Day 18 of photography101… “Edge”
Every now and again the glass would chime from the fluttering of limbs as he realised he was still incarcerated.
Day 16 of Photography101… “Treasure”.
The gong chimed, a bellowing command came from above, and from all corners they scuttled up the stairs, past the boxed bugs and through the dinosaur bones, onto the streets of Oxford. He hadn’t seen me. I stood looking over the curiosity filled cabinets and antique occupied closets, entirely alone with millions of years of treasure.
Letting my pencil run away with itself again today with a free writing task…
As each limb twisted you could see muscles sliding beneath dense black tufts of fur. He was short and stocky, a compact beast with a thick skin. He thudded through the green reeds and shook the ground with every step. Any obstacle that sat in his path was torn or battered with a fierce might that would strike down most in one fatal blow. His shoulder blades rippled underneath the skin as he forced his way through the jungle, his thick fingers grasping at everything within reach, inspecting it before throwing it away or throwing it down his gullet.
They usually travelled in troops. But he was a lonely soul. Originally it wasn’t by choice, but today he wouldn’t want another way. They were forever taught they needed each other to survive, but he had proven that the strongest need only themselves.
He spied her cowering in the distance. He could sense the eyes on his back and he turned to find her recoiling between the vines, looking tentatively upwards at him. Her eyes weren’t like the others. He recognised their haloed amber. This is what had drawn him in before.
The mighty beast bowed his head and held his hand out to her. She edged at the beckoning gesture, slowly foot-stepping towards him. His eyes had grown sadder since the last time. Then she was drawn in by the pools of fury but now they were saturated with longing.
As she reached his side there came a cry from behind, he tensed without hesitation, pushing her behind him, flaring his chest and standing tall whilst scrutinising every corner in search of the noise. He winced as she grasped his rigid arm, but he dismissed her and started to violently hack at the surrounding wilderness.
After moments of study he admitted defeat and retreated to her side. She touched his face with her forefinger and turned to show him what she had been cradling on her back. The miniature beast had the same amber halo of her eyes, but it was flecked with the burnt orange that blazed within his own.
The taut muscles in his face started to soften. His thick brow raised upwards and his menacing glare turned into something that she had never seen in him before. He was smiling.
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….
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.
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…
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.
Day fourteen saw a second instalment in a tale of lost and found, today is the final piece…
The heat was radiating from every angle of the landscape, smearing the view in the distance, adding to the blurred state of Laura’s mind.
The past hour was the longest yet, her wristwatch ticks were amplified as each second slaved by. Her skin was powdered with the dry dusts of the dirt track, it clung to her throat, grasped each eye lash and dried the lips until flakes formed between the cracks.
The track meandered through the mountain hiding sheer drops and rugged crevices around every corner. As Laura traipsed she had passed ancient Spanish fincas and derelict farm houses, but the latest crumbling ruin hid something inside that caught her eye as she trudged by.
The whitewashed ruin’s front wall had ruptured and tumbled towards the track, revealing a tiled floor that had been interrupted by thick tree roots that had claimed the space for their own. A pile of rubble sat at the centre of the ruin, a drab sight on first glance, but upon closer inspection it was peppered with pockets of colour. From pastel tones of yellow and green, to once vibrant shades of red and blue, each splash of spirit belonged to the footsteps of someone that had once treaded this very ground.
Laura pulled turquoise from the rubble and revealed a tiny court shoe made from fine silk. Across the threadbare fabric a tail of embroidered flowers climbed from the heel to the pointed tip. The shoe was warped and contorted, and beneath its toes were little indents of life, traces of ownership.
The dirt pile swam with these forgotten shoes, and Laura wondered why their owner had left such fine attire so carelessly strewn. Most of the shades had a partner hidden amid the dirt, but the turquoise shoe was an isolated soul.
Laura gripped the heel between her thumb and forefinger, holding the shoe up at the sunlight where it glistened for the first time. She climbed across the ruin and stumbled back onto the track, twiddling the tiny piece of footwear between her fingers all the way back to where she started.
Today I am to take my cue from the first word on page 29 of the nearest book, and write a letter inspired by this word. So to Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire I turn, and to the word ‘Chance’.
I saw you lying there, dumped amidst a pile of the unwanted.
Once more you have fooled me. I am repeatedly bribed by your potential, so I persistently give you away, even when I should grip you tight between blood drained fingertips.
For years you have been masquerading – dressing yourself in beautiful gowns that are ill fitting. It is a clever facade, one of trust, of dogma and desire, but in reality you are a mere consequence of these; you are what we stoop to when we are longing for them instead.
I thought I’d spend a lifetime incessantly giving you away, but I shall be more frugal in spending your currency.
Laura Gabrielle Feasey.
On day four of this course I penned a tale of loss, which was the first instalment in a series of posts. In today’s second part, I have scribbled a tale of something found…
The stinging winced across Laura’s ankle every time she made contact with the concrete. The sapphire velvet chafed incessantly against skin that was now blushed pink, as pin pricks of rose red began assembling at the surface, ready to spill. A paper thin layer of skin cells started to get up and leave their quarters on the inside arch, exasperated at being continually hassled, they escaped in mounds, leaving droplets of red behind.
After untold strides, Laura liberated her feet from their evening of incarceration. Inside, the rich velvety fibres were seeped in scarlet, a prophecy to every foot that ever dared venture inside again.
When the world tells you there is no way back at six years old you believe it.
Overheard conversations and foreshadowing…
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.