Squeeze The Clouds

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My family has been living on the land for over five

generations.

Since 1860 we have produced the finest woo in the

state.

The fleece has won more blue ribbons than you can poke

a stick at.

But now the sheep are dying out in the paddocks.

It hasn’t rained in over a year.

The clouds refuse to shed even a single tear.

 

My name is Rodney Swain and i am ten years old.

And i know that my family is hurting.

I would do anything to make them happy.

I wish that i could climb a giant ladder and reach up into

the heavens.

I would squeeze the clouds until they cry.

Cant they see that the grass is brown and dying?

So why aren’t the clouds crying?

 

Every night after the evening meal.

We would all sit out on the back porch hoping to see

lightning and the sound of thunder.

But as usual the sky is full of stars there isn’t a cloud in

sight.

How can mummy and daddy continue the fight?

 

I work beside daddy everyday before and after school

Trying to keep the farm afloat

But how can you feed your livestock when the grass id dead

And the top soil has blown away?

Sometimes i see daddy wiping the tears from his eyes as he hand

feeds the animals

As i watch him a say a little prayer. ‘Please God make it rain so daddy

can get some rest’

‘We really need some rain to  to fill the rivers and dams’

That should put on smile on the faces of all the ewes and the randy

rams’

 

But still it doesn’t rain.

Maybe if i place on top of each other and climb that that giant ladder

I can reach high enough to squeeze the clouds.

And hopefully they will co operate and release some steady rain.

Don’t they realise you can only take so much heartache and pain?

 

In wake up in the morning in sheets wet with my sweat

6 am and already the heat is stifling.

Why does summer have to be so hot?

Cant there be a season where it doesn’t get above 28 degrees

and it rains every second day?

Why does my family and all the other families have to always live

in drought?

All we need is a little precipitation.

To saturate the whole god damn nation.

 

The situation is getting drastic.

We reply on the rain for our very existence.

It hasn’t rained in three long years.

Today the temperature is forecast to reach 43 degrees

And the following will be more of the same.

The girl on the weather channel predicts the weather with a smile

She says there wont be any rain for quite a while.

 

How can she smile when families on the land are hurting?

Doesn’t she know that farmers are killing themselves?

Because the clouds refuse to yield

Bills still need to be paid and everyone has to eat.

There is never enough money to go around.

All because of a lack of water.

Why doesn’t it rain so win can win the fight and stop the slaughter?

 

Maybe if i stack the three on top of five barns.

I will be able to climb the giant ladder and squeeze the clouds.

Until they start to weep.

Than we can all rest easy and finally get some sleep.

 

Another three months has gone by.

And still the clouds refuse to budge.

They turn black and threaten a down pour.

But it is all just sound and bluster.

Soon all of the clouds disappear over the horizon.

And once again it is clear skies sunshine and heat.

My family and the community are all strong.

But this time i think they are beat.

 

Maybe if i stack the three tractors on top of the five barns

along with seven houses.

I can climb the giant ladder and reach up and squeeze the clouds.

And they will open up and supply us all with days of steady rain.

So it can soak into the earth and turn the grass green

Fill all of the rivers creeks dams and water tanks.

I would look up into the clouds and scream THANKS

 

Another six months has passed.

And there hasn’t been a single drop.

So once again i start to think.

What if i stacked the three tractors on top of the five barns.

Along with the seven farm houses.

Than if i added nine skyscrapers  i could climb that giant ladder

And squeeze the clouds and those fuckers will relent to my touch.

Cause when you think about i am not really asking for much.

 

Sorry for saying the swear word out loud.

Please don’t tell mummy or daddy because i would get a belting.

I promise not to do it again,now where was i ?

 

‘Rodney’

I am startled to hear my mummy’s voice.

And also to find myself standing on the roof of our house.

Jumping up and down doing a rain dance.

‘Get down from there right this minute,or you will get a belting

you wont forget in a hurry’

I don’t know what i am doing,but i start to chant and pray.

I close my eyes and imagine those three tractors stacked on top of

the five barns.

Along with the seven farm houses with the nine skyscrapers.

I see myself climbing that giant ladder and reaching up to

squeeze the clouds.

 

And do you know what?

I can feel my fingers getting wet.

So i squeeze a little harder and the clouds finally release.

And send down the much needed rain.

Finally my family and all of the other farmers can look to the future

With a fresh attitude and a soggy smile.

Because i think the rain is going to be here for quite a while.

 

 

THE END.

I Wish

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I wish that i was tall and handsome

But alas i am short and stubby.

People in the streets call me fat.

But y’know i am only slightly chubby.

 

I wish that i was more out going

Instead of being an over sensitive guy

And even though i know the answer

I still ask myself the question Why?

 

I wish that i was a higher power

Than i could cure all diseases.

Than the people that i love and cherish

Will no longer have to die.

My eyes would shine and sparkle with happiness

And no have to cry.

 

I wish that my mother and father stop arguing

And just talk to one another.

Because they did love each other once upon a time.

They live in the same house just not together.

The house is surrounded by very stormy weather

 

I wish that the earth was flat.

Than i could push all the bad people over the edge

I would listen to them screaming all the way down

I know it is wrong but i think i would enjoy that sound

 

I wish that i was a prize fighter

Fighting for the heavyweight title

Instead of being a world champion wimp

But i suppose it could be worse.

I could wake up as the pulp fiction gimp

 

I wish that people of different races and religion

Could all just be at peace.

But all they do is fight because of creed and different

coloured skin.

But we are all human beings of the same kin

 

I wish that i could see things in black and white

Because sometimes distorts the starkness

And though though i enjoy the light

I also welcome the darkness

 

I wish that my pen would stop moving around the paper

But it likes to form words

But sometimes the words aren’t quite right

And i need to take a rest

But still my pen continues to write

It can sometimes be a real pest

 

I wish that i was more popular

Than i could hang with all the cool people

I could bask in the limelight

And smell the decadence and wealth

But at the same time i like to live behind the curtain

of stealth.

 

I wish that there were no more wars

But mankind has been fighting each other

Ever since they started to live in caves

It is now 2017 so  people lay down your weapons

And start to fucking behave

 

I wish that i was famous

My face would grace the cover of all the magazines

I could be a celebrity for no particular reason

Just like that family of Kardashians

I could have my own television series

For way too many seasons

 

I wish that a had a pet

A cat or maybe a dog

Than i would have to be a responsible adult

If i owned a dog i would have to feed it take it for walks

and pay huge bills at the vet

So on second thought i don’t really want a pet

 

I wish that i was a man of mystery

But i am just your average joe

I have a normal job and live in an ordinary house

I mow the lawn and take out the trash

Just like everybody else

And they is the way that i like it

I wouldn’t change not even a bit

 

Except maybe …..

 

What do you wish for?

Go ahead and make a wish

You never know it might come true

But it more than likely wont

Just close your eyes and make a wish

But don’t say it out loud

Keep it to yourself

Wish

 

 

THE END

 

Nasty Piece Of Work

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I live the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Even though i have no money of my own.

I am 37 years old now and i haven’t worked a day

in my life.

I eat the rich and lay around all day.

Why should i work when other people can pay my way?

 

I was born under a full moon on Friday the 13th 1981.

My parents have told me that i was born bad.

And that i have been an arsehole ever since.

But i don’t care what other people think.

I just do what i please.

I just chop and chop until i bring them to their knees.

 

My devious ways got worse when i started school.

When i had a hundred other kids to pick clean.

They never knew what was happening.

I used every trick in the book to line my pockets.

I cheated at marbles and used stand over tactics.

 

And soon my pockets were overflowing with their lunch money.

And sometimes i even ate their lunch as well.

School can be good but i made it a living hell.

 

At high school i didn’t worry about playing games to get money.

I just used my fists and size to get what i wanted.

But fighting is hard work i used to work up a sweat.

Why couldn’t my family have money and live in the right

neighbourhood.

But y’know i kind of like being bad.

Fuck being good.

 

I have become a despised little jerk.

A real nasty piece of work.

 

After i finished school i was at a bit of a loose end.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I could get a job and make an honest living.

Or i could lay around smoking some weed.

Thinking of ways to spend other peoples money.

Why should i have to go to work and get my hands dirty.

My goal is to stay unemployed and retire when i am thirty.

 

At sixteen my hormones are raging

So i started to check out the local girls.

And they were giving me the loving eye.

But i knew that i had to aim higher if i was to reach my

objective.

Which is to make a lot of money without a lot of effort.

So i caught a bus (without paying) all the way to Caulfield

Heights.

Where all the rich people live.

I am all about taking i never fucking give.

 

They say love conquers all

But all i want is sex and some easy cash.

I just hope that i don’t end up with and empty wallet and a nasty

little rash.

 

At the local mall i take a seat in a coffee shop and wait for my prey.

And soon enough a girl walks in dressed up like a movie star.

She will do nicely.

She takes a seat across from me all ripe for the picking.

I give her my lovey dovey eyes a she smiles back .

She has taken the bait hook line and sinker.

And pretty soon we are sitting close together.

I move in for the kill hell bent for leather.

 

She tells me that her name is Cindy and that her family owns

half of the town.

And she offers to buy me a cup of coffee.

Well Cindy will pay for the coffee and a whole lot more.

I am going to reach into for soul and pull on her heart strings.

And i will not stop until the fat lady starts to sing.

 

I lean in close and tell Cindy a sob story.

About how i was kicked out of home and how i am struggling

to land on my feet.

Cindy sits there with her mouth open swallowing every word.

I cant believe this girl is so gullible

She offers to buy me lunch and provide a shoulder to lean on.

How can i refuse such an offer?

I eat and eat until i am ready to burst.

Just like a vampire with insatiable thirst.

 

I really am a jerk

A nasty piece of work.

 

Only sixteen and already i am on the road to ruin.

I don’t even try to be good.

Words tumble from Cindy’s mouth but i barely listen.

I am only interested in myself.

I just want to fill my pockets with ill gotten gains.

Who gives a shit for other peoples thoughts or pain?

 

Cindy is a sweet girl.

She deserves someone better than me.

I have’t listened to a word she has said.

All i want is to get my hands on her money

I will beg borrow or steal and bleed her dry.

I will leave nothing behind but an empty shell

Hello Cindy welcome to my hell.

 

Cindy stands up and says she has to visit the bathroom.

So why don’t i pay the bill whilst she is away.

She hands me her credit card and i go to the counter to pay.

But than i have second thoughts.

I walk out of the door and keep on walking.

 

As i walk down the street i reach into my pocket and pull out

a razor sharp switchblade knife.

Cindy will never know how close she came to dying today.

This time i gave her a break.

But the next time i want be so fucking nice.

Someone in my travels is going to pay a very heavy price.

 

So keep an eye out.

Because i could be headed your way.

If you see me coming.

Run as fast as you can

I really am a jerk.

A nasty piece of work.

 

 

THE  END.

 

Lowest At My Highest

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I pick at a scab on my face until it bleeds

And my skin is a nasty shade of yellow

Most of my teeth have fallen out

The drugs are starting to take a heavy toll

 

I am constantly scratching.

And my clothes reek of urine and desperation

I would do anything for a shower.

And to fall asleep in a nice warm bed.

I cant remember the last time that i ate a home cooked meal.

But first i have to score.

 

But my pockets contain nothing but a few coins and a shitload

of lint.

All i can do is walk the streets and wait for an opportunity.

And i don’t have to wait long.

 

Just up ahead a lady is enjoying a coffee at an outdoor cafe.

I am about to ruin her day big time.

She has made a huge mistake.

She has left her handbag sitting on the chair beside her.

Just waiting to be snatched.

 

She sees me approaching.

And i act like an normal person just going about my day.

And the lady doesn’t see the threat and looks away.

Just then i run forward grab that bag and take off.

I am gone before she can even cry out.

 

I go to my spot beneath a bridge to count the takings.

A total of five hundred and twenty dollars.

Enough to keep me going for a while.

 

My local supplier is waiting for me with everything that i need.

A little something to keep the wolves at bay.

Another trip to my so called paradise.

As the drugs take over my body.

I feel myself flying as high as a kite.

But at the same time i am feeling mighty low.

I always feel the lowest at my highest.

Ashamed of all the crimes that i have committed just to feed my

addiction.

I hang my head in shame.

But i know that i will have to score again tomorrow.

 

My name is Owen and i am now 24 years old.

And i have been using drugs since i was thirteen.

My parents were constantly fighting hurling abuse at each other.

So i escaped to the local park

Where i smoked dope to calm my nerves.

And i drank beer to drown my sorrows.

 

Well dope and beer are still my companions.

But now ice is my drug of choice.

It takes me to another dimension another space in time.

When i take i live on the very edge of existence.

Like sliding down the edge of a knife.

That is my life.

That is Ice.

 

I know that because of my appearance that i stick out like a sore

thumb.

But at the same time i can be invisible.

People look at me with a mixture sadness and loathing.

To them i am just another harmless bum.

But i will strike like a cobra when i need to feed my gremlins.

 

And right now my gremlins are hungry.

Every minute of every day all i think about is buying drugs.

My muscles twitch and my pores release the night sweats.

I cant sleep at night because of the constant cravings.

Only the drugs can bring me some sort of relief.

 

The money that i stole is almost gone.

So i decide to visit my grand mother for a meal.

And maybe a loan that i will never re pay

Gran knows that i have a drug problem.

And she has tried to get me help again and again.

But i always tell her the same old bullshit ‘Don’t worry gran

i can stop anytime that i want’

I have told her that lie so many times.

That sometimes i even start to believe it.

 

When gran answers the door.

I cant help but notice the look that she gives me.

A mixture of love pity and hate.

But i don’t blame her at all i have let her down so many times

over the years.

 

We chat away about family and stuff.

But the conversation always turns to my addictions.

As gran talks i block her out.

I know that she means well.

But i don’t need a lecture right now.

All i need is some money to buy my drugs.

I have stolen from gran in the past.

And i will do it again today.

 

When gran visits the bathroom.

I sneak into her bedroom and rummage around looking for jewellery

and money.

When i find what i need i call out goodbye to gran and walk out the

door.

 

After visiting my supplier.

I go to my favourite spot under the bridge.

To satisfy my needs and wants.

As i fly above the clouds i cant help but to think about gran.

She deserves a better grand son than me.

All she wants to do is help but i keep pushing her away.

Again i am feeling the lowest at my highest.

This fucking Ice has really got a grip on me.

And it isn’t letting go anytime soon.

 

A few days later gran’s money is almost gone.

So i head off towards my last resort.

Back to the park that i first visited when i was thirteen.

In the back corner is the public toilets.

Where i give blow jobs for $50 a go.

God i am not even high but i am feeling mighty low.

 

I now have enough money to last me about a week.

I even buy some food and some clean clothes from the salvation

army.

Where i start talking to the girl behind the counter.

Her name is Melissa and she offers to help me in any way that she

can.

 

I thank her for the offer ‘But i don’t need any help’

‘I am just going through a bad patch’

 

Once again i lie to myself and to people who want to help.

 

About a week later i leave my spot under the bridge.

On my endless quest to find money and drugs.

I am thinking about my situation so i don’t hear a group of thugs

coming up behind me.

I remember getting king hit and laying on the ground being

repeatedly kicked and stomped on.

Thankfully i don’t remember anything after that.

 

I wake up in a hospital a few days later.

With a fractured skull  and eye socket.

A few broken ribs and i am bruised from head to toe.

 

I don’t get any visitors.

Everybody gave up on me years ago.

And as i lie in that bed my addiction is crying out for attention.

I need to get out of here and fast.

As i am looking around for my clothes and a way to escape.

A girl enters my room wearing my room wearing a salvation army

uniform.

 

It is Melissa the girl from op shop who is going from room to room

visiting the sick and the lonely.

She recognises me and tells me that her offer still stands

If i want help all i have to do is ask.

I tell her ‘Thanks but no thanks i will be fine’

 

All i can think about is Ice.

And how to get my hands on some.

I know that i need help but i need the drugs more.

I must have been hallucinating.

And to this day i don’t know why i said it.

But i looked at Melissa as she was walking out the door.

And i silently screamed one word HELP.

 

I spent the next six months in rehab.

Getting rid of my demons and addictions.

It wasn’t easy.

I almost walked out the door a thousand times

But i thought about my family and friends that i have let

down badly over the years.

Especially my gran who i love dearly.

 

I walked out of rehab clean and sober.

Ready to start my life all over again.

I will need to find myself a job and somewhere to stay.

But firstly i need to visit my gran and apologise and being such

a bad grand son.

 

But i have to make a small detour first.

I go to my favourite spot under the bridge.

And i start to dig.

About a foot down i uncover what i have buried there.

An old biscuit tin that contains my treasured items.

Amongst all my stuff is grans jewellery that i just couldn’t

bring myself to hock.

 

I hold that tin close to my chest and walk towards gran’s  house.

 

I knock on the front door.

Not knowing what to expect.

She opens the door and her eyes light up ‘Oh Owen i thought you

must of overdosed or something’.

I walk in and put the biscuit tin on the table.

And i tell gran to open it.

 

She is surprised  to see her jewellery inside “I thought i would

never see these again’

“They aren’t worth much but they mean the world to me’

 

I tell gran about my time in rehab.

And how i have been stealing from her for years.

She just smiles ” I know i have been waiting for you to clean yourself

up and be a good person again.”

‘Welcome back’

 

If you are having problems with drugs or alcohol.

GET HELP.

Water Cooler Conversations

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Sharon Killburn is really pissed off.

Her ears are burning.

While her face is a deep beet red.

 

She looks over toward the water cooler.

And sure enough five of her workmates are standing around it.

As they talk they steal sly glances in Sharon’s direction.

Sharon knows that they are talking about her.

But what are they saying?

 

This has been going on for weeks.

Who do these bitch’es think they are?

Sharon cant stand it no more.

So she walks over to the water cooler.

Hi guys what are you talking about?

None of her workmates answer.

They wander off back to work.

 

At lunch Sharon once again tries to draw her workmates into

conversation.

But once again she is ignored.

She knows that they have been talking about her at the water cooler.

She doesn’t understand why she is being excluded.

Why are they being so standoffish?

It is really starting to mess with her mind.

 

After lunch Sharon goes to the bathroom to freshen up.

She enters the last cubicle and sits down.

She tries hard to hold back the tears

But soon they are rolling down her face.

Sharon knows that she shouldn’t let things get to her.

But she cant help it.

 

She takes a few moments to compose herself and dry her eyes.

Than with a sigh she goes back to work.

 

As she walks past the water cooler.

Once again her workmates are standing around it chatting away.

But when they spot Sharon all talking stops.

Sharon just keeps on walking acting nonchalant and carefree.

But inside her stomach is churning.

 

Don’t these people ever do any work?

All they do is stand around the water cooler gossiping behind peoples

back.

Sharon tries to get some work done but she cant concentrate.

If only she knew what they were talking about.

 

She through the rest of the day with a heavy heart.

Why are her workmates going out of their way to annoy her?

She doesn’t understand what is happening.

Her so called friends are giving her the cold shoulder.

Normally she would join in all the gossip.

So why is she now being shut out?

 

She has worked in this office for over five years.

And normally the water cooler conversations is what gets her

through the day.

A little conversation and a laugh what more could a girl ask for?

But now for some reason she being treated like an outsider.

And it is really starting to fuck with her mind.

 

At home Sharon tries to relax and forget all the crap at work.

But she cant believe the way she is being treated.

She has gone from being part of the in crowd.

To being completely ignored.

 

She pours herself a large whiskey and swallows it down in one

mouthful.

She pours herself another and starts to stew.

How dare those motherfuckers treat her like shit

As far as she knows she has done nothing wrong.

Sharon keeps on drinking as she wallows in her wounded pride.

 

The following days are all a blur for Sharon.

She has started to let herself go.

And truth be told she is starting to smell.

She no longer showers and has poor personal hygiene.

That should give her workmates something to talk about.

 

The whiskey bottle is almost empty.

But Sharon’s thoughts are full of hate.

She will make those arseholes pay big time.

As she swallows the last drop of the liquor she comes to a decision.

Tomorrow she will  have her revenge.

 

Before going to bed Sharon opens the bottom drawer of her dresser

and pulls out a pistol.

She puts it in her handbag and a small smile comes to her face.

Tomorrow cant come soon enough.

 

In the morning Sharon wakes up with one hell of a hangover.

Her tongue is furry and her head is pounding.

But after a strong cup of coffee and a handful of painkillers.

She grabs her car keys and heavy handbag  and heads off to work.

 

Arriving at the office Sharon is feeling very seedy.

And looking a little worse for wear.

She enters the staff room with her hand in her handbag stroking

the pistol.

but something is different the room is decorated with streamers and

balloons.

Is it someone’s birthday?

 

Than by the water cooler she sees her so called friends gathered around.

The cooler is covered in decorations and sitting on top is a big birthday

cake.

Than suddenly Sharon remembers that today is her 31st birthday.

 

Sharon doesn’t know what to say.

For once she is speechless

Her workmates all sing happy birthday and wish her all the best.

God how could she have been so stupid?

Her friends were giving her the silent treatment because they were planning

a surprise,

She feels like a complete fool.

 

Than she realises that she still has a hand in her bag.

With a finger on the trigger.

She slowly releases her finger and puts a smile on her face.

 

After blowing out the candles and cutting the cake.

Sharon and her workmates stand around the water cooler and talk and

talk “Thanks guys i never doubted you for a minute”

 

THE END

The Stain

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Martha Abercrombie has lived in Bangor Maine her whole life.

She recently lost her husband of forty years and is at a loose end.

She is lonely and she desperately needs something to occupy her

mind.

 

For over thirty years on her way to work she has driven past the house

of author Stephen King.

But it is another house that has caught her attention.

 

The house is a two storey monstrocity  that has clearly seen better days.

A faded old For Sale sign sits in the front yard.

It has been there for as long as Martha can remember.

 

One day Martha stops at the rusty old sign and saves the Real Estate

phone number into her mobile phone.

It is a pity that Martha doesn’t drive another route to work.

Than she would never have seen the house.

Because there is a very good reason why the house has stood vacant

for over twenty years.

 

The house is situated at 16 Balcomb Lane is shrouded by overgrown

shrubs weeds and a nasty reputation.

Originally built in 1900 by a doctor and his young family.

Who travelled all the way from Scotland to start a new life.

 

Doctor McIntosh his wife Stella and their children six year old

Prudence and little Colin a chubby four year old.

The family were excited when they finally moved into their new house

on 1st March 1900.

 

But one thing bothered Stella right from the start.

An ugly stain on the living room wall

Despite all of her scrubbing that stain just wouldn’t go away.

So finally Stella gave up and hung a family portrait over the stain and

forgot all about it.

 

Stella should have left the stain alone.

It has laid dormant for over one hundred years.

Now it has been awoken.

And it isn’t happy.

 

A month after the family moved into the house little Prudence was

spotted arriving home from school.

And since that day not one member of the McIntosh has ever been seen

again.

It is like they just disappeared into thin air.

 

The house stood empty until 1919 when another family moved in.

And than promptly vanished.

A radio was playing songs of the day.

The table was set with plates piled high with food.

Food that was never eaten.

Another family has disappeared without trace.

 

From 1932 to 1970 a total of eight families have lived in that

house.

38 people have vanished into the dust.

 

The neighbours cross the street when they come to the house.

Their is talk of a local Native American tribe laying a curse.

Their are whispers of witchcraft and of sausquatch  coming down

from the mountains.

 

In 1971 the house was demolished and every single piece of that house

was taken away and burnt.

The land stood vacant until 1986 when a new house was built.

The house was blessed by the local priest.

And a lovely young couple moved in.

 

But all of the activity has once again awoken the stain.

 

The same day as the family moved in the brand new house started to

fall apart.

The brickwork and shingles crumbled and fell to the ground

The wiring exploded in a shower of sparks.

While the plumbing leaked dirty water and sewage through out the

house.

 

The new house is transforming back into the old house.

And for the first time there is talk amongst the neighbours about

a strange stain.

 

The lady of the house a Mrs Penelope Lomax told them of a stain on the

living room wall.

It was the size and shape of a human face and the colour of blood.

And despite constant scrubbing and cleaning the stain just wouldn’t go away.

 

A month later Mrs Lomax was seen at her kitchen window.

But after that Penelope and her husband were never seen again.

 

Once more Martha Abercrombie is driving past the house at 16 Balcomb

Lane.

When she comes to a fateful decision.

After work she stops at the real estate office and makes an enquiry about the

house.

The agent is shocked by the question.

No one has asked about that house in over twenty years.

 

But she puts a smile on her face and offers to show Martha the house anytime

that suits.

They arrange to meet at the house at four o’clock the following afternoon.

 

So they meet the next day and Cathy Simpkins the agent walks with Martha

towards the front door.

But it is obvious that she is scared out of her mind.

Martha asks what is wrong and Cathy comes clean and tells Martha all about

the disappearances  that has occurred since 1900.

 

In the back of her mind Martha remembers reading about the missing people.

But this all happened years ago and this house is a renovators dream.

She decides that she has to have this house.

 

The estate agent refuses to go inside.

She opens the front door and tells Martha to take her time.

Martha walks in and feels a chill down her spine.

She goes from room to room and she like what she sees.

All of the rooms are spacious with high ceilings.

But it is obvious that the house needs a lot of work.

But she has to have it and signs the contract on the spot.

 

As Martha is signing the contract back at the cars a stain appears on

the living room wall.

It is barely visible but it is there.

 

For the next six months contractors come and go renovating the house

from top to bottom.

The wiring and plumbing is completely replaced

The house is gutted from roof to the basement fully renovated from top

to bottom.

 

Behind the living room wall the stain is shimmering in a rage.

Once again it has been disturbed.

 

Martha has finally moved into her new house and is enjoying a glass

of wine.

She cant believe how happy she is and how cheap the house was.

Life is perfect.

 

A week after moving in Martha is sitting on her couch reading the latest

Stephen King novel.

When her eyes are drawn to the living room wall.

A blood red stain is seeping through the paint.

 

Martha gets out of her chair for a closer look.

The stain looks like a human face.

Martha shakes her head ‘God my imagination sure is working overtime’.

She goes to the liquor cabinet and pours herself a large whiskey.

Than she walks back towards the stain.

 

It is definently a face.

The eyes of the stain seem to be looking back at her.

Martha’s spine tingles and her bladder starts to leak.

Despite herself she has another look at the stain.

The face is developing you can now make out all of the features.

It appears to be the face of a middle aged woman.

 

Martha pours herself another whiskey as she decides what to do.

But there really is only one decision to make.

So Martha grabs her car keys and runs toward the front door.

 

But a voice stops her in her tracks ‘Come and join me Martha and we can

be together forever’

Martha is shell shocked and her bladder empties completely.

She tries to run but her legs wont move.

Instead they turn back towards the stain.

 

Foot by foot her legs walk towards the stain until she is only five feet away.

Her legs move even closer.

Until she is standing face to face with the stain.

She waits for it to speak again.

 

But this time it doesn’t speak.

It attacks.

Two arms are thrust through the wall and enclose Martha in a bear hug.

She tries to resist but it is of no use.

Martha feels herself being pulled into the stain.

 

She struggles with all of her might.

But she cant fight off the stain.

She is dragged down to the basement and beyond.

Down to an old cemetery full of old tombstones.

Next to one of the graves is a freshly dug hole with a new tombstone.

Martha Abercrombie

Born 18 October 1944

Died 13 January 2017

RIP

The stain has fully engulfed Martha and is walking Martha backwards

until she is teetering on the edge.

Martha can smell and taste her own fear.

 

The stain whispers ‘Goodbye Martha welcome to death’

Martha fulls six feet down and lands on her back.

She is quickly covered in dirt until Martha is no more.

The sound of silence is deafening.

 

The house at 16 Balcomb Lane is up for sale again.

If you have the deposit the house can be yours.

It has been freshly painted inside and out.

The perfect place for a loving family

Or first home buyer.

 

All ready to move in.

Without a blemish or stain in sight.

 

But looks can be deceiving

 

THE END.

The Presidents Porcupine

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In a remote prairie in southern Texas a family of Porcupines are

grooming each other while keeping an eye out for predators.

But they needn’t worry because they are watched over by a dozen

humans.

Who provide them with the best of care seven days a week

 

This family of porcupines are famous the world over for their

quills.

The quills are of the finest quality and are in demand by all the movers

and shakers.

 

Cedric the eldest son has especially fine quills and his services are highly

sort after.

As Cedric’s mother grooms him a horseman approaches and hands over

a telegram.

A telegram with the presidential seal.

 

Cedric listens as his father reads the letter ‘The president of the United States

of America,George Washington,requests the services of Cedric the quill master’

Cedric’s father is still talking but Cedric is no longer he is already thinking about

life beyond the prairie.

 

A week later a stage coach arrives  to take Cedric on his first journey of life.

His parents couldn’t be prouder as they accompany their son all the way to

Philadelphia.

 

After travelling for a couple of days they finally arrive at the presidents

residence in the centre of town.

Where with a tearful goodbye to his parents Cedric disembarks ready to start

his services for the president.

 

He is greeted on the front steps by a butler and shown to his room.

After a few hours rest and a quick meal Cedric is taken downstairs to the

presidents office to begin his duties.

 

George Washington enters with an air of authority and takes a seat at his

desk.

Cedric is so nervous he is shaking and sweating up a storm.

He cant believe that he is in the same room as the president hopefully his

quills will live up to expectations.

He feels a gentle tug as a quill is plucked from his back.

 

Washington dips the quill in ink and starts to write his first official letter

of correspondence since becoming president.

As he writes Washington talks out loud ‘My dear fellow Americans it is a

great honour to serve you as your president’

‘I will do everything in my power to provide a stable trustworthy government’.

 

Cedric is bored as he listens to the president talk and talk and talk.

Surely he isn’t expected to sit here all day and night.

He looks around the room looking for something to occupy his mind.

Than a servant enters the room carrying the presidents lunch on a silver

tray.

Cedric’s stomach rumbles when he smells the food.

And he remembers that he hasn’t eaten in a few hours.

 

As the president eats his lunch Cedric wanders off in the direction of the kitchen

But he doesn’t get very far before he is manhandled back to the presidents office.

The butler tells him that under no circumstances is he to leave the presidents side

while he is in office.

His quills are to be made available around the clock.

 

An hour later a plate of food is placed before him and Cedric swallows it down

without even tasting it.

But than like clockwork he feels the call of nature.

But he doesn’t dare leave without permission.

Than like magic the butler arrives and escorts him to the outhouse.

Where he goes to the far corner to do his business.

 

As he opens his bowels he hears whispering coming from the batthroom

window ‘Washington has to be taken out before he has the chance to draw up

the constitution’

‘There is also talk that he plans to free the slaves and introduce federal taxes.

 

Cedric doesn’t recognise the voice because he has only been here half a day.

But he will know it if he hears it again.

He races back to the presidents office and resumes his place at Washington’s

side.

He doesn’t know when the assassination attempt will take so he will have to be

on his guard.

 

Weeks pass without incident and Cedric starts to think that he assassins have had

a change of heart.

He has proven himself as a loyal and trustworthy worker and he would lay down

his life to protect the president.

And the president has also grown very fond of his porcupine.

He scratches Cedric’s stomach like he is a pet dog.

 

Two months after taking office the president and Cedric are out for a stroll

around the gardens when Cedric’s quills stand on end.

Twenty feet behind them the presidents bodyguards are talking.

Cedric recognises one of the voices right away it is the same voice he heard

at the outhouse.

 

Cedric swivels around and sees one of the bodyguards stab the other guard with

a knife.

Now the killer only has eyes for the president.

He runs forward brandishing the blood soaked knife and is only ten feet behind

the president.

When without thinking Cedric turns his back on the assassin and fires twenty

quills.

 

All of the quills have hit the target but one has entered the assassins left eye

killing him instantly.

The president finally realises that something is amiss

And when he turns around he sees his bodyguard on the ground with a quill

in his eye.

He also notices the blood soaked knife and the other bodyguard dead in a pool

of blood.

 

Than it dawns on him that Cedric the porcupine has just saved his life.

They were close before but now George Washington and Cedric are like ham

and cheese.

The perfect match of master and pet.

 

Cedric is glad that he was able to save the president.

But there were two people at the outhouse that day.

So that means that another assassin is still out there

The president isn’t out of danger just yet.

 

Back at his residence Washington is still in shock.

But he has a country to run so he soon gets back to business.

Cedric dispenses quills while he remains on high alert.

 

Cedric is asleep when he senses a presence in his room

And there is a strange odour in the air.

He tries to sit up but he is quickly subdued and tied to his bed.

And even though he hasn’t seen or heard him before.

Cedric knows that this man is the second assassin.

 

Another person enters the room and Cedric is surprised to see the butler.

‘All we have to do is rub the poison into the quills and when Washington

takes one the poison will enter his system and he will die an agonising death’.

Cedric tries to struggle free but it is no use.

He is almost overcome but the stench of the poison as it is rubbed into his

quills.

 

The butler and the second assassin untie Cedric and carefully carry the porcupine

into the presidents office.

He is tied to the leg of the desk so he cant escape.

The co- conspirators remove their rubber gloves and leave the room hoping that their

plan comes fruition

 

Five minutes later Washington enters his office to start another day in office.

Cedric is beside himself even though he can understand the words that are spoken

by the humans he cant talk himself.

So he cant warn the president about the poison.

He knows that his master likes to touch a few quills before he picks one.

So he lowers his body and lifts up his head.

 

Washington is annoyed and confused by the porcupines behaviour.

How is he supposed to get down to business if he cant reach a quill?

The vice president and the butler enter the room and are annoyed to see

that Washington is still alive.

Cedric is surprised when he recognises the vise president as the second assassin.

He arches his back and his quills start to quiver.

But the vice president and the butler ore on the other side of the room and out

of range.

 

The president is confused to why his vice president is standing on the other side

of the room ‘What are you doing over there John? Come over here so we can get down to business’

‘Sorry mister president  i was just telling Henry about an issue that needs his attention’

‘Why don’t you pick a quill and start writing and i will be with you in a moment’

 

Cedric wriggles and snorts to get the presidents attention but his master is still talking

to his vice president.

He knows that the presidents life is in his hands or in this case his quills.

 

He has never shot his quills more then ten feet before and the two arseholes are

standing over twenty feet away.

He looks at them standing there looking smug thinking that they are way out of

range.

Cedric

He turns his back clenches his stomach than with a huge pelvic thrust he aims

and fires.

 

The vice president and the butler are both stunned when they are hit.

Than they smile because the quills haven’t penetrated their skin.

The quills are caught in their clothing having missed the mark.

They both laugh as they remove the quills with their bare hands.

But that is the last thing they should have done.

 

The poison has entered their blood stream now there is no coming back.

They look at each other and they know that they are goners.

 

The president can only watch in horror as the two men convulse on the floor.

Foaming at the mouth like a pair of rabid dogs.

They are bent out of shape as their bodies react to the poison.

Than with a final painful breath they die.

 

 

Once  again Cedric has saved George Washington’s life.

A porcupine has once more come to the rescue.

The president unties Cedric and goes to give him a grateful hug.

Cedric backs away and with a sigh dispels his remaining quills.

 

He is now as naked as a newborn but at least he is now poison free.

And he accepts the presidents gratitude with a smile.

 

George Washington and Cedric worked side by side for over eight years

laying the foundation stones of the United States of America.

For sixteen hours a day they toiled away.

 

But time doesn’t stop for anybody.

Not even for the president of the United States.

And on the 4th March 1797 George Washington retired from office.

 

There are plenty of portraits of George Washington in museums all

over America.

And none of them feature a porcupine

But be rest assured that he was there.

 

THE END.

 

 

 

 

 

The Cranky Christmas Tinsel

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Up in the corner of the living room hangs a cranky piece of tinsel.

It is a week before Christmas 2016 the piece of tinsel has been hanging

there all lonesome for almost a year.

 

He doesn’t understand why he has been left hanging there in solitude.

When all the other decorations and ornaments were packed away all nice

and snug.

Yet here he hangs covered in cobwebs and a shitload of dust.

 

There is movement below him.

And he is pleased to see the owner of the house putting up the Christmas

tree.

And start to decorate it in all sorts of baubels silver balls and stars and a

thousand xmas lights.

With an angel placed on top.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel is surprised when a step ladder is positioned

below him.

And the owner of the house removes a push pin and carries him towards the

tree.

Where he is draped over a branch or two right in front and centre.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel would be smiling right now if he could.

He cant believe his luck

Now he is in the perfect spot to have some fun and a little bit of mischief.

 

The family cat wanders in and starts sniffing around the base of the tree.

The cranky Christmas decoration watches the cat and wills it to climb.

But the cat couldn’t be bothered with climbing it arches  its back and jumps

right on up.

 

The Christmas tree starts to sway as the cat wrestles among the branches

in a tangle of Christmas lights.

The cranky Christmas unwraps itself reaches down and flips the light

switch.

 

The cat screams like a banshee on heat and runs from the room destroying

everything in its path blowing smoke signals from its arse.

Now i am not a Native American so the smoke signals are hard to read

But i think it says something like ‘Holy  fucking shit’

 

Smokey the Cats fur now stands permanently on end and it will forever

have a surprised look on his face.

 

Smokey was last seen hitch hiking out town.

But i am sure that he will be back one day.

 

 

The cranky Christmas is hanging in the tree feeling mighty fine.

He looks to the kitchen table where the owner of the house is enjoying

a glass of eggnog.

She is the reason why he is so cranky.

How dare she leave him hanging all year like a forgotten sock.

And the last thing you want in your house is a cranky Christmas tinsel.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel senses movement from the corner of his eye.

And when he looks there is a black spider building a web in his fibres.

He used to be clean tucked away all tidy in a box.

But now he is green mean and mighty unclean.

 

He eyes that spider and an idea forms in his mind.

He contorts his body into the shape pf a slingshot and fires.

The spider tumbles through the air straight towards the kitchen table.

And lands with a plop right into that cup of eggnog.

 

The owner of the house is startled and when she looks down she is

surprised to see a spider doing the backstroke .

She loses control of her eggnog and it splashes between her ample cleavage.

Along with the spider.

 

I think her scream was heard from more than five miles away.

She ran around the house tearing off her clothes in a wild panic.

And naked she races into the backyard and dives into the pool.

 

The spider swims to the side and climbs out feeling rather pleased with

himself.

Than he walks back to the Christmas tree and his web on the cranky

Christmas tree.

 

After almost drowning the owner of the house retires to her room with

her two trusted companions.

A bottle of bourbon and a pack of cigarettes.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel is as happy as Larry as he basks under the

Christmas lights.

He loves hanging front and centre surrounded by inferior decorations.

Than he is distracted by a noise coming from the fireplace.

And in a cloud of soot a big red arse emerges.

 

It is that old man with the white beard all the way from the North Pole.

He is carrying some weight and a great big sack.

First stop is the side table where he fills up on milk and cookies.

Than he goes to the Christmas tree takes the presents from his sack

and arranges them under the tree.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel is watching Santa’s every move.

And when Santa bends over he cant help to notice that Santa’s pants

are riding low.

He is showing more crack than a freeway after an earthquake.

The cranky Christmas decides to have some fun.

He dangles down from the tree and tickles Santa’s crack.

 

Well Santa jumped higher than an Olympic pole vaulter .

And after he scraped himself from the ceiling he squeezed back up the

Chimney

And got the fuck out of there.

 

The next few days run smoothly.

The owner of the house has some family and friends over to help

celebrate the festive season.

She relaxes and enjoys life for a few days.

Than it is time to go back to work.

 

Two weeks later the owner of the house decides that it is time to pull

down the tree.

She fills box after box with all of her decorations and lights.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel is still hanging on the tree when the owner

of the house returns with another empty box.

She the cranky Christmas tinsel and bends down to place him into the

box.

But she is clumsy and drops the cranky Christmas tinsel and somehow

kicks it under the lounge.

 

The cranky Christmas tinsel cant fucking believe it.

He wanted to be packed away in hibernation for a year.

But instead here he is under the couch with dead cockroaches stray coins

and an assortment of crumbs.

 

But he isn’t too worried he is confident that the owner of the house will

notice and pack him away all safe and sound.

Than he feels a tug from behind.

He looks back and sees a pair of green eyes.

 

Smokey the cat is back from his road trip.

And he wants the cranky Christmas tinsel to pay.

He chews the cranky Christmas tinsel like he is a tasty chicken bone.

And he keeps on chewing until the cranky Christmas tinsel is no more.

 

A few days later smokey the cat walked up to the owner of the house.

And when she bent down to give him a pat he coughed and spluttered

and out came a nasty looking cranky Christmas tinsel fur ball.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Affliction

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The first documented case of the affliction occurred on 1st March

2017.

When a baby girl named Elizabeth was born at the Royal Prince Albert

hospital Sydney at 2 pm.

 

She appeared to be normal in every way weighing a normal four pounds.

But there was one thing that was unusual about baby Elizabeth.

A strange birthday looking birthmark located in the middle of her

birthmark.

It is the size of a dollar coin and the colour of port wine.

 

The doctors weren’t that concerned.

And Elizabeth was handed to her loving mother.

 

 

Than word came through that a baby born in New York City had the

same strange mark on his forehead.

By the minute every hospital the world over started to report the birth

of babies born with a port wine birthmark in the middle of their

foreheads.

 

The authorities are all baffled by this weird happening?

How can every baby born be tainted by the same affliction?

Does it signal the second coming of Christ?

Has an alien impregnated all of the mothers?

Or is it just a strange anomaly?

 

After a weeks stay in the hospital baby Elizabeth is finally taken home.

Besides the ugly birthmark she appears to be a normal healthy baby

girl.

 

But soon after arriving home Elizabeth becomes silent and morose.

Her mother Jane is worried that her baby might have a fever or something

more serious.

But Elizabeth drinks her milk with gusto and has plenty of wind.

Maybe she is just teething?

Jane sits up every night feeding her baby and changing diapers.

She is a loving mother and she tries hard to bond with her baby.

But in the three months since her birth Elizabeth hasn’t smiled once.

Her face has remained expressionless.

 

As she feeds her daughter she strokes her hair but there is no response

from her baby.

But there is a response and it comes from the affliction.

It is now big red and shiny and the size of a snooker ball.

 

Jane’s eyes are drawn to the affliction.

And even though it sounds crazy.

She is certain that the affliction is observing her.

She tries not to look but she cant resist a little peek.

And when she looks at the affliction she is powerless to look away.

The affliction delves deep into Jane’s mind and removes all of her

brain activity.

 

Jane is still alive but she is no longer a functioning human bean.

She is now nothing more than a milk delivery system.

A slave to her baby and the affliction.

 

A small smile forms on the lips of baby Elizabeth as she suckles on

her brain dead mother’s nipple.

After all she is a growing girl and needs her nourishment.

She cant wait to go onto solids.

 

All over the globe people begin to wander the streets like a pack

of zombies.

They just walk around with nowhere to go.

They lose all control of their bodily functions and soon the streets are

slippery with human faeces.

 

It doesn’t take long for disease and pestilence to take hold.

Cholera and diptheria  are rampant.

And soon pockets of civilisation begin to disappear.

 

Elizabeth is growing rapidly as she continues to drink her milk.

Jane is compliant she is now just a living shell.

She just stares at the affliction as her daughter feeds.

 

But the milk supply will soon run out because Jane is no longer eating.

Elizabeth has been expecting this eventuality.

It is now time to switch to solids.

Elizabeth smiles and bites down hard.

 

Jane doesn’t feel any pain as her daughter bites off her nipple.

Than proceeds to devour the whole breast.

Jane looks down at her daughter as she is being eaten alive.

She watches as her blood runs down her stomach and starts to pool

on the floor.

Elizabeth takes another bite and her mothers blood runs down her

chin.

Jane wipes her daughters face and than she dies.

 

All over the world mothers fathers and siblings of the afflicted babies

are all being eaten alive.

Anybody that has looked into the affliction is now nothing more than food.

If this keeps up whole populations will be totally wiped out.

 

Baby Elizabeth continues to feed as her mothers body decays.

When the body has been reduced to nothing but skin and bone.

Elizabeth crawls out of the house and onto the street.

She approaches a storm water drain and crawls right in.

She crawls way down deep below the sewer.

And she waits.

 

 

 

Afflicted babies the world over have made their way into the sewers.

They can barely crawl after feasting on human flesh.

The affliction is very pleased with itself.

It has achieved its objective but it still wants more.

 

Part Two is coming soon so come back if you dare.

And before you go to bed tonight don’t forget to check the toilet water

Because one day the affliction will re-appear.

The Weight Of Days

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It is five in the morning and the kookaburras are laughing

in the trees.

The crickets are scratching outside my bedroom window.

And the neighbours rooster is welcoming a brand new sunrise.

With the sun comes the flies and the heat.

Five in the morning and i am already feeling the weight of days.

 

Let me introduce myself.

My name is  Bart Matthews and i am a resident of an aged care facility.

I am 82 years old and i have lived in this place for over five years.

As i listen to the kookaburras and crickets that means that i get to live

another day on this earth.

But that rooster could do with a bullet to the head.

I also the sounds into my head.

Sounds that remind me of my yesterdays.

Oh the weight of days.

 

All kinds of human sounds resonate around the facility.

The sound of a nightmare.

The sad cries from the lonely.

And the sound of the tormented.

But the sound that i hate the most is the sound of silence.

That can only mean one thing.

Someone has just departed this planet.

And i know that it will be my turn soon.

Oh the weight of days.

 

I lie in bed thinking about my yesterdays.

Because at my age it is no use thinking too much about

tomorrow.

But when you think about the past the memories are twofold.

Most of my memories are good but every now and then a bad one

will creep up and have something to say.

Oh the weight of days.

 

After a little snooze i go over to my rocking chair to catch the afternoon sun.

Another day is almost done and dusted.

One more day spent staring out of my window.

The world outside is just there but still beyond my reach.

I cant escape from this place i am here to stay.

Oh the weight of days.

 

I remember back when i was a kid playing with my siblings and friends.

Getting into mischief and all kinds of trouble.

Going camping on nanny goat hill only five hundred matres from home.

But it was like we were in the middle of nowhere.

I remember the horrible years i spent at high school where i was treated

like a mongrel dog.

I can also remember smoking and drinking  and losing my virginity with a friends

sister.

I was slowly becoming a man leaving my childhood behind

Oh the weight of days.

 

I am thinking back to my marriage and the birth of my two children.

When a nurse taps me on the shoulder and tells me that it is time to take

my pills.

I swallow them down with some water.

Now where was i?

The interruption has messed with my train of thought.

I cant remember what i was thinking about.

Oh the weight of days.

 

The next morning i am having breakfast in the common room.

A bowl of gluggy porridge and a cold cup of tea.

I look at my fellow residents all frail and feeble.

And i realise that i must look exactly the same.

As i look at them  i know that every one of them will have their

own memories inside.

And maybe some stories to tell

But none of us get many visitors so their stories will go untold.

There is no one around to listen to any word they have to say.

Oh the weight of days.

 

I am laying in bed reading a well read magazine.

When the nurse tells me that it is time for a sponge bath.

All i can do is lie there as she washes me all over.

It is degrading not being able to wash myself.

Pretty soon i will start to forget things maybe even my own name.

Oh the weight of days.

 

When i go to bed at night i find it hard to go to sleep.

Usually i only manage two or three hours.

And with every hour that i am awake all i do is think.

Insomnia is the curse of a lot of old people.

They are afraid that when they go to sleep they might not wake up.

We all just lie there knowing that the end is nigh.

Oh the weight of days.

 

My wife died a long time ago and both of my children are middle

aged.

And between them they have given me six grandkids.

They all visit once a month looking at their watches like they need

to be someplace else.

While the grand kids look at me like i am an exhibit in a museum.

I know that i am a burden and that my family is waiting for me to die.

Oh the weight of days.

 

It is a pain in the arse getting old.

I am still young at heart but my mind and body refuse to co-operate

I need a walker to get around and glasses to watch the world flash past.

And my hearing isn’t what it used to be.

But worst of all sometimes i need to use a bedpan.

With the indignity of a nurse having to wipe my rear end.

My bodily functions are no longer my own.

Oh the weight of days.

 

It is the morning of the 20th of November 2017.

Just another day in the twilight zone.

I go to the common room for my usual breakfast.

I am talking to another resident when i start to feel dizzy and

lightheaded.

Than before i know i am on the floor.

I am rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

In a lucid moment i hear the word STROKE.

I drift halfway between life and death.

And a white light at the end of a tunnel is calling my name.

 

There is no pain

Lust a blessed relief that my time has arrived.

I eyes are closed and i know that they will never reopen.

 

Even though i am dying.

I haven’t felt this good in years.

The weight of days no longer sits heavy on my shoulders.

I say goodbye and die with a smile on my face.