Today Cat and Lynx Raven topple the Queen of Trauma Llama, Ms. Bronwyn Green off her throne with their FOURTH entry into the Trauma Llama series. All hail the awesome gothic queens! Here’s their contact info: blog | Twitter | facebook
Here is their blog.
Before we get to the trauma, check out their book Soul Asylum. It’s FREE this week! So you have NO reason not to grab it. Here’s the blurb:
The blood wanted to prick a conscience that couldn’t bleed.
Poe could keep his telltale heart.
I couldn’t hear it beating.
Ravens Retreat harbours a sinister secret. Inside its blackened heart lurk the ghosts of patients and staff who died when the asylum was burned down in 1904. Over a hundred years later, the West wing survives and now the patients want revenge.
Their eternal repose is disturbed by a malevolent poltergeist and the ghost tours led by the asylum’s resident, Phineas Soul, which attract the attention of journalist Mason Strider. His attempts to expose Phineas as a fraud have catastrophic consequences when it is Ravens Retreat’s dark heart that’s exposed as it awakens to claim the lives of those who dare to enter its brutal past.
Some things should never be disturbed.
C L Raven are identical twins from Cardiff, Wales. When they’re not spending their days looking after their animal army, they’re exploring castles, ghost hunting in spooky locations and drinking more Red Bull than the recommended government guidelines. Along with Ryan Ashcroft, they make up the ghost hunting trio, Cardiff’s Answer to Supernatural and have their own show on YouTube – Calamityville Horror.
Here is the lovely ladies’ fourth Trauma Llama tale:
As Soul Asylum is heavily linked to the past, we thought we’d share part of our past. It may surprise some people to know that we were once voluntary teaching assistants. What is even more surprising was that we weren’t banished forever.
We’d been helping in our mum’s school on inset days since we were 6. We spent the first few years hiding in storage cupboards, avoiding the children. When we started working there, we spent a lot of time hiding in storage cupboards, avoiding the children 😀 The art storeroom was our favourite bolthole. The area of the school was incredibly Welshy so it took us years to understand the kids. Cardiff isn’t a Welshy town. We got by with nods, ‘uh-huh’ and ‘ask the teacher.’
When we were in sixth form, if we only had morning classes, we’d spend the afternoon at our mum’s school, until we left school at 18 and worked there full time for two years unpaid. Did we abide by school rules and tone down our Gothic look? No. The kids loved it.
Our time there will always be marked with the many disasters we caused. The first one happened when we were kids. We dropped a 2Kg tub of red power paint and it went everywhere. Even we were plastered in it. Red powder paint over black trainers wasn’t a great look. Worse, it was in full view of the class.
One of the most memorable (cringeworthy) times was during Assembly with the entire infant school. For non-UK readers, that’s ages 3-8. The nursery teacher, Jan, was playing the piano, and any naughty kids had to stand by her. One boy managed to shut the piano lid on her fingers. She tried freeing her fingers whilst not showing how much pain she was in. The hall was deathly silent, apart from some insensitive people’s hysterical laughter. Our hysterical laughter. The worst thing was, we couldn’t stop and had to leave. All the kids were staring at us. So much for setting good examples. But we didn’t discriminate – we secretly laughed at the children when they fell over. We are terrible people.
Most of our memorable moments in life involve our animals and their unfailing attempts to embarrass us. This part is no exception. We own a duck, Peking, who’s the last one from 9. Her parents and aunts were hatched in the school for them to see life cycle differences between chickens and ducks. We kept the 4 ducks. And the 7 chickens. No, we don’t live on a farm. The ducks imprinted on us and thought we were their parents. Not many people become mothers to ducks at 15. Even less become grandmothers at 17. The ducks used to go into the school with our mum so the kids could see them changing (the chickens didn’t go back as they couldn’t be trusted. Chickens are evil geniuses). We built the ducks a pen in the foyer and kept the radio on so they wouldn’t get lonely (we did this at night when they slept in our room). One day the radio wasn’t on and they got lonely so they escaped from their pen and came looking for us. Just as the school inspectors turned up. Anyone in the teaching profession knows how stressful inspection time is. Luckily these inspectors had a sense of humour.
Most of our time was spent moving stuff. One day, we were moving a bench –one of those long ones with no sides- and backed up. Smash! We’d hit the fish tank. The foyer was covered in water and fish. We saved the fish then Cat sliced her hand when we taped the tank back up. The fish lived in buckets until a replacement tank was bought. It wasn’t one of our finest moments.
Our main job was doing art displays in the classrooms and corridors. That’s the only part about the job we miss. Our mum liked having big 3D displays so there were times when we had to hang displays from the ceilings. The school was an old TB hospital, with long corridors, huge classrooms and high ceilings. There was only one way to reach them – put a 9 step stepladder on the tables and climb to the top. Except we hate heights. Yes the children witnessed us doing these dangerous stunts. No we didn’t use any safety methods, apart from one of us standing at the bottom to attempt a catch. Often, some of the displays would fall down in the night, triggering the alarms, so the caretaker would have to go to the school to make sure nobody was robbing the place. In the end we learned to position the displays out of the sensor’s vision, so if they fell down, the caretaker didn’t lose any sleep.
A male teacher joined the staff and was the prime target for practical jokes. Our best one was a combined effort with our mum and her teaching partner. The children had a fruit tasting day with a wide variety of fruits-some we’d never heard of. One of these was a cherimoya. We watched the interesting faces the children were pulling and had the wonderful idea of giving some to this teacher. He also pulled an interesting face –before running off to be sick. One of the other teachers (the only one who knew what it was) informed us it wasn’t ripe. It had to be eaten when the inside was soft. Cherimoya meant ‘custard apple’. No wonder it smelled so vile!
Despite all this, we weren’t fired. However, after working there for so many years unpaid, the school came in to some money. Did the headmaster reward us for our years of dedicated service?
He employed someone else. The teachers we worked with were gutted. We left the school in disgust and never returned.
But from that moment on we’ve been full time writers for no pay. Someone out there is laughing very hard.