‘They keep the weeds under control,’ Emile explained when Hannah asked why goats were roaming the graveyard. ‘But don’t they eat the flowers?’ ‘People don’t leave flowers here anymore. No one’s been buried here for a hundred years.’ He stooped to avoid a low branch and waited for Hannah on the other side. ‘People can’t be bother with the long since departed. We only see your kind these days.’ ‘My kind?’ ‘Yeah, history nuts who prefer the dead to the living.’ ‘Oh I don’t-’ ‘Makes a change at least. It’s nice to have a little warmth amongst all this stone.’
‘With a little effort, I wonder if I could do that?’ I stared at the screen until Marlow’s snapping finger’s brought me back to the table. ‘Eyrie? You with us?’ He rapped the blueprints with his knuckles. ‘No fuck ups this time Eyrie. No getting fancy, just get through.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’ My eyes started wandering back towards the T.V in the corner, the picture hazy on the old set but clear enough to see the Irish girl hammer home the landing on her last set of tumbles. ‘This ain’t the Olympics,’ growled Marlow. ‘Even if you’re going for gold.’
‘Smooth moves baby,’ he hummed, nose pressed against her ear. She smirked and glanced at the tally board, her row of perfect strikes lined up above his row of not-so-perfect spares. ‘You’re turn,’ she said and handed him the purple ball from the rack. He took it and kissed her on the nose. ‘Just you watch,’ he said. ‘One of these days I’m going to whoop your ass at this and there won’t be anythin’ you can do about it.’ Still grinning he turned and let loose, shooting wide. Four skittles she counted. Yeah, he wasn’t winning any time soon.
Your Grandmother lived in this blocked of flats with no elevator, and when she turned sixty your mum tried to make her move out. She stood there, biscuit tin in hand, holding a photo of your Granddad as if your mum was a demon and he was the bible. ‘This is my home!’ she said, and in the end your mother gave up. We cheered. Back then it was easy to side with the little old lady who told us stories and fed us cake. We didn’t see the grizzly side of getting old. That bit sneaks up on you.
April brings storms that rattle and shudder against windows with winds that howl and whip past the trees. Pressed close enough cheeks can feel fingertips of something, someone not quite there. Pattering and scampering outside along the whirls in the glass traced on the lazy afternoons. In this room, in this house, all gods are welcome. With hands around latches there is no need of prayers to call them here. In the morning the carpets will be spongy, damp beneath feet, and the curtains slick to the touch. Tonight however, calls for bare faces turned upwards open to the skies.
You learn certain things about people when you live in a small village. Like Mr Bartlett who always order three pints of lager before a pint of bitter, or Mrs Caraway who will always bake a malt loaf for the August fair despite claiming for the past six months that she was going to try something new. Everyone is odd. You just notice it more in small villages. Thomas Green however, was very odd. One Christmas he collected odd socks from the neighbours, and hung them around his porch. I asked my mother why. “Because,” she said. “He just does.” [100 Words] I was really stuck for what to write this week, and since my car’s suspension decided to give up on me over the weekend, leaving me stuck in Shropshire with my parents, I thought why not draw upon local inspiration. [In the sense of odd neighbours, no one I know actually hangs odd socks as decorations.]
Samanth’s father had often claimed he’d been robbed. Of his heritage, his culture, his homeland. The list was burnt into Samanth’s mind for the moment he’d learnt to string together words and ask his father questions. At nineteen there was a girl whose skin turned his father’s eyes dark with fury. His father pointed at her back through the kitchen window and burnt new words into Samanth’s mind. In these ones Samanth was the thief, the robber snatching away what was left of “their kin”. Samanth looked at his father. “You cannot steal another’s essence father. Only surrender it yourself.”
Checking in proved to be… unusual. Standing behind reception, the woman with shoulder-length hair and purple eyes stared silently as Sam stumbled in. “Yes?” drawled the woman, pursing her lips at the wet leaves plastered to Sam’s clothes. Sam drew a hand through her own hair, suppressing a shudder as something slimy squelched between her fingers. “Is Rook here?” she asked. “Perhaps,” answered the woman. “Why?” “I need to talk to him,” Sam scowled. “Why?” “Because.” The woman’s gaze flicked over her appearance again before she reached behind the desk. “Room six,” she said, handing over the key. “Be careful.” I like messing around with old characters from partially completed novels. I found the start of a draft for Archer the other day, only the first few chapters were written but I’m thinking about coming back to it at some point. Darkened Daughter has to take priority for now though. I refuse to keep skipping from one idea to another. Something is going to get finished this year whether I like it or not!
“Once upon a time,” Illany panted, beads of sweat clinging to her eyebrows as Kilogi’s sword bore down on her own. “There was a princess who didn’t want her crown.” She shifted her weight and twisted Kilogi’s weapon to the right exposing his left side. “Her father said no,” she continued, throwing herself forwards and smirking at crack of ribs breaking and Kilogi’s gasping howl. “She would carry her responsible just as he did.” Kilogi stumbled and dropped his sword. “So she gave the crown to the blacksmith.” Her blade was against Kilogi’s neck. “And said make me a sword.”
“Right,” said Death adjusted his new hat as we stepped out of the clothes shop, fresh soul in hand. “Hand me the list!” Scowling at him and the crowds pressing towards us I shoved my hand into my pocket and pulled out the water-stained parchment crumpled against the lining. “Ah, wonderful,” said Death, taking it between thumb and forefinger. “It survived your dip in the Thames then?” “And the Ganges,” I shrugged. “You should really stop dropping us in rivers.” “What can I say,” shrugged Death, uncurling the list as he spoke. “Teleporting has it- Ange? Why does this say eggs, milk and cup-o-soup?” (104 Words)