Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Librarians

We're playing X and Y... and I picked out Librarians and Heroes. And they come in all shapes, forms and types and styles, right? Well, they do! 

enjoy.


It wasn’t fair.

Well, not for me it wasn’t.

And not for her.

All she was doing was research for us to track down a demon to make sure we killed it properly; when it broke into our headquarters, found her sitting there in the beautifully kitted-out library, and it...

I wiped the mud and sweat from my forehead onto my sleeve as tears blurred my vision. My strength wasn’t supposed to be used for this – to bury the quiet heroes in our world, the ones who were the backbone to the whole good-guys machine.
Missy was just that. She was a huge font of knowledge about everything and anything to do with the demon world – in fact, she was part-demon, and that’s how she knew so much about that part of our world. But she didn’t want to hurt the Humans in our world, she wanted to help me and my kind.
Despite her pinkish skin and cute little horns – and yeah the tail she kept well-hidden – she was the kindest, sweetest little thing I’d ever come across. But man, I only saw her pissed off once or twice; and promised myself to never confront her like that personally.

And trust me, I haven’t.

I saw her rip apart another demon in three swift moves, I couldn’t do in for the life of me on my own in two weeks, and she didn’t break a sweat.

Lewis, our other street-wise guy, made a cross with her name carved into it out of two pieces of wood and shoved it into the head of her graved. As the mallet last struck the cross into the ground, he looked up at me. He had been crying, “We’re royally fucked, you know that, right?”
“Let’s get back.” I turned and walked back to the car, “This is where she wanted to be buried.”

Three days passed and we were still cleaning up the mess left behind by that demon and doing research on how to kill it – seeing it was still out there, and we had no idea which one it was or where it had disappeared to. This left us without a source to start on, what it looked like or anything.

So Lewis became the research guy for a while. He hit the books – and in between reading, eating and sleeping, he hit the streets and the home gym we had set up downstairs. I didn’t want him to become lazy just because he was taking over from Missy.

One night, just before dawn, Lewis and I came in from hunting on another case (don’t get us wrong, looking for Missy’s killer was on our list, but we had to make a living), when we found somebody sitting at the table reading in the Library.
Pulling a sword from above the mantle, I readied myself for a fight, but her voice chimed up, “Oh put that away, you idiot.” She turned and there was Missy covered in dirt and mud. Her skin was no longer pink, it was purple and her horns were a bright green. She smiled as she looked at my shocked face, “I’m so glad you guys have been looking for my killer, but there’s no need. It died weeks ago. I gave as good as I got just before it killed me.”
Lewis walked to her side, looking at her incredulously, “How?”
Her tail swished around from under the table, “Well, there’s a reason I hide the tail. It’s got a poisonous spike inside the feathery ends.” She took it up, separated the ends and showed us the spike dripping with venom. Then, she smoothed it over and the spike vanished and she hid the tail again.
I didn’t know what to do as I turned and hung the sword back up with its partner above the mantle, the warmth of the fire burning behind the fire guard, “How did you get out of your grave?”
“I clawed my way out.” She rose from the chair, “You see, my species doesn’t really die. We just hibernate for a few weeks when we’re badly injured; it looks like we’re dead. When we wake up again, we change – age a little – and then we get a little more mojo-ish and age a bit, then we get on with our lives.”
I turned and looked at her, “Well, any other colours I should know about with you?”
Laughing, she shook her head, “Just bright green, and that’s it. I’m not that old. But I know the demon hasn’t been found because I poisoned it. It would have died within a day or so in immense pain.”
“Went out with a bang and not a whimper, eh?” Lewis said.
“Yep.” She turned looking at him, then blinked slowly, “I’m so sorry you have had to take over my duties... and your family it has turned on you.”
He held up his hands towards her, “Stop that.”
“I can’t help it, you don’t have to sing for me to see this. Your aura is drenched in how angry you are right now.” She shook her head, “But we have bigger fish to fry.”
He frowned, “Like?”
“Well, there’s a good reason why I didn’t just go out and leave you guys alone. Somebody is coming... and you’re not gonna like them.”
“The Apocalypse.” I muttered sitting down in one of the chairs around the Library.
“Yes. But you’re late to the party.” She said, “Why do you think I’m here?”
Lewis and I exchanged quizzical glances, and he looked at her, “Well, it hasn’t started yet.”
“It’s been going for a while – since I was killed actually. Or didn’t you feel the world change just that little bit after you buried me?” she looked from me to Lewis and back, “You guys have no idea.”
“About?”
She walked to me, “This is the end game, the last big kahoona, the last wave... everything is coming to a point and then falling apart on its own; and whoever – or whatever – is left over is going to rule this rotting planet.”
“What about God?” Lewis asked.
“Ha! He left the building a long time ago... so did the Angels and anyone else who gave a flying fuck about this place. Apollo is empty, so is Heaven. Only place that isn’t is Hell and maybe Purgatory, but who knows with that place – nobody knows what goes on with it.” Missy shrugged, “We have to go and jump right into the deep end feet first of this fiery pit of crap and fight the good fight to the best of our abilities. And I hope and pray we can come through the other side alive – well, mostly.”
“How do you know we can do this?”
She smiled, “Because I’m the Librarian, you’re the super heroes and guess what? The Devil and his disciples are out there following everything he has been doing, supporting every move he makes and you guys are the only positive ray of sunshine around.” She looked me up and down, “And if you don’t get your ass out there, you won’t be able to save your planet.”
I looked over at Lewis, “Well, I think our demon is right... it’s time to go to the mattresses but on our terms; and if needs be, we’ll die.”
She smiled that cheeky smile I’ve missed for so long, “I’ll look up what you need to get through tomorrow – and the next day – but you guys seriously need a witch to do some serious spell-work.”
“Well, it appears I’ve come here just in time.” A voice said from the door of the Library. We all turned to find a young, redheaded woman standing there with her bag of tricks and a suitcase, “I was sent here by the Powers to help you Missy. I wasn’t sure why... but now I am. So, where do I start?”

We had only the four of us to work on saving the world. And so we could keep ourselves in complete contact with each other, we worked from the Library and used it as our core centre of operations.

The Librarian.

The Witch.

And the two Super Heroes.

We’re saving the world against the Devil and his son. How we’re doing that, we’re not quite sure. But stick around, we might just need you to help us out if you’re not scared of hard work, getting dirty or dying tomorrow if needs be.


Saturday, 13 May 2017

My Hero

Chuck is back with us again and has gotten us to choose between two sub-genres. I'm not sure where mine lands... a little bit of everything I think.

enjoy.


When you travel with a carnival, it’s not really a life. You never stay in one town for long, so you can’t put down roots. You’re always feeling as though nothing is permanent – because, let’s face it, it’s not. And you can’t really become close friends with anyone outside the carnival; so you keep to yourself a lot of the time.
I joined the carnival when all the hopes of finding a job in this one street town had run out. The electronics factory had closed down soon before I graduated high school. I didn’t make the right scores to get into university and I couldn’t scrape together enough money at the post office to pay rent anywhere in town.

Yep, this place was dying pretty darned quick.

And if I didn’t leave, I’d die with it.

So, when the Stephens Brothers Circus breeze through to fill up their trucks for the last haul until the next big city, I asked if there were any jobs going with the crew.
The manager looked over at me, one of his horns twitching a little as he sat in the driver’s seat of the eighteen-wheeler, “Do you really want to join us?”
“Yes... there’s nothing for me here.”
His brilliant green eyes regarded me, “Sure. Jump in, kid! I’ll find you something.”
I grabbed my duffle bag and raced around the other side of the cab, climbed up and sat in behind the manager, “Thank you!”
He looked over his shoulder at me, “Well, at least you know where to sit; and didn’t just assume you were going to sit next to me – that’s a good start right there.”

Weeks passed by and the Stephens Brothers Circus had hit the next big city on its tour of the country. I worked hard at whatever the manager gave me to do. From cleaning up after the animals, to cleaning up the big rings inside the place after a performance, I did the job. I never questioned the work Marcus (the manager) put to me. I wanted to earn money and so I did as I was told. In return, Marcus helped me out with accommodation, clothes, food and anything else I needed. He knew I wanted to travel, make a decent living and get myself out into the world... and he was doing that just for me.

Another few months passed and I had been given a proper place of my own to live – my very own RV for passing my driver’s license test! Now, all I needed to do was to fit it out the way I wanted; and it would be my home. Marcus made my life sweet. He let me work any hours I wanted and helped me keep my ride on the road.

He was my hero as he took me under his wing.

A year had flown by and Marcus and I were as close as employee and boss could get without it being weird. He had let me travel with the Stephens Brothers Circus and I felt as though I had been with this crew forever... forgetting that I had come from a town which had vanished into the dust bunnies of time soon after I left school. I hadn’t realised how long I had been on the road, not until he knocked on my door and sat down with me.
“We’re heading towards your home town, Laney.” He smiled, “Do you think it’s changed much?”
“Last I saw it, it wasn’t anything but empty.” I poured him a scotch neat and put it next to him, “How could it be any different?”
“You never know.” He said, “You may want to stay there.”
“I’m enjoying myself way too much.”
He sunk the drink in one gulp and stood looking at me with a small smile on his face, “Okay then. This means you’re on board for good?”
“Yes.” I nodded.
He left and I turned in. It was late and we had to get going early to make it to the next township.  Not long after I turned out my lights, I had weird dreams. Dreams about somebody drinking from my arm – and yet I couldn’t move. Then, I was given wine to drink... sweet, delicious... then darkness. A struggling stranger was shoved into my arms and I had a dangerous hunger overtake me – a hunger I’ve never experienced before.
“No!” I screamed sitting up, looking around, finding I was alone. But as I looked down I found marks on my arm, as though it had been pierced by... no it couldn’t have been. I sighed remembering, “After all, I work in a circus, anything is possible.” I laid back down and closed my eyes.

By the time we arrived at my old home town, things had definitely changed. It had gone from a dustbowl and a dying community to a tiny township of brilliant colour and business. But I didn’t want to see it, I didn’t want to visit my parents – who had been searching for me since I left. I stayed within the grounds of the Stephen Brothers Circus, away from the normal people, because I knew there was something different about me. I knew because of how they made me feel as they walked past in the daytime, while I stood in the shade of the main tent.
“Laney.” Marcus’ large blue form dressed in his usual green suit was by my side, “I see you’re feeling better.”
“Who turned me into a freak?”
“You wanted to stay. To stay, you have to become a freak... this is what these places are about.” He said.
“Who?” I looked at him, “I loved the sunlight... sunrise was my favourite time of day. Now I can’t go outside without ... tell me.”
“I can’t.” He said, “When I heard you scream, I found him leaving your RV and killed him. He didn’t give you a choice; you should have been given a choice. Now, you can never leave.”
“Now, I’m stuck this way.”
“I’ve created a show for you, so you can earn your own keep.” He said.
“Oh, I can just imagine it... you put up a mirror and I’m not there... then you get me to drain some poor bastard!” I snapped, “What else are you going to do? Make me fly?”
“Well, not drain anyone, just show them you can drink blood from the vein – theirs.” He said.
“Nobody will do it.” I shook my head.

Surprisingly, people were quick to see if another human would drink their blood. Yes, you Humans are disgusting. You love to see others get hurt in the worst possible ways. And watching a vampire drink from your own arm is apparently a real turn-on.
And you lot think I’m weird.
Now, you have to understand, I didn’t like doing this. I was turned without my consent, and now I was taking your blood for money – and you all let me do this. It got to a point where you all seemed to blur into a long night of the same faces and reactions.
But then, I came across somebody who had the most amazing scent. I looked up at her and found she was beautiful. As soon as I touched her skin, she smiled, “Are you sure you want me to pierce your flesh?”
“I’m paying you to.” She said handing over the cash.
But this didn’t feel right. There was something about her where my senses screamed at me to run away. I squirmed in my seat slightly, frowned and looked around at the rest of the side show around my tent until I caught Marcus’ eye and he walked straight over to me.
“Is there a problem?” he asked.
“I’m getting bad vibes coming off her. She’s far too excited about this.” I said, “This is not the first time she’s been bitten.”
Marcus looked at her, “Recite a poem for me.”
“What?”
“Could be a nursery rhyme; anything.” She started reciting ‘Three Blind Mice’ and he shoved her money back into her hands, “Get out of here! We don’t need a gypsy screwing up my work!”
“You don’t understand... I’m trying to help. I’m not a gypsy.”
I watched her leave and wondered if I knew her. Turning to Marcus, “What did you mean by ‘screwing up my work’?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Yes you did. And if she’s not a gypsy, what is she?”
“Don’t worry about it, Laney.”  He snapped, “You wanted to stay and now you’re staying.”
“Yeah, now I don’t have a choice. You asked if I wanted to leave, and when I wanted to stay, I was sired that night. So tell me, what could she do?” Marcus muttered something about getting to the main ring and walked off. I closed my tent flap as I had to think about what had just happened. Not long after, the girl came back, “What do you want?”
“I’m not a gypsy. I’m a witch. My name is Kelley, I can help you, Laney.” She sat down, put out her arm, “Marcus had you turned on purpose because you wanted to work the carnival circuit... so he could have you as his slave. But to have a slave, he needed you to be a freak. If you had a soul, you’d be useless to him; and you’ll find your way home.”
“And so?”
“Drink from me... it’s a blood spell. My coven is performing the rites as I sit here waiting. We’ve been waiting for you to return, Laney – especially your folks – so we can destroy this circus.”

I took up her arm, felt my face change and drank from her. Kelley became my hero, because she was right. My soul was something which helped me find my way home in more ways than one.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Force

It's Star Wars Day... and I thought to give it a go with a Star Wars theme. 

enjoy.


I don’t know what happened to me, but I do believe it was the car accident which caused it. The accident wasn’t my fault – as the dashcam footage given to the police showed it was some fuckwit who ran a red light high on some drug who totalled my car and nearly splattered my body and brains all over the intersection. But when I woke in a body cast with the doctors saying it was ‘a miracle’, I really wanted to die.

Months passed by and I slowly healed. 

My bones painfully mended together and physio started up with me learning to walk again, teaching my legs, feet and muscles to talk to each other again. I had to reteach my hands and fingers how to write again – and found my handwriting changed because some of the tendons in my forearm had been damaged so badly they couldn’t repair them.

But something else happened to me – something I hadn’t counted on. Something I thought was my imagination, until I reached for the wheelchair just out of my reach and it suddenly rolled towards me pushing against the brakes on the hard rubber tyres.

The nurse didn’t see it, but I did.

And like I said, I thought it was my imagination.

I didn’t say anything at the time, not to anyone because I didn’t know what to make of it.

So, I waited until I was alone and asked the nurse to just leave my magazines on the table so I could make myself reach for them – make myself stretch for them – as they were supposed to do for me.
“You really do want to get out of here.” She smiled placing the remote near the end of the bed and my art magazines on the table at the end, leaving me alone for the afternoon where the ward went quiet.

I wanted to watch television.

I had slept for over three months and didn’t want to sleep anymore.

I wanted out of this place to see if I really could do something more interesting than wobble around on my feet or get stuck in a chair for the rest of my life.
Reaching out my right hand to the remote, I ordered it to my hand. But it didn’t move. I wanted to watch television, so I thought of the words ‘remote control, come.’ And it slid quickly along the bed into my fingers, where I fumbled with it and turned on the television on the wall. I found the afternoon movie and found it was ‘Starman’ and smiled at the irony of it.

I had to live with my folks for a little while – which is fair enough. They had built me a small granny-flat like place with a yard, a large bathroom, a studio out the back and all the room I’d ever want.

But I was stuck in the chair for now – how fortunate it wasn’t an electric one.

“He’s quieter than he used to be.” Mum said as I looked around my new art studio, wondering if I’d ever get back into painting or drawing again.
“Relax, he’s probably still feeling as though he’s institutionalised.” Dad’s voice whispered, but I still heard him, “Hey.” I turned and he was at the door of the studio, “Do you want a cuppa?”
“Yeah, a coffee.” I nodded following him out to the kitchen where everything was at my height.

The first few weeks I felt as though they were watching my every move because every time I turned around, they always seemed to be right there asking if I was okay.

It was frustrating.

One night, I was awoken by muscle spasms and had to struggle with the painkillers in the bathroom as I rubbed my legs and arms, crying into my arms on the vanity, “Dammit! Dammit! Damn it all to fucking hell!” I screamed.
I looked up as everything on the counter dropped onto it.
Thankfully, all my things (aftershave, shaving lotion and soap dispensers) were in plastic containers otherwise they would have shattered.
By coincidence, the spasms disappeared after I lost my temper.

It made me wonder exactly what happened to me.

I kept going to physio and talked to my doctors about how my progress was going. They did brain scans to keep an eye on me as well. But on the third scan something happened to the MRI machine – it shorted out on us and they pulled me out immediately.
“Man, do you have any metal plates in your head?” the technician asked.
“No.” I said looking at the machine from the door in the paper gown and booties, before I realised I had jumped off the bed and walked there.
“Hey. You walked there!” he smiled.
“Do you think I blew up that machine?”
They looked at me and one shook his head, “No. It’s something of short in it. Don’t blame yourself.”

I sat at home in the studio wondering what to draw and ended up drawing a scene outside on the veranda, just to get the fresh air. It was nice to sit there with my apron on with my art gear out there and an easel getting my hands dirty with my mobile just out of reach.
The phone rang about an hour into my session.
I turned and put my hand out to it, and my phone flew to my hand, I opened it quickly and I found I didn’t have to touch the screen to answer it, “Hello?” it was automatically on speaker.
“Luke.”
“Doctor is that you?”
“Yes. We must talk. You’ve been observed by people doing things, and an institute is interested in our... discoveries about you since your accident.” He had hesitated slightly.
“Why are you afraid?”
“I’m not.”
“Tell me what you’re afraid of about me?”
“I’m not the droid you’re looking for.” He voice droned through my phone, knowing I was probing him for answers, “But I’d like you to come in and see me about this.”

The hospital wasn’t a place I liked to go to – seeing I’d spent a lot of time there – but the doctor wanted to see me. However, it wasn’t actually me he wanted to talk to; I got stuck out in the waiting room while he spoke to my parents. What they didn’t know was I could hear them very clearly behind the closed door.
“Now, take a seat and be careful what you say. Luke can hear us, even with the door closed.” The doctor said.
Mum whispered, “What?”
“Whispering doesn’t do anything, he can still hear you.”
Dad sighed, “Something else is wrong with him, isn’t there?”
“Yes... but in a good way.” The doctor’s voice reassured them, “He’s picked up something since the accident. Something in his brain has been woken up... something we have called The Force – because it’s very sci-fi Star Wars-like. And believe me when I say: The Force is strong in this one.”



Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Easter Egg Hunt

It's Easter. I thought to write something about this time of year - doesn't mean it's all warm and fuzzy, though.

enjoy.

The burrow is all cute from the outside.

It’s got a door on it with a little pathway leading up to it.

And I suppose you think that lovely, white bunny with his purple, velvet vest, all trimmed in gold and with silver buttons looks just lovely and perfect as he scampers along – his little tail boppin’ along ever so cutely.

Does it ever cross your mind how he gets to look so cute?
Exactly where does he get all those eggs for the hunt in the village every year?

Who do you think makes them?

No, the parents don’t go out to the stores and buy them – that’s for the baskets inside the home. The bunny you see running away around 7am is the one who plants the eggs around the village – the ones your kids often find, as they happily run and squeal with delight at how beautiful they all are.
You don’t realise that the bunny doesn’t make any of those eggs. He’d never get his greedy little paws dirty with chocolate or sickly sweet candy. He doesn’t spend hours on end painting those china eggs only to have one flaw in one and have to throw it away.

That’s my work you all love to fawn over.

And you give him all the praise.

And besides, Easter isn’t really what you think. It sort of depends on what you believe in – whether you believe it’s the time Jesus died and rose three days later, or the worshipping of Ishtar (pronounced Easter) – either way, you’re taking a few days off to indulge in chocolate and worship something or somebody.

But really, I haven’t seen the light of day in... 

well...um...

...you know, I don’t rightly remember. Yes, it’s been that long since I’ve been outside the burrow, since I disappeared from the outside world. But I am a Human Being – I do think people have just forgotten that I went missing when I was young; that they stopped looking for me when he grabbed my hand in the park and dragged me off to the burrow, leaving me there.
After all, a talking rabbit was a really cool thing when you’re a seven year old and your folks were far too busy to have another child. But from what I heard, my nanny was blamed for losing me in the park. The rabbit told me that they stopped looking for me.

I know for a fact that’s not true.

I had the door open a crack one day and heard some people sitting nearby talking (I can’t see anything normally past the door, just the meandering path and a road). They were around the corner.
“Do you remember when that child went missing?” an old lady’s voice asked.
Another just as old answered, “Oh my! Yes! The nanny was blamed and they still haven’t found the poor little soul.”
The first tsked, “They’d be all grown up now if they were still around.”
“Wasn’t that in the 40’s or the 50’s?”
“No... I remember it was 1969. The year of the first man on the moon.” The first replied, “Oh, look at the time, we must be going.”
The voices disappeared as they collected their brood of children and went home.
“And what do you think you are doing?” his voice snapped.
I turned, terrified, forgetting when he was going to finish his nap, “I just wanted to peek outside for a moment.”
His eyes turned red with anger as his ears pinned hard against his back, “And I have told you many times that there’s nothing for you out there anymore!” he pointed back to the darkened den, “Get back to work! And fix my vest, I have promo to do with a television station tonight. I can’t look all dirty as you left it last year.”
“I did fix it.” I held up his vest. It was all clean and new shiny buttons had been stitched on with gold thread, “I got new buttons.”
He looked at himself in the mirror as he tugged at it, the anger suddenly gone, “Very nice. Where did you get the buttons?”
“At the last market we went to.” I looked to my feet, knowing he didn’t like me socialising when we went shopping.
“Well, you did well.” He turned as he grabbed his basket filled with eggs that I had prepared for him on the table, “Time for me to go. Remember, keep the lantern in the window lit and the fire burning for the cameras to follow me home – and stay out of sight!”
“Of course.” I nodded.
The door closed.
I pulled out of my pocket a little remote control with a switch on it. Turning it from ‘off’ to ‘on’, I smiled. The tables were about to be turned on him. Inside the basket was a homing device woven into fibres of ribbon I had bought at the market as well as the buttons.
What Rabbit didn’t know was that I had been outside the burrow for about an hour that afternoon to place a little something for the ladies at the seat to find. It looked like a phone – but it wasn’t. It was a device to show where I was. It showed where Rabbit was... and it had all my details about what has happened to me.

Now, all I had to do was wait for him to return from the promo spot.

This will take about an hour.

By that time, the police will have found me, and then they’ll find him.

Problem will be what to do when they find out that the Easter Bunny kidnapped me to do his work. 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Home

This week, Chuck asked us to write the end of a long journey. This got me thinking that it takes a few weeks to get over a long journey... especially back in the days of yore. So, here you are.

enjoy.

With a sigh, I pulled on the reigns and the horses grunted. We had walked the last few miles of the way home; my home being this lovely place up against the forest wall.
I built it with my family – my husband, my son, my father – and now they were all done and gone with God and I am here on me own to toil the land, to live my days out in peace.
Climbing down, I ran my hand along the rump of the beast talking to him gently, letting ‘im know I’m here, I’m ‘is owner, we’re finished today – and he an’ he can now rest. I untie the harness from him bit by bit, and I feel him relax as I lead him out to the field next to my place. Then, I’m back to do the same for the mare. They’re partners you see, and I’m glad to say they get along so well.

I start to unpack.

Unpacking is the hard part. I don’t mind packing... it’s always kinda fun to find places for things. But unpacking is more tiring and I don’t really like it as I think it takes longer – or it feels like it.

This time I feel as though somebody’s watching me.

Yes, I’m uneasy about being here.

I escaped from it by the skin of me hide you see... a plague.

Everyone was droppin’ all around and I just threw everything in the wagon and took to the road – any road – that took me home!
Once out onto the winding, clear airs, I didn’t worry so much. I just thought of getting meself home and unpacked. I will wash what I can; and burn off the rest.

I will have to scrub me body until it burns to make sure I don’t have that plague. I would hate to have come all this way, only to find I caught it after all.

A day passes and I’ve burned me blankets I brought back with me, and some of the horse’s blankets – just to be sure. The house has been cleaned; and I had me three-monthly bath early – I will have to bathe every few days to keep meself cleaner than usual. I also burned all me clothes from me journey and have begun making new ones from cloth I had here at the house.

It’s been a week, and things are going well.

The horses are good.

I’m feeling good.

think I have avoided the plague from the city.

I’ve been sleeping with some mug wart in the bed and wild lavender and garlic from the field in my pillow; all of which help me sleep at night and clear my nose.

There’s somethin’ not right.

Into my second week and the horses are dead. I woke up yesterday and they were covered in the same sores as the people in the city and dead in their stalls. They’d been gettin’ weak for about three days now, but ...

Now, I’m sick. I’ve been throwin’ up me food, sweatin’ and have black lumps under my arms that weren’t there last week. I don’t know what it is, but ...

...oh the day is sweet outside.

...the birds sound so sweet...

...the sound of the King’s guards are approaching.


I hope they kill me before....

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Tourmaline

This week, Chuck gave us a list of 10 one word titles to choose from. I saw this one, and just started writing... 

enjoy the ride!

It glimmered.

It glistened.

It beckoned to me from under that glass counter at the gem shop.

The Tourmaline pendant was meant to be mine.

Looking up, I asked for it politely, but inside my mind was swirling and screaming for it to be near me.
I was in love with a gorgeous, peacock blue stone set with silver wrapping around it, a loop at the top and a chain strung through the loop.

It cost me plenty.

But I didn’t care.

I wore it home and strange things began to happen.
I didn’t have bus fare, so got a free ride home... which I thought was nice of the driver. When I arrived home, I found it was my turn to clean the house, but my house mates offered to do it instead and said for me to get in and have a shower and put my feet up.

Why they offered I wasn’t sure... but okay, I did that.

As time went on, more and more things happened around me where I either got out working for things or what I normally found difficult, happened for me very easily. People were friendly, happy and really nice to me – some of them almost sickly sweet – and it didn’t occur to me that something was going on until the last minute... not until it was too late.
I was out at the markets some Saturdays looking for another Tourmaline just like mine – but I never found it. So, I returned to the store where I had found mine, but it had shut down completely.

Everything was gone from the windows.

The whole place was empty.

It was as though it had never existed at all.

A neighbouring shopkeeper came outside, “Can I help you?”
I pulled out the business card I had been given when I bought the necklace, “I’m looking for this place. I was here last week, but now the place is gone.”
She looked at the card, “Last week? That’s impossible. This place has been gone for over a year.”
I wondered exactly how that could be as she gave the card back to me and walked away. Looking back at the store, I noticed an alleyway running down the side of it. Without another thought, I walked towards it, taking it as the city sounds vanished into a void behind me; and I emerged into a private garden of used boxes, rubbish and bins around the back of stores.
A man was having a smoke out the back, sitting on a crate, when he noticed me, “Hey you can’t be here.”
“I was looking for a back way into this store.” I said showing him the business card, “I want to find another Tourmaline for my friend.”
He looked at my pendant, to the card and then handed it back, “I shouldn’t tell you this, but go up those fire exit stairs to the third floor and you’ll find what you’re looking for.”
“How can I trust you?”
“I’m telling you where the owner is; and where she has been for over a year.” He answered before standing on his half-smoked cigarette and going back inside, “You know? I don’t know why I told you where she was... I felt as though I needed to.”

The third floor was one big empty space. I thought it would have been full of hallways and apartments; but it was a loft filled with boxes, a bed and it looked as though somebody had lived there for not just one year, but years.
“Hello?” I called, hearing my voice echo slightly.
“Who’s that!” demanded an old-sounding voice, “Who dares comes into my home?”
“A man told me where to find you.” I walked toward the voice to find a very old woman sitting in an equally old recliner in front of a fireplace. She turned and saw me and her look changed, “Ooh... it’s you. Enjoying your good luck?”
“Not really. Things are coming too easily to me; life isn’t a challenge.” I said, “But I was looking for another one like this but without the doo-hicky spell on it.”
Smirking, she blew the steam off her tea, “Goodie for you, you figured out that’s it’s got a spell on it.”
I looked around, found a chair nearby and sat, “Bad for me is that if I take it off, bad luck will hit me three-fold – I will most probably die or end up in prison.”
Putting her cup down, her eyes moved over to me nodded, “You’re smart. But you’re not talking like you’re under its spell.”
I pulled out of my pocket a little leather bag which stunk like dead eggs, “I have a bag of sulphur with me. I didn’t realise until I was at my university course and handled the sulphur that it was cursed. So, I made the bag up and have been carrying it with me since... that was three days ago.” Shoving it back into my pocket, I looked back at her, “Now, the only people who are affected by it are the people around me.”
She smiled, showing her yellowing, rotting teeth, “I’d love to give you one without a spell on it. But really, you took so long to figure out the spell. You took a year – not a week – to figure it out.”
“No. That’s not true.”
Rising from her seat, she pulled a receipt book from a desk drawer nearby, flipped through the pages, and handed it to me: “It’s there. You bought that thing a year ago. You got your scholarship. Your friends got married and moved away from you. You got into the course you wanted and you are succeeding greatly... and now you think it’s been a week?”
“How do you know how long it’s been?”
“What’s the date on the receipt?”
I read it out aloud, “29th, March, 2016.”
“Okay.” She took the book off me, “What’s today’s date?”
I looked to my watch where there’s a date marker, “2nd, April, 2016.”
“Wrong.” She said, “It’s been a year.” She turned the television on and changed the channel to the news service where they had the date in the corner. It read: “2nd, April, 2017.”
Thank the Gods I was sitting down!
“Now, who are you?”
“I am me.”
“No... look at the business card.” She said.
I pulled it out of my pocket, looked at it and saw there was a photo of an old woman on the front wearing a blue Tourmaline around her neck – one just like mine, “Hey you have one just like mine.”
“It is yours. It is mine too... they are the same Tourmaline.” She pulled from under her scarves and jackets, a blue Tourmaline. It was peacock blue stone set with silver wrapping around it, a loop at the top and a chain strung through the loop exactly like mine, “Now, if you take yours off, which one of us dies?”
“What do you mean?”
She smiled, “Do you and I die? Or does the world implode? Or both?” 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Sanctuary

This has taken me a long time to answer - this challenge - because it's a 'Fuck You to Authority' challenge. Yep, Anarchy... I'm not one to do that much in my life. So writing about it is an uncomfortable thing for me.

enjoy.


It didn’t take much you know.

To over-throw the unit complex.

After all, the manager wasn’t doing his job. He was working his own side of the street. He was supplying money to his hopped-up ex-wife, selling cars on the premises (when he wasn’t allowed to) and not lifting a finger around the place when all Hell went down around at all hours of the night.
He never even called the cops out or stuck his head out of his door to see what was going on – that was what he was paid for.

No.

I did that.

I was the one people ended up turning to when that gang showed up.

I was the one people really rallied behind, asking me what to do, what the plan was, how to get them out or ... well, you know.

And if you don’t, you’re fucking dumber than you look.

But let’s start where it gets interesting, shall we?
It was the dead of night when we were woken by gunshots not far from my place. We raced around in the dark, looking out the window to see if we could see who they were, where they were and why they were around our end of the unit complex – but they were dressed in black.
I could hear people screaming as they were pulled out of their houses in their pajamas – some of them weren’t wearing anything (sleeping naked as some of us do) or in their underwear. The residents and tenants weren’t given any time to ready themselves for the assault on their privacy.
“What do we do?” my girlfriend whispered.
“Come on.” I had an idea as I grabbed her shaking hand, “We’re not going to die.”
She followed me downstairs in our pajamas and I unlocked the door to the car port, opened the Pajero and we got in. I backed out, slammed it into the 4X4 mode and planted the foot.
“Oh my God, Samantha what are you doing???” she shrieked.
I ignored her, “Hang on.”
The 4X4 sped over the large garden bed, the roof rack taking out the guttering of my front door, and then I turned on the flood lights and slammed on the brakes just in time to see the group let go of one guy they were bashing and stand back, holding guns level with my vehicle – but not quite sure where to shoot.
“Who are you!” one of them screamed.
I didn’t answer as I revved the engine.
“You get out and tell me who you are! I demand you do this!” the voice shouted.
I turned on the speaker and took up the C.B component, “How dare you wake me and my neighbours at 2am by dragging people from their homes and shooting them.”
“You are nobody! We rule here now!”
I planted the foot and drove straight into the group of people with guns. As expected, they dropped their weapons and ran.
They thought I wouldn’t follow, but I did. I followed them all to the gate at the front, where it had been locked at midnight, and held them all against it with the bulbar of my vehicle until they stopped screaming...

...until I saw the blue and red lights on the other side of the gate...

...until the police threatened to shoot me through the windscreen...

“Please, Samantha... please back up.” Candice begged me, “You’re scaring me.”
I looked over at her tear-streaked face in the dim lights of the dashboard, “I don’t like living like this. I’m sorry, honey... I just snapped.”
Her cool hand touched my cheek, “I know. I hate being so scared you lock the gates here at midnight; and you don’t even walk down to do it, to drive down.” She looked out at the flashing lights, “But we have to stop this.”
I nodded, “I think I killed somebody back there.” I didn’t mean to.
“You did.”
“I’m so sorry.” I back the vehicle up a little and grabbed the remote and pressed the button to unlock the gate to let the police in. Putting the vehicle in to Park, I turned off the engine and turned off the flood lights, leaving only the headlights on.
The place seemed a so dark now, as I turned to her, “I really need help with my problems.”
“Miss.” A man tapped on the window, “Please turn your window down.”
I turned the key so I could wind down the window, “I’m sorry. They’ve been terrorising our place for over six months now. We have tried to tell you, but they cut our phone lines. And tonight, was the first time they killed people here.”
“We know.” He nodded, “Where is your care taker?”
I looked down, “He was the first person they killed. He lived so close to me. Everyone was relying on me to protect them.” I looked up at him as tears blurred my vision, “I didn’t know what to do.”
He nodded, “Oh man.” He turned from us as we sat there crying. He walked to his superior officer and told him the rundown of what’s been happening, “This place was supposed to be a sanctuary. I mean look at the gate and all... to keep out the bad element. But instead it kept them in, and they ended up ruling over the residents here. Tonight, she took matters into her own hands and did what she thought was her only hope.”
“Why didn’t she call us?” The other cop asked.
“Because the phones had been cut.”
“No... we did that.”
I looked over at them trying not to appear shocked, and Candice picked up on something in me, “What?” she whispered. I shushed her.
“Look this place was supposed to implode and we were told to burn it to the ground and we could move onto the next place over the back. With this bitch destroying any hope in that happening, we’ll have to make both their deaths look like an accident and report it as such.”
“Oh fuck. More paperwork.”

We looked at each other.

I turned the key of the Pajero, revved the engine, turned on the floodlights again.

Here piggy, piggy, piggy!