Sunday, 18 June 2017

Laughing Lights

This week, Chuck's email is late... or it's not arrived. Either way, I thought to go back to last week's choices and pick another title. 


Late, late at night, is the time –
Usually after midnight –
When everyone is fast, fast asleep,
Is when the laughing wakes, wakes me up,
And I go, go to the window and look outside.
Into the darkness of the night, night, I see
The lights of the garden where there were none

Curiosity gets the better of me, me
And I tip-toe past down the hallway in my slippers,
Past my parents’ door, down, down the stairs,
Out to the back garden where the laughing, laughing
Is louder, louder and sweeter, sweeter
Than before.

Little, little hands pull me into their games,
Their dances, dances, and twinkling music,
And it’s fun for hours, hours on end!
Then, I wake up and I’m back, back in bed and
Mum is shaking me awake, asking why my slippers
Are wet.

For a long time after that first, first night,
I go and see my friends in the garden,
Where the laughing lights are every night, night
After midnight when everyone is asleep,
And their music starts, and they begin to laugh out
At me to come downstairs,
To join them.

One morning, I brush, brush my hair to find my ears
Aren’t the same, same as they used to be.
They are long, long and pointed!
Quickly, I hide, hide them with my hair as Mum comes
Into my room, room asking if I’m ready for school;
Like nothing is wrong.

Little, little things like this keep showing up,
And I keep, keep going out to the laughing lights
Late, late at night to dance, dance with them all
In the garden, in the rings of lights until dawn,
Until I go, go back to bed, keeping my secret
Like they asked me to.

Then one night, I wake up and there’s no, no more
Laughing or lights from the garden.
I look, look out of my bedroom window and find
Nothing but darkness in the garden, garden.
Running down, down to where my friends were,
I look, look for them!

“They are gone, gone.” Mum’s voice says behind me.
I turn crying as they don’t understand how nice, nice they were.
“Dad, mowed the lawn today and they went away.” She took my
Hand, hand and took me inside back to my bedroom,
She tucked me into bed, and left on my night light.
I cried myself to sleep.

Summer came, came and I was woken again by laughter
After midnight and I rushed to the window to see them all
There waiting for me.
I ran down, down to them and they greeted me happily.
My parents were behind me as the fairies of the garden
Took me away, away and let me live, live with them.
Just as they, they were going to let me do

This time, they didn’t give my parents a choice, choice
This time, the lights wouldn’t return,
And I knew, knew they’d let me stay with them
To dance, dance,
To sing, sing,
To be a young, young child


Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Secret Gift

Chuck gave us a list of titles to pick from and asked us to make it fun and easy... well, easy? Okay, fun... it's a different kind of fun. 


She opened the door and there was a basket sitting on the top step with a blanket over it. Hesitantly lifting a corner of it, Lizzy found the basket empty.

She looked around the street.

There was nobody around.

There were no kids snickering in the bushes nearby.

So, where did this basket come from?

Pulling out her phone, she took a photo of it and called her friend – a warlock – who’d be able to tell her what was going on. He asked her to text the photo and when she pulled up the image of it, she saw a dog looking at the camera.
“Oh my god.” She called him back, “Denny, I have a Hell Hound.”
“I’ll be right there.” He said.

They both sat out the front with the basket in front of them. He looked at her, “How did you figure it out again?”
“I took a photo of the basket, called you and then went to send you a photo and saw the dog in the photo.” Lizzy said, “You remember when you fixed up my phone to see other-worldly things? Well, it worked.”
“Just as well it did.” He said, “That basket looks empty, but through the camera on our phones, it’s not.”
“What my main question is who would leave me with a Hell Hound?”
“Yeah, I was about to ask that too.” He frowned, “Hey, you better call your Mum, make sure nobody in your distant family didn’t die; leaving you secret gifts... you know... like this guy behind.”
“Oh, jeez.” Lizzy pulled out her phone and made a quick call, walking inside as she did, then came back just as quickly, “Denny, my Uncle Luc died. When he knew he was about to die, he sent out gifts to his distant relatives – including me – and hoped we liked them. None of us knew he was going to die; not even him.”
“So, what do you do with a Hell Hound?” he asked.
She shrugged, “I don’t know. They’re bred to take souls and you can’t train them; even if you do get them as puppies.”
Denny regarded her, “I think it’s time you and I called on a demon and asked exactly what to do with this little guy.”

The graveyard was foggy and they felt as though they weren’t alone as they walked past all the headstones – the markers of death – with the basket in a wagon behind them. They also brought along with them the ingredients to call a demon forward to talk.
“Who in Lucifer’s name called me... oh it’s you Lizzy.” His eyes turned from black to hazel as he took on his human form.
“Don’t bullshit me. Uncle Lucifer is dead.” She said throwing a thumb over her shoulder, “And he sent me a Hell Hound in his death throws.”
Denny sighed, “So, exactly what does she do with this thing? She’s not a demon, she’s not a human... she’s part of society and yet still part of your world... so how does she fit into this story?”
The demon looked at the wagon as the basket in it creaked and moved, “Well, I have to say, he’s looking lonely and is wondering why you haven’t touched him.”
“There’s a reason why I don’t touch him... he’ll eat my hand.” She snapped, “Why did Uncle Luc-ifer sent me a Hell Hound?”
The demon gave her a smile you would give a young child, “You see, Lizzy, he gave a secret gift, what you do with it is up to you... but I would bond with it before somebody else does.”
They turned and glanced at the rocking basket and wagon, then glanced back, to find the demon gone. Denny groaned, “Dammit, I knew we should have trapped it.”
She walked over to the wagon wondering if it was going to be all that bad if she had a Hell Hound for a pet, “Denny, do you really think it would be so bad to have this guy as a pet? I mean, if I just treated him like a normal dog, it wouldn’t do any harm, would it?”
The warlock turned from cleaning up his gear, “Listen carefully, Lizzy, we have to be careful in what you do with dog. He’s not a normal dog, okay?”
“Okay.” She sighed.

Days passed and she did her research on Hell Hounds. The collected souls, they couldn’t be treated like any other dogs on Earth or Hell. They were bred for evil-doings. But the one thing she couldn’t find was anyone to train him.
So, one day, after feeding him his breakfast of one of the neighbour’s cats (the old biddy had about fifty of them – so she wasn’t going to miss a few of them), Lizzy wondered if she could train the dog. She pulled out her phone, turned on the camera and found his head, “Man, you’re getting big, aren’t you?” she reached out and scratched behind his ear.”
“Aaaww... Lizzy, I was hoping you’d do that.” She stopped, turned and saw her Uncle Lucifer standing behind her.
“I was told you were dead.” She moved next to the Hound as she felt him sit by her side and she turned off her phone.
“Come here boy!” he called to the dog, “You’ve done your job. Time to come home.” The Hound licked its chops, leaned on Lizzy and sounded content where he was, “What did you do!”
Lizzy grinned, “I’ve been showing the Hound affection. He’s a nice animal once you get to know him, but you don’t seem to understand Hell Hounds. They enjoy the company of people who live with a foot in both worlds – like me. We’re not too human, and we’re not too evil, which suits them just fine. And seeing your dog thought you were dead, he bonded with me.”
“He hasn’t taken any souls... it’s what he’s bred for.” Uncle Lucifer sneered.
“Well, it kinda depends how you train a dog. Just because a dog is a fighting breed doesn’t mean you have to make it fight... you can teach it love and affection. Hell Hounds can be the same; but you have to be weird enough to be their owners first.”
“You’re not good enough to run Hell.” Uncle Lucifer stood over me.
She smirked, “That’s the thing, you’ve put out the message that you’re dead. So, who is running Hell? It seems you’ve left your post and the next in line to take your place is me – seeing you sent out the secret gift of a Hell Hound – to take your place. So, enjoy being a mortal. Take care of yourself, eat well, sleep and no, you can’t get away with killing somebody without being trapped in prison.” Lizzy turned to the Hell Hound, “Come on boy, we have work to do!” The Hell Hound followed her to the front door where she opened it to find two demons waiting for her along with Denny, “Come on, Denny, we’re gonna have some fun!” she turned to the demons, “Oh, and keep an eye on him will you?”
“Yes, Our Queen, we most certainly will.”
Lizzy took Denny’s hand, “It’s time to make a difference in Hell, but first, let’s see what he’s done to Earth first, and do something about that.”
“I’ve always wanted to travel.” Denny smiled.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Hive

Chuck has us talking about Invasions this week - seeing his book 'Invasive' is out in paperback now. So, I thought to do a Flash Fiction about a huge paper wasp nest I have in my yard... but not from the POV you'd think!


We had to go somewhere; and the trees were no option.
We were kicked out of our last place a month ago.
The pipe wasn’t too bad and we had to build the nursery somewhere close to warmth but under cover as well – and this was perfect.
Nobody was going to bother use; and yet, we were up high enough to not ... who is that?
“Guard!” she shrieked.
“Yes, your Majesty?” I asked approached by her side, looking where she was from her chamber.
“Exactly what is that?” she demanded pointing.
“I am not sure. Do you wish for me to inspect?”

I took another guard with me, just in case things became complicated. I gave specific orders to inspect, not attack. We were out of the main entrance within seconds and flying down to the intruder who had shown up in the grounds of our new place.  They turned and stopped in their tracks, watching us carefully as we watched them.
“Oh, hello there.”  A female voice was soft, yet nervous. She stayed still as we circumnavigated her; finding she was no threat, we didn’t do anything to make her move away from the place. Slowly, she looked up at where we lived, where our Queen lived, then started to walk away from us.
“Let’s follow her at a distance. I want to know where she came from.” I said.
“Then we attack!” the guard snorted.
“No!” I stopped him, “I was given strict orders to not interfere with this one – to observe and see who it is. We could be living in her place – not the other way around.”
“We are superior to all!” the other guard buzzed loudly.
I grabbed his arm and pulled him to the fence, running him through, killing him; my last words to him: “We are not superior to all. We obey our Queen, and I am your superior.” I dropped him amongst the grass and left him to rot.
Looking over at the female, I noticed she had come back into the area with something in her hands. She raised it up, tapped a large ... oh, she took a photograph. I have seen this before. Humans are fascinated with these objects and love taking photographs of themselves – but not this one. She took a photo of... I must get back to inform the Queen!

“She took a photograph of where we were instead of herself? What kind of Human are we looking at?” she asked, “And where is the other guard?”
“I am afraid I had to use force to stop him from attacking her.” I said, “She posed no danger to us; and yet he wished to harm her, Your Majesty.”
“I see. You protected her because you felt it wasn’t right to harm a Human?”
“When we approached, she stood still and let us look at her. She looked at us and was nervous, and didn’t swat at us like other Humans have.” I replied, “I do not think we will be having problems with her. However, I’d like to go and see why she is here. She seems to be around here a lot.”
“Very well. You may.”
I turned and left my Queen’s chamber – alone this time – and ventured outside into the warmth of the day where the Human was in the garden again.

This time, I watched her from a distance.

She didn’t do anything unusual.

She cared for the garden.

She pulled the weeds and mowed the lawn, then took a photograph of her flowers and plants.

Then, she walked into a wall. 

This seemed unusual until I inspected further and found she had walked through a large door and inside a place. I looked through the window and found she lived here in this large clay hive we had thought was abandoned.
I reported my findings back to my Queen immediately.

“I see.” She finished what she was eating and sat back; the stew prepared by the staff left for a moment, “So, somebody lives in the place we thought was abandoned?”
“I don’t think she minds us being here. She seems...”
“Seems?” my Queen glared at me. I was in trouble for judging somebody who was not one of us, “Did you inspect her living quarters?”
“Yes, my Queen. I peered through the windows, and she has lived in the clay structure for some time.”
My Queen went back to her stew, “Well, what do you think we should do?”
“If we are not annoying her – and she is not bothering us – nothing. I think it wise that we can both live with each other in this space without destroying each other’s peace.” I suggested.
Pushing her bowl away, she dabbed at her mouth, and sat back, “So do I. But do keep guard on her at times as the seasons change; and it becomes cooler.”
“Of course.” I bowed, “We are much more vulnerable in the colder seasons; but I doubt she will do anything to jeopardise the peace between us – unless you wish her to sign a treaty?”
She rose from her table and walked to the window where the Human was placing a solar-powered light inside a potted plant. My Queen’s features softened as she turned, “No. I think you are right. She will not harm us, not until we are finished here.”
“Very well, my Queen.” I bowed low, “Do we need supplies for the nursery?”
Sitting, she sighed, “Always!”

I left by the main entrance, taking a few workers with me to collect more food for the colony. It was time we stocked up for Winter; and from what I’ve heard through the walls around here, we are building another wing onto the new nursery to the western side.
Yes, we needed more food before the seasons turned bitterly cold – much more food now the hive was growing bigger. But seeing a bird or two had begun to destroy some of our home, it was also time we started looking for another place to live.

This was part of my job as well.

But I must say, this was the best place we’d been for a long time.

The Human was nice.

The food around the place was plentiful.

The weather wasn’t too bad.

And the view was perfect from the drainpipe.

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! 


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.”
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.


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.”
“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. 


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.
“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.”