4 beeps in the night

I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour for once and was asleep in no time at all, my weary bones and tired mind happily conceding to the warmth of the bed and the darkness of the night. I fell fast into a deep and comfortable slumber. So you can imagine my consternation and the enusing ire when, not long after the clock swept past 2am, I was rudely awakened by a short series of loud beeps. Startled awake, my eyes opened to the dark and in my chest the loudest of crashing thumps began as my heart beat the panic drum. My mind raced to the source; was it the (unset) burglar alarm or one of the smoke …

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Writing less to write more

This year, as some of you may have noticed, I’ve managed to stick to a schedule on this ‘ere blog by posting something every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The aim was to keep myself writing, regardless of quality or length, in the hopes that it would carry over into my other creative writing exploits elsewhere. Alas, in the latter regard, it hasn’t really worked. I think because the process I use to craft (ha!) a blog post and how I approach longer fictional writing differs quite dramatically (pun intended) so, despite them being essentially the same sort of thing (write some words), I don’t seem to get any flow from one format to the other. In hindsight, it should’ve been …

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The Hunt

Ready, prepared, weapons in place, the fresh stench of aftershave fills the air, a clean shirt buttoned, wallet checked, protection an annoyance. On the bus, eyes everywhere, bodies chat and vodka laughs, the vehicle vibrates week long sexual energy, the weekend hunt is on. She with the warpaint camouflage, ready with her lures, lurid nails on glowing screen, there in 10, get the drinks in. Pools of light illuminate busy tables, empty glasses to catch vapid souls. You have to shout at the bar staff over indie classics, to order your next round of avoidance. People congregate, merge and flock, friends and colleagues bellowing at shared jokes, while the hunters quietly circle, waiting for the herd to break, weakness to …

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Write way forward

This year I’ve deliberately kept to a schedule here on this blog. Tuesdays and Thursdays I post something, Saturdays are for the Weekend Reading compilations, so aside from monthly roundups, I’ve gotten into a routine of writing. That was the point, to make myself write more. Sometimes it’s a bit forced, but sometimes it feels easy. There have a been a few bits of creative writing thrown in and they have (I think) mostly worked, but overall it’s about getting used to writing. I had gotten away from it here, away from writing in my journal, away from any notion of picking up the novel I started as part of NaNoWriMo. I think it’s starting to pay off though. I’ve …

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Mission to Mars

My dearest loved ones, I’m writing to all of you in the hope that my words will bring some solace and help you adjust to what is about to happen. You all know how excited I was when they announced this project, you’ve all supported me and encouraged me to work hard to make it happen, and you’ve all been there through my darkest days when I thought it was slipping out of my reach. From the moment I heard about the mission to Mars I knew I had to be on the crew, all those years staring up at the sky, wondering what lay beyond, the holidays to the Moon bases, and my acceptance to Lunar College were all …

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Beneath our feet

Do you ever get one of those weird compulsions to do something that you would never do? Like wanting to jump in a river fully clothed, or eating an entire raw onion? It’s kinda hard to explain and most of the time I just ignore them but the other day one of them struck me on my walk home from work. It was a gorgeous day so I left work a little early, thinking to meander my way homeward and enjoy the evening sunshine. Early  spring had delivered the first buds of green and I was quite content, plodding along with no desire to hurry, lost in daydreams and the casual nosiness of the urban wanderer. I took lanes and …

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The Teddy Bear

As they round the corner the pier reaches out in to the early evening gloom before them, colourful lights glow and flash, calling them forward; a magical wonderland of pulsing stars, glistening in the dusk. As they get closer the noise starts to build, the cheery organ music from the older stalls tinkles along over an electronic bass thump as the fairground evolves, new exciting rides sitting alongside tradition, wooden horses merrily going round and round whilst spaceships swoop and spin overhead. Laughter and screams, shrieks and shouts punctuate the thinning air. They wander past the outer stalls, smiling as they are beckoned in for a quick game, an easy game of skill. Come on Sir, you look like you …

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The Tree

I love mornings like this, the late winter chill fading away as the sun climbs lazily into the sky. I can feel the gentle dew on my extremities starting to warm, and the ground beneath me stirring into life. There is a gentle breeze playing over my naked branches and I find myself yearning for spring, for the new growth it will bring, leaves that will play in the wind, I long for their rhythmic rustle. I miss my little snowdrop friends already but soon the daffodils will start to appear, tiny glowing suns that never fail to brighten my day. Over on the other side of the field I can see the humans arriving on their machines, so noisy …

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The old room

His chair sits to one side of the bay window. The unloved leather is cracked, shiny dark patches worn smooth, seams barely holding on, tired with all the life it’s seen. Cold air creeps through the rotting window frame, tickling the rising pale curls of smoke as they fade into nothing. Beside the chair a small table, the walnut ringed with decades of cold drinks. On it a small wooden pipe stand, a heavy oversized cut glass ashtray, and a leather pouch spilling pungent dried entrails. Another puff; a draw and dull pop from his lips as the last embers glow and die. Fragrant fumes drift on the gentle draught as he watches nothing beyond the glass outside. The mantelpiece …

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Found in song

Walking in silence through the nest of headphone cables, dodging pigeons and detritus as she picks her way through the tangle of closed minds. She lets her ear guide her on days like today, days where she doesn’t need a place to hide away. She walks past shops whilst buses and taxis produce their every day noise. Roaming where she wants to, from busy streets to quieter parks. Over head the birds sing out and the wind cries as it rustles leaves, sweeping through the trees. Kites on a string reach the highest heights. She keeps to herself, just trying to keep her head screwed on, philosophising some. She stops to sit on a bench that is picked out for …

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