snow

what is it with #snow, anyway? everyone who lives where there is such a thing falling from the sky complains about it constantly. even in the summertime when it’s somewhat warmish. wait until the #snow comes. oh the #snow kept coming late this year. didn’t even get to go camping until july this year. was so cold. and places where it doesn’t #snow? they can’t get enough of it on vacation. people are odd. it was with this in mind that i got on the plane at heathrow, thinking i’ve seen plenty of #snow in my life for a dozen lifetimes but of course i have to be heading off to alaska. why, you ask? see, now there is an intelligent question. it could even be deemed smart if you thought there was going to be a sensible answer. mostly to freeze my ass off, i believe. i’d say balls but, well, girls seem to be lacking in that department. all the guys coming, though, they will be lacking in that area if they stay outside, anyway, so i don’t feel too bad. to see the #northern #lights. what is it with #light shows? a school trip? to the frozen #north? in america? what the actual fuck are they thinking about.

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over the rainbow

somewhere, over the #rainbow, they tell me the bluebirds fly. curious, that, as they can’t even see the #rainbow from where they are. but true it may be. i saw a #rainbow this #morning and over it were these unmistakable birdlike forms. wait. those were airplanes. at least they were blue. i guess you can’t have it all. makes the song seem a little less romantic but definitely a lot more practical. under the #rainbow and those planes may have had a bit of a rough ride and an ocean landing, i expect.

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misaligned

jumping from her chair as she heard the grating sound of metal upon metal, angela reached the window of her cottage on the south downs in time to see a vision that had only appeared possible as a theory in her mind, not something to happen in real life. there was perhaps one #train a day this far out from civilization, two at the most but never running at even similar times. the collision between two, one obviously a passenger #train and the other a flaming mess of burning liquid, was something that she could not understand, believing her eyes or not. running through the door into the snow hanging limp in the air, she called out to her sister without even thinking that she had left for the weekend and could certainly not hear her from her hostel in amsterdam. angela pounded one step after another in the direction of the flames, #fire pouring high into the darkening sky. how could this have happened? there is not another cottage for #miles. by the time anyone else sees the #smoke or expects the #trains to arrive, it will be too late for the passengers.

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pillows

#pillows are the most misunderstood of creatures. they are warm and cuddly and love nothing more than to be held. some believe that they are #simply tools created for resting but it is not the case. they are missing the whole point, the evolution of the pillow from its ancestor, the common sheep. there was a child many thousands of years ago who was given a #lamb for her birthday, to care for, to love, to hold. she took that #lamb everywhere with her but at night, she was cold and the #lamb gave her warmth as they cuddled next to each other. as she grew, the #lamb curiously stayed small, never grew into a full-sized sheep. that was good for her. she no longer needed the sheep’s warmth but the straw that she rested her #head upon every night was rough and uncomfortable. when she became ill and took to bed for weeks, her #lamb, while she was delusional with fever, crept under her #head, pushed the straw aside, and lay down, giving her a #soft place to rest her #head. her father came to feed the #lamb but the #lamb barely moved and drank only a little water for the time that she was sick, until she recovered. it was this #lamb that was the beginning. as the #lamb had #lambs of her own, she taught them that it is in the service of sore and tired #heads that the would be, not to be eaten or stolen away for coats. over hundreds of generations, the #lamb gave up noise, movement, eating, sleeping, all signs of life but one – thought. in fact, the #lamb’s descendants became so good at thought that they could take the thoughts from the #heads resting upon them. as their humans slept quietly, they stole the thoughts before they could become nightmares and replaced them with images of pleasant meadows and fleeting clouds in the summer afternoon’s haze. in time the #pillows have become so talented at this that they no longer have to think to perform the task, #simply need to be squeezed, held, pressed upon by a tired #head. #pillows are such misunderstood creatures, taken out of there element to be used in #soft fighting, to press against lovers’ faces when they are to be teased, to cover a body in the light after passion is replaced by exhaustion. please do not misunderstand your pillow. treat her well and she will reward you with happy dreams. treat her as a #soft weapon of entertainment and your #head will be filled with the nightmares that she #simply could not be bothered to eat in place of the food she no longer needs. sweet dreams.

beating in time

it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. time, in fact, stood still for her, peering longingly into the #water as it circled the drain. it was her custom to step out of the #bath and be dry by the time the #water had finally gurgled into the arcane pipework but she felt stunned to the point of inaction. time not only stood still but stopped her from standing at all. it was, after all, bedtime and darkness had fallen on the small cottage as #water poured hot and steaming from the antediluvian faucet, moistening porcelain and warming the cold room as bubbles and salts mixed with steam and caused apple blossoms to fill the december night as it would be in september. plunging up to her neck in the #water, splashing the #floor without even noticing, holding her breath and her head under the #water until it would appear to an observer that she was testing the limits of her lungs’ capacity to spontaneously cease respiration. she was typically calm. it was different this time. calm had not given way to mania, happiness, relief, or even their sad counterparts. this was shock. carla sat rigid watching the #clock on the wall #simply say seven minutes past eight, #morning or evening making no difference, realizing only after minutes’ contemplation that the #clock itself had no power to move and was stuck, much like carla herself. it was that #morning that gin had left her. left in the conclusive sense, that is, not in the leaving for work as they had done every day since their wedding. when carla awoke, gin was already dressed, sitting on the end of the bed, suitcase at her feet. she #simply said “i don’t need time. i don’t need to think. i know that it’s over. #please try to #survive without me. i won’t stop loving you but i cannot stay.”

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rapunzel

there was a girl. an average girl. for a princess, that is. so not so average. but she looked fairly normal, a little tall, curly #black #hair, surprisingly foreign. amazing that her #father didn’t suspect her mother of having an affair with the #tailor. but that’s a story for another day altogether. they raised her as their own and her mother said nothing about it at all. her #father quietly had the #tailor dropped in the #river behind the castle without anyone really noticing except that the quality of the suits in the city was definitely at an all time low. but nobody said anything about it at all.

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war stories

They tell me that war changes men, makes them wild. That’s only the weak ones, though. He was sad when it was unavoidable, happy when it was ended. A lifetime of harsh realities, defeated by laughter. Memories depart quickly but I always feel at home there. Continue Reading…

movement stories

People fall into your life. Not metaphysically, they really fall. The last bus to Fallowfield is curiously late. Only three minutes, but that’s enough to notice when it’s nigh on 0100. I’m mid-sentence when the phone in my hand is replaced by Lisa’s left arm. The crashing of the phone gets lost as I am tackled across the aisle, somewhat unintentionally, by a half-conscious girl. Continue Reading…

fire stories

Sunset sets me free from the flames that I can’t convince out of my hair. This place never changes. A year since my toes touched this stone but it feels like yesterday. A bright, incendiary ball is hovering over my sister’s head but this time I’m curiously unworried. It’s only the sun, though. Somehow this way it seems normal. Continue Reading…

Narrative as History’s Replacement

Analysis of Falling and Seeing the Air

An analysis of two partial short story collections by the author.

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