An Explanation

sockpuppet

”There is a rational explanation for everything,” says the sock puppet. The brown yarn above its button eyes is supposed to resemble my hair, but all in all it is a less than flattering portrait. “You’re just a big fat cheat,” it sneers.

“There is an explanation,” I say, “it’s probably…” I rack my brains as Tiffany closes the puppet’s mouth and opens her own.

“There is nothing above us but clear sky,” she says, “there’s nothing below us but air and then rocky mountain path, there’s no wind, and we can turn about 360 degrees in any direction, but we can’t get down.”

“It could still be some sort of virtual reality,” I say, “or a dream.”

“Really?” says Tiffany.

“Ok, so what if it is magic,” I say, “that’s still just science, we don’t know how to explain yet.”

“That’s still just science,” the puppet says with a high squeaky voice.

“Could you put that thing away?” I say, “we need to think of a way down from here.”

“You should probably just apologize to that old witch lady.”

“Not a chance.”

“I knew you’d say that. And I know you mean it.” Tiffany sighs and lowers the puppet and we both gently float to the ground. “I don’t mind your points of view, but you’re always a dick about them. I’ll go for a hike on my own, somewhere else.” She jumps into the sky and flies off into the sunset before I can ask her how she did it.

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Can I?

(Credit: 7-themes.com/6968639-sunset-beach-scenery.html)

(Credit: 7-themes.com/6968639-sunset-beach-scenery.html)

‘Can I?’ he asked as the setting sun had painted the sand orange and the grass beyond turned blue in comparison.

‘Can you what?’ she raised her head from her knees.

‘You know,’ he glanced at her trousers.

‘I’m afraid I don’t,’ she said.

‘You know, will you let me,’ he looked up and down the empty beach. ‘Oh, come on, you know.’ He edged closer. Their arms touched.

‘I’m telling you I don’t,’ she said searching his face.

‘Don’t make me say it outright,’ he said.

‘Well if you don’t, you can watch the rest of the sunset alone,’ she pushed herself up.

‘Wait,’ he took her wrist, ‘can I,’ he swallowed a lump in his throat. ‘Will you let me try on your trousers?’

Cockatoo

(Credit: scarletmacawpetshop.com)

(Credit: scarletmacawpetshop.com)

He watches her bring the cup to her peach lips and wonders whether she would fold him into a crane if he were made of paper.

‘It looks like it’s wearing the sun on its head,’ she says.

‘It’ll be loud and unruly and it might live 70 years, it’s out of the question.’

She pouts and he feels a hot bubbling under his skin.

‘Stop that,’ you look like a child is what he does not say, because the bubbling is not only anger and it gets stronger the more she looks at him like that.

‘All right, all right,’ he says, ‘I’ll buy you the damned bird, but don’t come running to me when it keeps you awake all night.’

‘Oh, I might,’ she says.

56 Danger Ahead

danger

‘Be careful,’ he said, ‘there is danger ahead.’

‘Danger?’ she said.

‘Yes,’ he said, ‘just up there, probably just around the corner.’ He pointed at a large rock which the road disappeared behind.

‘What is it?’ she asked.

‘Dangerous,’ he said.

‘Yes, but what it is that is dangerous?’

‘That it is so close.’

‘How can I be careful of something, if you won’t tell me what it is?’

‘I have warned you, but I’m not going to solve your problem for you.’

‘I don’t want you to solve anything. I just want you to tell me why I have to be careful.’

‘There is danger ahead.’

‘Urgh!’ She pulled her hair, ‘I’m going.’ She marched up to the rock and carefully, very carefully she looked around the edge and there she saw nothing. No grass, no road, she could not even see the rock from this side, there was just a void and it took her breath away.

Three Mini Texts

Because of the festive occasion (I have an exam today, Friday, at 9 o’clock), I have written three miniature stories. I hope you enjoy them.

I often feel like the opposite of Batman. I’m unique like that. Some people might feel like a Cheryl or a Johnny or a Jessica. But who other than me has ever felt like a Namtab?

———————-

‘No, officer, it’s just ketchup, I swear.’
‘Are they dead?’
‘Yes, but we were only playing.’

———————-

‘Ready?’ Dave asked, his hands spread out in front of him. ‘Dragons!’
Everyone else in the meeting sighed.
‘It’s the best idea ever,’ his smile threatened to split his face.
‘And how are you proposing we get a dragon?’ asked Mr. Rodgers. ‘It would burn you to a crisp before you got close.’
‘Dragons aren’t really dangerous,’ said Dave.

Mr. Rodgers agreed to pay for Dave’s tombstone under the condition that he could quote Dave on it.

Allergies

Allergies

Allergies

‘Have you been crying?’ her brow folded and the skin cracked letting a few skin flakes nestle on her nose.
‘No,’ he rubbed his red rimmed eyes and sniffed.
‘What’s all this then,’ she waved a hand as dry as her brow at his face.
‘Allergies,’ he sniffed, took a deep breath. ‘Don’t worry about it.’
‘Ok.’ She turned away, already opening drawers right and left. ‘Have you seen my body lotion?’
‘No.’

He left by the kitchen stairs. Down on the street he threw a body lotion in a container.
‘I’m allergic to adultery,’ he muttered as he sniffed again.

 

Remember Me

English: Vincent van Gogh on his deathbed Fran...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Claire?’ he said, his breathing shallow.

‘I’m here,’ said Claire and squeezed his hand. It was very cold.

‘Remember me,’ with a sharp intake of breath, he clutched at the blue blanket and the creases echoed the creases in his forehead, ‘remember me when I’m gone.’

‘I will,’ tears dripped from her nose and she sniffed.

‘Promise?’

‘Of course,’ she sniffed again, ‘I could never forget you.’

‘Claire, I,’ he gasped as if coming up for air. ‘I love you, remember that.’

‘I love you too.’

‘I love you, and I’ll always love you,’ he said, ‘always. Remember that. Remember me when I’m gone.’

‘I will.’

‘No, I mean it, remember it always. Let no one make you forget. I am yours, and you are mine, forever,’ he turned his watery eyes towards her, ‘promise.’

‘I promise that I’ll remember, father.’

Breathe Again, Again (Audio)

Today I would like to try something new, and since Colours and Fragments is now available from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk (psst, it’s cheaper from the latter),

front cover only c and f

I thought something that had to do with Colours and Fragments would be good.

So here is my idea: I’ll read you Breathe Again, a flash fiction text which is in the collection. Just be careful not to turn up the volume too much or there’ll be a lot of static.

I hope you’ll enjoy it 🙂

‘I can’t do it’

‘I can’t do it,’ he said to the tree.

‘No, I mean it. I just can’t do it.’

A blackbird warbled among the branches. The sun made the sweat run down his back and over there, right over there, on the only bench in the forest, she was. Ten metres away, max. He swallowed a couple of times.

‘You know she’s going to hate it,’ he glanced down the path. There was no one else nearby.

‘Alright,’ he said, ‘I’ll try. But don’t tell anyone.’

He went down on one knee and picked some wood sorrels.

‘Keep your fingers crossed,’ he said and with legs trembling went to the bench. She was reading a book. A very thick one. She was just that smart. And beautiful. With her red hair cut short in one side. He cleared his throat. She kept reading.

‘Here,’ he said, ‘they’re for you.’

She looked up.

‘Wha?’

‘They’re for you,’ he repeated, ‘here.’ He held out the little bunch of wood sorrels to her.

‘I’m sorry, I-’

‘Here,’ he said.

‘What, err…’ she looked from him to the wood sorrels and back again.

‘It’s four-leafed clovers,’ he said.

‘It looks like wood sorrels,’ she said.

He bit his lip. His eyes became moist.

‘Look, I didn’t mean to,’ she said.

A tear ran down his cheek.

‘They’re very nice,’ she said, ‘thank you.’

He sniffed.

‘You like them?’ he asked.

‘Yes,’ she said, ‘yes, they’re… they’re very nice.’

‘Yay!’ He punched the air beaming. ‘I didn’t screw up.’

‘err… Right,’ she said, ‘I had better go home now.’

‘Oh yes of course,’ he said, ‘your cats must be waiting for you.’

‘How do you know about my cats?’ she said.

 

——-

This is an other exercise from the writing course.

The assignment was to write a dialogue with the title ‘I can’t do it’.

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