10th January: Confused

‘It really is quite simple,’ Dave said.

‘No, I get what you’re saying, I just don’t understand why,’ replied Hep-B-2-9. Dave stared, considering the reptilian alien before him.

‘You’re confused about the why?’ he asked.

‘It simply doesn’t make any sense. How does the paper have any effect on the rock?’

‘Well it,’ Dave paused, ‘I suppose it kind of covers the rock,’ He made a motion with his hands, ‘Maybe it blinds it?’ Dave trailed off, feeling confused himself.

‘But, human-Dave, rocks do not have eyes.’

‘Oh, no. No. Not literal eyes.’ Dave said, shaking his head, ‘It’s a thing called personification, where you give an object human, er, traits.’ He trailed off, fidgeting under Hep-B-2-9’s five eyes.

‘Human-Dave.’ Hep-B-2-9 finally said.

‘Yes?’ Asked Dave, hopefully.

‘I have eyes.’

‘This isn’t working.’

‘My eyes are fully functional under human understanding of eyes.’

‘That’s not what I meant.’

What had been a simple conversation about Earth games had suddenly taken a strange twist.

‘Human-Dave, am I a rock?’

Dave had no idea how it had happened.

‘Human-Dave?’

‘Yes Hep-B?’

‘Would you like to play  rock-beating-scissors-with-paper?’

‘It’s just called rock, paper, scissors.’

‘Oh. Would you like to play?’

‘Yeah, alright.’

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10th January: Confused

Day 5: Pet

Nicole had gotten Marcy for Christmas. She had was a tiny golden cocker spaniel, with ears too big for her head and a tail that moved a mile a minute. The moment Nicole opened the large cardboard box she had been in love. Marcy was everything you could want in a dog; intelligent, brave and playful. Nicole spent hours training her, trying to teach her to ‘Sit!’, ‘Stay!’ and ‘Play Dead!’

‘Bang!’ Nicole pretended to shoot at Marcy, who dropped to the floor and rolled onto her back, tongue lolling out. The only thing that ruined the illusion was the wagging tail.

Nicole taught her all sorts of tricks, and she wasn’t ashamed to say that Marcy was her best friend. Years later when Nicole had to move away for university she cried. Marcy cried too, her parents told her, every night for several days. Every holiday Nicole would come back and spend all her time making it up to Marcy. Sometimes, even though she wasn’t allowed, her parents would sneak Marcy into her dorm room. Her housemates would spoilt the little golden dog, feeding her biscuits when Nicole wasn’t looking. Marcy loved every second of it.

What she loved even more was when Nicole moved into her own home in second year and Marcy was finally allowed to join her. To Nicole it made all the difference, having her furry friend to help ease the stress of exams. Her classmates even encouraged her to bring Marcy to study sessions or would come around to Nicole’s house for a good long cuddle.

After university Marcy moved with Nicole again, this time to a new job with longer hours. But every night they would go for a long walk and then play or cuddle. Marcy liked this life, just the two of them together. Yet, even this didn’t last for soon she was introduced to Josh. Marcy didn’t like Josh.

To Nicole it seemed like Marcy just didn’t like the new guy in her life. Maybe it was jealousy of her time or that Josh got Marcy’s spot on the couch. Nicole just didn’t know, but when it came down to Josh or Marcy there was no choice to make. Josh left rather quickly.

Marcy liked Michael. She even came to him for snacks or to hide behind him when Nicole was telling her off. Marcy was getting old now, so more and more she was putting her trust into Michael to look after Nicole. She knew she had chosen right when Michael found a golden ring the same shade as Marcy’s fur.

Nicole knew as she watched Marcy huff as she climbed up onto Michael’s knee that Marcy had given her blessing, and that was all Nicole needed.

Day 5: Pet

Day 2: Resolution

She had been working on it for weeks; planning, rewriting, reshaping until finally it was ready. A single piece of paper, plain white, no lines or marks except from the neat black of her pen. it was her secret wish.

With an almost reverent manner, she folded it carefully until it was a small square. then she tucked it into her money box. It was the first thing she had ever put in it. Soon, there would be a collection of notes and noisy coins. But for now, it was just the lonely square of paper.

By this time next year it would be full. this time next year she would be realising her dreams. then there would be no one to stop her, and nothing to get in her way. This was the promise she was making to herself.

That tiny piece of paper held her fondest dream. Every day she added something to the money box. Every day until one day when she didn’t come home at all.

Weeks later her mother found the money box, and she took it to the living room, and added to it every day. She thought nothing about it, had no idea about the little square of paper sitting at the bottom. To her it was nothing more than a precious reminder. Soon the money box was full, and her mother had to open it. Out fell coins, notes and a single square of white paper.

Her fondest dream, never realised.

Day 2: Resolution

Jumbled Words.

A note: I’m writing this just as a train of thought. I had some bad news today. That’s what this is about, it might not make sense, it might make perfect sense. It might be exactly what you’re feeling right now, it might not be. But if you do take the time to read it, I hope it does something for you, even if it just wastes five minutes of your time.

In the end, there were no jumbled words. No tilting world or shifting view of perspective. No tears either, but they would come.

It’s always supposed to happen that bad news hits you like a train. You collapse, you sob, maybe you even punch something. Or maybe you’re stoic, firm shoulder and head held high, the only outward sign; a clenching fist.

In real life, there’s all sorts of actions and reactions. You smile, you cry, you wait until you get home and then your curl in a ball around the cat and stare at the TV for five hours. Movies never get it right because there are so many ways to say something with actions.

Bad news always comes with one thing. Words. A sympathetic voice, a hand on your shoulder, a ‘is there anyone we can call?’

Not this time.

The worst part is when you knew. The doctor is just confirming what your body has already known. That gut feeling when you open the door and the police are there, hat in hand. You answer the phone and you already know what they’re going to say.

There are so many signs in this world, many of them that we don’t even know we’re reading, from other people, from the universe itself.

Bad news is just jumbled words. And sometimes, you’ve already worked out the meaning.

Jumbled Words.

Excerpt

It had to be a dream; not because his dead mother was setting out dinner; nor because his father was sat at the table, red faced and laughing like he had never seen before; not even because his sister was sat with him, smiling happily. Really it was a dream because it was sunny. Long shadows streached across the dark wood floor, light spilling in through the double doors at the back of the room. The fresh yellow paint lit the kitchen, his family stood out against it like a pop up Christmas card.
He wanted to freeze this moment. He wanted to stop time and drink it all in. The family he had never had.

His mother had died when he was eleven, his sister seven. For a reason he had never understood his father had blamed his sister, and her life was full of abuse and misery since then. He was powerless to stop it.
In the years that had past he had learnt how to set bones, soothe bruises and bandage cuts, but he couldn’t learn how to mend a broken heart. She didn’t talk about it but he knew that their mother was fading from her mind. If she had ever known a kind word from their father it had long since been forgotten, only terror and anger remained.
He escaped it all because he would take the crown. In his fathers eyes he could do no wrong, until he abdicated.

As the dream continued he watched his father lean towards his sister and whisper something to her. It gained him a light smack from his wife and playful teasing. He smiled at his sister’s laughter. She wouldn’t be a little girl by now, she would be twenty in June. He frowned, a bitter taste on his tongue. He wondererd if she was even alive, if his father had enough restraint not to kill the only heir he had left

He watched the dream unfurl. For it could only be a dream. It was never sunny here, in his cell, his prison, his punishment.

His banishment.

Excerpt