My Brief Stint in Print

11855510_10153451464036007_2015173388_nThe last few weeks have been a whirlwind of numbers and spreadsheets but there have been a few exciting announcements along the way which had made the whole thing worthwhile. Alongside this cacophony of chaos, there has been one unexpected surprise which has really given me a taste of a world I never thought I’d get to be a part of.

I entitled this post ‘My Brief Stint in Print’ because that is exactly what it was. Around about two months ago, after a particularly long and rough day at work, I allowed Jack to convince me to write a letter to Neo Magazine, a magazine that I have been obsessively purchasing every month for the past year and a half, just to let them know how much I love what they do and how much their writing has inspired me to embrace my fandoms in as big a way as possible. It was one of the hardest emails I have ever written. I agonised over it. Every line felt wrong and every compliment, exaggerated, but I finally settled on a draft and, before I could second guess myself, I pressed send.

I didn’t get a response from my email and, to be honest, I hadn’t expected one. As time wore on, I forgot I had sent it at all, I continued going about my daily life and, on the release date of the issue 139 of Neo, I wandered down to the WHSmith and picked up my copy just like I always do. It wasn’t until I was sitting at work in my lunch hour, munching on a sandwich and flicking through the magazine that I stumbled across something I really wasn’t expecting… there it was, plain as day, my letter in print!! Not only was it printed in the magazine BUT it was the star letter and I had won myself a free copy of ‘Space Dandy’ Season 2. I was so beside myself with excitement that I called practically everyone I know to tell them about it.11850783_10153451463976007_2008605787_n

In order to claim my prize, and because I was so overwhelmed with joy that I wanted to thank whoever chose my letter, I sent an email to Neo Magazine and spoke to their lovely editor, Gemma. As per her suggestion I sent in a 200 word reader review and got some much appreciated advice in regards to my future plans.

Now that August has rolled around I am very pleased to say that I also have a piece featured in Neo Magazine issue 140 too!

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As someone who is usually quite frightened of revealing herself and her writing to people on a wider scale than my humble blog and my wonderful followers, having something in a magazine at all is a pretty major accomplishment for me and I am astoundingly overwhelmed by the very thought of it. I feel like these last two months have given me a taste of just what joy writing can bring me and I hope to carry this feeling with me for a long time ^.^

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Rihito Hatsune – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’. What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought (Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written) rihito

Rihito

Her POV

When I finally arrive at the Black Ship I feel completely exhausted. I run a hand through my hair carefully tucking it behind my ears and check my reflection in a shop window before I pull myself up to my full height and take a deep breath. Cakes in one hand and a hastily scribbled map crumpled in the other I give myself an internal pep talk before pressing a fist again the café door and giving it a push. The cool, conditioned air washes around me and I feel my nerves instantly calm. Inside, the café is romantically lit, with soft leather seating and mismatched tables that perfectly compliment the retro feel of the décor. There’s a wonderfully comforting smell of freshly brewed coffee which brings a smile to the corners of my lips as I step further into the room, spotting a tall man behind the bar. The man is fiddling absently with the dials on an out of date radio and doesn’t hear me enter, he pauses for a moment to push his dark hair out for his eyes before returning to his quest.

I bounce from foot to foot for a moment, feeling a little awkward, but he still doesn’t notice me so I decide to get his attention. I give a little cough. He starts, his hair falls back into his eyes and he turns on me, one hand pushed hard against his chest.

Bartender: “Careful now, beautiful; I’m an old man and I only have one heart” he lets out a breathy chuckle and pats himself on the chest a couple of times. “Good Afternoon, How can I help you?”

I try to conceal the blush rising in my cheeks with a smile and take a step towards the bar. Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Takeshi Yuno – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)

take

Takeshi

Her POV

It’s been an eventful morning. Having ­­­been insulted by the women in the flower shop, teased mercilessly by the surly boy in the cake shop and almost tackled by a frustrated restaurant owner and a delinquent, I am starting to feel like this town really is a lot different from what I remember. When I finally arrive in front of the Black Ship I heave a big sigh of relief, my day may not be over but at least I’m reached my destination.

The Black Ship is a cosy looking café nestled into the shopping district with comforting fixtures and beautiful window boxes. Nerves rush over me as I look up at what is going to be my home for the coming years whilst I study. I take a big steadying breath, closing my eyes for a moment, before I place a hand on the door and give it a gentle push. Inside the air is cooler than it is outside and I immediately feel better. The gently lit room is almost empty except for a few patrons; soft music issues from a radio that rests on the bar and each table has a small vase with a single flower positioned somewhere around the centre.

(Wow, this place is so retro!)

Behind the bar stands a man in his twenties, his gives me a beaming smile and I head in his direction.

(Could this be…?) Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Ryuzo Hatta – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)

ryuzo

Ryuzo

HER POV

After the evil glares of the girl’s at the florists and the harsh comments of the guy in the cake shop I am starting to feel like this town might not be the same town I remembered after all.

(The shops look the same but…)

I stop for a moment, admiring the colourful array of fruit and vegetables outside of a grocery store when I hear a shout from behind me.

The voice is heavily accented and undoubtedly furious.

Voice: “Woman! You no eat and run!”

I instinctively flinch, trying to make myself as small as possible as I turn towards the man who is gaining on me fast. His face is contorted with rage and I start to panic. Before I can even consider an escape however, another body, much larger and moving much faster, comes barrelling out of the grocery store whose display I had been admiring. The two men collide in an explosion of limbs and I close my eyes against the impact, praying that neither of them is hurt.

Blonde man: “Anan! How many times have I gotta tell ya! Don’t attack ladies.” Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Ichigo Sato – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)ichigo

Ichigo

HER POV

The florist was a no-go, but I need to bring a gift of some kind for my landlord. As I wander through town wracking my brains for an option I stumble across a cake shop. The nostalgic scent of sugar and vanilla drifts through the open door, enticing my grumbling stomach.

(I suppose it is almost noon… and who doesn’t like cakes?)

The smell grows stronger as I slip into the store and I find myself mesmerised by the vast array of temptation that looks back at me from the display case.

(I wonder what I should get?)

As I ponder happily over my decision I hear raised voices coming from what I presume is the kitchen. Continue reading

Dreamy Days in West Tokyo – Haruki Tanemura – Immediate reconciliation Headcanon

dreamy days

Over the last few days I have been having a stab at flexing my creative muscles by trying my hand at some headcanon writing for some of my favourite Voltage characters. I decided to start with a series of headcanons for the wonderful men of Voltage’s ‘Dreamy Days in West Tokyo’.

What would happen if each of the boys immediately recognised the MC and admitted how they’d been feeling since she left? Here’s what I thought

(Expect this to be sickly sweet and potentially poorly written)

haruki

Haruki

HER POV

There’s something so comforting about walking through this shopping district. It’s been such a long time since I was last here but the smells and sounds are all the same, perhaps I am the only thing that has changed. The uneven paving is weathered in places from years of footfall, the sun beams down upon it warming the soles of my feet through my sandals.

As I round the corner I breathe in deeply, the scent of flowers pervades the atmosphere and I’m drawn to it, sniffing at the air. It would be impossible to forget this florist. The breezy blue of the shop front and the quaint window display is so familiar but so different. I smile warmly at the vast selection of flowers just begging to be admired and my fingers instinctively skim the petals of roses and forget-me-nots, my heart filling with a nostalgic giddiness that spreads throughout my body, warming me as it goes.

Not for the first time, I find myself wondering. Will they still be here? Will he… I give my head a gentle shake and turn around, pulling the hastily scribbled map from my pocket.

MC: “The … Black Ship… Where is it, where is it? Should be… “ I wobble gently from side to side as I get my bearings then I hear a jingling of bells behind me.  Continue reading

Malicious Riots

Malicious Riots

The days and nights all blend into one with the world in is this state of desecrated chaos. There were sirens and screams and gunshots for the first few days but now there is nothing but silence and the disjointed groans of the walking corpses that now own the streets. I’ve been in this room for at least a couple of weeks now. Last night I heard the slack jawed monsters breaking into the flat below. I could hear their excited screeches as they tore the door off of its hinges with their decomposing hands and forced themselves through the hastily constructed barricade. I was helpless and so were the Jones’. The screams seemed to resonate in the air for hours afterwards and the foul coppery stench of stale blood has been seeping up through vents of my first floor cubby hole. Tonight I will move; it’s not safe for me here anymore.

It all started with the riots. Thousands of frenzied people smashing and stealing and throwing anything they could get their hands on. Like animals they prowled the streets mugging, assaulting and generally heckling everyone they saw. They were angry and they didn’t even know why, but their anger was nothing compared with what followed soon after.

An experimental medicine lab in the heart of London had several of its windows smashed open by a particularly ambitious group of disenfranchised youths, they roamed the corridors looking for drugs that they could use to fuel their addictions and supplement their bank balances. It was here that they had bitten off more than they could chew. Those stupid kids didn’t even read the descriptions on the bottle before they swallowed. Next thing you know an infection spreads like wildfire. People are biting each other, more than biting in fact; they’re literally tearing off chunks of flesh with their teeth, disembowelling each other with their rotten fingernails. That’s not the worst of it either the dead just won’t stay dead. Every time you watch someone destroyed by these monstrous cannibals they will get back up before your eyes and join in the murderous rampage.

Like I said, the streets have been quiet for a few day-nights now. I’ve barricaded myself into a first floor flat in a local building. I just managed to throw myself in here when the rioting started and haven’t left since. The meagre supply of canned food and dried pasta that I found in my hidey hole has now been exhausted and I am down to my last bottle of water, the power has been off for a good week now and the water stopped running a few days ago.

Now I have a choice, wait here for death by starvation or discovery, or take my chances with the outside world

The Warrior

The Warrior

The Warrior gave chase. His prey would have been all too easy to catch were it not running on a fuel both unnatural and inhuman, Kai kept low in the long grass, working hard not to draw too much attention to himself. His crouch slowed him down, but the last thing he needed was for the beast to see him, should it do so and accelerate it would be impossible to catch, or track for that matter. Careful not to make too much noise he drew his long bow out from its position on his back and half nooked a phoenix feather arrow.

The beast had paused on its journey, sitting by the rushing river that separated two great cities, greedily lapping at the clear crystalline water. Kai crept forwards. Shaking back his hair, he raised his bow and took aim. The creature barely stirred. Were it not so malicious in nature perhaps Kai might have felt mercy; but he had long since shucked such emotions towards the creatures of the North. With the swift motion of a practiced hand he shot an arrow into the air. It fell true in a wide graceful arc, one horrified shriek later and the demonic creature fell to the floor with a dull thud.

Kai, knowing his phoenix arrow had served him well, left his well concealed hiding place and ran forwards to retrieve his arrow. He reached the creature in time to see white smoke issuing from its motionless mouth, its warped almost human features starred up at him in a sinister revenge glare. The spelled arrow had done its job however and the beast moved no more. Kai drew his sword from its scabbard and raised it above his head, bringing it down in an arc which severed the very bone at the creature’s neck, banishing its spirit from ever returning. He spoke a simple spell and watched as flesh and bone deteriorated to dust and ash.

His work done Kai extracted his arrow and sword from the debris and put both away before leaving the sorry mess that had once been man, and then beast behind.

Kai had been working under the king’s court now for some time. He was a useful member of the guard and a fantastic hunter of anything, human or otherwise that threatened the careful quiet of the kingdom. It wasn’t a job he enjoyed, just one he had grown to tolerate. Trespassing like this by the creatures from beyond the northern boundaries was becoming more and more frequent, a reality that played on Kai’s mind. Something was stirring in the mountains, he could feel it, some great evil as yet unknown and he was not about to sit at home and wait for it to hit. Kai set off at a run back to the palace to relay his concerns to his masters and stir up a response.

Infection

Infection – Prologue zombies

In hindsight, as I lay there in a spreading pool of my own blood, I guess I made a wish. I suppose I spent those last moments of my life wishing that I had stayed home, trying to rewind the clock and ignore the adrenaline pulsing through my veins and the growing crowd outside my window. How much happier I would have been had I watched the chaos unfold from the safety of my sofa like so many others had. But no, unfortunately I have always been a sheep; blindly following the whims of the people around me, laughing in the right places and always taking things that step too far, and that is how I died.

I guess yet another politician made yet another outrageous statement which enraged some group somewhere. I don’t know I’ve never paid much attention to current affairs; but I’d sure paid attention when they showed the footage of riots in London. The streets were wild with fire! Some new animalistic species of human was rampaging through the city burning and destroying as they went and they had never looked so alive. I was glued to the screen for 2 nights watching the beautiful savagery of thousands of people moving as one body, leaving nothing but wreckage in their wake, so when she came to my door that night, eyes alight with excitement there was just no way I could stay home.

We started near the station, working our way down the high street with a savage excitement; I tore doors off of their hinges and she ripped the seats out of bus shelters. The feeling of exhilaration was almost too much to handle. I saw it first and the brainwave was immediate. The Medical Centre stood proud and solid in front of us, its bricks painted an off white that was mouldering in the damp air. I knew she’d go for it before I said a word; even the adrenaline coursing through her couldn’t hide the look on her face. She needed a fix and, like her gallant knight in shining armour, I was going to provide.

I launched a concrete block through the window and people began to pile in, following without question as though we were all of one mind; or perhaps it was just the purposeful nature of my pace that they followed. We began to smash our way through the building, destroying test tubes, smashing photocopiers and throwing computers from windows until we came across a locked room, the room I had been looking for. The door was painted white with sterile chrome fittings and a small window at the top. Inside were row upon row of shelving units and on each shelf, a plethora of pills and liquid. By this time our followers had dwindled down to only four or five and they dispersed the second we forced the door open, dazed by my sudden lack of purpose.

I took a moment to look at Rachel, really look at her. To me there was no one quite so beautiful. She had one of those almost non-existent figures which made me want to make her a sandwich, her eyes were heavily lined and impossibly large, intense with passion and the fire of rebellion. She instinctively pushed the wisps of dark hair out of her eyes with her tiny shaking hands and gave me a grin which threatened to split her face in half and before I knew it I was grinning like a buffoon right back.

The first time I saw Rachel was on a train when I was on my way home from my evening shift at the Supermarket. It had been late, far too late for a girl of that age to be out alone. She was draped across two seats her arms and head hanging over the edge into the aisle and at first I’d thought she was asleep. I took a step forward thinking I should wake her, but as I got closer I became entranced by the curve of her neck, long, pale and pulsing with life. At this angle I could see that she had pink headphones in, the wires running down her neck across her collar bone and meeting at her cleavage where she had tucked her mp3 player for safe keeping. Her eyes were closed but she was not asleep, her toe was tapping gently against the window and her mouth was forming the words that she sung silently to the empty carriage.

I knew I shouldn’t stare but I just couldn’t drag my eyes away. Now when I look back I realise that I had known right then that there would be no coming back for me, that I would follow her forever and in to whatever. I was lost in my thoughts, imagining how easy it would be wrap just one of my hands around her miniature waist, when she opened her eyes. They were piercing; they were invasive and they burrowed deep into my soul. We looked at each other for almost five minutes neither saying a word. When she, deciding I was harmless, sat up and patted the seat beside her I sat without even thinking.

Had I not met her then I wouldn’t have been in that room, in that medical centre, watching her bouncing gently on the balls of her feet, shaking with apprehension and waiting for me to lead the way. Hand in hand we took to the aisles. I swept my arms along shelves pouring the pills onto the floor and she began to dig excitedly through careful selecting a packet of this, a bottle of that. She collected such a collection of medicine, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, painkillers, vaccines. I lost track as she necked pill after pill, washing them down with a thirsty gulp of this cough mixture or that. As her eyes began to glaze over I suddenly didn’t feel so good about my wonderful moment of inspiration. In fact now that I’d had time to think the whole evening seemed like a much worse idea than it had when she’d arrived on my doorstep only partially dressed and covered in sweat. The sounds of the ongoing riots suddenly seemed much further away with the fire doors and triple glazed windows of the medical centre standing between me and the chaos. I could hear Rachel’s every heavy laboured breath as her lungs struggled to get air around the onslaught of medication. In the stark bright white glow I began to see Rachel in a different light and it tore my heart in two.

At that moment a harsh crack ripped through the air and Rachel turned to me as if she could hear my thoughts. The change was immediate, practically instantaneous. Her eyes were no longer dazed but focused and serious, her pupils had dilated to tremendous size, obscuring every inch of those enchanting grey irises. Her jaw was slack, her mouth open and her head tilted at an angle as she watched me. Something was wrong, something was very wrong. I watched as the ligaments in her fingers seemed to contract bending her beautiful hands into painful skeletal claws and she let out a blood curdling scream. Suddenly my heart was in my chest, I reached for her my hands fluttering uselessly over her face trying to comfort her, silence her screaming.

I didn’t realise such a tiny frame could weigh so much and contain such strength until she leapt onto me and we crashed to the floor. She sunk her small pearl like teeth into my face and I felt her tear away a strip of flesh. Screaming filled the air but it wasn’t her voice anymore, it was my gruff tones that resonated around the empty room.