Pig.

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Today I was given the task of rewriting a set story from the perspective of a 12 year old sat across the street. So again I am curtailing my lengthy words and sentences for something simpler….

Pig.

I thought it was strange that she wasn’t crying. Those pigs turned up at her door with their blue flashing lights and their noisy sirens, almost bursting my eardrum. It’s my dad that calls them pigs. He might’ve even oinked at them once when they knocked on our door. He doesn’t get into trouble anymore, he just doesn’t much like them.

Her door didn’t take much of a kicking. It’d been off its hinges for weeks. She hadn’t left the house so she probably didn’t even notice. I used to catch her sometimes when I was hiding in the bush in our front garden. She’d be looking out the window and holding onto something tight on her chest. I’d been sat here a lot lately on account of the shouting inside, it is all too deafening for me.

One of Mrs Pauley’s sons had brought me orange squash when he was last here. We sat and talked about my shouting parents, about his dead Dad. He loosened his tie and took off his black jacket and rolled up his sleeves, then he started making daisy chains in the mud. I thought he was a bit old to be making daisy chains, but I remembered playing Nintendo with him when he lived with his Mum so I helped him. Maybe he was going to give it to her to cheer her up, on account of her husband being dead. They usually make tea when things like that happen around here.

I recognised the man standing behind the pigs. He turned up at our door one summer when Dad was locked up. His face was twisted and snarling, he shouted for hours and hours about money. He stayed the night, luckily he didn’t seem so angry over Rice Krispies in the morning.

They were putting her in their car, hands behind her back. The man standing behind was shaking his head at her. I tried to wave when they drove away, she was in the back seat but she didn’t even look up. She must not have seen me. She was still carrying that jumper, her face was buried in it. I think I recognised it now from when Mr Pauley was alive.

Arachnophobe.

day16

Today’s task was to talk of fears, in a style distinct from my own. So in taking a break from my seemingly endless sentences I have crammed ten full stops into just fifty three words…

 

Arachnophobe.

My blood had chilled. It was flowing around my body in an icy haze. He was taunting me. I was petrified.

He could read every sign. Of course he could. You don’t miss much with eight eyes.

I was minding my own business. He invaded my peripheral. Now we were at a standoff.

 

Chunk.

day12

Overheard conversations and foreshadowing…

 

Chunk.

The audience is prompted in gooey noises of sentiment as she talks about her incessant will to love him. A studio light sparks and a less rehearsed reaction sounds across the space. It flickers amidst raining fire as the crew run to its aid and plummet the room into darkness.

Mere moments pass and the set is saturated with white light. As the pupils of the audience constrict, her face is poured with unforgiving illumination. Her eyelids are painted with thick turquoise, the powder spreads unevenly from her eyelashes to her brows. Through bulbous lips she chatters of a lifelong search. Painted in a clashing shade of scarlet, they sit shiny and gloopy atop of three chins, they jabber of finally finding the one. The audience coos. We are expected to ingest this, the greatest of loves. Her nails are gnawed with remnants of red. She could have washed her hair on account of the TV appearance.

The other woman struts onto stage ready for a face-off. Like hyenas they scrap for his infatuation. They reveal adulterous moments, back-alley liaisons, untold truths. Their painted faces start to fall as they wrestle to be his only.

Behind a marbled screen his gormless mug is indulged in the moment. His mouth sits open in horror but his eyes are fed by the deed. He feeds on a gluttonous diet of their misery.

Red.

day9

Today’s task is one of perspectives… “A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene from three different points of view.”

I’ve answered this with three separate stories of flash fiction, which also sit together as a whole…

 

Red.

His hand shuddered upon her touch.

Seeing red was his daily hell.

For the last time, she knitted.

China.

day8

With my typically excessive descriptions, today’s task, to banish all adverbs from the piece, was to prove a bit of a challenge. Hopefully none have sneaked their way in…

 

China.

Whispers of steam pirouetted through the air and headed skywards. The cafe had the most eccentric taste in china. The bodybuilder had a thick black moustache and his prowess was shown in lifting a hefty dumbbell above his head whilst the rest of his body focused on a pose: hand on hip, muscles flexed, side parting lacquered. He wore burnt orange jogging bottoms and a muscle tee, quite the vintage pin up against a backdrop of purple roses that were teetering on the edge of bloom. The rim was lined with gold, a regal finish to this working man’s scene. Every day Gabriel would order coffee and it would be a different mug. Every day it was a different scene on a different mug. Yesterday’s beverage came sloshing within a brown pencil illustration of a bunny rabbit. Who knows what tomorrow would inflict.

Gabriel gazed out the window from his usual spot. The tawny vinyl chair perspired beneath the clammy bare legs of a 30 degree day. Each sip of coffee made the sweat ascend further to his pores. Gabriel felt a presence as he detected a shadow sliding across the table. He looked up to find two coffee coloured eyes scowling at him.

“What is your name?” The stranger asked.

“Why?” Gabriel responded. He wasn’t in the habit of presenting a stranger with his name.

The man had long blonde eyelashes and his pallid skin was showered with freckles. He was carrying a bright green holdall, it swung heavily as he stood. He bowed his neck and brought his face within inches and sang in a whispered tone “Gabriel.”

Sugar.

day7

These two repulsive little creatures are part of today’s Writing 101 task: to write of a contrast between two things using dialogue…

 

Sugar.

Her lips were frosted with that pearlescent lipstick that women seemed to covet in the early nineties. The kind that they’d outline with dark liner to give their lips some extra pout. The days before collagen was just a reasonably priced syringe away. They moved like fish lips when she prattled. “Put your name on the top of the form. Fill in the questions and the doctor will see you when you’re ready.”

It was the speech of a robot. I ticked my way to question five.

Have you had a poor appetite or been overeating?

I looked over at Fish Lips. “What would you constitute as over eating?”

Her sickly pink fluffy jumper hugged her chubby arms and made her somewhat marshmallow like in appearance. She wasn’t the best judge of portion control.

“Who cares kid. Just tick in the middle.” She went back to reading her Real People magazine. Pages of relatable souls that had gone through terrible times. ‘I was 20 stone by the time I was 13.’ ‘I sold my baby for £25.’ ‘I was stabbed by my husband’s father’s brother in law’…

It was question seven this time.

Have you had trouble concentrating on things like reading the paper or watching the TV? 

Fish Lips was rustling in her desk drawers. She pulled out a toffee and started twisting the shiny wrapper with her globulous blubbery pink sausage fingers.

I stared at her until she looked up. Pools of toffee moisture had collected in the corners of those lips as she smacked them together with each chew.

“What kid?” She said through her caramel mess.

“Does pornography count? As watching TV?”

Her spidery eyelashes came together as she narrowed her eyes at me. She crinkled her nose and hissed “Vile creature.”

The final question, number nine.

Have you thought that you’d be better off dead or hurting yourself in some way?

Her lips were smooching louder as she poured a pile of toffees on her desk and shoved another into the load.

Again, I stared at her. “Does it count if I’ve thought that someone else might be better off dead?”

She stopped chewing and held her mouth open, a syrupy goo of saccharine and pearlescent lipstick.

I continued, “That I thought of hurting someone else?”

As I said it I noticed the gleaming red handles of a pair of scissors that were casually laid next to her pile of toffees.

Revenge is sweet.

Unlocked.

day1

 

In a bid to connect further with the blogosphere and to flex my writing muscle, today I embark upon a journey through WordPress’ Writing 101 course. Here’s the first instalment, 20 minutes of free writing, no forethought or editing allowed…

 

Mind, unlocked.

The night brought with it an inky blue hue. I could feel the cold air sweeping past my tongue and down through my throat, where goosebumps would prick out from beneath the skin, a tale tell sign that I was numb. I couldn’t hide my nervous disposition. Anyone with a calm exterior would be breathing long, subtle breaths, but mine were hurried, forcing tiny clouds of visible vapour through the midnight air with each exhale.

At least I could blame the shaking on the temperature. They didn’t have to know that the chill I felt, which sunk deep into my bones, was owed to the situation, and not the frost that was biting at my ankles with each step I took.

I came to a standstill once I reached the place. We had said we would meet here, where the forest floor forked into a star like possibility of pathways, each one offering a different narrative to whoever traipsed down its track. The floor was uneven. Days of rain had muddied the surface and now it stretched across the area in frosted peaks, each one a frozen menace just waiting to meet you face down.

There was no sign of life here. Even the thick trunked oak tree that I was to wait at looked as though it had thrived amidst a world entirely of its own making. I perched against the tree, checking every few seconds to my left and right, only stopping to crane my neck to spy through the fork in the tree trunk, inspecting the trail behind me. I wasn’t aware of where they were coming from.

I was early. The situation didn’t need any further temptation towards the deadly, and so I was careful to ensure that nothing I did would coax it in the wrong direction.

It troubled me that there was not yet the snow of winter on the ground, as much as it worried me that there were no loose leaves of the autumn rustling across the floor. They would be approaching, deadly in their silence.

I hung my lantern on the branch nearest to me, an amicable act of honesty, so they could see me from a distance. That is when I started to hear movement. Not the footsteps of a man, or the rustling of a human navigating through the trees, but the heavy breathing of a creature whose movements were not second nature.

The sound of a forced, strained motion came closer, but still I could not see a thing. Until the soft light of my lantern fell in severe angles across his face. A face which towered above the oak tree.

 

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