While I’m not blogging, here are a selection of small pieces I’ve written recently mostly for various prompts.
Maybe this should be a prompt? I’ll give it thought…
Verb Love –Esther Newton
Her past was tense, poor Sally McGraw
Perched on that fence, neither either nor or,
Plucking a flower, he loves me or not
Driving her crazy, forget-him-the clot.
Bur Harold McGee’s, principle weakness
Is plain, you see – a crippling shyness;
Harold loves Sally, and that awful defect
Will not stop them marry-ing, their future is perfect.
Trophy Cabinet –Sacha Black
Dr Josiah Pretty was a mystery man. No one knew his background. His qualifications, while sound, remained unchecked by the authorities. He just appeared one day, setup business behind a brass plate announcing his name and ‘Consultant Urologist’ and began to practice. His client base grew with his reputation for a caring manner and a rapid diagnostic ability. He had been practicing for ten years when a clumsy error led to his being uncovered. The tabloids luxuriated in the gory details of his sinister practice, the many men’s lives ruined by his unethical behaviour. But the worst came fourteen days after his secret was revealed when workmen found hidden preservation tanks in the basement containing trophies of each unnecessary operation. The next day the papers were full of ‘Dr Pretty and his Underwater Ball Room’.
Bring on the Empty Horses (Microcosms)
Spy, Fortress, Comedy 295 word
‘Is Reverse Trojan? You yankee doodles love.’ The Russian offered another spinach samosa.
‘Ivan, mate, wtf?’ The American flossed his teeth, ensuring both a perfect smile and providing a string for Langley to check for any drugs.
The Russian smiled his best vodka-topped smile. ‘These Syrians love their ‘orses, no? We steal their favourites and run them up to the gate. They are like ‘Wah, woah’, let them in. But they are full of trackers and microphones and cameras. We now inside Citadel. We have knowledge of their plans. Bingle!’
‘It’s bingo. I get the Trojan bit. Horses. But Reverse?’ The American disinfected the neck before swigging quickly and slipping a nano-recorder into the bottle.
‘They empty. We use empty ‘orses!’ The Russian tipped the remaining booze into an ashtray and set it alight.
‘That stinks. They won’t swallow that.’
The Russian shrugged his steroidal shoulders. “Is on fire. Of course they not swallow.’
‘Your plan, dullard.’ The American rubbed his waxed chin. ‘Though we could build animatronic horses, exact copies of the originals. That would be the bizz.’
‘Da, Da, yankee doodles always want show off his toys. ‘Look at me, my ICBM is bigger than yours.’ Bullshit.’
‘How do you get their horses? What’s your cunning plan, Baldrick?’
‘Who Baldrick? He not have Kremlin clearance?’
‘He’s a figure of speech, you moron.’
‘You think I know fuck nothing, when really I know fuck all!!’
A short knock disturbed them and a square jaw appeared.
‘Er, news just in from Central, sirs. The Brits apologise but they’ve just bombed the Citadel. They wanted to know if it was important.’
As the American’s gaze met his Russian counterpart’s the super-heated nano-recorder exploded. The Russian, his eyebrows aflame, smiled. ‘Now that is real booze.’
Arnold’s Raspberry Ripple: Microcosm 30
290 words. Ice Cream Vendor, Heatwave, Horror
Arnold hated children, specifically whiny children, with their perleases and I wants and why nots? Maybe, he mused as he imagined forcing a ninety-nine flake up yet another little Jonny’s nose, it was the carers he detested. They allowed this cacophony of imbecilic demands to build to a crescendo. He knew the sort, well before they fumbled with their purses, as their chargers suffocated him with their high-pitched expectations. The harassed and the hormonal, the fractious and the frantic, they sagged at the shoulders and waited, like the justly condemned for the release that came with the first mouthful: a slurping symphony of the serially spoiled.
The heat reflected back off the buildings and created an insatiable need for ice cream. Today, thought Arnold was perfect. He smiled at his regulars and poured smarmy blandishments into the ears of the unsure. He had waited for this moment. Six months before, Arnold’s mother had passed unexpectedly in circumstances that required Arnold to maintain a discrete silence on the subject. What was he to do with the corpse? Storage wasn’t hard; he had industrial-scale freezers, but disposal appeared to be an insurmountable obstacle.
Then inspiration. He desanguinated the body, flay-dried the skin, melted the adipose fat and rendered the bone crystalline. With imagination he created a whippy ice cream with the incontinent wobble of the terminally obese; a rippling raspberry that congealed nicely; and a crispy cone and wafer that had the taut pertness and translucence of the surgically enhanced.
The produce flew from his van. It might not last, but he knew he would savour the moment when his misbegotten customers realised just what he meant, in answer to the question: ‘Where did you get this ice cream?’ with ‘From mother’.