Sunday, January 31, 2010

Poem: Symphonic Symbiosis

This poem wrote itself though I cannot tell you how
It spurted, sprouted forth and planted roots in my ground
Fertile, luscious soil fertilised by my brain
Subconscious bubbled forth, blood and bone doused with rain

This poem wrote itself though I do not recall when
It drove shoots from my fingers and drew leaves with my pen
Symbiotic pulse realised through my hands
Delicious symphony that only we understand

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ka-POW! The Prisoner is up at Pow

There's a fab new flash fiction zine called Pow! Fast Flash Fiction and I'm honoured that they've accepted a slightly reworked (and better) version of 'The Prisoner'. Go and check it out and make sure you read the other fab flash while you're there, including from fellow #fridayflashers!

Friday, January 29, 2010

#fridayflash: Dickless

This week's #fridayflash is part three of the Jo Carter series. For previous instalments, click here.

by Lily Mulholland

Jeremy rose smoothly to his feet, face set with a stiletto smile.

‘Dickless bastard? Josephine, we both know better than that now, don’t we?’

He approached the gurney upon which Jo was shackled and ran his index finger up the inside of her naked thigh, pausing in the dark patch of hair that was the only privacy she had.

Jo realised she was supposed to be scared, scared of being raped, abused, tortured. But she wasn’t; she felt empowered, strong, angry. She stoked the fires of rage with memories of their time together. How he'd strung her along, taking her out to the coolest places in town and showing her off like a pet peacock. By now she’d figured he’d targeted her at university, no doubt to get to her father. Jeremy had been a guest lecturer in one of her international relations classes and had invited the whole class out for drinks that night. She’d gone along with a dozen or so of her classmates and had felt so mature and intelligent when he’d singled her out for attention. She’d been drunk on ego and felt the shame of it still.

Her cheeks must have coloured; she felt Jeremy’s fingers thrust forcefully between her legs, threatening the soft skin lying bare beneath the fuzz.

‘Just like old times, my dear,’ he said with a leering note, 'except I see you've had a haircut.'

Jo met his look with one of sheer hatred; recoiling, Jeremy pulled his hand away. He regained his composure almost immediately, but not before Jo notched up a win to herself. She had him. He still wanted her. He was a dickless bastard and now she knew it.

‘So. It’s time to do business. Tell me who your handler is.’

‘Or what?’ Jo was feeling feisty.

‘Or I’ll kill you. But you must appreciate that Josephine. You’re not as stupid as you look.’

Was he playing that old game? He must think she was still that silly young girl, easily impressed by an older man in a flashy car. He’d done the training; he must know that she’d be impervious to these basic tactics. But, there it was again. He wasn’t thinking straight – he wanted to fuck her. God, men can be so stupid sometimes!

‘Well you’d better get it over and done with, Dickless, ‘cause I’m not telling you anything.’

‘Fine. In that case, I have someone I want you to meet.’

The door opened and in walked a man in a white coat. A white coat? You’ve got to be shitting me. So fucking stereotypical.

‘Josephine, I’d like you to meet Dr Engadeen. Dr Engadeen, this is Josephine.’

Dr Engadeen didn’t bother to look at her. He merely laid his case on a steel table adjacent to the gurney, opened it and began removing a number of small items with the care of a surgeon.

‘You’ll forgive me if I don’t get up, doc.’ Jo couldn’t help herself. The sarcasm hung in the air.

‘I’ll leave you to it, doctor. I’ll come back in ten minutes – I trust that Josephine will be more cooperative by then.’

An affirmative nod passed between the two men. Not a talker then. And I’m being watched. There must be a camera in here somewhere. Jo made a quick scan of the room. She couldn’t find the camera – it had to be hidden in the ceiling or wall somewhere. There was nothing for it. She was going to have to fight her way out.

Dr Engadeen, or whatever his real name was, approached Jo with a large syringe filled with what she could only guess was sodium pentothal. Aim for the neck you bastard.

Microfiction up at FLASHSHOT

I'm thrilled that my little piece 'The Curse of the Common Name' is up as today's FLASHSHOT. If you miss it, it'll be up for ten days, after which I'll post it on this blog.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Poem: Shouting to be heard

On a box
Stands a boy
Who’s not a boy
But a man

On a box
Stands a man
Who’s not a man
But a people

On a box
Stands a people
Whose time to
Cry has come

On a box
Stands Haiti
Shouting out
To the world

On a box
Stands everyman
Will we let
Him be heard?


Inspired by a contest prompt at AllPoetry.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Infamous at Short Humour

The funny folk at Short Humour accepted one of my flash pieces, 'Infamous', for their zine. They obviously have an excellent sense of taste as well as humour :)

('Infamous' is a slightly reworked version of my #fridayflash piece 'Infamy', which I posted on 8 January)

Friday, January 22, 2010

#fridayflash: Combustion

(Image: Góra Zoltán)

This week's Fridayflash is a continuation of the Jo Carter series. Well, it's number two, so I'm not sure if that qualifies as a serial, but it's planned to be an ongoing thing, therefore it probably does! If you missed the first instalment, you can read back (go on, it's less than 300w, you can do it).


By Lily Mulholland

Jo was awake before her eyes opened. She could hear a low hum but couldn’t identify its source. The dandelion hairs on her tummy were dancing to a gentle breeze; she was stark naked. Without moving, Jo understood she was strapped down to some kind of bench. Metal, she thought, judging from the way it cradled her body; cold, like a mortician’s slab.

Breathing evenly, Jo concentrated on her surrounds. She wasn’t ready to let her captor know she was conscious, so she let her hearing and sense of smell do the work. The hum might be some kind of refrigerator or heater; that meant the room had power. Her nostrils picked up faint traces of chemicals: ether, chloroform, ammonia. She was probably in some kind of industrial building. That meant she was probably still in the city limits. Escape was a possibility, if she could break her bonds and get out of the room without being seen. That was a big double ‘if’.

After five minutes of silent observation, Jo relaxed a little; she couldn’t feel anyone else in the room. If there was someone with her, he or she had probably figured she was coming around – they’d been very quiet. Jo opened her eyes. Above her were metal racks, with meat hooks spaced evenly down their neat rows. Large industrial lights flooded the room, which looked as though it was made from whitewashed concrete. Jo turned her head to the right to get a feel for the size and layout of the room. She gasped. Meeting her eyes with an impassive face was her target. And her target was Jeremy.

‘Josephine. How nice to see you again.’

Not willing to let him gain the upper hand for a second time that day – was it still Monday? She couldn’t tell how long she’d been out for but she wasn’t going to let him know that. Jo turned her line of sight back to the meat hooks. Time to toughen up girlie. Feeling her training take over, she was able to still the slight chill that had threatened to invade her body. Jo willed concrete into her veins, steel into her bones, fire into her belly. She was not going to let him win.

‘I’m going to break you.’

He’d broken her once before and he knew it. But that was back then, back when she’d been green as a nursery sapling. Back when she’d misjudged sex for love. Back when she was ripe to be plucked by an assassin. And that’s what he was. She hadn’t known until today who Jeremy really was: an enemy of the state, her target. She suppressed a small laugh; control obviously hadn’t done their homework. And all this time she thought they knew everything about her, right down to her brand of nail clippers.

She turned back to Jeremy and shot him a look of insubordinate contempt.

‘Not if I break you first, you dickless bastard.’

Friday, January 15, 2010

#fridayflash: Willpower

By Lily Mulholland

Sarah had saved the new skin for a special occasion, growing it with the obsessive care of an orchidist. Determined to keep it blemish free, she had kept her left arm encased in cotton for the past two weeks. She wanted nothing to spoil its pearlescent purity.

But today had arrived and after school Sarah locked her bedroom door. She prised up a loose floorboard, revealing a cavity housing a small black tin, from which extruded two long tails of scarlet ribbon. She grasped a tail in each hand and gently pulled up the tin from its repository. Sitting on her bed, Sarah placed a black towel across her lap and opened the tin, selecting the new scalpel she’d stolen last week from art class.

Today was the day she’d been dreading for weeks and she’d used up all her willpower just making it through the day. She’d been holding on tight, knowing release would come as soon as she could escape home. Laying her left arm upon her lap, Sarah drew the surgical steel across the milky white skin of her inner forearm, pinking pearls of blood in its wake. As the red lines began their scarlet dance, she breathed out the tension that had been consuming her for weeks.

Sarah had performed at the school concert, been showered with praise and told what a clever girl she was. ‘Such a beautiful, confident girl’, she’d heard the teachers say to her parents. ‘Oh yes, that’s our girl.’ She laughed bitterly. They knew nothing about her. And she liked it that way.


(Photo: Peg Essert)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Not really, but I am rejected. Well, three stories have been, at any rate. By Every Day Fiction. I had high hopes for one of them in particular, but none of the three passed muster.

On the positive side, the editors at EDF give great comments and feedback as to why the story/ies was/were rejected. And I am consoling myself with the fact that they can only accept 365 stories a year from the thousands they are offered. I suppose I am in good company.

Another positive is that I now have three stories in the can for #fridayflash!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Forthcoming in FLASHSHOT

I'm totally stoked with the news that one of my micro-fiction pieces will be published by FLASHSHOT on 28 Jan. If you don't already subscribe, you can do so for free via this website.

Friday, January 8, 2010

#fridayflash: Infamy

By Lily Mulholland

You had always wanted to be famous. At thirty-seven, with two kids and stretch marks, you thought you’d missed your chance. That was until a chance incident made you the most famous woman in the world in the short space of forty-eight hours.

What had started as a headline beloved by sub-editors of newspapers quickly became the story of the year, with interview requests rolling in from around the country. As exponents of new media awoke to their multiple news feeds, you started receiving calls from all over Europe, and, several hours later, the United States, Canada, and a ragtag bunch of South American countries. You even took a call from a news outlet in Karachi. You were big news on the sub-continent! Fortunately your melting mobile phone was saved by a call from Max Wiltshire, mega-PR to the stars. He offered to take you on for the special cut-rate fee of twenty per cent of your earnings. You were clearly out of your depth and Max offered to handle everything on your behalf. Although you later discovered his fee structure was reprehensible, you were nonetheless pleased to hand over your media responsibilities to someone of his vast experience, and girth.

You shudder at the mention of body shape. That’s what started this media hurricane. You were walking along the street on one of your rare days away from the kids, swinging your shopping bags containing loot from an even rarer retail therapy session when bammo! Looming before you was a man wider than he was tall, his belly bulging against the yellow cotton of his polo shirt, attempting a daring escape. This was a belly that moved to its own rhythm; a tummy that could influence tides. As he lumbered closer, you saw it. He had an outtie. You were swept away with the moment and before you could stop yourself your free hand reached out, forefinger extended and you poked that protruding belly button.

The man’s face registered shock and surprise for the nanosecond of time that hung suspended between you both before he exploded. Fleshy shrapnel coated you, your shopping bags, the pavement and buildings to the left of you. The duco of cars parked against the curb would never be the same again. And neither would you, forever more known as the Belly Button Bomber. You always wanted to be famous.