case I shot downwards, at an angle and not on the Thirds line.  But it made the overall image just a little different to normal.

But I also managed some non-challenge art and images this week… so enjoy…

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There were birthdays this week
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a few birthdays…
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Hugs were given
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Rapty enjoying the Dinosaur bits in King Kong
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He was going to keep an eye on these plants
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My Lego calendar for April 🙂


Finally, I HAVE to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my good friend Lori (who has a wonderful blog who sent me this fantastic painting that she completed whilst being snowbound earlier this year.  It’s of my wife and I and Lori has used a photo that was taken a few years ago when went to the Goth Weekend at Whitby.   I’m working on getting a frame for it and it will be hung with pride in the office!  Thank you!

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(c) Lorelei Walsh


Have a great week!