Clearcloud smiles at the cloudless blue sky. She is close to falling asleep when someone cries
‘Look!’ and she sits up. Four humans are walking up the garden path, looking at Clovertoes, and Quicktoes is flitting around in the bushes behind them. Her transparent wings shimmer in the sunlight, but the humans don’t notice; they never notice. A cloud passes over Clearcloud’s face, but it is quickly gone. It has been a long time since humans have lived here, it might be different this time, it might even be fun; playing tricks on other fairies never feels quite as exciting.
During the day, Quicktoes breaks several coffee cups and a miniature horse made of glass while Clearcloud swaps the clothes in the boy’s and the girl’s wardrobes, which begins a heated argument between the children, and casts a glamour which makes the whole house smell of chocolate cake, which confuses all the humans and greatly disappoints the adult male. Clearcloud meet with Quicktoes on the roof several times where they laugh their heads off and Clearcloud tells her friend that she is glad the humans came. When did they last have such fun? Quicktoes smiles as she answers that she does not recall, but her eyes are worried and is casts a shadow on Clearcloud’s spirits.
An hour after the children have gone to bed, Clearcloud is curled into a ball and shaking. It is their dreams, just like last time humans came, their dreams are so loud. The girl child dreams of a school yard and the shouting and laughter reaches Clearcloud as if through a megaphone, tinny and jarring. The boy dreams of a forest, and the shrill calls of dream birds cuts into Clearcloud’s ears, it cuts into her bones. She tries to sing, she tries to stuff her fists into her ears, but the noise just grows and grows. So she whizzes down into the girl’s bedroom and tears the covers off her, then onto the boy and pushes him out of bed with a well placed glamour. She sighs as the natural night noises replace the garish dreams. It will not last long, she knows, they will fall asleep again, but she has many more tricks up her sleeve. Maybe a nice violent thunderstorm could do the trick. Or if they’re heavy sleepers, she might have to throw them against a wall.
A week later, four battered and bleary eyed humans shuffle down the garden path with what they can carry. They clench their teeth against the sting of the fresh cuts on their fingers. When Clearcloud wakes up she will be sorry for hurting them, but right now she is enjoying the nothingness of fairy sleep.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on February 10, 2016
Clovertoes hops out from the bushes and nibbles a mouthful of clover.
‘Look!’ A voice cries. She looks up and sees a young boy trying to point without letting go of a pile of three cardboard boxes in his arms. In front of him walks a young girl carrying two similar boxes and behind them is a woman dragging a huge blue suitcase and a man with a huge black suitcase.
‘Look,’ the boy says again, ‘a bunny!’
‘Maybe it lives under the house,’ says the woman.
‘Do you think it’s tame?’ asks the man, ‘it doesn’t seem at all afraid.’
‘No one has lived here in years,’ says the woman.
Clovertoes keeps her eyes on them as they walk up to the front door, but continues her meal. They are the ones who should be afraid, she thinks. Clearly they don’t know why the house has been empty for so long.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on February 8, 2016
The large ones blunder blindly up to the house carrying piled cardboard boxes and hauling suitcases. Why have they come, Quicktoes wonders, don’t they know that their kind is not welcome here?
Step, step, sneak. Quick little toes across the garden path behind them. They haven’t seen her yet and they never will, although she will knock over their vases and pull their hair in the dark until they are chased away for good. And hopefully they will leave quickly, she thinks, otherwise Clearcloud will take action, and nobody wants that. Not even Clearcloud.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on February 7, 2016
I was more than halfway home, when she was suddenly there in the middle of the forest path. The moon gave her dark hair a halo and let me see enough of her pleasing form to conclude that she was naked. I might have become aroused, were it not for her hands; Each had five long claws instead of fingers and the right one was dripping blood. In the periphery of my vision, I saw a man sized lump at the side of the path, but I could not tear my eyes away from her, and when she raised her red right hand and pointed straight at me, I knew that there could be no escape. I looked up into her eyes and there I saw flames from another world.
However, she did not choose to take me that night, she spread out black bat wings behind her and flew into the sky, and I went home in a daze, shivering and sweating profusely.
I sleepwalked through the next couple of days. When they asked me about the dead man I merely shook my head. When I woke up proper, I realized that all the fears and worries I used to have had been replaced with a woman with a red right hand and an inferno in her eyes.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on February 1, 2016
(Credit: thirtyfootscrew on flickr )
Sometimes I want to turn into a giant mouth and roar at the world. It’s like a shock through my nervous system. One minute I’m doing the dishes, then shock! Cue roaring.
But I know roaring will only make things worse, so I remember the exhilaration of flight; the moment of breaking through the clouds to where the light burns the eyes and the wind whips away everything but the very core of ones being.
I remember being up there,
Then I can release the roar with a sigh and continue with the dishes.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 28, 2016
The notes branched out from the bard, some ending in fantastic flourishes, some spiralling down until they were just on the verge of hearing, then, surging back up, they soared above our heads and vanished in the clouds. We half expected phoenixes to appear, to dance around him and nest in his music.
But then the Magician arrived.
She always warned us about beauty. It always comes from pain one way or another, so she told us, and there is no one in this world who can produce beauty and who has not at some point used it to manipulate another and caused pain by doing so. We knew then and still know now that she only wants to protect us, but we were sorry to see her so soon that day.
We stepped back to let her pass, and she strode up to the bard, her robes billowing behind her, leaving a scent of lilac. She looked him in the eye with a serious expression in her face, and the bard smiled and nodded at her and kept playing.
Then she opened the electric blue eye in her forehead, the eye that sees only truth, the eye that sees straight into the heart, mind and soul of a being, and the bard trembled, but kept playing.
She closed her electric blue eye with a sigh.
‘I know,’ she said to the bard in a low voice, ‘I know about,’ and she whispered something we could not hear, and the music withered and died.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 24, 2016
(Credit: Glenda Green, publicdomainpictures.net)
Gulls are screeching overhead. Some are resting in their nests others circle high above, and I know that if I go much closer, they will swoop down on me. I sit down on a rock and watch some of then fly out over the ocean. More follow them. And more. It seems the whole colony is out there. I frown and look to the cliffs. They are empty, they’ve left their nests. All of them at once. Why would they do that, I wonder, as I gaze after them. Then a rumble behind me spreads to under me and I look to the volcano.
Then I wish I too had wings to flee out over the ocean.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 20, 2016
I am most certainly not just an angry old man, I just need people to stop being such idiots around me. I mean, look at this, all my toast is ruined. How am I going to make a cheese sandwich now?
I don’t care about her age, if she’s old enough to toast bread, then she’s old enough not to burn it.
I could have had more bread, but someone couldn’t read a shopping list. I put three things on that list, and white bread was very first one. Three things. And you came home with all these lichen fruits or whatever they’re called and pomegrenades and no white bread. Not a single slice.
Well I can assure you that I will do all my own shopping in the future.
Hopefully they’ve got those machines now, so I can pay without having to deal with those imbeciles they put behind the counter.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 17, 2016
I need a hero, but not you.
You’re strong, no one disagrees with you on that,
And you say that you’re just, no one dares disagree with you on that,
And that is the problem.
Heroes should always be honest of course, but shouldn’t ordinary people be allowed to be honest too?
And when you help people, it seems it is only with your own interests in mind.
I heard you even charged old Mrs. Higgs for getting her grey tomcat down from the Christmas tree in the square.
And your eyes. They’re so hungry.
I fear that if I fell into your arms, I’d never be free again.
So if you are the only hero available, I think I’d be better off with a villain.
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 16, 2016
“Do you hear that?”
With your heart,
With your mind.
Let it happen.”
“Is that a piano?”
“Piano strings, heart strings,
I play them all.
I’ll give you wings,
Into a wall,
To you about and let you fall
Off a high building.
Metaphorically of course,
But we are in your head.”
“You’re going to kill me?”
I would never
My hands with your blood.
It wouldn’t be clever,
And it would cause me pain
To see that red flood,
Deliciously real, not merely ostensible, pain.”
“So you… care? For me?”
“I love you!
As the vulture loves his feast
As beauty was loved by the beast
Before he tore her to shreds.”
“I think we’ve heard different versions of that story.”
Let yourself go,
And I’ll let you know,
Let me win,
And I’ll tell the story you are in.”
Posted by W. R. Woolf on January 13, 2016