What She Almost Told Me

My writing process (and what happened because of it):

  1. Look at the keyboard in front of me.
  2. Check what thoughts are in my mind.
  3. Try to clear my head and get ready.
  4. Ignore the hollow feeling in my chest.
  5. Ignore the scornful twist of my lips.
  6. Feel an empty space open in my mind.
  7. Watch to see what’s happening inside.
  8. See the absence of me and get worried.
  9. Decide that some idea is going to come.
  10. Watch for the new idea’s birth pangs.
  11. Push aside the image of Bond (Brosnan).
  12. Wonder why I’m remembering a dream.
  13. Decide that this must be important, so …
  14. Notice that the last point was thirteen.
  15. Decide it’s unlucky to start from thirteen.
  16. Get so bored with writing about my mind.
  17. Decide to write a story so that I can escape … me.

The bullet enters my rib cage just to the left of my heart. I guess it missed killing me outright by an inch. As my lung begin to fill with blood I think of the ants outside my kitchen door. They had been tunnelling into the foundations of the house, removing sand and grit piece by piece. I had been outraged by this invasion of ‘my territory’ and had responded by filling their hole with poison powder. But that wouldn’t hold them.

In my bag is a newly bought tube of Liquid Ant Killer that says, in tiny letters, that ants will feed on it and pass it on to the entire colony. As my breathing becomes harder to do, I start to worry that it’ll never get used. Not by me anyhow. Waste of money. I wonder if I should give to someone in the crowd gathering around me. I wonder if …

I wonder if I’m insane to spend what could be my last minutes thinking about ants.

The urge to cough grabs at my throat. I try to hold it back. I’ve seen people coughing in movies after bullets hit them and I know that it always leads to blood pouring out of mouths and trickling down chins. I’d just put on a new shirt this morning – clean and crisp – straight from the packet. It’d be a shame to get blood on it. Then I laugh. There’s a tiny hole in the front of the shirt. A bullet-hole. A bloody bullet-hole!

I recklessly let the laugh turn to a cough. What the hell – in for a penny.

There’s a little girl standing in front of me when I stop. She can’t be more than five, or maybe six. She has such a tender expression on her face. Sweet and kind of serious. As she looks down at me I feel a lifting sensation – as if a fast moving elevator is starting upwards. I want, so strongly, to carry on going up. I feel as light as the hair snaking around this girl’s face. Strange – why is she glowing?

Her mouth opens and I know she’s going to tell me the most profound truth. I know it will answer every question. Simple, yet …

I feel the most incredible pain slam into my chest. I open eyes that I hadn’t known were closed to see two men crouching beside me. One of them has ripped my new shirt. I’m outraged. I feel something smooth against my chest. Two things. Paddles, a voice whispers inside my mind. Then male voice calls out – calm, serious – we have him.

I look around for the girl, but she’s not there. I  scan the anxious faces watching me. Just a bunch of concerned citizens.

I want to tell them not to worry. I want to explain that it’s going to be okay – whatever happens.

But part of me knows that they’re not really bothered. Most of them will be itching to get home. Aching to tell someone what happened today. One even stops filming me to make a call. Yeah, hi – this guy just got shot!!

A quick pain in my chest and when I look down I see blood flowing through a tube into a bag. Not the best way to make donation. A sharper stab in my arm and I feel myself begin to float. Hopefully, I look again for the girl then realise my mistake. Probably morphine.

Sliding into a soft place in my mind. Couch potato. Quiet calm. Cotton-wool. Safe and …

A Harmony of Sighs (#01?)

A Harmony of Sighs

Once, when the world was young and the skies not so bright, I fell asleep and dreamt. And in that dream I was a man. And in that man were many thoughts. And those thoughts did come to be a world for the duration of that sleep.

And now, when I am older than I was, I have the desire to awaken from my dream.

I send out search parties into the real world and they come back to tell me that I am alone. They say that if I were to awaken, the best the world could offer me would be a kind of lucid wakefulness.

This news confuses me.

They tell me that the dream I am in is only a small part of what is and that I am a big part of that, but that this is better than being a small part of the larger whole that is reality. They say that I should stay asleep because although it is small, it is almost safe.

I feign anger when I hear this and I send the search parties back into the real – this time with a specific ask. I want to make sure that there is internet access outside of this place.

They come back to tell me that there is.

Well then, that’s okay, I think.

Wake me up, I tell the big honcho, whose name is Gemigal. And he does.

What happens next is rather poignant and not a little scary.

I’ll tell you about it if you’re curious.

Scar Tissue

Did I tell you about the time I climbed the apple tree, went out onto the thinnest branch and reached for the biggest, juiciest fruit? Did I tell you how loud I screamed when the branch broke and my falling body was impaled on the thicker, sharper bough below me?

The doctors were still digging wood out of my back weeks later. I still have the scar. I used to show it to girls and tell them it was a shark bite. Who’d believe a thing like that? Who’d believe a word I say?

Reached too high,
Fell too far.
Touched the sky,
Feel my scar.


Gone Wylde in the Woods

tree leaves

As I was walking the weyrd woods, all the wylde things of natyure fell from my mynde and scattered themselves into the trees. Left and right, they ran, squealing, into the undergrowth, there to grow fat on the workings of my ‘magination.

A shape seeking shade on my right may have been light on leaves ‘fore my feet fell foursquare on the course. Then, as I looked, that shape shimmered and said to my eyes a troubling tale of terrible woe.

Once was a princess who was waltzed away beguiled by a beast of chameleon charms. His bright coat and handsome face fell to rags and rage once he held her in the foliage by the bottom of the garden. She was never touched again by human hands.

Then were kind and tender villagers who, pulled by the plight of the fair princess lost, found, to their cost, that dark depths ‘tween trees, and spaces so foul that the breeze did not ease them, could snaffle and snare the innocent mares and render their menfolk dazzled and gone.

Their shadows I saw as I passed by the maw of the beast and his feast and the moan of the breeze was the sigh and unease of the villagers searching and losing the princess’s trail again and again.

Hearing their woe, I turned and I fled and I stayed in my bed for three days. And the wylde creatures roamed underneath and before in the dark as I shivered with dread.

Self vs Others

I don’t know whether I am the most important thing in the world, or whether all people (apart from me) are.

For example, I came home the other day to find a naked woman looking inside the cuboard under the kitchen sink.

Part of me did wonder what she was looking for. I mean, the only things in there are various food preparation utensils, and she didn’t look like she was dressed for cooking. But most of me was concentrated in her appearance.

She was on her hands and knees, with her spine dipping slightly downwards so that she afforded me a lovely view of her hanging gardens. I have to confess that a certain kind of thrill went through me at the sight.

She actually looked like she was dressed to take a shower, and that’s when it hit me. I’d turned the water off at the stop-cock in order to change the washer on a tap. Obviously she was trying to turn the water back on!

“Sorry, I forgot to put the water back on.”

Maybe I should have cleared my throat or something before directing this statement towards her rather fetching backside.

You know how, in movies, people bang their heads on the roofs of cupboards when someone startles them? Well that’s exactly what happened on this occasion.

The music coming from her phone would have masked the sound of my key in the door and the squeaking as it opened.


She backed out on hands and knees, looking not at all like a tiny donkey or an oversized hound. No, she looked like an attractive woman with long, blonde hair hanging over her face and in possession of a lovely pair of breasts.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Eloise. Let me tell you what this woman would have seen as she turned around.

Closing In

“Okay, but please don’t laugh at my silly idea. How about a story that shows how people react to a big, burly guy who’s sobbing in public?” – Magarisa.

The Blessing and The Curse and How They Became One was the theme of his thesis and yet George could find no place for it in his mind today. The bugs were closing in.

It had started with that damned book about bacteria. His friend, Larry, had this thing where, if he saw a splatter of bird shit – on the pavement, down a car windscreen or, heaven forfend, on his head, he would have to soap and rinse his whole body precisely 26 times. It was much worse if any of the shit touched Larry. Much, much worse.

George had bought him a book about the bugs in people’s intestines and, as it turned out. all over his body and every single surface.

There’s nothing George liked more than a good book. So he read it before passing it on to Larry. It was a good thing he had – Larry would have freaked! And it was a really, really bad thing he had, because now – George was freaking.

Libraries are meant to be quiet. Restful places for reading and research. Silent as a tomb. Holy as a church. This one stank!

It hit George as soon as he entered. The rank smell of unwashed bodies. The stink of faeces – urine and shit.

Bugs, bugs everywhere! Shit, they’re in my mouth and my eyes and up my nose and on my fingers and they get into my sandwiches as I eat them and, and, and SHIT!

George ran his fingers through his hair and then pulled his hand away in horror. The feeling of sweat from his forehead as it slid onto his palm, crawling all over his skin. His face twisted, melting, fat cheeks wobbling.

George was a reasonable man. Times was unreasonable. The tears running down his cheeks and snot down his upper lip – sliding into his mouth were all unreasonable.


They had him.

The more he moved, the more the bugs found opportunities to colonise his body. Peanuts on the bar with a quick sprinkling of faeces? That was nothing compared to the deluge of bugs on the average body. And George was by no means average. He was a big man.

As I write this, I am in a mall – at the Food Court. I am sitting at a table with my arse hanging over the edge of one of these inadequate chairs, and I am sobbing fit to die. Snot is pouring out of my nose. My moustache looks like a half drowned vole that has squatted down to take a piss on my upper lip.

I don’t look up as I leak tears into my coffee. I already know what I’ll see. Pity. That’s what I’ll see. But it ain’t real. It ain’t as if these people feel anything for me. They just don’t want their children to grow up to be such a sad-sack. If they could get away with covering their kid’s eyes – they’d do that.

I don’t care.

I just cry.

They’re closing in on me – and there’s nothing I can do about it. If the bugs don’t get me, it’ll be the cyanide in my coffee. Ha, and the waitress doesn’t think I know. Well more fool her. I’ve known right from the start. Bugs and cyanide. I know I’m done for, but I don’t have to feel happy about it.

Let this blog post be my last will and testament. I leave my flat to the landlord. My furniture to the dump I got it from. My beans to … oh, just remembered – I ate the last of the food this morning. All of it. Then broke the plates. Then ripped up all my books. Then came here.

The laptops’s a piece of junk. Have it if you want.




This idea was given to me, on my post – Challenge, by Magarisa who blogs at https://detoutetderien2015.wordpress.com/ .Thanks, Magarisa.

Mind Your Own Bee’s Knees

“Ok, here’s a challenge for you…write something hilariously funny say tragedy to humour. I’m good at that…someone gets hurt, I instantly laugh, out loud, can’t help myself. I suppose it’s nervous laughter but I have dozens of stories but my kids won’t allow me to say it out loud here mwhahaha” – Covert Novelist.

I fell in the bath the other day. It wasn’t anything serious. It wasn’t like I was there, in the bottom of the tub, with my neck twisted around the taps thinking ‘oh no, I hope the neighbour doesn’t see me like this!’

Why I would think of that woman at a time like that is beyond me. I mean, it’s not as if I think of her as I open the bathroom window to let out the steam from the shower.

And if I do linger there, fresh from the hot water – my body drying in the breeze blowing in while I brush my teeth, it’s not as if I’m really staring across at her window across the way. It’s just there, you know? Where else am I supposed to look?

She moves behind the frosted glass. It’s easy to tell whether she has something on or not because she favours darker clothes – even her underclothes. Not that I really notice. It’s just what passes across my vision as I stand. With the window wide open. Just soaking in the fresh air. Brushing my teeth.

So, no – no reason at all to think of the woman discovering me lying in the bath at a rather unbecoming angle. No reason at all. Except that she has a spare key so that she can come in and waters the plants when I’m away. And if she doesn’t see me in the drive, then she knows to let herself in.

The plants have never looked healthier.

Her name? Cornelia. But don’t let that trick you into thinking that I know her well. I mean, plenty of people know their neighbour’s name, right? Lots of people give a spare key to someone. For emergencies?

It was just a bruise anyway.

I was leaning on the bath with one hand, and washing the tub down with the other. All it took was a bit of soap in the wrong place, at the wrong time – and half a second later my shoulder smashed into the side of the bath.

No – of course it didn’t hurt! Why would something as trivial as that hurt a man like me!

Pretty colours, though. Black, green, orange, yellow and puce. No, I’m not entirely sure what ‘puce’ means neither. But it sounded about right when Cornelia said it. And it felt about right when she stroked my arm. And when she kissed it better? That was nice too.

And as for the rest? You’ll just have to mind your own bee’s knees, won’t you!

This idea was given to me by http://www.covertnovelist.com/ on my post – Challenge. Thanks, Covert Novelist.