Tuesday, 26 March 2013

A 200 word story: Julias place

     This place had once been filled with happiness; it had been a place of joy and youth and of innocence. At Julia’s place the air had characteristically smelt of cooking chocolate cake and strawberries. The sun always shone on Julia’s place, impossibly illuminating every room and every inch of the house, the birds in the grand oak trees that always cast a happy shadow, had always sung sweet melodies to dance to during the day and soft lullaby’s when the twilight fell. In the Garden summer sky blue bluebells grew among the fresh snow white snow drops and daisies mingled with sun kissed daffodils. It had been a magical, unbelievable place however one day great galloping hulking storm clouds rolled in over the sky of Julia’s place, drowning the sunlight, choking it with a thick, rolling smoke stained, purple smog; Dirty droplets of fetid rain began to fall acidic to the touch like the tears of a heartbroken child, it scorched the emerald green grass and withered the bright and hopeful flowers.
Julia’s place had once been a place of great promise and adventure now it is a ruin, a broken, splintered wreck holding only despair and anguish.  

Monday, 25 March 2013

Forget me not pt 3

     Leigh didn’t know where best to turn next; bombarding him with friends and their versions of his life was not helpful and since then she had hit a wall miles high and Leigh was finding it hard to scale. Then came a long awaited epiphany in the form of a book, a book of photography. Leigh found it while Charlie was sleeping, it was stacked haphazardly on one of the bursting bookshelves, an a4 sized   book full of photographs ranging in subject and style, colour and black and white images; in the very centre Leigh found a photograph by Charlie. As she stared down at the faded black and white photograph an idea formed and so she quickly set to work. Leigh spent hours working, searching, printing, photocopying and talking quietly on the phone as not to wake him and when she was done with everything it was time to bring Charlie into the loop. She wake him gently,
“get up, we’re going out” she said and before he could protest she added, “hurry up we don’t have a lot of time, move it” 30 minutes late he was ready and together with Beau they left for a destination that was no more known to Charlie than were his memories.
     The building was marred by a thick fog that had lain upon the city for a few days, Inside it appeared to be a simple block of flats however it was what occurred with-in the individual apartments that made it so special. The flats had not been lived in for many years, the building had been long ago condemned as living quarters however after one man had poured in years and millions of dollars worth of money for the apartments to still be unliveable he turned them into workspaces instead, work spaces for artist. Leigh had rented one of the spaces just for a few hours so that her plan could come to fruition and as she led Charlie into the space she believed that her plan would work and it did though not in the way that she had wanted. The room they walked into was papered wall to wall, floor to ceiling with photocopies and print outs of images that Charlie had created or rather photographs he had taken. As he walked over then, turned and examined the images and stared up at them his eyes widened and for a second Leigh was sure that he was remembering something but then he turned to her,
“What is all this?” he asked
“This is you, your photographs” she replied gesturing to the room
“Me, wow, um...” he said falling silent
“This doesn’t jolt anything back to life, does it?” she asked, he turned with a look of worry in his eyes
“I’m sorry” he said touching her arm gently, “I know you must have spent so long doing this...” he started
“It’s fine Charlie, let’s go home” she said begging to leave the room
“wait” he said grabbing hold of her hand “this didn’t dislodge anything but it made me fall in love, with photography, again; this is all so beautiful, these images, the people I want to do this” he said, Leigh smiled,
“Well you have all of the equipment so why don’t we go home and get started” she replied
“Don’t you think I should take some kind of lessons?” he said as they began to leave the room once more,
“No I think that what the mind forgets the hands and eyes remember” she turned and smiled.
     Leigh watched Charlie as he ran his fingers over the camera he held, he owned more than a few but this one had taken his fancy, he had been looking at it for nearly an hour, with his lap top by his side and numerous web pages open all containing information about the camera.
“Will you help?” he asked suddenly, Leigh had moved from his side to the kitchen she returned carrying two cups of tea, “both of you, will you help me?” he asked again looking at her as he absently stroked Beaus soft ears
“Of course we will, wont we Beau” Leigh replied, an hour later they left the apartment and made their way into the city. They spent hours, Leigh and Beau watching as Charlie took photographs of random people, statues, trees, stray animals and sweeping birds, the night fell dark, the air chilled in the summers eve and suddenly without warning it began to rain. Fat cool shimmering droplets pattered against Leigh’s naked arms, the water ran from Beaus shining coat as it grew heavier, she turned to search for Charlie who had been snapping pictures of a fresh faced, newly in love couple however he was not there now and they had begun to run for cover from the ever-changing weather, panic set in instantly like that of a child whose mother had turned a corner in a shop without their knowledge, she turned frantically her skin heated in the cool rain, and there she found Charlie taking cover under a towering oak tree with Beau by his side, he smiled at her, Leigh did not smile back instead she began to make for the dry cover of the fully blooming oak,
“Wait, stop!” he yelled as she began to pass beneath a street lamp, “stay there please” he added
“What, I’m soaked already, Charlie..” Leigh started to protest
“It’s the perfect picture; I took one just like this, 4 years ago. Pleas  I’ll be just a few minutes” he said and with those words Leigh froze, she smiled and she stayed still; he had remembered something she was sure though she did not mention this fact until after he had finished pulling his jacket up over his head to shield his camera, until he had taken more than a few photographs and turned her in numerous directions and until after he had included a reluctant Beau in the final shot then she mentioned it,
“Charlie” she said as they made their way home
“Yes” he said glancing at her through the poker straight rods of rain
“Do you realise what just happened?” she said pulling Beaus lead in preventing her from snuffling at the hands of a young woman sheltering in a shop doorway from the rain,
“What?” he asked stopping and staring at her
“You remembered something back there, you said ‘a photo you took 4 years ago’ you might have seen a picture like that in the room but there was no indication of year” she replied. He stopped suddenly and at first Leigh though he might be angry or upset but then he smiled in fact he grinned,
“You’re right I did, I remembered something” he declared happily wrapping his arms around her and lifting her from the floor twirling around,
“put me down you fool” she laughed, the few people on the streets threw funny glances their way but Leigh didn’t care,
“Thank you” he said, “I wouldn’t have remembered that without you” he added
“No, you wouldn’t have remembered that without following your gut, your instincts and your heart” she replied taking his hand as they continued to walk home.
     After returning to the warmth of the apartment and showering Leigh curled up beneath the fresh duvets on her bed, she had spent most of the night planning the room for Charlie and her eyelids were heavy with sleep. She had been gone only two hours when a strange clicking, snapping noise filled the broken dream she was having, she tried to ignore it, to sleep through it but it became too regular to block out. Her eyes flickered open slowly to the blurred image of Charlie holding what seemed to be an old school Polaroid camera, on the floor lay numerous photographs framed in white each showing a photograph in a different stage of development,
“Charlie stop, you’re being extremely creepy” she said waving a hand lazily at him,
“Creepy, really, well maybe if you woke up little miss sleepy” he laughed setting the camera down, he began to tickle her. It was playful and innocent, effortless and fun as they laughed and giggled together, as his eyes locked with hers and she lost herself in the dusky blue of his eyes, his mouth met hers and she sank into him, the heat of his body, of their bodies growing with every second that passed between them. As hands wandered, tongues traced and moans filled the air something other than euphoria filled Charlie Winters mind; memories began flooding back from every inch of his mind riding on a wave of her breathing, the rhythmic sound of her heart beat providing the sound track to his life as it returned to him; in that singular moment he never felt closer to someone, they were one and she gave him his memory back.                

Something I found but I couldn't place so I thought I'd share it

     Every once in a while the world needs saving and I don’t mean the world needs saving from any form of natural disaster or nuclear attack, it does not need rescuing from the perils of global warming or other man made atrocities; it needs rescuing from the age old threat posed by the unknown, unseen supernatural that lies just low enough beneath the surface of sanity not to be noticed by those who have a firm grip on their mental stability. For the most nobody notices, nobody sees what is happening around them, the destruction caused by the ashes or the light cast by the burning embers that are usually tasked with rectifying what has been done, cleaning up after the ashes but there are a few with the sight, those who are suffering from a break in their mental clarity, those who look at the world in a different way; children, the deaf, the blind and often some who have come face to face with death himself and returned to the living world and then there are those with-in the bloodlines.
     Since man walked upon the earth with freewill, free though and free movement evil has also walked and so had good. In the beginning it was nothing, people were oblivious but they were neutral until evil began to breathe the darkness into their souls, turning them black and rotten and since this had been then there had always been a need for the bloodlines. As per usual the bloodlines are passed down to each generation however the children who carry the abilities and knowledge passed down through the centuries may never need make use of it; they are for lack of a better word sleeper cells. They only come-in ‘use’ if they are needed and very often this does not occur, as an example I might use a better known bloodline, Pandora. Most people will know the Greek myth of Pandora’s box and as per usual this had been cast as a myth, a story offering a moral and just like all the others that lurk just out of sight, it had become a simple story that to you has no truth but Pandora was a real person. She was given a box to guard, a box filled with all the sorrow in the world, all the hate and plagues, the anger and dread all of those things that make you feel blue or cause you to feel hate or cast judgement upon others they lived in the box. Imprisoned there for the sake of human beings however as you know Pandora’s curiosity got the better of her and she opened the box unleashing all of the pain and darkness it held inside. Even though she was never able to trap the evil back in the box Pandora did the job that had been passed down in her bloodline, she helped spread the only thing left in the bottom of the dark box, hope and with hope people were able to rise above the bad, they fought through the depression that had wrapped its fingers around them because the belief that things can get better, the hope for a brighter day is always stronger.
     It neither started nor does it end with Pandora, this began at the beginning of time, it began with the first human beings; Adam and Lilith. The is an age old misconception that Eve was Adams first wife, that he who created all is infallible, Lilith was born as Adams first wife and like many women of the world she was strong, she was independent and she was far from happy being told how to do things. She left him. This led Lilith into evil, though ultimately this began one of the most important bloodlines for though the evil over came her she was able to fight her way back to the light unfortunately, as with any ‘rags to riches’ story there was a down side for the light that broke into the darkness that had swallowed Lilith up touched the withered, venomous soul of another and it showed him the way, a way to rule to break the human world down and to take over and so the bloodline was created.
     It is now that he will strike and so it is now that she will awaken, she will begin to see the things that hide with-in the time between one second and another, the things that conceal them in the space between one breath and another. They will try to stop her and for centuries there have been no embers in the waking world to help guide those of bloodlines only ashes remain and they will do whatever they can to turn her.   

Monday, 11 March 2013

Forget Me Not Pt 2

      It was another week before Charlie was ready to leave the hospital, Leigh and Beau much to Mary Winters discontent all picked up Charlie together of course Beau and Leigh had to wait outside but luckily the sun had decided to grace them with its presence and so she managed to look half descent when Charlie and his mother walked through the large plate glass sliding doors,
“Hi” she said smiling pulling Beau close stopping her from jumping up though it was only her way of greeting him, of greeting anyone.
“Hi” he mimicked pulling her in for an unexpected hug, “Hi Beau” he added kneeling down and stroking Beau, pulling her in for a hug too, she licked at his face,
“Beau!” Leigh scolded
“It’s fine” Charlie confirmed and smiled once again, the same infective smile he always held.
“Charlie honey why don’t you sit up front with me” Mary said as they reached the car. She had blanketed the back seat to protect the expensive upholstery from Beaus feet and hairs,
“No its fine I want to sit in back with B” Charlie said pulling open the door, “come on Beau” he said, Leigh passed him the lead and opened the passenger door she climbed into the hot car which had filled with the sweet sickly scent of the air freshener attached to the dash board. They rode in silence all the way to Charlie’s apartment, which luckily wasn’t along drive away and once they were inside the dram that unfolded soon wiped the dyer awkward silence from their minds.
     Leigh’s things were being delivered later that day along with Beaus belongings to allow Charlie to settled back in before being overwhelmed with moving Leigh in, as they rode up in the life to his fourth floor apartment he stood close to her knowing how much she hated elevators, this made Leigh smile and it made her feel secure in the moving metal box. When they reach the fourth floor and were finally in the warm apartment everything erupted,
“Things aren’t right” Charlie said walking into the apartment and looking around,
“Sweetheart everything is fine, you probably just forgot because of the accident” his mother cooed
“No I remember my apartment and things have moved, been moved by you, is this what you do? Interfere with things, move things around when people haven’t asked you to!” he turned, anger furrowing his brow and yelled the words at her,
“Charlie please I was just...” she began clearly flustered
“No!, get out, I didn’t ask you to come here and change my things around this is my home, one of the things that I do remember and you come in and change it!” His anger had grown and Leigh felt as though she should step in, she moved to him placing her hand on his shoulder,
“Charlie” she said simply and he fell quiet
“I think it is best I leave” Mary Winters, Leigh smiled and walked her to the door,
“I’m sure he just needs to settle in” Leigh reasoned
“Hmm, thank you Leigh” Mary winters said as she closed the door behind herself. For the next hour or so they replaced the things that Mary Winters had moved and made space for both Leigh and Beaus things something that Charlie seemed quite happy to do. Though once they had done this things fell quiet and Leigh wasn’t sure what it was she should do; she had spent time thinking about what might be good for bringing Charlie’s forgotten memories to the surface if they had in face simply sunk down beneath his mind and not disintegrated in the accident entirely. She had considered his facebook and the photographs that might hold memories of friends, birthdays, night outs but then she reconsidered, Leigh did not want to over load Charlie’s mind with images of things he couldn’t remember she knew that this would only make him retreat even more. In the end she decided that the best thing to do was nothing,
“Do you want to go out?” she asked Charlie who was half laid on the sofa with Beau
“Not so much” he replied
“Want to see what on the TV?” she tried again
“Sure” he said with a sweet smile, he lifted the remote from the coffee table and pushed in the red button, the TV flickered to life, apparently how to use the TV was something that had not fled from his mind when the cars had collided, along with his address, his birthday, his middle name and of course Leigh and Beau. They settled for a channel that showed old games shows all day and with-in a few minutes both Leigh and Charlie were shouting out answers, to anyone on the outside looking in it would seem as though they had lived together for years.    
     After a few hours the sun was high in the sky and was flooding the room with bright white light and heat, Leigh pulled the curtains to block out the intruding light however this only lead to the room heating up which lead to them feeling lethargic and eventually falling asleep. Leigh dreamt of very little other than snow as though her mind was transmitting what her body wanted to feel in the heat of the room and these dreams did not last long for she was woken by the sound of rolling thunder in the form of Charlie who was suffering from a nightmare. Beau had been woken too; she was now sat at Charlie’s feet with a look of worry and concern in her almond eyes. Leigh took a moment to wake fully and then she grasped his hand and shook his arm gradually building in force until he jolted awake, a look of relief on his face. Beau jumped up instantly to comfort him,
“You okay?” Leigh asked, he took a moment to consider his answer and then he offered only a nod in reply. For the remainder of the day they continued to watch whatever they could find on the TV from old black and white movies to day time chat shows; soon the time had flow by and out beyond the thick curtains the sun had begun it descent down behind the horizon casting the land in a bloody red hew. Leigh check her watch, realising that Beau would be hungry and then realising that she too was hungry,
“You hungry Charlie?” she asked him as she sat up on the sofa motivating herself to move, he looked over at her, absently stroking Beaus ears
“I could eat” he said
“Alright what do you fancy because you don’t have anything in other than dog food, so we’ll order” she replied, he fell silent and she knew why,
“I don’t know” he said,
“Alright well I’ll sort Beau out and see if I can find some menus” Leigh said, she did not want to make a big deal out of it, drawing attention to what he couldn’t remember didn’t seem like it would be helpful. She stood and moved to the kitchen pouring a half tin of dog meat mixed with cat meat into Beaus dish and then Leigh began to look for menus, this task did not take her long. She would often order in and knew that usually there was only two places to find take out menu’s, either in one of the kitchen draws or in a draw of the table holding the phone however Charlie’s phone sat atop a bookshelf and there were no take out menus stored on it amongst the books and so she figured they must be in one of the draws and there were only three draws in the kitchen, one held cutlery, the other towels, cloths and bin bags and in the third she found the take out menus amongst pens and note books.
“Okay do you want, Chinese, Italian, Indian or good ol’ British?” she said as she returned with a handful of menus, she passed them to him and watched as he read and re-read each one and then he closed his eyes, he was trying to remember,
“How about we order a few dishes off of each and then we can try them all” Leigh offered,
“Okay” he said with a smile “what about the leftover food?” he asked as though he had never before eaten cold pizza,
“We save it and we eat it tomorrow” she said “what shall we try, 2 dishes from each, any two” she said happy to let him choose, though he insisted she chose one from each and he chose one from each.
     They ate until they could not eat any more and it had been a very amusing meal time, watching each other eat a little from each dish, laughing at the faces pulled over dishes that were not what they had been expecting and each trying to win the last spoonful of the dishes they did like, things that weren’t eaten that were liked were stored to be divvied out for breakfast the next morning and once again they all settled down. This time they chose to watch a film from Charlie’s vast collection, one he chose out at random,
“I think I love this film” he said suddenly when after they had watched near half the movie, a grin had spread across his face,
“What makes you think that?” she asked
“I just get this feeling of excitement even though things feel very familiar with it, it’s almost like deja  vu” he said still grinning,
“That’s good” Leigh smiled “we’ll start off small and work our way up” she added now too grinning like a crazy fool. That night they slept mostly on the sofa having once again drifted off to sleep, around 3:30 Leigh was woken, not by Charlie’s nightmares for he seemed to be sleeping soundly but by beau who was nosing at her arm, she wanted the bathroom. Leigh snuck out quietly, the night was warm and quiet and so she stood for a while watching Beau sniffing at patches of grass and odd fallen leaves, she felt over whelmed by the ‘job’ she had been given though she couldn’t imagine what he was feeling.
     As time passed between them many insignificant things resurfaced though not one significant memory was regained; the things he had spent half his life loving, the friends and his family, those memories were still all AWOL. Leigh was lost for ideas, Charlie and herself were getting along well, he loved Beau, Leigh knew this for sure, almost if not as much as she did and they had also started to venture out more often to the cinema or bowling or for food; Leigh had managed to get him to participate in normal activities once again. However in spite of all of the good progress Charlie was still suffering from sporadic mind splitting headaches and he refused to go and talk to a therapist and then one very bad decision led to Charlie becoming with drawn again. His mother had come up with the idea that a dinner party with his friends would be a good thing though she had not mentioned this to either Leigh or Charlie. She had invited them around under the premise of a family dinner; Charlie had refused to go if Beau was not invited and so she had gone along to much to his mothers’ dismay. However when they had walked into the dining room the cliché long mahogany table, with its two twin silver candle sticks that had been set up for ten and around it sat ten of Charlie’s friends, friends he could no longer remember. They laughed and smiled and greeted him with awkward hugs that Charlie didn’t want though accepted out of politeness and then they went back to discussing things that Charlie didn’t remember and that Leigh had never known.
“You’ll have to introduce yourselves” his mother announced with a smile as she backed out of the room, Leigh looked over at Charlie, already she could see the panic starting to fill his eyes.
“We can go” she offered with a whisper
“No” he shook his head in response and began to walk toward the table, he turned “maybe give it an hour” he added with a slight uneasy smile. They sat down with Beau underneath the table at their feet, they listened to the list of names as they were given one after the other as though in some form of attendance.
     The night began okay, Beau had eventually curled up next to the fire and Leigh had managed to make awkward conversation with people she had never met and would likely never choose to meet and Charlie for the most part sat quietly occasionally passing Beau unwanted tid-bits of food, he did not start any conversations nor did he carry them on for very long. They were just finishing the fourth course of six when things fell to pieces or rather they shattered sending shards of glistening glass across the room and Leigh was surprised that Charlie had lasted for so long. Once the awkwardness of the situation had dissipated the group barring Charlie and Leigh had erupted into conversation regurgitating tales of Charlie and bombarding him with memories that he had managed to loose and this was when he snapped. He stood forcing his chair backward with a long and ear bursting screech,
“Look as much as I appreciate this and I’m sure we were all very close but I do not remember you and I do not remember the things that you are talking about, the things that we did together, this-this is too much” he said raising his voice only an octave and then he walked out with Beau close at his heels. Leigh stood a second later; she offered a nervous smile,
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry he just can’t handle this yet, I’m sorry that he doesn’t remember you, you all seem great and I’m sure he will remember you he just needs time to heal” with that apology Leigh left. She found Charlie and Beau outside, he had called a taxi and soon they were home and he felt secure and safe again.