They, Their and Them (coffee shop and continuation)

They were quite beautiful. Not in a conventional way, but one that snuck up on you and whispered in your ear. Their hair was longer than expected and their eyes were a deep viridian green, like a cat waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting creature. Their clothes where not extraordinary and neither was their mannerisms, but you couldn’t help but stare. If you were to pass them on the street you probably wouldn’t recognise their beauty. But, if you stopped and looked a little closer, you could see beauty in every expression of their face. They were like no one but themselves, they were them.

She walked down the cobbled streets her long hair blowing out behind her. It was dark now, not that she minded. She stopped and lay her body against the wall of the alleyway. It was darkest up against this wall and she let the black shadows swallow her. The clock began to strike, the bells echoing against the narrow walls. It rang three times. A man turned the corner and walked down the alleyway. His head was down low, his hands were in his pockets, and he walked with the pace of a man who was running from something. In a way, she supposed, he was. The girl came out from the shadows and stepped in front of the man, looking up at his pale face. The man stepped back, even in the darkness the fear on his face was enough to fill the dark alleyway. The little girl stepped forward. The man ran, like they always did. The little girls skirt bellowed as she ran after him. He was running towards something but what? But where? The church. She ran faster. Her legs were too small but that didn’t matter. She ran faster and faster and faster and faster. Then it broke. She had caught her foot in between the cobbles, her leg gave way underneath her and she felt the sharp bone sticking out through her skin. The man made it to the church and turned back facing her. The little girl walked towards him dragging her broken leg behind her until she was only a few feet from him.He stood staring at her from the archway. She reached down with her hands finding the sharp splintered edges of her bone and placed a firm little palm over it. She slammed hard and the bone went back inside of her leaving a long open gash on her leg. The little girl starred at the man one last time. Smiling, she turned away and walked off into the darkness.



Three in a Café

He sits hunched, the crown of his skull as devoid of hair as his jaw. He sits and scribbles. Sometimes his pens scratches wildly, tearing its way across the page. At other times it flows silently. Every mannerism seems to be shaped to aid his writing. All his rubbish neatly stuffed into a soup bowl, placed as far from his shifting hands as possible. The dark sleeves of his jacket are rolled to his elbows, the green seams twisting into the jagged mountainous outline of a healthy heart beat on a monitor. Let us hope his work is as lively.

At another table sits an old man, significantly stouter than the writer. Age has bent his back and burnt all but a handful of wispy white hairs from his head. His every movement is slow, measured and cautious. Even so, though they may be weak and slow, his movements are solid and steady. There is no shaking of the hand as he lifts his spoon. When he stands It is like watching the growth of an oak tree. It may take some time, but the end result holds itself with real nobility and pride. Age has not yet broken him.

Opposite him sits an elderly woman, to whom time has been, at first glance at least, kinder. She retains a shock of pale curling hair upon her head and whilst age has lined her features, she retains a youthful energy. Until she stands. She is quick, but unsteady, the word “doddery” bubbling to the surface of the mind as one watches. It seems born of nervousness. She moves to avoid mistakes. The spoon flashes from her bowl to her mouth and back again in a twisted unstable ballet. Still it seems to work for her, for the table remains pristine


The Dark JKCC

The gentle, empty rumble of countless voices crashes against my ears. My nostrils drag in the warn, sterile scent of thousands of computers working in unison, every other, more organic smell obliterated by the work of the Proletariat priests who tend to this grand place. A gentle buzz flows through the floorboards, almost like that which accompanies the movement of a car. The world echoes with a sense of absence as the expected crunch of gravel doesn’t strike my ears. Even with my feet upon the legs of the chair I feel it still. Occasionally this electronic sphere of steel is interrupted by sounds from the outside , laughter or the roar of a car, or some decidedly organic noise or sensation from within my own body – the gentle pulse of my blood, the twisted gurgling of my stomach. It feels like sacrilege for such noises to defile this temple of the machine god.



The Dark

The Dark, they say, is the absence of light.

My heart disagrees.

Without light there is no colour and in The Dark that’s all I see;

Behind closed eyelids a world takes shape:

It’s smell and touch and taste

It’s a soft blanket wrapped around me

While I lay on burning sand

It’s the smell of night drifting in my open window

While the ocean spray fills my nose with salt

It’s the minty taste left on my tongue from toothpaste

While all I can taste are sunscreen kisses from the messy boy sitting next to me

It’s colourful

the black of the night and the blue of the mid-day sky

the yellow of the street light and the gold of the bright sun

the pink of the water bottle on my nightstand and the red of beach-bum skin

It’s colourful and

warm under my blanket and 

dry in my bed and

soaking in the waves and

chilled in the sea breeze.

The Dark is anything but when my heart is involved.


My Dark Room

Welcoming darkness, a shield against the invasive light; I’m exhausted.
Losing my balance, swaying awkwardly, right hand catching a bare wall, left hand struggling to pull off my boot. Soft thumps as they hit the carpet, and more sounds, muffled and soft like fabric that made them as it vanishes from my hands into the darkness and lands somewhere in or around my laundry basket. (more…)

Hundred-Word Lives & Extension

The sun is barely awake, despite it being closer to noon than dawn, and the dim light isn’t enough to draw the chill from the air. A tall woman marches through it, her strides long, her shopping bags full. She’s wrapped up in a thick hoodie, and she’s got trainers on her feet; she was ready for this mission and she chose to accept it. Even so, she clears the stretch of pavement spread beneath my window in less than a minute and nothing, bar the busy traffic, is going to keep her from the hot tea waiting at home.

I notice the man in red plaid as we both stand at the station because as he approaches he limps, but he carries no stick or crutch and is too young for it to reasonably be joint pain. Perhaps he fell down the stairs, slipping on a discarded magazine; he could’ve easily had the limb bashed or crushed during a rugby game, so that’s a possibility; maybe he was attacked by a gang of wild dogs. I don’t ask him. He sits opposite me on the train, and the black curls of his hair shield his eyes as he dozes.


Three people in a cafe

The first thing to notice about the girl sitting at the table nearest the door is the strong scent of coffee hovering around her which, when linked stain on her t-shirt, hint at tragically spilled coffee. She’s dressed very much like a student; her style is current but the garments themselves are all either cheap or worn with age. On the table before her are two cups – one empty and one half full and still steaming – as well as bundles of notes and an open laptop . . . but the notes seem to be untouched and the laptop has lain dormant long enough that the screen has gone dark. The girl ignores these and instead pursues a novel with familiar cover art that features a steam train, occasionally shooting looks of concern at the untouched work load.