01 October, 2013

Leo by Martyn Beardsley

Welcome to Part Four of my 12-part Zodiac Blog Series. On Tuesdays in autumn I'm posting a story or poem each written especially for this blog by a different author. Each piece of writing has taken one of the signs of the zodiac as its inspiration. For the full list of participants - from established authors to first-time writers - plus the posting schedule and links to previous stories and poems, please visit the Zodiac Blog Series Page.

This week we have a micro-story inspired by Leo by Martyn Beardsley.

Martyn is best known for his televised children's books, illustrated by Tony Ross, about the bumbling knight Sir Gadabout. Since then he has written both fiction and non-fiction for children and adults.You can meet Sir Gadabout here, find out about duelling here, and get caught up in grisly murder here. Oh, and you can find Martyn himself on his blog.


It was nothing special. Just home. Gorged lions by a watering hole; bloodstained yawns in the sun. Nervous wildebeest edging closer, daring to join hippos for a drink. Sun-yellowed grass as far as the eye could see, hot breeze creating patterns like ripples in a golden sea. Beyond that, hazy mountains. Beyond that - well, Leo didn’t know, because this world of his was a big one, under a big sky. Nothing special. Just every-day ordinary. Just home.

A sharp pain on the nose. Leo opened his ennui-heavy eyes and saw a stale bun rolling on the ground. Through the bars, two smirking teenagers nudging each other. Beyond them, a redly indignant but silent woman. Beyond her, the ring-tailed lemur enclosure. Beyond that - well, Leo didn’t know, because this world of his was a small one, under a small grey sky. Nothing special. Every-day ordinary. But never home.


  1. I love how you have described things, Martyn. Just two little paragraphs but I can see it all so vividly

  2. Lovely use of language to reflect the differences between the two worlds yet holding them together.

  3. Neatly done, Martyn. Very poignant. You've captured the mood of the two environments very well.

  4. This is wonderful. Beautifully crafted. Short but very powerful.

  5. Thanks for all the comments - much appreciated!

  6. Tightly written and poetic.

  7. What a wonderful piece - as others have said, so much, but so short. Great!


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