Saturday, 28 April 2018


Chuck asked us to write about the complexities about being a super hero. I thought this would be a good back door way of looking at it... or would it? 


Super Heroes Anonymous – Group One

Second Session

Wonder Woman
The Thing

Today’s Session:

For the first half hour, none of them wanted to talk about how their status in life had affect their personal lives. 

I stayed quiet, but then, Spiderman started talking about how it all it took was being bitten by a radioactive spider and the effects from that which took him down a path he felt he couldn’t return – he gave me a concerned look saying: ‘I could have gone in a completely different direction! I could have killed people instead of being a good guy. But I think being on the side of good is harder than the public think.’ His mask hid his tears, but I could hear his sadness.

Batman groaned, ‘Grow up. My parents were killed when I was a child. I swore to be on the side of good and to bring justice to the suffering of all in the city! The Mayor is on my side.’ He stood up and folded his arms (he does this in every session; we all tend to ignore him now until he sits down and says something useful – unfortunately, he never does). He sat down and started brooding.
Wonder Woman looks around, ‘Why am I the only woman here?’
I look at the list on my clipboard, ‘Because you don’t get along with the other female superheroes in the second group.’
‘Oh. I see.’ She nodded, ‘I don’t pick the fights.’
I smiled, ‘I know. Is there anything you’d like to add?’
‘I do wish I wasn’t always stronger than the men I’m attracted to.’ She sighed, ‘It’s a real turn-off. And why is it I’m always fighting greasy warlords or ... my alter-ego is being kidnapped?’ she looked up at me, ‘It’s a sexist thing, isn’t it? Kidnap the woman and think that she won’t do anything... stupid.’

I stop typing and sit back in the dim light of my office. These people have been part of their own two split-identity lives for so long, that they know it’s going to screw them up at some point... and Wonder Woman said something that... well, I didn’t like right now.

The Thing sat on the floor – he preferred it because he broke the last chair and I had to pay for it. He looked around at Wonder Woman, ‘I know what you mean when it comes to your other life.’
‘How so?’
His blue eyes stared at her from the hardened, brick-like surrounds of his ‘skin’, ‘I have a second life – just like the rest of you – but I’m in love with a lovely woman, but she has no idea about who I am because she can’t see me.’
Superman had been observing him, ‘But she sees the real you, right? The man underneath all that brick?’
The Thing nodded, ‘Yep, that’s right... well, she does when he’s around physically.’
Ironman hadn’t sat down with the group today. Last week, he sat with us for a few minutes, heard us talking and wandered over towards the window and stayed there for the whole two hours, not saying anything to us. Today, he walked in and took his place at the window again; but this time, he leaned on the window sill and watched us.
I turned, ‘Ironman, would you like to join us today?’
‘Why would I join you?’
‘We’re just talking.’ I said.
‘I’m a super hero and you want me to tell these ones about my weaknesses?’ he looked around the group, ‘No.’
Wonder Woman stood and walked to him, ‘It’s got to be grinding on you – you know, being as open to the public as you are.’
‘I can tell them to leave me alone.’
Superman scoffed, ‘No super hero can do what Greta Gabo did. It’s just not possible. We’re needed too much. They call for us, and we run to their rescue – believe me, I’ve tried to ignore the cries for help; and it’s torture.’ He frowned, ‘Oh no... I’m sorry to cut this short, doc, I have to go.’
I looked up at him, ‘A call for help?’
He stood smiling, ‘You know how it is...’
He made it through most of the session – that was good.
Batman grizzled in his seat, his arms folded, ‘Him and his super hearing.’ He looked out the window to the sky, ‘I have to wait for...’
The phone on my desk rang and I picked it up, ‘Hello? Oh, yes sir, he’s here.’ I turned to Batman, ‘It’s the Mayor, he needs you.’ And right there, I lost my second one from the group as he raced from the group.
Spiderman stood, ‘My spidey senses are tingling...’ he sprung onto the wall, ‘I have to...’ and before I could say anything he aimed one arm out the window and webbed his way out across the city.
Wonder Woman, Ironman and The Thing all looked at me and I shrugged, ‘Well, you all may as well go. It’s a trio now, not a group.’
Wonder Woman smiled, ‘Thanks for understanding, doc. We’ll be back next week for our next session – right guys?’
Ironman shrugged, ‘I guess. And next week, I might say something useful – or at all.’

I sat back from my typewriter. These guys were going to be tough to work out; given it was my second session – but they were beginning to open up. I think it’s the secrets that are going to be the tough things. I won’t push though, that’s the thing with super heroes: the secrets they hold close; the ones they can’t tell anyone, not even a shrink.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Amaranthine Diary

Last week, Chuck didn't put up a challenge - so I dug around my old emails and found an old challenge from a few years back from 2014 - would you believe it??? Yep. Two tables of words.. we pick one from each and used the title to write a story. Mine went from bad to worse... as usual.


There’s a point in your life when your whole perspective on everything changes – it turns on a pin – and you’re never the same.  Mine changed from the moment I was handed the box by the delivery guy. He didn’t bother waiting for a signature, he just ran back to his van and took off, wheels screeching from the curb.
Turning, I walked inside my house and placed the box on the table, grabbed the crowbar nearby and levered open the top.
It was a hug box for such a small item.
This was – after all a diary – not anything huge.
Pulling back the packing paper and beans, I looked down at the large book within and stepped back, my gut turning cold as I caught a quick view of what had been delivered to me, “No way.” Checking the calendar, then my books, I realised I had overlooked this date entirely – and had no idea how I could overlook it. Picking up the phone, I pressed four on my speed-dial, not taking my eyes off the box as I stood by my front door, “Tommy, I think your delivery arrived.”

He found me still standing at my front door waiting; and I didn’t know how long I had been there for, “It’s on the table.”
“When did it arrive?” he walked over to the box and looked inside it at the book, then turned back at me, “Helen!”
“I, um, don’t remember, um... it was just on sunset. The dude was a courier and didn’t bother to wait for a signature.” I muttered looking at my hands, “Want a drink?”
“Yeah... um, no. I’ll be okay, I’ve eaten.” He took the box onto another table near the window where I potted up my plants for the garden, and carefully pulled the book out, turned the box onto its side and rested the book on it, “You eat something.”
I turned to my fridge, opened it and looked at all the food I had prepared the night before, and didn’t feel a twinge of hunger, but I was thirsty. Grabbing a beer, I popped the top off, tossed the lid into the sink and guzzled down half of it as the door slammed shut. Then I realised that I haven’t touched beer in over a decade; knowing it turned me into a not-so-nice person, “Oh crap.”
Tommy sniffed the air, “Why are you drinking booze?” he turned frowning, “And it’s not even 8pm and you’ve down... oh man, you’re scared.”
Putting the beer on the counter, I walked over to him, “Look you’ve been searching for that diary for a long time; and now it’s in my home, it’s making me feel weird.”
“I’ll take it home.” He turned, picked it up and left me alone to my weird feelings and soon-to-be hangover. I don’t remember buying beer; or having beer in the house that day... or how that beer got there.

Days passed by and I didn’t hear from Tommy. He’d vanished with the diary and I tossed out the beer from my fridge. I copped a hangover like nobody’s business and was in a crappy mood all day because I drank; so I stayed away from the public for a few days until it was out of my system.
But I did hear about some murders around the place – like always – seeing we lived in the city, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to hear of bad things happening around the place.
I was curious though: why did Tommy take such an interest in what he was? He’d been a vampire for over a decade; actually I was there when he was turned and staked the bastard who turned him.
In truth, Tommy and I were to be married – he had just proposed and that damned vampire had screwed up everything in our lives. So, I still loved him and everything; but we couldn’t be together because of what Tommy had been turned into.
Tommy wanted to see if he could control himself around me enough to be in love with me – as a Human – and still have what might pass as a normal life. This was why he had been hunting around for that diary... the oldest vampire diary of all; the one Vlad kept way back when. It was something he had to try.
And yes, Tommy had tried everything – my dear sweet Thomas – but nothing had worked out, he was still a blood-sucker who I was dearly in love with and who loved me. We didn’t want to lose our friends and we didn’t to change our lives completely because of what he was turned into.
But ... well... if this diary didn’t work out? I had two choices, I had to stake him or join him.
Man, that sounds like a line right out of a blood-sucking Mills & Boone Romance novel doesn’t it? But I don’t want to do either... I want him to be in my life, but I don’t want to kill him either.

The sun was almost down when I knocked on his door. The curtains being drawn wasn’t anything new; and something I understood would be something he did all day if he was going to study the book – that is if he did as he promised he would.
The locks sounded and the door moved opened, “Come in, Helen.” He voice was across the room and at his desk again before I closed the door.
“Everything okay?” I asked putting the esky down in a kitchen chair, “I’ve brought some 0 Neg and 0 Pos for you... you know to mix it up.”
Gazing up from the pages of the large book, he smiled, almost looking like his old self again: “Thank you. I appreciate that.” Sitting back from the book, he pushed it away from him, “Did you know that Vlad added some of his own blood into the ink in this diary?”
“You can smell it?”
Tommy nodded, “Yep. No matter how old blood is, I can smell the stuff.” He closed the large volume, “But there’s nothing he’s told us here that we don’t already know.”
He stood and walked to the esky, “Has anyone called you lately – you know our friends?”
I fiddled with my fingernails nervously, “No. They began to pull away from us when you were turned; and I wouldn’t leave you.”
He nodded as he placed the blood bags into the fridge carefully in date order, then stood back and closed the door, “You take care of me really well... as though we’re already married.”
Tears came easily, “I can’t help it. I love you, Thomas. And if I was to go off with somebody else, you’d become jealous.”
He looked to his feet for a moment, “Yeah, I would. I love you still as well.” His hand was in mine as I sat down at the counter, “Oh honey. I wish things were different.”
I wiped my tears away with my free hand, “Me too. But the only way we can stay together is ...”
“No!” he stood and walked to the other side of the room, “I’m not doing that.”
“Do you have any idea how long it’s been since Jean and Stuart have been by the house? Or your parents? They think you’re dead.” I snapped, “Tommy, it’s this way or no way... you and I can be together.”
He turned from the thick drapes, “I don’t want you to live a life of this!” he waved his arm at the closed off world he was missing out on, “You don’t need to hide from it all... I do!”
“If you loved me, you’d turn me.”
“Don’t say that! Don’t you say that to me!” he shouted.
“Then let me go.” I removed the engagement ring from my finger, “Let me live... please.”
His eyes watched me remove the ring and he shook his head, “I can’t. I love you.”
“I know... and if you love me so much, you’d let me go.” I grabbed my esky and walked out towards the door, opened it and started out into the cool night.
A cold hand grabbed my arm, yanked me back inside, “Where are you going?”
“Home!” I threw the esky at him and he deflected it against the wall and it bounced near the stairs, “Let me out!”
A freezing cold hand grabbed my neck, shoved me against the wall.
I tried to fight – really I did.
I punched. I kicked.
His hold was like a vice.
He bit into my carotid artery and I felt fear take a hold of my soul.
That bastard!
“No...’re hurting me...Tommy...”
He pulled away, “Oh my god! What?...” he watched as I dropped to the floor, knowing it was far too late to say sorry, to save me through normal Human means, “Oh shit, Helen. I’m sorry... no.”

I woke up on his bed upstairs.
Tommy was across the room sitting in his large chair reading a book in the dark.
Sitting up, I felt my neck, but it was healed. Did I dream that nightmare which just happened? Was I dreaming now?
I looked over at him, “Did you bite me?”
He hadn’t been really reading... he had been just staring at the same page for the last hour, “Yes. I got pissed off you were going to leave me.”
“Over that diary – or over what I told you that was the truth.”
He dropped the book on the floor, “Both.” He rose from the seat, “I tried to burn the book, but it won’t burn. It can’t be destroyed.”
“Well, exactly what did you do to me?”
Rising from his chair, he walked over and sat on the bed, “I drank too much of you and didn’t have a choice... you asked me to and I should have handled it better – but I didn’t.”
“Tommy, we have other, bigger problems if that Amaranthine Diary can’t be destroyed.”

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Lottery

Chuck has us writing about Luck... you know how Friday 13th is unlucky? Well, he's thought a good twist to this would be fun. It is - kinda.


You’d think winning a lifetime’s worth of money would be a great thing – right? I could pay off all my credit cards, buy the car and house I’ve always wanted, go on that huge overseas trip which would last years. I could give money here, there and everywhere and do whatever the fuck I wanted.


Well, yeah I guess.

Um, no, not really.

The house and car were a no-brainer. I mean, why in the hell would I live in a complete dump of a neighbourhood and drive a shitty little crap-shooter car when I could have my dream motor at my fingertips – yeah the one I’ve been walking past at the Chrysler dealership in the city for the past six months on the way to work.
And then again, why would I ever go back to work again? I mean, let’s weigh it up: $400,000 per year to live on and do what I want with – tax free on one hand. And then there’s that pokey little fucking cubicle on the fourteenth floor at the insurance company I worked for the past fifteen years where I don’t get to see the daylight unless I stand up and look to my right or to my left. And even then, my supervisor walks around and asks me: ‘Exactly what in the hell are you thinking of doing? Sit down and take that call.’ I’d look down and that phone would have all the lights all lit up with the unending maggots on the other end of the phone asking for their insurance to be changed, cancelled or they would be asking me stupid questions about this or that on their policy and failed to read the book that came in the mail with all their bits.

Oh yeah, I’d really want to go back to a place where I arrive in the dark and go home in the dark. Sounds like a solid plan!

And my win took just me going out shopping one afternoon. I didn’t even need to pick up anything really – it was just dumb, stupid luck that I happen to walk into the newsagents and pick out my Golden Circle card from my wallet and ask for the ‘Set For Life Lottery Game’ for that week. It had been advertised for about a month before and I thought to just get in it like everyone else; and there was only going to be one winner.
The guy printed out the ticket for me (I had preset numbers picked) and swiped my card and then I paid the $60 for the game, pocketed it all and pushed my shopping trolley out to the car went home – not even thinking about it.

I mean, I don’t buy lottery tickets. They’re just not in my budget!

The big night came up and I was working overtime – so I didn’t even seen the numbers get called. So, it took me around a week to find the lottery ticket they were calling out for. The news kept saying: ‘Golden Casket has yet to find the lucky winner of the ‘Set For Life’ winner of their ‘Lucky Little Bastard’ Game; which, if it’s you? Well, you will be a lucky little bastard, won’t you?’
So, I looked through my pockets of all my jackets and slacks and found it in the bottom of my recycling – forgetting that ticket almost cost me! I mean, it cost me $60 to buy and I almost threw it out!
It was almost midnight when I went out to the all-night grocer down the road and he ran it through his machine not once but three times... then he looked up at me, with disbelief written all over his face, picked up the phone and called the after-hours number on the back of the wrinkled ticket.
“Yes, we found him. The lucky bastard. He’s here.” He whispered into the phone looking around the store quickly making sure nobody else was around to hear it, “What? You’re sending a car? Okay.” He hung up the phone and turned to me, handing me that ticket, “Have you got picture I.D on ya?”
“Sure.” I nodded, “Always do.”
“They’re sending a car for ya.”
I took my ticket, turned around and found a limo was outside the door with the door open, “Well, fuck, that was quick.”

And quick indeed did my life change from me working my guts out at a place which didn’t appreciate me one iota to me being a rich bastard with every single asshole after me asking for money for this and money for that... they claimed their invention needed ‘a quick little boost of cash to get off the ground.’
Another guy showed up on my doorstep claiming his ‘daughter is on the brink of death... please I need your help.’ There wasn’t a lie you couldn’t say that I hadn’t heard – and if you told me a new one, well, it wasn’t going to be believed anyway.

I now live a life of seclusion.
A lot of my ‘friends’ aren’t friends anymore. They were always out for money in one way or another and I got to hate them in some way. I can’t have a Facebook account, my phone calls are screened (so if you call me, and I don’t have your phone number already, I’m not talking to ya), and I’ve been married three times – divorced three times just as quickly after finding out they were all gold-diggers.

Now, all I wish for is to be left alone.
If I had the chance again to do this over, I’d have not looked for that fucking ticket! Was I lucky? Are you kidding? No fucking way! I’m not lucky... why would I be lucky to have won that much money for the rest of my days only to have every shithead out there hound me for their own pound of flesh – and I don’t know any of them!

Luck! Ha!

As I sit here and write this, the phone rings again and my machine picks up – again. It’s another person who wants to ask me to back their great dealings – again.

Gotta ask: when in the hell will they leave me alone?

Saturday, 7 April 2018

The Shining

Chuck has had great ideas and this week, he used Sai King titles. Well, I picked out 'The Shining' - which I'm currently reading - and have put a great spin on spin on it. 


Uncle Charlie was an amazing man. He had amazing things around his brilliant home out in the country; and I loved visiting him as a child and throughout my teens and right through my university years. But when he died at the rich old age of eighty-seven, out in his garden with his carer by his side helping him tend to his rose garden, I thought he would have left me more than his cockatoo.
The bird eyed me suspiciously as I approached the massive cage in the living room, knowing his owner was no longer around, cawing a little at me.
“Hi, Richie. You know me.” I said.
A low whisper came from the bird: “Hi Richie. I’m Richie.”
“Well, Uncle Charlie thought you and I got along well and you’re to come home with me.”
“Well, not quite.” The lawyer’s voice said behind me and I turned to see him walking in from the study, “You have to live here seeing the bird has lived his whole life at the house.”
“So, is it Richie’s house or mine?”
He shrugged, “It’s both of your house.”
“I have my own house in the city with my own furniture and my own... oh jeez.... what do I have to do?”
He smiled handing over an envelope, “Read the instructions and you’ll have the house, the bird and the money.” On ripping open the envelope, I heard a moving truck pull up the long driveway and looked out the window. Before I could say anything, the lawyer said, “Oh, while you were here, your house in the city was packed up and everything you own was moved out here.” He patted me on the shoulder as he walked out to the front foyer to pick up his coat, “Your Uncle Charlie believed greatly in you.”

I sat and read the contents of the envelope next to the window as the truck was unloaded. At the bottom of the letter, it said: To get to the valuables, there’s a password: ‘whatcha got there?’ I had no idea what it meant.

For the first night, I walked around the massive country home looking at everything in the place. I felt as though I was in a Scooby-Doo episode; waiting for something to jump out at me, and that Great Dane to come galloping down the hall looking terrified.
But instead, I left on only a few small lights, covered over the cockatoo and pulled all the curtains to keep out the cold and made sure the kitchen was tidy before heading off to bed.

‘Help me!’

I sat up in bed and turned on the light, forgetting where I was for a moment.

‘Help meeeeeeee!’

Rubbing my temple I groaned,“Oh, jeez that hurt.” I looked over at the book I had been reading before I turned out the light and found it was ‘The Shining’ by Sai King, “I’m imagining it. It’s the book I’m reading.” And I settled back down in my bed and turned out the light.

‘Help! I’m being choked! Help me!!!’

This time, I pulled on my dressing gown, shoes and grabbed a torch and my mobile phone to see what was going on for me to hear this weirdly haunting screeching noise in my head at the ungodly hour of – I looked at my phone – three in the am. Heading down the main hall, I raced down the stairs with my dressing gown billowing out behind me.

There was a draft of cold breeze coming from the front door.

I didn’t leave that open.

“Squark!” Richie screeched from his large cage, “Help me!! I’m choking! Help!”

I felt for the light switch, flicked it on.

Light flooded the room.

I stood there shocked to find Richie’s cage was open and Uncle Charlie’s carer was there with his hands around the bird, murder most foul in his eyes!
“What are you doing?”
He spun, still with the bird in his hands, staring at me, “Um... I’m sorry.”
Richie took the opportunity and dug his large accommodating beak into the man’s wrist, drawing blood – and refused to let go.
The carer howled in pain, flapping his arm – in which Richie began flapping his enormous wings. I did all I could to not laugh at this as my new companion defended himself against his would-be murderer and called the police.

“What we don’t understand, sir is that you came here to kill an innocent bird?” the attending constable said as he took notes and the on-call vet checked on Richie.
The carer glared at the cockatoo and then at me; and it dawned on me and I walked over to my new pet, “Richie, where’s Uncle Charlie?” Richie looked around me and glared at the carer, unable to say anything. I turned and looked at the carer, “Were you with my Uncle Charlie when he died?”
The carer nodded, “Yes, he was tending to his roses and I told him it was time to come in. Richie was in his travelling cage and...”
“I’ve looked around this house thoroughly, Richie never had any other cage than this one.”
The carer looked to his hands, “Um... well....”
The cop looked at the guy, “Tell us the truth.”
“The bird guards something in his cage. It’s valuable.” The carer said, “And the bird only trusted one person.”
We all turned and looked at the cage and Richie looked at me. I approached him, whispering: “Hey Richie, whatcha got there?” as the bird heard the words, he moved across to a tiny nesting box in the corner and retrieved a key from within it and handed it over to me.
I looked around the room: now to find the thing to fit this key!