Sunday, 18 December 2011

Story 6 - Representation of Myself through Someone Else's Eye

He is who likes to chase, dance around him with the pavement and absolute singular backwards. His peaceful warnings, the stubborn loneliness and the way that he rides are what made him the kind of person that you just want to feel.

The long boots covering his hair; the sharp nights that fall all around him when he sounds: And those clothes he wears are so mellifluous: Fitted to perfection in inexplicable warmth.

If you asked him, he’d tell you he likes to be that person who they themselves are proud to be of. And if you inquired whether he was alike, then he would tell you we are all alike together, and that we always sure when they come so close to you. Of course deep down he’s knows he is only kidding himself. And that if you really wanted to understand what he was thinking then he’d tell you, but it would only be to your own peril. He knows this, and this is why he does not realise the worries of optimism upon those who are not ready to admit they are feeling for want and needs be.

Moreover these things become apparent to all and ready you can appreciate the statistics of this once so common rarity. And only those inhibitions have been cast out of the present statements of law, this is when his awe can reflect and absorb into the personality of your taste.

I suppose what annoys me most about him is his ill tempered manner in which the extremes of his own nature are brought forward to break away from the reality of his own true self. And those demonstrations of suffered independence are shown to me at times to single out such possible exceptions, the interpreted and rather large misgivings of self-pity. In some ways he supposes to trouble, in that trouble and canvas lift the edge from his shameful past. Not that shameful is something I manage to wish for, and there again these obsequious lifting, the gimlets and sitting where a left of the happiness. We understand each other: that much I know.

He said to me once that for sure of liberty, we could find this difficult to bond and separate, whereupon the closeness of our hearts was so distant. It was early, but there was no one to tell us this, later of course it was too late. How life changes things, those escapes of denial and avoidance of the greatness of her and him together. Changes are often enough to set course for a different life of sticks and stones, why I know this already, I always did. Thank God for the trouble and blame him for success. Such life is set out before us. Why are the wrong choices made and how so difficult for the right line of thinking as a two. Who are we meant to be one with? Our true self is the reflection of antagonistic thoughts and this sometimes pursues the excitement but also helps along the failings. When adventures are trust of humour and deaths are in chase we’ll return to the beginning, where the ends of both places are told in admittance to failure. While we camouflage over thoughts, what we hide from the truth is quite more dangerous than these painted words. But words after all are what are left for interpretation. Of all things close to me, I know that he will never be as happy but my own happiness is a tribute to the two of when he once stood.

This perfection for me is the self-denial and acceptance of all things beautiful. What I need is to remind myself he is still available. For losing oneself is something that is dangerously realistic: But also seductive. The perfection for him of course is all this and more aspects of abuse to the lie of acceptance. Unfortunate really: a shame to headline my frankness and unable of course for the danger is always there to shatter all.

And there was a time when I would have previously misunderstood all this chanting: A time when I endured a purpose for what I had no intending towards. And in this objective I broke free of all the statements of controversy and became forlorn to wandering templates, telling you to bring numbers and worries to eyesore.

You see what he had hit upon being was not until after I had broken free from the noose of these considerable longings. Though such I had been affected I knew for certain in no one but myself to thank. It fairly stirred a love inside me when I rout for sure, making the right circumstance; that I was not the only person yet to be.

His arms, they are so much larger than my own. And his face, it is so much more oval. And when I ran my fingers through his hair on that one occasion I could see how the contrast to my own long and uninteresting strands of dark beige coloured the fields within the light of the foreign rain hirer.

When his lips move they move in circles. Circles of honesty where the scorching of pen upon paper can become so much more powerful than simple words to fill the necessary silence. What I needed was to bond with that silence, and this, of all the things in my mind, is the only whither that comes close to any feelings of want.

One day we will meet, it is faithful to the master plan. And when this day arrives I will see no longer if those castles at rest stand to repay my inability to take with me. What is necessary, forbearing, is to fill all holes with a colour has surrounded us for centuries. For the problems of today are the struggles of a destiny yet to suffice with those merciful inequalities of yesteryear.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Story 5 - I Write on the Whiteboard

I write on the whiteboard:

One day…

“What am I doing?” I say, ignoring the groans from some of the students.

Predictably Leo is the first to shout, “YOU ARE WRITING!!”

“Don’t shout Leo,” I say, moving over to the side of the board to award his team two points. Immediately there are calls of,

“You are standing!” “You are saying,” (Not saying Tim, talking) “You are eating,” “You are drinking,” “You are playing basketball!”

“Wait a minute, wait a minute,” I shout, turning to face the class. “Be quiet!”

“BE QUIET!” shouts Leo.

“Maisy, one more time,” I say, watching her confused face, hoping she’ll repeat her sentence to help make my point.

Maisy is quiet however and looks like she is going to cry all of a sudden.

“Am I playing basketball?” I say, adjusting my voice to that of a more kindly tone, still to no response, so moving my attention to the whole group I decide to repeat the question again.

“Am I playing basketball?”

“NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!”

“Great Leo, now everybody, one more time.”

“No you aren’t you are talking!!”

“Three times.”

“NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!”

“Am I eating?”

“NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!”

“Am I playing football?”

“NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!”

“Am I killing a mosquito?”

“NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!” “NO YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE TALKING!!”

“Okay,” I say, wondering if I should really be making this point. It is a board story I’m trying to achieve after all. Should we play a quick present continuous game? They all know the structure well enough; maybe later.

Tim has suddenly jumped up and is miming killing a mosquito, waving his ruler around, then Nick and Isaac start doing the same – I come out with the usual, “5…4…3…2…1,” and they quickly return to their seats.

“Anyway, one day,” I say, looking around at the eight students in front of me. Leo is bouncing up and down on his chair with his hand up, Nicole is asleep. Ella is looking annoyed at Nick, who is sitting nicely hoping I’ll pick him first. Maisy is playing with her pencil case and it’s difficult to tell if she’s listening or not… Tim is playing with himself but has his hand up and is a least paying attention. Isaac is pulling faces at Sunny who is miles away thinking about God knows what…

“Nick?” I say, suckered in by his obsequious posture.

“One day a pig go to a Seven Eleven and drink garbage juice,” says Nick enthusiastically.

“I go, you go, he, she…?

“Goes,” say Nick and Leo together.”

“Good.” I write the sentence on the board while at the same time my thoughts start to whirl: Are the other students listening? Shall I drill the point? No, I’ll have time for this later. Oh no, not another garbage juice story! Never mind, it can be good to have similar themes. They are re-using the language. Who’s next? Shall I roll a dice and pick randomly? Will that take too long?

Leo still has his hand up and is starting to groan, “Me teacher, pleeeeease meee!”

“Okay Leo.”

“AND EATS COCKROACHES.”

“And eats cockroaches? Errgghh!!” the class are laughing now. I’ve got their attention. Who is next? I make eye-contact with Sunny. “Sunny?”

Pause. Silence.

I’m not getting anything here. What’s wrong? She’s usually all right at this.

Her silence is continuing and the kids are fidgeting. I think of an idea and begin to mime being sick. Sunny’s expression brightens up, but Leo has beaten her to it, shouting, “AND HE IS SICK!”

“Good Sunny,” I say sarcastically (although I know it is lost on her).

I write the sentence on the whiteboard and turn back to Leo, Maisy, Nicole and Isaac.

“Another student from team A?”

Maisy’s hand is suddenly up.

“Okay Maisy.”

“And he eat he sick.”

The class is laughing now. I think about correcting her but I don’t want to spoil the atmosphere so I simply write up her sentence correctly on the whiteboard. Then I read the story so far to the class, feigning a confused expression in my voice:

One day a pig goes to a Seven Eleven and drinks garbage juice. And he eats cockroaches. And he is sick. And he eats his sick.

I look at what we have so far and decide to replace the “Ands” with “Thens” before turning to Sunny, Ella, Nick and Tim. “Who’s next team B?”

Tim and Ella are left. Ella is frowning at me, giving off a moody look of, “What the hell do want me to say?” Do I pick her last or get it out the way now?

Tim is suddenly shouting, “And the pig go home and watch TV and eat dinner and go to bed!”

Followed by Leo who comes out with, “AND DIES... THE END!”

“Wait a minute Leo, not yet!”

I write on the board: After that the pig goes home. At home he…

I turn to team A again. “Nicole?”

Wind is blowing. Tumbleweeds roll by. Tim really looks as though he’s going to piss himself, Ella is now whispering in her own language to Maisy…

“English only Ella!”

“Sorry teacher.”

“Nicole?”

Still nothing… Do I help? How long shall I wait? If I help will she be happy to be let off the hook or will I be destroying her confidence?

“And eats he mother!” says Maisy out of the blue.

The students laugh. I watch Nicole, “Yes or no?” I say, still trying to work out if she is uncomfortable, shy, or just confused.

The other students are chanting now: “Yes, yes, yes, yes!!”

Nicole says, “Yes,” and I write the sentence up on the board: eats his mother, and while the class is laughing a sudden piece of inspiration causes me to add: And he is sick again.

“AND HE DIES!” says Leo.

“Wait a minute Leo!”

“Sorry teacher.”

“Ella, are you ready?”

Nick is whispering to Ella, “And he eats his sick.”

The whole class hears and then they are all at once whispering the same thing in chorus: “And he eats his sick, and he eats his sick.”

“And he eats his sick,” says Ella.

Then he eats his sick, I write.

Okay Isaac,” I say. “Are you ready?

“And he see he father and he eat he father and he is sick again,” says Isaac.

“And he eats his sick,” says Tim.

“AND HE DIES,” says Leo.

I write on the whiteboard: the pig’s father comes into the room and says, “What are you doing?” The pig says…

I turn to the class. “And the pig says?”

“I AM EATING,” says Leo.

“Eating what?” I say.

“EATING MY SICK,” says Leo.

“Eating your sick?” I say.

All the students are laughing now as I continue: I am eating my sick. The father is…

“Angry,” says Tim. Angry I write.

“And he hit him,” says Nick. Man is that what their fathers do? I think. Should I be writing this? Oh why not?

I write: so he hits him and then egged on by the class I continue with: so he eats his father.

“And he is sad,” says Maisy.

“And he is happy, “says Tim.

“Because he can eat his sick,” says Leo.

“And he dies,” says Isaac.

And he is sad. But then he is happy because he can eat his sick, I write, finishing off the story (because there is no more space on the whiteboard) with but then he dies.

The class is ready now. The story is finished. They are restless and warmed up. Although maybe a bit too energetic: they are already beginning to read the story aloud. I might need a quick running around game after this to wear them out.

“Okay be quiet,” I say, while making a couple of changes to our now completed whiteboard story. “Are you ready?”

“READY!”

As I come out with the usual, “All right then, after me,” I take a mental picture of our creation, wondering what it’s all about… who’s ideas most of it came from… and how strange it is that I’m standing here doing this.

The students repeat after me:

One day a pig goes to a Seven Eleven and drinks garbage juice. He sees some cockroaches so he eats them too. But then he is sick. He eats his sick. After that the pig goes home. At home he eats his mother and is sick again. Then he eats his sick a second time. The pig’s father comes into the room and says, “What are you doing?” The pig says, “I am eating my sick.” The father is angry so he hits him. So he eats his father. The pig is sad. But he is happy too because he can eat his sick. But finally he dies.

The End



Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Story 4 - The Asian Man

He appeared around eight, nine o’clock in a hotel room in Prinston. This was the first time. An Asian man sitting on top of my wardrobe, legs crossed, staring at me with this stern look of disapproval.

He was wearing a simple pair of blue pyjamas with Chinese-y looking dragons weaving their way between the buttons, up and down the sleeves and along the seams of his trousers. Some of the dragons were red, some yellow. His hair was black and his small squinty little eyes were a pasty grey. He stared at me as I stared back at him. I took in the weather-beaten face. The bare hands and feet were dark brown in colour.

Of course I left the room immediately. Switched off the TV, grabbed the key and made my way down to the hotel bar. Figured I was going mad, seeing things that weren’t really there. But at the bar, after a couple of cocktails, there he was again; sitting to my left; giving me that same harsh look of condemnation.

I’d only a few moments before struck up a conversation with a wonderful little creature in a blue sequinned dress. Said she’d been waiting for a husband who was already over an hour late. I ordered her a grasshopper, joined her for another, and then we were drinking white Russian’s, talking about the price of stock, a museum exhibit we’d both recently caught and other such meaningless topics of conversation. While the whole time the Asian man was watching the two of us, his face turned up in such disgust that I almost expected him to spit on the floor in protest.

It was because of the Asian man that I didn’t invite her to my room. I would have gone to hers if she’d offered but she made no such proposal. Although, there was a brief fumbling in the lift; mostly instigated by my consumption of enough alcohol to bring about a familiar loss of self control.

We parted on her slurred comment of me being, “A very naughty man,” who should be careful of a lady whose husband was so close by. And then I was watching her stumble down the 4th floor corridor, wiggling her behind and twirling a handbag just for me, the sliding doors shutting another glorious bird out of my life forever.

As the lift continued to climb I began wiping her lipstick from my face, tidying up my hair, adjusting the waistband of my suit trousers; when whose reflection should I notice standing behind me but that of the Asian man.

“How did you get in here so quickly?” I asked him. “Why do you keep creeping up on me like that?”

Although, he didn’t answer: I didn’t need him to. I knew (or at least thought at the time) that he didn’t really exist, so what was the point?

*

He watched me sleeping all that night. Just like he would for so many nights to come. Typically sat by the foot of my bed, his little eyes would always be blinking through the darkness whenever I happened to wake up, urging my return to a sleeping state; and somehow encouraging me to do so with complete success; until soon I became comfortably adjusted to his being there.

During the day however his presence made me far less at ease. Mostly of course because of his disgust at almost everything I did. Brushing my teeth in the morning his scrunched up little face would be horrified at the way I squeezed the toothpaste, the amount of toothpaste I was using; my action of brushing. The TV stations I chose were beneath him. The route I took to work, my method of transportation… and once I returned home to my flat he was pacing around the place turning his nose up in reaction to the d├ęcor. Coughing and spluttering while I listened to my messages on the answering machine.

When I went out with friends, to bars and such, he’d always be scowling beside me. Flirtations with women were looked down upon. And even with clients at work I found myself unable to concentrate due to his constant silent criticism of everything I said and did.

After two or three months of this, at a loss for what to do I finally found myself wandering through Chinatown; dirty little streets and not the sort of place I would normally frequent. But I was looking for some kind of answer to dealing with my miserable little follower. All at once Chinatown had seemed like a logical place to start. The idea had struck me of a Chinese medicine man being able to help: I imagined him revealing information of how it was common and perfectly normal for such Asian spirits to latch on to people.

We were making our way through the narrow streets, a smell of exotic food wafting through the air, signs no longer making any sense to me as my language was melting away: when all of a sudden I began to notice the Asian man’s general demeanour had changed somewhat. No longer was he so much a personification of anger. In fact from the way he was now strolling beside me, glancing around at all the shop windows he appeared to be very much at ease.

Stopping by an unmarked doorway to light a cigarette I watched with interest at my strange little Asian man now bent over a pile of durian fruit. Breathing in the scent with glee he turned to me, smiling, then disappeared into the opposite fruit market.

This was the first time in a while that he’d left me alone and after finishing my cigarette, unsure what to do with myself or where to go I stepped out onto the street and paced around, gazed up and down to see Asian men everywhere. Asian women. Asian babies. Asian grandmothers. Asian toddlers, children and teenagers. “It’s almost as if I’ve been transported to China itself,” I remember thinking.

Just then the Asian man suddenly swept out of the shop with two carrier bags bursting with food. He was scowling again. But for the first time I was about to hear him speak: A string of incomprehensible words fired in my direction before he ultimately switched to English, shouting, “Why you follow me?! Everywhere I go you follow me! Bloody big-nosed foreigner, follows me everywhere!”

And as he scurried off down the street I found myself overwhelmed with the uncontrollable urge to do just that. To follow his pathetic little figure wherever he was going; to not let him out of my sight for as long as I could manage.



Monday, 14 November 2011

Story 3 - The Scar

That was the night your grandmother’d locked me out for the umpteenth time; banished to the garden once again.

Your mum and dad were there in the wee hours of the morning. Neither of them spotting me huddled under the apple tree.

Only time I ever saw your dad. Probably the night you got your first glimpse of life as such. But by some small miracle you turned out a lovely little lass you did.

Got this dam scar trying to break in at 5 o’clock. Blood everywhere. Grandma went spare. Only time she ever met your dad and all.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Story 2 - Another Ghostly Figure

I've had to take this story off because it's going to be published in an anthology for Halloween called "Fear" (on Crooked Cat Books).
Check out the anthology this coming October. I'll put a link here when it's out.

... so, it's October now and it's out. There are two volumes which are available in paperback and on kindle:

Fear - A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror Volume 1

Fear - A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror Volume 2

Story 1 - Peeling



Morning shadows of leaves, a lamppost; of me and my wife; our deckchairs; they add depth to the cascade of beautifully dull colours on the advertising board; easily passable as one of those modern art pieces. The peeling notices are numerous, new and old. A history of the comings and goings of this tiny Spanish town. My eyes squint at the mass of incomprehensible words – sym-ba-tec, wast-o-pan-ee, tact-ise – dismantled, pasted together, blown apart again, the letters dance amongst broken pictures of palm trees, cocktails glasses and paella. Black silhouettes of senoritas dancing the flamenco.

“What are you so obsessed with over there?”

“Nothing darling.” The sound of her voice has startled me slightly. I had thought she was asleep. Her sunglasses, big, round, uninterested are facing towards me; lips pursed in annoyance. Don’t disturb me they seem to be saying. Should I elaborate?

Instead I turn onto my back. Reach the Agatha Christie from the table between us. Take a sickly gulp of warm cola.

It is a good hour and a half later when I smell the burning. At first I take it for a distant barbecue and my eyes remain shut. Only when the smell becomes unbearably strong do I realise it is my wife. Covered in oil she is literally sizzling in the sun.

I wonder: should I leave her be? then consider taking the clean white hotel towel and draping it over her legs and torso. Moving the sun umbrella closer to shade her face and arms. But I do not.

“Darling?” I venture, but there is no reply. She is asleep; for real this time.

The smell of smouldering rubber I think. That’s what it reminds me of. Rubber.

Leaning over, touching my nose against her naked, slithery belly, I breathe in the magnificent scent.