74 Are You Challenging Me?


(Credit: EricMargera on DeviantArt)

My tongue burns from the tea I drank too quickly, but the burning from you insult is worse. Sitting there with your can of Monster energy drink like it is nothing. What are you saying with that? You open the can with a click and a fizz and I can already smell the sickly sweet additives polluting our breakfast. Are you saying that I will not dare say anything to you? Well, you are wrong mister.

‘This is MY house, we play by MY rules here, and don’t you forget it!’

You stop with the can at your lips. You lower it. ‘What?’ you say, raising your eyebrows.

‘Get that affront to everything out of here.’

You look at the can in your hand. ‘What, this?’

‘Don’t you act all surprised,’ I say, ‘you know perfectly well how I feel about stimulants.’

‘But it’s just an energy drink,’ you shrug, ‘what about coffee?’

‘Coffee’s traditional. Now get it out of here before I ground you.’

You pick up your school bag and the Monster can. I hear a ‘whatever’ before you slam the door behind you, and I know that the war is not won yet.

Parents in the Dust

Dusty floor

The boy draws faces in the dust on the vacuum cleaner with a sown on finger.

‘This is my mother,’ he says, pointing at the smiley with long spiky hair down one side of its head. ‘She looks like that nice woman at the train station who played me a song on her guitar. The hair’s supposed to be purple.’ He points at the other smiley, ‘And this is my father. He’s just like that man down the road who asked me where I lived once, only he’d never yell. Not even if I broke a vase with my football.’

‘I think they met each other,’ he scratches the stitches on his neck, ‘in a burning building? No, at a secret meeting for spies. They were both spies really, and they left to go on a secret mission, but they’ll be back some day and then they’ll teach me to be a spy. The best spy.’

I am sure he could go on for a long time yet, but I am getting hungry and mice do not catch themselves. So I stretch and go to the door where I meow and scratch at the panel.

‘You’re going out already?’ he asks.

I scratch again.

‘I was just getting to the best part too,’ he mumbles as he lets me slip out into the cool autumn air. Chasing down my dinner, I wonder how the boy will react if he ever finds out that creations like him do not have any parents.

My Mother at Sea (A Tribute)


My father died at sea in 1936. His body was thrown overboard to prevent the disease that killed him from spreading. About half the crew died of the same thing. It came from the biscuits. So it goes.

I keep getting this image of my mother in the prow of a ship with torn sails. She is cradling me as she gazes out over the raging sea. I don’t know whether I’m time travelling, remembering or just dreaming, but I feel there must be some meaning behind it because it is so vivid, complete with the creaking of the ship and the smell of tar.

In the vision, my mother’s mouth is open and there is a song in and outside my head which cuts through everything. Whether she is singing to the sea or me or someone else, I don’t know, but there are splashes later and I wonder who has followed my father into the depths.

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