May competition

Thu, Apr 30 2015 09:51pm IST 1
Stephen Mark
Stephen Mark
1707 Posts

OK. You wake up in a strange place. You try to remember how you got there... In your mind you run through the events leading up to it. There was somebody, or something... and now you're here. Is this reality; a dream; are you even alive?

Max. 450 words. Good luck...

Thu, Apr 30 2015 10:02pm IST 2
2521 Posts
Blimey... *pinches herself* Aow.
Thu, Apr 30 2015 10:54pm IST 3
Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1072 Posts
so you've described me waking up in the morning lol.
Fri, May 1 2015 07:02am IST 4
1190 Posts
as Mashie says, welcome to my world.
Fri, May 1 2015 10:46am IST 5
1328 Posts
You've been watching Hangover III again!
Fri, May 1 2015 01:31pm IST 6
1328 Posts

Caution - extreme language


I lift my head slowly. Feels like it’s full of cold porridge. My neck strains to support the weight. My eyes can’t open. All I hear are voices - accusing voices.

‘Why her?’

‘How could you?’

‘You bastard!’

‘Still alive?’

‘I’ll show you!’

‘Get him up!’

‘Can you hear me?’

‘On your feet, cunt!’

‘Leave him there!’

A ten ton truck smacks into my back. A crack. Then black...

I lift my head slowly. Feels like it’s full of cold porridge. My neck strains to support the weight. My eyes can’t open. All I hear are voices - accusing voices.

‘Fuck you, asshole!’

‘That was my fucking sister!’

‘Kill the wanker!’

‘Kick ‘is fuckin’ tits off!’

‘Get the hammer.’

‘Smash your fucking teeth in, cunt!’

A billion volts rocket through my skull. Then black...

I lift my head slowly. Feels like it’s full of cold porridge. My neck strains to support the weight. My eyes can’t open. All I hear are voices - accusing voices.

‘What are you kid’s doing?’

‘Who the hell is this?’

‘That’s not him, you twats!’

‘Now what do we do?’

‘Get the fuck rid of ‘im!’

A train ploughs into what’s left of my face. Then black...

I lift my head slowly. Feels like it’s full of cold porridge. My neck strains to support the weight. My eyes can’t open. All I hear are voices - accusing voices.

‘Why didn’t you get him in here sooner?’

‘Why did they let this happen?’

‘500, clear!’

My heart explodes. Then I remember. It wasn’t me, but it’s too late now.

260 words

Fri, May 1 2015 06:29pm IST 7
Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1072 Posts


I woke between jungle and sea, to the tang of salt. There were three suitcases and an aeroplane seat on the beach. Bleached luggage labels. I rifled through the cases. I found a knife, a water bottle, biscuits, matches, paper, a radio - and headed inland. It took three hours to climb out of the trees and onto the top of a rock plug, from which I could see that this was an island. I sheltered the night in a scoop of the south cliff, and lit a fire.

In the morning Jeff, an Australian, and Michiko, a Japanese girl, found me. They couldn't remember the accident either. I found a faint voice on the radio. There was some disaster unfolding. I didn't want to waste the batteries. We saw some light reflecting from one of the beaches. Jeff came back later that day with three more people. Nobody could remember anything, but we knew we were the lucky ones. None of us had any injuries. We located a small waterfall, and set up a camp near my beach, where we collected all the flotsam that had washed up around the coast. There were cargo nets which we adapted for fishing, knives we used for many things - spearheads for killing, and for splitting coconuts. Between us we had enough to survive - someone had even found medicines.

I became the unofficial leader. I had the ability to organise and keep people calm. Michiko was highly strung, but bright and efficient. There were two other women. The most desirable was Birgit from Sweden, but she was sly, and we were wary of her. We had bonfires on the beach. I would go up to the rock first thing every morning when the reception was at its best. A picture emerged. There had been a massive solar flare, which had caused a permanent hole in the magnetosphere. The electronic systems on which society relied had collapsed - satellite, banking, power stations - everything had failed, and the voice became more desperate, until one day it stopped.

But we survived.

Then one dawn a liferaft came. In it there were six more people. How they had lived all this time at sea they couldn't say They had with them boxes of survival rations. It was one of them, Pieter, who challenged my authority, and we almost came to blows. He said that none of this could be true. Look at us he said. None of us can remember anything. Look at all the things we've found in these bags, just what we need.

But what about the voice on the radio?” I said.

Michiko moved next to Pieter. “He's right. It's all too good to be true”.

Fri, May 1 2015 06:30pm IST 8
Mashie Niblick
Mashie Niblick
1072 Posts
450 words plus title
Sat, May 2 2015 11:51am IST 9
1 Posts
Supposed to be

Leaves talk in Mexican waves of motion and she comes back into herself. There, tangled around her fingers is a delicate strand of pale rose. Sunlight, filtered through the tree canopy and tinted that very particular shade of gold glistens in the turns and twists of its softness. She moves her hand closer, wondering at the beauty of the thread and it stretches too quickly, breaking. She watches the end of the other half swing back towards her naked body and settle against her leg, lining a thin stain from the top of her knee back up her inner thigh.

Trying to recapture the moment, she closes her eyes and softens the muscles in her forehead deliberately, allowing her vision to sink inward. The fingers of the hand she holds in front of her body pulse. The action is so slight it might not actually be movement, only the memory of it. Whatever it is, her fingers pulse within the glossy tangle to a familiar beat.

A memory must be a familiar thing. Something that remains of a real moment. The part of the moment that sinks its claws into the flesh of her mind because it is terrified to be overlooked.

“I see you.”

“Don’t look at me!”

Regardless of a seeming desire to remain unseen, the claws tear gently and remind her it is there. It hurts.
Vision blurs and a wave of the disappearing feeling washes through her again as the pulsing rhythm quickens. The beauty of the thread in her hand now not as important as this rope of magnificent pain undulating through her entire body. She lifts her arm overhead so both hands can grasp the hanging vine of looped cloth. Twisting her arms into the cloth like a trapeze artist does before being lifted and spun high above a breathless crowd, her private performance continues to twirl her awareness in spirals. It hurts.

“See me!”

“Who are you?”

She spins out into some place beyond her self, the loose coils of the rhythm wrapping gradually tighter about her. This is not the way it is supposed to be! She throws silent queries like streamers into the void, but cannot recall. She hears only echos of supposed to be. So it is just her imagination then. They told her it would be beautiful.

She doesn’t want to come, but there is a sense of urgency for her return and the warm rush of fluid bathing her legs pulls her back. Releasing the hanging support she falls to her knees, and her digging fingers release a dark scent. Earth, rich with urgent life.

Pushing, she finally remembers.

“I see you.”

“I know you.”

(450 words including title)
Sat, May 2 2015 06:35pm IST 10
2370 Posts

Resurrected a couple of characters from my Jan 2014 comp entry especially for this...

356 words

The unknown moved closer, inch by suffocating inch. I felt the weight of it moving upwards, wrapping itself around me like an iron blanket until it lay heavy on my chest and the pressure of it became unbearable. I strained my ears for the slightest noise even as I sucked air into my lungs and realised I couldn’t hear the sound of my own breathing. My heart faltered and I knew that if I was ever going to make sense of this feeling, I had to open my eyes.

The unknown caught and held my gasp as I forced my eyelids open and gazed upon a lapis lazuli sky with eyes that could not possibly be mine. Deep blue shot through with silver. Rose quartz clouds embroidered with threads of crimson. A tapestry of colour and a colour so intense it was painful - yet the pain was a validation of my existence. I felt the weight of the unknown lessen.

Should I be surprised that I was outside? That I lay upon a bed of frost-tipped heather? No, it seemed… right.

A breath of chill wind brushed my face and, in the breath, a scent of home so sharp I felt the nearness of it even though I knew, without knowing how, that home was forever away.

Memory stirred.

There was a building at midnight and a dragon, small and green. How long ago was that? Did we really jump from the roof together?

I remember the fear of falling and the fear-turned-to-exhilaration of flying; the pain of being and the realisation of who I was and what I would become. I remember the scream torn from my throat as the genetic knowledge of my kind flooded my consciousness and overwhelmed my mind. Darkness beckoned and I spiralled towards it.

I remember I was not alone.


I heard the thrum of his heartbeat and his touch on my mind. Bigger somehow, yet wary.

Needlessly wary.

The weight of the unknown evaporated and I stretched then, watching the sun reflect the light from red-gold scales as my wings unfurled.

‘Got any jellybeans, lady?’ he said.

Mon, May 4 2015 01:21pm IST 11
1751 Posts

– and I dreamt I was flying through the air, how I got there I couldn't say but it was beautiful, nice, very very peaceful. There were others but we didn't really chat, just floated there taking it all in. A V of birds transited below us, angling across shadowed green fields.

As I hurtled through the sky I noted what I could see, a town, a spire. The sheep were walking in circles, isn't that strange, though it made me chuckle at the time. Thinking back, that should have been my first clue maybe not even the first, maybe the twenty-fifth, but as I say, I was enjoying myself and yet somewhere in my mind there was some chore or task that I had to do but you know how it is when you're relaxed, you can never remember those things, so there was that but also this sense that something big had happened, not necessarily a terrible thing but definitely something, some event of great import that would either free us or sicken us … my mind tended toward sicken … and then this one thing this one thing left that I couldn't find the energy for, oh well it must not have been that important after all.

Anyway back to the flying and guess what, even that was being sullied, my stupid conscience telling me I wasn't supposed to be doing it, I had learned how but had violated some moral law in the process, that kind of thinking has certain people written all over it, and as I spun round and round I caught glimpses of a ribbon a ribbon of colour in the sky and what was it from before, a bang or something … I wish I could remember … but the sun oh the sun refracting through this ribbon, okay now that over there, that's odd I could have sworn I saw a dark shape spiralling down into the trees though I cant see it now no something's not right, there's too much wind its too loud, i'm supposed to be on the ground not tumbling through the air at immeasurable speeds whats happened? whats gone wrong? do i have to do something say something a song a prayer because if i don't i'll wham straight into the ground oh oh the ground is rushing up at me you cant imagine how fast and you dont believe in no-win situations because your mind doesnt let you oh what a time to forget how to fly this is going to hurt please get it over with i miss my children my family dog home friends so much what a mess dammit –

# 447 words
Tue, May 5 2015 05:53am IST 12
2157 Posts

Wet patch [some language].

Wet patch.

That’s what woke me. Still wet. So recent enough to be remember. To know who.


And anyway, fucking unlikely. Fucking unlikely.

Not my room though. Knew that even before I moved. Too small. Face too near the wall.

How do I know that, eyes tight shut because other senses better used first? Some sort of sonar. Like bats. Or cats – what whiskers are for.

Smell. Absences also says not mine. Lacks my potpourri of books body-lotion (smells like chocolate) dust wood pillows clothes clean clothes dirty. Whisky in the jar, oh. Used to think that was Giro. Not a bad idea.

Instead, presence of clean. Sick-bowl cleanliness. Polish.

Which points again to fucking unlikely. No skin sweat-stuck together. No salty, seaweed shortbread biscuit on my lips. Nor palms. No hairs in mouth. So, that confirms. Fucking extremely unlikely.

Which is not to say – Been more than a few throughout the years. Some accident and some design. Some accidents lead to other wetnesses. As did the legitimate. Christ, didn’t they? Long gone. Dealing with wet patches of their own nowadays. But more than a few years.

Anyway. Let’s, as Alanis said, talk about me for a while. Like where am I. Because, also wrong noise. Inside switched on turned to inaudible radio. Why? Outside murmur squeak squeal. Bustle rustle beep So. Not my room, nor that of man. Ha! ‘man’ I say.

Dimensions. No! not that! Good Christ I’m smiling, knowing. I’d’ve certainly remembered if it’d been him, even as I stretch my hands out. Even as I find size signifies after all, because this, this bed – knew that without thinking – is barely three foot wide.


So if it, the wet patch isn’t come, like I first assumed it was, what is it? Next obvious answer is I’ve wet myself.

Oh charming. Pissing in someone else’s bed. It’d have to be an accident, like, I was unconscious. I mean, I’m not that uncivilised.



No. Not that. I’ve just remembered. Not a flashback but a flash to now. Well, not long ago. Because I did ... my thoughts now tiny because I hate to say it, admit it, I did ... but I did piss myself. Christmas Day. When I’d been invited.

This isn’t piss. I know the smell of that. Ammonia.

Christmas Day.

I’d’ve preferred to stay at home. Be on my own, but he wouldn’t have it. Even though She didn’t want me there Was cross.

Because of crosses on the stalks of Brussels sprouts.

Snatched vegetable knife. Probably was an accident.

Colour’s a sense of sorts.

I touch again. Bring my fingers to my face. Open my eyes.

Blood red.

Green zig-zag beeping.

[450 words]

Tue, May 5 2015 06:23pm IST 13
2530 Posts

This isn’t my bedroom. Where’s Edgar?

“Edgar! Edgar! Why am I in the spare room?”

Only I’m not in the spare room.. Sheets feel wrong. All slimy. Not my sheets. I wouldn’t buy cheap sheets like this. What time is it, anyway? I fumble around the bedside table. What on earth? There’s someone’s dentures sitting in my glass of water. What’s going on?

My fingers eventually close around my alarm clock. It definitely is my alarm clock. I have to hold it strangely close to read the time, but it’s my clock alright. So I’m here, and my clock is here. But where is here? And whose are those teeth? Oh, and the time. Yes, I was checking the time. The clock face bumps the end of my nose as I squint at it.

“Alice! Alice! It’s eight o’clock. Hurry up Alice. You’ll be late for school!”

Must get Alice out of bed. Oh dear. Why did the alarm not go off? I never forget to set it. Never.

I get out of bed. There’s someone else’s slippers down on the floor. Great big old lady ones. With velcro fastening. Do they belong to the owner of those dentures? I’m certainly not going to put them on. They might be full of foot fungus.

Across the room I can see a chink of light through the curtains. I go to draw them. Ouch. My hip’s killing me. I don’t remember hurting it. I finally get to the curtains and pull them back. As I turn I see an old woman in the room. I scream at her and she screams back out of a toothless, witchy face. She looks deranged.

“Aaaargh. Get out of here. Help! Help!” I grab a hairbrush to hit the woman with.

A black woman in a white nurse’s uniform comes rushing into the room.

“Mrs Baxter! What are you doing out of bed? Stop trying to smash the mirror with that brush.”

“Don’t you touch me. Don’t you dare,” I say. But she does anyway. She grabs me and pushes me back into the bed. She makes me take some tablets. I plan to spit them out into the denture glass as soon as she’s gone.

I wake up. This isn’t my bedroom. Where’s Edgar?

That was a weird dream. A black nurse making me take tablets. I rub my eyes and suddenly notice a strange woman sitting in the armchair across from this bed. Who is she? What’s she doing here? She’s very plain. Middle aged. Awful cardigan on. Looks as if she’s about to cry.

“Mum,” she says. “Mum. You must know who I am. I’m Alice, Mum.”

445 words

Wed, May 6 2015 10:28pm IST 14
1404 Posts
Okay, I'm going to apologise for this one in advance. Harsh language and not very pleasant imagery. 450 words including title.

The Hitman

The world rotates at 1037 miles per hour, and as I come to, my head spins with it. Oh shit where am I? The unmistakeable scent of chloroform burns my nostrils. I've used it a thousand times, no more, but I never cared much about its effects, until now. My brain is crushed against the top of my skull. Oh fuck, I'm upside down. With each heartbeat more blood gushes in. It might burst if I don't get down.

My eyes won't fucking open. Corse thread scratches my eyeballs as they roll about in the sockets. That sick bastard actually did it. He's fucking sewn them shut. Tears trickle up my forehead. I'm not sure if it's blood. What's in my mouth? What ever it is, I can't spit it out. My mouth won't open. Something scuttles past my head. Tiny claws on wood. Then another set, and another. A squeak here, a scratch there. The pestilent stench of flee-ridden, sewer rats. I fucking hate rats.

What the fuck happened? It was supposed to be a routine hit. Fifty grand for ten minutes work, and one less drug pushing fuck-wit to poison our streets. But that cockney cunt must have been tipped off.

The gag reflex kicks in and bile falls into my mouth, I can't swallow it down, or up, because there's something blocking the way. My lips sting as the hot liquid seeps through and dribbles up my face. The searing pain dial turned up to eleven as the chloroform wears off.

My naked flesh burns as the icy air claws at my body. The deep throbbing pain between my legs is getting worse and a warm trickle rises up my stomach and across my chest. The rusty tang of blood hangs in the air. I can't believe this is how I'm going out. Hung upside down like a prize cow. It's no more than I deserve.

Far away a dog barks, a fucking big one. Not a friendly pass my ball bark, more an if you don't feed me i'm going to eat you bark.

The memory floods into my brain. Him in my sights. One quick depress and his brain would spread across the wall. I waited for him to turn, to see the whites of his eyes, but it wasn't him. Then a hand gripped nose and mouth. Vapours filled my head, and my eyes burned as I drifted away...'Never fuck with family. I want 'im to feel pain. Make 'im swallow his cock, an' then fuckin' feed 'im to fuckin fluffy.'

The door rattles against the wall. A rumbling growl rises to crescendo. Hot breath brushes my face. Fluffy.


Wed, May 6 2015 10:53pm IST 15
Dr J
Dr J
114 Posts


A drop of water clings to the edge of the tap, quivers then plummets into the sink with a plop. Another has already formed and I watch it tremble and fall. Drop after drop I watch. The noise of each one gets louder and louder echoing inside my head until I want to scream ‘Stop!’

My eyes flick open. I’m staring at a jagged rock face; black smeared with green, shining silver where water runs. Up close I see a drop form on a sharp ridge, it’s cool splash tickles my hand as it explodes on the hard floor.

There’s an ache in my hand. I unfurl my fingers to find a golden brooch lying on my palm. It’s radiance burns my eyes. I close them and try to remember.

I was digging. The others had gone for lunch but I wanted to carry on. Delicately I had worked at teasing the object out of the sticky red earth until I could clasp it in my hand, wiping away the dirt to reveal……a flash of light……the dripping tap…….here.

I close my fingers around the brooch and slowly get to my feet heading towards a dim flicker of light. A gasp escapes my lips and echoes around the vast chamber in which I am now standing. A column of pale yellow flame dances up from the floor filling the immense space with an oscillating incandescence. The walls of the chamber are pockmarked with small grottos. In each sits a vessel. Some squat pots of dull grey, others slender glass bottles in iridescent blues and reds, some jewel encrusted flasks others roughly made wooden boxes. I’m spinning around and around trying to take it all in, it’s extraordinary, overwhelming…….significant.


The shock forces my heart into my throat where it sits, pounding for escape.

‘Forgive me, I didn’t mean to alarm you.’

A man steps into the light, his green eyes and warm smile sparkle with kindness. He is draped in a sumptuous green cloak, elaborately embroidered with gold thread that glistens and flares in the ebb and flow of the chambers dancing flame. I’m used to the rather eclectic wardrobe of the Archeology faculty but this is something else. He has a long dark beard which has been woven into complicated plaits. I’m aware that I am staring, mouth gaping but I can’t do anything else. I’m captivated. Captive.

‘I’m so glad you could join me at last,’ he says, moving towards me, one hand outstretched. ‘Come.’

I lift my hand towards his and then I see it, a glint of silver.

‘Don’t worry,’ he soothes. ‘It won’t hurt a bit.’

440 words Smile

Wed, May 6 2015 11:31pm IST 16
477 Posts


Laura was snoring in the armchair next to the bed when I opened my eyes; empty lunch boxes and thermos flasks evidence of her constant governing.

My attention returned to my body, relieved to feel my pounding heart and hear my breath but my legs lay straight and still like pencils in a white pencil case, someone else’s pencil case.

I felt nothing. I searched for my hands as waves of panic brought nausea to my stomach.

‘Mum? I’ll call the nurse,’ I heard Laura say and she flew from the chair to the door. I tried to stay calm and used all my force to move my arms and legs. All I could manage was to wiggle my finger on my right hand.

Laura returned with a nurse dressed in a blue overall. Her face was full of hope and her eyes were eager to make contact with mine. I love you, I said through frozen lips.

After the stroke a security door slammed shut, sealing in memories of moments preceding it. That door burst open when my eyes were drawn to the photograph in Laura’s hand and I remembered the face in the mirror.

Cobalt coloured eyes were in the mirror’s reflection that night and met my white startled face: old with years of guilt and fear. In an unfathomable way- although the face of young girl - I recognised my baby.

It felt like shock. Shock when at 14 years of age you are catapulted into adulthood. You’re going to have a child, Madeleine.

It felt like shock. Shock when the skin rips and you lie there in submission and watch your body produce a human being, as if of its own accord, despite your efforts to hide under layers of clothing for months.

It felt like shock. Shock like when the man you stood by all those years gets up and leaves the family home, taking your child with him, refusing to understand your past mistakes.

Confusion, astonishment and fear wrapped together like a cracker that is pulled apart till it shreds into pieces all around you; it felt like that.

It hurt to breathe, it pained me to remember but all I could do was scream. At that moment I realised I had lived in fear of this moment; of seeing her face; of hearing my name in a demand for explanations.

The truth can be covered but never forgotten.

Sat, May 9 2015 08:51pm IST 17
2283 Posts

Something Blue

Cold. Icy cold and a smell like metal that catches in the back of my throat. Butcher’s shop, my brain supplies irrationally. Except I can’t be in a butcher’s because all the lights are out. Utter darkness without even a chink of light. And why is the room moving?

A flash of memory.

A question mark.

The bride in traditional white, a small silver hair comb with blue stones held out on the palm of a hand. My hand. Important not to catch myself on the teeth of the comb. But she won’t wear it, awkward bitch, not even for the sake of something blue. I said it was bad luck and she laughed. Drastic measures were called for...

The memory slips. My head throbs. Just how much did I drink?

The dark is so absolute that I reach to check my eyelids are actually open. Or I would but I can’t move my hands. Metal cuffs are holding them tight to my sides, pressed against something cold, rubbery. Something horribly solid that smells like chilled meat...

My fingers twist, trace the outline of another hand. Pliant, chill and no doubt cyanotic if I could see it. Dead. I try to lurch away in disgust, heart pounding. I succeed only in toppling sideways, the body I’m cuffed to, falling in the deadest of weights against me, pinning me to the cold metal of the container. A box. I’m in a cold metal box that sways slightly. Drums pound a jungle rhythm in my ears, my stomach lurches but I mustn’t be sick...if I vomit I’ll be sat in that too...not just the sticky-metal-coppery-tang...the half coagulated blood I must be sitting in.... I kick out with my heels. The clang of more metal box before I’ve even straightened my legs. Ankles bound together.

The distant rumble beneath me slides the last clue into place. It’s not a hangover. I’m on a ship. In a box inside a shipping container most likely.

Chained to a corpse.

The wedding went wrong.

I remember now. The slash of crimson as it sprayed across the brides dress. The panic I expected never happening. Her cairngorm eyes drilling into me as something hard connected with my skull. The last things; the gun dropping from my nerveless fingers; the sight of the bridegroom, dead and curled like a question mark at the bride’s feet. Except there was no question. My scream mingles with the drums and the engine-grumble.

I know there will be no one to hear.

Two corpses to discover when the ship berths.

If she’d just taken the comb!

In the thick dark, behind my eyes, I see something blue.

447 words

Sat, May 9 2015 11:33pm IST 18
1170 Posts

Can’t move. Don't panic. I CAN'T MOVE! Don't panic. OhGodOhGodOhGodOhGod! I CAN'T BREATHE! Yes, you can. You can breathe. Don't panic. Only the nightmare. Lie still. Breathe in, breathe out. In. Out. See? You can breathe. You can breathe. Where am I? You’re in bed. It’s just the nightmare. Feel for the covers. Feel the softness of the duvet. Where is it? I CAN'T FEEL IT. NoNoNoNoNONO! Breathe in, breathe out. Try again. Not soft; hard. Hard and rough. OUCH! A splinter? This is real. THIS IS REAL! It's not. It’s not. It's still the nightmare. Breathe. Breathe. Think. Last movements before bedtime. Remember? Shower. Pyjamas on: the fluffy owl ones off the clothes horse because it went cold last night. Remember? Brushed teeth. Checked doors. Got into bed. Remember? Got into bed, read for a while and then went to sleep. It's the nightmare. Just breathe. It’ll stop soon. But I CAN’T MOVE! I should be able to move. I should be able to MOVE! Why can’t I move? Lie still. Just breathe. Don’t try to move. Think somewhere happy. Think paradise beach, waves lapping the shore, the smell of mangoes. I’m breathing. I’m smelling. Not mangoes; mould. And damp. And earth. Not bedroom. I’m not in bed. I’M NOT IN BED. Breathe. Just breathe. I DIDN’T CHECK THE DOORS! Yes, you did. I didn’t. I DIDN’T! I was about to, remember? And the phone rang and it was Julie and she was upset about Don and we talked and talked and I got straight into bed. Remember? I didn’t go back and check the doors. I DIDN’T CHECK THE DOORS! did. You must have. You always do. I didn’t. I was going to but I DIDN'T! ShitshitshitshitSHITSHITSHIT! Open your eyes. OPEN THEM. Wake yourself up. NOW! They are open. They’ve been open all this time but there’s nothing there. Just pitch-black dark. And that smell. That smell. Oh, GOD! It’s not the nightmare, is it? THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! Sit up! Roll over! Stretch out! Pinch yourself! Move! I can’t! I CAN’T! There’s nowhere to move to. I’m boxed in. I’m trapped! Black. Earthy. Damp. BURIED! HELP! HELP ME! GET ME OUT OF HERE! GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT!

Sat, May 9 2015 11:34pm IST 19
1170 Posts
(375 words)
Sun, May 10 2015 10:52am IST 20
1444 Posts

Written in the Stars

Stars. My eyes flicked open. Everything a blur. Blue sky. Brush strokes of placid white. What? My body still frozen to the velvet lawn where I lay. Golf. A fence without mesh. Where? I crane my neck left then right my stomach fluttered. The sudden wetness of a long tongue force me to sit.

Amber. A name I know but...I stand. Dizzy. A leash tight in my hand. How? Amber. I wander a short distance and return to my imprint on the lawn. I look down at the lead still tight in my hand. Shake my head. Pain. There's a pain in my mouth. I touch it. What? I feel flesh. A curl of wet flesh. I look at my fingers. Blood. Red. Like crushed strawberry.

My mind is racing searching for answers. Pocket. In my pocket hanky. Dab my mouth. More blood. My head right then left. I look down. The cocker fussing at my feet. Floppy ears burnt orange. Amber. 'Here girl.' Tether. 'Home girl, Go home!'

We walk, but to where? Follow the river. Walk the tow path. Elderberry, Ragwort, Thistle; A woman. Ask the woman. Hanky. Shield my mouth. We stop. Her body, rigid. Eyes wide. I explain. She shakes her head. We walk together. She draws a breath. 'Is this familiar?' I clear my throat. We carry on. 'It'll come back. Don't worry.'

I recognise a house. My voice trembles. Our pace quickens. Amber yaps. The woman smiles. We stop. I thank her. Her cheeks turn pink. My heartbeat quickens. She holds her breath. My legs weaken. Her eyes dance. Amber yaps. We smile at nothing.

Home. We have coffee. Our hands tremble. She leaves. I read the numbers. I'm breathless. I touch the note again. The head high fence. The not seen wire. What happened to the mesh? Flat on my back. Knocked out. Cut lip. Concussion.

I remember. Thank you, thank you. We'd gone for a walk. I threw the ball Amber ran off. I raced to hide in the opposite direction. I didn't see the head high wire. What happened to the mesh? My feet left the ground; I banged flat out on the grass unconscious.

Word count = 364

Tue, May 12 2015 04:46pm IST 21
1311 Posts

How many more times must I wake up here? I reach out to the bedside table, pick up the pencil and make a mark in the leather bound notebook. I don’t know why I do this, it’s an act as autonomous as silencing an alarm clock. I’ve stopped counting the marks.

There’s a man sharing the bed. The back of his head is as unfamiliar as it is familiar. Maybe the house will tell me who he is? There are two white dressing gowns on the back of the bedroom door but I find I don’t need one. I’m already dressed. On the landing, a boy about six, with the same dark hair as his father smiles at me from half a photograph. Someone has been torn out of it. On the stairs, more photographs; a riotous gallery of family life hollers at me through the headachy pain of – what? A hangover? Here and there a blank hole, a torn shred, a tiny girl in a pink blanket with half an arm holding her. What did she do, this mother? To be erased so.

The kitchen is painted in shades I’d never have chosen. She must have liked bright colours. Me, I’d have gone grey. Yes French grey would look better. I avoid my reflection in the polished kettle. Coffee would help me put my head back together but I don’t want to wake the man. I quietly open his fridge instead. Huh, it’s a while since he’s shopped. Yet amongst the jars of forgotten condiments there’s a baby’s bottle. It‘ll need warming. I take it out and find the microwave, hidden away in a cupboard adorned with grubby hand marks. The kitchen says the man is doing his best. I do hope he isn’t looking for a replacement! What kind of mother would I be?

I’m halfway back upstairs when the microwave pings and I remember the bottle. Baby’s room is the one beside the man’s. The plaque has fallen off so I can’t see her name, but I hear her. She sounds happy. Maybe I could do this after all. I push open the door.

The empty cot has been smashed to pieces, the curtains ripped from the pole, a tiny wardrobe upended on the carpet. The man catches me before I hit the floor. I’m half aware of him taking the bottle and placing it on the carpet with the others. I try to tell him she needs her milk.

He presses a crumpled photograph of the four of us into my hand. This is the first time I’ve seen him cry. And then I know I can give up the notebook.

449 words
Wed, May 13 2015 02:24pm IST 22
3 Posts

The Cure

They said I there was something I wakeup and do something dum-de-dum-de-dum down the jiggedy jiggedy path de dum-de-dum-de-dum it was a promise and a terrible smell it was something a mist pink a fog brain they said it would cure the I signed something I can’t remember what is that terrible smell down the jiggedy path across the railway line where the graffiti coal trains pass three times a day that’s how I know when to go to the post office where the blond shiny smile red smile woman will give me my packet wide smile and how are you and I say good and she presses the brown packet into my hand after the second graffiti train it is I cross the railway line there is a fire on the hill and the crows are shaping and shouting in the trees it’s very hot I have a cloth on my head I turn right past Victory Park where nothing grows there is a dead snake I’m better they say yes I say but I can’t remember why I am better there is a rickety fence and three dogs and children they are pointing and waving some fingers at me the terrible smell gone off custard I cover my face with my cloth and they are laughing I hurry down the jiggedy path de-dum-de-dum-de-dum a man is leaving the post office I think he has my packet he holds it close everyday and looks at the ground as he passes no smiling the door is open metal bars door open red door open I go in it is bright and shiny any post I say and the bright red smile woman says yes your parcel and I say thankyou it is brown it says my name and has a number and it says take one Cerebus Mortuus in the evening and it says TranscerebCorps and there is a flash of pink and I think they are making me better taking the love away making me better I go back up the jiggedy jiggedy path de-dum-de-dum-de-dum and turn left and go past the dead thing the dead thing and the crow tree and the railway line and wait for the graffiti coal train.

375 words

Wed, May 13 2015 02:26pm IST 23
3 Posts
It's a real pity that copying into the Comments omits all my gaps which are part of the reading and the story. Ah well ...
Wed, May 13 2015 02:35pm IST 24
1311 Posts
If you use Word to type your story go: file>new>blogpost (instead of a new word doc) then you can type your story in there and copy and paste to the cloud. That way if you create it as a blogpost, it keeps the html formatting when you copy :) the cloud seems to need html formatting :)
Wed, May 13 2015 03:54pm IST 25
3 Posts
Thank you LinsP. I will give it a go next time and leave this one as it is.

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