Where the dirty flowers grow

Pre-ramble – Having recently discovered that I love Cormac McCarthy’s books I decided that I would devour every single one of them.  I’m currently reading “Suttree” and early on in the book there is a line that contains “where the dirty flowers grow” which caught my attention.  This is an odd statement as one would never think of flowers as dirty but there is also something about it that rings true.  Here is my story inspired by that line…. 

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Don’t judge me.

Every day you pass me like I’m not here.  I know you see me, sense me, oppose me.  I the one who dared tread on this prized ground.  Whose ground?  Not your ground, my ground.  You won’t accept this to be true so you walk on by, looking down at me and what you call “those dirty flowers”.  My patch is not a patch on yours; I wouldn’t want it to be.

Can’t you see?  Your flowers match you.  Fragrant.  Bewitching.  Desirable.  Mine match me.  Foul.  Beastly.  Defective.  You recoil when I wave; I only want to say “Hello”.

I’ll never approach you, so don’t fear me.  I’m one of life’s observers, one who sits on the side lines.  Waiting.  Hoping.  Then running in the wrong direction, when someone is kind enough to invite me in.   I’m not the one you should be afraid of; your enemies are closer than you think.  I hear what your friends say, you should listen to them some time.

You should try being an outsider just once, you’ll see things that you never noticed before.

It only takes a moment.  Be still and just be.  The furtive glances between couples who shouldn’t be glancing.  Unidentifiable bottles that are sipped, slurped and

hidden again from view.  Red eyes from unexpected tears because for a moment they forgot to forget.  The wealthy stealing from those with no money as they’d no time to spare.  Yes they were mine but you can have them, you only needed to ask.

This allotment is my home so I will always be here waiting amongst my dirty flowers.  All I want is for you to say hello.

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Word count – 280

One day shorter of breath

Pre-ramble – My husband is a massive Pink Floyd fan so I wasn’t surprised when I asked him for a title that he gave me a line from “Time”. (Ok, I may have tweaked the lyrics, let’s call it my ‘artistic’ licence… ).  In his head he thought I would write a story that was loosely based on the song; I didn’t… and here it is.  😉

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I watch him closely, our local lothario.  Every night he has his pick of girls, rarely taking a night off from this arduous task.

 

They beam when they realise they’re the ‘chosen one’, the one who gets his full attention for the night.  For an instant they forget that a night is all they’ll get, he will not bed them again.  All think they can change him but they won’t, and if they do you wouldn’t want to be her.  Listen closely and I’ll tell you why.

 

You see our ‘not so little’ stud muffin has a secret, the one that broke his heart.  Have you kissed him?

 

Oh you have.  I’m not sure I should tell you any more.

 

Ok, but only because you plead so nicely.

 

When he leaned into kiss you, as he inhaled just before your lips met, did a spark run through you?  Your lips tingle in anticipation?  Your body hunger for him?

 

They did?  I’m sorry, so sorry.  When he made you feel those glorious things he also took your life.

 

Don’t cry, I may have exaggerated a little.  He only took a day; well a day per kiss.  You didn’t kiss him much did you?  You’ll never get them back; those are now days he’ll use instead.

 

He doesn’t mean to do this, he was born this way.  Killing his wife was an accident; he only discovered his ‘talent’ when it was too late for her.   The day she died he promised he’d not love another.  A promise he’ll never break.

 

So don’t throw yourself at him hoping he’ll give you his life, as if you push him too far he will take yours.  He loves his new life and he’s not going to let anyone spoil it; well boys will be boys.

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Word count – 300

Two Rooms

Pre-ramble – A friend of mine is providing a whole host of inspiration for my stories and in January they were talking about their work in Social Care and how two people can have very different experiences.  From this conversation we decided to set ourselves a challenge to write a story using the title of “Two Rooms”, here’s my attempt…. 

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If your choices would make someone’s life worse would you do it?

Two identical rooms.  Each has a large screen which is permanently on 24 hours a day, showing whatever is happening in the other room.  There’s no sound.  A sign says “You can improve your room but when you do the other room will lose something.”

In the 1st room is a frail old lady.  In the other a troubled middle-aged man, whose misery was both created by and inflicted upon him.  Two completely different personalities, two completely didn’t souls.

The old lady was unhappy with her room so she soon ordered extra pillows, blankets & tea; her ‘neighbour’ lost all his basics.  He became aggressive, his face pressed against the screen screaming obscenities at her.   She sat and watched him with interest while sipping her tea.

Every morning the rooms were returned to normal.  As an early bird the woman was able to re-order first thing; as a night owl he always ended up with nothing.  Each day his anger grew, and the obscenities got worse.  She just sat and watched; luckily she didn’t have to listen.

As the weeks went by he grew tired from hunger and rage.  He sat exhausted, on the brink of giving up. Then it dawned on him.  If he ordered just after midnight he’d get everything he wanted.  So he did.

He now watched her.  She curled up in a corner of her room shivering from the cold, she never once looked at him.  That night he ordered again.  The next morning she soundlessly pleaded with him to help her, tears running down her face.  He didn’t order again.

Well she may have been a evil bitch but she was still his Mother and he at least had a heart.

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Word count – 298

How to stop a stalker

Pre-‘ramble’ – This story started off with the title “How to stalk a stalker” but after playing about with for a while I realised I wasn’t doing the title justice.  So parked the title and kept the story.  Hope to go back to the original one day but for now here’s a lesson I don’t think any of us should follow….

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I had a stalker.  She reached out to me every day, in different ways, hoping I’d respond.   Doing whatever she could to be part of my life.

I never made any promises I couldn’t keep, but still she pursued me.  ‘It was fun.’  I’d say.  ‘I cannot commit.’  Don’t want to, won’t.  She listened but didn’t hear.

I wanted to understand why, but mostly wanted it to stop.  So I became a stalker.  Her stalker.

It’s not a difficult thing to do, patience is the key.  All I had to do was follow her after she’d followed me.   She never looked, never suspected.

As I watched I began to pity her failing and empty life.  Our few meet ups had been highlights for her.  She wanted my life but it was mine and I wanted it back.

They say people learn in different ways, so I decided to try something new to get my message across.

Decaying roses sent to her office.  Smashing her car windscreen.  Dead & bloodied rats on her doorstep.   Finally she heard and responded.

The Police said I was at fault, not her.  She was the defenceless one, she’d done nothing wrong.  I hadn’t kept the proof, hadn’t needed reminding she was ruining my life.

They say I can start again when I get out of prison.  I hope so.  If not I will be in here for life after I have taken hers.

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Word count – 238

They’ll be here in a minute

Pre-‘ramble’ –  So far I have received a number of great ideas for titles but once in a while comes along that just resonates with you.  I don’t know why this title resonated with me but it did and I couldn’t wait to get a story down for it.   

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“Sssh.  They’ll be here in a minute.”

Bob gave Jack a suspicious sideways glance, “Who’ll be here?  Thought this was just a football and beer night.”

“Sssh.  You’ll annoy them.”  Jack whispered.

Bob was ready to explode, he didn’t do surprises.   “For fuck sake Jack what’s going on?”

Jack got to his feet, “Please be quiet, they won’t be happy.  You must shut up now!”

“Mate you’re not funny.  Just wanted to watch the game but whatever shit you’ve taken has put a stop to that.  I’m outta here.”

“I warned you.” breathed Jack.

As Bob started to stand Jack wrapped a belt around his neck, he then quickly moved behind the sofa.  He pulled hard forcing Bob back onto the seat, the belt dug deep into his throat.

“I’m sorry.” wept Jack.  “I told you to be quiet, but you wouldn’t listen.”  Within minutes his friend was dead.

Jack stood up, wiped his tears, and moved forward to admire his work.

Bob was slumped on his side.  Jack knelt down resting his head on him and opened his mouth, “It’s ok, he’ll behave for you now.”

Hundreds of tiny men ran out of his mouth, all were burning with rage.  They ran all over Bob, stripping his clothes off as they went, before devouring the warm human flesh.

When they’d finished all that was left of Bob was his skeleton.  No blood.  No skin.  No heart.  Jack then opened his mouth and they all popped back in.

Jack knew what to do next.  He ground the bones into fine dust and mixed it into his flower beds.

Everyone who sees his garden asks how he gets his flowers to grow so beautifully.

The answer is always the same, “Bone meal.  The fresher the better.”

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Word count – 296

The night before the morning after

Pre-‘ramble’ – I decided this week to focus on dialogue but also ended up writing in ‘txt’ speak… Go figure.  Happy reading.

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Me:  “Glad ur online, need sympathy.  Feel shite.”

Stacie:  “Wots up?”

Me:  “Was out with usual crowd but it got messy.  Stayed out 2 long on the ol’ vino.”

Stacie:  “Silly cow. When will u learn? LMAO.”

Me:  “Thanx 4 support.”

Stacie:  “U knows I luvs u. <3”

Me:  “OMG. Having flashback from hell.”

Stacie:  “And… ;D”

Me:  “Came home and went into my garden, thght fresh air wld help drunkness.  Got out there and heard two people having sex in garden next door.  Snuck a peek through fence to see who it was… Was scared shitless wot I’d see, as neighbours r Octogenarians… “

Stacie:  “Eeww.  You looked?  Nasty.”

Me:  “I know… Anyways, who did I bloody see?  Tinkerbell!!!!!! “

Stacie:  “You’re taking the piss??????”

Me:  “Seriously.  She had wings, a sparkly dress, badly bleached hair and was about the height of Barbie.”

Stacie:  “You sure it wasn’t Barbie?”

Me:  “No, she was a ‘fully functioning’ fairy who liked a bit of action.  Not only was she having sex with the ‘Ken’ of the fairy World but other fairies were watching and cheering.”

Stacie:  “Tinkerbell is a dogger?  LOL.”

Me:  “Yep.  And when she saw me she laughed; then gave me the finger. At that point I passed out as next thing woke up in the garden this morning.”

Stacie:  “Classy 😉  Listen love, I suggest you don’t go back to that pub again as think someone slipped something in ur drinks. Got to go.  Speak l8trs. x.”

I sat at the table wondering which bastard had drugged me when I noticed a black mark on my hand.  I tried to rub it off but it wouldn’t shift.  I looked at it closely and it was a note:

‘Glad you enjoyed the show! See ya nxt wk.  😉 Tx’

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Word count  – 300

The most unlikely conversation over dinner

Buzzzzzz.

 

“Seriously, who visits at tea time?  I swear to god if it’s a salesman…”

 

“Just leave it.” said Derek apathetically, as he inhaled a chicken nugget. 

 

Buzzzzz. Buzzzzzz. Buzzzzzzzzzzzz.

 

“Insightful as always but as you can hear they’re not going anywhere.”

 

Buuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzzzzz. 

 

“Go see who it is then.”

 

“I’m coming” I shout.  “Just hold your frigging horses.  Don’t worry sweetheart you just sit there & fill your face.”  As I stomped out I gave him my best death stare.

 

I flung open the door, “Who…? What the…?  Are you not the Minister for Defence?” 

 

“Yes, I am.  Are you Jackie Smith?”

 

 “Uh huh.” 

 

“Good.  I need to speak to you urgently.  Can I come in?” 

 

“Err… ok.  Excuse the mess and ignore my husband, he’s just finishing dinner.  Would you like nuggets?”  Derek’s face was still buried in his food.

 

“No thank you.  Jackie, our country is in crisis.  We are the brink of World War III. Only you can prevent it.”

 

“Are you sure you’ve the right person?  I work at a call centre down the road answering customer questions and stuff, nothing important like.” 

 

“Yes, you’re the right person. It’s your ability to handle the incredibly high demands of the general public, while they give you a whole load of abuse, which makes you perfect.  We will pay you well but there’s a downside.  You’ll have to come with me now & give up your current life.  Are you in?”

 

I looked around at my semi with its shabby decor & at my Husband in his stained cardie before taking a deep breath and saying “I’m in.”

 

As I left I shouted “Don’t forget to wash the dishes & put the bins out on Tuesdays.   Then shut my front door and left.   

 

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Word count – 295