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Graveyard Granny (A Myths and Tales … tale)

Granny was one hundred and four years old. She wasn’t actually my gran. She was my mother’s, mother’s mother and Granny agreed that that made her pretty great.

“I’ll live forever!” she quipped on her ninety eight birthday. When she reached one hundred and two people started to agree with her.

When she turned one hundred and four she thought enough was enough. It was high time she had a funeral.

“Give me my favourite blanket though. It will get cold in the winter.”

We all thought Granny was crazy but she insisted. When this particular matriarch had made up her mind there was simply no changing it.

It wasn’t the most orthodox of ceremonies. Granny waved from her casket with a great big smile on her face.

“Granny, you aren’t going to have them screw that casket down are you?” I had pleaded before hand.

“Now that wouldn’t make much sense now would it?” she returned with a wry smile. “How am I supposed to get up and walk about? An eternity locked down would get a little tedious.”

And so the funeral service went ahead. No one shed tears. It wasn’t what Granny wanted. Truthfully, I don’t think people quite knew how to feel, especially when Granny climbed from her casket to give a few words on her own behalf.

At ninety eight she had claimed she would live forever. She is now one hundred and twenty four and still going strong. She will fight for her rights as an otherwise deceased. She had a nice funeral and she chose a beautiful spot for her final resting place where I can visit her anytime I please. She still gives me tea and biscuits.

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The Bus Ride to Hell

I was a bad seed.

My whole life I wasn’t what one would call an angel. So it came as no surprise when I passed and death said,

“It’s Hell for you my dear friend Gus. You have been so bad you must take the bus.”

Not even the courtesy of a ride of a quick journey into the seventh circle for my eternal damnation.

So there I was, at the bus stop for the direct line to Hell. Torrential rain was falling and there was no shelter – although it did have the strong smell of urine that would normally accompany one.

Of course the bus was over an hour late. I was cold, miserable and just wanting to get to Hell already.

Death took some glee in my punishment.

“That’s what you get for being such a shit! You’re not going to like this, one little bit.”

The bus arrived. The most broken down, hideous piece of metal on four wheels you could ever hope to step aboard. The driver had a face so sour it could peel an onion.

“Get on!” he snapped. “I ain’t got all day.”

Death pushed me on board.

The seats were torn, broken and mostly filled with graffiti.

REG WAS ETERNALLY DAMNED ERE’

Death slumped beside me.

“I hope you are ready to press that bell. The next stop for you is the depths of Hell.”

Rude driver, broken chairs and a sticky floor you wouldn’t dream of touching. The bus to Hell was pretty bad. I think I’ve been on worse.

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Coming soon as a web series from Torrance Media!

Four Sisters

There once lived four sisters, who remained very close,

Each had a husband and children to boast.

With a neat house each, lined in a row,

status and wealth clearly on show.

The first was named Scarlett, fiery and wild.

She and Lance had only one child.

Lance had been working late quite a lot,

having fun with his secretary, until he was caught.

Scarlett cooked him his favourite meal,

laced with an ingredient that was sure to appeal.

By the third mouthful, Lance was dead.

He should have considered his wife; before sharing another’s bed.

Then there was Ruby, elder and smart.

She and Jeff shared a love of art.

Jeff was a failed painter, Ruby had the cash,

so Jeff raided her personal stash.

Gone was the wealth she had scraped and saved.

Jeff didn’t care as long he had his way.

Ruby took a gun; no one would steal from her.

Fifteen shots were fired; it was all a blur.

Elder still was the sister named Rose.

Both she and Archie were writers of prose.

Archie favoured filling his day with drink.

He would hit Rose and wouldn’t think.

Rose had had enough as most of us would.

He didn’t treat them as a father should.

She took up the knife the next time he raged.

She stabbed and stabbed so that she may be saved.

The eldest of the sisters was a lady named Blanche.

Her husband, Taylor, had grown up on a ranch.

Taylor was an outdoors-man; he really loved to hike.

This was something that Blanche herself did not like.

She accused him, beat him and screamed in his ear.

‘Why would you rather be out there than in here?’

One day when it had all gotten too much,

Taylor was found hanging by his hutch.

So the four sisters, always remained close.

The judge had seen that stand out the most.

They once had neat houses, standing in a row.

Now they wait together, for their time to go.

The Myths and Tales webseries will be coming soon from Torrance Media.

Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s Myths and Tales!

Princess and the Beetle (part of the Myths and Tales collection)

 

CThere once was a princess who lived far away.

She was in love with a prince so they eloped one day.

On the way to the church, they received terrible news.

A dragon was loose so the prince had to choose …

PNB

The much loved poem, The Princess and the Beetle, joins the Myths and Tales web series and we couldn’t be more excited.

The official release date of the web series will be released soon so don’t forget to check back.

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Click HERE to read the full poem…

Coming soon as a web series from Torrance Media. Directed by Leo ST Paul (The Walk) and written by Vivika Widow. Check out the trailer!

The Day I Met my Mummy

It was my thirteenth birthday and I was spending it with my Aunt Lola. She was a quirky old lady who had known me since I was born. She wasn’t really my aunt at all but she had been such a close family friend she earned herself the title. I had come to live with her after an unfortunate accident with a moose and a very high cliff claimed the lives of my parents.

“Well Loopy,” she said. (This was just a nickname she had for me. My real name is Lucy) “I can’t believe you are thirteen years old already.”

Given that I was so accident prone, having broken several bones several times, I was pretty mesmerised that I had reached teenage years too. Aunt Lola always made a big fuss of me on my birthday. She had no children of her own so all of her affection was aimed towards me. She gave the most random and strange gifts each year so now that I was a little older and a little more ready for her antics I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. She put an envelope into my hand and kissed my forehead. “I hope you like this one.”

My hands began to shake. Given my aunt’s fondness for all things odd there was no telling what the envelope contained. Therein could lie the secret to a number of mysteries. It could hold the key to eternal life. It could be a coupon for 10% off at any local clothes store. I tore open the envelope excitedly. A shining slip of paper fell onto my lap. I picked it up allowing the coloured paper to delight the eyes. On that special paper read the words, ‘Special Access to the Museum’. Well it wasn’t the secret to the universe but it was a great idea none the less. I was the strange kid who would rather sit in the corner of the playground reading about battles of old than play with the other children. I would much rather hear what ancient Greek philosophers had to say than my fellow classmates who stood at the edge of the football park picking their noses.

There was no time to lose. I had heard on the radio the week before that the local museum had just opened a new exhibit on Ancient Egypt. I grabbed my shining red rain jacket that was water proof but still light and airy. I pulled on my backpack which had the emblem of several superheroes embroidered on it. Aunt Lola had been complaining of what she called ‘the hardships of older ladies’. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant but to combat it she had to lie with her feet elevated and a piece of silver on her forehead, counting backwards from one hundred.

I decided to leave the Egypt exhibit to the end. It had been busy when I arrived with business men awing at the new set up and mothers being dragged by their progeny because they thought it looked ‘cool’.

The day began to wind down. The museum emptied itself of the day trippers and quietened. As I walked through the main foyer the rubber soles of my shoes squeaked. I saw the fresh sign that directed the way to Ancient Egypt.

There was a lot of gold around. The walls were covered In hieroglyphs. I couldn’t tell if the curators had actually read the hieroglyphs or if they were merely there to impress the visitors because from what I could read they told of a bathroom disaster somewhere off the banks of the Nile.

As I absorbed all of the knowledge that the exhibit had to offer I heard the doors to the section close. I was the only person around, living at least. The lights dimmed except on the large mummy that was encased at the end of the hall. His face had been preserved all that time in a stern expression. The accompanying information explained that his name was ‘Ahmose’. He had been a fisherman but not a particularly good one. His people saw him as cursed, a jinx if you will. Ahmose was responsible for all the ill fate that befell them. Poor Ahmose. It seems he was accident prone like me. Because he had bumped into a builder, causing him to fall, destroying the temple that was in construction it seems he was now preserved for people of my year to gawk at his stupidity. They took jinxed folk very seriously in those days.

My head was buzzing with all the warmth, knowledge and dusty artefacts that the museum had to offer. I made my way back out to the main hall intent on catching the bus home. I pulled open the door but it was locked. ‘Surely they would check everyone had gone before they locked up,’ I thought. There was a heavy smash. My heart leapt from the steady thud of a tortoise to the gallop of a hare. I could feel a presence looming behind me but I couldn’t bare to look.

‘Argh!’ cried a dusty, throaty voice.

Slowly I did turn. Ahmose was now standing upright for the first time in many years. The paper that gave me special access to the museum slipped from my pocket. Ahmose reached down to pick it up with a crunchy crack of his mid section. He clasped it between the remains of his fingers and held it out to me.

“Leave me alone!” I screamed. “Help!” Surely the museum wasn’t deserted.

“Argh!” Ahmose replied.

With a quiver of my extremities I reached into my pocket and took out my mobile phone which Aunt Lola insisted I carried in case of emergencies. I was pretty sure that being attacked by the undead could very well be considered an emergency.

“Hello?” Aunt Lola answered.

“Help me!” I cried out.

“What’s wrong?” she asked still calmly balancing the silver on her forehead.

“A mummy! Its came to life. I have to get out of here!”

Most people when they tell their aunt something like this they either think they are crazy or attempting a practical joke. Not my aunt. She returned as though it was an everyday occurrence. “Do you like him?” she asked.

“Like him? Its a mummy! He’s going to kill me!”

Aunt Lola groaned. “Oh don’t be so dramatic Loopy. He’s your birthday present. Don’t you like him?”

I stared at Ahomse. He stumbled backwards almost tripping over his own left foot. “Argh!” he groaned again looking at his left leg. “How many people can boast having their own mummy,” continued my aunt.

“Not many,” I agreed.

“Enjoy,” she said and hung up leaving me alone with the dial tone and my mummy.

Ahmose lifted a piece of pottery from the shelving. It slipped from his fingers and smashed on the floor.

My most immediate problem was devising a plan to get out of the museum that looked possibly locked, take my mummy on the bus and get home whilst not getting caught for thieving from the museum.

Next birthday I’ll just ask for clothes?

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Zombielicious!

I was just a little kid when I first realised I had the power to bring things back from the dead. It’s not a skill that I would put on a job application or anything but it is definitely something not many people can do.

My beloved gerbil, Flower Pot, died and like most kids losing a pet I was distraught.

“We’ll put him in a nice box and bury him,” mum had said softly.

“Just put him in the bin.” My elder brother was not so sensitive.

I hadn’t been able to bring myself to move Flower Pot. When he started to stink we all agreed the time had come.

I lifted Flower Pot from his cage.

“He was a good gerbil,” I muttered ceremoniously. Then I felt his little foot twitch.

“Don’t be silly,” said dad. “That gerbil is long gone.”

I was almost at the point of agreeing when Flower Pot twitched again. I almost dropped him when he flicked his little ears, opened his beady eyes and turned over.

“He’s alive! He’s alive!”

Mum, dad and my brother all shared a shocked expression that could only have been heightened if it had been me who had come back from the dead.

I grinned. My pet was safe and sound. His furry little body was warm again. He gave a squeak. I gushed. Then he sank his teeth into my finger. I had to shake him off. It took dad and my brother’s strength combined to pull the blood thirsty rodent from me. Flower Pot fell to the ground. He ran across the room. In the commotion the chair was knocked over, landing on the gerbil. Flower Pot still ended up in a box in the yard that day.

When word got out that I could bring pets back to life I was inundated with requests. I tried to explain that Fluffy and Snowball wouldn’t be the same but people were so attached to their animals who was I to stop them?

When Mrs Albot at number twenty four asked me to bring back her boa constrictor George, I had to call it quits. There was already a monster rabbit terrorising the local kids and a vicious goldfish in the pond in the park. We really didn’t need a 7ft reptile with a taste for flesh slithering around.

I hung up my walking dead pet business and life carried on as normal. That was until I met Harry.

Walking home, clutching the straps of my backpack and whistling to myself I passed the church. There was a teenaged boy sat on the steps. He was weeping behind a mop of black hair. His arms were tucked inside the sleeves of his hooded jacket.

“Are you okay?” I asked. I loathed to see a stranger in trouble.

He looked up at me teary eyed. His eye liner had smudged.

“It’s my girlfriend Zoe. She’s gone!”

He removed a photograph from his pocket. It was of a girl who would have been very pretty if it weren’t for the black curtains of hair almost concealing her entire face. Two blackened eyes peered out and black painted lips pouted.

“She was so young. There was so much ahead of her.”

I felt sorry for him. My aunt said my ability was a gift. I wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t seen Flower Pot almost rip my finger off. Then again, I hadn’t tried it on humans before. Maybe this time it would be different.

The boy led me to the open casket that Zoe lay in. She looked peaceful. Her face was as pale as it always had been. She wore her signature black. Judging by the photo the girl had been preparing for her funeral her entire life.

I touched her forehead. Harry gave a gasp that echoed through the church as her eyes opened. She sat up like a villain in a vampire movie. Zoe reached her hands out and Harry helped her out of her satin bed.

It was quite a romantic scene really until she lunged forward and tried to chow down on his neck.

“Yeah, she may get a little bitey,” I warned.

“Are you feeling okay?” he asked her.

“Urrggh,” she replied.

Harry turned to me. “What is wrong with her?”

“Considering she was dead not a few moments ago I think she looks great,”

“Urrrrgghh!” she agreed.

“She won’t make much of a conversationalist and you will have to stop her biting people, but all in all you have her back. She looks zombielicious!”

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Abandoned Places 

Into the world of imagination you delve.
The glow of the computer screen drawing you nearer.
Picking out the words letter by letter.
Each click released into the air like a virus.

At the entrance to imagination lies a warning etched in stone.
Do not venture too far or you may not return.
The world looks different watching from within the mind.
All the same sights but with a hazy yellow glow.

The streets you walked once familiar, now strange.
The same objects you spied many times before, now odd.
Those faces you have known, every wrinkle, every scar.
Now their eyes glare with suspicion.

Take a chance, walk those silent alleys once more.
Your imagination will never fully clear.
Fill the empty windows with images of your own.
Let the birds sing with a song of your own composition.

Fill the lonely streets with whatever you please.
The laughter of children. The cries of pain perhaps?
There are no rules in the land of imagination.
No morals to govern the comings and goings.

Be free to express your deepest desires.
Don’t be shy to shed a tear.
Grit your teeth, relieve your frustration.
For when the computer screen blinks into darkness, the streets are abandoned once more.

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Proceeds from Vivika Widow books to benefit children’s charity

Vivika Widow has pledged proceeds from any download and paperback purchases to local charity Ragdolls UK who support girls with Turner’s Syndrome. As a sufferer of Turner’s Syndrome, Vivika set up the Ragdolls Foundation in 2013 and it remains a cause very close to her heart.

Ragdolls UK work tirelessly to raise awareness of Turner’s Syndrome, offering support and information to sufferers and their friends and family.

vw rd logo

For more information on their projects visit www.ragdollscharity.com

Proceeds from Vivika Widow books will help Ragdolls UK continue their mission to help girls with Turner’s Syndrome achieve their full potential.

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Throw Back Thursday – Uddingston Music Fest

 

Back in February 2015 Vivika was invited to open the annual Uddingston Music Festival with some readings at the Uddingston Library.

A great day was had with recitals of the favourite, ‘Princess and the Beetle’ and ‘The Knight and his Horse’ both from the Myths and Tales series.

It was all capped off with a reading of the opening to Rogue Battalion which went down very very well.

Vivika stated that, “It was an absolute delight to attend, and an honour to be asked to attend.”

Check out Uddingston Music Festival which runs in the area each year with lots of fun for all ages.

udd-music-fest

Is your neighbour a monster? SURVIVAL HINTS AND TIPS

Popular media would have us assume that around 80% of the population are either a werewolf, vampire, ghost or zombie.

Statistically you are more likely to be living next door to a centuries old vampire than you are to a non horror fiction writer. That sounds like pretty damning evidence to me so how do we combat this? Well here are a few tips that I have found quite effective:

VAMPIRES

Ah the blood sucking, immortal creatures that have been the subject of many different books and shows. In the elder days it was the young engaged couples travelling alone who really had to bother with this but thanks to the exploits of Dr Van Helsing, that variety of carnivorous fiend seems to be long gone. His little helper Igor chewing away on flies all by himself and disappearing back into the pages of Bram Stokers novel, mumbling about simpler times when a vampire master was in need of a lackey.

Nowadays, it is with the young teen girls that we have to concern ourselves. Just when father’s across the globe had enough to worry about their daughter dating now there is this inexplicable influx of young heart throb vampires keen on the young girls (who only look their own age). So parents, lock your doors and bar your windows because that pale faced yet handsome little blighter, who moved next door and is only seen at night, may just be planning on making your daughter his eternal companion.

TIP: Invite them for a dinner laced with garlic. Not Christian? Doesn’t matter, get those crosses up!

WEREWOLVES

Many cultures around the world have their own legend of the werewolf but we can get down to brass taxes and assume that we have adopted the Germanic folklore.

In a time when all one had to do was stay out of the woods on a full moon to avoid werewolves, the half man and half dog could co exist quite peacefully (providing the predator was well fed on deer and elks).

Nowadays, for three nights a month the rampant calling of werewolves can be heard from the city streets to the moors of England. Like the vampires the new breed of werewolf seems to have adopted a more boy band styled approach to his daily life. They may seem pleasant on the surface (a German Shepard dog can be too until it rips your face off) but they are essentially dangerous creatures, at least whilst the moon is high and fat.

If your neighbour disappears for three nights a month or if you hear strange calling from their home it may very well be that they are a werewolf. This also means that a vampire could be lurking nearby because apparently after a tumultuous courtship the two now get on famously and there can’t be one without the other.

TIP: Stock up on those silver bullets! (and a gun to shoot them would be helpful).

GHOSTS

Okay so these particular neighbours tend to be more nuisance house guests but all the more reason to be prepared for them.

If you pass a little girl in eighteenth or nineteen century dress on your way to the bathroom during the night, then it may very well be your house is infested with ghosts. Most people make the mistake of calling the priest in for an emergency exorcism but going by past experience that just makes them mad. So unless they are rattling their chains and keeping you up all night or unless they continue throwing tantrums or playing peek a boo to the point of distraction just leave them be. They won’t really take up much room and its not like they’ll eat you out of house and home.

Ghosts are nothing if not consistent. They seem to enjoy old fashioned costuming and that has changed very little over the years. You are still more likely to find a spirit of a Victorian Chambermaid than you are of Mrs. Prettin down the road who died just last week aged 92. Little kid ghosts can be the worst, especially if you have kids yourself. They will roll bright red balls up and down your corridors, sing creepy lullabies and follow you into every room.

TIP: If they are being a true nuisance the best thing is to just accept defeat and move. That is what many people have to do.

ZOMBIES

The end of time has been predicted by thousands of philosophers and holy men. The Mayans had their views. Nostradamus was certain of it. However, for some reason we seem to be at a huge risk of a zombie apocalypse. Maybe its all the nuclear material being passed around like a kids party or maybe its just that viruses are onto us. If it is a slipshod scientist dropping a vial in a laboratory or its a nuclear attack one thing will be certain… supplies will run out, all men will become gun toting action heroes and all women will be scantily clad and unable to function without said action hero (there are a few exceptions of course).

So if there is a rise in the brain eating mutant beings it is likely you will be at most danger from your closest neighbour. Perhaps that is where it all began … Patient 0 if you will. To ensure you are effectively protected make sure your doors are closed over (zombies can’t function door knobs) and secure yourself in an upstairs room (zombies have trouble with stairs too).

To prevent this you may want to keep a close eye on your neighbour. Do you see him/her scuttling about in a white lab coat at all hours of the night? Do you see strange packages being delivered at all hours of the day? if so there is a chance that you have a mad scientist in your midst and the chances are he already has a pet zombie.

TIP: Aim for the head.

MUMMY

Only really relevant if you live in Egypt, or close to a museum but lets face it these creatures have had centuries to wake up so its safe to say that they are in no hurry.

TIP: Learn to read Hieroglyphics.

So there you have it, my darlings. Those are my tips on what to do if your neighbour is a monster.

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