All 9 entries tagged Flash Fiction
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May 13, 2011
I have done this for my portfolio and it is utterly dreadful and melodramatic and pretentious now I am going to hang myself from a tree. Comments welcome.
Crown of Roses
Let’s start with ἀν. Let’s taste it with alien tongues, and let me explain to you its meaning: a black hole consuming all that follows, birthing a nothing. ἀν, then, is strange in our mouths; for us, it is difficult to speak in the presence of the other. It manifests in mirrors, in the gaps between words, in the skeletal ecstasy of death. Let me finish with ὄρεξις, appetite.
He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
May I also tell you of the unfaithfulness of mirrors? At the age of fifteen months, we recognize ourselves in mirrors. Until then, "Je est un autre", I is another, and the mirror is its own thing, alive and devious. In mirrors, I see myself bloated, malformed in castings of elephantine flesh, scarlet and heaving. Mirrors reflect the soul.
A kind of madness then, the other.
I believe of heaven and earth conceived by the Holy Spirit
Crucified, died, and buried.
In personal practice: yellow foods are forbidden, they are synesthetic to the number 95, or 95kg. Sunday: 800 calories. You must never eat either 9 or 5 things. Over time, only even numbers are permitted. Monday, 600.
Give us this day
Lead us not into temptation; but deliver
In Victorian England there were the Fasting Girls. They were saints, miracles incarnate, tourist attractions. Stigmata bloomed on their open hands, they were crowned with the misery and suffering of Christ. I count calories like the beads of a rosary, grazing them lovingly with ardent fingers.
in this valley of tears
Wednesday 400. In the event of there being only one thing, it must be halved. You will only eat one half. Thursday 200. Paper may be eaten in the event of hunger, it has no calories. Friday 800.
the communion of Saints,
the resurrection of the body and life everlasting
world without end.
I am lying in the bath, looking at myself. Reflections are not to be trusted; at birth we can swim in water unassisted. We lose this ability as we discover our image scattered across oceans, lakes, pools and mirrors. The mirror is my shadow as I cast up my hands, incandescent and alone, the light refracting golden through wasted skin.
we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping
As it was in the beginning is now.
Move continuously: it burns calories. Saturday, 400. Sleep in a cold room, shivering burns calories. Chew sugar free gum to burn calories. Tuesday permits no calories.
eyes of mercy
There once was a girl and she had a mirror, and all that the mirror said was that she was the fairest, that she was the fairest, the fairest of them all.
Crown of roses
Blessed art thou
now and at the hour of our death
In the water, my bones are lovely. Magnified and gleaming, I turn my glorious skeleton in fractious, submarine light. My scars have turned to silver.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.
January 17, 2011
The result is winking at me through the pinkened narrow slitty eyes of the test window. It has a kind of conspiratorial malevolence, it is glaring with the slickened eyeball of Fate. You and I have a dirty little secret, it says. The pink lines are darkening to an inevitable, undeniable red.
I think of the iChing my father taught me as a child, the lines casting their own webs across the floral tabletop. I think of stealing his Tarot cards, and staring at the gothic eyeless Death card for hours until the skeleton transformed into white holes in a black cloth, consumed by the velvet dark. I imagine disappearing in the same way, by some trick of the eyes, until I am not longer a girl but a girl-shaped gap in the universe.
Umm so this is a fragment thing. I was thinking of turning it into a poem but I'm not sure how to break it up. I am supposed to be doing an essay. Erghhh.
I am so unmotivated. I was talking to a maths student yesterday and he somehow managed to make maths sound cool and edgy. I wish I were doing maths now. It seems to be full of terrifying unknowns and dangerous numbers and mystical coincidences (and I really love mystical coincidences). When I was at school it was mostly full of my maths teacher lounging on top of my desk asking me why I hadn't done the homework whilst we all tried to ignore that his fly was open. Those were the days.
December 07, 2010
I had this idea for a "thing" whilst sitting in the Humanities corridor waiting for a seminar to begin. I'm going to get this down quick while it's fresh, but right now it's just a skeleton of an idea. No idea whether it'll make a poem or a story, probably a story. It wouldn't make a play.
Village at night- someone sneaks through dark streets- supplicant- wanders through graveyard- vivid description, heavy scent, expectant-enters church- no presence? Presence, but sleeping? god does not rise to meet- dead or sleep.- S/he rings the bell, steady tolling, louder and louder- Deafening, panic, bats and birds burst from rafters, disorientated and afraid- they stream out into the empty night- out over village people hear- they are half awake half sleep- they think in floods fire apocalypse gogmagog etc- they are disturbed, but they do not rise- they fall asleep again.
I think there's something in it. I know I resolved to post once a day to inspire ideas, and I did not post yesterday, but basically I was consumed by apathy and could not rouse a single thing. But I genuinely want to work on this, so perhaps mission completed? I am not going to touch Singing In Scarlet again, or Splot, because I have no confidence in them, or my ability to do them justice. Frankly, I'm not a poet right now. Swings and roundabouts.
I had climbed two flights of stairs to get to my room at Westwood today when something rather bizarre happened. I was about to open the door to get onto my corridor when Sam, my neighbour, cycled past. Yes, that's right, cycled. On a bicycle. It is 3.49 in the afternoon and he has a bicycle. He is currently riding it up and down the corridor. Everytime he reaches a corner, he rings the bell.
December 04, 2010
So for the last week I've been feeling particularly unmotivated and uninspired. Among other things, I blame the snow, falling down in the snow, twisting my ankle in the snow, and looking like an idiot in front of about 20 other people, in the snow. There's some kind of allegory for my entire week in this. Anyway, as a kind of exercise in healing my wounded pride I'm going to do a stream every day, until I hit on something that makes me actually want to write about something. Disclaimer: These are rough drafts if anything, and are not intended as polished final products. No one is obliged to read them.
The Fabulous Death of K Judge, Failed Author, Waitress and Poet, Occasional Librarian.
On the plane, I considered the thousand horrific things that could happen to me travelling alone for the first time.
Firstly, the plane would start lurching with turbulence.
"I'm sorry ladies and gentlemen, we seem to be suffering from a little turbulence, nothing to worry about, please remain seated and secure your seatbelts for the duration." the pilot would say in a debonair, polished, James Bond three-martinis-down-and-gambling-away-his-knickers sort of way.
Then probably the wing would come off. Panicking, the man next to me (a heavy set portly gentleman with a rather unfortunate mole on his chin) will then turn to me and declare that I am to blame for our current predicament. Standing up at the front of the plane, he announces that I am a witch.
Consumed with hatred, the other passengers of the plane proceed to wrestle me from my seat, douse me in petrol, set me alight and throw me from the plane. As they are doing so they steal my purse, deface all my family photos, and piss on my mobile. Plummeting through the air, furiously ablaze, I collide with several seagulls and endangered seabirds of all persuasions. Many species are killed. Momentarily born aloft by their flailing bodies, I have a brief moment with which to reflect on the pointlessness of my life, and to observe the plane crashing into a coastal orphanage. I am eternally traumatised.
An impossibly strong wind then sweeps the birds and myself (still trapped in a fatal dance of avian destruction) away from the coast and into the ocean. There I encounter many sharks, escaped from a nearby military research unit, where they have been genetically engineered to master the art of torture. For the next eight days I am forced to endure a shark re-enaction of Twilight: The Musical. Desperate to escape, I consider suicide, but find that my skin has been burnt in such a manner that I now possess gills and am therefore incapable of drowning myself. I resolve to swim to the nearest euthenasia clinic.
Finally reaching China, I discover that my plight has been publicised and I have become an international celebrity. Begging to be taken to a hospital, I am instead forced to appear on several incomprehensible foreign chat shows. It is during the fifth showing that I realise that I am naked. Unfortunately, I am informed that nudity has become my celebrity trademark and as such my agent will not allow me to wear clothes. Winter falls in China. Staggering out into the snow, I briefly beseech the heavens to return my to my homeland. The sound of my voice enrages some nearby seagulls (whose relatives' deaths I am responsible for) and they peck out my eyes. I briefly receive a phone call from my friends and relatives in which they inform me that they found the defaced pictures, and henceforth consider me their nemesis.
Blind and hopeless, I stagger into a bar full of art students. They assume I am the model for their life drawing class, the few final hours of my life is spent being sketched naked from several different angles whilst each student comments on how ugly this new model is. In my dying spasms, I hear one boy remark that the pictures will be published on Facebook.
November 23, 2010
The cold ache of hospital light has stripped all colour from the hyacinths in my shaking hands. Each quiver releases heady scent into the air, suffocating, sealing up my nose and mouth. But I can’t escape the dank, medical reek that coats her skin. She is so small, the soft folds of her skin have ebbed into nothing and we can already see the skeleton inside rising up to take possession. How lovely your bones are, grandma. We are arranged in triptych around you, we carry false hope, hyacinths and cards. The bed is raised high above the tacky floors and crackles with starch as we sit. A low, omnipresent hum throngs the corridors, as if some huge bell has sounded. The harsh light bleaches us as white as the walls, everything is inescapably white, except the gentle yellow crepe of her skin, shrouded in hospital blue, the birdlike hands that sweep up and say hello. The room is filled with doppelganger women, the place is a charnel house of the abandoned elderly who lie and silently watch. I can taste the bitter machine coffee on my breath and I hope my kisses are not sour.
Let me tell you a story about three young men. Thomas, the irrepressible dandy, Nicolas, the irresponsible rake, and Ramon, who was merely irresolute and who was forever changing his mind, as Thomas changed his clothes, and Nicolas changed his women.
Now, it was a soupy evening in the slack end of spring, and Thomas, Nicolas and Ramon were lurching inexorably from the rank den of the pub towards some party. Thomas was inspecting his soiled shirtsleeves in the stark yellowing streetlights. They were dank with the beery sweat of pint glasses and had woefully abandoned their original pristine white. Sullen and uncharacteristically silent, Nicolas nursed the livid scarlet smart of a slapped cheek- the price of having numerous interchangeable lovers who inconveniently patronise the same pubs. Finally, Ramon was muttering dreamily to himself, for he was uncertain whether he should attend the party at all or whether it might not be better perhaps to go home and blog interminably about his own indecisiveness. It was raining.
Suddenly, three skeletons appeared, resurrected in a puff of deliquescent smoke. Each was caked in corpse slime and their moist, glutinous remains gleamed with a strange, macabre incandescence. Their delicate bones were luxuriantly draped in fetid rags, indistinguishable from the rotting flesh and sinews that still clenched their cadavers together.
The boys were quite astonished and stopped in their tracks.
“You!” proclaimed the skeletons in hollow, resounding voices, each raising a reeking digit to point at the young men with deathless grins. “You are, what we were.” They hissed, “What we are, you will be!” With this the skeletons cackled gleefully and danced back into the ether, unearthly echoes reverberating about the boys’ ears.
For some time the boys stood frozen with unimaginable terror. Eventually Thomas found himself able to speak:
“Did you see his hat?” The others shook their heads mutely. “Quite horrid, I should say. Absolutely passé.” And Thomas shook the rain off his hat and continued on his way to the party.
There was a long pause before Nicolas offered “That one in the middle though, the girl” (he play-acted worldly rumination) “You could tell she was pretty once… Nice figure, not too fat” With this he flashed an echo of his inexorable sexy smile, stuck his hands in his pockets, and sauntered off to the party.
Ramon remained silent and alone in the street for some time. “I don’t know, though,” he said, to an empty sky. He scuffed his shoes in the dirt. “I’m going home”. And he strode away into the embracing dark.
This is disgustingly short and sort of horrible. Enjoy!
Seeped in developing fluid then hung to dry, she awaits spattered negatives in red-lit darkrooms. Hunting her lost boys, she conceives only the monstrous clotted spawn of Pan. She does not know it, but hooked coils unbirth them, baptise them in crocodile tears, and dampen cotton knickers on the floor of a public toilet.
We were told to write the actual spoken words of someone we knew particularly well, and then make a story from this. UNFORTUNATELY, I took this rather literally and spent several hours literally rearranging some of the actual words into a story, which makes very little sense. Didn't read it out to the group because I was too ashamed so of course I am now going to confess it to the internet instead.
Interesting that the original monologue was based on my mother, but the story that emerged is about my grandmother. Or a grandmother, mine isn't a whale.
Grandma (my father’s mother) is a whale. She drifts blackly mad in her allergy tank, sometimes eating bits off wrecks and ill water. Grandma sits and listens and shuts our daydreams inside, she judges then checks the new ones, cleans them up, squeezes Jesus over them, feeds them to the animals and then we forget them, and she rings the bell for our dead house.
One night the cats threw one up, they meant not to say, but we found out. And we were free and held a jumble sale and made awful money, fat sausages of quids to hold off the pit. I planted blackberries and mustard absolutely everywhere, even in the skip. My mother threw them out in plastic bags, she doesn’t like mess. But we were free from the farm, the dogs, cats, and guinea pigs, we gave them chicken and sausages for a time, then pasta and potatoes, then salad until we ran out and had to feed them dreams again. And then we forgot.
Grandma cackled on the awful coast, took back her half of the house, tidied it up and took it down as if it were a paper sculpture we had thrown over her waters.
One day Lucy went to visit her wicked aunt, who showed her all the neighbourhood gardens. She showed Lucy the Thorntons’, who had lovely azalias, and the Scuphams’, who had made their patio into a rock garden. She tottered and gesticulated and spoke in a loud theatrical voice; she had many shawls. Later, they came to a house with a high fence. "Oh, they don't garden, my dear," said the wicked aunt, brandishing an aggressive pashmina, and swooping close to Lucy's ear: "You see, they're black".