Friday Fiction: The Warzone

For this weeks Friday Fiction I got a start from Captivating Kitten. Her words are in purple. I rather bleakly finished it.

The flicker of the lamp was starting to get irritating.  Crumpling up yet another piece of paper he stood up from the desk and threw it into the pile by the window.  It’s been ten days since he’d left the house, or at least that’s what the red crosses on the calendar said.

The crosses to him represented failure rather than passing of the time. A failure to escape and to write anything, to tell the world of his story. Not that the story of Malcolm Murphy would be of interest to anyone ordinarily but the world in which he now lived was anything but ordinary.
People said it was a blessing to be born just after the third war. No more bomb blasts and enough peace treaties to ensure peace for another one hundred years so the media said. What they never mentioned was fifty years of struggle, black outs and hunger, whilst the leaders of all four sides involved in the conflict lived in complete comfort.

A younger Malcolm had fought, against the power, but the “peace treaties” made it impossible for anyone to fight the system for too long and live. Aged 25 Malcolm grew tired of watching his friends die or disappear, so he decided to keep his head down and live best he could for himself. It was hard but at his lowest ebb Malcolm met Grace. Grace made Malcolm forget the struggle and he felt a sense of freedom whenever he was with her. Amongst the riots and the broken glass the two of them forged a love that was so strong that Malcolm looked forward to a day where all people could all experience the joy he felt there and then with Grace.

Grace would have helped him write.

With Grace still around there would be no need to write. But she was gone. It has only been a month. They took her away from him early before sun-rise, they had entered their apartment, without word of warning and stolen Grace, his wife of nearly 25 years. Malcolm had heard of this happening to other people, but not to him, no never. Not now. They couldn’t have taken Grace because of what he did all those years ago. Could they?

For the first few weeks Malcolm searched for Grace, but the curfew and misinformation made his search dangerous. People he had classed as friends even denied that Grace ever existed, so not as to get themselves “into trouble.” Malcolm cared not for the outside world and the struggle. He felt just as he had before he met Grace. Browbeaten and alone he reached for more paper. The world must know, he thought.

The wail of sirens broke through the nights stillness and Malcolm could see the flashing lights and the flames burning high in the streets below through his smeared window. Firecrackers went off as Police and the militant few hardy souls clashed. Malcolm began to write about the end of his life in the warzone. As the noose he’d prepared days before was illuminated by the fiery skies.
Power lines south of Pfungstadt in fiery sky

Friday Fiction: The Warzone

Fiction: Because of What the Leprechaun Said

This story is part of the Irish themed Absolute Write Forum blog chain for this month. It is a companion tale to that that I wrote for the last years March blog chain. Hopefully it stands up as a work all by itself but you might like to read the other story here to get maximum enjoyment.

Please also check out the work of the others in the chain.

Angyl78 (link to post)
BBBurke (link to post)
Syrup (link to post)
Springs2 (link to post)
Layla Lawlor (link to post)
Sudo_One (link to post)
RAstarligh (link to post)
WerbyG (link to post)
Aheila (link to post)
LeighAnderson (link to post)

To anyone who might be able to help me,

My name is Maria Starr, I am worried about my husband. He has been acting very strangely at home. Although no-one at church seems to have noticed. He used to be such a kind, attentive and gentle soul. That all changed one overcast night in March last year. I recount these events in the vain hope someone out there might help me make sense of all this and bring back the man I married.

We were watching the St Paddys day parade through the village, my husband never much of a drinker, turned up, three sheets to the wind. I suppose given the day he blended into the crowd, to everyone else but me. I asked him where he had been, he snapped at me cursing, telling me it was none of my… none of my business. Right there in the street. Normal drunken behaviour for some of you no doubt, but not for my man. He never spoke to me that way.

I took him home, dragging him past the Constables house, and with a struggle onto our sofa where he slept, for almost a day. When he awoke I told him what had happened. He said he couldn’t remember anything and that he was very sorry. I was annoyed for a few days until my friends convinced me that he was “just a man” and this behaviour after years of marriage was to be expected.Nothing out of the ordinary happened for 6 months after that. I thought that I was being silly and my friends were right. I was lucky to have such a man.

This view changed once again last September. I came home early from work one day, I found my husband sat in our bedroom in the gloom, rocking back and forth, sweating from every pore. I had heard loud voices so I thought my husband must have been talking on the phone, but the phone was on the cradle in the hallway as usual. He seemed to be in some kind of trance. He didn’t notice me enter the room and he kept rocking, slowly back and forth murmuring something about a girl. Lorna.
“Lorna?” I said.
When her name left my lips my husband let out a sobbing wail. I asked him again to tell me why he was talking about her. No-one had seen her since she walked out on Chris years ago. Even Chris was surprised she cut off all contact.

The morning after this episode, my husband was again fine. He said he was feeling the pressure at work and he was sorry if I’d been upset. It’s been pretty much normal now for two weeks, but its always on my mind. What am I going to find him doing next, its scary.

I have suggested we take a holiday get away from it all. But he says a bit of time alone in the garden will do him the world of good. He has brought some new tools to keep the garden tidy which has to be positive. I am still worried however as I have heard him talking to himself when he thinks I’m asleep. He has been saying some godless things, I pray for him each night and urge you to as well. I don’t know where I will send this letter, maybe I won’t need to God willing. My husband has been very happy today cutting back some trees in the garden with the chainsaw, it’s very loud and at times I could have sworn it was right outside the door.

DOOR KNOB TO SECOND FLOOR BEDROOM DOOR - Fort Sheridan, Lieutenants' Quarters, 165 Scott Loop, Lake Forest, Lake County, IL HABS ILL,49-FTSH,1-4-8

Fiction: Because of What the Leprechaun Said

Friday Fiction: The Lift

“17th floor please.”
“Oh, in to the frying pan eh”
“Well I told them, I said there is no way that was going to work.”
“You got nothing to worry about then have you… Why does this lift take so long?”
“Maybe the hamster died!”
“Yeah the one in the wheel that powers all three lifts!”
“Finally! Movement, if you can call it that. When is your meeting? Do you have time?”
“I have about 10 minutes”
“Should just about make it then. You know he won’t let you in if you are late don’t you?”
“I heard that but I thought it was just a rumour”

Fifth Floor, doors closing lift going up


Seventh Floor, doors opening.
Doors closing, going up.

“God I hate him.”
“Watkinson, yeah. I saw you gazing at the floor”
“The guy is a idiot. Part of the reason it all failed, but will he get any flack?”
“No course not, he’ll get promoted.”
“I’d laugh but it’s all too true. Lets hope no-one gets in from nine!”
“Here he goes again with the totally unjustified hatred of the workers of floor nine”
“Unjustified it’s not unjustified.”
“Steve, if you choose to have sexual intercourse, no less, next to the photocopier and then get caught it’s hardly their fault.”
“Hmm. They got me suspended for…”
“9 months.. Yes I know, you’ve told me. At least once, maybe six hundred times”
“Yeah well it’s not like she was worth it.”
“You are only bitter cos you got toner dust on your bum”
“That stuff doesn’t come off… My wife noticed.”
“What did she say when you got suspended?”
“She didn’t stick around. All because of those bastards on nine.”
“Yes OK Steve. Whatever you say.”

“Oh for Christ’s sake.”
“I don’t like the sound of that.”
“Loud wasn’t it? These lifts are clunky but that was something else.”
“Now the lights.”
“Hang on I’ve got my lighter in here somewhere.”
“I thought you’d given up.”
“Anyone would think you wanted to stay in the dark. Here we go”
“Should I press the alarm button?”
“Now would be the very best time I would think.”
“Did you hear anything?”
“Nope. Try again.”
“Still nothing. For fucks sake”
“Don’t worry I’m sure someone will be along in a minute, Watkinson knows we are in here”
“Oh yes!…. Do you have any signal on your phone?”
“No.. I don’t think so..let me check.. Oh fuck that’s hot.”
“Oh well done Steve. The end with the flame is hot! Good luck finding it in the dark down there.”
“Move over I think you are stood on it.”
“I move, it creaks.”
“It’s only creaking, besides it’s not like you weigh anything”
“Ok but I’m scared.”
“I’m sure it will be fine, better when it’s not pitch black eh Suze”
“Ok ok, You found it?”
“Yep got it.”
“That’s better”
“Yes Steve”
“Are you holding my hand?”
“I’m scared, I hate these lifts. I’m sorry I’ll let go if you like”
“No it’s ok. I kinda like it.”
“Good as long as it’s not weirding you out”
“No not at all….”
“…. Steve…”
“I have often thought what it would have been like if it were me by the photocopier. With you I mean.”
“Wha… Wait it’s the doors, they’re opening.”

Ponderosa elevator

The beautiful Captivating Kitten has given me a lift this week by participating in #FridayFiction here with another dialogue only story which encouraged me to write this one. My earlier dialogue drama is here if you liked this one. The Resident Weeble has something good in the offing, but it’s not ready yet.

Friday Fiction: The Lift

Poem: iWish My Brain Was Like My iPod


Today I sold my iPod classic.. so this is not the greatest poem in the world, but a tribute.. to my first Apple device.

Originally posted on SudoOne:

iWish my brain was like my iPod,
Designed by Jonny Ive,
Everything stored in memory,
Keeping me alive,
iCould plug my brain in,
To sync with something new,
If it turned out not quite right,
I’d simply click Undo.
If my brain was like my iPod,
I could Pause and Play,
Skip to find the bits I like,
And let the rest just fade away.
If my brain was like my iPod,
All scuffed up and abused,
It surely is the off function,
That would be most often used.


View original

Poem: iWish My Brain Was Like My iPod

Friday Fiction: David and the Jacobies

My friend the Resident Weeble  is once again joining me in one of my crazy blogging schemes. Last week he wrote some fiction based upon my start. This week I return the favour. His start is in Purple

The beast slowly approached David as he lay prone on the grass. It seemed to know he couldn’t move. It took the time to sniff David’s feet before raising its mighty head to look him in the eye. Its mouth leisurely opened and its gaping yaw slavered over his incapacitated legs.

David tried once more to move, he felt nothing below his waist. His own fault for not listening to his supervisor, a rather rotund gentleman named Jim.
“Never fell the Ellsbury tree in daylight” Jim told him.
“It’ll root around you as soon as it touches the ground” Jim said.
“Blah blah bloody great beasts Ellsbury Jacobies will eat you blah blah” Jim said.
“If the Jacobies are going to eat you.” Jim continued in Davids head. “If you were stupid enough, to cut down the tree. Listen carefully. You must.. blah blah”

Damn my short attention span thought David. As he felt the creatures warm breath on his face.
“Hi.” It said.
David thought he was hallucinating.
“Hello Mr Tree Cutter” the beast continued, it’s large round face wearing a puzzled look. “Anyone in there”
“Urm Hello.” Spluttered David.
“Thanks for cutting down my tree.”
“Erm well I’m sorry if’d I known it was your tree..”
“No, no” the beast interrupted “Thank you very much, the missus has been on about me doing it for ages, keeps sunlight out of our conservatory. You did me a huge favour”
David was now not only numb in his legs, but his head numbed too. This killer monster was apparently thanking him for improving the lighting in his house, he must be dreaming.
“Belinda noticed the light instantly. Mind you, “ the creature continued “Bit stupid doing it during the day though. Did you not hear what they say?”
That a Jacobie would eat you yes I heard that, thought David. He didn’t hear however that they would come out and talk to you first.
“I heard it.” David said quietly.
“But you decided to go ahead anyway. I like that spirit” The beast tossed his mane-topped head back and laughed a hearty laugh that allowed David to see all his razor sharp teeth. “I’m Brandon by the way”
“David.” David replied extending a hand towards the beast massive paw, twice the size of David’s head.
Brandon took his hand and shook it much more gently than David expected.
“You are in a bit of a bind there David.” Said Brandon, running his paw over the rough Ellsbury bark that wrapped round David’s legs. “I don’t think I can do anything to help you, the Ellsbury is a bugger when it takes hold.”
“You can’t help?” David felt the panic rising.
“Hang on I might have something in my garage, we don’t have long.” Brandon lumbered off as fast as his huge legs would carry him.
David lay back on the grass, still half-heartedly trying to wriggle free. He wondered what Brandon would find in his garage to help, or indeed why Brandon wanted to help at all. Was he a monster who liked to chase his prey? He seemed like a reasonable fellow maybe David could just ask him politely not to eat him.
David noticed the ground around him had become cast in a dark shadow. Great, rain he thought. All I need.
“Very sorry David. I really can’t help you. There is no time” Said an out of breath Brandon, sweat dripping off his tongue.
“You don’t have to help ok. Just don’t eat me.” Said David, hesitantly.
“What? Me, eat you?” Brandon once again looked puzzled. “I won’t eat you, I’m a vegetarian.”
“I’d heard that Jacobies ate those who cut down the Ellsbury tree.”
“Unfortunately you heard right. But I’m not a jacobie.” Brandon shouted. running towards his house, pointing above David’s head at what had cast the shadow on the ground. “That’s a jacobie. I’m sor…”


The Resident Weeble also did another Friday Fiction piece this week. Check it out here

Friday Fiction: David and the Jacobies

Friday Fiction: A New Beginning

Today is the day. My time to shine, make my mark or whatever other snappy phrase you want to call it. Time for a new beginning.

To be fair I’ve been in my comfort zone now for too long and I’m itching to get out and get started. I’ve heard murmurs about great opportunities for me, but it is the great unknown out there and really it’s frightening to think about. But I have to get out of here, I’ve outgrown it really y’know. That must sound arrogant, I’m not really like that, at least I hope I’m not, I suppose we’ll find out in time.

Strange thing is, I have no real plans at the moment, other than my escape, my emergence from the darkness. Some might say this is foolhardy but I’m pretty sure, as daunting as the world outside is, I’m sure there will be people who look out for me. I’m not one to shun assistance, not to begin with anyway. No shame in getting a little help here and there until I’m standing on my own two feet.

I don’t know how I got stuck here anyway. I’ve acted instinctively for as long as I can remember, done what felt right. Moved around where I could in order to grow and develop. Yet I still find myself in the same place, doing the same things. I’m hoping my skills will stand me in good stead for life out-there in the future. Fingers and toes crossed eh!

As restless as I am, I will miss this old place, I have grown attached to it over my time here and it has been good to me. There is a great deal of security here, I know every lump and bump on the walls. Whilst all that has its benefits it can get real boring at times. Sometimes I get frustrated and kick out, but after a few seconds of movement and more murmurs nothing changes. All feels like wasted effort. That’s why I know it’s time to go.

I’ve prepared best I can, following those instincts once more I’ve made sure I am in the perfect position, don’t want to start fighting the good fight with one arm behind my back or anything like that. This will be a day to remember, a day the murmurs stop for good.

Its beginning I can feel it.

The walls around me moving, pushing me, forcing me to leave all that I have ever known behind. I feel cold cold air on the top of my head. This is definitely it. I’m going out into the big wide world, it’s so scary, so new. My ears are next to feel the cold, then my face. I open my eyes, it’s oh so bright.

Oh my, I want to go back! Forget all that I said.

My body sliding out , the murmured tones, are now clear voices. “One last push” I hear. Followed very closely by a piercing wail that seems to be coming from me.
Then excited voices continue “It’s a boy!”


Happy Birthday Jay

Friday Fiction: A New Beginning

A Quest for Normality

What is normal?

That is a question that has no right or wrong answer. It varies not only from person to person but from day to day. For some of you reading right now it may be completely normal and positively hum drum to wear frilly lacy panties because you like the way they feel against your skin. Some of you might even be male. Ugh a man in frilly pants, how is that normal? Normal for him, so it’s all good.

Of course we all have to conform to a certain degree to what society has laid out for us as normal. In the workplace for example it would probably be considered abnormal to fart loudly and shout “I’m a stinky monkey” whereas at home you can do this no worries, trust me you can, go on give it a whirl.

For the young at school the quest for the non-existent “normal” is strong. Your friends, even the ones “sticking it to the man” want you to conform to their perception of normal. Your parents want you to conform the family version of normal and then there is your teachers who demand a adherence to their classroom norm.

The classroom normal is the most dangerous and the most influential. As is proved now in the classrooms of North Korea and in history with the schoolrooms of Nazi Germany. A normal taught in a classroom with an agenda can influence a persons actions throughout their life, be it that your leader is indeed glorious and infallible or that Jacob sat next to you is sub-human.

Teachers outside of obvious oppressive regimes need students to be normal. It makes their life easier. If you as a student have a impairment that makes it impossible to conform then the school has three choices.
1.Belittle that impairment “Be normal!” (Pleading helps!) “We are not here to babysit”
2.Provide no support and deny the impairment exists. “Normalising”
3.Provide a quality education (Difficult, but not impossible)

In case you haven’t guessed 1 and 2 happened! The pleading came from the Head of of local academy. A man blinded by the quest for “normal” that he’d forgotten that the reason for schools to provide an education for all. But this is not just a dig at him, arsehole of the highest order as he is.

The normal ideal, conditions us to believe in a society where difference is something to be avoided for ourselves and feared within others. At best it promotes a boring closed life, at worse it provides an environment where it is ok to exclude, discriminate against or even exterminate others because their normality is different from our own.

Mexican curious monkey
Mexican Monkey… not stinky, but perhaps curious to learn.
A Quest for Normality