Hide It! – An Anthology of Short Stories – available on Amazon

Ok so I am going to do a shameless plug here, it’s been something that I’ve kept to myself for several, several months now and it’s about time I got it out there…

I’M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!

YEAH BABY!!!

If you type my name – Hannah Jamieson in the Amazon search bar it doesn’t say ‘did you mean this?’ or ‘author not found’ it comes up with this…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Barnett-Jessica-Collett-Stephen-Rhiannon-ebook/dp/B00KIXZGY4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1416416719&sr=1-1

I am actually a search result and I can’t believe I haven’t shouted out and bragged about this to everyone I know!!!

Well I do… but it’s really really silly…

So explanation is as follows – I won (as did 19 others) a short story competition on IdeasTap at the beginning of this year, the prize was having your story PUBLISHED by Mardibooks in an ANTHOLOGY that would be SOLD as an EBook on AMAZON….. OMG! OMG! OMG!

It was published on the 22nd May 2014.

So yeah, its nearing December now and you must be wondering why it has not been plastered over every form of social networking site I have… well… I know I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth BUT the reason I haven’t been telling everyone about this is because I had some disappointments when it came to the final product.

My bio was poorly poorly adapted. As required for the competition, I had to write a short paragraph ‘about me’… and to my dismay they had completely butchered it in the anthology; tenses and grammar were in limbo land.

It upset me; my Bio was a joke compared to all the others.

I emailed them requesting an edit and have been waiting since May for it to be changed. Ta Mardibooks.

But I have decided to buck up. I am going to ignore the fact that my Bio is a colossal disappointment (and that I also noticed a few typos throughout the anthology)… and to tell people about it anyway!!!!

I am a published author…. ME!!!

And I still can’t quite believe it, I just hope people judge me on my story and not on my Bio…. (please please don’t read it)…

So yeah… Look for THE SHADOWMAN BY HANNAH JAMIESON and please do enjoy.

Here’s more info on the Anthology –

http://www.mardibooks.com/hide-winners-announced-young-adult-fiction-short-story-competition-april-2014/

Thanks, thanks, thanks!!

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A Joke at My Expense

Blurb: A short story that exploits my current situation and transforms me into a caricature.

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I want to moan, I want to whine and I want to vent. That’s all I want to do.

I have this horrible insatiable craving to wallow in self-pity.

I don’t have a job, and I all I can do about it, is complain. Conversations are on repeat with me, I have nothing new to say, mostly because, I haven’t anything new to talk about. I can’t do anything. I have no money.

Oh woe is me, I can’t do a thing.

All discussions with my friends drift back to the shame topic.

‘Oh Loser, pity you couldn’t join us… it was amazing!’

As all ‘it’s are.

‘I know, but I don’t have any money I’m afraid.’

‘So, how is the job hunt going?’

If it was going well, need I brag about how little money I have and how little society I see?

Why yes it is splendid, I am hunting all the time, shooting out CV’s and covering letter’s as if a whole flock of pheasants had burst forth from a single bush.

‘How impressive.’

Yes, I’m the best hunter and shooter in the world… I’m just not the best catcher.

‘You’ll get one soon, I’m sure of it.’

And so they have said, for the last three years.

Soon has a strange ability to span over decades, tricky devil; soon.

Such luxury. Such leisure these last three years have been, what with that delightful affair at Sainsbury’s that lasted two of those splendiferous years.

I ended up with Raynaud’s Disease thanks to that place. I had several freak collisions with their large metal rollers which resulted in my poor middle finger being rather badly squashed, several times I repeat.

Not sure how they knew to target the same finger, but they did, aaaaand now it goes ghostly white whenever it’s a bit chilly.

Cheers Sainsbury’s.

That’s my lasting impression from you.

And then I got this Internship, which has tallied over the past year. I spend my days reading and editing over three hundred stories a week.

Without pay.

Oh the joys of unpaid labour. You can’t tell me reading stories with my slippers on and a hot cup of tea isn’t gruelling work.

Oh wait it isn’t.

But the endless reading and editing and commenting is, especially when you’re not getting paid.

Honestly it is.

My eyes have gone completely square; they see only a muddle of pixels and words now. I have daily headaches and sore eyes, all because I’ve had to stare at a computer screen for far too long.

I leave my desk blindly wide eyed and zombified.

Like an owl forced to fly in an unnatural day.

‘So what are you looking for now? What are you going to aim for?’

The echoing questions chime in my ears. Each conversation is just a recording to me know, they all go the same way and I certainly don’t stray from the script. I read off my dialogue diligently and with the same enthusiasm as the scene before.

‘Anything Dear Sir or Madam. Anything but retail.’

‘Oh?’

I’m holding out for something that won’t turn me into a mindless drone. I actually enjoy using my brain.

So the job hunt goes on and I have no one to blame but myself, my pride and, of course, all those idiots who have chosen to not hire me.

I’m great.

It’s just hard turning ‘I’m great’ into a whole covering letter.

***

My cravings have been getting worse lately.

My pity pot keeps getting deeper every time I return to it and with each visit it’s getting harder for me to crawl back out.

The sides are becoming smooth underneath my frequent footing. I’m making it slippy with my tears and snot. With each hulk like punch to the floor I drive myself closer to the earth’s core.

Even though the release is only ever momentarily cathartic.

***

‘She whines all the time.’

‘God I know, it’s getting so annoying.’

‘All she ever bleats on about is her job hunt.’

‘She’s such an ear sore, every time I see her now I feel like I’m her bloody therapist. I have problems too, you know? It’s as if mine aren’t equal to hers!’

‘So condescending and it’s her own fault she’s unemployed. Goes around acting as if she’s a bloody victim, so pathetic, I’m like, please… just get a job like the rest of us.’

‘Miss high and mighty.’

‘Miss oh woe is me.’

‘So bored of her.’

‘So bored.’

‘Doubt she’s even really trying.’

***

I sigh as I watch another mascara-laden tear slide down my face.

‘Well I really needed to hear that.’

I look away from the mirror and go downstairs.

***

Safety Nets

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Having a boyfriend makes me feel safe.

My relationship status makes me feel secure.

I can talk to guys, and sometimes flirt with guys, without any fear of repercussions or pursuits.

I am taken.

I am off the market and men responded in kind. They feel they can talk to me, the pressure to impress isn’t there and I make sure of it.

So they open up.

I can be their friend, their compatriot, they can test their stuff on me and not worry.

I love being part of their lives without worrying about messy breakups or awkward dates.

My genitalia doesn’t define me.

They treat me like an actual person, a standard human being.

I’m just one of the lads, one of the group, they can feel comfortable around me.

Don’t get me wrong though.

I believe men and women can be single and friends without worrying about underlying sexual tensions.

The different body parts shouldn’t be a factor when building friendships.

Its jealous boyfriends and girlfriends that say otherwise.

They just don’t trust their partners… or anyone for that matter, idiots.

I digress.

It’s just, being in a relationship gives you that added factor, that added wiggle room.

You can push the boundaries a bit more and still feel secure.

Now, what I do, what I really enjoy, is observing my friends new partners.

I guess it stems from a fear.

From a past of broken friendships.

I worry about whether or not they will fit in, what they will do to our group, how they will affect us.

So I like to see how they respond, to me and the other girls in our group.

If they don’t overreact and don’t go ape-shit they are keepers.

Simple.

I respect them.

I befriend them.

If not, well… the decision is usually made for us.

My friend will either see the light and ditch their new squeeze or I, and any other lady friend, will never see them again.

I hate the latter.

It hurts.

They’ve devalued the friendship and discarded it.

It’s a stab in the back.

But some girlfriends just can’t handle my lady goods.

That’s how it goes.

I’m able to see the distinction because I am in a trusting relationship.

I don’t mind my man having lady friends and, likewise.

That’s why we are so compatible.

Guess you could call me a tomboy, but I find the phrase insulting.

I’m just normal, I have many interests.

Nothing is gender specific anymore.

The term Tomboy, is outdated.

So please refrain from using it around me.

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

I have never felt more able to be myself.

I’m not out to snag a lover.

I don’t need to.

I’m out there to find people who will accept my ridiculous personality, to be as real as possible and see what comes back.

When I was single I was a nervous wreck.

Zero confidence.

Now I can approach and engage with ease.

Flirting isn’t a clumsy tongue-tied affair.

It’s just a spot of fun.

I can also dance like a normal person.

No sexy boring dancing for me, no thank you.

I jump and mosh with the boys without worrying about getting sweaty, just bruised.

Clubbing has lost its sheen though.

I no longer find it enjoyable having men press themselves against me to gyrate and hump like a dog on heat.

Wait, when was that ever enjoyable?

Clubbing is a frenzy of singletons.

You can liken it to any mating season in the animal kingdom, every species has one.

When you’re there just to dance and have fun, little things you were able to brush over before become colossal irritations.

People bumping into you all the time, people walking through your group and people drunkenly leaning on you, it all adds up.

You begin to wonder, is it worth it?

The deafening music, the expensive drinks and the inability to really get your groove on begins to gripe you.

I have a living room, an IPod and a kitchen that can provide better entertainment.

So that’s one downside to being in a relationship, you grow up, and only go clubbing if you really, really must.

Is that a huge loss though really? No, more a relief.

Having a boyfriend has saved me from many unwanted suitors and it has also helped me to make some interesting friendships.

I must have been a very incapable singleton, a gawky novice.

I’m sure if I was single now, I’d be able to cope, but I’m thankful for my safety net.

I’m thankful I have a man that trusts me.

A man that lets me bat my eyelids every once in a while and doesn’t mind me being silly with somebody else, even if it is a man.

It works both ways though and I’m pretty sure his feelings are identical.

I can be rebellious and safe all at the same time.

It’s not a bad way to live I think.

A Super-Induced Night

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They met at a house party; a typical scene for two students to meet. It was an evening themed around Super heroes and everyone had made an effort to come up with their own particular character.

Now the guy apparently possessed the powers of Lego … I’m not exactly sure what that entails; the ability to construct elaborately coloured buildings perhaps? Or perhaps the pieces of plastic just float around him like orbiting moons? Anyway, he was as he called himself; Lego Lad. He had painstakingly attached thousands of pieces of Lego to his polo top the night before and was impressed with his short-notice abilities. He had a fiery mane of hair and accompanied his t-shirt creation with a reliable pair of jeans; he envisaged a dangerously inebriated night with circus-like antics. Smart move.

The girl, however, was a less man made subject; she was Pantheretta. A step up from cat woman to be sure, but her name was really the only thing that differentiated her from all the other spandex-clad girls that fill the history of comics. She had felt self conscious as soon as she put on her costume. When she bought it she had a team of friends there to give her an ego boost and the confidence to purchase it. But, alone in her room and in front of THAT mirror she lost her nerve. So she had to quickly chuck on a crop top, one that had the face of a Panther on it, before she left for the party; where she would no longer be exposing her tiny boobs to scrutiny. Last minute panics sure do conjure up innovative ideas.

It was an unlikely pairing to be sure; complete opposites when considering their costume choice but nevertheless they made the perfect partnership; neither were sidekicks.

I’m not exactly sure who spoke to who first, or who preyed on who, or who’s eye caught who first, for it was a crowded room and I seemed to have missed that particular first glance. They did however seem to gravitate towards each other, as if by design, and ended up colliding into each other in one almighty THWACK!

‘Ouch!’ they had said in unison.

‘Bloody hell, how much room do you need?’

‘It’s not my fault I didn’t see you.’

‘Sure, because a man covered in Lego is really hard to notice.’

‘I was distracted … and those hurt me! Look I actually have circular dents in my arm.’

‘Your own fault.’

‘No it wasn’t!’

Eyes met and glared.

‘Fine, whatever, sorry I wasn’t looking where I was going ok?’ She sauntered off in the direction of the kitchen to find sustenance; by way of a stiff drink. So far this evening wasn’t going to plan.

He watched her storm off and noticed that his eyes were solely focused on her hips as they were swaying their way away from him. Bemused, he followed.

‘Hey wait a minute!’

‘What?’

‘Let me mix you a drink? I can make you a tasty jelly-baby.’

‘Is this your way of saying sorry?’

‘No. You said sorry, I’m here to
make you a drink, ok?’

‘Sure, fine, whatever … I do want one.’

She watched him dubiously as he mixed together a concoction of spirits and bright colours. He presented her with a cloudy green liquid, with a piece of Lego floating on top, accompanied with ecstatic arm gestures when he was done.

‘Ta da! Now tell me that doesn’t taste like sweets, go on.’

She tentatively took a sip and was instantly glad she hadn’t said no, it was as if he had stabbed a jelly-baby and she was lapping up their fruity sweet blood.

‘That is amazing!’

‘I know.’ He stated smugly.

‘You are now my official drink maker for this evening, although you can have this back, I don’t fancy choking on it.’ She tossed the yellow brick he had put in her glass in his general direction and continued to slurp. It landed on the floor and disappeared from sight.

‘You can’t throw.’

‘You are right … but I can catch and that’s more important.’ She crowed.

‘You know many people here?’

‘Yeah, you?’

‘Yeah … but how have we not met before?’

‘Don’t know. I’d certainly remember that mess of hair on your head if I had.’

He laughed and assumed his usual flirting position; cocked head and a leaning arm that renders him precariously close to his victims personal space. Her eyes flickered to the face which was now intimately close to hers and hid a smile behind her drink. Perhaps her original plan didn’t matter anymore?

‘What’s your name?’

‘Lego Lad.’

‘No your real name.’

‘Oh, you’ll have to earn that; a hero never reveals his identity unless it’s essential to his cause.’

‘Fine.’

‘You meant to be cat woman?’

‘No. I’m Pantheretta … sounded better than Panther women.’ She added when a mocking smile spread over his face. She felt inadequate all of a sudden and gulped down the remainder of her green jelly-baby blood juice.

‘Ah yes, I see your t-shirt now, I thought those two blobs were there to draw attention to your bosoms… now I see they are eyes!’

‘Well making men look at my boobs is my only mission in life, didn’t you know?’ How far from the truth that statement was he’d never know.

‘Well I approve. Want to dance?’ He gestured towards the living room where a crowd had formed and were boogying along to Katy Perry’s dulcet tones ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it …’

Finally the alcohol in their systems was encouraging the heroes to lose their inhibitions and dance amongst the sofas. A Transformer and a Dino girl were causing an obstruction in the middle of the makeshift dance floor due to their bulky figures but the fatalities were nothing more than a few bruised egos and a couple of disgruntled … errmm … ‘couples’.

He led her in and tentatively dodged tails and capes till they found a suitable spot on the sidelines. The conversation was on pause while they danced and sang loudly at each other. They would both be interrupted by friends who would excitedly tap them on the shoulder and scream ‘Finally, there you are!’, ‘Where have you been?’ and ‘Oh who is this?’ Conversations wouldn’t last long though music either drowned them out or they would be dragged away by other prospects. They would always wind up alone again and they didn’t realise how much they wanted it to be that way for a long time.

After a while she made drinking gestures and pulled him back to the kitchen to make her another special brew.

‘So why didn’t you go off with your friends?’ she asked while he whisked.

For a moment he was silent.

‘I guess I find you too interesting.’ He finally answered without looking at her, ‘You?’

‘I couldn’t very well leave my cocktail maker behind.’ She winked and nestled in closer to inspect his work; this time he was making something pink. ‘Looks tasty, what’s in it?’

‘Never you mind.’ He pulled off another one of his Lego pieces and plopped it into the bubbly mix. ‘Don’t choke.’

This time she drank it with the floating blue brick and her eyes widened as the broth tantalised her senses. ‘Actually, I find you pretty damn interesting too’ she said with a glazed and glossy expression.

And that cinched it they would be inseparable for the rest of the night. Nothing, no one, could keep them apart, even trips to the loo! Maybe it was his eccentric way of telling stories that made her stay and listen; or her appearance of confusion that drove him to continue talking on and on. Anyway both were intrigued and glued.

‘So what is your super power exactly?’ she queried whilst fiddling with the straw in her drink.

‘I can control anything Lego’ he stated, as if it was obvious.

‘So, say I drew their logo, you could then move it around and control it?’

‘Essentially… yes… I guess so.’

‘What made you think of this… power?’

I like Lego’ he grinned.

‘Fair enough. Have you got a back story all worked out? How you got this power? Was it an electrical storm like in Misfits? Or you were born with it like superman?’

‘When I was eleven I went to Hogwarts and perfected the art of wingardrium leviosa.’

She laughed, ‘No really, what’s your back story going to be?’

‘That not good enough for you?’

‘No, not really’ she teased.

‘What’s yours then hum?’ he encroached even further into her personal space and squared up to her as if they were on the verge of a shoot out. His jaw was confidently clenched.

‘I was a feral child and I grew up as a panther cub.’ She said without blinking. ‘Duh.’

‘That’s not very original.’

‘Nothing is nowadays.’

Their personal bubbles had merged and after a bout of tipsy giggles had subsided a moment suddenly struck them. A moment when speaking ceased and only one thing could possibly happen. Before they knew it they were in each other’s arms and their lips were locked together. All thoughts of the guy Pantheretta wanted to initially impress were gone, easily overshadowed and forgotten when in Lego Lads company.

The clock struck the enchanting time of three and forced the couple to resurface. They discovered the house to be relatively empty except for the few, like them, who were still invading each other’s tonsils and those who had drunken or smoked themselves into a coma. Stragglers were ambling around the house looking for personal effects and there they were, in the middle.

‘Time to take you home I think’ Lego Lad breathed.

‘Yeah…’

She led him to her accommodation and after a final frantic smooching session at her door and a tumble in her bed, they slept together in each other’s arms.

The next morning she woke to the giggles of her flat mates. Her head was dizzy and from what she could make out from their hysterical screeching was that photos from last night were up on Facebook. She left the boy in her bed and trudged her way to the kitchen. There were some close ups of her smiling with her friends but most of them were of her in background kissing Lego Lad.

‘You certainly forgot about that David boy in a hurry.’

‘Look at you two going at it!’

‘We couldn’t tear you away from him!’

She ignored their teases and set about making herself a cup of tea.

‘Chloe!’

‘What? Have you found another picture of me in a compromising position with Lego Lad? Super…’

‘No, Chloe, what is that on your arm? Is that a tattoo?’

‘No it’s a sticker!’ Said another one of her friends.

She looked down and saw a sticker on her arm that she hadn’t noticed the whole evening… it was a sticker with the Lego Logo on it.

Read on ReadWave.com

A Must Dash Encounter

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I was standing in the queue at Starbucks. It was long and all the other customers were seemingly dithering on purpose.

‘What would you like sir?’

‘Umm…’

‘What would you like miss?’

‘Err…’

Had they not thought about their order while they were waiting? Had they not considered the options while they were standing in my position? I fidgeted in agitation. I glared at each customer who caused to pause and shifted impatiently at each panicked expression that flickered over the coffee menu. I sighed heavily and cast a glance at the customers who had managed to make a decision and were sitting enjoying their mugs of mermaid juice.

At least I think that lady in their logo is a mermaid.

‘What would you like?’

Finally, my turn.

‘A cinnamon latte please.’ I glared at the others who had just gone before me; clustering around the other end of the counter waiting for their indecisive drinks and hoping, probably, that they hadn’t made a mistake. My clarity felt like power.

My Christmas in a cup eventually came, I mean I was in a hurry, I had somewhere to be, but I wasn’t about to rush out without first adding three sachets of sugar. Then I saw him. I was casually pouring in the sugar. Casually looking around. When I had to suddenly suppress a chuckle.

A man had taken a slurp of his beverage and had suddenly acquired a white frothy moustache upon his cleanly shaven face. I wasn’t sure if he was playing around or just hadn’t noticed. I mean how can you not notice the warm wet feeling of billions of bubbles on your lip?

His face drifted in my direction and I was able to see the majestic symmetrical smudge of white speckled with brown chevron plastered on his face.

He noticed me staring.

I hadn’t notice him noticing me staring.

He smiled.

I watched the froth smile.

I smiled.

Then he wiped it away.

My smile disappeared and I allowed my eyes to drift up to meet his. They were creased into a bemused expression and were brimming with expectation. I suddenly felt indignant and walked over to his table.

‘Here’s a napkin, you missed a spot.’

I then walked out. The hairless wonder watched me leave. Confused and slighted. I hollered back with no real intention for him to hear.

‘I preferred you with the tache.’

For a moment I admit, I had felt vulnerable. The joker had spoiled the joke. The spectator had now become the display. I didn’t like it. He ruined our connection and seemed to think I would still play along.

Like hell, fool.

Besides I had somewhere to be.

Read on ReadWave.com