Hidden Below

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In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge over on the Daily Post, here’s a piece by photographer Andrew Brooks.

It’s a part of his ‘Hidden Cities’ collection, and was taken during an exploration of Manchester.

I have a lot of his worked saved and hidden away, because it has often served to inspire and save me from more than one bought of writer’s block.

The reason I love this particular picture so much is because I found it when trying to research locations for Underground, back when it was still a short that took place almost entirely inside a series of abandoned tunnels.

Whenever I’m having trouble writing that story, taking a look at Brooks’ work often helps me get back on track.

Be sure to click-through for the full-sized image and check out the rest of his site too!

Arrival

Late for the Train by alexiuss (for Romantically Apocoliptic)

Late for the Train by alexiuss (for Romantically Apocalyptic)

They arrived at a brightly lit, mismatched station. Millie ignored the hushed whimpering of her fellow passengers as the train came to a stop. She clambered up onto one of the seats to get a better look. She pressed her hands against the window.

Tall brick columns stretched up into nowhere, as though at some point there had been a ceiling to hold up. There wasn’t one now, and if Millie tilted her head back far enough she could see the gloomy sky above. The platform they had come to a halt in front of was one of many, cut into several rows, with different tracks running between them. Rusted pipelines, some glowing hot, snaked along the outline of the station, spewing steam into the open air…

Hope everyone had a lovely Sunday! As per, a new chapter of Underground is up over on JukePop Serials, you should totally go read it and let me know what you think. :D

Carriages

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The train eased into the station on silent tracks and Aidan looked up to watch the doors slide open. A crowd had gathered along the length of the platform, their silent figures bent solemn against the shadows. They made no move to board, but there was no great hurry.

Above them, suspended by twisting metal was a clock with only one hand. Aidan watched it tick slowly round and wondered, certainly not for the first time, when it had come into being. Perhaps it had always been there, and he’d simply neglected to look at it. Or maybe enough people had come through believing that the station should have one, that the clock had barged into existence the same way the train had after the rivers had run dry…

Hi everyone! Here’s a post to let you know the third chapter of Underground is up over on JukePop and you can read it by clicking here! Yay!

White Spaces

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Click through to read the story over on JukePop!

The bus was a green line RCL model routemaster, beautifully preserved. The seats were clean and comfortable, the patterns on the fabric the bright and nauseating sort you tended to find on public transport. It looked as though no one had ever sat on them. The metal bars on the backs were polished to a shine and free of fingerprints. Were it not for the lingering whiff of old tobacco in the air, you’d have thought the bus fresh off the production line…

Well, the lovely team over at JukePop Serials accepted my submission, so the first chapter of Underground is now live for you to read! If you fancy a little more dark fantasy in your life, please check it out and let me know what you think. And if you have an account over there already, voting and commenting would be fantastic too!

For those who have read my previous post, you know that Millie’s story has been ten years in the making and I’m really excited about finally sharing it with you all. And also terrified. Maybe a little coffee addled…

I should probably go lie down.

Ten Years in the Making

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As any well weathered traveler will tell you, it’s usually best to abide by the rules of the places you find yourself in. But when the first rule is that no one living should be there, abandoning all hope may be the least of your concerns.

When eleven year old Millie finds herself stepping through the dark and onto a strange-looking train, there’s not an awful lot she can do. Without her parents and the comfort of familiar surroundings, Millie is left to ask strangers for help. But the other passengers are silent and sorrowful, looking anywhere but at her – and they won’t tell her the name of the next stop…

It’s hard to believe really, but this novel (my first, completed, honest to god finished novel) has taken me over a decade to write. It started life as short story in my first semester at university and by the end of the term I was pretty damn sure the bloody thing was cursed. Continue reading