26 January, 2014

The Papyretans

The Papyretans were not a compassionate people. They were in fact, a race obsessed with systems, reports, forms and paper. In short, they were a people so passionate about paperwork that they had paper wars to prove who was the better administrator. Of course, the side with the largest amount of paperwork to show how diligent they were won. These wars often occurred between cities and could last years, or in some cases, centuries. The most recent two decade war of Papier and Mâché resulted in both cities becoming so inundated with paper particles that they had to call a cease-fire citing health and safety concerns involving asthma, fire hazards and visibility. People and traffic were unable to move freely without battery powered paper shredders and those with shares in battery power companies made millions before the excess paper was cleared. The profit made from these shares were then, of course, re-routed into renewing the war between these rival cities.

The average Papyretan's life was lived out behind small desks - often composed of completed paperwork that did not fit in the filing cabinets; and houses were multi-storey blocks of concrete apartments which were relics of a long forgotten industrial age. Along every street, were piles and piles of long lost correspondence, normally known as 'mislaid letters, reports, statistics, miscellaneous sheets and other papers'. These paper piles were preferred over trees or other natural flora as paper 'was more refined, did not need to be cared for and generally did its own thing'. Consequently, 'dirty' trees and other vegetation not 'naturally occurring' like mildew, mould and fungi were systematically eradicated as weeds within the cities.

Paper furniture was all the rage, despite its tendency to fall apart, but the Papyretans felt this to be excellent object lessons for their children to learn filing efficiency and proper respect for the papers. The cheapest and most proper food for children was paper porridge (made from the finest redundant forms), as it was nutritious (when laced with multi-vitamins and minerals) and was considered to help teach the children their 'letters, grammar and literacy essentials'. As a result, paper porridge unsurprisingly is the number one most hated food on the planet, far surpassing green vegetables, skinny shakes and mouldy bread. When the adults weren't looking, the children were quick to pour their unflavoured bowls of porridge out the windows upon the pre-existing paper piles to 'feed the mould'. It is said that the micro-organisms on the planet are amongst the most literate in the universe.

Due to the desk based nature of the Papyretans, the planet itself gave off a general odour of stale donuts and coffee, as well as something burnt, wet and rotting. Or to be more precise, singed paper (from the multiple fires that often threatened to engulf entire continents) that had been eaten by large silverfish (also known as Lepisma saccharina or fishmoths), spat out mid-chew, left to grow mould, chewed, spat out again and then left to rot in one of the paper bogs (made of shredded, saliva slimed paper bits) where the bored, overfed silverfish tended to wallow in their own filth whilst reading 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letters that writers had either forgotten or avoided posting. Subsequently, the silverfish were cynical, extra hard shelled insects with a skewed sense of romanticism, who had no understanding of the words 'friendship' or 'intimacy'. If finding a mate in order to dump them straight away was not romantic, they didn't know what was. Considering the number of 'dear John' or 'dear Jane' letter bogs there were on the planet, it was a wonder how the silverfish or even Papyretans even survived to populate the planet.

25 January, 2014

Strong heart, dear heart

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Fear not the winter storms,
Where wind doth howl
And whole house growl
And rain sobbingly mourns.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Fear not the dark black night,
Where despair claws
Without a cause,
Wrapping thee in chains tight.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Heed not the whispering dread,
Whose strength is fear,
But can only leer
If thou turnst not thy head.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Give not up thy dare.
For troubles come,
But they will run,
When you rest in God's care.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Keep hope and faith quite near.
For the sun riseth
And from pain priseth,
Scattering thine each tear.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
In pain do not be lost.
For God's Word stands
And His commands
Outweigh the heavy cost.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
Be bold and of good courage.
To others smile,
Let nothing rile,
And for all those near encourage.

Strong heart,
Dear heart,
I'll hold thee tight all day.
You will be fine
And across the line
I'll carry thee alway.

They were here

The wind howled. Tree branches tapped against my window. There was no storm, no lightning and no rain. Just wind, wind and more wind. It roared and whipped around my house, sounding like myriads of voices, hammering at every door and window to be let in.

They said that they would come for me tonight. I didn't dare sleep. What if I never woke up? What if I went missing? I didn't know exactly what they meant when they said they would come for me. Was it to kill me? Was it to kidnap me? Was it to force me to do something I wouldn't want to do otherwise?

I had shoved a knife inside the waistband of my trousers and hidden weapons throughout the house - just in case. Perhaps they wouldn't come tonight. It was very cold and windy after all. Maybe something would dissuade them from coming here.

What was that? And that?

The noise of glass being smashed and crashing to the ground filtered slowly through the wind's multitudinous shouting. I ducked into the only hiding place I could think of. The back of my cramped wardrobe, behind the piles of clothes. I covered myself with a layer of neatly folded clothes and froze.

They were here.

They were here.

The whispering. The footsteps.

It wasn't my fault. The witnessing. The saving of the couple's lives. I mean, I hadn't expected to be there either.

It hadn't taken long for them to find out who I was or where I lived. It hadn't taken long for them to slowly strip away everything and everyone I knew and loved. The first, my cat, had been a warning, but when the police asked me questions, I couldn't lie. I couldn't not tell them about the attempted murders. Not that my testimony had helped them catch the culprits. The couple were killed in the hospital and my boyfriend disappeared.

I moved house and it was graffitied. My neighbours shunned me. Don't ask me why. How would I know?

The media came asking for my story. I was reluctant. Refused to speak to them, but somehow, somewhere, they got the story. Did a policeman tell them? My parents? I don't know. I only know that my parents disappeared, leaving behind streaks of blood. No bodies.

I moved house again.

Somewhere far away and deserted.

It wasn't my fault that they had people in the area dealing drugs and a policeman just happened to be passing by while I was also passing by.

My sister disappeared and a heart-rending, frightening CD had appeared in my letterbox. A letter, they said, with love.

Why target my family? Why hack into my devices and call all my friends for a party only to kill them en masse?

Why not just kill me?

Well. They were here now.

The wind blustered into the closet and found its way to me between the clothes. A rough hand grabbed me. Dragged me. The knife fell out my trousers. My neat piles of clothes fell haphazardly onto the floor. A blurred face. No weapons at hand.

They were here.

No where to go.

No where to hide.

24 January, 2014

River echo

By the river softly running,
By the green and leafy banks,
Her song can still be heard
Echoing upon the waters.

“Hiding and seeking
Are you a-seeking?
Here I am hiding,
Come to me finding.”

“Come and find me,
Come and seek me,
Follow me, follow me,
To where I might be.”

On the banks we used to play,
Running riot all the day,
Swimming and sliding,
Seeking, hiding,

Until the spring waters
Of melted, icy snow
Flooded the plains
And swept her away.

Here I am sitting
By the river waters
Listening to the echo
Of her voice still calling.

“Hiding and seeking
Are you a-seeking?
Here I am hiding,
Come to me finding.”

“Come and find me,
Come and seek me,
Follow me, follow me,
To where I might be.”

23 January, 2014

Midnight fight

One dark day in the middle of the night,
I heard a noise and got up to fight.
Grabbed a bat, snuck down the stairs;
In the kitchen, imagined bears.
Instead I saw a wild man,
Shuffling around and eating ham.
He had one hand stuck inside the fridge,
The other hand making a creamy smidge.
When I gave an angry yell-o,
Toward me flying came a jell-o.
He grabbed my bat,
I snatched up the mat
And down we tumbled with a smack.
Tangled in a mash of food,
Does not put me in a good mood.
Angrily I jabbed a punch
And outward came someone’s old lunch.
Then I heard a familiar sigh
And horrified, looked into my husband’s eye…

This is a work of fiction.

20 January, 2014


I travelled to the Eiderdown to whistle to the trees,
where hiding amidst the fluttering leaves, small birds chirp like buzzing bees.
They're the size of a child's hand and dressed in jewelled green,
and under the leafy boughs will in the sunlight gleam.

This is my place to rest
to think and contemplate
This is where I do what I do best
daydream while I sit and wait

If I'm patient and I'm still
My little friends after a while will
Come and crowd around me
Copying my small tunes soundly

I don't know if they tire at all
of that funny little buzzing sound
but I know that when I start to sing
they're imitations do fair astound.