‘Take a ticket,’ said the man behind the scratched perspex glass. ‘It’s empty,’ said James, glancing at the busted plastic dispenser. ‘Huh?’ The man looked up. ‘Oh, so it is. Well, take a seat to wait and we’ll be right with you.’ ‘We?’ asked James. The man didn’t answer. Turning, James shuddered and stumbled as the room stretched like elastic. ‘Careful there.’ A set of hands steadied him. ‘The voodoo throws you at first. It’s how they fit us all in.’ ‘Us all?’ James asked. ‘Yeah, all the demons,’ said the voice. ‘Sorry mate, looks like you got busted.’ With all the poetry I’ve been writing for ‘It’s All In The Blood’ I’m in need of a bit of fiction in my life tonight. It’s amazing how much focus it gives you to have a set word limit on a piece of writing. It makes you go back and think about each individual word. A very useful skill that transfers well into poetry.
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…”)
I will stand at the edge of the docks, With neon green hair And a fist-full of jokes, So that my features are always alight with laughter. I will pass hand over hand, Strain my shoulders And throw my back into pulling you to me. Do not compare me to a summer’s day, Or the fragility of spring blossom, I will not wither if you snatch me from my roots I can set down new ones… I can wrap myself as ivy strands, Plug the cracks in you And hide each flaw So they are mine alone to admire. I will stand at the edge of the docks, With neon green hair And a fist-full of jokes, So that my features are always alight with laughter. Hold out my fingers for you to grip, And not complain When my arms are filled with souvenirs To which each will be labeled a memory That is mine to hear But never truly know.