Let me know what you think.
Let me know what you think.
Not sure when it happened. One minute we’re sitting there, watchful, suspicious. Then we’re talking. Hesitantly at first, unsure of ourselves. Next thing you know, it’s like we’re friends. Still don’t know who made the first move. Was it us or them?
“Sorry mum, can’t really chat right now, it’s manic here. The new job? Great. Honest mum, it’s good. I’ve got an amazing view across the city from my office and my boss is a dream. In fact I’ve just got a promotion. They’ve put me in charge of marketing. Tell dad I’ll soon have enough saved to pay him back what I owe. Not sure I’ll be able to get home this weekend. Going out with some people from work and then looking for somewhere new to live. Sorry mum, must go, got an important meeting with some new clients. Speak to you soon. Love to dad.”
Maureen felt a tear trickle down her cheek as she put her mobile back in her bag. Sitting there, nursing her third latte, she looked through the crowds outside, watching her daughter lug her billboard across the busy street.
“Get off my back! Stop screaming at me like that! What’s the matter with you? It’s not my fault we had to up roots and leave. Seems some of you are too quick to forget what was happening to us back there.
You forgotten what they did to Big Brenda? It was a harrowing time for us all. Don’t know about you but I can still see the look on her face when they started on her with their chain saws. I can still hear her piercing screams. Then, when she fell, I can still see them leaping on her, hacking her to pieces. Remember? Don’t none of you have the dreams I have?
If we hadn’t left, we’d have been next. They wanted us out to make room for more of their precious homes. The fact it was our land and we’ve been there for hundreds of years meant nothing to them. Nothing we could do was ever going to stop them. And it’s no good you going on about us being enchanted. People don’t care. The magic has all gone. Nobody believes any more.
So I’m off to find somewhere quiet. Some place well away from those mad humans. You can follow me if you like or you can go back. Take your chances. The choice is yours.”
“Screw you!” I shout through bloody cracked lips. He stares at me, slouched on the cold granite floor, and smiles. The ash from his cigarette drops onto his cheap suit. Slowly, he bends down and spins the bottle again. I watch its slow revolution, desperately praying for it to point to someone else. The silent prayer is wasted. In the dim light I can see the relief on their faces. Once again it was my turn to be cleansed of all sin.
half-light and silence
fills the confessional box -
my turn to repent
The Demise Of Time
It’s got to be here somewhere. The text you sent, just before they took you away, led me here, to your chaotic workshop. What was it you were working on old man? What had you discovered that made you such a danger to them? Was it something in the half-finished box? Or perhaps I’m supposed to decipher some sort of message from the board of stones and shells? Help me my old friend. What am I looking for? They’ll be coming for me next. I’m running out of time.
they’re taking away
the hours and minutes –
leaving us timeless
An intriguing prompt from Friday Fictioneers. I decided on a Haibun – a mixture of prose and Haiku.
He’s been shadowing me for two weeks now. We’ve talked about the job and what it entails. Today it’s his turn. The straps are tightened, the curtains drawn. All he has to do is pull the switch. Nobody’ll know it wasn’t me.
Dreams For Sale
“This your first time mate?”
“To be honest I don’t think that’s any of …”
“Thought so. Can always recognise the first timers. It’s the way you sit there, so confident like. Think you’ve got it all under control. If only you knew. So, what you selling?”
“I’d rather not …”
“I bet it’s dreams. It’s always dreams for your first time. That’s how they hook us in. They keep it nice and simple. I mean what’s a few dreams to the likes of you and me. Then there’s the money they’re offering. You’d be daft to say no. Was it their special offer you responded to?”
‘Well actually it …’
“Thought so. That’s how they get to most of us. They’ve a knack of knowing who’s in need of a bit of extra cash. I bet you didn’t notice the adverts at first, I know I didn’t. Just sitting there on your screen, tucked away in the background. They’re clever like that. Next think you know you’re phoning that number and some sexy sounding woman on the other end is booking you in here for an appointment. Have you signed anything yet?”
“Only the …”
“Bloody hell! You have haven’t you. Don’t know why I’m sounding surprised, we all do it. Bet that charming girl on Reception told you she just needed your signature for their records. You were so busy looking into those pretty eyes of hers, you would’ve signed anything. How were you to know what you were actually signing. Don’t suppose anybody explained the contract to you?”
“I’m not …”
“Of course they didn’t. Why would they? I know when I asked they said I was simply giving them permission to harvest a few of my old dreams, ones I no longer had any need of. Course I had no idea then what they were really after. By the time I did, it was too late. I’d signed on the dotted line and was all theirs. They could take whatever they wanted. Who you with?”
“Dr. Peterson but …”
“Peterson! Bloody hell. He’s the top man! I don’t know what you’ve got hidden inside that head of yours, mate, but it must be important. Must go – having a scan to see if I’ve any nightmares they think are worth having. If not, they’re going to check out the state of my internal organs; see if there’s anything there worth salvaging. Hopefully see you around sometime! Good luck with Peterson. You’ll need it.”
Two New Members
“This ain’t right Billy. Robbing a Church is a sin, we’ll end up going to Hell.”
“Stop whining Jimmy. You’re forgetting, this isn’t a Church it’s the house attached to a Church, so that makes it OK. Now give me a hand with this box.”
“I still don’t like it mate and that picture’s giving me the creeps. That Bishop bloke keeps watching us, his eyes are following me. I’m sure he’s trying to tell us something. Look at him.”
“Jimmy Smith! It’s a picture. Just some stupid, bloody picture! Now stop your whingeing and help me get this box open. I reckon it’s going to be full of silver candlesticks and other valuable stuff they use in Church. That’s what the rumours say. We’ll be rich. It’ll be our best haul yet. Might even be able to retire.”
The Bishop watched the two young men drag the box across the floor. He’d been here nigh on two hundred years and it was rumours of his treasure that lured people to this place. He tried his best to warn them but his screams went unnoticed. None of them ever heard him. Probably best just to let them get on with it. In the end, what they reap from their greed, will be no more than what they deserve. But still the Bishop screamed out another warning.
“Did you hear that Billy? Like a muffled scream coming from that picture. Reckon that Bishop fellow is trying to tell us something. I think we should get out of here mate, while we still can.”
“Bloody hell Jimmy! I’m beginning to wonder why I brought you along. You’ve done nothing but moan the whole time we’ve been here. Trust me, that picture’s not talking. You’re just a little jittery mate, first time nerves, happens to us all. Now stopping looking at that picture and hand me the crowbar. Should be able to get this lid off nice and quick. With any luck will be down at the Nags Head in time for last orders.”
The Bishop sighed. Just like so many before them. If only they knew what they were doing. Despite himself, he continued screaming, but to no avail. The lure of the box had completely taken over. He watched as they prised open the large wooden chest. The older one, the leader, leaned forward and opened its great, heavy lid. Both men looked in.
The Bishop looked away. Despite having witnessed this scene so many times it still sickened him. He heard their muffled screams and could picture the long, shiny tentacles, wrapping themselves around the two thieves, and dragging them slowly into the box. After a while, silence descended once more, and the great lid closed itself. The creature he’d once sold his soul to, had gathered two more to his flock.
You Can Do It!
Mum’s been dead three years now but I can still feel her presence. Same as always, pushing me to do things I don’t want to do.
She’s here now, whispering in my ear, cajoling me.
I step off the ledge and fly.