Posted in Uncategorized, writing

The Suitcase – a short story

My first eBook has been out for a month now – it’s completely free to enjoy, so dive in!

Check it out with the link below…

The Suitcase by Madeleine Milligan

Posted in Uncategorized, writing

Waterloo Station

I watched her jiggle from foot to foot as her hands elaborately told her story. Every now and then she would reach onto her tiptoes and plant a quick kiss on his face. His hands, large and sun kissed, never left her waist as he gazed into her eyes, smiling slightly at her as she threw her had back with laughter. The small, pink suitcase beside him had begun to roll closer to the platform doors, but instead of breaking their connection and tugging it back he simply side-stepped closer to the case each time, guiding her gently with his hands. She didn’t seem to notice. I stopped a meter or so behind her, letting my rucksack slip from my shoulder so I could place it securely between my feet and rub my stiff neck. Her thick accent and shield of dark hair blocked most of her words, but as she finished her story I watched her slide her hands around his neck and cock her head to the side. Whatever she said must have tickled him, because his face broke into a large grin before softening as his bright eyes poured over her face once more.
‘So did you kiss him?’ he asked.
‘Yep,’ she nodded enthusiastically, then leant into his body and rested her face against his neck. What? There I was, thinking I was witnessing a romantic display of affection from a couple that had missed each other, but perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps they were one of those newfangled ‘open relationship’ supporters? He buried his face into her hair and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath of her scent and stroking the small of her back. His eyes opened and he watched the floor over her shoulder.
‘Did you do it out of spite?’
‘Yes, I think I did,’ she replied matter-of-factly, nodding against his skin.
The air around us began to rumble as a warm gust of wind whipped my fringe from my face, snapping me out of my curious trance. The tube flew into the station and settled with a sigh before the doors slid open and the couple dawdled inside, oblivious to the queue of commuters they were blocking, their arms still wrapped around each other’s torsos. I settled five seats away from them and watched their reflections in the window opposite as they leaned into each other to share a lingering kiss. The growling of the tube soon drowned out all audible conversation so I continued to read the man’s facial expressions. Not once did he tear his gaze from hers. Another kiss. She held fast onto his knee and continued to talk, pausing every now and then to bring a hand to his face or stroke behind his ear. Kiss number three. He shook his head slowly as she continued. Was she apologising? Explaining? Number four. She didn’t look like she was. His face was soft and his eyes adoring, but the shine in them dulled ever so slightly whenever his smile slipped. He held the nape of her neck with his left hand and let his thumb trace up and down her skin as he listened intently. She flashed her white teeth at him in a large grin as she gabbled her penultimate sentence. Five. He tugged her close. Six. The women opposite began to share inquisitive glances; either they could hear the exchange clearer than I could, or they were dismayed by the publication of the couple’s affection. Seven. Eight. She held her phone to his face and flicked through some pictures with her thumb. He feigned interest, yet his smile didn’t reach his eyes.

Posted in Uncategorized, writing

Mother Knows Best

‘There’s T-shirts! We get T-shirts!’ Kaitlyn’s excitable squeals rose above the chatter as we emptied the contents of the box onto our assigned table. She held the emerald T to her front, admiring the stitching of the golden logo on the chest. University of Winchester Foundation Music, with a shining treble-clef and the words MUSIC MAKER on the back, in the same shimmering thread.
‘Oh, it’s gorgeous. We’ll take it in turns to change, I’ll be back in a minute.’ And with that, she flew out the door, practically tugging off her clothing as she went.
Kaitlyn and I had both been asked to represent FM at the Applicant’s Open Day that Saturday morning, and had arranged to meet at reception to retrieve the box of leaflets and instructions for the day. I arrived at six minutes to nine, bleary eyed and yawning, expecting to have a couple of minutes to grab a cup of strong tea from the machines; living in student digs means being kept up until 2am by the flat upstairs playing beer-pong or deciding to hoover their room above your head in the early hours of the morning. To my surprise, Kaitlyn bounded towards me with the box already clutched in her hands and a large grey bag, much like one that carries golf clubs, slung over her shoulder.
‘Are you excited?’
‘I am. Come on, you can carry this.’ Continue reading “Mother Knows Best”

Posted in Uncategorized, writing

The One Night Stand

This piece of writing stemmed from a guided-write that I participated in during the second semester of my Creative Writing degree. We were played a selection of songs and each one inspired where the story would be taken. Two songs that jump out in this piece are Hall & Oates’ You Make My Dreams and David Bowie’s Life on Mars.
Really interesting and inspiring technique for those struggling with writer’s block! Enjoy…
Continue reading “The One Night Stand”

Posted in Uncategorized, writing


I spot her across the chapel, oozing confidence as she converses with ease, throwing her head back with glee as her laugh chimes above the chatter. The room smells of oak and buzzes with excitement as our choir rises from its pews, the first rehearsal adrenaline pulsing through our veins. I watch her glide through the space, the heel of her boots echoing to the ceiling, her lips brushing the cheek of each old friend she passes.

Her name is Miriam. Her clipped, blonde hair sits in a perfectly straight line across her shoulders, parted in the centre to frame her face. Her wide smile brightens her blue eyes. A pair of thick-rimmed glasses are perched atop her head, ready to slide down as soon as music is placed in front of her.

She’s from a city called Tallinn in Estonia – her friends have taken to calling her the Estonian Princess – but years of living in New York has given her a sultry American lull. Having a diplomat for a mother meant that, at the tender age of sixteen, she moved to the Big Apple for her mom’s assignment, where she began studying at the United Nations International School. ‘I graduated high school,’ she makes air quotes with her polished fingers, ‘which is really the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme.’ She flicks a tendril of hair from her face and flutters her lashes at me. She’s an intriguing woman; wide set eyes and a strong jaw line, stunningly beautiful in an almost alien manner. Continue reading “Miriam”

Posted in Uncategorized, writing


Somerset 2014


She stood straight and stretched her arms to the sides, letting the heavy camera hanging from her neck rest on her stomach. God, this place is beautiful. Perching on a nearby rock, she appreciated the sea breeze on her cheeks as she flicked through her findings on the small screen in her hands.
She squinted through the summer sun, pushing her glasses further up the bridge of her nose as she awaited a burst of inspiration. She’d scrutinized the shoreline; studied the pebbles at her feet, drawing pictures in her mind; glorified over the golden ratio. She sucked in another blast of salty air and heaved her aching body to her feet – she wasn’t leaving without the perfect shot.