Hello there! My name is Francesca — most people call me “Chesca” though, so feel free to call me that as well. I’m not a big fan of “Fran”, however!
I’m 29 years old, soon to be 30. Unlike a lot of people I know, I’m looking forward to hitting this milestone. Everyone says it marks a new chapter in your life and, as a passionate writer and reader, how could I not be excited to move onto a new chapter? (That’s not to say I haven’t very much enjoyed the previous ones!)
I currently live in a beautiful…
Quiet. Quiet. Stay quiet.
His eyes were shadowed pinpricks as he watched from deep within the undergrowth. He sat back on his haunches, muscles tense as he waited for the next few moments to reveal their hand.
If they came closer, he was prepared to flee.
If they came too close, he was prepared to protect himself.
His dark, grizzled fur rendered him invisible in the gloom of the forest. Layers upon layers of heart-shaped leaves from the basswood trees created a curtain of concealment by which he could see, but not be seen.
And he could hear.
Wrenching back the thick lianas that ensnared the despairing tree, Elysia murmured the necessary words to help remove the woody vines. She would not allow the tree to succumb to the slow but steady threat of a treacherous plant that squeezed the life out of others for its own gains.
For as ancient and timeworn as it was, this particular tree held The Egg in its centre.
Elysia worked for hours, using her mind and body both to release the prisoner from its captor. …
I get to travel quite often.
The Body and I spend a lot of time burdened by rationality, practicality, and impossibility. But there are also moments we snatch at where we can seek new horizons, devise new worlds, and escape invisible boundaries.
Sometimes, our journeys only last minutes. Sometimes, they last hours.
Although The Body is the cage in which I’m housed, I know I’m lucky to have this one. It transports me here, and there. Over there too. …
Nigel opened his eyes and rolled onto his back, yawning widely. He stretched, then lay there for a moment. He’d slept well, although he’d become hot during the night and had ended up kicking away most of the blankets on his bed. Nigel’s mum was a little overprotective and often worried needlessly that he would be cold.
He waited for her now. Each morning, she came into his room to wake him up, although he was usually already bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the time she opened the door. She’d herald him in her cheery, sing-song voice and give him a…
Esme and I had been friends for over five decades.
We met in our thirties. We’d both married young, had the sprogs, then divorced the men. Mine had gotten far too cozy with the neighbor, so I sent him packing. Esme’s husband, well, his only crime was being dull as dishwater. The firecracker that Esme was, it was no surprise they didn’t last.
We were unruly spinsters from thereon in. The years passed with heeled feet kicked up high as we danced, tipsy laughter from too much gin and not enough tonic, and the odd scandal here and there. …
Old Woman Mim smiled at the patch of snowdrops that had appeared with no warning. She adored the way they hung, so pretty and genteel. Spring was here.
The daffodils had arrived too. In the forest where her cottage lay, the vibrant yellow trumpets managed to rival the colourful wildflowers and intricately gnarled trees that grew all around.
Mim glanced over to check the wooden box was still perched on the doorstep of the cottage. It went with her wherever she went, not that she ever went far. It was vitally important — a matter of life or death, in…
It happened again last night. The darkness opened up as I slept.
I remembered seeing only a little of my dreams this time, before slipping into the Shadowland. It swept me away quickly, greedy for my return. I was surprised by this: I gave nothing to the darkness, and yet it wanted me to be here. Needed me to be.
It crooned softly. Thick tendrils wrapped around the edges of my vision in an embrace.
And yet, this time I was more distant. I lay on my side, but not on the very edge of the bed as before. I…
You have a natural talent for persuasion so you should go into sales, right? You know how to handle kids so you should definitely train to be a teacher. You studied business at university so you should be an entrepreneur, yes?
Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to.
More of us fall into this trap than we care to realise. Most of us are hardworking, dedicated perfectionists. No matter what we do, we want to be the best, achieve the most, keep moving upwards.
And that’s great. Truly, it is. …
The bleakness of the bunker was something Hazel had quickly become accustomed to, although she knew that many of the others still battled with being confined in such an artificial environment.
The Restless paced away most of the day, up and down the narrow spaces between the long rows of beds. They were incapable of sitting still, tap-tap-tapping one foot on the floor, agitation coming off them in waves. Sometimes, Hazel thought she could actually smell their unrest and the creeping disintegration of will.
She watched them curiously, occasionally making bets with herself on how much longer they would last…
Writer. Reader. Baker. Sadly not candlestick maker…