The prompt for this piece: “… the hips and haws signal …” The hips and haws signal that something really bad is about to happen. Like you’re parents attempting the Lambada at your school disco when both of them struggle doing something as simple as the macarena bad. And you know, you know it from the blood pounding in your ears to the weight of you stomach landing on your toes as it drops, there is nothing, nothing you can do. Beyond calling in the military your options are limited to standing there and watching the whole thing unfold before your eyes. Nothing stops Grandad trying to pole vault the neighbor’s fence.
It was a good day Nora decided, stretching to try and pop the kinks from her back as the kettle began to do its shuffling dance on the countertop. So far there had only been three slammed doors, one set of hysterical tears and a small screaming match on the second floor around lunchtime. As far as days went, this one was a quiet one. “MUM!” Closing her eyes Nora bopped her head along with the thick beat seeping through Nathanial’s bedroom floor. “MUM!” “Yes,” she called, eyes still closed and kettle settling down from its shuffle. “Dinner done yet?”
“No.” said Serena slowly, doing her best to annunciate and raise the decibel level with each syllable. “That wasn’t what I meant.” “Oui!” replied the French man enthusiastically from behind the market stall, fish still in hand as he gesticulated wildly. “Le poisson! Oui! Oui!” “Non. Non.” Serena felt the blush creeping up her throat as people began to stare. “Non poisson. Non poisson! Non Francey! Noney Francey!” “Oui poisson!” “I don’t want the bloody fish!” Serena screamed, throwing her hands onto her head and scrunching the large-brimmed sunhat between her fingers. “I asked where the ferry was! The ferry!”
He came down wearing his favourite face. He’d taken the nose from an artist back during the renaissance, but if he was honest he couldn’t remember if it had been the artist’s nose or one from a painting. Little details like that tended to get somewhat muddled. He took his seat, the same one he’d taken since long before his nose or even the ear-lobes from that Celtic King. It was his amphitheatre and after a few hundred years of trial and error he’d found the perfect spot. Now he just had to wait for the tourists to arrive and the show to begin.
“Good book?” Katherine asked, nodding over her coffee cup towards the girl on the table next to her. The girl blinked and looked up. “Yer- er- I suppose-” she floundered. “Have you read it?” she asked. “The writer is really obscure.” “Obscure?” asked Katherine. “Yer. No one really knows who he is, but his stuff is really, well look at this bit.” She pointed to a paragraph. “This bit is actually referring to the main character’s latent homosexuality, and his failure to connect with Gret on a spiritual level.” “Of course.” said Katherine, reading back her own writing. “I’m sure that must have been what the writer intended.”
You were late. Kept the rest of us waiting; hands bearing down on pocket linings as we hunted for the warmth of previous hours before the storm. “He will be here.” she said, your wife of three months. We did not comment on the press of curves against the clarity of damp cotton; only offered her jackets which she refused with the comment: “They are not his.” We stood ankle deep in leaves, eyes towards the bank where track met road and carriages might run. We heard the horses first; they did not like the thunder. I wonder if you screamed as well? (Prompt: “The air was expectant…”)