Bathed in lightness, bathed in heat

Another tale, way off the beaten track and far away into the dusty future. based very, very, very loosely on a character created by Marla at Marla’s World for which the link is (and yes, ma’am, I’m probably continuing to be naughty by including this): In the same way as the first one in this series read the tale slowly, word by word because there will be some unusual word choices that could trip you up if you try to read it like a Mills & Boon.

Anyway, I thought she might know about why people do crazy stuff, being as she was half crazy herself dressed up, as she was, like a loon. I mean, there ain’t nothing wrong with loons and all, but you gotta admit that they have some weird ways of dressing sometimes, like they were raised in an attic filled with Grandma’s cast-offs. But, like Pa used to say, if you got an itch you gotta scratch it and I ain’t never been a woman what’s ever been averse to using my nails.



“You know why people do batch it crazy things sometimes?”

“Like what?” She looked up at me through them wire-rimmed spectacles that made her look twenty years older than she really was. Then she looked back down at her book as if I was going to take a while to reply, which I hardly ever do on account of my brain working as if it’s hopped up on strong coffee all the time (which it ain’t; it’s just wired that way).

“Doing things that they know are going to rip the happiness right outta your bones?”

She sighed and took off her glasses. Now it was just the way the wind had scoured sand against her face for years and years that made her look old. That and her pain. But I’ll tell you about that some other time. “What kinds of things?”

“Well, f’rinstance, the way that some people won’t let you settle down to read when you’ve got a hankering for it.”

“That’s a prime example of irony right there,” she said and kinda smiled. When I say kinda, it didn’t reach right through to her eyes; just partways in.

“Yeah, I know that. But not like this. I mean the times when you get down to doing something because you’re enjoying it and stopping it would break that feeling. You’re just reading ’cause you got a gap to fill before dinner. Anyways, why do people do that?”

She smiled the crinkles around her eyes a touch deeper and then I saw her go inside. I know she’s going to say something deep when she does that. The she came back out and said “well, lots of things can make that happen.”

“Name two.”

“One is when a person is being vindictive. Another is when they’re trying to teach you something.”

I coulda woulda stopped her right there but it looked like she was on a roll.

“Another is when they don’t care what you want them to do because they think they are more important than you, like when they think their words and whatever should come before a book. It’s as if they’re putting themselves in competition with the book to see who wins, which is right but wrong at the same time because, yeah, people are more important than books per se, but books are like people too in that when you’re reading you’re listening to some person making a point in print and getting to the end of a sentence is as important to a reader as someone interrupting that sentence is; you know what I mean?”

“Yeah. Kinda.” I thought for a bit, but not enough to give her time to put her glasses back on to start reading again. “What if it’s whispering?”


“I mean, what if someone starts whispering in the library ’cause they think that it’s not as disturbing as talking out loud but, as anyone knows, it’s even more disturbing ’cause it makes you strain your ears to listen to it, especially if it’s a pretty girl what’s whispering ’cause pretty girl secrets are more intriguing than other secrets.”

“You been listening to pretty girl secrets?” Her face looked like I’d put a part of it out of joint.

“No, it’s just an example that came to me. What I mean is, she, the pretty girl that is, must know that she’s being disturbing and so why does she do it still?”

“P’raps she thinks what she’s doing is important.”

“But …”

“And she’s too darned lazy to go outside and talk.”


“And, of course, she knows that you’re listening and that’s part of why she’s whispering. People like to be listened to. People like attention.” She paused and thought for a beat. “Except when they don’t.”

I stayed quiet. I knew she had more to say. She always had. The best way to get more out of her was to wait. I waited some more.

“People …”


“… don’t like everyone’s attention. Just the ones they’ve taken a fancy to.”


“Like, for example, the person interrupting the person that’s reading. They’re only really doing it because they like them.”

“How’s that?”

“Well, you don’t bother talking to people you don’t like. Unless it’s to say ‘hello, nice day, goodbye’ and stuff like that.”

I smiled a little. She took this as encouragement; not that she really needed encouragement. Not from me. She knew and knows and will know that I love her like breathing and toothpaste. Anyway, it encouraged her to talk some more and then she stopped and then she put her glasses back on and started reading again.

Anyway, that was March and by the time April had come around, I’d started to …

But that’s a whole ‘nother story. Go to sleep now.

I Am A Writer

Forget about me for a moment. Think about yourself. Do a check of where you’re at. Where are you? Read on while you acknowledge your location. It shouldn’t have taken more than a moment to say ‘in the loo’, ‘on the heath’, ‘under the bedsheets’ or something similar. Now let me ask you this: ‘what were you doing before you started reading this?’ I understand that you may need more time to answer this one because it requires accessing your memory and that can take time. However, if you’re thinking too much then you can fall back on something like ‘I clicked on the link in my email and arrived on your blog.’ You may even append the word ‘duh’ to your assertion if you think that I should have known already. Bear in mind, however, that as I write this, I have no idea who you are, where you’re at or where you came from. I’m a writer, not a psychic who can see into my future. That said, I’m going to ask you one more thing that will necessitate you doing precisely what I cannot. To whit, I need you to see into the future. Don’t worry, all will become clear. Here’s my next question: what are you going to do next?

I am a writer and I am in the throes of writing. You are a reader and you are, like it or not, in the throes of reading these words. I will stop writing and post these words. You will stop reading and do … something else. What? Tell me. What are you going to do? You’ve committed to reading thus far and so you might as well complete the task I have set. You have a Comment field below. Don’t be afraid to use it. I’m not going to say anything of note beyond this point and so you might as well stop reading now.

Under the table, a man was sitting and thinking of the war. Which war? The one in his mind. He thought about the armies that marched inside his head and the dreams he had, nightly, about things he could barely remember when he awoke, but which he knew were bad. Not bad in the sense of moral outrage, but more in the sense that they made him feel very uncomfortable about the fact that he had bookcases full of books that he barely touched whilst, in some poorer part of the world there were people who hadn’t the means to feed their love of literature. He was pretty sure these people existed but didn’t know their names, or their addresses. That didn’t stop him from feeling bad about it. Not did it stop the dreams.

The man was called David. An ordinary name. Not one that would excite interest at cocktail parties were he ever to be invited to one and consequently to be invited to share it. His parents were staid, solid members of a Christian-based religious community. But see: I’m bored with them already and so I won’t mention them again.

David is stirring. He has done thinking of the war for now and is emerging from underneath the table. The flap of the tablecloth raises and his face peers out. He wears black-framed spectacles that give his round face the appearance of an old owl. He blinks once in much the way you would expect and then his shoulders follow his head and, inevitably, his body follows. He’s thinking about his hair and how it might as well fall out now as wait thirty years for him to reach the grand age of forty-five. He likes his teeth, though. Teeth are useful. He intends to make good use of them before the day is done. It’s eight in the evening already and so he should hurry.

Ten minutes later he’s walking down by the river. The house backs onto the water and so this isn’t much of a feat. It’s dark, but he knows where he’s going. It’s secluded, but he knows he will not be alone. It’s clear to him that if he were to lie down on the ground now, someone would discover him before too long. He lies down.

Pretty soon someone trips over him and falls to the ground. The earth is soft. Muddy, in fact. There is a curse said that I’ll not relate here because David wouldn’t approve. When he hears it, he says something like ‘la-la-la’ in his mind until the echoes of the sound have died down and then he jack-knives his body until it is covering the mud-besmirched form of the man he has tripped. I’ll not tell you the name of the fallen man because that might lead you to feel some sympathy for him and for what’s going to happen to him next.

I’ve started watching a movie about JD Salinger who is, as you might remember, the author who wrote The Catcher in the Rye. Now, I’m not entirely sure what Rye is, not what a Catcher catches whilst in the Rye, even though I have read the book. But I do know what David does next. If you tell me what you’re going to do next, I’ll tell you by way of reply. David is real. The man whom David has tripped and pinned to the ground is real. The mud in which they lay has actual substance and the thoughts of war that David has in his head are real, as will be his dreams tonight.

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