Tag Archives: Short story

A Prelude To Halloween…..’Angels’ by Jessica Cooke

28 Oct

Angel

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Angels

by Jessica Cooke

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She had never bothered me before, not really.

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She used to have a grey look about her, not the grey of a washed out dishcloth, but a shimmering steel grey that trickled slowly like a sewage river, beneath those great almost diamond shaped cracks, the ones where her skin stretched clear over.

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It’s because of her blood. Not red like ours, but polluted, like the snow you find in a gutter.

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You can probably tell I don’t like her. I’ve never liked her. She doesn’t scare me though; to be scared of her would be like being scared of your own face in the mirror, or the sky outside your window. She’s always been there.

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For some reason, I never spoke about her, I don’t know why. I wondered why she was there, but only in the same lazy, childish way I wondered why the sky was blue and why the trees grew up instead of down, and why I had cancer.

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But, like the trees and the sky and my cancer, somebody, somewhere eventually came up with an answer, so I figured that, eventually, someone would explain her to me.

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His name was Michael. He was in my leukaemia ward, and he was eleven. My mum said I looked up to him because he was older than me but I liked him because of his funny accent. I found him different to all the other children on the ward, I giggled when he spoke.

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“Sure, I have one,” he told me, in a very matter of fact manner, “but mine don’t look like you say yours does.”

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“Is yours a man?” I asked, with the typical boys-play-with-boys and girls-with-girls social science of a ten year old.

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“Nah,” he answered, “Mine’s a woman like yours is. But she don’t look the same, mine’s got bright white hair like smoke! Or snow! Or Nurse Chandler’s hair!”

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We both giggled.

.
“And sometimes she gazes at me with big groggy eyes, like a bull frog, and sometimes she does this with her mouth.” He opened and closed his mouth slothfully like a fresh water fish, “but no other people can see them – you only have them if you’re sick, like me and you,” he pinched my hip, and I wriggled back. “Don’t worry, Bluebelle,” he
grinned a toothy smile, “they’re here to protect us. Like angels.”

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I looked at my lady. I’ve never seen her face. All I saw was her stark grey body, with her bright, thick veins, like lead stitching, awkwardly bulging among the thick tufts of dark hair, which sprouted oddly in places across her head and back, like poisoned crops.

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She didn’t look like any angel I’d ever seen.

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“Eh,” said Mike, suddenly, “If you want you can have Patrick to sleep with?” He handed me a life-beaten bear with a missing eye and buttons hanging down. He said his mum said the bear was falling apart, but Mike thought he was special. I held him tightly all night.

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It was my Mum who told me Mike was Irish.

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It’s remarkable the way your mind works, when you’re that small, I was sure I loved that strange boy with the jingle bell voice, but now I realise I know nothing about love, and probably never will, but that’s okay, I know what love is, and you can’t miss something that’s never been there, just like you can’t be afraid of something that always has been.

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“Mum, would I become Irish,” I asked, one night cuddled to my mother’s warm body, winding her golden hair around my finger, like a ring, “you know, when me and Mike get married?”

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“If you want,” she’d said, but her voice sounded funny to me, as though it was cracking at the edges. I told her I’d put it back together, but she simply kissed my head and told me to go get ready for bed.

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When I came back there were red blotches on her neck and face and her eyes had tiny ruby lines around the pupil, like a crimson- white kaleidoscope.

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I asked if the Lady had done it to her.

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“What do you mean?” She looked bemused, and wiped away the tears that I now know she’d shed for me.

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“Well,” I began, “My lady never does anything to me; she just looks straight out of the window. I’ve not seen her face but, I don’t like her. Do you like your lady, Mum?”

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My Mother had said she didn’t have a lady, and after that I had to go talk to a man in a suit, he was a nice and he was a doctor, my mother had assured me, and I was to tell him all about my lady.

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“He doesn’t look like a doctor,” I’d protested, doctors wore white coats; I knew that, I’d read it in my books.

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“He’s a special kind of doctor,” she told me, smiling, but her eyes bore that strange falling look I’d glimpsed in the bedroom, “he’s going to help you get rid of that nasty lady.”

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And I was rid of her, at least for a while.

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It was the summer after I’d gone into remission, just before my 14th birthday. I noticed she seemed to be fading; the cracks across her skin began to spread, like an earth-quake moving in slow motion, until she stood, thin and wavering at the edges, as though I was just looking at her reflection in water.

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I started over to her, picking my way among the toys that lay littered across my bedroom floor, a dozen tiny faces at my feet;

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Step. Step. Step.

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She seemed to waver, the outline of her body shaking fuzzily like the hectic dancing of white static on an empty TV channel.

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Step. Step. Step.

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As I drew closer to her, I noticed the drops. Tiny perfectly formed droplets of water, that fell with a sucking sound from behind her long veil of dark hair, and clung to the windowsill in tiny frozen pearls.

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I now know that this is what happens when they cry.

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My angel, if that is what she was, was dying. I suddenly felt a surge of hot guilt course through me; I imagined the sight from the window pane, where she stared; her frail frame disappearing in tiny glimmers, like the blinking of a transmitted light; a fading message sent from somewhere faraway.

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Slowly, I reached out to touch her, my own pale fingers shaking, as if to mirror her.

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Slowly, slowly, I extended my arm, my forefinger stretching toward her like a tree branch, gently moving closer, closer…

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“Belle.”

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I jumped and span around, my arm still stretched out in front of me as though I was pointing.

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My mother stood in the doorway.

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“What are you doing?” she asked, puzzled.

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“Nothing,” I said quickly. I glanced back at my Lady.

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She was fading still. The shape of her bones were illuminated in the morning sun; ghost bones; the kind you could see right through.

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I looked back at my mother.

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When I think back now I remember her stillness, how the white doorway framed the moment like a picture, my mother; eyes shining with tears, clutching her mobile phone in her hand.

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A split second, half a heartbeat; ignorance, peace.

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A moment later, she told me Michael had died.

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It’s strange that the things you expect can still come as a shock, my mum had warned me that it would happen soon. Every day as I sat beside his bed, his face seemed to grow paler and his bright smile had become a heavy grin that stretched out across his tiny bones. His happiness was always greater than he was.

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I remember the last day I’d spent with Michael; I’d held his hand and Patrick’s as I sat, nestled in his covers, his warm slow breath caressing the skin on my cheek, listening as he talked once more about his lady.

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“Everyone says I’m getting sicker,” he told me, I leant forward to hear him; his words were thin and whispery, like falling paper. “But I don’t know. I feel it, my belly hurts and I can’t move as much, I need their help with pretty much everything. But the angel, Belle, I wish you could see her, she looks so beautiful. Do you remember the white statue?”

.
The year before, Michael and I had been to Lourdes with our parents, and whilst Mike’s Mum and Dad had gone off to explore, Mike had insisted on staying with me, so him, my mum and me had sat eating our sandwiches on a pure white concrete block; at the centre of which was a small sized statue of a bright white lady. She had the most beautiful face, carved of vanilla stone.

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Mum had told us the statue was of a lady who said that an angel had appeared to her and drove a spear right through her. Mum said the spear didn’t kill her but the lady was happy and filled with the power of God. I asked Mum why someone would be so happy to have a spear driven right through them, and why God was so special?

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Mum stared at me, her eyes widening in shock.

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“To be visited by God would be a privilege Belle! Why the Lord is the utmost …” her voice was becoming shrill, like the noise a microphone makes when you try to tune it in. I imagined my Mum on a podium preaching God to people passing by, getting shriller and shriller as they marched on with their blasphemy,not knowing her daughter was among the uncaring.

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“Years ago,” she started, “People would even sacrifice themselves, or even others to God to prove their love for him. It was the angels that did his bidding, of-course. It was an angel who visited Abraham and asked him to offer up his only son to the lord.”

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“As a sacrifice?” I asked.

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Mike looked down and began to fidget awkwardly with the hem of his t-shirt; a ghost of smile playing on his lips; he knew what my Mum was like.

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“Yes,” she continued proudly, “with a blessed knife.”

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God sounded like a great spoiled child to me, and I definitely did not like the sound of his angels.

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I normally try to keep my Mum happy, nod along when she talks about “The Lord”, go along with her to church, in that moment, curiosity niggled at me like a hot itch, and I just had to know.

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“Would you sacrifice me to God if he asked you to?”

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Mike looked up from his fidgeting and began to eye us both warily, as though he was watching someone tread through a mine-field.

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“What do you mean?”

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“If God came down from heaven and asked you to offer up me, would you do it?”

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Her eyes bore into mine, she opened her mouth but closed it soon after, as if she had been about to speak but thought better of it.

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“I love you,” she said instead.

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“So you wouldn’t?” I persisted.

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“Oh!” Mike said suddenly. With his eyes still fixated on Mum and me, he had reached behind him to grab his Ribena carton, missed, and knocked it flat over.

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We jumped up quickly as a sticky red river began to form where we’d been sitting.

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Mum gasped, with shock or relief I’m not sure. But she whipped out a tissue from her bag and began to clean frantically the feet of the statue, her eyes fixated on the vivid pool of red, she would not have it taint the ivory gown.

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The cool blue light of the hospital room placed a gentle glow upon Mike’s face. I told him I did remember the statue.

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“She looks just like her, just like her,” he told me, suddenly he gripped my hand and for a moment I was frightened; his fingers clung white-tight to the flesh of my wrist, “she’s beautiful,” he said again. He was staring at me now, his eyes dark jewels in the cobalt shadows.

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Under the eyes of his angel, the dying boy gave me my first ever kiss.

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Soon after this, I saw Mike’s lady for myself. It was at the funeral, we were all gathered around the grey headstone, under which my best friend lay. I looked at the tiny cracks that had seemed to form already across the fresh stone, I wondered if I could plant flowers between the cracks, and maybe they’d bloom so Mike would still be beautiful. 

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That’s when I saw her. At first I thought she was part of the crowd, someone dressed unusually in bright white linen, but then I noticed she began to walk alone, to glide across graves far from our crowd.

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Her long white gown trailed softly as she moved as a boat sails across water. Occasionally she stopped and leant down slightly at a grave here or there, craning her head as if she recognized it as something she once knew.

.

Then soundlessly she would stoop to pick just one single flower from the grave that stopped her, before continuing to slide along.

I felt happy for a second when I saw her looking down upon his new bed, glad that he wouldn’t be alone, cramped in that tiny coffin, packed into the silence – he’d have his pretty lady with him; his angel to watch over him.

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Then I saw her face. The way she was looking at his headstone and my blood ran cold. It was that smile.

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It was like an open wound, as though the force of her glee had ripped a grinning hole in her face. I knew that smile, I’d seen it before, it was the one that the villain wore in a film after he escaped justice yet again, it was like the one Tom Chester had when he pushed me down in the playground and looked at my bald head, and called me freak, back when I used to go to school; it was victory.

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I still think of Mike all the time, especially now since I’m sick again. I don’t believe in life after death but I like to pretend I do sometimes to keep my mum happy. That’s why I go with her to church, that’s why I talk to her about God, as if he’s real.

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But there’s no such thing as a man with a long white beard, who watches over us from the land of fluffy clouds. That would be too nice, too convenient for us all.

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There is simply life and death.

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And the angels that watch over us. Waiting.

.

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Writer’s Biography:

My full name is Jessica Cooke. Am 22, from Liverpool. I do Creative writing at Sheffield Hallam and currently live in Sheffield for Uni. I work in Local authority bar and apart from writing, socialising, and the odd hike and rock climb I’m a little bit boring! Haha. I do the occasional bit of performance poetry, enjoy music and reading.

http://madramblingsss.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/JessicaCooke5

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #7 Natalie Elizabeth Beech

5 Aug


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the seventh fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer NATALIE ELIZABETH BEECH who is taking Gwendolyn’s penultimate ‘middle’ and bringing the entire short story collaboration to its heady conclusion. Not an easy task!

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here, Gail’s ‘middle’ here , CJ’s ‘middle’ here, AK’s ‘middle’ here, Laura’s ‘middle’ here and Gwendolyn’s ‘middle’ here.

_________________________________

Here’s Natalie’s contribution and the exciting conclusion of our short story:

>

 “ W-What have you done!?” Chloe squeaked, timidly hovering over her father’s body.

“Chloe.” Robo-girl’s voice feminine and nurturing once more “ Jeff was a bad man!”

“My daddy was Peter, HE TOLD YOU HE WAS PETER.”

“Jeff would trade you as scrap just like he traded me. If Tom hadn’t saved me, I would be just like your father, oil leaking into the sand, parts broken.”

“ You are just an old unwanted toy!” Chloe bellowed the words from the very pit of her stomach, throwing all the bile and nastiness she could behind those words.

“I’m exactly like your daddy, Jeff made me!”

Chloe, head now spinning, reminded herself of the grandfather her dad had never dared speak of; how he had been abandoned and left by the technologically-obsessed father for pastures new…How he would never even speak his name…

“He looked just like Jeff… spoke the same, same nose… same eyebrows same hair… same old beer breath.”

Back when he was a young man, Jeff, had built robo-girls and boys and robo-women and robo-men.. He was obsessed with the cables the nuts, the bolts, people called him robo-victor, mish-mashing together parts into his beloved robots.

He also had a family, a wife he was forced to marry, because she stupidly got knocked up when she was 15 and that annoying little brat Peter. Hardly speaking until one day they shared their first beer, from an aluminum can, the old familiar beneath Jeff’s fingers.

 “What is it about these… toys? Why do you spend more time with them than with us?” The boy Peter had asked about himself and his mother.

“Well.. for starters they speak when spoken to and don’t ask me annoying questions… They don’t get themselves pregnant at 15 and give me a son I don’t want.”

Peter left, kicking the parts that would become his father’s new obsession to the ground and scattering them…

Not stopping to notice the stray would-be robo-organ flailing towards his mother’s head, knocking her to the ground.. cold…

“MUM!! SORRY SORRY SORRY. ”

“I always knew these robots would be the death of me.” She smiled, her dark wit beaming from eyes and showing her teeth..

“No more beer, you hear me… You will get a headache as bad as mine… I love you Peter” With that she was on the ground… cold…. dead.

“You see what you did, you see what these things caused… I HATE YOU… I HATE YOU…. I HATE YOU. ”

They would never see or speak to each other again.

Peter ran and he ran long, not stopping until his legs gave out underneath him. He ran, as he would see Chloe run decades later… On that fateful day when they had decided he was her daddy and she was his daughter and they became each others’ family.

“ You are just scrap… we should have thrown you into the land years ago… You don’t feel, you don’t bleed, you are nothing like him NOTHING.”

“I have his voice now, we share a father, we both love you. “

“Feel a beat in my chest?” She asked placing Chloe’s hand across her heart-like circuitry “It doesn’t pump blood, but it feels like your father’s felt against your hand doesn’t it? Jeff made sure I was his most perfect model.”

“Nothing.” Chloe defiantly insisted under her breath…

“Well, perhaps not” robo-girl resigned. “But, I am at least like you.”

Grabbing Chloe by her wrist, robo-girl took her finger and ran it along the middle of Chloe’s right arm… Blue sparks flying, cutting her open down to what should have been bone.

“Most perfect until he made you, that is, the beat of your circuits even fooled me”

Chloe looked down, felt a sinking in what she thought was a human stomach, and uttered one single word-

“How?”

With that.. fell a new card, Wheel of Fortune, owl legend was again renewed.


>>>>

Writer’s Biography:

.

NATALIE ELIZABETH BEECH is a Writer/Poet and now occasionally Editor. She likes to call herself a “Professional Language Whore.” (Writing is what she does. Because she has to) She begun a love affair with written word and books when she was just a child and her father would bring her home two free books a week from his job at a distribution company. Beside words, she loves music. She likes to think she can play the guitar; she is wrong. Her favorite song of all time is “Drain You”; she will always be the girl who listens to grunge and reads beat poetry. She is a Brit, living and loving in Portugal and has lived in many countries since she was 16, loving to travel,move and see the world. She is called a “Typical Gemini” whatever that may be.
You can find her in many hiding places on the web. Here are just a few, so far discovered:

Site/Blog: www.natalieelizabethbeech.com
Twitter: @nataliebeech
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/natalie.elizabethbeech
Tumblr: http://natalieelizabethbeech.tumblr.com/

>>>>>

Well, this marks the conclusion of this particular Hot Potato Collaboration 2013, which, I think  we can all say has been a success, and from what I’ve heard from the potatoes, an enjoyable and creative experience.  It is my every intention to use this format again in the future. It’s great! Many thanks to the originator of the whole idea. My thanks also to the lovely potatoes who contributed to this particular project: Ben,  Gail, CJ, AK, Laura, Natalie and Gwendolyn, and to Aksania and his intent to create, who had to pull out unexpectedly. 

 

>>>>

 

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #6 Gwendolyn Salzman

22 Jul


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the sixth fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer GWENDOLYN SALZMAN who is taking Laura’s ‘middle’ and continuing the story however she likes….

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here, Gail’s ‘middle’ here , CJ’s ‘middle’ here, AK’s ‘middle’ here, Laura’s ‘middle’ here

_________________________________

Here’s Gwendolyn’s contribution:

>

The robo-girl stayed on top of him, so close, his ribs bent under her weight. Chloe shook his shoulder again. The robo-girl was the only one who reacted. She turned her head, slowly, the movement a clean pivot on a metallic spine. She blinked at Chloe.

>>>
“Get off him!” Chloe shouted, and shoved the robo-girl, hard.

>>>>
The robo-girl moved a second later than the push, following the force of will rather than the force of movement.

>>>>>
Her father’s face was red and black, and bleeding. Burned from jaw to hair, and swelling while Chloe watched. She shook him again. She wasn’t sure that skin and blood could do that after you were dead, but he didn’t move. He didn’t yell at her to stop her whining, or to stop her shaking, or to stop her stupid little repetitions of his name.

>>>>
“Dad?” she tried one more time.

>>>.
“What happened?” the robo-girl asked.

>>>>
Chloe didn’t answer.

>>>>>
“I killed him?” the robo-girl said. Chloe had never heard a sentence so even. Maybe because it should have been broken. Maybe because it was set in contrast to her own voice.

>>>
“No,” Chloe pleaded.

>>>
The robo-girl was turning her head again, another clean rotation as she leaned toward her father. She touched him with one finger, drawing a long line down the side of his face. If she noticed the blood on her finger, she didn’t care. She drew the line again with two fingers. It was so clearly a caress, Chloe wanted to slap her hand away. Then robo-girl laid her palm flat against his cheek.

>>>>

 A jolt shook her father’s hold body, snapped at Chloe’s hands where she was holding his shoulder. She fell backward after the jolt ended, hands burning, heart pounding. Her father’s body shook again. A third time. A fourth.

>>>>
“Stop it!” Chloe said.

>>>>
The robo-girl didn’t look at her, didn’t stop. Chloe thought she saw her father’s eyes flash open, then clamp shut the way he did when he was four beers in and one thought too heavy.

>>
“Stop!” Chloe screamed. She threw herself at the robo-girl. Together they toppled to the side. Chloe stared in surprise. She had expected to feel the impact more, like when she’d tried to push the robo-girl off him before, but it had been like knocking over a stack of cans, each part
heavy and disconnected from the rest.

>>>>
The robo-girl blinked up at her. Once. Twice. A third time. A fourth.

>>>>
“Chloe?” she asked, her voice a note too deep. It was perfectly even, and sounded exactly like her name in her father’s mouth.

_____

>>>>>

If you want to find out more about Gwendolyn  and her writing you can do so here:

http://apprenticenevermaster.wordpress.com/

or follow her on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/ApprNeverMaster

 >>>>>>>

Gwendolyn’s text was passed to our final potato Natalie Elizabeth Beech on Friday. Therefore the final instalment of our short story will be posted out on  Monday 5th August.  Natalie’s  instalment will   conclude our collaborative short story and our first ‘Hot Potato’ Project. I’m totally intrigued as to how Natalie will pull all the story threads together. It’s a big task! 

 

>>>>

 

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #5 Laura Besley

8 Jul


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the fifth fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer LAURA BESLEY who is taking AK’s ‘middle’ and continuing the story however she likes….

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here, Gail’s ‘middle’ here , CJ’s ‘middle’ here, AK’s ‘middle’ here

_________________________________

Here’s Laura’s contribution:

>>>>

But it was too late. As the echoes of her father’s cries rang out around the abandoned carousel hall, Chloe had already touched the strange robotic girl, with sparks of blue light flashing intermittently out of her open head.

>>>>
‘No,’ her father whispered.

>>>>
Chloe turned to face her father and looked pleadingly into his eyes, as she had done many times as a child. Am I in trouble? her eyes asked.

>>>
Her father took a step towards her and as he did the robo-girl moved her arm, which clanged into the dilapidated fence with a thud, sending a ripple around them.

>>>>
Chloe turned away from her father and faced the robo-girl. ‘Hello?’ she asked quietly. Are you okay?’

>>>
‘Chloe, let’s go,’ her father said. ‘Now.’

>>>
‘But Dad, we can’t just leave her.’

>>>>
‘We can.’

>>>>
‘How can you be so mean?’

>>>>>>
‘Chloe, you’ve never seen one of these robots before. They were all destroyed before you were born. You’ll need to trust me. We have to go.’

>>>>>
Chloe took one last look as the robo-girl stood up, swaying gently on her thick metal legs, and stared straight past Chloe. She turned to see what the machine was looking at: it was her father.

>>>
‘Jeff,’ the robo-girl said, in a voice higher and more human than Chloe could ever have imagined.

>>>
‘No,’ her father said gently, one hand outstretched as if to ward her off. ‘My name is Pete. Peter David.’

>>>
‘Darling Jeff,’ the robot said. ‘I’ve missed you.’

>>>>
‘I’m Peter, not Jeff.’

>>>>>
The robo-girl started walking towards him, tentatively at first and then more sure on her feet.

>>>>
Chloe looked at her father in confusion.

>>>>>
‘Run!’ he shouted, grabbing Chloe’s hand. They ran through the rusty ruins of the carousel and out into the fresh September air. ‘We need to get to safety and phone it in,’ he yelled, between gasps of breath. ‘They’re all supposed to be dead.’

>>>>
They could hear the heavy footsteps of robo-girl behind them. Ever louder, ever closer.

>>>>
Suddenly she was on top of Peter, forcing him to the ground. Her weight was more than Peter could stand and he was struggling to breath. A flash from robo-girl’s head flew out and killed him immediately.

>>>>
‘Dad?’ Chloe said. She shook him, but his body was limp.

_____

>>>>>

If you want to find out more about Laura  and her writing you can do so here:

http://www.laurabesley.blogspot.co.uk/

or follow her on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/laurabesley

or connect with her on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/laurabesleywriter

>>>>>>>>

Laura’s text was passed to potato Gwendolyn Salzman on Friday. The next instalment of our short story will be on Monday 22nd July. I’m looking forward to seeing where Gwendolyn  takes us……..

FYI: The writer’s are progressively taking up the structure of beginning, middle and end. The writers can take the story where ever they like.

>>>>

 

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #4 A.K Anderson

24 Jun


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the fourth fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer AK  ANDERSON who is taking CJ’s ‘middle’ and continuing the story however she likes….

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here and Gail’s ‘middle’ here and CJ’s ‘middle’ here

_________________________________

Here’s AK’s contribution:

>

The Owl saw the child approaching the fence, and wondered what this was about.

>>>>
What new Legend was about to be born?

>>>>
The Owl dove at the glass box inside the arcade. It held a mannequin. And the mannequin held tiny cards. Just as the mannequin had dropped The Lovers through thecrack in her box so many years before, she slid another card to the Owl.

>>>
The Owl picked the card up with her beak and rushed to the rafters to contemplate this new portent, and to observe.

>>>>
Robo-girl’s memories were disturbed by the rush of air and feathers. She realized, sadly, that she was still alone, and sighed.

>>>>
Was she remembering? She thought she heard human footsteps, that she could sense the heartbeat of a person of blood. Oh, how nice it would be to have a friend again. After her Tom had been gone for fifty years, her loyalty circuits were supposed to reboot. A new human could claim her with a simple touch.

>>>
Robo-girl heard more footsteps, tiny, hesitant. She sighed again. She listened to the tiny footsteps, wondering what child 100 years ago had moved so, to give her a memory this vivid.

>>>
“Chloe, wait!”

>>>>
A man’s voice echoed through the arcade. Mice and rats, Swallows and Sparrows, Larks and Finches departed in a feathered cloud. Who was this man to destroy their carnival nest? A man. A human man’s voice. Robo-girl slowly pushed her torso into a sitting position. A human man like her Tom. Would he claim her? Would he be kind? Would he want to make love with her on the beach?

>>>>
Her eyes had long since worn away, the sensors filled with corrosion. She used her other sensors to locate the short, breathing human who was warm, only a few armlengths away.

>>
“Touch my hand,” she said to the child, holding out her arm. Her voice modulator still worked. She had a lovely human face, Tom had told her many times how lovely she was to him. The child would be drawn to her smile.

>>>
The small human took a step away from her.

>>>
“Daddy?” a girl’s voice said, shaking.

>>>>
“Chloe, don’t touch her,” the man’s voice said, his footsteps heavy on the planks.

>>>>
“Just touch my hand, Chloe” she repeated, keeping her voice set on the soft, nurturing tones. She had a lovely human face, Tom had told her many times how lovely she is to him. The child would be drawn to her smile.

>>>>
When she smiled, she heard the child step away again. What was wrong?

>>>>
“What is she, daddy?” the child asked as the adult footsteps grew near.

>>>>>
“A discarded toy,” he said, his voice filled with something Robo-girl’s sensors could not register.

>>>>
“Is she a person?”

>>>>>
“No. Stop calling it ‘she’, it is not a woman. It has never been a person.” The adult took a step away. “Come on, Chloe, let’s get out of here. Leave that thing where it is.”

>>>>
The Owl tilted its head and watched as the father and daughter left the fairgrounds.

>>>>
Robo-girl tilted her head as she listened to their steps and the scrape of their clothes against the gap in the fence.

>>>
Long after they had gone, robo-girl stood. She shambled to the windmill and recharged her power. Long after the sun stopped powering her solar relays, she followed her newest data, and slipped through the gap in the fence.

>>>>
The Owl pecked at the card from the arcade machine. She wondered what it meant as it fluttered to the wooden floor onto the place where robo-girl had lain.

>>>>
The smiling face of the Star peered up into the night sky.

____

>>>>>

If you want to find out more about AK and her writing you can do so here:

http://authorakanderson.wordpress.com/

or follow her on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/A_K_Anderson

>>>>>>>>

AK’s text was passed to potato Laura Besley on Friday. The next instalment of our short story will be on Monday 8th July. It will be intriguing to see where Laura  takes us next………

FYI: The writer’s are progressively taking up the structure of beginning, middle and end. The writers can take the story where ever they like.

>>>>

 

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #3 CJ Sullivan

10 Jun


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the third fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer CJ SULLIVAN who is taking Gail’s ‘middle’ and continuing the story however she likes….

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here and Gail’s ‘middle’ here.

_________________________________

Here’s CJ’s contribution:

>>

Chloe travelled the abandoned carnival grounds with tentative steps. With petite feet, she pranced around empty plastic bottles, untouched by time. She didn’t want to curse herself by making contact with the bottles. It was bad luck. Plastic-making was now forbidden; only reusing existing plastic was allowed. Plastic had been one of the reasons for the Great Exodus.

>>
Her daddy had told her many times the dangers of harming the world, from injuring trees to killing animals for sport, not to mention creating  waste. So much plastic garbage filled the land and oceans now that the growing number of humans had no choice but to escape to the stars. The small camps of people who stayed behind did the best they could to reuse what was there, to fix what had gone so wrong, but there was just so much of it.

>>
As she walked further into the carnival, Chloe’s eyes lit up. She imagined what this magical place might have been like with electricity coursing through it. Often she and her father came upon places that no longer functioned—places like this. Sometimes he would tell her how machinery used to work, and sometimes he would remain silent, almost sorrowful with his eyes so distant. During Daddy’s quiet moments, she didn’t want to make him angry with silly little girl questions. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t still curious.

>>

Passing the round ride with the tent and the horses, she traced the fancy painted word CAROUSEL on the side of it with her fingers. Dust collected on her hands, and she wiped it on her shoe. How did this ride used to work? She imagined the wooden and metal horses, their paint now chipped, had gone around in a circle. Yes, she could see the track just barely now under a film of dirt. How fast had the ride gone? Did the children laugh? Did they have a wonderful time in the Age of Electricity? Were the horses beautiful then, their paint vibrant and fresh?

>>
Then she heard it: a sigh.

>>
She jumped. Covering her mouth so as not to shout, she froze. Her heart pounded in her chest. The noise she’d heard—it had sounded almost human. Almost, but not quite. And it had come from behind the carousel, over there by the small building with the sign that said ARCADE.

>>
All but tip-toeing, she crept toward the building. A movement to her right made her jump again. Another rush of adrenaline coursed down her arms. Be brave, she thought. Be brave!

>>
She took one more step, and an ugly gray rat ran from beneath the carousel. Gross! 

>>>

Had it been the rat she’d heard before? She was sure it had been something else. Something that sounded like—

>>>
She heard it again: a humanoid sigh that carried a feminine tone, but underneath lay something metallic. It was coming from inside of the arcade; she was sure of it now. Carefully, she peered into the little building and gasped.

>>

On the floor beside one of the dusty, defunct games lay what looked like a woman. Only this woman, who was curled in the foetal position, wasn’t a real woman. She had her back to Chloe. Her head was missing a patch of hair. There, instead of a skull made of bone, were wires, flashing with  spurts of blue light, stretching across a plate of metal.

>>
She took another step closer and reached out her hand, readying herself to touch this strange robotic girl, to somehow rouse her from her slumber.

>>
“Chloe, wait!” her father cried from behind her.

 

Writer’s Biography

CJ is a native Texan who appreciates both the quiet simplicity of the state’s countryside and the exciting color of its major cities. When she’s not lost in the world of her angels (See her novel  Wing’s of the Divided), she reads every genre of literature, watches and re-watches cult classic movies and obsessively de-clutters and redecorates her house.  You can visit her blog to read book-related, personal and generally creative posts here:

http://cjsullivanauthor.blogspot.com/

You can also find CJ on Twitter: @cjsullivan53

 

>>>>>

CJ’s text was passed to potato AK Anderson on Friday. The next instalment of our short story will be on Monday 24th June. It will be great to see where AK goes with what CJ has just laid before us!

FYI: The writer’s are progressively taking up the structure of beginning, middle and end. The writers can take the story where ever they like.

>>>>

 

Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #2 Gail Aldwin

13 May


Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the second fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story this time featuring potato/writer GAIL ALDWIN who is taking Ben’s ‘beginning’ and continuing the story however she likes….. In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s great beginning here. Here’s Gail’s contribution: 

>

Sitting on the beach, the stones lumpy underneath her, Chloe took another lick of ice-cream. The Mr Whippy slid down her throat, cold enough to choke her. Dad pelted pebbles at the empty can. He said the first drink of the day always brought him luck. Clonk, clonk, clonk. Being patient wasn’t in Dad’s nature and Chloe realised she didn’t have long to finish the cornet. Twisting her tongue and swallowing focused her attention. When she was done, she rubbed the sticky remains from her fingers onto her jeans.

That’s my girl.’ Dad flung his arm around Chloe’s shoulders and gave her a shake so that her head flopped from side to side. She giggled, it was his way of being friendly. When the sun peeped around the clouds, Chloe enjoyed the warmth. It wasn’t often that Dad brought her to the beach. Sunday’s usually involved trailing after him as he did the round of pubs to see his mates. She got a packet of crisps at each place and by the end of the day, she’d tasted the whole range of flavours.

Can we go on the pier?’ She hoped to make the most of this good mood.

If you like. I’ll give you a ride on the dodgems.’

But I don’t want to go on that pier.’ Chloe remembered the last time. Dad had spun the wheel one-handed and driven the wrong way around the track. He’d collided with every other driver and Chloe was so jolted by the end, that her head ached and her legs wouldn’t work properly. ‘I want to go on the other one.’

No-one goes there. It’s all broken and it closed down years ago. Look at it, one big wave and the whole thing will go under.’

That means we should go now. I could find a gap in the fence. It’d be much more fun.’

Not likely.’ Dad took a second can from the pack and springing back the ring, it hissed. He took a few glugs then turned his face to the sun and he closed his eyes. ‘Think I’ll have a little nap.’ He flopped back onto the stones, and the beer spilt.

Chloe stared at the old pier, hunched above the waves and she listened to the rattle of her Dad’s breathing. It’d be hours before he was ready to move, so Chloe made a plan. Dad wouldn’t mind if she checked out the pier. He might even be pleased if she discovered a secret entrance. He couldn’t complain then. Not that he usually minded jumping over barriers. He did it often enough at the train station to avoid paying the fare. Turning Dad’s wrist, Chloe read the time on his watch. If she came back within the hour, he’d never know she’d been gone.

The stones crunched as she walked towards the promenade and she skipped along the path to the pier’s entrance. Squeezing between the struts of fencing, Chloe wiggled through to the other side. She took pigeon steps along the planks and headed for the first building. With the door swinging off its hinges, it gave a sort of welcome.

 
>>>

Writer’s Biography:

Gail Aldwin enjoys writing short fiction as relief from the slog of completing a novel. In What the Dickens? magazine, she has a regular column that answers writers’ questions. Thanks to a competition win, her collection of flash fiction titled Four Buses is available now. You can find Gail at http://gailaldwin.wordpress.com/ and @gailaldwin

>>

Gail's text was passed to aksania xenogrette on Friday. The next
 instalment of our short story will be on Monday 27th May. 
It will be exciting to see where aksania goes with what Gail has set up!
FYI. The writers are progressively taking up the structure of beginning,
 middle and end. The writers can take the story wherever they want. >>

ARTIPEEPS HALLOWEEN HOTCH-POTCH

31 Oct

 

Welcome to Halloween HotchPotch the first multi-collaborator ArtiPeeps blog themed around Halloween and ‘spookiness’. You’ll find a real mish-mash of fiction, audios, videos, poems and illustrations. Feel free to pick and mix and come back to savour…..And we’d love your feedback!

 The talented contributors to this blog are:

+Gary Caldwell+Jasmine DeGrado

+Kate Garrett

+Lisa Risbec + Ryan Shaw 

 

 

                                                                                                           Original Art Work by Ryan Shaw

 

HAPPY HUNTING!  

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://acloserlisten.com/2012/10/24/various-artists-trust/

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All Hallows’ Eve

by Kate Garrett

They’ve run barefoot for hours

Over dirt paths littered with broken glass,

And they feel no pain.

He says, “Your patience breaks my heart.”

And kisses her hair,

As one tear taints the blood on his lips.

She says, “I love you, but I need the sun.

We’ve been in the dark

Too long, and I can’t handle this.”

He has to decide.

He touches her cheek. They part with a kiss.

She can no longer see his face

As he returns to the hours of starlight.

Her smile fades with his silhouette,

And regret steals her childlike delight.

The choice was never hers to make:

When he needs her she is there.

She’s a secret, a charm – invisible as ghosts.

When he sleeps, she is awake.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Contract

by Jasmine DeGrado

Original Photo by Lisa Risbec

 Dear Readers,

The excerpt you are about to read was found in an abandoned car. The tow truck driver was a friend of mine and had found loose papers thrown about in the back seat of the car, and thought I would be interested in reading them. The writing was that of an elderly man. Upon reading, I feel eerily connected, as if I need to share this story with the world. I have made no changes or revisions of any kind. Read at your own risk.

When I signed my name in blood that night, not long ago, I knew what would happen. I dare not speak upon it except in silence through pen and paper.

He had looked at me with dark eyes…those dark eyes. They seemed to reach into my being and steal my soul, leaving my shell so cold and void. I remember the physical changes. I could never seem to warm my body, my blood is chilled, like a fine wine. My brain has slowed, but my eighty year old step became much faster.

The ties that once bound me from freedom released me, one by one. The first was my son, a pathetic drunk ass. He died surprisingly fast. They called it alcoholism. The next to go was my beautiful daughter tortured for nearly forty years by the grasp of drugs. Tears of joy I cried for her, only her, as I stood over her coffin. Soon after, my beloved Mary finally died, her evil heart worn from a lifetime of anger. That b***h, that b***h, was finally gone, along with every so-called fake friend we ever claimed to have had. Some questioned the deaths, while others felt pity and did not how to react, so they simply disappeared. No one questioned the money.

I moved into a fine neighborhood, one I could not have imagined a year before. It was just I and the two inherited dogs, each dying six months apart until I was completely freed from my past.

A woman had been brought into my realm “As a reminder of your past,” he would later say, standing over my hospital bed. My face swollen, my jaw wired shut, my old, frail body at his mercy. He had looked at me with dark eyes…those dark eyes.

The woman had been a gift. She had all the characteristics of those who were killed, those I had been freed from. That woman was to remind me of my loyalty to my contract and to the man with the dark eyes.

You will be rewarded,” he had said. A new woman would come into my life soon, a very beautiful woman with dark hair and a daughter. I was to take her in and love her. What could an old, worn man like me do with such a woman? He looked at me, his mouth slowly drawing up into a snare…or was it a smile? His teeth showing yellowed stained filth. “Destroy her,” he had said.

As promised, the woman arrived with her child and all was well. Then it began. I loved her so much, too much, though never once touching her. I watched the woman filled with curiosity struggle with her new life, with her new money. Blood money. From my bedroom window I would watch her sneak back into the house very late, night after night and I began to hate her as I hated the others. And so she began to drink. She began to get angry. She began to do drugs. She wanted to leave me. I did nothing.

The woman, drunk, smelling of sex and perfume, stumbled into my home one night. That hot summer night. And then he came, the man with the dark eyes…those dark eyes. Paralyzed in fear, standing in the doorway of the woman’s bedroom, I watched him.

Even now on paper, I do not have the courage to bring to life what my tired eyes had witnessed. She had made no noise, there was no mess. The man with the dark eyes stood up from her bedside, looked at me fiercely, and heaved a sound indescribable, vibrating every inch of my being. A demonic voice of a thousand souls speaking in synchronic subhuman misery screamed, “Abaddon!” The house shook with fury and wind. His eyes were huge, his mouth became monstrously large, his face grey, almost glowing in the darkness. I hid my eyes with my arm and then it was over. I slowly lowered my arm and looked toward the bed, but he was gone. So was she.

I ran into the little girl’s room. She was sleeping so soundly, as if nothing had happened at all. I will drive her to her grandmother’s house tomorrow. I feel as if we are in danger, as if I did not destroy the woman enough to fulfil my contract. I feel as if the man with the dark eyes will come soon for her, Abaddon. What have I done? The contract I had written with the blood of my wrist on virgin parchment was meant for freedom and wealth. I am afraid I cannot take this back. So be it. If these notes are to be found without me, please publish somehow as to warn the world there is evil waiting for you, watching you with dark eyes…those dark eyes.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here we have a rendering of Robert Browning’s  My Last Duchess, An Unreliable Narrator of the Highest Order:

Written in 1842. It links the short story form, the tableau and the dramatic verse monologue….

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Third

by Jasmine DeGrado

The torture of sobriety’s bitterness lingers on my tongue,

his face haunting my memory.

My heart, after all of this time,

ripping apart.

Still. I let him go, but will never let him go.

My soul, will forever hungrily gnaw

at my pathetic, cold heart.

Stake me before I rise.

Decapitate my thoughts

and spare him my misery,

for my eternal love will

surely seduce him into the darkness…

as it has the others.

 

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by EDGAR ALLEN POE

Original Art Work by Gary Caldwell

 

Picture within Soundcloud player by Larry Vienneau, With Thanks

The Cask of Amontillado is one of Poe’s most well known tales written in 1846. He is one of the first theorists of the short story (which he called ‘The Tale’ or the Prose Poem) He believed this particular form to be superior to the novel.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Original Art Work by Ryan Shaw:

 

 Boo! Some Devilish Books!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Original Photography by Lisa Risbec

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Inspired by Woman With A Crow by Picasso:

Every day that my mistress comes to visit me the sun always

lies low. I have been her familiar for over 10 years now,

and I see no reason why this should change, unless I wish

it so. Our relationship is founded upon mutual disregard.

She only comes when she really needs me, otherwise I am

left to my own devises to peck & scrummage. My talons

are sharp, precise and can draw  blood. As soon as I see

her coming I offer my head and as she bends, my claws

root into the wood below, as my emotions surge to the fore.

To me her lips feel like thin parchment and her fingers

like snapping twigs. Everything about her is veiled, translucent

apart from her intent which I feel as her white lips pucker. Her intent

is dark and lies deep behind her masked eyes. Sometimes I

wonder whether I am more alive than she is? I wonder who is

the better phantom-she or I? She hides herself my mistress, and

she knows no bounds. My  mistress and I, we know no bounds. “

Picasso’s Woman With A Crow:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Day of the Dead

by Kate Garrett

His place was set, a plate was left

Untouched.

No time to think, she poured a drink –

Just enough.

To raise a toast

So he knows

He’s still loved.

She cries at times when he’s on her mind

But consolation

Returns to her when she uses words

For transformation.

Finding grace

In the memory

Of those she loved.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

We all hope you enjoyed our Halloween HotchPotch and wish you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN. As always, thank you for your interest! And if you would like to get involved with any future ArtiPeeps collaborations, do get in touch via the comment box or @ArtiPeep on Twitter or follow our blog via the Follow button on the sidebar…

n.b. If you want to follow any of the above creatives on Twitter:

Gary Caldwell: https://twitter.com/GaryCaldwellart

Jasmine DeGrado: https://twitter.com/JDest1978

Kate Garrett: https://twitter.com/andlavendercats

Lisa Risbec: https://twitter.com/LisaRisbec

Ryan Shaw: https://twitter.com/ryannotbrian

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ARTIPEEPS NEWS

  • New Page: FineFocus which focuses on specific techniques, genres, forms and processes in art/writing/creativity. At the moment we have two videos by a young artist CeleneArtiste up which show a new technique of hers. Do get in touch if you’d like to contribute to this.
  • Our First Guest Blogger , James MacKenzie was a great success, and I think brought a  new dynamic to ArtiPeeps. James is now our official ‘ArtiPeep’ English Art ‘Correspondent’ so you’ll be seeing more of his blogs on ArtiPeeps as the months go by. We’ll be having another guest blogger in November, Alastair Cook,  A Film Maker…
  • Also from  Wednesday 7th November we’re adding  a regular Wednesday fortnightly flash fiction element to the blog with Laura Besley…..
  • And you’ll find our  first ‘Visitor Peep’ in residence on the Visitor Peep Page. Another new poet, Susan O’Reilly, having written for only a year, who will be sharing her work with us. She’s keen to have any constructive criticism…Please see the side bar for more information about this initiative
  • Shortly there will also be a new ‘FabFiction Page’, a place for new poetry and prose,  so if you’d like to contribute, do get in touch!

There’s a lot going on!

Fragments of Inheritance: The Subject Behind My Object Series

1 Oct

For this Monday’s Blog we’re starting a new intermittent mini-series called The Subject Behind My Object (the name has gone through various permutations, which you’ll hear on the mini video below, apologies, if there’s a bit of a descrepency (!))

The idea for this  mini-series was inspired by the latest ArtiPeep Session we had on Wednesday where we looked at the relationship between subject-and-object. The ArtiPeeps were asked to bring  along two objects to the session: one that meant something to them in a meaningful way, and one that was pleasurable to them aesthetically. Our evening was spent talking through the objects and their meaning, and then we individually produced something creative from that engagement. This  engagement inspired this mini-series. So over the months  ahead we’re going to recurrently feature an object and the personal story and/or meaning behind it, for the subject. Initially we’ll feature the Peeps’ objects but if you would like to be part of this feature as well, let me know and we can gladly arrange this. Your involvement would be very much welcomed!

The first object we’re going to focus on is a meaningful one.

‘It is the function of creative man to perceive and to connect the seemingly unconnected. ‘ William Plomer

So,  here’s the OBJECT:

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Here’s the STORY behind the Object 

And here’s the SUBJECT  Behind the Object

A BIT ABOUT KARIN:

‘I was born on the 4th of November 1937, just one day before Gun-powder Day! So, I celebrated my entrance with a BANG, yet far away from England then, in fact, in Leipzig, Germany. After the end of the Second World War, Leipzig in Saxony became part of East-Germany, which I left, illegally, in 1953. My family and I settled in West-Berlin, where I went to High-School, when finished there I left Berlin for Cambridge, England. I was a student of English for a while, took a BA Degree in European Thought and Literature and English History at Anglia Polytechnic University, where I also took a MA in Women’s Studies with a Dissertation on German History. I became a teacher of the German Language,Literature and History during my working life. I have now retired from teaching and find myself writing, reading and enjoying life to the full’.

Aftermath by Sigfried Sassoon
(March 1919)

Have you forgotten yet? …
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same – and War’s a bloody game …
Have you forgotten yet? …
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz –
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench –
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, “Is it all going to happen again?”

Do you remember the hour of din before the attack –
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads – those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet? …
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

Hope you found this stimulating. Please feel free to comment.

All the very best!

Inspiration Point: Closer To Fiction

9 Sep

I heard a really interesting conversation with Donald Ray Pollock on NPR Programs: Fresh Air :

(http://www.npr.org/2011/07/26/138605683/donald-ray-pollock-on-finding-fiction-late-in-life)

The interview primarily focused on the author’s take on  ‘finding fiction in later life’ which was really interesting to listen to,  but what I found  most inspiring was something that he mentioned in passing about what he  did at the beginning of his writing career to improve his writing skills and get to the nuts and bolts of writing.  He said that what he did was  to copy out his favourite short story on his typewriter so he could become minutely intimate with the text, and in so doing he mastered his trade; in so doing, he learned what worked and what didn’t writing-wise.

Now this struck me as a really brilliant thing to do. Just to see what happens. Just to see if becoming so intimate with a story that you love can spark-up your writing; or even if you’re not into writing, what the process of selection and transcription might do for you in other ways- how does it change you? I’m certainly going to give it a go and see what happens. If you’re a budding writer it might be worth a go. I shall let you know what I chose and what I got out of it. If you try it let me know how you got on.  Watch this space!

And here’s a little video about it too……………….

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/49674060″>Landscape & Donald Ray Pollock (ArtiPeep Creation Point)) 09 09 2012</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/artipeep”>ArtiPeep</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

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