Blog Tour – A Tale of Three Shorts by Taylin Clavelli
A Tale of Three Shorts Tour
gets readers up close and personal with three fabulous releases from friend and fellow author, Taylin Clavelli.
The short stories, Invisible, Sleepwalking, and DIY Delights, will take you from loss and sorrow, to tender love, to laughter, and a deep sigh when you finally reach the end of each tale.
Come meet the men of A Tale of Three Shorts and their stories,
and read about Taylin’s inspiration for Sleepwalking!
What do you do when you become invisible to the love of your life?
IT’S the small hours of the morning when I walk through the door of our home. The savory smells of lasagna hitting my senses make me close my eyes in delight. Ahhh, beautiful. Just the thought of beef, tomato, cheese and herbs caressing my pallet has me salivating, and my stomach rumbling. Sean sure knows how to look after me. He’s beyond wonderful.
A tidy apartment and a scrumptious meal are superb to come home to, especially after a hard day in the ER, where I’m surrounded by blood, tears and anguish. My feet hardly touched the ground, from the beginning of my shift until the end. My team and I dealt with everything from a saucepan stuck on a boy’s head, to a multiple pile-up, where the rider of a motorcycle caught the worst of it. He sustained two broken legs, a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder. Thankfully, he was wearing all the correct safety gear, which saved his life and held him together. He’ll have a long road to recovery, but at least he will recover. In the future, however, he’ll set off all airport alarms as he passes through security, with the amount of metal now inside him.
Eating my meal, I settle in to unwind.
The next thing I know, I’m shuddering with cold. Dammit, I’ve fallen asleep on the couch again. There’s no blanket in sight. Oh dear, Sean must be pissed at me. I know he doesn’t like it, and if I could catch myself drifting off, I’d move to bed. Except, I couldn’t, and I didn’t.
Looking at the time, I realize it won’t be long before he’ll be up for work. Walking into the kitchen, I flick the switch of the amber nectar machine, ready to wake him with coffee and a cuddle—albeit a belated one.
With drink in hand, I walk into our bedroom. The bed is empty.
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Devastated by loss, Matthew sleepwalks through life, existing but not living.
Can someone rescue him from his waking nightmare and help him to live again?
Inspiration behind Sleepwalking
I don’t tend to wait for a call for an anthology before I write a short story. As with many writers the idea for a tale can spring from anywhere at any time. In this case it was when I purchased Adam Lamberts CD For Your Entertainment. There’s a track on it called Sleepwalker, and from the very first line of the song, the story Sleepwalking was born.
I saw a picture of you hanging in an empty hallway.
That line alone created images in my head which lead to a 9k story. It seemed so sad to me that the person in the song seemed to be alone. The imagery made me think about how I’d feel if I lost my husband.
Would I stay in a world of familiarity, visiting old haunts and not move on?
Would I be capable of moving on?
Is there a set, or acceptable time to grieve?
What would happen if I found someone else?
The pictures just wouldn’t go away, and I ended up writing down little snippets of scenes that entered my head as I was about to sleep. The list became quite long which left me little choice, but to write the whole story.
Then I had to find a setting for my story – the most common of which is an office. And although there are plenty of circumstances in which a person can lose a partner, I decided upon law enforcement. The reason being was that they tend to have walls for the fallen, which coincided with the picture in the hallway, from the song.
It dawned on me that in most offices, there’s someone who is always there, who is essentially part of the furniture. That person who no one truly gets to know due to being wrapped up in their own lives, with a different set of priorities. Sometimes it can be a person who has suffered a loss, but after a while those around don’t want to hear about their heartache anymore and so begin to avoid or ignore them. It’s a sad side of human nature. And, I asked myself:
What happens to a person like that when they go home to an empty house; when they know no one cares? Do they grieve for themselves, the person lost or both?
What would happen if someone cared enough to notice and get involved?
What would happen with a little kindness?
Matthew almost looked like a ghost, too—he was thin and gaunt. The trousers of his grey suit were held up by a belt that, judging by the markings, had been tightened several holes—so, it must have fit him properly at some time. Other than that, he kept clean-shaven. As for his dark brown hair… it had been cut and cut well, because it didn’t seem to matter how many times his fingers ran through it, it looked fantastic.
Yes, I’d studied him quite a lot since I started. I’d noticed him on my first day, and every day since. There was something about him that drew me to him, and yet he’d never looked at me even once—it was as if he were off in his own world, and a sad one at that. I’d never seen him smile, and I felt nothing other than sadness emanate from him whenever I passed by his desk. I didn’t even know the color of his eyes, as they were always buried in a file, or watching the floor whenever he ventured elsewhere in the office. His thick rimmed glasses stopped me getting a sideways peek at them, too. The wide arms hid anything that might expose them to me.
The only thing that elicited any kind of positive emotion from him was his coffee—frothy cappuccino with two sugars. Relief washed over his whole body and downcast face with his first sip, which was usually followed by the back of his hand swiping the foam away from his upper lip.
Yes, I was so intrigued with the man that I knew how he took his coffee. A little stalkerish, I know, but there was just… something.
FOR a few days, I’d noticed a change. If it were possible, he was even more withdrawn than usual, yet no one in the office said a thing, or even seemed to care what was happening with him.
I decided to do something about it.
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While renovating his first house with his partner, Mike, Duncan discovers a plethora of reasons to use his favourite word… Bollocks!
Needless to say, once the day came when my life partner, Mike, and I bought our house, no one was surprised when it turned out to be in need of a little TLC. In fact, if it was a trauma patient, it would have been taken immediately to intensive care.
That was when the “Holy fuck, what have you taken on?” version of the word bollocks was used.
The wiring was old. The electric heater was there to cover the hole from an open fire, and the bathroom was a disaster waiting to happen. Walls were covered in fading flock paper, and the banister looked as though it had been leaned on a few too many times. As far as carpets went… ughhh. That was when I found another way to use the word—in disgust. Things were living in the crumbled rubber backing.
The poor dwelling was in a shocking state, considering it was only built in the sixties.
It had its good points, though. The damp course and walls weren’t in bad condition. Only a few parts needed rendering. No roof tiles were missing, and neither squirrel nor bat had taken up residence in the loft. Structurally, the place was sound. All it needed was the home improvement equivalent of some Botox and a serious facelift.
Our house was a little two-story, two-bedroomed cottage on the outskirts of Evesham—a town around a third of the way to Bristol from Birmingham. The town itself wasn’t small, and continued to expand into the surrounding farmland. It’s an area well known for its fruits and vegetables.
Due to the cottage’s dilapidated condition, and lack of sleeping accommodation, we purchased the property for an exceptional price. Beautifully, both of us could see its potential. The electricity source at ground level was up to standard, and so was the basic plumbing. The convenient thing was we had a caravan to stay in while we completed repairs.
We loved the cottage. The first thing we did was give it a name—Gayden.
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Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.
Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.
Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.
Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.
Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.
Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:
Laughter – especially that of her children.
The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.
The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.