They met by the hellibores, just inside the cemetery gates. They were strangers, meeting because of a tweet one had sent and the other had read. They might have lived in the same town, the same street, but neither knew.
It was almost midnight when they met and misty, they nodded at one another, recognising a fellow conspirator.
They stood and talked, for minutes, exchanged notes, compared ideas. They were both in agreement. There was no doubts, they confirmed the transaction.
Yes that’s a meat feast pizza, two doughnuts and a bottle of cola.
The man got on his moped and drove off into the darkness.
He Lodge keeper took his order inside. Pizzas here, he said to his wife..
She asked him again not to make a sandwich on the cupboard top. The cats jump up there and you don’t know what they are leaving there! Here, use a plate?
The man shouted that she was nagging, he didn’t need a plate. She tried again, there could be viruses or bacteria, you haven’t wiped it down?
But he still wouldn’t listen. So she decided to accidentally sprinkle coffee grains and sweetner on the cupboard. At least then if he went to make a sandwich he might use a plate? But no, he didn’t but at least he wiped the cupboard down!
She walked by the old building in the twilight, the boarded windows stared blindly at her. She just needed to get past the front of the house and she would be into the no man’s land. Then one hundred yards, and she would be out of the shattered city. How had she managed to get this far safely? The invasion had attacked the cities a week ago. She had evaded them by moving in the dusk and dark.
Silently she stepped forward, quietly she looked round the corner. She was facing an alien guard. It wasn’t looking her way! Bending low, she sidled slowly across the glass strewn ground. Now to make a run for it……
I was passing an antique shop one day when I saw the face of a woman looking back at me from an old cracked and crazed mirror. It’s bronze frame was chipped and pitted with age. The face looked like an old master painting, like a Jacobean lady, with a powdered wig and pale face.
I didn’t know how it was happening but I was drawn inside and paid far too much for it. Minutes later I was walking down the road with a brown paper package under my arm.
What’s in the box? She asked. I couldn’t say he replied. It just arrived in the post.
They sat and drank coffee.
Open it? She said. No wait till Chrismas he replied.
That was three days ago. Now it was Christmas morning. Let’s open it now, she said? After lunch, he said.
Each time they put it off, the tiny Christmas elf in the box got weaker, hungrier, angrier. It had been posted to bestow three wishes. Now it had decided the wishes granted would be its own. It would start by attacking whoever opened the box.
It looked like a massive nest or a basket. Clearly woven, held together with branches not twigs. Something horrendous lived there. Something that could think, could weave, could create a threat in the vision of tangled trees.
She tried to dispelling her fears, to get freedom back. But as she looked on, two huge spikes shot up into the air and the massive bulk of a head loomed into the sky. She knew she had lost when the gold green eyes sparkled as they opened. The beast was awake!
Misty and overcast, branches and twigs reach out like witches fingers. Darkening mist twists and turns. Hidden eyes watch as the gloom deepens. Footsteps trail through the bracken. Water lies in droplets across the dead and dying wood.
She had seen light from the footpath. A cottage.. A campfire? What was there. Goaded by her imagination she stepped off the path. Feet tangling in blackberries and vines. She stumbled and the branches reached down….
There’s definitely something odd about this watch, she said to her friend. I ordered it over the Internet and it arrived today. I needed a new one and this was cheap and cheerful……. She couldn’t explain what was making her uneasy. Is it keeping time? Her friend said, and she replied, yes, it seems to be fine.
She went home after her shift and changed into her pajamas. Put the watch on the bedside cabinet… Tick tock… Tick tock.. Tick tock … She woke in the middle of the night and realised what she had subconsciously been hearing all day…
Tick-tock, the watch was saying the words, not actually ticking or tocking !
At 3am on Halloween morning he awoke to see a figure by the bed. Still, silent, watching him. He blinked and it was gone. But it’s memory stuck in his mind. A grey haired tall woman. Middle aged, quite slender. He sat up and looked all round the room, but the only noise was the tick of the clock and the hum of the central heating. There was no place to hide in the small single bedroom. Not even any curtains to hide behind, with a telltale shoe sticking out. He doubted anyone could squeeze behind venetian blinds…..
Eventually sleep dragged him down into its arms again. Then when he was settled, the figure pushed through the wall and back next to him again. Eyes staring, never blinking, a look of sadness on her face. Never knowing her grandson till now. Knowing it was his last night on earth. One minute here… Tick… The next.. Gone.
After reading the cycling magazine the cat fell into a deep sleep. As I watched him his back legs started to kick and wheel, like he was pushing pedals, hard. In his dreams he was riding a small bike, resting his forepaws on softly covered handle bars. Cycling up and down the rooves, down into guttering, splashing along, kicking leaves down to the ground. Now he’s going for a wheelie, front wheel pulled up. Leaping the gap between two houses, tail flying like a flag. Eventually, after half an hour of chasing his tail on the bike, round and round in rattling circles, he falls gently into a quiet sleep but remembering his ‘mad cat’ adventures.