Double dragon trouble

A mouth full of teeth? No two! When the dragon egg hatched Ernic did not expect to see this! Double headed dragons were a rarety these days. They were more legend than reality.

The dragon was named Tuis, meaning two, and the villagers became more nervous as it grew. Ernic was given the task of feeding it. But those two heads could eat double what a normal dragon ate. Crunching bone and flesh. Dragons didn’t eat humans but they were carnivores. They would sometimes belch flame but they did not need to tendorise their food, their teeth were strong enough to bite through anything.

A gap of a few months ensued, all was quiet, Tuis continued to grow. But his mood started to change. Now he was angry. It was as if each head had a different mind and they started to squabble. One head was more dominant and no matter how Ernic tried it would grab more food. Tuis one was bigger than Tuis two. It had a darker gleam in its eyes. Shar teeth would snap at its twins head.

Finally it happened that One’s teeth grazed Two’s neck. Snap! The deed was done. Tuis smaller head collapsed forward. Then a look of utter despair came across Tuis face. He crumpled. Double trouble. Dead.

Rain arch?

Have you seen it?

Look up on the sky. Can you see it? The rain arch. I don’t understand it. That’s not normal? Who knows what it means?

Is it a stunt, is it possible? How can you believe that is real?

These were the questions being asked by people who saw it. The picture went viral. Then stories of other arches appeared in the news. There was more rain and more arches. No one had an explanation. But strange things continued to happen. The rain arches started appearing at night. There was only the arches. A new phenomena.

Him

He was stern, bearded, he was a patriarch and knew it. He had always been strict with the women and girls in the village. They could come and go, but were not allowed to go to lessons, while the boys had schooling, and of course the best food and clothes.

Nothing would change his mind, that was how things were and that was how it would always be.

His daughter, turning ten years old, looked up to him. But she was clever. Too bright for washing clothes till her hands went red, too clever for feeding the chickens or wringing their necks and plucking them when the time came. She could do everything girls five years older than her were capable of. She stitched and sewed, she span wool. She was useful and her father knew it.

‘father’ she would ask. ‘Why is the sky blue? How old is the world?’ Or ‘why are the clouds that shape?’ One day she even asked why the moon waxed and wained. Her father would just say ‘none of your nonsense my girl’ or ‘get back to your laundering’. The daughter turned round sadly and carried on with her chores.

For two years this carried on, until one day the father became ill, he took to his bed, and despite his wife’s care he only grew worse. His eyes were closed when his daughter bought his supper to him one evening. She spooned some broth into his mouth, he retched, but she persevered. Little by little he supped the food. Later she came to check on him and he seemed a little better.

A week later he was sitting up in bed. His daughter came into the room and he held her hand as she gave him more broth. ‘what’s in this food’ he asked ‘it tastes strange, bitter’ ‘just herbs’ she said.

When he had fully recovered the father asked his wife what she had used to make the broth, ‘it wasn’t me’ she said. ‘Daughter talked to the old women, she made the broth after speaking to them’.

Later he talked to his daughter ‘how did you know how to cure me?’ ‘I asked questions like I always do’ she said.

Finally his mind changed. ‘you will go to school my girl, if you can learn such things off old women, I want to know what you can learn in class’.

The daughter started school and after four years she was taken into college. Finally she was trained as an apothecary. From then on the father insisted all the children, girls as well as boys, should be taught.

Staring at me…

sketch-1589148577194

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.

Christmas Carol re-written

_20191224_210522

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!

Grab the moon

sketch-1573581782690

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…..

Ghoulish hands…

FB_IMG_1571786929807

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…..

Paint water

IMG_20190831_000922_643

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

Untitled4_002

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.

Out of the rain.

sketch-1562881113654

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 !