Full/harvest moon tonight. The howling started about an hour ago. Somewhere up the mountain there must be a wolf? I didn’t know they had them in Wales.
We are staying in a holiday let, a caravan. I got it online as a late booking. Yes I know, but the reception isn’t very good round here. I’ll call you back later.
Hi again, yes I know its late, but Jeff didn’t come back. I don’t know where he is and I didn’t know who else to phone? Police? No, I don’t think I need them….
Thanks for ringing back, I’ve found my charger now, got it plugged in so I should be able to talk. No he’s still not back, the car has gone so I think he must have gone to the village. Yes there’s a pub… Yes he might have gone there. Guess I will have to wait until closing time….. Did you hear that? Yes it was a howl, I think it’s getting closer……. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr……..
The light flew across the sky, something not seen for centuries on the Earth.
The world had overheated in the previous millennia, viruses and bacteria had spawned a plague and 90% of the population had died before a cure was found. The remaining humans were all children, the fate of their parents leaving them in a world of technology they could partly use but not maintain.
Then came the explosions, nuclear power plants went offline, nuclear bombs rotted in their silos. Crops and fruit failed. A few books had been left, some technical papers, but the schools were gone. Children grew to adulthood and learnt to hunt and gather like their ancestors. Technology was stored in caves, but without power could not be used.
Then came wars over food and clean water. People living near reservoirs were lucky, but those downstream were cut off as the pumping stations failed. Humans were close to extinction. As the fable said ‘how the mighty had fallen’.
But a few people learned electronics from taking old things apart then putting them back together. They tinkered and played, and a light rose in the sky which was artificial. Who knew what would happen next?
I never knew what paints she used, said the man, the pictures were always bright and colourful. I guess they must have been water based. Look here is a glass mug full of water.
Yes, said the policeman. But no paintings? And no sign of her? You told us she’s been missing for a week.
Yes, said the man. I thought she had gone away for a break. But she’s not been in touch. Not phoned or emailed me. It’s very unusual, and she wouldn’t take all her art.
The conversation did not identify any additional information.
Meanwhile, in a small costal village, she sat and painted the sea.
Another morning, she came downstairs to the daily chore of moving stuff he’d left lying on the floor. Cups, newspapers, books, a jacket, his dinner plate from last night. There were also a pair of scissors and his slippers. He had gone out earlier. Leaving things lying around for her to pick up. I’m fed up with this she thought. It’s always the same. His stuff seems to be everywhere. Why won’t he do something?
Over the next few days she slowly collected things that were lying there. Soon she had six black bags of his stuff.
One morning she got up and he was asleep in the chair after a night of drinking beers. The chair was surrounded by six beer cans, a whisky bottle and several empty bottles and a glass. The snoring shook through her bones.
Enough, she thought, I will build a wall. She went into the utility room to get strong glue and a step ladder. Then she dragged in the black sacks of stuff. Starting with clothes she poured glue in a semicircle around him up to the skirting board on either side of the chair. She slowly piled glue and clothes upward using books, papers and bottles to help support it all. She had bought his fishing rod out of the bathroom and added bike wheels and garden furniture. As she worked she became more frenzied, trying to build before he woke. The glue was quick setting and she had fluff and paper sticking to her hands. She climbed the step ladder and peeked over the top. He was lying still on the chair, snoring gently……
After two hours she had completed the wall. It stood a bit askew but it reached the roof. What would he do? She pushed at the wall of material, solid. She went out into the garden to rest in the sunshine.
I don’t think of myself as a writer. I love words, but mostly I’m more of a reader, and then as a dabbler at writing. I don’t really plot things, they generally fall out of my head and onto the paper or my mobile screen. I guess it’s just the way I am. I love being creative and since I finished work I’ve started to branch out. I feel like a little dabchick or duck. I paddle away, my feet just gently moving the water of words around, breaking the surface tension but not going deep. And what for? I’ve been told my grammar is not as good as it could be. I don’t do this for likes and views, it’s all quite low key. I don’t expect to ever write a novel. I did once try and write a children’s book, so long ago it’s still stored on a floppy disk!
As long as I don’t bore you too much.
Sparks flew up into the night, blooming like a flower as he threw her old books onto the bonfire. He thought back over the last few hours. Finding her asleep on the bed, the sun slanting through the curtains. He’d left her to rest.
She’d come into the kitchen for coffee but barely noticed him. Just muttering fine when he asked he if she was OK.
She put the radio on, one of those inane poppy channels he hated. Started a little jigging dance. She seemed happier now, so he asked again how she was? OK she responded. Then she looked at him, a long stare. Who was that woman you were with last night? she said.
He knew he would have to answer. But not now, not yet. He hadn’t decided what to do.
Cat got your tongue she said?
Now it was night, the books were making sparks. He threw her record collection onto the bonfire.
She always asked too many questions he thought as he walked back into the house.
He sits quietly in a laurel bush, watching, seeing who enters the garden. The stone gargoyle. Winged, large ears turned to listen. How did he get there? Did he climb or fly? How does he stay there, no nails or glue support him. Does he protect or reject visitors to His garden? Stone carved and muscular. Is he hiding from gargoyle hunters, who stalk the suburbs and smash his unsuspecting siblings?
What are you, fiend from a nightmare or friend from a mediaeval church? Like an escaped pigeon, sitting in the laurel bush, waiting for his lost love.