WHAT Time Is The Next Train Due in? The creature barked out the words to a startled passenger. WHAT Time is it due? Its strange tinny voice was demanding.
Er? Have you looked at the time table? The man on the platform asked. He started looking for a way out. The pepper shaker shaped creature was waving what looked like a sink plunger at him with some menace. The other thin arm looked even more worrying.
WHAT TIME IS THE NEXT TRAIN? The voice was getting louder and angrier, the man cowered in a corner behind an advertising hoarding for “cool menthol” cigarettes.
Just then a 2.6.0 standard steam train pulled into the station. Taking a quick decision the man ran across the platform and wrenched open the door to the third class carriage and leapt aboard.
The creature trundled over to a first class carriage. Its tiny eye on a stick looked up and down, it saw the step up to the door. It noticed the door handle. No way to grip it with its too large suction cup. The train started to move, the creature (a Dalek) tried to follow, but the train sped up and left the Dalek floundering in its steamy wake…..
The candle flickered and guttered as the front door opened. Jim entered the room with a flurry of snow. The cold air made a hole in the warmth.
‘You OK’ he asked? ‘Yes just about’ , said Sarah. ‘I kept the wood stove burning all day, but the power went out half an hour ago so I lit a candle ‘.
The weather had been mad since the 20’s. Global temperatures had continued to increase, but this winter had been wild. Snow had fallen for three months now. Sometimes they managed to get out to the shops, but they had to walk down the hill over the fields because the lane was full up with snow. It was one of those deep lanes which had been worn away over the centuries. The land around it was about 6 foot higher. In this snow it was impossible to get along because of the drifts.
‘So how many tablets have you got left?’ asked Jim. ‘Five’ she said. ‘I will have to get down to the village soon’ he thought for a second. ‘What about the weather?’
‘I heard the report before the power went off – bad for two days, then it might break?’
Jim looked at his wife, pale and thin. She was shivering with cold. ‘I’ll fetch you a blanket’ .
Later as they lay on a mattress infront of the wood burner, he looked at the ceiling and watched the last glimmers of the candle. He listened to her uneven breathing, a harsh rattle sometimes breaking into the rhythm of sleeping breath. ‘ Oh lord ‘ he thought, ‘let the snow stop, let me get her medicine, let things get better’ .
Three weeks later as the snow turned to rain, and the land flooded, the local police came looking for them. Inside the living room they found their bodies..
A note was on the table under a burnt down candle. ‘I can’t live without her’ was the simple message he had left.
Berador, wind wraith, fourth brother of the Vars. The clan of the elements.
Brother to Shenth, Earth wraith, Strunt, fire wraith and Flonda, water wraith.
Berador had been seperated from his brothers in the War of Merenda. He was now lost in the great forest where his breath beat against the leaves and branches, tearing at them, and yet he could not escape.
It had been three months since the war ended and they had left him here thinking him dead. But the breeze in him still trembled the trees and sparse grasses. He knew Autumn was coming, then he would have a chance.
As the season turned the Forest grew orange and golden and mauve in the cooling air. Now Berador could push his breath against the leaves and they started to fall, curling and flying away. They fell in drifts on the ground that he struggled through. But he could see his way now. Beyond the edges of the trees lay their old haunt, Skreelt Castle.
In days he would be home, in days his brothers would celebrate his return. His breath would sustain him until his homecoming. He knew it would not be long now.
The ancients, they look on through time. They see the world now and remember what it was like then. They are in the gargoyles, in statues, in faces in stone. They are hidden where they could find space. They may be thousands of years old but they do not last forever. As age wears them the ancient spirit wears away too. Look at that old stone head on the corner of the wall. It’s spirit is washing away with every bit of grit the rain wears away. See that old stone face on the plinth? Hands rub its bald head and gradually it dwindles.
Ancient memories dwindle too. Now there are moments of sunshine seen six hundred years ago which will not last much longer. There a remembrance of a lost husband or wife that was once strong but now veiled. Ancients seeing the world now are amazed at the destruction and damage. Trees that they have lived with cur down in an instant. Buildings they became part of ripped apart and turned to rubble.
Now the ancients share with younger spirits. To be a homeless ancient is to gradually disperse into the air and blow away on the wind. Long forgotten, never to be seen again.
Ruth had been in the garden cutting back a vine plant all day She decided to shower as broken bits of twig and leaf had fallen on her and twisted in her hair.
As she started to shampoo her hair she struggled to untangle all the bits of twig. It was getting caught even tighter. She tried some conditioner but the vine was strong and she thought she might have to get some scissors. It was so prickly, bits were scratching her hands and scalp. It felt as though it was pressing on her hair, her nose? Infiltrating her ears. She knew then that it was growing! The water and the conditioner was feeding it. No matter how she struggled the vine grew and tangled around her. It slipped into her mouth as she tried to cry out.
Later a neighbour, who had noticed water running out of the house, called the police. They eventually broke in.
“No sign of anyone in there.” “We’ve turned off the water,” the policeman said. ” Funny thing, there’s a huge vine growing in the bath. They must have left it there so it had water” …..”very strange shape, you could almost imagine it had arms and legs” ..
It was a quiet autumn day and nothing much was happening. She had been out shopping and was starting to put stuff away in the fridge. Suddenly there was a huge gust of wind which rattled all the windows and blew lots of leaves along the path. It started to rain and the sky grew grey and then black. The kitchen was so dark that she had to put the light on. She thought she saw a figure outside, but when she tried to look through the window the glare from the electric light reflected back and made it impossible to see out.
She continued to put things away. Then entered the living room. She heard a knock coming from the front door, “hang on” she called, fumbling to find the light switch, ” I will be there in a sec.”
She turned the key in the door and gasped as she opened it. A very short person dressed all in black and wearing a plastic skull mask stood by her front door….
“Trick or treat!” screamed the child loudly over the sound of the gale.
In the morning her hair had turned white. She didn’t know why. It had been a normal evening, nothing out of the ordinary. Bed at a reasonable time. Nothing had woken her until her normal waking time at 7am.
And yet, her hair had turned white overnight? It was meant to happen if you were scared or had a shock. Something she never understood as there is no blood supply to hair. It’s dead, it’s colour is created as it grows and as you get older grey or white hair gradually takes over. But overnight? What could have happened?
She had had a shower…… Oh.. …
Peroxide! She had used the wrong shampoo. Her daughter used it normally…. .