24 April, 2012

Squigglings of a cold, rainy day

In the empty book, inkings squiggle
growing, curling, filling.
Pick of white in lines of grey
pictures billowing, milling.
Open wide are the empty spaces
wriggling 'round the lengthy laces.
Red on blue and red on black
Red on white a glaring track.

With a rip pull out the old,
Then to tip, write title bold.

I feel like a story. Do you? What shall we write today?
Atmosphere and mystery? Description vs action?
What shall we write today?
I know.
Try this on for size.

From frigid clouds, rain fell. Blustering wind made instant icicles on the dripping leaves. Birds shivered and huddled together in the bushes for warmth. The ground was mushy and every footstep squelched water out from the mud beneath the crushed grass, making it pour over the tops of well-worn shoes. He couldn't even feel his toes anymore.

In short, to say that it was cold was an understatement. An understatement as far-fetched as a small ant saying an elephant was big. Just like when the trader had told Angus that the coat was a weather-proof. All it was really doing at the moment was impeding his movement and weighing him down. It didn't even cut out the wind. Weather-proof his smelly, muddy sodden socks.

Miserable. That was the word. Miserable. And misery trickled down the back of his neck into his shirt in the form of a particularly cold stream of water. The trees were no shelter on a day like this and with this type of cutting wind, hills were no wind breaker. The air's blustery flights of watery fancy were just as likely to grow in strength when it swerved around the edge of a hill.

Angus pulled a numb hand from a pocket and twitched his nose at the wrinkly skin that made him feel like a prune and reminded him of the time when he was little, he'd been left in the bath tub and forgotten for quite some time. At least the bath had been warm. Angus couldn't even recall what the definition of warmth was right now and his teeth were chattering so loudly that he wasn't sure whether they were trying to talk to him or were determined to chew upon his tongue if he tried to talk. The only positive thing Angus could think of at the moment was the satisfying squelching noise his shoes made every time he picked his foot up or placed it down. The downside of that was when the mud was feeling particularly hungry and tried to keep his shoe to suck on, it made him stick an already mud-soaked foot into even more slimy mud. A gloomy thought laughed in his mind.

"At least something is still amusing you, peabrain."

Great. Now he was talking to himself. By the time he got home, he would be stark, raving mad and probably end up tearing his clothes off and running down the street shrieking, "EUREKA!" And that would be because he had actually found a way out of these hills and re-discovered the existence of his questionably warm house. Half the neighbours would shake their heads. The other half would begin to make the rounds to call up enough men to chase this insane, wild man covered in mud back into the hills; whereupon he'd be back to square one.

Yep. That could happen.

Or by the time he got home, he'd be such a mudball that people would mistake him for a hungry bear that was trying to break into a house. The women would shriek and scream. The children would hide in the cupboards and the men would stick him with all manner of spears, pitchforks, arrows and lastly cut off his head before they realised that his ears weren't high up enough on his head and that he has no hair on his face.

Angus could see that happening too.

Or by the time he found his way home, it'd be near an hundred years later and his little sister Audrey would be an old woman that barely recognised his shrunken, decrepit form...

Angus sneezed. He sneezed again and then gave a massive bellowing sneeze that tore the air from his lungs and his lungs from his body. How he was even still breathing, he did not know.

In catching his breath from the sneezing, he accidentally breathed in some stray water drops that had fallen off the tip of his thin nose or dripped off his sadly plastered hair. So he choked and coughed like a spluttering kettle.

Great. Now he was going to catch pneumonia and die out here in the mud, all forgotten and alone. Then one day, his skeletal remains would be found and they would say, "Here died a caveman," because he had nothing on him except for a broken knife and his stiff, water soaked clothes that were actually chafing at the tender skin around his groin and neck. In which case, the discoverers would assume he was some sort of escaped convict or slave and would place his remains in a museum or laboratory to be scraped and studied.

It was while Angus continued to make up gloomy stories about his demise that he fell through a hole.

Great, he thought and passed out.

If any of my very fond readers wish me to continue or expand upon any story previously touched upon in this blog, please drop me a comment and I will see what I can dredge up from the remains of my teacup that fell in a biscuit tin and got lost amongst the papers surrounding me. And just in case it is unclear, these posts are really solely for my enjoyment and amusement, which means that you can either enjoy them with me or move on and I won't take your desertion to heart. I may cry for a few days, but then I will emerge a caterpillar. Or not. Sharing deepens enjoyment, so do as you will. I will do my best to entertain you whenever I can. Just be patient or poke me a comment/note if you want more in a hurry. I may oblige you with a rendition of the latest radio song - off-key. It's to muffle for.

Don't tell me I am strange. I already know that. They say people aren't fond of crazy these days... but I say people are fond of uniqueness and eccentricity. Even the most down to earth person has their odd moments.

And my colleagues think me too serious.


18 April, 2012

the cat and the fiddle

The cat sat beneath the window listening to the child inside practising her violin. The violin screeched and yowled, once in a while producing a clear note before descending once more into screeching strings. All the while, the cat sat - not quite cringing. Every now and then it crept forward a few steps and then sat again, as if it were itching to do something about the sound.


Finally, the neighbours pulled out their ear plugs and sighed with relief. Today's practice session was over. The little girl carelessly dropped the instrument and bow on her bed and skipped out her bedroom door, her duty to mandatory music lessons done.

Taking a careful look around, the cat crept to the window and squeezed in, sniffing the air for danger. The smell of freshly baked cookies wafted into the room and there was also a hint of the sour odour that denoted the possible presence of mice in the vicinity. The cat had caught them last week and so disregarded any thoughts of mice. Cookies didn't interest it either. It was the violin that it only had eyes for.

With a light leap up onto the bed, the cat purred to the fiddle that was shining in the light and whose wood grains striped the body like a tiger. Patting the violin into a comfortable place, the cat placed a paw over the scroll and plucked at a few strings. The strings twanged sadly and the cat shook its head. The poor thing hadn't even been tuned.

Awkwardly, carefully, the cat nudged at pegs and fine tuning knobs until it was satisfied with the sound. Then picking up the bow in its soft mouth - the bow still taut, the cat drew it across the strings and sighed, wriggling with excitement at the sound. Starting slowly, the cat played until it felt the vibrations buzzing through it head via the bow too much for its jaw to be able to hold on any longer, nevertheless attempting to finish with what it thought was a flourish.

There was a sharp intake of breath and the cat's head snapped up to look at the door. The little girl stood there, a perfect imitation of her mother standing just behind the girl, hands over their mouths. With almost a snarl at being caught like this, the cat snatched up the fiddle, flying out the window after a brief knocking struggle at the window and disappeared into the bushes. Before mother or daughter could free themselves from their amazement, the cat was back and gone again, taking the bow with it.

Mother and daughter rushed to the window, but saw nothing. No cat. No violin. No bow.

They never saw the cat again, but every now and then during a fine spring night, when the neighbourhood cats came out to play, they heard the sound of a fiddle playing and the cats singing with it.

17 April, 2012

see the stars

In the quiet of the night, I feel the the cool breeze walking. Like soft breath it caresses the sleeping in their dreams. I step outside to escape the dark closed in feeling between the walls of the house. Out here away from the cities and suburbs polluted with noise and light - out here in the quiet bush, I see the stars.

The stars streak across the sky, a spangled banner of light. They dance to tunes I cannot hear, sing songs too distant to be heard. The moon bathes all in pale silver, its soft light catching up the dew, endowing grass and bushes alike with the glow of other worlds. The stars are reflected in each drop, even the night creatures pause to stare. Here the open boundless lands breathe of more than I can bear.

Stories and pictures are spelt out in space, laid out for those with eyes to see. Every day they rest in sunlight, but night brings them out again. They speak of hope within the dark and courage in the face of fear. The stars tell stories of help without delay and victory against all odds, whilst holding back the enveloping black. Fear and darkness like to creep at night, but the stars hold these at bay.

So when at night I cannot sleep and fear tries to come sneaking, outside I stand within the breeze.
I look up and see the stars.