Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Lottery

Chuck has us writing about Luck... you know how Friday 13th is unlucky? Well, he's thought a good twist to this would be fun. It is - kinda.


You’d think winning a lifetime’s worth of money would be a great thing – right? I could pay off all my credit cards, buy the car and house I’ve always wanted, go on that huge overseas trip which would last years. I could give money here, there and everywhere and do whatever the fuck I wanted.


Well, yeah I guess.

Um, no, not really.

The house and car were a no-brainer. I mean, why in the hell would I live in a complete dump of a neighbourhood and drive a shitty little crap-shooter car when I could have my dream motor at my fingertips – yeah the one I’ve been walking past at the Chrysler dealership in the city for the past six months on the way to work.
And then again, why would I ever go back to work again? I mean, let’s weigh it up: $400,000 per year to live on and do what I want with – tax free on one hand. And then there’s that pokey little fucking cubicle on the fourteenth floor at the insurance company I worked for the past fifteen years where I don’t get to see the daylight unless I stand up and look to my right or to my left. And even then, my supervisor walks around and asks me: ‘Exactly what in the hell are you thinking of doing? Sit down and take that call.’ I’d look down and that phone would have all the lights all lit up with the unending maggots on the other end of the phone asking for their insurance to be changed, cancelled or they would be asking me stupid questions about this or that on their policy and failed to read the book that came in the mail with all their bits.

Oh yeah, I’d really want to go back to a place where I arrive in the dark and go home in the dark. Sounds like a solid plan!

And my win took just me going out shopping one afternoon. I didn’t even need to pick up anything really – it was just dumb, stupid luck that I happen to walk into the newsagents and pick out my Golden Circle card from my wallet and ask for the ‘Set For Life Lottery Game’ for that week. It had been advertised for about a month before and I thought to just get in it like everyone else; and there was only going to be one winner.
The guy printed out the ticket for me (I had preset numbers picked) and swiped my card and then I paid the $60 for the game, pocketed it all and pushed my shopping trolley out to the car went home – not even thinking about it.

I mean, I don’t buy lottery tickets. They’re just not in my budget!

The big night came up and I was working overtime – so I didn’t even seen the numbers get called. So, it took me around a week to find the lottery ticket they were calling out for. The news kept saying: ‘Golden Casket has yet to find the lucky winner of the ‘Set For Life’ winner of their ‘Lucky Little Bastard’ Game; which, if it’s you? Well, you will be a lucky little bastard, won’t you?’
So, I looked through my pockets of all my jackets and slacks and found it in the bottom of my recycling – forgetting that ticket almost cost me! I mean, it cost me $60 to buy and I almost threw it out!
It was almost midnight when I went out to the all-night grocer down the road and he ran it through his machine not once but three times... then he looked up at me, with disbelief written all over his face, picked up the phone and called the after-hours number on the back of the wrinkled ticket.
“Yes, we found him. The lucky bastard. He’s here.” He whispered into the phone looking around the store quickly making sure nobody else was around to hear it, “What? You’re sending a car? Okay.” He hung up the phone and turned to me, handing me that ticket, “Have you got picture I.D on ya?”
“Sure.” I nodded, “Always do.”
“They’re sending a car for ya.”
I took my ticket, turned around and found a limo was outside the door with the door open, “Well, fuck, that was quick.”

And quick indeed did my life change from me working my guts out at a place which didn’t appreciate me one iota to me being a rich bastard with every single asshole after me asking for money for this and money for that... they claimed their invention needed ‘a quick little boost of cash to get off the ground.’
Another guy showed up on my doorstep claiming his ‘daughter is on the brink of death... please I need your help.’ There wasn’t a lie you couldn’t say that I hadn’t heard – and if you told me a new one, well, it wasn’t going to be believed anyway.

I now live a life of seclusion.
A lot of my ‘friends’ aren’t friends anymore. They were always out for money in one way or another and I got to hate them in some way. I can’t have a Facebook account, my phone calls are screened (so if you call me, and I don’t have your phone number already, I’m not talking to ya), and I’ve been married three times – divorced three times just as quickly after finding out they were all gold-diggers.

Now, all I wish for is to be left alone.
If I had the chance again to do this over, I’d have not looked for that fucking ticket! Was I lucky? Are you kidding? No fucking way! I’m not lucky... why would I be lucky to have won that much money for the rest of my days only to have every shithead out there hound me for their own pound of flesh – and I don’t know any of them!

Luck! Ha!

As I sit here and write this, the phone rings again and my machine picks up – again. It’s another person who wants to ask me to back their great dealings – again.

Gotta ask: when in the hell will they leave me alone?

Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Shining

Chuck has had great ideas and this week, he used Sai King titles. Well, I picked out 'The Shining' - which I'm currently reading - and have put a great spin on spin on it. 


Uncle Charlie was an amazing man. He had amazing things around his brilliant home out in the country; and I loved visiting him as a child and throughout my teens and right through my university years. But when he died at the rich old age of eighty-seven, out in his garden with his carer by his side helping him tend to his rose garden, I thought he would have left me more than his cockatoo.
The bird eyed me suspiciously as I approached the massive cage in the living room, knowing his owner was no longer around, cawing a little at me.
“Hi, Richie. You know me.” I said.
A low whisper came from the bird: “Hi Richie. I’m Richie.”
“Well, Uncle Charlie thought you and I got along well and you’re to come home with me.”
“Well, not quite.” The lawyer’s voice said behind me and I turned to see him walking in from the study, “You have to live here seeing the bird has lived his whole life at the house.”
“So, is it Richie’s house or mine?”
He shrugged, “It’s both of your house.”
“I have my own house in the city with my own furniture and my own... oh jeez.... what do I have to do?”
He smiled handing over an envelope, “Read the instructions and you’ll have the house, the bird and the money.” On ripping open the envelope, I heard a moving truck pull up the long driveway and looked out the window. Before I could say anything, the lawyer said, “Oh, while you were here, your house in the city was packed up and everything you own was moved out here.” He patted me on the shoulder as he walked out to the front foyer to pick up his coat, “Your Uncle Charlie believed greatly in you.”

I sat and read the contents of the envelope next to the window as the truck was unloaded. At the bottom of the letter, it said: To get to the valuables, there’s a password: ‘whatcha got there?’ I had no idea what it meant.

For the first night, I walked around the massive country home looking at everything in the place. I felt as though I was in a Scooby-Doo episode; waiting for something to jump out at me, and that Great Dane to come galloping down the hall looking terrified.
But instead, I left on only a few small lights, covered over the cockatoo and pulled all the curtains to keep out the cold and made sure the kitchen was tidy before heading off to bed.

‘Help me!’

I sat up in bed and turned on the light, forgetting where I was for a moment.

‘Help meeeeeeee!’

Rubbing my temple I groaned,“Oh, jeez that hurt.” I looked over at the book I had been reading before I turned out the light and found it was ‘The Shining’ by Sai King, “I’m imagining it. It’s the book I’m reading.” And I settled back down in my bed and turned out the light.

‘Help! I’m being choked! Help me!!!’

This time, I pulled on my dressing gown, shoes and grabbed a torch and my mobile phone to see what was going on for me to hear this weirdly haunting screeching noise in my head at the ungodly hour of – I looked at my phone – three in the am. Heading down the main hall, I raced down the stairs with my dressing gown billowing out behind me.

There was a draft of cold breeze coming from the front door.

I didn’t leave that open.

“Squark!” Richie screeched from his large cage, “Help me!! I’m choking! Help!”

I felt for the light switch, flicked it on.

Light flooded the room.

I stood there shocked to find Richie’s cage was open and Uncle Charlie’s carer was there with his hands around the bird, murder most foul in his eyes!
“What are you doing?”
He spun, still with the bird in his hands, staring at me, “Um... I’m sorry.”
Richie took the opportunity and dug his large accommodating beak into the man’s wrist, drawing blood – and refused to let go.
The carer howled in pain, flapping his arm – in which Richie began flapping his enormous wings. I did all I could to not laugh at this as my new companion defended himself against his would-be murderer and called the police.

“What we don’t understand, sir is that you came here to kill an innocent bird?” the attending constable said as he took notes and the on-call vet checked on Richie.
The carer glared at the cockatoo and then at me; and it dawned on me and I walked over to my new pet, “Richie, where’s Uncle Charlie?” Richie looked around me and glared at the carer, unable to say anything. I turned and looked at the carer, “Were you with my Uncle Charlie when he died?”
The carer nodded, “Yes, he was tending to his roses and I told him it was time to come in. Richie was in his travelling cage and...”
“I’ve looked around this house thoroughly, Richie never had any other cage than this one.”
The carer looked to his hands, “Um... well....”
The cop looked at the guy, “Tell us the truth.”
“The bird guards something in his cage. It’s valuable.” The carer said, “And the bird only trusted one person.”
We all turned and looked at the cage and Richie looked at me. I approached him, whispering: “Hey Richie, whatcha got there?” as the bird heard the words, he moved across to a tiny nesting box in the corner and retrieved a key from within it and handed it over to me.
I looked around the room: now to find the thing to fit this key!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Another World Away

This week, Chuck gave us two words: New Life. Well, he said to use it in any way we wished. I'm looking at getting a new life away from where I'm currently living - a horrible little place - and so this is dream of mine.


Birds woke her before the alarm – before the sun filtered through the blinds of the far window. Those birds were hanging around and upside down in the tree outside with the bright red blossoms having the most wonderful time eating breakfast as the sun broke the horizon.
Anna opened her eyes slowly, breathing slowly in the safe and warm cocoon of her bed.
The silence was wonderfully appealing to her right now.
And the birds screeching at each other – fighting for food – was the most lovely thing to hear.
Her alarm’s chiming began and her hand snaked out from under the covers, opened the cover of her phone, and dismissed it. Pushing back the covers, she grabbed her brunch coat, pulled it on and walked to the window slowly.
“Well, this is my home now... what a place.” She whispered against the glass taking in the gorgeous green views which were now her garden outside. Her phoned chimed a reminder for her to take the last of the keys to her old townhouse at Woodridge, and she cringed; did she really need to go back there? Couldn’t she stay here forever? Sighing, she put her phone on the bedside table and walked to the large wardrobe, opened it and decided it was a good day for a lovely summer dress.

Returning to the townhouse complex was a complete shocker after a month being at her new house on the other side of town, on her own block of land, with her own driveway, a lock-up garage and her very own letterbox. It was such a difference to everything that was so, well, dingy here in such a smaller place.
She pulled up to the key pad and swiped her card for the last time. The car gate opened slowly and she put the car into a lower gear so she couldn’t speed around the place. And as she drove around to the back of the place and parked in the empty car park, she noticed one thing about it all – she’d been gone for a month and nothing had changed.
The Body Corporate gardens were still overgrown.
The garden she had done up out the front was still the same.
The side fence still hadn’t been joined up to the boundary fence.
And there was a van in the driveway of townhouse/unit. Cleaners. Anna walked up to the front door, which was wide open, and knocked on the door, “Hello?”
The real estate agent turned, “Hey, Anna. So good to see you again. The cleaners were here when we arrived.”
“Oh that’s good. The place looks so ... empty.” She smiled.
“Hey that print of Dalmatians, was that yours?” he pointed to the old print up on the wall where the Wayne Clements paint had hung for so many years.
“No. That was here when I moved in. I stuck that in storage until I moved out, but the hooks have been replaced with new ones.” She smiled.
The buyers grinned, “Oh great! So, all the picture hooks are in studs and are solid?”
“Yep.” She nodded, “I made sure they’d be good ones and ready to use.”
The real estate agent walked to her, “They’re taking one last look before signing on the dotted line... oh, and the keys, have you got them?”
Anna pulled them out of her bag, “Here you go. And the gate card... and also you’re lucky ducks! I also have a remote control which opens that gate too.” She dug out of her bag the old remote, “I had the batteries replaced and have tried it out. So, no more getting your arm wet swiping the card.”
The new owners stared at her, “Woah! And how long were you here for before you got both of those?”
Blushing, Anna looked at the clunky old remote, turning it over in her hands: “Well, I kinda lied to a few people to get my hands on both of them... but I was here for over five years.” She finally handed it over to the real estate agent.
“Anything we need to know about this place?” the wife asked.
“Um... the range hood over the stove is only good for its light, not the fan. There’s a booster for the antenna over in the corner – please don’t turn that off or the next door neighbour doesn’t get television reception. And there’s a hook in the laundry for your dryer; we left it there from my last dryer.” She smiled, “Otherwise, um, the gate padlock key is the dull one, the ‘fuel’ key opens all the downstairs windows and the main side door sticks a little – but only when it’s gonna rain. And you can tell if it’s going to rain...”
“Spiders and roaches?” the wife asked.
“No... the stairs don’t creak.”
The husband looked around, “What about the flooding from the bathroom?”
“Oh that was before my time. But it shouldn’t do that anymore. I left plungers for both downstairs and upstairs for you... and the drains have a bad habit of smelling dreadful.”
“What about the lids out the back?” the wife asked, “We’ll just get them moved, right?”
“That’s the local council property. You can’t move them, or let anything grow over them. I lived here for over fifteen years and managed to live with them around me without a fuss.” She said, “Okay if there’s nothing else?”
The real estate agent gave the buyers a questioning look as they walked to the counter and signed on the dotted line, “Okay, Anna, you got more than what you asked for and the people knew about the ghost and are happy about how things have turned out.” He smiled, “I’ll get the paperwork to your Dad and you can go home.”
“Thank you so much for your time.”
“No, thank you.” The husband and wife both shook her hand and Anna walked out to her car, started it and drove out of the unit complex for the last time.
She was off to the other side of town to start her new life.
A life of no screaming children, a lovely green garden, of plentiful trees and birds... Anna had escaped the tiny townhouse and dreadfulness of the closed-in living to a house on a piece of land – sure she was sharing with her parents, but it was better than what she had before.
Before she was living in a prison – now her new life was quiet, beautiful and less stressful. Now, she could truly live her life the way she wanted.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Who Are You?

Isn't it strange how when we dream, whole worlds can come into existence and yet they vanish the moment the alarm pulls us out of them? Well, last night, I had the most amazing and weird dream and it took me to a township I had dreamt about before - few years ago in fact. I can't shake the dream, so I wrote about it.


“Come on, this is our train.” She pulled on the sleeve of my jacket as the train pulled into the station.
I looked over at her, wondering who in the hell this person was I was following across the platform, “Okay.” I picked up my bag and walked over to the steps and she took my bag off me, held my hand and helped aboard. As soon as we turned left into the car, I knew we were in the catering car, “Why are we being seated in the catering car?”
“It’s the last place we could get a seat.” She said.
“You’re gonna be a fat bitch.” A cold voice whispered in my ear from behind.
I turned and looked around, but nobody owned up to the comment, so I kept following her through the darkened cavern of the car, which was filled with over-weight and morbidly obese people who were sitting there waiting for their next meal. They were sitting close enough to the counter that they didn’t have to get up to order their food, it was right there for them.
I felt kinda sorry for them – but also grossed out too.
“Here we are.” She said, “There’s only one seat, and you’ll have to stand up.”
“You know I can’t stand for long periods because of my leg.” I said.
“Well, you can’t sit for long periods because of it either.” She snapped, “Here, sit on me for a bit.” She put her arms around me as the station master blew his whistle and the train lurched.

Soon enough, the sun was creeping over the horizon and our stop had come up. As we disembarked from the catering car, standing on the platform, I realised I had been to this town before. I recognised the tall steeples, the cobble streets and the large, lush green park over in the centre square with the citadel. People looked over at me as I stood there, with her by my side. Those people were in awe, pointing at me as we turned and walked away, and I never understood why they were pointing.
“Hey, wait up!” I called out to her as she walked off with my bags across the red bricks of the road, “I’ve been here before.”
She looked at me, her brown hair blowing, flowing in the breeze, “Yes you have – you remember it well too.”
“Yes.” I smiled, “I was given gifts I couldn’t use.”
Smiling, she turned and kept walking, “Oh, you’ve been using them.”
We walked on through the township and along the gardened boardwalks. The two of us were stared at and pointed at by the people here – those who remembered me, and not her – as we walked along the roads of cobble and up and down laneways which led nowhere all day long.
Then I stopped walking, “Where are we going?”
“Home.” She said, “I don’t remember the address. I was hoping you would.”
“I’ve only visited this town once, how would I know my way around?”
Dropping my bags, she turned on me, “Well, why are you following me?”
“I thought you knew where you were going.” I walked around her and picked up my bags, “Obviously you don’t, so I guess I’ll have to try to remember where I live here – if I do.” Looking around, I walked off, and she followed me along the street to the end where it started to look familiar. Turning right, I found we were only metres from where I lived, “You see, you weren’t far off.”
The landlord peered past her shoulder as she handed over a bag of money, “She’s been gone a long time. You’re damned lucky I still had her place free.”
“I told you we’d be back.” She said, then turned with a smile plastered onto her face, “Come on, you place is still free.”
“Great. I’m tired.” I said walking past the weird-looking, strangely familiar-looking landlord, “Where is it?”
She gave me a key as we walked through the large archway of the driveway; looking up to watch the long road of houses roll towards us like a river – they turned around like a carousel and my front door showed up in front of us.
As I held the key out in front of me, the door clicked open and we walked inside. I was home.

Strange things began to happen while she was still around. I never knew her name – and yet she could answer all my questions without me asking them. From the moment I put my bags down, and turned on the light, I found nothing familiar about the place – and yet my clothes were put away almost immediately and the aroma of a freshly-cooked vegetarian meal was coming from the kitchen; with her there strapped into an apron I’ve never seen before – looking all homey and wife-like. She turned and smiled, “Oh isn’t it lovely we’re home now?”
“Sure it is.” I smiled back, but really I had no idea who this person was. I was playing along, wishing she’d tell me her name.

A door slamming – bashing – before the sun rose one morning woke me from her warm arms. Pulling the covers back, I looked from the window to find my clothes and suitcases had been thrown into the street below.
“Oh my god!” dressing quickly I raced out of the bedroom, down the stairs and out onto the footpath to find there was no such evidence of my items there – and I hadn’t dressed in anything. I was standing there naked in front of the neighbours. I ignored them as she came out of the house with my dressing gown and covered me with it – like I was some prize boxer – whispering hushing words in my ears.
Pulling away, I glared at her, “Who are you?”
“Oh, my dear, if you don’t know by now, you’ll be forever lost.” She smiled, “You’ll be forever untrusting and unworthy... who do you think I am? And where are your suitcases?”
I looked around in the predawn light to find the rubbish truck ambling down the road with them in the back, “Hey! They’re mine!”
“You have to let them go. They’re not good for you.” She stood in front of me.
“Who are you?” I asked again.
“Come inside and we’ll talk.” She took my hand and I knew who she was as she closed the door and kissed me.
“You’re my conscience.”
“Took you long enough.”

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Child Unborn

Chuck gave us a Twitter link to Magic Realism Bot; and it's so much to scroll through and see and read the weirdness there! Anyway, we had to pick one and write - so I chose: 'A baroness falls pregnant with the Universe'; and it took on a life of its own.

Liona woke in the middle of the night with a start, feeling the chill of the breeze from the window on her shoulders. She was sure she had pulled the covers up over herself; and did so again as she looked around the darkened room, lit only by the full moon outside.
She felt as though she wasn’t alone; and hadn’t been along since the untimely passing of her dear husband, the Baron Timothy Heathford Roderick Stein. Yes, she had become a Baroness almost overnight – well, it felt as though it was overnight – and yet their marriage had lasted over two decades.
He ruled over the lands surrounding their large mansion and the estates beyond, as well as the three nearby townships; however he had never been a horrible ruler. His title never came with people thinking they were going to be thrown from their meagre homes if they could not pay their taxes; instead, he’d give them work in the stables, around the gardens and around the mansion and help them with money if they needed it.
Yes, her husband was a good, wise and wonderful man; never quick to temper and Liona had never felt the harsh back of his hand. However, when she travelled with him to other estates, to meet with other high-ranking men, Liona learned quickly that those men treated their women like cattle, tormenting them, hurting them and making sure they lived in fear of them every day they were married.
It was certain that Liona and Timothy had an arranged marriage, as their parents had been before them. However, when she met Timothy on their wedding day, at the altar, all her fears washed away as he looked her up and down and he smiled, and asked her one single question: ‘Do you fear me?’ her answer was: ‘Yes.’ Taking her hand gently, he kissed her gloved hand, looked into her eyes and whispered, ‘Please don’t, for I am as scared of this day as you are of me.’
After he spoke those words, Liona found she had most certainly found her Prince, her man who would treat her the way she was supposed to be treated. Yes, her parents found her the right man.
But why had she woken in the middle of the night?
It had been three years since Timothy had passed away; and she ran the estates on her own now – which was something unheard of, but it worked.
Something didn’t feel right. She felt as though somebody – or something had been in her bed with her. Switching on her light, she pushed back all the covers to find nobody by her side, and yet, pooled around her was a glowing, blue/white liquid.
“What in the ...” touching it, she pulled her hand away to find her hand was covered in: “Stardust.” Turning her hand over, it glittered and glimmered catching the light like diamonds would, however, before she could call for her inhome doctor, the glittering vanished from her hand and from the bedding, as though it never existed, “I’m tired... gotta be tired. There’s something going on here.” She turned off the light, pulled up the covers and tried to go back to sleep.

Three days passed by and strange things began to happen.
Liona watched a butterfly flit around the garden from flower to flower and as she watched, she found she could hear its thoughts, and stepped closer: ‘The wind, keep on the wind, the wind, keep on the... oh sugary flowers, I can smell-em you know.’ The butterfly landed on a rose and slowly opened and closed its wings as it extracted nectar from the flower.
Shaking her head, she wondered if she imagined what she just saw and turned away to leave the rose garden, brushed past a dead bush and it immediately came back to life right before her eyes! As she watched it with widened eyes, she stumbled backwards and passed out.

A cool cloth woke her as voices sounded, “I’m not sure how long she had been out there. I was going to uproot that dead rose bush, but it looks like it had turned around – but I can’t see how it could; it has black spot and root rot.” The gardener’s voice whispered.
“I’ll take care of her.” The doctor said, “Now, you keep this to yourself.”
The door closed as her eyes opened, “What’s happened?”
His kindly elderly face leaned close to hers, “You tell me. It seems you are pregnant.”
“What? I can’t be. I’m too old.” She pushed herself up to a sitting position as her maid pushed plump pillows behind her, “I’m over fifty years old, it’s not possible.”
“Well, you are; and I have ordered in a Wise Woman to find out more because you touched a rose bush out in the garden on the verge of death and it came back to life.” He whispered.
“So that really did happen.” Her hand touched her stomach, “I had a strange presence here in the room the other night – on the full moon – and I didn’t know what it was.”
He sat back as the Wise Woman walked in, turned and looked at her, “Oh my Gods.” She shuffled the doctor out of the way, touched her forehead, peered into her eyes, and placed her hand on Liona’s stomach, “Yes, you are surely pregnant, Baroness Liona, but not with a child of Human origins. You are pregnant with the Child Universe.”
“The Universe?”
“Yes. You are glowing with stardust and have heard the conversations of butterflies.” She nodded.
“Oh no this will not do at all.” Tutted the doctor, “She is Human.”
The Wise Woman turned, “Not entirely. Both her husband and her are Fae Folk – this is why they were not violent. And this is why you Liona can carry this pregnancy to term.”
“Which is how long?”
The old woman shrugged, “This I do not know. I’ve never seen this before; but I do know you are pregnant with the Universe.”

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Out of Retirement

Chuck has us looking at a link today... and it's putting together two people and making them work in our work. I got: 'He's a sword-wielding, guitar-strumming card sharp with a passion for cars. She a provocative insomniac widow trying to make a difference in a man's world. They fight crime!'


He pulled his car into the driveway and turned off the engine – as the lights turned off at the same time. He had to look in to the engine tomorrow because it just didn’t sound right. Sighing, he realised he had almost been found out at tonight’s game. Getting out of the car, he spotted the house across the road had a light on.
She always had a light on at night when he arrived home.
Dixon wondered why such a hottie was always awake at night, but then, he shrugged and went back to his darkened house and let himself in. Now was not the time to introduce himself.

Anna looked out the window of her house as his Impala pulled into the driveway and he just sat there for a moment. He must have lost at the card game again – or almost lost. Her mind reached out and she found out his name was Dixon.
Nice name for a dude who was... woah, is that a hidden staff? No, hang on, a sword that only comes out when he’s in battle? Exactly who was this?

It was around 8am before she crawled out of bed to the sound of Dixon working on his car.
“Oh, jeez, why now? It’s so early.” She muttered pulling on a pair of jeans and finding what she was going to wear for the day and plodding downstairs after running a brush through her hair. Anna put on the coffee maker and opened the curtains to let in the sunlight as she watched him bend over the fender of the car in a pair of black jeans and a grubby t-shirt; his guitar leaning against the garage door.
He was constantly working on his car and then playing that guitar – and he wasn’t too bad on it either.

But what had she seen last night?

Pouring out two large mugs of coffee, Anna thought it was high time she introduced herself. As she looked up, she saw a black van pull up.

Dixon stood up slowly from his car.

He wiped his greasy hands on his jeans as he took in the van.

Anna could feel trouble brewing outside – not just her coffee.

A gunshot pierced the air, making her run for the door, forgetting the coffees. On the way through, she grabbed a garden stake from the roses out the front and ran across the road as Dixon was shot twice, but he didn’t fall.
Staggering, he grinned and he raised his right hand up and over his head to where a sword pummel materialised, “I was really hoping you’d do that!”
Anna’s mouth dropped as the gunmen turned on her, “Who’s this slut?”
“Who are you calling a slut?” she snapped dropping the garden stake and opening her right hand where a ball of blue-white electricity grew – snapping and popping as it her anger did – and she stood there on the footpath glaring, “Answer me!”
It was Dixon’s turn to be shocked, “Well, shit... and you guys better answer her now.”
The guys from the black van hesitated before they turned, clambered back into the van and took off. Closing her hand, the ball of electricity vanished with a loud pop, and she smiled, “Um... well, hi.”
He looked at the sword in his hand, “I better explain this.”
“I think we both have some explaining to do, before the neighbours call the police and we’re both in a world of pain.” She glanced around.
He replaced his sword – and it vanished again – and he turned to his car, “I’m just replacing the spark plugs, and we can talk, okay?”

At dusk, Dixon knocked on her door.
He brought his guitar and a bag of freshly ground coffee.
“Hey a man after my own heart... coffee.” She smiled.
“Yeah... so it looks like we’re both hiding secrets.” He handed over the coffee, “Would you like to talk about it?”
She smiled as she opened the coffee, “It’s nice to know I’m not alone.”
“So,” he turned from her ordinary-looking house, “When did you retire from being in the super hero spotlight?”
Pouring a few spoons into the coffee maker, she glanced outside at the dying day, then back at Dixon, “You kind of never do.”
He grinned, blushing a little, “No, I guess we don’t.”
After turning on the machine, she pulled down the mugs and left them on the counter. Walking over to him, she sat on the lounge, and he joined her, “So, Dixon, what do you want to do about this?”
His eyes ran down her body, and back up to her face, where a wicked little smile was making her eyes twinkle, “Well, I’d like to join forces with you – only if you’d like to...”
“...join forces with you?”
“Yeah.” He whispered leaning in closer, he kissed her softly, gently, sweetly at first... then...

Her hair smelled so sweet in the morning as they snuggled together the next morning. Dixon watched her sleeping and knew he had to tell her what his mission was – eventually.
“Eventually?” she whispered, “What is your mission? You said you were retired.”
“No I didn’t. You did.” He said.
“So, what happens now? You fuck me and think you can get away with handing me over to some black-van-driving assholes who think they can pull me apart like some experiment?”
“No... well... that was my job. But how about we join forces?” he smiled, “You can kick ass like I can – and why not try to take down the whole system and let the super heroes rule Earth again? I think it’d be great.” Dixon rolled onto his back and stretched.
“You think so?” she asked leaning on his chest.
“Yeah, we scared the shit outa those guys yesterday.”
“That wasn’t a show?”
“No. That, Anna, was the real deal... if you scared them, you and I can pull down the whole thing.”  
"They are the same people who killed my husband; and I want revenge." she smiled, "So count me in."

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Into The Raw

Chuck has put up 10 titles, and asked us to pick one. Now, my folks are in the throws of selling their house, and I thought to jump into the one which jumped at me first. This one is a little naughty, but I thought it was fun!


“Are we allowed to take our belongings with us?” I looked around our living room and found I had that inane attachment to my furniture I had promised myself I would never get.
“Of course.” Edward smiled, “You’re going into another estate, not off the grid.”
“Right, right.” My husband nodded, grimly reading over the contract again, “But it’s just that it’s so different to how we live now.”
“In the middle of the city amongst the pollution, traffic noise and so very close to everyone around you?” he looked around as a police screamed down the street, “Oh yeah, who’d want to leave all this?” he fidgeted in his suit, “Look, you’ll have an acre of land to yourself, with a gorgeous house on it, and your things will come with you. It’s going to have electricity, hot and cold running water and all the mod-cons. The only thing you’ll be away from is the city.” He sat back in the seat, “You’ll be free to do as you please.”

Roger and I exchanged glances.

This was exactly the type of life we had been wanting for a long time.

We both worked from home; and we rarely went out anymore to buy food or socialise – or well, do anything.

Yes, computers and the internet was a huge thing in our lives.

Thanks to verbal commands, everything changed in modern homes. Our stoves turned on by themselves, there’s no light switches, our televisions will change channels when we ask them to and our house actually has a ‘Holiday Mode’ for the lights when we go on away for more than three days.

But, it’s getting to a point where Roger and I have lost our way.

I love him dearly, but really, when we enter the room at the same time, we just seem to look at each other in wonderment – as though we’ve never met before... and we’ve been married for over a decade.
Yes, we’ve lost touch with the small things about each other.
So, we have decided to move out into the new estate called ‘Raw’ and it’s exactly what it means – we go out into the raw elements of the country and start our lives again.

I work from home; and Roger does too.

We learn how to work a good-sized piece of land, and learn about animals.

And the best thing is that we learn about ourselves and each other – we learn about how and why we’re together; and if we want to be with each other for the next decade.

This means we sell up and move everything there.

On the day of the move, we arrived at the house before our furniture at daybreak and watched the sunrise together over the ridge. We were truly alone for the first few hours and totally enjoyed our time there looking around the place – and it was a huge place!
As the sun warmed the valley below, I spotted a car and two trucks snaking along the road towards our house: one was Edward’s car and the two trucks had our furniture in it. We had been told to pack our clothes and some of the things we just couldn’t live without into a U-Haul and arrive early – and we did.
Edward pulled into the driveway, followed by the two trucks, which pulled up and opened the backs. He got out of his car and smiled, “Sorry we’re late, but the drivers got lost.”
“Lost? You said to be here early.” Roger said.
“Oh yeah, I did.” He smiled, “Did you unpack your U-Haul?”
“Yeah... we did.” I nodded, “It’s ready for you to take back.”
Everything was unpacked and put into all the right rooms. Nothing was broken and we were left alone at our new house. It took about three weeks for us to put things where we wanted them, and settle in.

One morning, Roger stood at the wardrobe looking in at his clothes, holding onto his garden shirt, “There’s really nobody around.”
“What do you mean?” I turned to him.
“We have an acre of land at the top of a mountain ridge, and have this place to ourselves.” He hung up the shirt again, “Has it crossed your mind why it’s called Raw?”
“Not really. Just that we’re out in the middle of country in the raw countryside, and that’s the meaning of it.” I smiled, “I didn’t really read into it.”
“We can get around with nothing on if we wish.” He rushed from the bedroom and to the home office and dug out the contract, reading it, “Yeah, it says here: ‘... not only are you in the raw of the countryside, but you’re far enough away from everything to be your true self.’” He looked up at me, “It’s practically encouraging us to strip off.”
“It doesn’t mean we have to.” I turned back to our bedroom shaking my head, but I heard him put back the paperwork and head downstairs in his birthday suit, “My god, he’s nuts on toast.” Pulling open the wardrobe, I pulled out a nice dress and looked at my underwear. Ditching the underwear, I pulled on the dress and went downstairs to join my husband for breakfast.
“Aaw, come on.” He teased, “It’s fun.”
I smiled a little, “No. I’ve still got my dignity; but you can get around like a Neanderthal if you wish, just remember to shower at the end of the day.” He headed outside with his cup of coffee and sat down in a chair, where I went to join him, but found him standing at the back door, “Hey, you okay, Rog?”
He turned and looked at me, “I thought I could do this.”
“Stand out there in the buff?” I grinned, “Of course you can.”
Doubt crossed his face: “But what happens if our neighbours are closer than we think?”
I peered through the screen, “Well, we’ll never know until we go out there.”
“But you’re clothed!”

“Am I?” I opened the screen and walked outside where the breeze caught the skirt of my dress and blew it up reminiscent of ‘The Seven Year Itch’.

Monday, 19 February 2018

War and the World Gone to Pieces

Chuck asked us to write about a world without guns... this took me a little while to do because, well, it had me stumped! 


I had been searching high and low for a piece just like this – even though the news said all of our weaponry had been collected and destroyed.

And what a sweet piece it was!

I ran my hands over its contours – its beautiful shape and feel, and how it felt in my hands was perfect!

No, it was ... meant to be.

It was mine!

I looked up at the dealer, “How much for it?”
“Hey dude, there’s others on offer here, take your time.” He swept his hand over the table in front of him in the dim light of his basement, “I’m not gonna be here tomorrow.”
“Can I pick more than one?”
“If you have the dosh you can have as many pieces as you want.” He chuckled.
Holding the one I loved so much closer to me, I perused the make-shift table of others on offer. I didn’t want to let this one out of my sight, just in case it would vanish if I put it down, “Well, we haven’t discussed prices yet.”
“The nice piece you have in your hot little hands there, sonny-boy, is a neat round sum of $50. But there’s bigger ones which have multiple uses – unlike that one you have in your hands.” He turned and picked up a massive one which was leaning against the wall with a strap attached to it, “You have this whopper to take some bastard out with; and you can bet your bottom dollar nobody will be messing with you if you bring out this bad boy!”
I hesitated, “Well, I don’t want to be caught with something like that on me... not by the police or the government. I want to have something small enough to get away with; yet big enough to scare the shit out of the assholes out there.”
The dude shrugged, “Well, okay... the piece you have there is good for everyday use. But may I interest you in having something for around the house?”
“Okay... what have you got?”
He opened an old, wooden cigar box and showed me a pair of nicely-cared for pieces, “These are perfect for home protection... I haven’t had these very long and am prepared to sell them to you – with that one there – for $1000. This box comes with its own lock and ammo.”
I didn’t hesitate this time around. Pulling out my wallet, I took out one of the money clips I had there with my dosh in $1000 sections. The first one came out, I unclipped it and handed the money over as he handed to box over with a key which he slotted into the lock, turned it and the box unlocked. On top of the box he put gave me another two boxes of ammo and wished me a good day.
Before leaving, I slotted my single piece into my empty shoulder holster, where my service pistol used to be; and felt so much better about having it there. Then, I pocketed the ammo and locked the box up before slotting it into a large pocket inside my trench coat and closing the flap over.

I was now ready to leave the building.

Two days later, I was home looking over the pieces I had bought with my hard-earned money; and I was pleased with my purchase. Such a pity one was so heavy that I had to be careful how I wore my jackets; and the others were to be stored away in a safe in my bedroom.
“Honey!” my wife’s voice called from downstairs, “Are you home?”
Holstering the piece, I had purchased and I locked away the large cigar box and looked out of the bedroom door, “Yes, I’m here!”
She slowly climbed the steps towards me, “So, how did it go?”
“We got a real bargain.”
“The kids aren’t home for a few hours, can you show me them?”
An hour late, she sat on the bed tentatively touching them, “Okay, now I know how to use them, what happens if the kids get a hold of them?”
I smiled, “They won’t. There’s two keys for the box and that’s it... and we have a floor safe.”
“What worries me the most is if The Main Departments will find out.” Her eyes locked with mine; knowing we’d both be screwed if they did.

“Sir. Wake up.” I was shaken awake three days later in the middle of the night, “Are you Captain Sean Allan Richards?”
I was blinded by a bright torchlight, “Who in the hell wants to know? I’m the Captain of Police of District 12, Area 35 of the Logan Quarter. So, get that torch out of my face. Who in the hell are you!”  I demanded reaching over and turning on my bedside lamp, to find the bedroom filled with The Main Departments people. My three children were standing in front of our wardrobe, bleary-eyed without a clue of what was going on and the Department of Child Services were ready to take them away, “Put my children back in their beds... why are they here?”
The man in the mandatory bullet-proof vest groaned, “We have reason to believe you recently purchased a few new – and illegal – pieces for your protection. You know it’s illegal to own fire arms, Captain; even for the police to have them in their homes.”
“Sean, just give them the pieces.” My wife whispered, “So we can have our children back.”
I sighed, “Okay. You can have them.” I reached under my pillow and showed my first one, “It’s not loaded... it’s one to use as a threat; it’s why I liked it.” Getting out of bed, I knelt on the floor, pulled out the key from my pyjama pants pocket (Jeanie had made this pocket in all my pyjamas pants especially for this reason) and pulled back the rug covering the lose boards. I took up two and placed my hand over the locking mechanism where it clicked open, and I retrieved the cigar box, “There’s a pair in there – and here’s the box of ammo that goes with them.” I put both boxes on the Glory Box at the end of the bed, where they were retrieved by the man in charge.
“Is there anything else in there you shouldn’t have?” he peered over my shoulder.”
“Just our last Wills and Testaments and my wife’s mother’s engagement ring.” I said.
“Okay, then.” He nodded as he took the keys to the cigar box and opened it. His eyes widened in admiration, “Woah, these are really nice.”
“Thanks. I am the police and the guy took a big risk selling to me.” I closed the safe back up, relocked it and replaced the boards again, pushing the rug back over.
He pulled out one, opened the box of ammo and smiled, “Yeah, but you didn’t know he was an undercover dude did you?”
“No. Why wasn’t I informed about him?”
Putting the piece down, he shrugged, “We knew that you collected pieces; and just couldn’t live without them.”
“Neither can you.” I snapped, “Look at you! You’ve all got pieces with you. The main thing is that you don’t have anything that’s as nice as mine; and...”
He picked up the piece from the box and pointed it at me, “Shut up and get on your knees.”
“Daddy!” my eldest girl screamed, tears in her voice.
“What you’re gonna shoot me in front of my family? Pretty cowardly seeing I’m unarmed.” I smirked.
A whisper came from behind me, “Captain...” and a piece was shoved into my hands at my right hip.
I picked up on the impromptu assistance and stood in the way of my children immediately as I raised my piece, ready to use it, “Ally, get your brother and sister out of here.”
“I’ll pick ‘em off one by one.” He moved his aim to my kids, and I moved with it, “Move!”
“No... you have the ammo and I only have what’s here in this piece... this is an unlevel playing field.”

For a moment, there was silence.

For a very long moment of our lives – the longest moment of not knowing what to do – silence engulfed the bedroom.

This was until Jeanie suddenly moved from her side of the bed, throwing a box of ammo at me! Without moving, my hand moved out and caught it from the air, cracked the box open and I tilted the box sideways where a stick slid out ready.
Slowly, I slid that piece into my mouth, bit down and the let the fresh minty taste fill my senses as I knew what to do, “Ally, honey, get inside our wardrobes... it’s gonna get messy.”
“Yes, Dad.” She nodded taking her brother and sister with her inside our wardrobes and pulling the door closed, “Can I have some ammo?”
I chewed on it slowly: “No, it’s only for adults.”
“Aaw, now you’ve got yourself all ready, let’s go then.” He stuck his nose in the air, took off out of my room, down the stairs! I followed him immediately out into the early morning light with my piece drawn and ready to use, “Come on, Captain! Catch me if you can with your useless piece! Pew! Pew! I’ll get ya!”

I dodged and snuck behind a tree, “Missed me, you yella belly!” I took aim and: “Pew! Pew! Pew! Hey gotcha! Right in the arm!”