Lined up, their beady eyes staring at me..
Two owls, mock leather and fake jewels. They sit on the sofa and look back at me. Is there a glint if evil in their eyes. If I fall asleep, will there be a great flapping of wings? Will they peck my face?
They are mocking me, watching me, sitting ready to pounce once I have closed my eyes. I just know it. Nightmares fastening their claws into my arms. Beaks ready to stab at my ears, eyes and mouth.
I remember being paralysed by the fear of them. Black and gold feathers brushing my hands. Their talons raking my veins, tangling in my hair.
How can I escape their gaze. Looking back at me. My reflection in their eyes? I want safety. Instead I may be trapped inside them, in their black lined guts. Lost forever in their gaze.
I’ve just seen the third and final episode of a Christmas Carol, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens, but with much more details and ‘plot twists’.
Gone is the vaguely cute Scrooge of the original, who is somehow not that nasty, at least compared with this Scrooge. But there is more back story about what caused his intransigence and avarice. There is also much more about what he and Jacob Marley did to his employees, the evil actions that harmed them.
On the whole this was a much more adult adaptation, including swear words and sexual exploitation. Once I got over the fact that it was more of a rewrite than an adaptation I actually enjoyed it. Scrooge does not end up gloriously happy (spoiler alert), but he is changed and his attitude to others is improved. It feels like there might even be a sequel!
It wasn’t a cloud, but the dark shape was reaching out, obscuring the moon. Something that had eyes, that twinkled in the moonlight. Something that had hands or arms to grab, what? The moon is a quarter of a million miles away. The object must either be close to Earth and not that big, or if it was close enough to capture the Moon then it would be millions of miles across.
Suddenly the light was blotted out. The huge shape turned and fled, the moon was gone. Its gravitational power gone too. Earth, which had its North and South poles tipped away from the vertical by a celestial accident in the past, now started to twist and dip. The planet becoming unstable and dangerous. People could only try to survive, and make signs and march to the chant ‘bring back our moon’. But nothing happened…..
The fingernails were split and bleeding, the hand ended at a severed wrist. Gradually it crawled across the floor, searching for something? Lifting the pretty throw draped across the sofa it scuttled underneath…
The camera panned out. The narrator whispering….. Now the female waits, it is mating season. She is a lone zombie hand, she can release pheromones….
Then… And here they are, five smaller hands, distinguished by not wearing nail varnish……
In the spring, the narrator said, there could be fingers…..
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.
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.
The storm blew in from the North like a runaway train. The wind threw water against the houses. Cars were lifted up by the flood and were caught on the top of the neat hedges that lined the sides of the street. Out of the maelstrom came a figure of a small man dressed in a black raincoat. Water streamed from him, it flowed out of his sleeves and trouser legs. Tears streamed in rivers from his eyes, nose, mouth and even from his ears.
He was called Beck and he was from the North. He was a water god and he had decided to show mankind his might because of the way the World was being treated. He was angry and the storm was growing into a tornado. He had seen the way forests were being cut back, cars clogging roads, ships travelling half way across the world to deliver the cheapest sweatshop goods.
Beck lifted his arms, words bubbled up from his mouth.
Learn or die! He screamed in a high voice. Learn, or, die !
Old Belladonna Green watched as the moon rose. It was full and glowing tonight. Just the right time to be abroad for some witchery…..
She stood on top of the hill looking down at the old town. What enchantments could she weave to change people’s lives tonight?
She was a solo witch. A bit like solitary bees. Not part of a coven, but quietly making a difference where she could. The world was too modern for her really. No apprentice had been to see her for twenty years and her stock of charms had worn out long ago. Yes she could go to the local magic shop, but the stuff in there was mainly tat. Who wanted to buy a whoopee cushion to help indigestion?
And the Internet? It spread such falsehoods that no one knew what to believe anymore. When texting arrived she almost gave up. As it was she had to be very circumspect about what she did. All those satellites and droney things. She was good at weaving invisibility which she needed to keep out of sight of CCTV! More than once she had been forced to take the form of a black cat to avoid detection.
She looked over at Larch Street. A small row of terraces which were humble but cozy.
Oh yes. Mr Hughes, he needed some help, he was losing his hair rapidly…. She climbed up the drainpipe. She was still quite nifty at climbing even though she was 74… As she had thought, the bedroom window was open to let the cool moorland air in. She pushed the sash window open and deftly stepped through. Her soft shoes made no sound… She had a pouch of green herbs on her belt and she moved over to where Mr Hughes was sleeping. Gentle fingers massaged the green goo onto his head, he snored and turned in the bed, putting an arm round his wife. Belladonna stood back, approving her own work, then swiftly left the way she had come.
As the alarm clock went off the following morning Mr Hughes went into the bathroom. He was rather shocked to see in the his face in the mirror… A full head of hair…. But why was it blonde?
You sparkled as you flew
high above me
a tail of fire,
Greens and Golds.
Cold fire flew from you wings,
Hot fire your breath.
Feathers of glass or crystal
tied with silver wire
Shreak of sound
high register like a whistle…
Then a shrinking bloom of fire
like time-lapse in reverse
your feathers folding in
creating a single golden glowing egg
Once created, to hatch and grow again.
I sometimes start a blog on one theme and for some reason meander off in a completely different direction. Like a river meanders randomly, curving one way then the other.
Curving frequently, tributaries joining,
Increasing the flow, sinuous,
Like a snake, swallowing its own tail,
In places becoming, forming through sediment,
A famed oxbow lake, a tiny part of the whole, trapped and landlocked.
When it reaches the sea all its strength is dissipated.
Numerous streams wander a delta down to the water.
Seagulls trim their wings
And fly fiercely overhead.
My story meanders again,
As a gull steals my chips ……
I started at point A, wove around and ended at point B. Strange how like a journey we can be transported by words, drift along into a story or a song… .