Decisions – an old story

Another one from four or five years ago. More of a thought experiment than anything, though it does have some themes in common with some of my other stories.

Decisions

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing, and a beanie despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?” I panicked and mumbled, “Nothing, sorry, I wasn’t looking at you,” and looked away as he laughed, increasing his swagger as he headed for the back seat of the bus. My heart was pounding, my palms sweating and I could no longer concentrate on the article, as I feared he might come back for more confrontation.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing, and a beanie despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?”  He was glaring at me to force me to respond. He had picked the wrong day, I wasn’t about to just lie down and take abuse from this nobody. “Not you” I said with derisive laughter in my voice “You aren’t my type; too fucking ugly!” The whole bus went silent as he moved towards me, though I did not feel scared as the adrenaline coursed through my veins. “You fucking what?” He responded aggressively. He was obviously trying to re-establish his dominance but I was not in the mood and took my chance. “If you don’t want fucking up I suggest you stay away from me.” I realised this wasn’t the most well crafted of threats but it appeared to suffice. He merely glared at me briefly, looked around at the shocked bus passengers and took a seat behind me.

I alighted the bus at my usual stop, which is a very short walk from my house through an area which few frequent. I could tell that the aforementioned thug was getting off the bus at my stop and knew I had to face him. He slurred yet more obscenities at me and I realised I had to fight him; something I had little experience with. I could almost feel the testosterone charging me, my hands shaking as I clenched my fist and prepared myself for the fight. I hesitated. Big mistake! He saw me coming a mile away and knocked me to the floor with three well timed punches. I had never been so disoriented in my life as I crashed to the floor in a heap, my pride bringing me down even further. Vulgarity spewed from his mouth as I curled into a ball to protect myself from his repeated kicks. Eventually he stopped, though I have no idea where he went; I was lying curled up in a pathetic ball, eyes firmly shut as I prayed for him to leave. I eventually staggered home and sat in silence, drowning in regret, weighed down by my dented ego.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  Over the top of my magazine I saw a figure lumbering about with incessant music blaring from his mobile phone, so I glanced up for a better look; in front of me stood a tall, thin figure with harsh facial features, tracksuit style clothing and a beanie, despite the blissful weather outside. He caught my wandering eyes and slurred “What the fuck do you think you’re looking at?”  He was glaring at me to force me to respond. He had picked the wrong day, I wasn’t about to just lie down and take abuse from this nobody. “Not you” I said with derisive laughter in my voice “You aren’t my type; too fucking ugly!” The whole bus went silent as he moved towards me, though I did not feel scared as the adrenaline coursed through my veins. “You fucking what?” He responded aggressively. He was obviously trying to re-establish his dominance but I was not in the mood and took my chance “If you don’t want fucking up I suggest you stay away from me.” I realised this wasn’t the most well crafted of threats but it appeared to suffice. He merely glared at me briefly, looked around at the shocked bus passengers and took a seat behind me.

I alighted the bus at my usual stop, which is a very short walk from my house through an area which few frequent. I could tell that the aforementioned thug was getting off the bus at my stop and knew I had to face him. I took my chances as quickly as I could and threw punch after punch at his pathetic excuse for a face. I had never hit anyone before and knew that my punches were weak, but the surprising barrage had him unconscious on the floor. I could hear my heart pounding in my head, my hands were shaking, and I had never felt anger like this before. The events which happened next felt like a dream or some bad film where the protagonist’s actions go unexplained. I picked up his limp body and carried it to my house, dumping him in my kitchen as I prepared another room. I laid out a sheet of plastic and placed a chair in the middle, barely taking my eyes off of him in case he stirred. I tied him up in the chair and waited, I wanted him to be awake, wanted to hear screams. I got out a toolbox full of rarely used appliances, some still in their original packages.

When he eventually awoke I sat in front of him, staring at the intense fear and confusion so evident in his eyes. I had stripped him completely naked and burnt his vile clothes for further humiliation. In my hands I caressed a pair of pliers as I decided which order to pull out his teeth. I forced his mouth open and he resisted, trying to scream for help, not realising that he was spurring me on. I gripped the first tooth in the pliers and began to pull, there was a sickening crack and I realised that I had failed to get it completely out. I felt the tooth resisting as I pulled harder and wrenched it free from its safe, gummy home. The scream of pain was like music to my madness, almost arousing. I continued with each of his teeth and every satisfying crack was accompanied by an even more satisfying blood-curdling scream. My skill at removing his teeth increased with each fresh pull and I discovered a variety of ways to cause him unimaginable pain in that vulgar orifice of his. Teeth were scattered around the room and my foresight to put down plastic proved fruitful as the blood spilt all over of it, staining all in this precious, life giving liquid.

With his teeth out of the way I was free to move on to the next target, known as ‘lingua’ in Latin. I crudely hacked at it, yanking it out of its natural home and waved it in his face. He was groaning in agony almost constantly, stopping only when he was struggling to breathe. For the finishing touches I took out a pair of secateurs, maniacally chopping off each off his fingers and throwing them casually over my shoulders. I took a hot poker from near the fire and cauterised the wounds, causing possibly the most satisfying of all his screams, as I contemplated giving abacination a try.

I cleaned up the whole mess as one would whilst doing normal mundane housework, even dancing away to music as I went. I left him strapped to the chair over night, returning the next morning to find him on his side, shaking. I kicked his head remorselessly, until he fell unconscious yet again, I dragged his body to some nearby woods and dumped it, wrapped in a blanket. I wanted him to survive; I wanted him to live the rest of his life in agony, unable to tell anybody who his attacker was. I would leave the country; an obvious choice, but now seemed like as good a time as any and Egypt had always appealed to me, perhaps it was the mummification process which intrigued me.

The bus was trundling along as per usual; I thumbed through my magazine in search of an article that might pique my interest, eventually stumbling on a piece about Hugh Everett.  As an unsavoury character entered the bus I reflected on the possibility that all the decisions we do not choose are manifested in some alternative universe, branching out from our own. It really made me think.

Taizé – not a story

I used to regularly visit the Taizé community and once took the opportunity to write about it for a local church newsletter (I forget which one). It is not a story, but it felt worth sharing. I wrote it in 2oo9. Accompanying it is a picture I took whilst there several years ago, it is one of my personal favourites, taken at the grave of Brother Roger, the founder of the community, who was brutally murdered during a church service. It is one of those pictures which, for me at least, tells a story of its own.

Taizé

Going on a ‘pilgrimage of trust’ to an ecumenical community of dedicated brothers can sound very daunting to a young Christian and trying to explain how amazing it is to visit is often fraught with difficulty. It truly is a place you need to visit to understand as it is often quite paradoxical. When people ask questions they tend to somehow instinctively hit on the negatives, which for someone who has been are bizarrely not negative at all. “What is the food like?” “Very basic” “Can you drink?” “One weak beer per day” “Are there showers?” “Yes, but very unpredictable” “Where do you sleep?” “In a tent, often on rough ground” (I got a beautifully placed stone this year, right in the middle of my back and pointing upwards).  One friend quipped that it sounded like a concentration camp, which is surprisingly similar to Brother Paolo’s remarks that it is like an upper class refugee camp. These seem like insurmountable obstacles to fun and enjoyment, yet every year thousands upon thousands of young people of all walks of life make this pilgrimage and find it worthwhile, often wanting to come again. I’ve now been six times and fully recommend it, so what is there to it?

Part of what I have already described is part of the fun, as odd as that sounds, they are only ostensibly negative. Taizé takes us back to basics in many ways, whilst there we appreciate the beauty in life from the perspective of a simpler mode de vie. We spend so much time tied to our material lives: constantly texting; obsessively checking Facebook; watching too much television; yet in Taizé we find we have everything we need without these incessant distractions. It is refreshing not needing beer for a good time, something many often need to realise – myself included. Living for a week without a proper bed or shower helps us appreciate it more when we return to it; Taizé can help us discover that these things truly are luxuries we do not need. This is often an unnoticeable part of the Taizé experience which lasts for longer than the week there. Could you imagine eating every meal with just a spoon and considering it normal?

The biggest parts of the Taizé experience are, in my mind, relationship and discovery. In Taizé you can really discover yourself, whether through silent reflection or through communing with others. Taizé’s most beautiful paradox is that on the one hand it is a place where you can go and be at complete peace if you wish; if you want it you can find it, in church, down by the source or by going into silence (if you dare). On the other hand it is a place where you can socialise with thousands of young people from all over the planet, singing, dancing, chatting, laughing and much more. Taizé is one of the few places in the world where young people from warring countries have been known to get along and laugh together. The opportunities for making friends in Taizé are endless and from every continent too, though Antarctica may have to be missed out; I thought I saw a penguin once but it was just a visiting nun. The coach journey, discussion groups and visiting Oyak are all great places to make new friends and learn about diverse cultures.

In Taizé the days have structure and everything flows well. There are three church services per day (optional but recommended) and they allow for deep reflection. The chants are beautiful and simple, and I would be surprised if someone came away without a favourite (unless like me they have several favourites which they can’t choose between). There are no sermons to endure, just short Bible verses and psalms. Silence is at the heart of the service and is the perfect time to reflect or to simply open yourself up. Whilst there you can also opt to do a job, ranging from washing the pots to washing toilets; keeping people quiet in church to keeping people quiet late at night; there is something for everyone. Work is usually seen as something to grumble at, I know I’m guilty of a lot of grumbling, but in Taizé it just does not seem like a bad thing at all, quite the opposite in fact. Mundane jobs become fun and feeling part of something bigger needs to be felt by everyone from time to time. Taizé works so well because everyone contributes and gets into the community spirit.

Through forging new relationships and through self discovery Taizé can be an incredible experience. It also allows for us to discover more of God too. Church gives us the time to reflect and open ourselves to Him if we wish, but nobody is pushing. The Taizé community allows you to go along at your own pace, never pushing or dragging, but offering a guiding hand where it is wanted. Discussion groups can vary from dealing with tough questions about faith, to simply having fun and playing games with people of differing backgrounds. It is a place where you can feel safe even if the Bible intimidates you as you will not have it thrown at you or forced down your throat; if you do want to plumb its depths then Taizé can be the perfect place to do so.

I always come back from Taizé feeling refreshed both emotionally and spiritually, and want to share it with everyone I meet. This year I found myself in the odd position where so many amazing things had occurred whilst there that I struggled to say anything about it to my friends and family! It was beyond words and I get something new from it every year; burdens are lifted and my mind is often more clear and focussed. Taizé is a deeply personal experience which unusually can be shared with others; they will find it to be an amazing place too, even if their reasons are different. This has been a description of my own views on Taizé, something I like to try to put into words and often struggle to do. I can only recommend visiting, if you haven’t already, as I guarantee you will benefit. Hopefully my words can at the very least get people wondering.

Frére Roger

Here be monsters!

Sometimes I have a friend who inspires me to be creative. I have a friend for whom I used to draw lots of pictures of monsters, each of which had a background story. Here is a sample of the ones I can find on my computer, though I am sure I did many more.

Andy likes chocolate, porn confuses him and his favourite book is Spot the Dog. He subscribes to the Beano comic.

Andy likes chocolate, porn confuses him and his favourite book is Spot the Dog. He subscribes to the Beano comic.

 

Although Carl Bambleby does not wear clothes he once dreamt of being an underwear model. However he was considered too ugly. He now makes internet cartoons and enjoys playing chess in his spare time.

Although Carl Bambleby does not wear clothes he once dreamt of being an underwear model. However he was considered too ugly. He now makes internet cartoons and enjoys playing chess in his spare time.

 

Clive is studying theology. He is addicted to custard creams and dreams of a house in the French countryside where he can make animations in his spare time. He also likes to repair wrist watches.

Clive is studying theology. He is addicted to custard creams and dreams of a house in the French countryside where he can make animations in his spare time. He also likes to repair wrist watches.

 

Gordon is a slow, steady worker. He eats a lot of Weetabix, loves architecture and sunbathing. He once worked as a bus driver.

Gordon is a slow, steady worker. He eats a lot of Weetabix, loves architecture and sunbathing. He once worked as a bus driver.

 

Liam likes fancy restaurants and expensive wine. He has never driven and has a chauffeur. All his money is inherited.

Liam likes fancy restaurants and expensive wine. He has never driven and has a chauffeur. All his money is inherited.

 

Sammy got too close to the fire and melted.

Sammy got too close to the fire and melted.

 

Squidge's voice is so high-pitched that  most cannot hear him. This means that nobody knows his real name: Archibald Wesley Haversham-Winstanley IV. Though this doesn't bother him as he was born deaf.

Squidge’s voice is so high-pitched that most cannot hear him. This means that nobody knows his real name: Archibald Wesley Haversham-Winstanley IV. Though this doesn’t bother him as he was born deaf.

 

Stacey is rather athletic. She is bisexual, has an obsession with the size of her derriere and is lactose intolerant.

Stacey is rather athletic. She is bisexual, has an obsession with the size of her derriere and is lactose intolerant.

Kingdoms – Old story

Another old one, written around five years ago (but with some minimal tweaks). I think this was more a cathartic exercise than an attempt to write a serious story, but I thought I would share anyway.

 

Kingdoms

I pace the balcony, sliding my fingers across the polished railing as I soak in the gentle warmth of the evening sun, looking out across my kingdom, seeing smoke rising from the chimneys as the people below live their lives. From up here I can see everything, from the mountains in the west to the sea in the east. It is a small kingdom, but it is a proud kingdom, known for its scholars and hardy working class. On the other side of the mountains, accessible by a winding mountain path and some abandoned tunnels lies another kingdom. The neighbouring kingdom is smaller and is known for its art and the stubborn but lovable nature of its people. Relations with this kingdom were always amiable, trade boomed and communication was near constant during the golden years. Messengers were sent constantly down the winding pass, often crossing paths and needing only to exchange messages midway. Calls for aid were sent by smoke over the mountains and were always answered with the utmost haste.

The earliest events between the two kingdoms involved aid in war, during the start of my reign my armies strayed into enemy territory and were outnumbered 5 to 1, a call for aid was sent out and our neighbours responded valiantly, fighting to the last man. The greatest turning point was when the neighbouring kingdom was devastated by a mighty armada. The damage far exceeded anything the kingdom had experienced; all the fires, earthquakes and sieges combined had not caused this much devastation and the citizens required aid desperately. The kingdom was unanimous in its democratic decision to aid those in dire need; we provided it swift and effectively, we sent aid constantly, food, materials for repairs, soldiers to protect the cities and allowed many to migrate to our strong kingdom, doing anything we possibly could. They were built up to full strength again, able to support our nation during brief times of famine and other such times of need. There were times when the two kingdoms appeared as one, merging together, uniting to fight common foes, disasters and times of strife.

The balance was sadly not to last; as populations increased so did tension, seemingly exponentially. The first signs were when we began trade with another country; although the trade was short-lived it had massive effects economically on the relationship between ourselves and our closest neighbours. They also began trade with others, setting in motion a political movement which sought to deny immigration from my kingdom, and sadly they succeeded. We sent envoys over to negotiate a change but acquiescence was not on the cards, instead they chose to deny there being an issue. Messengers were now struggling to get over the mountains as harsh winters blanketed the mountains in snow and ice. When the snows receded, communication did not return to its previous level as one would expect. Trade had been cut off almost completely; our export rate far exceeded our imports as they suddenly only required amenities they could not acquire elsewhere.

There were times when my people were able to enter through their gates, though they were often glared at and ignored by the people there. They had started letting waves of immigrants in from the countries they were now trading with, immigrants who had no respect for my citizens and were prone to excessive violence. This exacerbated things between us; we declared war on the countries of the immigrants and sought to wipe them out, further alienating our once loving neighbours. Our efforts at war were feeble as we were struggling from lack of support and sufficient information on our opponents, resulting in a few squandered skirmishes which did nothing effective. It was a useless waste of valuable life which only resulted in a divide within my own kingdom.

A shift in opinion occurred amongst my people and I hastened to listen. It was decided that a peace offering would be made, but before we could manage it a band of warriors set off across the path with a desire only for blood. A veritable pogrom ensued in the streets of our once beloved neighbours; with none spared as men I once called my own massacred many. The kingdom retaliated understandably and caused as much damage to us, if not more. They blocked up the winding pass and attempted to destroy the tunnels underneath the mountain. I sent many messengers out with a desperately deluded desire for reconciliation, both over and under the mountains. Communication slowly somehow started again and hope arose on the horizon once more, but it came at a cost.

A new age had begun within the other kingdom with a new king taking the throne. This new monarch was ruthless, waging wars against any who stood in his way, encouraging the raping and pillaging of many an innocent village. He was known for mercilessly entering towns post-battle and selecting from the people there. He chose women for his harem and men to be slaughtered for his entertainment. All hope was lost and communication stopped once again, coming as a unanimous decision from the people. The difference this time was that it was not blocked; instead we welcomed visitors from our neighbouring kingdom and trade picked up again naturally as the hostility subsided. We heard many stories from the kingdom with the appearance that another revolution was due, we hoped for deposition or abdication of the ruler, though we knew that our hope was in vain, for now. Instead, a new line of religious teaching had infiltrated their society, which came as a huge surprise to us as we had been embracing it this entire time. The king had new advisers who were devout yet naïve, so through them we set up new relations and can only look to the future in hope of success with new means of building broken ties.

I pace the balcony, sliding my fingers across the polished railing as I soak in the gentle warmth of the evening sun, looking out across my kingdom, seeing smoke rising from the chimneys as the people below live their lives. We are stronger again and the people below me are back to living their lives as they should, with hope. I look to the west at the winding pass as a horse-drawn carriage loaded with goods starts the arduous trip through the night, a sign of things looking up. I look to the east and see calm waters, stretching out into the unknown. There is less hope in the unknown so my gaze travels to the west again and I smile, strengthened by the vicissitudes permeating our relationship with our brethren over the mountains, embracing the experience of the traversal of devastation to find a new state of equilibrium. I smile again and return to my chambers, sleep will bring the future closer and I am eager to see what it holds.

 

[2012 edit: it held war with others, resulting in some aid from the west. Perhaps another tale to be told…]

Oooold story – What Dreams Are Made Of

I think this may have been the first time I wrote a story just for the fun of it. I don’t like reading it back and have tweaked it a little since I wrote it around five years ago.

 

What Dreams Are Made Of

 

The wind blew through the fields, creating wild patterns in the cereal, tossing them about with not a care in the world. The cereal had little knowledge of what moved them, simply that they did and that they should resist. They stuck firmly in the ground but started to give into temptation. They danced and they danced, embracing the powerful wind as though it had the same desires, blissfully ignorant to impending dangers as the dance took them over almost completely. They remained stationary at the roots, yet their dances became more vivid and complex. They would never be the same again and they knew it, but caring was not on the agenda any more.

In the next field was a simple cousin, most commonly known as grass. These were as unwitting as their relatives, but in a way which contrasted greatly. They had the desire to spread, to force themselves into the world, also not caring for consequences. They spread across the land as far as they could, but space here had been exhausted, there was only one direction to go now and that was up. They forced themselves up and up, ignoring the demise of their brethren. For in this field came a different danger, the wind was no real issue here, except for the highest climbers who often fell foul to the desire to dance free. This new danger thwarted their plans mercilessly. It devoured the high risers, yet the young did not care, they had their aspirations and certain failure would not stop them. They rose high and were picked off one by one, sent to one of seven dank pits to be transformed into something new.

In the first field the dance stopped abruptly. A mechanical menace came and reduced them to nothing more than their lowly cousins. Their remains were taken away, crushed and mixed relentlessly with others, then blasted in a furnace of unforgiving fire.

These were dark times for both, the cereal was crushed and burnt, whilst the grass took a more drawn out path. In the dank pit the grass was rapidly transformed by bacteria, until spewed out in a vat and left to rot over time.

The cereal and grass in their now unrecognisable forms ended up in a new location very close together. Both were being kept in cool, dark holding areas, preparing for a big event, hoping not to miss the small window of opportunity.

They were to be united; the chance was slim, yet they had faith. This faith held strong and they battled through extreme doubt until the moment finally came. The cereal came first, burning with what could seem like anger to the untrained eye, but then came the grass, and they burnt passionately together, becoming one.

Pretentious Poetry

In September 2009 I was apparently inspired, whilst gardening, to write some pretentious poetry (supposedly nonsense, but I may have put meaning into them, and it seems that part of me thought that they were ironically pretentious, but I don’t even remember writing them). By the looks of it I liked the letter A.

 

Antithalian Apocatastasis

A panoply of crescendos sound the alarms,
Magniloquence interred.
Scholars and saints malevolently disarmed,
Perpetuation incipient.
Virulent perversion deified,
Apotheosis complete.
Putrefaction of souls fortified,
Sheol for the masses.
Apocalyptic signs in breakfast cereals,
Conflagration praised.
Elected supremacists gain life ethereal,
Abacinate the convoluted.
The end is nigh, all sinners die!
The end is nigh!

Misanthropy Veiled in Amorous Rhetoric

Deserved denigration, denied
Noetic rumination, denied
Veracious tergiversation, denied
Je t’aime, ik hou van jouw, nakupenda!
It’s good to be alive?

Aroynt Apocalyptic Ariolaters!

Apotropaic intentions auspicated,
Amanuenses venerated,
Arcifinious ignorance propagated,
Acidulous dissent eradicated,
Absterge!
Absterge!

Arms

I appear to have written this in 2008 and it was one of the first stories I took seriously. I wrote a few others around the same time, but none are saved on my computer, so they may take a while to track down.

 

Arms

The first signs of possible change came when the fingers went numb. This was hardly seen as an obstacle for normal life, as typing became only slightly clumsier and writing does not come from the fingertips. These signs were easily ignored and left to progress at their will. When the fingers became sore the ignorance continued, thoughts such as “I will see a doctor if it gets any worse” permeated the mind and self-diagnosis of over-working cold hands became almost dogmatic. It is easy to convince oneself that it couldn’t be anything serious, after all, serious things don’t creep up on you right? They surely always make themselves noticed right away or they would not be serious n’est-ce pas?

Typing had now become very stiff and laboured, writing became illegible and any attempt at drawing could be no more complicated than a stick-man at best. The thought of picking up any instrument became a laughable affair, if you have that sort of sense of humour, most of us would simply wince. Of course, excuses can be made to get out of almost anything, though eyebrows are likely to be raised when you refuse to shake hands in church because you have oil on your hands. There are times where we all like to think ourselves as warriors, battling to triumph over adversity, safe in the knowledge that old adages such as ‘God helps those who help themselves’ may somehow prove true.

By now it was no longer just the body which was affected; the mind was starting to go too. The doors were kept firmly shut, work was quit and all appointments and plans cancelled. Luckily it is easier to be reclusive in this day and age with such revolutions as internet shopping available to even those with dysfunctional digits. So what if mundane tasks were no longer achievable, such as fastening buttons on clothing? So what if hobbies are no longer manageable as they require use of the hands? So what if a social life is impossible when hiding from the world? So what if painkillers do nothing to numb the intense agony that clings to your most useful limbs as though they have become one in the same? As long as you can make decisions it’s not the end of the world right?

Life had become a repetitive nightmare, with pain being the most constant aspect. Frustration had performed a spectacular coup d’état on the mind, overthrowing a pleasant blend of truly democratic emotions. Something had to be done. Changes were needed. They had to be drastic. Time was running out. What to do? Increasing the dosage of painkillers was achieving nothing, creams and lotions were more painful to apply than beneficial, even after the immense feat of removing the packaging and lid. A rash decision had to be made and one particular risk sprang to mind, determination to end this all kicked in and thoughts were put into action.

In the shed outside was a set of rarely used tools, neglected and left eagerly awaiting to be used on even the most tedious of tasks, still somehow retaining their original polish. If you entered the shed you would swear you could hear excited murmurs as they watched to see who you picked. Today the saw was seemingly in luck, removed from its resting place for the first time in what must have seemed like a decade to such an underused piece of equipment. If it knew what it was going to be used for it would have tried to have hidden itself under the lawnmower or behind the rake.

As the right arm was the least functional the saw was brandished in the left, its shiny surface reflecting an expression of anxiety mingled with a maniacal, determined glare. Just below the right elbow the first mark was made, the saw’s teeth sliced effortlessly through the flesh, tainting its polished sheen with the stain of blood. The left arm drew back and forth clumsily, making the job take far longer than intended. Blood was spewing forth rapidly as the pain surpassed the previous agony. With a sickening crunch the saw hit bone and the sawing halted. The effort was too grand, but the determination surpassed it. As the sawing recommenced, the world started to blur, the pain subsided slightly and actions repeated as though they required no brain to power them, they simply had their own momentum.

After the last of the bone had been sawn through, the limb hung limp. Dangling flesh was difficult to continue sawing through and any rational mind would have found another method, but as is probably obvious, rationality was nowhere to be found. As the blood rushed out of the arm as though in a race to leave the body, the last of the flesh was hacked off until only a ragged stump remained. Before realisation could kick in that the job was only half complete with no means to finish it, the whole world went black and consciousness left the body.

It took a while before the remains were found; being a recluse can be quite risky as it leaves nobody to pick up the pieces. Whoever was unfortunate enough to find it would have probably been incredibly baffled by the horrific scene lying before their eyes. I do not envy them.

Story for Frankie 2

This appears to have been written in 2010 or earlier. It is another story written for my friend Frankie, though I don’t remember writing it. I tried to be clever this time by the looks of it.

For Frankie

Five hundred years ago, or possibly just last week, though it may even be in the future, Frankie, Steve, Jason and a frog called Fred, set off on a frightfully fun adventure which resulted in them getting lost; stuck in a place nobody could identify (which is usually what happens when one is lost). Fruit trees grew there, fruitfully, as they are wont to do. Fortuitously there was a cheery atmosphere about the place, so Steve spent his time reciting Shakespeare.

“Full fathom five thy father lies:

Of his bones are coral made;

Those are pearls that were his eyes:

Nothing of him that doth fade,

But doth suffer a sea-change

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:

Hark! now I hear them, –

Ding, dong, bell.”

Flies flew around their heads, which makes one wonder if flies would be flies with any other name. Frantically, Jason tried to figure out where they were by climbing a funny looking fig tree. Frankie did not have time to warn him that this funny looking fig tree was not a fig tree at all, in fact, it looked nothing like one. Fred the frog had never seen such a big lion, which is not surprising considering he has never seen a normal sized lion either. Forty feet above their heads stood the shoulder of the great beast, with a fine mane of fabulous fur.

Running, running, running, ran the trio, with Fred the frog hidden in a random pocket. Right into a cave they ran, leaving the ridiculously large lion behind. Rustling sounds echoed around the cave, when, suddenly, light rapidly filled it, revealing that the rustling was Steve searching for matches in his pockets, only to find a torch instead. Royal riches filled the cave, always conveniently tucked just out of torchlight, so nobody actually spotted them. Ribbiting away, the frog relaxed in the splendour of safety, whilst the others rambled and ranted on about their narrow escape, rationalising the day’s events. Really the lion was a fake; fakely it was a fake too.

After a while our ambitious heroes got restless and decided to venture out of the cave, Steve was anxious, Jason apathetic, Frankie austere, and the frog amphibious. Austerity was not the actual trait Frankie was displaying, it just sounded good. As they travelled onwards, through dense forests with apples and aubergines, through swamps filled with adders and the occasional subtractor, they grew weary and tired. A lot of people in this situation would have simply realised it was a dream and woken up, but that is such a poor way to end a story.

Nearly nine days into their adventure supplies had ran out. Nappies had been used up, but nobody knows who used them. Naturally they ate the frog, grilled over a simple fire. Normally hints of cannibalism arise in the narrative, but not here. North of their position, only about two miles away, there was a Nandos, but they were not to know, so they soldiered on with only frog in their bellies and thankfully not in their throats. Not much happened in the next three days, except a random tribe which practically deified them and fed them heartily, even offered them virgin brides; Jason took three but lost them later on down the back of the settee.

Kings and a queen they became, but royalty did not suit them. Kakistocracy is the correct term for the government they formed. Kangaroo-like steeds were given to them as a gift in order to get rid of them, though we call these things horses normally and they look nothing like kangaroos. Kiwis don’t either, but you should know that already.

It might be obvious, but the letter K is not an easy one to play around with. Irrelevant as it may have been to point that out, it does distract from the fact that not much is going on in the story except a lot of horse riding. Imagine riding horses through dense forest for days on end and that is what our protagonists were going through. If you don’t find that boring then you don’t need to know what came next. In one of the fastest manoeuvres in history, the travelling troupe were flanked by an army of frogs, intent on revenge. Ignominiously they surrendered, but as the frogs were French they were beaten to it. Ideally only one side surrenders, but in this interesting situation both sides did and instead went back to their opposition’s base.

Every single one of the frogs never returned, they just wandered aimlessly looking for a non-existent base. Each of our heroes had everything in the frog camp to eat, enough to feed eight armies, including some of the frog guards to eat too. Ecstasy in belly form was experienced by all, after which they fell asleep. Except that it didn’t happen like that, this was exaggerated, there were no guards to be eaten and the food could only feed six-and-a-half armies at a push. Even so, they slumbered on and entered a dream world where crazy things happen constantly.

 

End. The.

Story for Frankie

Here is another story from 2007. I wrote it for my friend Frankie, she must have been in need of cheering up, or was bored, or maybe I was bored, who knows? Either way, I wrote some nonsense for her.

 

Story for Frankie

One day Frankie and I were out walking, the sky smelt of marshmallow and there was the sound of indigo all around. We had no specific place to be so we thought we should go in search of an eatery which would sell our favourite meal. This happened to be honey coated magpie, which is a rare delicacy found on an obscure island off the coast of West Africa.

As we were nowhere near Africa we just wandered aimlessly, talking about the sound a baby’s eyes make and what numbers feel like. We passed many a flying toaster, but as they are so common we ignored them, singing songs about that mermaid I met last week in Tesco (she was rather obese so the songs were quite cruel) and skipping along. Skipping was rather tricky as the ground appeared to be made of chocolate and the Sun was out, though we skipped on, albeit slowly.

That was when we were picked up and put in a cupboard in between the Weetabix and the flour. Inside the flour, buried deep, were a few cabbages, 10 tins of beans and more Weetabix (but no milk). It is rather fortunate that I carry a spade in my pocket on every third Thursday of the month.

We got rather comfortable in that cupboard but sadly had to leave due to Frankie’s donkey allergies. Apparently the DNA link between donkeys and Weetabix is very close and when the wind is blowing in a green direction it can affect those with allergies. Frankie didn’t even know this, the man with the beard told us in 3 days time, I can’t wait!

As we now could no longer stay in the cupboard we carried on wandering, through the forest full of houses, through the meadow full of trees, through the orchard of sand and the valley of mountains. It was a grand adventure which finally ended when we reached the lake.

The lake was packed full of ridiculous looking creatures such as ducks and swans. The water reflected the light from my shoes and lit up our armpits. Deep inside our armpits a portal was opened to another dimension. (This can happen once a month if you face south with a fish named Joe in your pocket, which I carry next to my spade.)

Eagerly, we both jumped through each other’s portals, which was a tricky, well choreographed manoeuvre which shouldn’t have worked but did. At first we had no idea where we were, there was a putrid smell emanating from the smooth, soft ground, with strange trees growing around. The ground appeared to be leaking what appeared to be water but which carried the aforementioned stench.

It was then that we realised that this dimension was in fact my own armpit inside our own dimension. We had no idea how to get back, so we simply sat on a rug and counted to ruby but both fell asleep before we got that high.

We were woken abruptly by the sound of hair and found that we were in our own beds at the foot of the castle. It was even snowing purple, or maybe green, I always muddle those two up.

From then on we have gone about our lives as though our adventure never happened.

Easter 2007

This is the oldest piece of writing I can find on my computer. I didn’t really write much back then and have corrected a couple of errors but have tried to leave it as is (like many, I hate reading old writing). It is just a silly piece about what I did during Easter, written as a blog post.

Easter 2007

Thought I’d add yet another blog and fill you in on my pretty average Easter.

My Easter started quite dull, I had some work to do on Saturday the 31st and was not pleased. I woke up late with some small creature jumping up and down on my head, after it had laid its furry eggs in my throat. One of the eggs cracked and filled up my stomach. This persisted throughout the day and made everything that bit more difficult. After the usual morning routine I decided it was time to work and went off to the mines as per usual, only to find that the network was closed and my tunnel could not be accessed.

This was quite distressing as I hadn’t met my quota for the year so far and meant that I would have to return to the mine quite soon to finish it off. But for the time being I focused on the journey ahead. I was heading back to Conan’s Burgh in the Shire of York, approximately 88,000 miles away, which believe me, when you have a small creature on your head banging his drums (I forgot to mention the drums, how could I ever forget?) it can be quite unbearable.

The quickest way to get there would be in the bowels of a giant grey worm, I thought. Little did I know that the worms often get too full and rather ‘sluggish’ so to speak, and so take a little longer than expected. To make it more bearable I put a tiny band in each of my ears and allowed them to serenade me whilst the giant worm ploughed onwards.

Eventually I got home to Conan’s Burgh and was promptly taken to the Tick Hill (home of the famous Cock fair) to feast in honour of the 79th anniversary of the birth of my mother’s mother. The feast was amazing, with creamy mash, I had half a cow and a full roast pig to myself too. I was offered the chance to party in old Danum that night, though I turned it down, having just gotten rid of the creature on my head (and his incessant drum banging).

The following day I remember little, except that I once more stepped inside the giant grey worm and headed back to get ready to work the next morning. It was rather similar to the previous day, though with no little creature.

Upon waking the next day, I returned to the mine and found that my tunnel was accessible and got to work as fast as I could. I believe I met my quota, so I returned back on the worms again to Conan’s Burgh, this time for a slightly longer stay.

The next two days were spent with my children, playing with them, teaching them and just having a good time. I wish I could have had more time with them, but sadly they had to go.

The Thursday was spent with my twin sister Naomi and our cousin Siobhan, heading back to my place of work. Naomi is fortunate to have a nice metal chariot, which we rode back to the mine, just so I could hand in my paperwork on time. Thanks to her generosity (though I fed the horses) I treated them both to a hearty meal. I myself had the side of cow, before we headed back on what turned out to be a long, tedious journey.

Good Friday came around and I did not venture to the place of worship, nor did I visit the Tick Hill Cock Fair. Instead I met an old friend of mine, a farmer. We stood in a field and right before my eyes he created a whole landscape, with sky, trees, buildings, everything, right before my very eyes. In honour of his skills I toasted him with a drink and played my music to him with the skills which my hands possess.

The next day I ventured into Danum with my mother and proceeded to pick out a lady for me to play with. I set my eyes on one sooner than I had imagined. She had beautiful curves, a brunette who felt good in my hands. I felt comfortable holding her, and as I got used to handling and caressing her she made the most beautiful sounds. I knew that no other could match her, so we paid her owner and she will live with me from my 21st birthday onwards.

That evening I joined the farmer again along with another friend in the vicarage. We drank merrily as I serenaded them, talking into the night. The farmer once again demonstrated his skill at creating life with just his hands and then I gave it a go too. John, the other friend, showed us his ability to create relationships between tiny people he created, it was all very fascinating.

The next day started rather early, and I ventured out to the castle with my friends to help erect a large marquis and some barriers. Then we relaxed in the magnificent weather, playing songs and chatting away. More friends joined us and we even jumped on a small castle which had been erected in front of the castle proper.

I then returned to my place of living and had another feast prepared by my mother whilst watching tiny people in a box perform a play to us. I then ventured out with my friend and our trusty hounds on a quest of no particular purpose except to have been somewhere.

The next 2 days were spent in the acre of Bess, creating music with my cousin and a dear friend. We ended said creative session by going out around Danum consuming fine alcohol in many establishments. The night ended for me when I decided to trek 50 miles home through many dangerous territories, due to my honed skills I managed it unscathed.

I awoke the next morning and ventured out on more giant worms, out to a valley to live with one of my future wives. There I consumed large amounts of cheese, watched tiny men duel in a box and attempted to drink alcohol, though some dwarves managed to steal it from me. I was then introduced to a strange creature who vomited far too much and took it upon myself to clean up his mess, by then the dwarves had taken all of my precious alcohol.

The next morning I decided to be a bit lazy and ventured out with my dear friend Lord Duncan and found a huge cliff face where we sat and watched battle commence below us.

We returned and played games until Kate (the future wife) made us a delectable feast and we drank merrily into the night. The next day was spent sadly leaving the house of Kate, though a long and arduous journey lay ahead for my friend and I. We first took the liberty of drinking more beer, before leaving for a place where I believe old ham is kept. This place flew the flag of the red rose, which is not one which we like to associate with, though we were hungry and needed feeding. We took our time choosing the place to eat, and although the food was good, we were heavily overcharged.

We promptly left this place and ventured on the worms all the way to our separate homes, which took a very long time. Upon returning I decided to have a few beverages in some fine establishments in the land of Conan’s Burgh and ended up staying out all night. The night ended with me playing with the serpent of an old friend, before returning home, I was not fit for the trip to Jorvik the next day so I had a nice relaxing day to round off my Easter.

The End