That Elusive Cure and other 2013 stories

I am having what I guess is writers block. I'm struggling to write anything after a lifetime of writing - literally, since I was about four and taught myself how to read. I know why. I'm ill and this illness has taken over everything. I'm not going to get better anytime soon, so I need to figure out how to work with the illness, and not let it take over every aspect of my life.

Now is the time to fight back. I have purchased some story cubes on recommendation and my intent is to write 500 words (or near enough) each and every day.
Here's hoping the mojo comes back.


Taking inspiration from a single sentence that was on a Facebook post a few weeks ago. If I can find that sentence again, I’ll post it. That one sentence has remained in my head since and this flash fiction piece is the result.


Big brothers can be such a pain...

Mind the Gap (IP)

It’s the gap that gets me; the chasm between how long I want to live and how long I’ve been given. That’s why I’m here, standing by the train tracks staring into the abyss.
Story of the week

That elusive cure

I'm trying out an idea. Any thoughts appreciated.

That Elusive Cure 10

Peter and Lucy were waiting at the gate when I got there, a stern looking teacher giving me her best disapproving expression as I arrived.

That Elusive Cure 11

“What do you think it’s like?” Sally was still under the covers. Lucy must have finished whatever it was she had to say as she crawled out from under the covers and left the room.

That Elusive Cure 12

Sal stayed in bed all evening, leaving me to concentrate on the kids. Thank God I had this mystery boon of energy – whether placebo or actual – it was welcome and frankly necessary.

That Elusive Cure 13

After judging Sally safe enough to make a run home, I gathered my medicines and a change of clothing and stayed one more night.

That Elusive Cure 14

“Heart and blood pressure raised. Antidote being administered.”

That Elusive Cure 15

I came to in the pod. Jimmy must have picked me up and put me there. I glanced over to where he was, sat on a pew he’d dragged near to the machine.

That Elusive Cure 16

The next few days passed in a blur. Jimmy apologised so many times I had to tell him I’d hit him if he said sorry one more time.

That Elusive Cure 17

“Have it. Have the cake.”

That Elusive Cure 18

I woke up Wednesday morning to find Jimmy out of bed, showered and in his study answering emails. Moments after he realised I was awake, he came in.

That Elusive Cure 19

Thursday was a chemo day. I woke up apprehensive, a part of me trying to convince the rest of me that I didn’t need to go. But there was no chance of giving up traditional treatment.

That Elusive Cure 2

Next part (chapter?) of the story.

That Elusive Cure 21

The taxi dropped me off at the Moby Dick pub in West Kirby just after six o’clock. Not so long ago the pub had been converted into a steakhouse, and...

That Elusive Cure 22

I pulled into the tiny church car park, blocking Jimmy’s car in. Leaping out I bolted for the church, hoping he hadn’t locked the door, unsure of how...

That Elusive Cure 23

The hangover was catching up on me. I needed my session in the machine. How long before that git of a man managed to fix the damage he’d done – would...

That Elusive Cure 24

“So are you never going to talk to me again?” Jimmy was stretched out on the sofa eating popcorn. I was pretending to watch the television, thinking...

That Elusive Cure 25

“Wake up, Jimmy, we’re going to Wales.” I gave him a gentle push and was rewarded with a soft snoring sound. “Jimmy, wake up!” I shoved harder this...

That Elusive Cure 26

“I want to go.” I stood up, too quickly and a rush of blood to my head made me stagger. The pebble beach crunched under my feet as I checked to see...

That Elusive Cure 27

I woke up and didn’t move for a long time. Yesterday’s turn of events still had me in a state of shock. We’d concocted a story to fool Mum. My...

That Elusive Cure 28

“Mum, it’s me!” I called out as I closed her front door behind me. A noise came from upstairs. I slipped off my shoes and went upstairs to join her...

That Elusive Cure 29

I raced home, wondering if I’d beat this scientist of Jimmy’s to the house. Too much was going on all at once, and my head felt like it was filled...

That Elusive Cure 3

I arrived early and sat in my car for ten minutes trying to calm my nerves. I didn’t really know why I was in such a state. Jimmy had noticed last night and questioned me during the adverts.

That Elusive Cure 30

Freddie Mercury belted out the words to Somebody to Love as I settled into the MRI scanner. The earphones were snug on my ears and as always, I’d...

That Elusive Cure 31

I tried to sleep in on Wednesday, hoping to sleep right through to Thursday and the appointment. But of course, that wasn’t possible. I lay there,...

That Elusive Cure 32

I’d gone to sleep with a headache. Sleep was the wrong term to use. I lay in bed and tossed and turned and wished for sleep and a head that didn’t...

That Elusive Cure 33

Jimmy and I took our time going home, making a detour to Ness Botanical Gardens and walking around in silence. My tears didn’t stop for a long time,...

That Elusive Cure 34

We woke to the sound of the phone ringing. Squinting at the clock, I realised it was only four in the morning. I threw the covers off and ran for the...

That Elusive Cure 35

Dad had left a message on the phone saying he’d be heading over to the church Saturday afternoon. I wanted to be there. I trusted Dad, but I trusted...

That Elusive Cure 36

As I walked up to Sally’s house and heard shrieks of laughter, I couldn’t help but think, just for one moment, that maybe Wendy had done the right...

That Elusive Cure 37

I didn’t get to see Sally. No visits allowed, I was told. Can’t disclose information to a non-relative. We’ll see she gets the letter. I heard the...

That Elusive Cure 38

Bob attached the lead from the canister to the pipe on the pod. With his thick gloves back on, he slowly turned the release valve for the nitrogen...

That Elusive Cure 39

“Power restarting. Diagnostics initiating. Pressure in the nanoparticle chamber is 99% and functionality is restored. Nanoparticle density is 50% and...

That Elusive Cure 4

I couldn’t help it. I leaned in towards her, afraid to make a single sound in case I missed what she had to say. A machine?

That Elusive Cure 40

High on the thought of curing Sally of her manic-ness, I turned on Jimmy. “Right, your turn.” “Oh, no…” He looked sideways at the pod. “Not really...

That Elusive Cure 41

Thursday arrived and I woke up with the knowledge that at about ten o’clock a bunch of consultants and doctors would all be in a meeting room...

That Elusive Cure 42

Dear Sally, I wonder when they’ll let me call you. Hopefully the nurses and doctors are treating you right and you’re getting the treatment you need...

That Elusive Cure 43

First thing I did Saturday morning was dash over to the church and test the pod. The result was what I expected, but not what I hoped for. Ten days...

That Elusive Cure 44

“Fuck.” Jimmy put the phone down as I walked into the house. I’d been with Cass all morning, helping out around her flat as she recovered. “What’s...

That Elusive Cure 5

I followed Janie’s car, one of those odd looking little Fiat 500’s in lilac, through the countryside and into Birkenhead. She’d said where we were going, and I knew the place.

That Elusive Cure 6

I climbed in carefully, wondering if it would hurt when it worked, like nettle stings inside me. Or worse, like the deep consuming pain that I had after the first operation.

That Elusive Cure 8

The vibrations concentrated on my torso for what felt like a long while. Just like Janie had said, the treatment, whatever that was, made my insides go all warm.

That Elusive Cure 9

By the time I pulled into my driveway I had decided not to tell Jimmy anything. He’d laugh at me, call me a fool for believing and I’d never go back for the other sessions.

The Lady on the Stairs

Extract from a book that's still mostly in my head.

That Elusive Cure 45 & 46

45 All Wednesday morning I waited at home, listening for the phone. Newland had told Jimmy he was leaving early. How long did it take to fly down...

That Elusive Cure 47

Wendy met me in the lobby area at the front of the hospital. She approached looking grey with worry and indicated that we sit on one of the bench...

That Elusive Cure 48

I stayed with Sally for the rest of the morning, holding her hand while she fitfully slept. Wendy came back after a few hours, her eyes swollen and a...
Story of the week

That Elusive Cure 49

I slept badly. Wendy called late Friday and brought me up to date. Sally’s liver function was beginning to deteriorate. Her kidney function was...
Gold cherry

That Elusive Cure 50

“Kath, it’s Wendy.” I’d been out in the garden, watering flowers and deadheading when the phone rang. “What’s wrong?” Did I really need to ask? Did I...

That Elusive Cure 51

I went to the machine early Monday. With my mobile in my pocket I both wanted and didn’t want a call from Wendy. My sleep that night had been fitful...

That Elusive Cure 52

Once again I was at the church before the sun had properly come up. I didn’t bother with the hatch this time. Instead I slipped off my shoes and...

That Elusive Cure 53

This chapter contains spoilers. If you are sampling chapters, please try another!

That Elusive Cure 54

This chapter contains spoilers. If you are sampling chapters, please try another!

That Elusive Cure - The Headlines

This chapter contains spoilers. If you are sampling chapters, please try another!