Jan 26th – Time was running out and his watch had stopped dead

January 26th – Time was running out and his watch had stopped dead

23.46-23.56

When he was very young: four,

or five, maybe, he clocked

his grandfather’s watch on the

old man’s wrist. Solid, chunky,

his father’s father in metal,

hooped in steel around weathered

skin. He liked to play with it,

toying with the heavy bands,

slipping it up past the elbow

of his slender arm. One day,

his grandfather smiled, this

will be yours. He didn’t understand

the answer to his innocent words,

not then; how could he?

His grandfather would always

be around, and he was, until the day

he wasn’t. He wanted you to have this,

his father said, days after they

turned him into smoke,

the old man who had always

been around. And now that watch

was his, a relic of the past,

seven countries away from the

sitting room with pictures of ships

and charts of the world.

Along with the watch, he was left

restlessness, a longing for places

across the fold of the map.

The sea called him, always,

even when the mountains

of home rose to the sky

and pierced the clouds with unforgiving

peaks. The sea called him, again,

when the only waves tumbled

across cornfields and rippled

through the trees. The sea called.

The watch stopped. There’s nothing

I can do, the jeweller said,

in another language, in another home,

I’m sorry. He kept it on his wrist,

the dead watch from a dead man,

and measured out his time

in seasons. And still the sea called.

And still he found his home far

from the shore, where traffic

navigated the channels, and

curved glass buildings sailed to nowhere.

And still the sea called. And still

he looked at the dead time

on his left wrist, and spoke again

of moving on, charting a new course.

I must go down to the sea again,

To the lonely sea and the sky,

the words went, and he knew,

as he had always known, that

he would one day find himself there.

 

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

Slipping through the seams, there was no turning back

She placed the small piece of paper, imprinted with a pretty rainbow onto her tongue and lay back on her bed, her eyes wide open, waiting for something to happen. And then it did. One minute she was there on the bed. The next she wasn’t, slipping through the seams she tumbled down.

She thought something felt funny when she noticed the bed was getting bigger. Not just the bed, but the bedclothes too, along with everything else around her. The windows were getting bigger but further away, the door was further away and growing as well, and as for the cat, well, the cat was huge and getting bigger and louder, the murmur of it’s purr as it lay half asleep on the bed had become a thunderous roar, taking on the sound of the most frightening flying machine imaginable. And the sound was getting louder. In fact all the sounds around her were getting louder, and louder, and LOUDER. There was just a raging cacophony of so many sounds intermingling as one, an incomprehensibly massive noise, which as she shrunk became quieter and quieter, until it became nothing but a background hum as the noise grew imperceptible to her.

Now she was aware of other objects surrounding her, everything that had been her bedroom was now lost to her vision. Instead she could see giant mountains and great canyons around her, but not like any mountains or canyons she was familiar with. There were strange long bridges interconnecting everything, and great towers, columns, and monoliths all around her over which clambered the most fantastic of creatures she had ever seen. They were both horrific and fascinating as they too grew larger before her eyes, great big magnificent beasts towering over her, until they began to blend into her surroundings and disappear.

After a while, well it felt like a while to her, but would have been no more than the blink of an eye to us, everything around her became darker, merging in to everything else as she started to float, as if in the darkest areas of outer space, great spiral galaxies whizzed by her, just like they did in those old animations she remembered from science classes.

And then with a thud, she stopped floating and landed. Although she couldn’t see were she had landed, or what she had landed on, she had simply stopped and was now surrounded by nothing but blackness, a terrible blackness that was engulfing her and bearing down on her, a pressure that should have pressed her into nothingness but instead just held her where she was. Completely motionless, with complete nothingness preventing her from moving, from seeing, from hearing. There was no turning back. The dosage had been too high for her mind to cope with, although her heart beat on as strong as ever. What should have been a quick trip through a beautiful and colourful psychedelic world had become a never-ending journey into the void.

Prompted by this page

Slipping between the seams, there was no turning back – Dead Deer

Slipping between the seams, there was no turning back

Seemingly too late she rushed at the building and managed to push through the throng to the front. Shouting over the voices, waving her hands in front, she secured a ticket somehow and ran out the back. The doors of the bus were closing but she banged on them and the driver, in no hurry himself, opened them.

It appeared considerably more probable that the people squeezed inside would burst out the door than her entering, but somehow she did. There’s always room for one more, the driver chuckled. It occurred to her that this could not possibly be true but at least she was on board, and they were off. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable.

It ought to have been a blessed relief to get moving, the still air thick with heat and sweat. However as the bus picked up speed the open windows served only to move the thick sweaty air around.

Well, this was it. The ticket had cost her the majority of what she had left. No chance of a return ticket. Bridges burnt, like so many before her she found the city beckoning. What awaited her she knew not.

Waving her granddaughter off several decades later she thought back to that day. Full of promise it was, but she hardly could believe that it was she that had taken such a plunge. It worked out, of course, eventually. The first years were hard, horrific even. No, don’t think about that time. Think about what came later.

There was no turning back then, and there was no turning back now, from the fresh horrors awaiting her in her beautiful old home. She was so worried for her granddaughter as she set off the thought that she should be worried for herself could not have been further from her mind.

Still; Go, know.

Today I wrote from 13:57 to 14:07. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here