Tidying Up

’What about this vase then?’ his son picked up the very pink and very empty vase from the table and revealed a circle of shiny wood.

‘That’s a gift from the queen,’ he said, his slippers shuffling over the frayed carpet.

‘The queen?’ asked his son.

‘When I was five years old, I saw the queen. She asked me if there was something I wished for.’

‘And you wished for a vase?’

‘I was five; I asked for sweets, and she gave me that whole vase filled with pear drops and mints. You can still smell the mints if you try.’

‘Hm,’ his son took a doubtful look at the dust at the bottom of the vase and replaced it amongst the countless other objects covering the surface of his father’s coffee table. ‘But something has to go, dad. There’s scarcely room to breathe in here.’

‘You’re quite right,’ he sighed, ‘quite right.’ And a minute later his son was locked out of the flat.




Crystal Cavern

(Credit: firedudewraith from Deviantart, firedudewraith.deviantart.com/art/Crystal-Cave-2-128406747)

(Credit: firedudewraith from Deviantart, firedudewraith.deviantart.com/art/Crystal-Cave-2-128406747)

He lives in a crystal cavern. When the sun enters, the crystals flash and some create rainbows all around him and sometimes he can pretend that he is living in the sky. He thinks of the cavern as a shell around him, although he has never experienced any other shell with spikes on the inside; some of the crystals can cut flesh easily. Even when the sun enters it never brings any warmth, and he imagines ice crystals growing in his heart. Maybe when his heart is covered in hoarfrost, he will be more one with the cavern and it will feel soft and warm around him. He wonders about this and many other things. He dreams of it, and he dreams of distant forest fires and a red haired woman whom he will never meet. He dreams of cities and large green fields and cages and mobs screaming for freedom. Curling into a ball, he feels another crystal form in his heart and breathes in the safety of his cave.



There was a small trickle, a very small trickle coming from the corner of her mouth.

‘That can’t be dangerous,’ he told himself, ‘she should have five litres of the stuff.’

So he got her onto the backseat, trying not to bump her head on the ceiling of the car and drove home.

‘The least I can do after giving you a fright like that,’ he said, putting her down on the bed, ‘I’ll just take the sofa, no worries.’

But she did not seem any better the next day. He could not make her eat even a single spoonful of oatmeal. He still had to leave for work, so he told her to just eat whatever she liked, if she got hungry during the day.

‘Maybe there’s something wrong with her head,’ he thought, ‘I hope that wasn’t my fault.’

Two days later, he thought she needed a bath, but it would be much too improper for him to help her, so he asked the neighbour for help. The neighbour screamed her head off for an extended period when she saw the corpse in his bed. Then she called the police.

‘But it was just a small bump,’ he said when they brought him in, ‘it hardly scratched the polish.’


In The Forest

The trees surrounding me are like four severed forearms, elongated fingers reaching far above my head, but still an eternity from the sky. Perhaps they will be satisfied with tearing holes in reality where they can and I think they have already done so, because when the wind blows I glimpse a void behind the foliage and I can feel it sucking me in. And I wonder how the rest of the forest can seem so unaffected. The dripping from the trees mingling with the bird song in the air, the smell of moist earth, a ray of sun peeking out from behind a could and making a rainbow in a cobweb filled with pearls.

How can this world be torn?

I have to move or I will be dragged into nothing, so I climb the muddy hill behind me. I slip and slide and get grimy hands, but even as I near the top I sink deeper into the hole that I dug for myself. I don’t expect your sympathy, after all I could have let the spade stay in the shed, but I hope you understand how hard it can be to clamber out once one has reached the bottom. Not that I expect you can see the hole. I could try showing you, if you want, but there is a risk of me pulling you down instead of you helping me out.

Asking Advice

sacto cemetery 1

She went to her father’s grave to ask his advice.

‘Hi dad,’ she said, ‘I didn’t bring you a flower today, because a bouquet would just wither, and you already have so many growing on you, it’s turning into a jungle. The sage is lovely though.’ She took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes.

‘You know I’ve been thinking about that proverb about leading a horse to water. What do you do, if it’s the other way around? I mean, what if you lead a horse to water and it drank and that was fine, but then he just didn’t stop drinking; he just kept taking and taking until even your tears run dry and all your friends say just leave him, but it’s your river, and he has gnawed his way into the riverbed and just won’t let go and…’ she sighed. ‘He just won’t let go.’ Replacing her glasses, she looked up at a cloud drifting between her and the sun.

‘I suppose you’re right; I just have to make him let go. Rigor mortis doesn’t kick in until after three hours.’

She smiled at the violets, the sage and the lavender.

‘Thanks for listening, dad.’

And she went out to the road where her husband was waiting.




I wear a postman’s cap when I deliver letters

And a beanie when I run errands.

I have a mortarboard for manipulating abstract concepts

And a top hat to be a gentleman at parties.

I wear a bandana for stealing gold and drinking rum

And somewhere I have a fish hat for infiltrating the Mer King’s castle.

But when all the hats come off at the end of the day,

Who is lying in the bed?


Done with exams (for now)




And other such exclamations.

Now I can finally sit down and write.

But what should I write?

Pointing Fingers

I’ve missed two updates which is of course entirely my own fault, but I’m going to blame my exams.

I’m also going to blame my exams for not beginning on my NaNoWriMo novel today. However, I hope that my exam Wednesday will dry out my well of excuses, so that I’ll if not catch up then at least write furiously the rest of the month.

If you’re thinking about joining NaNoWriMo go sign up: nanowrimo.org

See you on the other side.


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