When John Harris saw the swastika, his hand clenched until the knuckles turned white. He imagined some jumped-up little gobshite coming here in the dead of night, giggling while he drew this monstrosity. The sheer disrespect made his teeth grate. Salford Lads Club used to be a place of hope. Windows were now cracked or faded and the brick work was rotting. The painted roses that once hung proudly above the door were chipped away. The Dangerous Building sign completed a tarnished picture of childhood memories. A place of gymnasiums in the evening and choirs in the morning. Knitted scarves and free meals at Christmas. Eighty years of breaking his back and he’d returned to a miscreant paradise. John gripped the railings, took a breath and turned away. Continue reading “Bluebirds”
The ceiling rumbles, weary with the weight of desperate men. Their hatred is powerful, focused with such ferocity I wonder if it alone will be enough to tear through the roof of the bunker. They serve a Meshugener’s dream. This war has taught me it’s become harder to separate the mad from the wise. I should be terrified, but how much death can be faced before even the scent of burnt carcasses leaves behind nothing but jadedness? All the terror I’ve left to spare is for my people, huddling in the bunker, relying on me to see them through until the morning. But we will find freedom, we’ll never surrender to the likes of men who would turn us into animals.
Gaudy spires tore at the sky, tore at creation until the air splintered. They drained the colour from the sky till it was little more than an ashen pall. The buildings, monuments to man’s ingenuity offend the sky. They offended Saul as he ran. He gazed upon the cosmos as the rain hammered down. The rain flayed him as punishment for his crimes. Saul knew he wasn’t the only victim. The rain punished all who were caught.
Waves lapped at the shore while rain fell from a slate grey sky. Half of Brighton was still asleep. Niamh found she preferred the quiet. She wandered down the beach, hands in the pockets of her grey satin overcoat, her shoulders hunched against the cold. The salt spray in her face was a bitter reminder of days long past. She owed it to herself to make the walk, to hold on to the good it would do. Wind swept through her chestnut hair as she strolled along the shore, pebbles crunching beneath her feet.
The crowd was large, but it didn’t stop me getting to the front. (The thing I’ve noticed about this generation is your obligation to step aside for anyone who looks over the age of 60. We’re not all three steps away from a heart-attack I’m pleased to inform you) I shuffled in between a young lady with spiky blonde hair and a man holding a little girl high on his shoulders.
The artist begins his life like the rest of society; that is to say he begins it with an aspiration he does not yet understand. The desire to create is there, but the seeds of consciousness are waiting to be sown. He starts off in an uncommon home to a middle class couple who want their child to excel.
The blank page mocked him. Not for the first time Josh found himself glancing at the alarm clock that read 3:00 in luminescent digits. He’d thrown out all the regular clocks, ticking, tocking, buzzing nightmares. Time was usually on his side, but tonight it goaded him as much as the words that refused to form on the page. Josh tapped out a couple of sentences onto his laptop, trying to exercise his creative muscles. He came as far as ‘the cat prowled through the night like greased lightning. Its tail swished like the whip of some errant god.’ Josh furiously deleted all traces of contriteness.
Although this is a pop culture blog, I also write fiction in my spare time, and some of it will occasionally find its way onto the website. I’ve decided to do this on encouragement from Lyn over at The Encouraging Scribe. The world is made of stories and I’d like to share a few of mine.