Monday, 9 May 2011

A small piece of blue cardboard

When I was small my parents stole my laughter.  ‘Too loud’ they said as they locked it in a box on a high shelf.  For years I would silently shake instead,  I started to forget how chuckling and cackling felt.  Later, I grew and reached the treasure chest while the old folks watched soaps.  Looking inside, there was a Knock Knock joke printed on a small piece of blue cardboard.  It wasn’t funny.

Friday, 1 April 2011

An old man in Sunderland who owned the Universe. And kept it in a jam-jar in a dusty cupboard under the stairs.

The sun was just rising when a teaspoon clang-clang-clanged around the inside of his second cup of tea of the day.  Norman Aitkinson had always been an early riser, it was a habit that was hard to shake after eighty-seven years.  As a younger man he’d rose for his job in an accountancy firm, a firm owned by his father, and there was a benefit to being an early bird.  But now when he got up in the morning it was before the sun and he would wake his neighbours with lawn mowing or whatever other task he could find for himself to while away the long morning hours.  He sipped his tea and felt the little aches and twinges in his arm as it raised the cup.  His rheumatic bones were suffering in the cold weather.  He stood at his kitchen bunker and watched the blurred bird shapes catching worms in his back garden.  The grass was a hazy green oblong, he couldn’t tell if it needed cut or not.  It could wait until Spring, if he was still around then.  Norman drained the tea from
his mug and washed it, clanking it onto the draining board.  It was time to check the jar. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Vampires Don't Dance

Her skin dimpled then caved as the two fangs sank into her.  She let out a sighing moan in the back seat of the Nissan Micra, the sound caught on the window as steam.  It hurt but the pain was dwarfed by her teenage love for the bewitching boy sucking on her neck.  She knew she had been seduced and she didn’t care.  When she was like him they could get away from this place and be together.  For eternity.  Pinned in place she stared through the grey headrest in front of her while the pressure on her began to drain her consciousness.  Her lustful heart pushed a garden pond of blood into the pale boy’s mouth; she idly wondered how long it would last as her eyelids glided down.  Just as she neared her little death the feeling changed.  There was still a clamp on her throat but now instead of dragging her into an early grave it was injecting some new kind of life into her.  Her eyes whipped open and she pushed herself up, gasping.  The teeth held her as her last breath escaped: a long, threadbare, serrated sob.  And then her heart… Stopped.  Her man stretched out on the seat behind and around her, looking contented. ‘How was that for you?’ he asked, smirking.  She slowly turned her head to face him, the expression on her face frozen in a position she couldn’t identify.  Then collapsed onto his chest giggling.  At last! she thought, euphoric with adoration and the thrill of her new life stretching out into the night before her.  She took a moment to savour the evening, when she’d kissed his lips before they were cold as grave dirt but now they didn’t make her shiver.  She took full advantage of this fact.  Orange streetlights shone through the trickling condensation as it disappeared. ‘I feel great! We should do something... Want to go clubbing?’ she asked with alive eyes.  ‘Why?  Are you hungry?’ he queried.  ‘No... But we haven’t been out dancing together before.’ She sat with one hand on his chest and another on hers, still amazed her heart had stopped but she kept on going.  Happy that she had someone else without a pulse for comfort.  He looked like he was trying to decide something, his gaze boring into her unsettlingly as his ancient mind worked.  ‘Yes,’ he concluded ‘Let’s go to the club.  You’re only young once, right?’ He grinned a wicked, pointed grin.