The order of things unseen

She liked everything to be in its place.  Just so.  In no other way, but the way it should be.  The only way.  To imagine someone coming in and moving things around – putting things in the wrong place, made her physically sick.  She never invites anyone around because of this.  She makes excuses to avoid it.  Not because she’s embarrassed.  She likes how things are and who she is.  Just so.  She just believes not everyone else would understand.  And again, to have someone mess up her order, would be torture.

She’s been this way since she was a little girl.  Something she’s taught herself to be.  Every book on a shelf was categorised to her method.  Just so.  Every teddy bear was sized-up, not only by its weight and height but, just so.

Her order protects her from being hurt.  And she happily chooses to have her order of things unseen.


Prompted by link.

The Order of Things Unseen – Dead Deer

The Order of Things Unseen

Of the many entrances the largest uses, quite naturally, only the main entrance, the biggest of them all. They also enter first. Given the sudden urge to retreat underground at the first break of light each morning, and the large number in this colony, it matters who goes first.

 It is true always, whichever of the setts they retire too, this rule of weight applies. The most imposing first, the slightest last. This is the case, of course, for the Common Badger but not the other, more grotesquely frightening, variety.

And one was abroad this very night. This is why there was such a scurry to retreat to the nearest den, earlier then usual, for the Puff Badger spooks even its distant cousin, the mighty, robust Common Badger.

The distinctive rustling and almost-puffing will be familiar to all who have ever spent a night outdoors in the East Anglian countryside. I am afraid a tent will not protect you, and you are best advised to hide away in something more solid, because the Puff Badger will not be deterred. They will get you. This indeed is the order of the unseen.

Today I wrote from 22:09 to 22:19. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Feb 16th – Hold your hankering horses

February 16th – Hold your hankering horses


“Will you just hold your hankering horses!”

Mark never had the faintest idea what his grandfather was saying. The fact that he was only six years old only added to this confusion. He was aware that his grandfather had an interesting way of speaking: it was much more interesting that the way either of his parents spoke to him, for example: his mother seemed to say things in a nice, straightforward way, so he knew where he stood, and knew how to answer when she asked him a question. His father was a bit more complicated, and said thins that were a bit strange sometimes, and looked at Mark a bit funny when Mark looked at him a bit funny, trying to work out which bit of his father’s head was changing when he said you’re doing my head in, but for the most part it was pretty understandable.

His grandfather was something much more difficult to work out.

Will you just hold your hankering horses! Was what he’d said, he was pretty sure about that. And most of the words were OK, even if hankering was a little strange, and might have been something to do with a handkerchief, but what horses? Mark didn’t have any horses. He’s looked around, when his grandfather had said that, just in case some horses had come into the kitchen, and his grandfather had mistakenly identified them as Mark’s, but there weren’t any horses in the kitchen, even any horses that weren’t Mark’s, and he didn’t really know how to hold a horse even if he had any of his own, which he didn’t. Mark wasn’t even sure if he liked horses, even though Stella at school did, and had one called Star which she went riding on, and although Stella had talked about Star a lot, not once had she said anything about letting him into the kitchen, which was a place he was sure horses didn’t belong. His mother got annoyed when Monkey, his cat, went into the kitchen and jumped up on the worktop, so he was sure she wouldn’t be happy if there was a horse there. So why was his grandfather talking about horses in the kitchen when there weren’t any, and why did he expect Mark to hold them?

There were a lot of questions going on in Mark’s head.

All he wanted was a biscuit, and he’d asked his grandfather if he could have one while his grandfather was doing the washing-up. And now his grandfather was talking about horses with handkerchiefs, and Mark wasn’t sure if he was going to cry or not. He wished his grandmother would get home soon from having her hair done. She made much more sense, and she’d give him a biscuit, maybe even one of the chocolate ones.

It was going to be a long day.



Inspired by a prompt from here

Feb 15th – Loose laces and tight triumphs

February 15th – Loose laces and tight triumphs
Some Haikus

A long line of bikes
Parked in front of a café:
Triumphs packed in tight.

Gleaming polished chrome;
Aging rebels’ pride and joy
Sunday bikers’ ride.

A girl standing there,
Leaning in the doorway shade;
Cigarette dangling.

She wants just to ride;
Feel the wind blowing her hair;
Knows she’s not allowed.

Her time is not now:
She keeps secretly saving,
Café wages dream.

She’s no passenger:
She won’t sit with arms wrapped round;
Just another girl.

She is going to lead;
Taking corners near the ground,
Leathers aged by sun.

She has the jacket:
Loosely-laced sleeves, zip in front
Stretched across her chest.

Cigarette finished,
She returns to wiping down,
Serving others’ dreams.

Engines roar to life:
She watches from behind glass,
Dreaming highway dreams.


Inspired by a prompt from here

Feb 14th – Elevator love

February 14th – Elevator love


She pressed all of his buttons.


She literally pressed all of his buttons.

Gemma had a problem. She was aware of the problem, which was one thing, and so far she had managed to keep her problem hidden from her colleagues, which was another. But she definitely had a problem, and for now she had absolutely no intention of doing anything about it.

Gemma worked in an office in town. It was a big building, with six floors, and Gemma worked on the third. She was an Admin Officer, or AO, which meant she had a lot of cases to deal with on a daily basis, and had to go up and down a lot. Which is where the problem started.

It used to be fine. Gemma could come in to work, get the lift up to the third floor, go to her desk, log on, sort through the day’s claims and arrange them into an order of priority, deal with things on the phone as they came in, go up to the tip floor to talk to the guys on the Fraud desk, go down to the ground floor for face-to-face meetings when necessary, all with the minimum of fuss.

Then they changed the lift.

Well, they didn’t exactly change the lift: what they did, one weekend in January, was to upgrade the lift, give it a shiny new interface, and a voice.

And it was the voice that got Gemma. The voice was her problem.

It was like no-one she had ever heard before. It just got her, every time. Fourth Floor was a particular favourite: she never needed to go to the fourth floor ordinarily, but the way that he said it made her want to go there all the time. Doors Closing gave her an unexpected frisson; Going Up was staggeringly erotic, and Going Down made her melt. Every time.

Gemma was in love with the lift.

She’d been seeing Barry for about six months when she ended it: nothing Barry could do or say even came close to the lift voice. She’d named him Michael. Always Michael, never Mike. She had recorded Michael on her phone, as separate files, and then had taught herself how to edit them into one clip, that she could play to herself at night, alone in bed, over and over, as Michael told her how he was Going Down over and over. It was heavenly.

Her days were spent in finding excuses to ride the lift as much as possible. Nothing was too much trouble: fetching pens from the stockroom, getting reams of paper to refill the printer – anything that gave her the opportunity to get into the lift and ride with Michael.

Gemma had a problem. She was in love with the lift. And she really didn’t care.


Inspired by a prompt from here

Feb 13th – Peach coffee and hazelnut tea

February 13th – Peach coffee and hazelnut tea


It was the last case of the day.

The magistrate was tired: Stephen Cross had been sitting all day, dealing with the sort of petty nonsense that he always had to put up with. Unpaid parking fines, domestic disputes, shoplifting: the stuff that dreams were made on. Stephen Cross was bored, and tired, and he wanted to go home.

Harry Spain was representing himself. It had seemed straightforward enough at the beginning of the day, when Stephen Cross, J.P. had read through the outlines. An assault in one of the city’s newest coffee shops, plenty of witnesses, a first offence which would probably lead to a fine and a conviction for assault. Probably. But the case had to be hear, and justice, obviously, needed to be seen to be done.

“So, Mr. Spain, in your own words, please.”

“Yes, your honours.”

It was close enough, and close enough to the end of the day not to need any correcting. Stephen Cross looked at the other two magistrates he was sharing the bench with today: a knowing smile passed between them.

“I was in that new café place on the High Street. You know, Better Latte.

A nod from the bench, and Harry Spain continued.

“I was running late. I wanted a coffee. You know, a coffee. Just a coffee, black, two sugars. Quick and easy, and I’d be on my way.”

An encouraging smile from the coffee-loving bench, and he went on,

“There was some cunt in front of me – ’

Momentarily flustered, Harry Spain dropped his hands to his sides.

“Sorry about the language, Your Honour. Anyway, this guy in front of me, one of those Hipster fuc -”

“Mr Spain – ”

“Sorry. But it wound me up, you see? He was there, in front of me, asking about all these poncey drinks, and I wanted a coffee, and it was getting on, you know? I needed to get to work, and I wanted a coffee, and this – this – gentleman – in front of me was taking an age, with his beard and his checked shirt and his arms all arty tattoos, you know what I mean?”

“I do. Go on.”

“So, anyways, he finally decides on what he’s ordering and he orders, for fuck’s sake, he orders a peach coffee and a hazelnut tea. And, of course, there’s no peach syrup, so the guy has to go and get some, and then he decides he wants it with Soya milk, and he’s all is that skinny? And I’m behind him thinking I just want a coffee, and I need to get to work, and then he asks if the hazelnut tea is from fucking fair trade hazelnuts – sorry about the language, your honours, and when the guy behind the counter says Oh, I’m not sure, sir, I’ll just check, I lost it.”


“And I punched him. In the face. He had it coming.”

Stephen Cross looked at his fellow magistrates, and an almost imperceptible nod passed between them. He reached down under his desk, brought up a thermos flask and unscrewed the lid. Slowly, almost sensuously, he poured himself a cup of coffee. Simple coffee, black and thick and sweet. He brought the metal cup to his lips and sipped with satisfaction.

“Mr. Spain, there is no case to answer. You are free to go. The court is dismissed.”


Inspired by a prompt from here