Stay Connected, Stay Creative

Our digital story chain is an online hotch potch of a story shared among us as we each write the next stage and see where creativity takes us.

The beginning of the story is below, whether you're 8 or 98, we'd love you to get involved. Every few weeks the images below will change to help stir up fresh ideas and inspiration.

You could be inspired by the view from your window, something that's made you smile, a random object or a phone call. Perhaps you fancy having a go at some poetry or have a crime thriller in you waiting to be written.

You could consider who the characters are, where are they, why are they there, what are they about to do and what will happen next?

You'll get to see the first paragraph and the last approved in the growing tale.

If you'd like one of your photos to be among the gallery please email them to us at [email protected] ensuring you have consent from anyone in them before sharing.

In the blue hour at the end of a day in spring, when the hawthorn was white in the hedgerows, two people stepped out of the abandoned cottage. Standing alone at the end of a narrow lane, banked high on both sides with cow parsley and brambles, it had been derelict for years. In the distance, the sound of a car on a tarmaced road, blackbirds quarrelling, a tractor in a furrowed field. For a moment, they stood side by side on the step, not speaking or looking at one another. The man's Trilby was pulled too low on his forehead and the woman's hair held in place by a forget-me-not blue scarf. They might have been brother and sister, cousins, even father and daughter. They were clearly comfortable in one another's company, even though they should not have been in the cottage at all. Everyone in the village knew the previous owner, dead since last Christmas, had no relations.

They began to walk towards her. The girl slipped back behind the horse chestnut and crouched down. She shouldn't have been in the lane either and, though she didn't recognise the strangers, she didn't want the slightest chance of anything getting back to her mother. She didn't want a second weekend's pocket money docked. It was Wednesday. Wednesday evening was Guides in the Church Hall. She had intended to go, but an adventure of the fields at dusk had been more inviting. The girl looked down and saw her socks were stained green with moss, perhaps when she'd climbed over the style.

As the bell tolled the half hour, the man and woman started to walk towards her. They moved steadily, seemingly not in a hurry, though there was something about the way they were talked under their breath, as if afraid to be overheard, that gave her pause for thought. When they drew level, she saw the man was frowning and the woman's brown eyes were sharp with worry.

"We have to tell her," the woman said, "we have no choice."


Written by Kate Mosse, author and playwright

The girl felt something on her foot and glanced down to see a mouse running under some leaves. She was startled for a second. When she looked back to the road and the couple. To her surprise no one was there.
"Where are they" she nearly said out loud.
"It was only a second they could not have gone far in that time, no one could."
It was dusk but the road was still visible winding into the distance.
She saw another mouse in the grass. Was this the same mouse, it looked different with a dark brown patch.
"Where they real" She had heard stories about this cottage, the lights at night and noise in the sky.
"Don't go near that place" her mother had warned
"That sound and yellow light in the sky, even a Parish Counsellor had mentioned it in the local newsletter. It is private property keep away was the warning" Her mother was very concerned.
"It could be stranger than that, perhaps things can disappear and re-appear in other forms"
Her mind was racing, seeing visions from TV shows where people could change shape, have ancient powers, wizards or even worse from outer space.
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Violet R Newcastle

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