Friday, April 22, 2022

2 Minutes. Go!

The birds greet the morning, damp and fetid. Rain slides off the cars, creating abstract art with streetlight glow. The world is still hitting snooze, denying that the night is over, keeping eyes shut tight. You are but a small piece of a large tableau. Do with this what you will. Run, hide, scream, laugh, sing, dance, die. The birds will keep singing. The rain will still fall. 


  1. This is a delightfully poetic image that you've created here. It's delicate and evocative and seems like a prelude to something more dramatic, maybe even the quiet before a storm.

  2. The fish swam in the jar, their eyes bulging. One of them was notably larger; its fins quivering as it maintained its position; its mouth opening and closing as it spoke my name.


    I didn’t mind that it used the name I'll only accept coming from my closest friends. I was glad it was making an effort to connect; fish are notorious for the shortness of their memories: I must have impressed it.

    I’d decided to call him Nemo. I didn’t name the others. For all I cared, they could have been Fish #1 through to Fish #5. One of them had a black mark on his dorsal fin: I would have called him Fish #1 if I’d cared enough. Another had lost a chunk from his tail – he was probably the lowest in the pecking order – his eyes constantly swivelling, watching the others. Nemo continued to float in the centre of the jar, letting the others pass around him, giving nothing away. I fancied that it had been him that had eaten a piece of #5, using him as an example to demonstrate his dominance. Fish #1 would have been the first to turn on him: Nemo was too wise to challenge him directly, preferring to intimidate the others.

    The other fishes were all whitebait - the makings of a sandwich, lacking enough dignity for me to give them their names.

    Fish #1 was a minnow with the ambition of a shark.

    What do you think?

    1. This is a cool snapshot. I am super interested in the narrator. The mix of apathy with the reader's curiosity works really well. Super intriguing.

  3. With a rumble of thunder, the day ended.

    Dolores was inside her cage, already restless, her angular face against the bars. I’d promised her more exercise tonight. I didn’t know how much she understood me: our conversations were generally one-way, my voice prompting a wordless response.

    Tonight, she would be free for a while.

    We travelled together - I always drove, Delores remaining out of sight. It brought back memories of our earliest days as a couple: the pair of us together, sharing experiences. I wondered if she still dreamed: she was much more different now. There was so little of the woman I’d known.

    I opened the door and stood back.

    She drove forward like an express, a blur of motion and colour, her vestigial limbs smaller than I remembered. The moult she’d left behind looked like a ghost, a pale empty shell of what she’d been, her humanity sloughing away a little more each time. I wondered how much of the woman was in there now. Was she still inside, or had the animal finally taken over?

    Delores reared up, her coils giving her extra height. When she ate, she was voracious, her appetite driving her growth to extremes. She had strength in abundance, but there was some tenderness too, the loops she wound around me fully capable of crushing me like toothpaste in a tube.

    And then she released me, leaving me stumbling ineptly; violet eyes, the highest of high-rise cheekbones and her insatiable appetite for life.

    1. Alright. This one is is intriguing, too! ;) I love the way you set things up in this one, and I would definitely keep reading. This is a cool piece to read after the first one, too.

  4. My father was a dour, forbidding character. A man notably unaccustomed to smiling. He was happy to be alone and found comfort in his own company. I could never understand how he could have been romantic or enthusiastic about anything.

    I never knew my father as a young man. He was old before I was born. He always seemed like an ogre I had to avoid when he was awake.

    He was a diligent worker and took pride in whatever he did. He worked in engineering in the later years of his life. He fought in the second world war while he was still young, and I believe he suffered during his service more than he would ever admit, his manner afterwards quite brusque and occasionally cruel. He worked as a driver in those first years after his being demobbed, delivering coal over long distances and loaves of bread around the county. It probably appealed to him, the opportunity to be alone in his cab, giving him the time to think about life and his pleasures.

    But there was another side to him, one that was quite surprising. He took delight in breeding caged birds and rabbits. He would often exhibit the results of his hobby in the towns nearby, competing with other similar men who shared his passions. He also rode a motorcycle, a machine which would only be modest compared with modern ones, but it appealed to a desire for freedom he kept secret from most people.

    He was a man of contradictions and dark silences. A man known by very few and then only on his terms.

    1. I know this guy. Seriously. It's almost eerie. You did a great job revealing the character slowly and leaving most of the leg work of interpretation to the reader. Really nicely done.


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