Toothache drops

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“Johnny” shouted Marjory, her voice carrying the length of the garden. “Johnny, stop running about. Go and sit with your Grandfather.”

Johnny dawdled, scuffing his shoes along the garden path towards the small arbour where his Grandfather sat. As he walked he ran a stick along the fencing boards so it made a clackety-clack sound.

He knew most adults found the noise annoying, but Grandfather Eddie clapped his hands together, jumped from his seat and said, “Go back a bit Johnny, go back and do that again”.

Johnny liked Grandfather Eddie, he was funny. He did lots of stupid things and told jokes his mother called ‘only nearly funny’. That was when he wasn’t grumpy.

Not that he was ever grumpy for long, he had his special sweets, his toothache drops. If he felt bad he ate two or three of those and he was smiling and laughing again in no time.

Johnny often wondered why his Grandfather did not go and see the dentist more if his teeth hurt. Surely a dentist could make the pain stop, or he could take Grandfathers tooth away altogether?

Grandfather Eddie wrote songs. Not old songs like he was old and Nanna was old, but songs you hear on the radio, the ones you could listen to on Spotify and Reverb Nation. He knew all the stars and artists. Grandfather had been on television, he won awards and trophies and stuff for writing songs and music, they were on display inside the house in a tall glass cupboard next to his collection of guitars.

Sometimes the famous people came to eat dinner at Grandfathers house, or to have a barbecue. Some of them were coming today. Which is why Johnny had to be on his best behaviour. Although, when you heard and saw all the things these people did, Johnny wondered why he had to behave when no one else did?

Adults can be strange at times. Most times.

Johnny sat opposite Grandfather Eddie and, looking directly at his face, watched as he tapped away on the laptop keyboard. His mother said, “Don’t disturb your grandfather when his typing.” So, Johnny waited patiently.

“That’s it,” Grandfather said, with a big grin spreading across his face as he shut the laptop. “So, Johnny, that’s the Vampire Dunkin Monkeys next big hit in the bag. That’s the Grunge-punk awards won for next year and it’s all down to you and your clackety-clacking”.

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“I could have done more Clacking, but the Lemon tree is in the way,” said Johnny.

“You have done quite enough for one day young man; I shall reward you handsomely when the record becomes a big hit.”

“Can I have a fast car, an orange one, with silver wheels?”

Grandfather Eddie laughed. “When you are old enough you can have all the cars you want and any colour wheels you wish for.”

“Eddie,” it was Nana’s voice. “They are arriving.” She shouted down the garden to where Grandfather Eddie had his writing arbour.

“Right, Johnny,” said Grandfather Eddie as he stood and stretched his back. “Let’s go to work, let’s get that fast Orange car for you, shall we?”

“Go to work? I thought they were your friends?”

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“My friends are Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, William McKinley and Grover Cleveland. You would do well to make their acquaintance too, young man.”

 

Grandfather Eddie popped two of those toothache drops, he kept in a small tin in his pocket, into his mouth as they walked towards the house.

Johnny noticed the change in Grandpa, by the time he walked to the house his tooth and that bad back must have got better, Grandfather Eddie was now shaking hands, offering greetings and chatting and buzzing like a teenager.


Looking for more great reads?

Then visit my website and browse my books, I am certain I have something to suit most everyone’s taste, from short stories to full-length novels, from poetry collections to non-fiction books and more.

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You can find my novelettes and novellas ebooks at Electric Eclectic all are ready for you to download instantly.

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Bonfire Heart; a preview

Bonfire Heart is the latest Electric Eclectic book and is written by the wonderful author, Audrina Lane.

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Sebastian Winter is a loner with a lot on his mind. His only escape is his photography and enjoying the peace and solitude sailing off the coast of New Zealand brings.

Lena Cavendish is the town’s rich girl who wants to break free to follow her heart. Her father wants University and a career for his daughter, while she wants to write romances.

Lena is looking for her ‘Happily Ever After’.

Falling in love can be simple but will Sebastian’s anxiety and depression push Lena away, just when he needs her the most?

Find out in this coming of age story set on the North Island of New Zealand.

As his boat bumped the side of the yacht he lurched forward and jumped. The two of them landed, face down, in a sluice of water on the deck.

Here is a small snippet to whet your appetite;

He looked down her long legs to her toes busy burying into the warm sand. Seb silently took a deep breath and placed his hand next to hers in the small gap that separated them.

“So how did you find this place?” She asked, letting her little finger hook over his. A million tiny fireflies started to flutter under his skin like they were trying to escape.

“My Dad taught me to sail and we found it on one of our adventures.”

“A family tradition then, I like it.”

“You mean it” his voice faltered.

“Yes, I hope you’ll bring me here again on our next date.”

The fireflies were now escaping into the heat on his cheeks as he felt her hand squeeze his “That’s if we’re going to be dating?”

He blinked and in the instance, his eyes were shut he felt her lips touch his cheek. Taking this as a sign he pulled her tight into him and found her lips with his. A closed mouth to start as he revelled in the velvet feel and the salty taste. A tiny, tentative start to their fledgeling relationship as he grew bolder and let his lips push hers open so that their tongues could meet. He heard a tiny sigh escape and rush across his skin as she responded, letting her hand run down his spine. She was everything he’d imagined and more. Like eating your favourite sweets all at once. When they parted each was breathless and in awe of the power between them, tugging at their hearts like the undercurrents of the ocean.


Audrina Lane lives in Herefordshire with her partner Steve and her 3 Black Labradors called Rael, Lily & Milo.

She is the author of the fabulous “Heart Trilogy Series” made up of the novels “Where did your Heart go?” “Un-break my Heart” and “Closer to the Heart”. She has also completed the first two books in the Bloodstained Heart Trilogy. These are connected to The Heart Trilogy series in that they feature the full story of Felicity.

She has enjoyed writing her first collaboration with Rita Ames on the ‘Need for Speed’ Racing series. These are romances set at various motor racing venues, with the first book ’24Hrs to Love’ available and set at Le Mans. She has recently released her first Poetry and Short Story Anthology called ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’.

When she is not tapping away on the PC, she enjoys walking her 3 black Labradors, listening to eighties music and barefoot dancing. She also loves cars, from old classics to modern-day supercars and is a total fan of Formula 1.

Website: http://audrinalane.co.uk/

Audrina’s Place: https://www.facebook.com/AudrinasPlace/

24Hrs Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RaceRomance/

Join the Electric Eclectic Facebook page here: https://facebook.com/ElectricEclecticBooks/

Visit our website for many more great books: https://paulsnewpostbox.wixsite.com/eebooks

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Sophie’s story

An excerpt from ‘Sophie’s story‘,

page 274 from Paul White’s book, Within the Invisible Pentacle.

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My father died on the Sixteenth of September 2012. The same day as we lowered my mother’s coffin into her grave.

Up to that point, I think my father was in denial; a self-denial, in which he told himself she would walk through the door at any moment.

We stood around the grave, my two younger brothers and I, along with a few people from our street.

I would call them neighbours, but I did not even know their names. Yet I am sure my mother could have told you much about each and every one of them. She was that type of woman; friendly, sociable, liked. She was the type of person even strangers opened to. They all seemed to share their feelings, their worries and fears with my mother, without hesitation.

I guess it is the same, wondrous quality my father noticed in her all those years ago.

There were also three or four people from the warehouse where my father worked until it closed two years back.

For this small town, the closing of the warehouse, a main storage and distribution centre for a giant, international conglomerate, was the last straw.

It really did break the camel’s back.

The camel in this instant was the failing spirits and resolve of the townsfolk. The mine closed in the mid-seventies, the factories followed a decade later and the rest… just sort of… petered away without notice.

Businesses, offices, shops, they all faded away and the town slumped into decay and abandonment.

Once the warehouse closed, the last workers lost their jobs, many folks simply packed up and moved away. The few who chose to stay, like my parents, survive on charity and government handouts.

We are a world apart from general society.

When the warehouse first closed Dad was not downhearted, far from it, he was full of big ideas, backed up by shed full of bravado. He and Tommy Deacon had plans, business plans. They would combine their redundancy monies and start afresh.

“Things,” he said, “never looked so good.” There were new opportunities, new horizons to be explored.

The thing is, they never looked so bad as after Tommy disappeared with my father’s money.  He even sent a postcard of a golden sandy beach; I think it was Montego Bay.

The card read, “See ya, ya tosser.”

In all my fourteen years of life, I never saw my father show anger about anything. So, the rage he exhibited that day scared me in a way I can never explain.

I was, let it be said, terrified.

My mother tried to comfort him but to no avail. They agreed it was best if she took us, the children, as far away from him as she could.

A week later, my mother and I, I being the oldest child, stole into the house one evening to see how my father was faring. We found him in a heap, a drunken stupor, on the kitchen floor. He was filthy, unshaved, smelled of vomit, urine and worse.

He was never the same after Tommy’s disappearance.

Neither was my mother.

Not only did something die within my father during those dark days, but the relationship, the care, the trust, the love between my parents altered. I am uncertain how, or what, or even why. It is not something I have ever been able to decipher, to put my finger on.

They still loved one another, that was clear. It was unwavering, yet… different.

My father drank more, sometimes with the other men in the public house on the corner, but more often he drank at home, alone.

My mother carried on, but it was as if she was suddenly old. She managed less and less. I took over most chores. Like the washing, cleaning and cooking.

School was a relief for my brothers. It got them away from the house.

“Work hard, study hard,” I told them. “Only by doing well will you ever get away from here.” I am happy they took my words to mind.

For me, I left school. I stayed home, tended my father’s alcoholism and nursed my mother.

Cancer they said.

“Yes, it can seem to suddenly appear.” the doctors said. “Although it has probably been growing for some time.”

Six weeks later my mother was dead.

Her last words to me were: “Don’t you go worrying yourself about me. It’s better this way. Be careful, love.”

I am still uncertain of the meanings of those words…

… to read more of Sophie’s story, grab a copy of the book. You can get it here, https://mybook.to/wtipentacle

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Or visit Paul’s website at, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

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The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold

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What would you do if you could speak to the dead?

Cassie Newbold tries to use her gift in a positive way although, sometimes things happen that are out of her control.

This is a collection of short stories featuring Cassie, who is sassy, quirky and sometimes doesn’t know her own powers.

“I like how the author draws the reader into her story. I felt as if I was witnessing what the writer was talking about. Some stories were eerier than others but they each felt real,” says a reviewer.

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Excerpt  from Unbraid my Hair

If only she knew he was still with her. Charlie had never left. “We never forget the ones we loved and lost,” I said, although I’d never loved and lost anyone, but with my gift, I’d met so many who had.

Maisie laughed and broke the spell she had woven for herself. “Gosh, I shouldn’t be talking like this. Sometimes I feel like he is calling me, does that sound strange?”

“Not at all,” I answered looking towards Charlie who had returned to being an old man, and appeared impassive.

She sipped her tea. “This house is too big for me now. Everything I do is a struggle, but I can’t leave the home we shared.”

She looked at me with sad eyes and I felt her sorrow, except it wasn’t hers. I looked at Charlie and the shimmering grew taller. Kneeling by her chair, he wrapped his arms around her, his head resting against hers. I saw the young man he was once again and his worry for his lovely, gentle, Maisie.

“What is it?” she asked breaking into my thoughts. Her eyes were now bright as if rejuvenated.

“Maisie, what would you say if I told you Charlie was right here?” His head was bent touching hers and wispy, shadowy, hands wound into her hair. “He is concerned, he knows how much you struggle with life. He finds it hard because he can’t help you.”

I didn’t know how she would respond to that. She hadn’t invited me here as a medium. I was just a girl in the street who had helped her out.

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Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, “It’s especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books.”

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown-up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

https://www.facebook.com/karensmagicofstories/
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Daisy and the Chocolate Factory

 

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The wind was blowing the scent of chocolate up 35th Street in Brooklyn, from the old factory on the waterfront toward the commercial strip of Sunset Park, wafting past the massage parlour with the blue paint flaking from its door, liquor wholesalers and building-supply warehouses.

Daisy walked under the Gowanus Expressway, trying not to breathe the acrid exhaust fumes of the 18-wheelers as they jockeyed for position on the cobblestone streets in front of the loading docks of Industry City; she headed towards the chocolate factory.

Eight hours of stuffing twenty-four shitty little pieces of cheap chocolate into plastic trays was just about all the excitement today held in store for her.

Life’s like a box of chocolates… like, fuck it was.

Those twenty-four chocolate ‘lozenges’ were carefully selected, the weight of each devised, calculated to extract the maximum profit from the minimum quantity of material.

They said the one with the picture of a doe, which I think was meant to be a highland stag, contained whisky. It did, but such a minuscule amount, mixed with sugar syrup and flavourings as to be irrelevant.

The Plumeria design was supposed to be a floral, frangipani-scented cream, but was little more than coloured fondant icing.

The cost-cutting even went as far as packaging; what had once been a sturdy cardboard box was now little more than a construction paper sleeve.

They called it downsizing and ‘new improved recipes’ but all the girls on the line knew it was for profit. Profit for the directors so they could live lavish lifestyles, have new cars, boats, planes and massive fuck-off houses.

This was why, for the third year running more staff were ‘let go’ and wages remained stagnant, while the boss and his cronies’ jet-stetted off to Malibu and Rio for golfing breaks and the carnival… all tax-deductible ‘conventions’, of course.

Daisy wedged her backside onto the low wooden stool, on which she would perch for the next few hours, while she placed the chocolates into the respective places in the packaging.

She glanced at the other women busily working away. ‘Poor saps’, she thought, ‘at least today was the last day I’ll be doing this.’

Daisy had another job. She called it her career. It was how she would get out of here, out of this shit-hole and make a new life, a good life, for herself.

Tonight, her dream was to come true. All the hard work, the sacrifices, the humiliation, the degradation, abuse and the buckets load of crap she had endured over the past months or so was going to pay off.

By sunrise, Daisy would be home free.

*** 

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The massage parlour, the one with the flaking blue paintwork on the door, the one situated under the Gowanus Expressway did not only sell back rubs, blue movies and dirty magazines. It rented out girls by the hour.

It rented out Daisy by the hour, most nights.

It was the only way for her to make ends meet, a way for her to pay the bills and feed her daughter.

Until.

Until he came in.

Of course, he never recognised Daisy. Why should he? She was a faceless number; just one of many women working the production line in his chocolate factory.

But she knew who he was from the moment he grabbed her hand.

She knew who he was as he brutally abused her, kicked her, strangled her, spat and urinated on her and took his pleasure from the pain and discomfort of every unnatural act he performed with her.

Through her tears and bloodied lips, Daisy swore she would make it all worthwhile.

That was a little over three months ago. Before she filmed his acts, his sexual perversions, his violence, his… his… even now Daisy could not bear to think about it.

The bastard.

It took time to capture his words, to film his perversions, to capture all he did.

It took longer for Daisy to recover from his last visit. A visit which was one too many. After that she confronted him. Told him she knew who he was, who his friends were, his wife, daughter.

Daisy told him she would send them all the recordings at the same time as she sent them to the police, unless… unless he paid her to get out of town. Gave her enough to set herself up, to take care of her daughter, to move on, to get a new life, a better life.

***

Daisy sat back on the bench. She was waiting for him on the Brooklyn waterfront outside of Greenpoint landing.

There would be no sleazy blue doors this evening, no more naked men using and abusing her body and mind. From tonight onwards she would be a new woman. Maybe Daisy thought, she would give herself a new name, a new persona. Redhead or blond, or brunette?

Soon, very soon, she could be anything and anyone she wanted.

He arrived, looking happy and smiling. Greeting her like an old friend.

Daisy knew it was all show. It was all for the public, the passers-by. It was typical of him. Outwardly a gentleman, a successful wealthy businessman.

But inside… she shuddered to think. Is there a word for beyond evil?

“Let’s walk,” he said.

“Do you have it”? Daisy asked.

He hefted the large briefcase in his hand. “It’s all here, everything you asked for.”

“And the car?” she asked.

“On the corner of Java. A nice shiny red Beemer, just like you wanted.” He smiled.

This was it. This was a life-changing moment. Daisy could feel the excitement writhing like a nest of snakes wiggling in her stomach.

“There you go,” he said, pointing to a red BMW parked on the corner of Java and West.

He held out the briefcase.

 “Just one thing,” he said, “let’s get together once more, for old times’ sake. I know how much you enjoyed it last time.” The smile was gone from his face.

“Oh, no. No, no, no?” Daisy said, taking hold of the briefcase handle. All she wanted was the money and to get out of here, fast.

The hands grabbed her.

Where did these men come from, who were they? A rag was stuffed into her mouth and bound as tightly as her hands. Daisy was thrown into the back of a rusting van.

He was there, standing above her, looking down and laughing.

“You didn’t think I would let you get away with blackmailing me, did you?” he chuckled. “You are so naive. Enjoy yourself in Serbia or Russia, or Arabia… wherever you end up. Think of me. Think of me often, won’t you?”

Daisy shook her head in defiance and tried to scream.

“Meanwhile, I’ll keep an eye on your daughter, raise her like she is mine… oh, she is mine now, isn’t she?” he laughed and jumped from the van.

The doors slammed shut.

Daisy could smell the wind blowing the scent of chocolate up 35th Street, from the old factory on the waterfront toward the commercial strip of Sunset Park. It wafted past the massage parlour with the blue paint flaking from its door, liquor wholesalers and building-supply warehouses.

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END.

©PaulWhite2017


If you enjoyed reading Daisy & the Chocolate Factory, then why not check out some of my other short stories, like ‘Tales of Crime & Violence’, a three-book collection in which the stories may not pan out the way might think, (in both Paperback and eBook formats), or get my latest book, ‘Within the Invisible Pentacle’ (Paperback only), where all the stories have a feminine title, implicit or direct.

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Guest Post.

I always find it a pleasure to carry a guest post on ‘A Little more Fiction’.

Today’s post is from the author Patrick Bailey; he primarily writes on the subjects of mental health, addiction & living in recovery. By bringing these subjects to the fore Patrick hopes to help break the general stigma associated with them.

http://patrickbaileys.com    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pat_Bailey80

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My Journey from a Battered Synthetic Cannabinoid Addict to a Freelance Writer

 It wasn’t until I l learned about John Huffman that I realized that the substance I was once addicted to was made for medical research purposes. He was one of the first people to create a synthetic cannabinoid or synthetic marijuana.

This particular synthetic cannabinoid was initially named JWH-018, patterned after Huffman’s initials. It was a chemical compound, created in 1993 to study the effects of marijuana on lab animals. As is common practice, the formula was included in several research publications.

For a decade-and-a-half, nothing was done with these synthetic cannabinoids.

Then, in 2008, JWH-018, one of the hundreds of compounds created by Huffman and his colleagues, was found in a street drug.

It was sprayed on plant material and sold as Spice. The manufacturers may have found the formula in those publications.

How I Got to Know an Enemy

My journey to addiction began before then when I was a 16-year-old growing up in the streets of New Orleans. My childhood was not marred by anything bad until a friend got a hold of some pot and we started hitting it. Only later did I get hooked on Spice. I blamed it on a lack of opportunities, peer pressure, and broken relationships.

Synthetic cannabinoids—which go by other street names such as K2, Moon Rocks, Potpourri and Spice—possess the same properties as marijuana and bind to the cannabinoid receptors of the body, thus achieving the same psychoactive and analgesic effect. Spice possesses euphoric and hallucinogenic properties similar to natural marijuana but can be 100 times as strong.

More and more of my acquaintances used either spice or a variant because of its cheap price. Most of them used it for short term effects such as relaxation and altered perception.

Beyond these desired effects, Spice side effects include feelings of paranoia and delusions, even psychosis, from long term use. Many users claim to feel “braindead” after using the drug, and some users have suffered brain damage or even brain death. Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids may also exacerbate pre-existing mental illnesses or harm the heart, lungs, and liver.

Recovery and Finding a Newfound Love

Medical detoxification was the first step towards my recovery. Then I was admitted as an in-patient because of the severity of my drug use, which lasted for almost 15 years. But it was the aftercare process that saved me. The treatment center’s support group helped establish a strong support system.

Addiction is a lifelong ailment. It never goes away completely. Stopping using drugs is only the beginning. You need an understanding of how and why you began using drugs, counseling and peer support, and new coping skills. It also helps if you have a new passion to replace your drug use.

Through the course of my treatment process, I learned to write about my emotions and my boiling-up resentments as therapy. I started to love writing. It occupied the spare time during which I used to drift into drug use. I discovered joy in putting words together in a new order. I could do it anywhere in paper notebooks or on electronic devices.

Looking back, it is hard to understand how much time I wasted on a false, useless, and momentary happiness. Spice, the substance that I thought was my only friend, grew darker and turned my life into a living nightmare.

I’m not proud of my years of Spice addiction, but my journey to sobriety taught me the value of life.