Coffee and cream?

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Hot coffee with cream, a slice of black forest gateaux. She sat and stirred the cup, hearing the spoon tinkle against it.

Only an hour ago she had been running to catch the bus into town. She’d told Al that she was meeting a friend….

This isn’t a trashy romance story, she told herself. Just a meeting with an old friend. But she couldn’t help feeling excited. He’d sounded just the same on the phone as he had all those years ago at college.

The cake was delicious, but she only tasted it, she was too nervous to eat. Too many butterflies in her stomach, too much anticipation and anxiety.

Oh god, she thought. I’m too old for all this, what will I say? Should I put some more lipstick on? She was also thinking about Al. How could she tell him about this. No it would be her little secret.

It was half an hour later, he was 20 minutes late… He promised he would be there. She remembered a tall young man. Long hair, a leather jacket and jeans. Black doc marten shoes….. Where is he? She thought.

Just then the glass door opened. She saw a once tall man, now stooped over. A bald head, what hair that was left was grey and in a ponytail. A walking stick, a gold medallion.

She decided not to say hello. As he walked into the room she went to the counter to pay her bill. On the way out of the door she felt mixed guilt and grief. Had she done the right thing?

She looked in the window and caught her reflection. Her once slim body was wider now, her hair not just grey, but white. Oh well she thought. At least I have Al.. …

Staring at me?

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Who is that man staring at me? Why is he staring? I have never met him before. Never spoken to him. Trying to hide behind a magazine, I peeped out. . Still staring directly at me! How rude and somehow frightening too. Like when a cat stares at its prey, ready to strike? Or a snake catching your scent … Who was he? How did he know me?

Oh no, he’s coming over. Sitting down opposite me at the cafe table. .

Excuse me? You have ketchup on your face. He grabbed the napkin and wiped my face, like I was a child! Then he got up and walked away. I’ve never seen him again since!

 

Two faces

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They had known each other since childhood, but when they left school, they went there separate ways.

Sophie knew her friend had got married and had two children. But not much more than that.

She herself had gone to college and then university, now she was back in the old town looking for Jean, but she was having trouble tracking her down.

In the end it was a chance meeting with another old friend that lead her to find Jean again.

She was sitting at a table just inside the door of the cafe when a man walked by. He must have been looking for someone but he saw her. He stopped and stared then came towards her… Sophie? It can’t be? A smile on his face. It is! Hello, how are you? He was asking those little questions you ask someone when you haven’t seen them for years.

The man told her that Jean had moved to the south of the town with her partner. It was a couple of bus rides away, but not too far.

Sophie set out, she hoped that Jean would be in when she got to the house. As she travelled she thought of all the things she wanted and needed to say. There was a long history between them, and she had found out something they had never known as children.

How would Jean react? The bus pulled up and she got off. She checked her mobile. The address was two streets away, near the river.

She walked quickly, trying to stay calm. She could have tried to phone Jean but she didn’t know her new surname. How would she take the news? Life was strange…

She found the modest terraced house halfway down the street. She stood looking. A tiny front garden with a brick wall around it. A modern front door. Could she, should she knock? Yes.

Jean answered the door and took a few moments to recognise Sophie. Oh my God! How are you? What are you doing here??

Sophie took a deep breath. I’ve something to tell you. Can I come in?

Jean smiled, yes, of course, would you like a cup of tea, or coffee? Have a seat. The living room was small and chintzy.

No its OK. Maybe later. Do you remember how close we were when we were children?

Yes. Two peas in a pod people used to say.

There’s a reason for that. I found it out. I was looking on line at my family tree… Sophies voice trailed off..

And? Jean wanted to know…

I won’t beat about the bush… We are sisters, twins!

What?

Yes, twins. Your mum adopted you because my mother could not manage to bring up both of us. Dad was out of work if you remember. ..

But we don’t look alike?

Non identical twins. Sophie replied.

So you want to know more? Jean nodded. Yes please…

In the Dark (part four)

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I had got to the front door and was trying to unlock it when he caught me. I squirmed out of his grip and opened the door, feeling myself falling down the front step. My arm was yanked back in its socket as he gripped my wrist but I slammed the door on him. I felt his nails scratch me as he clawed at my trailing hand…

Out, I was out, back in the cold dark street. Into the car, fumbling at the lock. He was not following? Something to do with the street lights?

I revved the engine and put it in gear. Where to go so late? All my friends would have gone to bed. My sister? She lived miles away. Far enough away to be safe from him.

I drove out of town, into the dark of the countryside. The street lights dwindled and I drove along, marvelling at my night vision. Normally I struggled to see but tonight? There must be a full moon.

My hand itched where he had scratched me…..

I could not seem to concentrate and sweat dropped into my eyes. The heater was on full blast so I turned it down.

Now I was close to my sisters home. I drove into her street. The lights were out but I have a spare key.

I looked in the mirror to tidy myself up. Golden eyes glowed back at me… My eyes…. And I was suddenly very very hungry……

 

The End

The Zebracorn

Long years ago, before the time of the man-beast, an animal roamed the plains of a foreign land….. IMG_20190209_010011_358

Neither horse nor pony, the creature was called the Zebracorn.

Six foot high at the shoulder, with smouldering hooves that beat a rhythm of power as it galloped over the grassy land, this fabled creature could outrun panthers. It could fight off a leopard or a lion with one kick. It’s horn could shatter rock and scatter the stone which would then transform into diamonds.

The Zebracorn had a vast territory, it could run from sunrise to sunset without reaching the furthest edge of its land.

So grand and wise was it that the other animals, from clever ants to wise water buffalo gave it food when it was hungry and dug water up from the desert if it was thirsty.

One day it found a new animal. Joyfully it ran over the grassland to say a greeting to the creature who walked upright on its two feet. Instead of hooves this creature, the man-beast had hands on its front limbs.

As the Zebracorn came to a graceful halt in front of this upright creature, the man – beast picked up a branch it had been using to lean on. Instead of the customary greeting in return, the animal lifted the branch and stabbed the Zebracorn in its heart. There was no explanation or reason for this act. Only the fact that the man-beast liked to kill. To maim and to destroy life.

This it has been since time began. Death bought not just for meat for the table but for fun, or to gather horn as an aphrodisiac

Now other animals are close to extinction. The Lion, Giraffe, Elephant, Rhino and other smaller beasts too.

The man-beast has made a difference to life on this planet. In the time it has existed one quarter of the world’s animal population has become extinct.

Zebracorns or Bears, Beetles or Mice. This has to stop.

In the dark (part three)

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I had walked into my bedroom and seen the shadowy figure of my partner sitting in a chair by the window. I tried to see his face but the full moon in the window behind him cast darkness across his face.

“What’s up with the lights?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“I took out the bulbs” he replied..

That was something I had not thought of. “Why?”

“I need the dark” was all he would say.

I felt the chill air seeping into my body, something was wrong with the heating, it had been playing up before I went out to choir practice. Now it was as cold inside as it had been out in the night.

“It’s cold” I said simply. “Do you want a coffee?”

“No”

I was getting worried and scared, Henri was usually a happy, talkative man. His manner now was just not like him.

“I’m going downstairs” I said,

“No” again..

“Well this is stupid” I started to edge towards the door.

Then he opened his eyes….they were glowing gold….

I ran. Down the stairs, tripping and falling but catching the bannister I managed to halt myself. I felt a bone crack in one of my fingers, but I found I felt no pain, I just wanted to get out. Get back in the car, get away……

(To be continued…..?)

In the dark (part two)

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It’s been suggested that I carry on with this, so I will try…

I closed the front door and reached for the light switch. Nothing, the house was in darkness. My partner was not about. I used my phone to light the livingroom while I tried to find the fuse box. But when I checked none of the fuses had tripped.

I tried the light at the other end of the room, but it was the same. Normally we leave a table lamp on if we go out, but this was off too?!

What was going on? The room was freezing and dark, the curtain was open on the side window of the house so a glimmer of sodium street light trickled in.

I walked past the barometer. The pressure had dropped. The snow was starting to drift past the window again. I could see snow flakes falling silhouetted by the street light.

I realised that I still had not heard my partner. I moved back to the front door and opened it. Any foot prints on the pavement had been covered by the drifting snow. What next? I walked through the kitchen to the back door. It was locked and the key was still it. Even so I opened the door to look out. I was not surprised to see a cats eyes reflecting back at me, there are always stray cats hanging around for hand outs.

But the eyes looking back at me looked larger than normal, bright gold, glinting. Perhaps a fox? I slowly closed the door, not daring to take my eyes off the steady gaze until it was locked shut.

Feeling dizzy and worried I used the light from my phone to climb the stairs. Thinking all the time that maybe I should have knocked on my neighbours door? The memory of people walking upstairs in horror films also crept into my mind.

“Hello” “you’re home early” my partners voice came from a chair by the window …..

(I’m not carrying on with this tonight, leaving it as a bit of a cliffhanger).