Saturday, 31 March 2018

Another World Away

This week, Chuck gave us two words: New Life. Well, he said to use it in any way we wished. I'm looking at getting a new life away from where I'm currently living - a horrible little place - and so this is dream of mine.


Birds woke her before the alarm – before the sun filtered through the blinds of the far window. Those birds were hanging around and upside down in the tree outside with the bright red blossoms having the most wonderful time eating breakfast as the sun broke the horizon.
Anna opened her eyes slowly, breathing slowly in the safe and warm cocoon of her bed.
The silence was wonderfully appealing to her right now.
And the birds screeching at each other – fighting for food – was the most lovely thing to hear.
Her alarm’s chiming began and her hand snaked out from under the covers, opened the cover of her phone, and dismissed it. Pushing back the covers, she grabbed her brunch coat, pulled it on and walked to the window slowly.
“Well, this is my home now... what a place.” She whispered against the glass taking in the gorgeous green views which were now her garden outside. Her phoned chimed a reminder for her to take the last of the keys to her old townhouse at Woodridge, and she cringed; did she really need to go back there? Couldn’t she stay here forever? Sighing, she put her phone on the bedside table and walked to the large wardrobe, opened it and decided it was a good day for a lovely summer dress.

Returning to the townhouse complex was a complete shocker after a month being at her new house on the other side of town, on her own block of land, with her own driveway, a lock-up garage and her very own letterbox. It was such a difference to everything that was so, well, dingy here in such a smaller place.
She pulled up to the key pad and swiped her card for the last time. The car gate opened slowly and she put the car into a lower gear so she couldn’t speed around the place. And as she drove around to the back of the place and parked in the empty car park, she noticed one thing about it all – she’d been gone for a month and nothing had changed.
The Body Corporate gardens were still overgrown.
The garden she had done up out the front was still the same.
The side fence still hadn’t been joined up to the boundary fence.
And there was a van in the driveway of townhouse/unit. Cleaners. Anna walked up to the front door, which was wide open, and knocked on the door, “Hello?”
The real estate agent turned, “Hey, Anna. So good to see you again. The cleaners were here when we arrived.”
“Oh that’s good. The place looks so ... empty.” She smiled.
“Hey that print of Dalmatians, was that yours?” he pointed to the old print up on the wall where the Wayne Clements paint had hung for so many years.
“No. That was here when I moved in. I stuck that in storage until I moved out, but the hooks have been replaced with new ones.” She smiled.
The buyers grinned, “Oh great! So, all the picture hooks are in studs and are solid?”
“Yep.” She nodded, “I made sure they’d be good ones and ready to use.”
The real estate agent walked to her, “They’re taking one last look before signing on the dotted line... oh, and the keys, have you got them?”
Anna pulled them out of her bag, “Here you go. And the gate card... and also you’re lucky ducks! I also have a remote control which opens that gate too.” She dug out of her bag the old remote, “I had the batteries replaced and have tried it out. So, no more getting your arm wet swiping the card.”
The new owners stared at her, “Woah! And how long were you here for before you got both of those?”
Blushing, Anna looked at the clunky old remote, turning it over in her hands: “Well, I kinda lied to a few people to get my hands on both of them... but I was here for over five years.” She finally handed it over to the real estate agent.
“Anything we need to know about this place?” the wife asked.
“Um... the range hood over the stove is only good for its light, not the fan. There’s a booster for the antenna over in the corner – please don’t turn that off or the next door neighbour doesn’t get television reception. And there’s a hook in the laundry for your dryer; we left it there from my last dryer.” She smiled, “Otherwise, um, the gate padlock key is the dull one, the ‘fuel’ key opens all the downstairs windows and the main side door sticks a little – but only when it’s gonna rain. And you can tell if it’s going to rain...”
“Spiders and roaches?” the wife asked.
“No... the stairs don’t creak.”
The husband looked around, “What about the flooding from the bathroom?”
“Oh that was before my time. But it shouldn’t do that anymore. I left plungers for both downstairs and upstairs for you... and the drains have a bad habit of smelling dreadful.”
“What about the lids out the back?” the wife asked, “We’ll just get them moved, right?”
“That’s the local council property. You can’t move them, or let anything grow over them. I lived here for over fifteen years and managed to live with them around me without a fuss.” She said, “Okay if there’s nothing else?”
The real estate agent gave the buyers a questioning look as they walked to the counter and signed on the dotted line, “Okay, Anna, you got more than what you asked for and the people knew about the ghost and are happy about how things have turned out.” He smiled, “I’ll get the paperwork to your Dad and you can go home.”
“Thank you so much for your time.”
“No, thank you.” The husband and wife both shook her hand and Anna walked out to her car, started it and drove out of the unit complex for the last time.
She was off to the other side of town to start her new life.
A life of no screaming children, a lovely green garden, of plentiful trees and birds... Anna had escaped the tiny townhouse and dreadfulness of the closed-in living to a house on a piece of land – sure she was sharing with her parents, but it was better than what she had before.
Before she was living in a prison – now her new life was quiet, beautiful and less stressful. Now, she could truly live her life the way she wanted.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Who Are You?

Isn't it strange how when we dream, whole worlds can come into existence and yet they vanish the moment the alarm pulls us out of them? Well, last night, I had the most amazing and weird dream and it took me to a township I had dreamt about before - few years ago in fact. I can't shake the dream, so I wrote about it.


“Come on, this is our train.” She pulled on the sleeve of my jacket as the train pulled into the station.
I looked over at her, wondering who in the hell this person was I was following across the platform, “Okay.” I picked up my bag and walked over to the steps and she took my bag off me, held my hand and helped aboard. As soon as we turned left into the car, I knew we were in the catering car, “Why are we being seated in the catering car?”
“It’s the last place we could get a seat.” She said.
“You’re gonna be a fat bitch.” A cold voice whispered in my ear from behind.
I turned and looked around, but nobody owned up to the comment, so I kept following her through the darkened cavern of the car, which was filled with over-weight and morbidly obese people who were sitting there waiting for their next meal. They were sitting close enough to the counter that they didn’t have to get up to order their food, it was right there for them.
I felt kinda sorry for them – but also grossed out too.
“Here we are.” She said, “There’s only one seat, and you’ll have to stand up.”
“You know I can’t stand for long periods because of my leg.” I said.
“Well, you can’t sit for long periods because of it either.” She snapped, “Here, sit on me for a bit.” She put her arms around me as the station master blew his whistle and the train lurched.

Soon enough, the sun was creeping over the horizon and our stop had come up. As we disembarked from the catering car, standing on the platform, I realised I had been to this town before. I recognised the tall steeples, the cobble streets and the large, lush green park over in the centre square with the citadel. People looked over at me as I stood there, with her by my side. Those people were in awe, pointing at me as we turned and walked away, and I never understood why they were pointing.
“Hey, wait up!” I called out to her as she walked off with my bags across the red bricks of the road, “I’ve been here before.”
She looked at me, her brown hair blowing, flowing in the breeze, “Yes you have – you remember it well too.”
“Yes.” I smiled, “I was given gifts I couldn’t use.”
Smiling, she turned and kept walking, “Oh, you’ve been using them.”
We walked on through the township and along the gardened boardwalks. The two of us were stared at and pointed at by the people here – those who remembered me, and not her – as we walked along the roads of cobble and up and down laneways which led nowhere all day long.
Then I stopped walking, “Where are we going?”
“Home.” She said, “I don’t remember the address. I was hoping you would.”
“I’ve only visited this town once, how would I know my way around?”
Dropping my bags, she turned on me, “Well, why are you following me?”
“I thought you knew where you were going.” I walked around her and picked up my bags, “Obviously you don’t, so I guess I’ll have to try to remember where I live here – if I do.” Looking around, I walked off, and she followed me along the street to the end where it started to look familiar. Turning right, I found we were only metres from where I lived, “You see, you weren’t far off.”
The landlord peered past her shoulder as she handed over a bag of money, “She’s been gone a long time. You’re damned lucky I still had her place free.”
“I told you we’d be back.” She said, then turned with a smile plastered onto her face, “Come on, you place is still free.”
“Great. I’m tired.” I said walking past the weird-looking, strangely familiar-looking landlord, “Where is it?”
She gave me a key as we walked through the large archway of the driveway; looking up to watch the long road of houses roll towards us like a river – they turned around like a carousel and my front door showed up in front of us.
As I held the key out in front of me, the door clicked open and we walked inside. I was home.

Strange things began to happen while she was still around. I never knew her name – and yet she could answer all my questions without me asking them. From the moment I put my bags down, and turned on the light, I found nothing familiar about the place – and yet my clothes were put away almost immediately and the aroma of a freshly-cooked vegetarian meal was coming from the kitchen; with her there strapped into an apron I’ve never seen before – looking all homey and wife-like. She turned and smiled, “Oh isn’t it lovely we’re home now?”
“Sure it is.” I smiled back, but really I had no idea who this person was. I was playing along, wishing she’d tell me her name.

A door slamming – bashing – before the sun rose one morning woke me from her warm arms. Pulling the covers back, I looked from the window to find my clothes and suitcases had been thrown into the street below.
“Oh my god!” dressing quickly I raced out of the bedroom, down the stairs and out onto the footpath to find there was no such evidence of my items there – and I hadn’t dressed in anything. I was standing there naked in front of the neighbours. I ignored them as she came out of the house with my dressing gown and covered me with it – like I was some prize boxer – whispering hushing words in my ears.
Pulling away, I glared at her, “Who are you?”
“Oh, my dear, if you don’t know by now, you’ll be forever lost.” She smiled, “You’ll be forever untrusting and unworthy... who do you think I am? And where are your suitcases?”
I looked around in the predawn light to find the rubbish truck ambling down the road with them in the back, “Hey! They’re mine!”
“You have to let them go. They’re not good for you.” She stood in front of me.
“Who are you?” I asked again.
“Come inside and we’ll talk.” She took my hand and I knew who she was as she closed the door and kissed me.
“You’re my conscience.”
“Took you long enough.”

Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Child Unborn

Chuck gave us a Twitter link to Magic Realism Bot; and it's so much to scroll through and see and read the weirdness there! Anyway, we had to pick one and write - so I chose: 'A baroness falls pregnant with the Universe'; and it took on a life of its own.

Liona woke in the middle of the night with a start, feeling the chill of the breeze from the window on her shoulders. She was sure she had pulled the covers up over herself; and did so again as she looked around the darkened room, lit only by the full moon outside.
She felt as though she wasn’t alone; and hadn’t been along since the untimely passing of her dear husband, the Baron Timothy Heathford Roderick Stein. Yes, she had become a Baroness almost overnight – well, it felt as though it was overnight – and yet their marriage had lasted over two decades.
He ruled over the lands surrounding their large mansion and the estates beyond, as well as the three nearby townships; however he had never been a horrible ruler. His title never came with people thinking they were going to be thrown from their meagre homes if they could not pay their taxes; instead, he’d give them work in the stables, around the gardens and around the mansion and help them with money if they needed it.
Yes, her husband was a good, wise and wonderful man; never quick to temper and Liona had never felt the harsh back of his hand. However, when she travelled with him to other estates, to meet with other high-ranking men, Liona learned quickly that those men treated their women like cattle, tormenting them, hurting them and making sure they lived in fear of them every day they were married.
It was certain that Liona and Timothy had an arranged marriage, as their parents had been before them. However, when she met Timothy on their wedding day, at the altar, all her fears washed away as he looked her up and down and he smiled, and asked her one single question: ‘Do you fear me?’ her answer was: ‘Yes.’ Taking her hand gently, he kissed her gloved hand, looked into her eyes and whispered, ‘Please don’t, for I am as scared of this day as you are of me.’
After he spoke those words, Liona found she had most certainly found her Prince, her man who would treat her the way she was supposed to be treated. Yes, her parents found her the right man.
But why had she woken in the middle of the night?
It had been three years since Timothy had passed away; and she ran the estates on her own now – which was something unheard of, but it worked.
Something didn’t feel right. She felt as though somebody – or something had been in her bed with her. Switching on her light, she pushed back all the covers to find nobody by her side, and yet, pooled around her was a glowing, blue/white liquid.
“What in the ...” touching it, she pulled her hand away to find her hand was covered in: “Stardust.” Turning her hand over, it glittered and glimmered catching the light like diamonds would, however, before she could call for her inhome doctor, the glittering vanished from her hand and from the bedding, as though it never existed, “I’m tired... gotta be tired. There’s something going on here.” She turned off the light, pulled up the covers and tried to go back to sleep.

Three days passed by and strange things began to happen.
Liona watched a butterfly flit around the garden from flower to flower and as she watched, she found she could hear its thoughts, and stepped closer: ‘The wind, keep on the wind, the wind, keep on the... oh sugary flowers, I can smell-em you know.’ The butterfly landed on a rose and slowly opened and closed its wings as it extracted nectar from the flower.
Shaking her head, she wondered if she imagined what she just saw and turned away to leave the rose garden, brushed past a dead bush and it immediately came back to life right before her eyes! As she watched it with widened eyes, she stumbled backwards and passed out.

A cool cloth woke her as voices sounded, “I’m not sure how long she had been out there. I was going to uproot that dead rose bush, but it looks like it had turned around – but I can’t see how it could; it has black spot and root rot.” The gardener’s voice whispered.
“I’ll take care of her.” The doctor said, “Now, you keep this to yourself.”
The door closed as her eyes opened, “What’s happened?”
His kindly elderly face leaned close to hers, “You tell me. It seems you are pregnant.”
“What? I can’t be. I’m too old.” She pushed herself up to a sitting position as her maid pushed plump pillows behind her, “I’m over fifty years old, it’s not possible.”
“Well, you are; and I have ordered in a Wise Woman to find out more because you touched a rose bush out in the garden on the verge of death and it came back to life.” He whispered.
“So that really did happen.” Her hand touched her stomach, “I had a strange presence here in the room the other night – on the full moon – and I didn’t know what it was.”
He sat back as the Wise Woman walked in, turned and looked at her, “Oh my Gods.” She shuffled the doctor out of the way, touched her forehead, peered into her eyes, and placed her hand on Liona’s stomach, “Yes, you are surely pregnant, Baroness Liona, but not with a child of Human origins. You are pregnant with the Child Universe.”
“The Universe?”
“Yes. You are glowing with stardust and have heard the conversations of butterflies.” She nodded.
“Oh no this will not do at all.” Tutted the doctor, “She is Human.”
The Wise Woman turned, “Not entirely. Both her husband and her are Fae Folk – this is why they were not violent. And this is why you Liona can carry this pregnancy to term.”
“Which is how long?”
The old woman shrugged, “This I do not know. I’ve never seen this before; but I do know you are pregnant with the Universe.”

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Out of Retirement

Chuck has us looking at a link today... and it's putting together two people and making them work in our work. I got: 'He's a sword-wielding, guitar-strumming card sharp with a passion for cars. She a provocative insomniac widow trying to make a difference in a man's world. They fight crime!'


He pulled his car into the driveway and turned off the engine – as the lights turned off at the same time. He had to look in to the engine tomorrow because it just didn’t sound right. Sighing, he realised he had almost been found out at tonight’s game. Getting out of the car, he spotted the house across the road had a light on.
She always had a light on at night when he arrived home.
Dixon wondered why such a hottie was always awake at night, but then, he shrugged and went back to his darkened house and let himself in. Now was not the time to introduce himself.

Anna looked out the window of her house as his Impala pulled into the driveway and he just sat there for a moment. He must have lost at the card game again – or almost lost. Her mind reached out and she found out his name was Dixon.
Nice name for a dude who was... woah, is that a hidden staff? No, hang on, a sword that only comes out when he’s in battle? Exactly who was this?

It was around 8am before she crawled out of bed to the sound of Dixon working on his car.
“Oh, jeez, why now? It’s so early.” She muttered pulling on a pair of jeans and finding what she was going to wear for the day and plodding downstairs after running a brush through her hair. Anna put on the coffee maker and opened the curtains to let in the sunlight as she watched him bend over the fender of the car in a pair of black jeans and a grubby t-shirt; his guitar leaning against the garage door.
He was constantly working on his car and then playing that guitar – and he wasn’t too bad on it either.

But what had she seen last night?

Pouring out two large mugs of coffee, Anna thought it was high time she introduced herself. As she looked up, she saw a black van pull up.

Dixon stood up slowly from his car.

He wiped his greasy hands on his jeans as he took in the van.

Anna could feel trouble brewing outside – not just her coffee.

A gunshot pierced the air, making her run for the door, forgetting the coffees. On the way through, she grabbed a garden stake from the roses out the front and ran across the road as Dixon was shot twice, but he didn’t fall.
Staggering, he grinned and he raised his right hand up and over his head to where a sword pummel materialised, “I was really hoping you’d do that!”
Anna’s mouth dropped as the gunmen turned on her, “Who’s this slut?”
“Who are you calling a slut?” she snapped dropping the garden stake and opening her right hand where a ball of blue-white electricity grew – snapping and popping as it her anger did – and she stood there on the footpath glaring, “Answer me!”
It was Dixon’s turn to be shocked, “Well, shit... and you guys better answer her now.”
The guys from the black van hesitated before they turned, clambered back into the van and took off. Closing her hand, the ball of electricity vanished with a loud pop, and she smiled, “Um... well, hi.”
He looked at the sword in his hand, “I better explain this.”
“I think we both have some explaining to do, before the neighbours call the police and we’re both in a world of pain.” She glanced around.
He replaced his sword – and it vanished again – and he turned to his car, “I’m just replacing the spark plugs, and we can talk, okay?”

At dusk, Dixon knocked on her door.
He brought his guitar and a bag of freshly ground coffee.
“Hey a man after my own heart... coffee.” She smiled.
“Yeah... so it looks like we’re both hiding secrets.” He handed over the coffee, “Would you like to talk about it?”
She smiled as she opened the coffee, “It’s nice to know I’m not alone.”
“So,” he turned from her ordinary-looking house, “When did you retire from being in the super hero spotlight?”
Pouring a few spoons into the coffee maker, she glanced outside at the dying day, then back at Dixon, “You kind of never do.”
He grinned, blushing a little, “No, I guess we don’t.”
After turning on the machine, she pulled down the mugs and left them on the counter. Walking over to him, she sat on the lounge, and he joined her, “So, Dixon, what do you want to do about this?”
His eyes ran down her body, and back up to her face, where a wicked little smile was making her eyes twinkle, “Well, I’d like to join forces with you – only if you’d like to...”
“...join forces with you?”
“Yeah.” He whispered leaning in closer, he kissed her softly, gently, sweetly at first... then...

Her hair smelled so sweet in the morning as they snuggled together the next morning. Dixon watched her sleeping and knew he had to tell her what his mission was – eventually.
“Eventually?” she whispered, “What is your mission? You said you were retired.”
“No I didn’t. You did.” He said.
“So, what happens now? You fuck me and think you can get away with handing me over to some black-van-driving assholes who think they can pull me apart like some experiment?”
“No... well... that was my job. But how about we join forces?” he smiled, “You can kick ass like I can – and why not try to take down the whole system and let the super heroes rule Earth again? I think it’d be great.” Dixon rolled onto his back and stretched.
“You think so?” she asked leaning on his chest.
“Yeah, we scared the shit outa those guys yesterday.”
“That wasn’t a show?”
“No. That, Anna, was the real deal... if you scared them, you and I can pull down the whole thing.”  
"They are the same people who killed my husband; and I want revenge." she smiled, "So count me in."