Books Are Now Free

All my occult fiction except for one book is now FREE and available in a variety of formats. Go to this site:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CandyRay

I’m returning to my original ethos of art for art’s sake. Art is magic, and magic is art!

However, I am about to start writing under a new pen name, and I will see how this new ‘persona’ gets along and whether it becomes appropriate for her to go professional. I’ll either be doing it the proper way this time, or else I’ll merely be bouncing around exploring a new direction with more free books.

(The books are also available on Amazon but not currently free.)

 

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Roast Potatoes

roast potatoes

Channelled from my dark muse Ino. All I could think of for this flash fiction prompt was boring tales about cooking disasters. Ino wrote this:

I love crispy roast potatoes straight from the oven. Usually I put them with roast beef and greens, ladling copious amounts onto the dinner plate. One day I was just sitting down to eat my roast potatoes when a bird flew up to the window. It tapped on the window with its little beak and held up a message scroll in its claw.

I opened the window and took the message, and as I read it the bird came in and began to peck at one of my roast potatoes. “Don’t eat my dinner!” I snapped, “or you will end up as part of it!”

The bird pecked the potato again, and I noticed the message read,” whatever you do, do not harm or eat this bird.” They must have known who I was, to write that. But why send a message that is only about the messenger? You expect one line about the messenger, and that to be followed by the message itself.

I threw the message onto the table, grabbed the bird and put it in a canary cage. (It wasn’t a canary.) Then I ate the rest of my dinner. I threw a tangled knot of worms into the cage for the bird to eat and put in a pot of water. It gave a mournful twitter. I resolved to let it go the next day but did not tell it so.

Later I went to bed. During the night I heard the bird singing, and I reflected that usually only nightingales sing at night. In the morning it had turned into a large mermaid and was sitting in my bath with the cold tap running. The cage was in pieces on the floor, having split when the bird grew.

“What’s the matter with you now?” I asked irritably, turning off the tap to prevent flooding over the bathroom floor.

“You didn’t say you were letting me go,” she replied, “so I escaped.”

“I was going to open the cage this morning and put you out of the window,” I answered. “What’s the idea of the message, and being a bird in the first place?”

“You’ll have to ask the person who wrote it,” she said. “The person who has got this entire house in a box. Look- here comes their hand through the window, helping itself to potatoes from the vegetable rack. We’ll be roasting them.”

Seagull

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We both wrote a flash fiction story called ‘Seagull.’ My story:

My colleague passed round photographs, and I remembered my photo of a seagull alone in the blue sky. Then I remembered my many photos of flowers, the album I put them in, and later the folder on my computer.

But these were photographs of a wedding, and my wedding had been postponed on a rainy May afternoon and in the end, had never happened.

The bride and bridesmaids in my colleague’s pictures held bouquets of flowers framed by tufty, trailing leaves and starred with a smooth loveliness, just like the flowers in my album. The expanse of sky above the wedding party was a deep blue; they were lucky to have had a fine day. But no birds could be seen there, flying.

 

Ino’s story:

I announced that the subject of my lecture was ‘seagulls’, and everyone turned their heads away and muttered about seagull droppings landing on car windscreens.

“Why aren’t seagulls more popular?” I wondered, and an albatross flew by outside flapping its long, long wings in a slightly overlapping way, right by the window of the lecture hall.

I began by speaking about pale blue and pale green coloured eggs in nests, precarious on a windy cliff side. Mentally, my audience climbed and leaned out to see the eggs more closely, and then some stole them, and some smashed them, and only a few nurtured the young birds.

After all, who wants unpopular birds which do not hatch until the audience are back home and putting their dinner in the cooking pot? I can see them hatching, and I hear the crack.

 

 

Tombstones

We both wrote a flash fiction story called ‘Tombstones.’ Ino’s:

I brought my cine camera to make a vampire film among the tombstones. Unfortunately there was a notice up proclaiming,  ” do not disturb the graves,” and a verger with a hand-bell, looking for all the world like a town crier, also came up to me and said, “you are not allowed to film here.”

How do the great classics of gothic film ever get made? Is it essential to have the money and clout to construct an imaginary graveyard? I’m only an amateur film-maker and cannot stretch to that. Although perhaps I should try, in my back garden, and then it would be more authentic because all the real ghoulies would flock to my unconsecrated ground which was mimicking a place of burial. Then they could star in the film.

“Look, Mum, here comes a monster!”

The clergy would be perfectly happy with all these creatures from Hell coming into my back garden and then appearing at the local film club in all their glory on the silver screen. It would be better than me trespassing.

My story:

Gravestones used to be white. Now they are grey or black, and the next generation upon seeing them will think we have consigned our dearly departed either to Hell, (the black ones) or to an abode of sackcloth and ashes which must be Purgatory (the grey ones). They can’t be going to Heaven, because there is no longer a row of white tombstones, standing tall like incisors against the horizon.

I tried erecting a tombstone in pale grey, in the hope it would look more like a white one. It just ended up looking more like ashes than ever before: like the remains of a smouldering pyre that had been lit cautiously upon some consecrated mound to circumvent the fire regulations. It was like soot in the grate, rather than the blacker soot in the chimney.

But when did anyone last use an open fire? We are in the age of dehydrated central heating, shrivelling up the atmosphere faster than a blocked chimney can choke the air in a room, and leaving no residue to be seen- or incorporated into a tombstone design.

Festival Day

The correct name for a 100-word story is a Drabble, and they are supposed to be exactly 100 words long excluding the title. I have amended this one which was on a Drabble site a few years ago, so now it is exactly 100 words long. 

 

It was a festival day and I longed to see what was going on. A stage with music playing, blocked by the crowd standing at the front. Stalls covered in brightly coloured shapes labelled ‘hand-made crafts’, and crowds thronging around them- carousel, children on a bouncy swing  called a spider’s web. Teenagers pedalling furiously on pedal-power bikes to fuel the generator.
But whenever I try to move closer, the wire mesh bars my way. There are no special days for me – every day is the same, sitting on the same perches, in the aviary at the centre of the park.

Parrot

Free Book Promotion

raew 2018 - 2

My fiction books are on free promotion for all this week 4-10 March 2018.

Novella ‘The Rescue Circle’
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/770469
Novella ‘Copying A Master’
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/769649
Short Stories ‘Chaos Dreams Part 1’
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/770177
Short Stories ‘Chaos Dreams Part 2- Astral Tales’
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/770181

If you love them please consider buying my first novella ‘The Wizard From Vahan’ (science fiction/fantasy) which I can’t make free because it is published by Night Horse.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wizard-Vahan-Candy-Ray/dp/1365580393/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Blue

Reposting this poem from four years ago, which is dedicated to the DKMU’s pirate egregore Old Zalty.

 

Blue: deep, cobalt, aquamarine;
I went inside the steep wave, ocean blue gleam.
Sapphire keen, sharp, opened out cliffs,
Icy water, choppy, jewelled- blue lips.
Sailed home, wave gone; blue pills, drug.
Came home to pale door, sky blue rug.
Royal, ultramarine, the short light beam,
Navy fringed, powder blue:our dreams.
Into pool, deep, full, I dived.
Veins thin, blood within half alive.
Arteries needed too, so it lives.
Marine blue, all to you I give.

Visual

Thick lens,
Opaque glass,
Curved like a lens shouldn’t be
Bends the light,
Pulls it in
And bends the way I see.
Pebble glasses,
Dark sunglasses
Separate the world from me.
Laser beam
Much too sharp
Cuts right through-
Kills suddenly.

Tassel

We both wrote  a flash fiction story called ‘Tassel.’

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My story:

I caught one of the tassels in my gown on the door handle of the drawing room, and it temporarily arrested my flight from the great house. It gave me a moment longer to contemplate the finery of my surroundings as I struggled, hooked to the door, to free myself from the restraint.

Where would I go when I managed to escape- to the poor house? Would I be scrubbing a filthy floor, and afterwards be handed one scrap of bread as my evening meal?

At last I pulled myself away and resumed my journey, adjusting the comb in my hair as I ran. I wanted to keep the comb. Perhaps I could hide it in my pocket and no-one would know it was there. If they knew they would probably take it away from me, just as everything else was about to be taken, starting from now.

 

Ino’s story:

The tassel swung. It swung and swung. It had a knotted silk loop on the end, and the knot hit the wall with a thud. Then something burst, up above in the unseen world from which the tassel had originated.

Brown silk flew everywhere, and it looked like a tulle dress tucked up and worn by a model on the catwalk as it flew into clumps and frilled, gathered areas which stuck to the wall, giving an impression of horrible gothic sleeves.

More tassels appeared at centre stage: a whole row of them like a glockenspiel; tassels being hit by little hammers all along the row, xylophone tinkles as the hammers hit: thud, thud and thud again, right the way along. And the whole stage split. The wings spread out as they cracked from bottom to top, and now the ceiling fell in on our many phantoms of the opera who were seated silently in the amphitheatre, waiting for something to happen.

Well, it wasn’t long to wait after all, and someone at the back called out, “eschaton.”

 

 

Bicycle

We both wrote a piece called ‘Bicycle.’ Mine:

At the back of the store I found a penny farthing bicycle. When the shopkeeper wasn’t looking I took it out into the yard behind the shop and began to ride it, and the big wheel got larger and the small wheel got smaller until it was a hoop the size of a circus ring with a tiny dot underneath it.

Then it became a cell with a nucleus that was such a speck you could hardly see it, and I found myself turned into a chromosome of waving seaweed that spanned half the diameter and flowed all over the other half. I was part of a cell in some unknown organism, crawling on the seabed in a new world, and soon to emerge onto the land. What kind of creature it would grow into I could not tell.

Wheeling the bike  to the front of the shop,  I warned the shopkeeper of its psychedelic properties. He replied that there had never been a penny farthing bicycle in the store, and it must have been me who had brought it in.

 

Ino’s:

My bicycle is blue with red handlebars, and there is a bell prominently situated at the front where the handlebars meet.

I ring the bell all the time. I ring it to make pedestrians jump and almost fall under my wheels, and I ring it to warn cats that I am about to ride over their tails and chop off the end. I ring it just before I ram into the back of other cyclists and I ring it before I thread around other road users at the junction, terrifying them, and looking like I’m about to get myself killed.

If a policeman tries to stop me I ring the bell- then whizz away at high speed. If an angry pedestrian accosts me, I spit at him, ring the bell and then accelerate away, narrowly missing him as I gather speed and tear along the open road. Even my mother has been grazed by my wheels as I shoot away out of our yard, to escape her criticisms of my reckless behaviour.

Never tell me to stop ringing the bell, for it is only that which warns you that I am near.