Snakes alive

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As Sara reached out to throw the dice she saw a flicker on the Snakes and ladders board. Something had moved quickly on the surface. She saw it in the corner of her eye.

It’s your go, said her partner Jamie. Are you going to throw the dice?

Sara picked it up and threw a six. Across the board, six spaces. Her partner took the dice and threw a three. Base of a ladder and up to the fifth row. He chuckled.

Beat that he said. She threw again and again, always missing the ladders.

It’s not fair, she said.

He was almost on square one hundred now, top of the board. Sara was getting fed up.

Then she saw a flicker again. She looked at Jamie. Did you see that? No, what? He said.

Next throw, two, oh no! As she placed her counter onto the head of the snake, ready to move it down the body back to the bottom row she saw the Snakes tongue protrude from the board. It flickered against her fingers. She froze, shocked into a paralysis. She felt its fangs pierce her index finger, saw its mouth open into a black void. With impossible speed the snakes mouth raced up her arm, gaping wide it covered her head, with one single swallow her body disappeared into it.

I told you I’d win, said Jamie quietly, as he chuckled.

A tail….

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Last week she had ended up halfway up a tree, and this is the story of how it happened.

She had woken feeling tired and the base of her spine was sore. Like she had sat down hard, or fallen over and bruised herself. They had been to a party, got ‘slightly’ tipsy, and come home. The rest was hazy. Something about Halloween, and trick or treating, and What was that all about? Then each of them had drunk from a cauldron, yes that was it, sip a drink from the cauldron of fate and see what happened? Except that she had knocked back the whole glass full. Then she had felt really squiffy, fallen over, yes, and hurt her spine. Ow.

Now it was the morning after, and she felt awful. A proper hangover. But it was time for work now, better get ready.

It was when she was showering that she felt a lump down at the base of her spine. She rang the doctor for an appointment. She was scared it was a tumour?

Two days later at the surgery, she was told it was some sort of bony growth, but the surface was covered in skin, and it was not any form of cancer the GP had ever seen. She had told her that they would probably need a biopsy, but that would take a few weeks to arrange.

She had gone home, wondering what the hell was going on. The ‘thing’ was growing at a fast rate, she couldn’t face calling it a tail. She realised she had control of it, like a prehensile tail of a monkey? Why?

The tail continued to grow. She had to wrap it round her waist to hide it under her clothes.

It was after about three weeks that she made the mistake of telling her friend. He laughed, serves you right, he said. You upset the witch! He said. Drank the cauldron dry. He laughed again. Wait till I tell the others. She must have cursed you.

The next day they came knocking at her door, ‘ let us in’ , ‘ show us your tail’ ‘you’ve been cursed’. Things were getting out of hand. She ran upstairs and opened her bedroom window. The group were hounding her now.

Suddenly she jumped. She was falling…. Then the tail snapped out around the branch, holding her weight, she swung back up to onto her feet. Using her tail for balance she clambered and swung into the trees. It had saved her life. Perhaps it wasn’t such a bad thing after all…..

Where have you been?

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Through the door into the dark shadows, light shining through dusty windows, shafts of sunlight with dust motes dancing through the beams. We were exploring, looking at the racks of plaster molds, stacked high on racks, above head height. Hundreds of them, all shapes and sizes. For slip casting pottery.

In the back of the store room something stirred. A figure unfolding, grey with dust. Semi transparent, like a ghost? We saw it as it lurched to its feet and grasped at the racks of saggars. It spoke. ‘you don’t belong here’ it shouted ‘get out’, and we did! We turned tail and ran, through the door, through the yard and away. We won’t be going back there again!

The deep

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The small bathesphere was lowered over the side of the science vessel ‘Valour’.

Steph sat at the controls, watching the pressure guages and reporting every 100 meters they dropped into the abyss.

At 1 kilometer there was a brief pause to check all the systems again. Carbon Dioxide was at acceptable levels, the filters were working. Air was being pumped down at the right rate from the ship. Up top in the ship the mission room were happy to give her the go ahead to continue.

A few minutes later, and the pressure had increased massively on the hull. But it was built to withstand them. The bulbous glass windows were curved to take the external forces without buckling.

A shadow passed one of the windows, something gold and glittering… It came back, huge, fish shaped. A gaping mouth opening. The images on the bathesphere’s cameras were flickering with the reflections from the metallic looking fins and scales.

Steph shouted out in surprise ‘what the hell is it?’. But the ship didn’t hear her.

The rescue wasn’t successful. As they wound in the cable the scientists¬† on the ship could tell that the weight on it was no longer there. Finally the severed ends of it were hauled over the stern. ‘lost at sea’ was the report that was published…..

 

Ivy grows

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As she sat on the ground by the house she felt the warmth of the sun calming her and relaxing her. It had been a long morning gardening. Now she had sat down with a cup of tea and a biscuit.

The ground she was sitting on was laid to lawn. Behind her the bare brick was partly covered with a few strands of ivy.

As she dozed in the sun next doors ginger cat came and sat on her lap. She dreamt of a perfect cottage garden, she would lift up the lawn and plant a bank of crocosmia and ox eye daisies. On the wall behind her she would remove the ivy and plant clematis and wisteria. Maybe a peach with branches strung out along the wall.

She gradually fell into a deeper sleep. The scents of the roses wafted across the garden. Time crept by. If you had watched a time lapse film of the day you would have seen the ivy seem to pulse, and grow….. Tendrils of green stretching. Ariel roots burrowing, not just into mortar but flesh. No way was the ivy going to be removed. Around the body of the woman the branches grew.

Finally all the moisture in it was sucked out, there was just a dried husk left. Tearing through eye sockets. From the mouth. The ivy created tiny berries. Dust fell to the ground, what was left? A mug and a plate. The wall was covered.

Glowing man

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I thought I saw him through the window. A man glowing all different colours, but I looked again and it was a pretty scarf hanging on my neighbours washing line.

Later, I went out to feed the stray cat, and saw something from the corner of my eye, but it was a reflection of the sky in the pond.

I went back inside wondering what was happening, was I hallucinating? The sun was setting and glimmers of light from the crystal in the window seemed to be coalescing… A figure shaped like a man, grew from the glimmers. He spoke no words but reached out towards me. I ran into the kitchen, slamming the door behind me, but soon his head and a hand protruded through the door.

I ran out into the garden. Dark was falling, the figure followed. Glowing brightly now, it quickly moved out across the ground. I felt dreadful fear. It reached out and touched my hand, and instantly I froze. Now it drifted around, and… into me! I felt its presence inside my mind. Then I knew it was too late… Tomorrow, I tell you, they are coming for you……

Green skies

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Something bloomed into the sky after the meteorite fell. A green mist rose from the sea and started spreading across the land. For a while it lay in the hollows and valleys, but steadily crept higher.

People noticed it and shied away from it. They travelled inland and up hills and mountains. Soon they were isolated, no one would cross the green air.

The small islands of high land topping the green murk gradually were overcome. People breathed their last air as it rose, scrabbling for height, but succumbing to the green gas. They were suffocating and dying.

Asian mountains stayed above the haze for a while longer. But like everywhere else the human population passed away. Eventually the only survivors were left alone, high above Earth, in the space station. There was nothing left for them to do but wait for the end.

But then a miracle (if after all the death that could be said) happened. The gas started to clear. After three weeks it had gone completely. It was then that the astronauts realised that all Earth’s animals had survived. They realised that it was the humans haemoglobin in their blood that had been affected. Other animals had different DNA.

But the problem was how would they descend from the space station? What would become of them?