Friday, 7 March 2014
The first time it happened I blamed my brother, two days later he slipped on a roller skate on the first landing, he fell headlong down the stairs, breaking his neck along the way.
The second time it happened I blamed my parents, before the day was over an unattended frying pan caught fire, which rapidly spread through the house claiming both their lives.
The third time it happened I thought it must be a government conspiracy, within hours an accusatory email landed in all of the ministers' in-boxes, the ensuing ass-covering, in-fighting and back stabbing brought about a political bloodbath that resulted in their downfall.
The fourth time it happened I blamed society itself, a few days later a lab spillage released a contagious bacteria which rapidly spread throughout all of humanity, killing everyone it touched, at least the bug must have taken care of the guilty party this time.
And now there is only me left... And it just happened again.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 28 February 2014
The night was nearly over and the DJ shouted out for everyone to grab their partners for the smoochies.
Over the course of the evening I had tried my chat up lines on a few of the girls, all to no avail, it looked like I would be ending the night as I had started it, alone. Nothing new there then.
I glanced around the room, and noticed the girl in the blue dress.
I had spotted her earlier at the bar, all by herself for some reason, she was a looker too, probably wouldn't be interested in the likes of me but what-the-hell, nothing ventured nothing gained.
I walked over towards her, my shoes rattling on my feet, goddam online company had sent me nines instead of eights, but they looked super cool, and were rock bottom priced, so I decided instead of mailing them back I would wear two pairs of socks, which resulted in much sweatier feet, with a barely noticeable reduction in slackness.
I reached the bar and sidled up close to her, asked her if she danced, she told me she didn't usually as she wasn't very good at it.
I told her I wasn't much good myself, so we would probably make a good match. She slid off her barstool, smiled, offered me her hand.
We walked together into the throng, hung our arms over each others shoulders, and began that end-of-the-night shuffle that everyone seems to do. Mostly swaying from side to side, moving a bit around the floor.
After a few steps she trod heavily on my toes, I yelped, we both giggled.
Several more toe-crunching, yelping, giggling minutes later, her hand slowly slid the length of my spine, and she took a firm hold of my backside. I looked at her in surprise, she smiled mischievously at me.
I pulled her closer, held her tighter, she stood on my toes heavier, I yelped louder, we giggled longer.
And so it went on for the next five tunes, until the DJ called time, and the main lights came on.
She asked me back to her place.
When we walked out of the club towards the taxi rank I leaned heavily on her for support, my poor swollen feet hurt like hell, but I was smiling broadly.
Not only had I pulled and was on a promise, but my shoes now fit me perfectly too.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 21 February 2014
You know that feeling you keep getting, the feeling that you are being watched? That certainty that someone else is in the room with you, even when you know there is not?
And those times when you experience the sensation of fingers running lightly through your hair, then wipe your hand across your scalp thinking you might dislodge an insect, only to find there is none... but the sensation lingers?
Those small movements, shadowy movements, right on the very edge of your peripheral vision, haven't they been more frequent lately?
All those nights when tiny sounds have dragged you from slumber, only to be replaced by cold silence the moment your eyes open, doesn't the fear trickle down your spine as you stare into the darkness?
I am the watcher, the toucher, the shadow, the bringer of fear.
Soon things will change. I only passed over very recently, and I'm still learning. When I've had a little more practice you won't even know I'm here at all.
But I will be...
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Saturday, 15 February 2014
The very kind and talented lady Cindy Vaskova has nominated me for The Pink Liebster Award.
Cindy, congratulations on your own award, I enjoy your writing very much, and it is very well deserved, and thank you so much for thinking of me when you were composing your own list of favourite writers. It is always heartening to know that I am amongst someone's favourites, thank you.
I would also like to mention that just recently Cindy has been the winner of not one, but TWO writing competitions, absolutely awesome Cindy, Bravo.
Now, there are a few rules to accepting the award :-
1) Link back to the person who nominated you.
2) Answer the 10 questions they gave you.
3) Pick some favourite bloggers of your own to nominate.
4) Pose 10 questions of your own for them to answer.
5) Make sure that the people you nominated know about it.
And have fun.
Here are the questions that Cindy set for her nominees to answer.
1) Who's your hero?
I have had many fictional heroes over my life, and there are just so many to choose from, but probably Ripley from the Aliens movies is one of my all-time favourites.
2) What gave the beginning of your writing experience?
I really got into short story/flash fiction writing by an unusual sequence of events, if anyone would like to read about it they can find it here:- The birth of The Twisted Quill.
About three months after starting my blog I was encouraged to post my stories on the Fridayflash site by two lovely lady writers Rebecca Emin and Maria Protopapadaki-Smith.
The first story I posted was entitled “A Zombie's tale” and the heartening comments it received gave me the confidence to continue writing and posting.
Thank you Rebecca and Maria, three and a half years later, and I'm still here.
3) How do you engage on a story? Do you outline or are you a more of a discovery writer?
Most of my writing is done “On the fly” so to speak. I have an idea rattling around in my head, I chew it over for a bit, then sit down at the keyboard and type away. Or sometimes I will do a bit of free thinking, playing with words and catch-phrases until something pops up. Most of my stories are posted more or less as they are first written, with very little or no editing. There have been stories that I have chopped severely, or filled out too, but these are among the minority of my posts.
I tend to produce in the 100 – 500 word area mostly, but my longest post at 3,000 words was a three -parter entitled “More than dreams”, and the shortest at only 28 words was “From the stars”.
If I ever decide to write anything of any length then I may find it necessary to outline first, but I only write short fiction, and up to now haven't felt the need to.
4) In what genre/s do you write, and why?
I don't stick to any particular genre, and have probably covered most genres at one time or another, and written pieces ranging from silly to serious, comical to heart-wrenching, and mild to gory. Although I tend to write more darker pieces than lighter ones I generally try to blend humour in with them too, although sometimes it may be a rather dark humour.
5) What's the one line you're really proud of?
That's a really difficult question to answer, but one line I quite like from the story “Zweetmeat” pops to mind.
“Trudging along, glass from shattered store fronts crunched beneath his shoes, the fragments shining like rubies in the mixture of coagulating blood, bits of flesh, and body fluids.”
6) You get to bring to life one character for 24 hours, which one is that, and why?
If you mean one of my own characters, it would probably be the shopkeeper Mister Godfrey from the story “Slice of life”
We could really do with people like him on the planet, even if it is for such a short while.
7) Do you regret reading a book? Which, and why?
I have read countless books in my life, and don't feel as though I regret reading any of them really, if I'm not enjoying a book I will just stop reading it and start another.
8) Pick a childhood favourite book, which is it?
I first started reading books when I was about nine or ten years old, and my first book was an Enid Blyton book, one of the Famous Five ones, I don't recall which particular one, but it hooked me on the reading bug, and before long I had read all of them, and so I would say they are my favourite childhood books.
9) How many books do you plan to read in 2014?
I don't read as many books these days as I used to, and tend to read a few chapters on whatever current book I am reading on my kindle each night before going to sleep. Also during the warm weather I go fishing, and take along a book to enjoy in the sunshine while I'm busy not catching anything, so I will probably read somewhere in the range of 10 – 20 books over the course of the year.
10) You have been given a one-way ticket offering to any fictional destination, which one would you choose?
I would love to go to Pandora, the planet in the film Avatar, if I could come back in another life I want to be one of the Na'vi.
* * * * * * * * * *
And now for the difficult part, nominating other writers for the award, there are so many good writers to choose from, and it is difficult to choose one over another, and so I have decided that I am going to nominate just two writers, both of them relative newcomers to the #fridayflash community, who have posted stories on there that I have read and enjoyed.
Claudia. H. Blanton.
Instead of posing 10 questions for Claudia and Casey I am going bend the rules a bit, and ask them to post 10 random or unusual facts about themselves.
Have fun people, and thanks again for thinking of me Cindy.
Friday, 14 February 2014
It happened only yesterday, I know this for it was light, then dark, and now light again.
They say time flies when you are having fun, I know now beyond any doubt that it certainly crawls when you are not.
I know it was only yesterday, but time is passing so slowly it seems like months ago.
The Harley lay across my back and shoulders, eighteen thousand dollars worth of scrap metal mingled with a priceless amount of scrap flesh and bone.
The leaf mould and soil beneath my cheek feels cold and damp, the small creatures scurrying over my face serve as a reminder that I still live, from the neck up anyway.
I hear a car pull to a stop, a door slam, footsteps, loud on blacktop, softer on the slope of the ditch.
Salvation, of a sorts.
I cannot look towards my tomorrows, I am afraid for what they may bring, and for what they may leave behind.
I wish for only yesterday.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 7 February 2014
I only moved into the town a few months ago, and before long took to frequenting Harry's, the bar just around the corner from my house.
The place was friendly and laid back, and I spent many a Saturday evening propped against the bar chin wagging with whomever I happened to be standing next to.
One night I called in to Harry's, and settled myself at the bar with my usual bottle of Bud.
I glanced down the bar, and the only other customer was a guy named Waxy. Although I had never actually spoken to Waxy I knew his name through hearing the locals talk to him. “Hiya Waxy.” they would say, and always got the same reply. “How's it goin' wit' you?” That was always Waxy's response, no matter how anyone greeted him the reply was always the same “How's it goin' wit' you?”
“Good evening.” I ventured.
Waxy turned to look at me, smiled. “How's it goin' wit' you?” Came the amiable reply.
“I'm good.” I said. “Can I buy you a beer?”
That was the start of a strong friendship, me and Waxy got to be real close over the following months.
A few weeks ago me and Waxy were chewing the fat at Harry's bar, curiosity getting the better of me I had asked him about his name. I thought maybe his surname was Wax, or Waxon, or something similar.
“Hell no, my name is Bill Thornton, everyone calls me Waxy because of what I do.”
“You mean your job? Do you work with wax, or keep bees or something?”
Waxy found this extremely amusing, and it was some minutes before he could talk around his laughter.
“No, I'm unemployed right now, I used to work in the chilled food warehouse, but the jumped up dick of a manager started getting on my wick and so I popped him one, he fired me right off. They call me Waxy because of that thing that I do.”
“Thing?” I asked him, wondering what on earth he was talking about.
“Yeah, that thing. You got a lighter on you, I'll show ya.”
I reached into my pocket for my Zippo, and passed it to Waxy. My mind refused to believe what my eyes witnessed next.
Waxy flicked the Zippo into life, then held his forefinger over the flame. After a few moments his finger began to drip. I continued watching in open mouthed amazement as the drops pooled on the bar and began to solidify. Waxy flicked the lighter shut, then scooped up the semi solid goo from the counter and moulded it back onto his finger again.
“That is absolutely amazing.” I stuttered.
“Well, truth is, it's kinda stood in my way, all my life all I ever wanted to be was a firefighter, bummer eh? Anyway, I gotta dash, I got a date with a hot lady, so catch ya later my friend.”
Waxy regularly left early to meet some hot lady or other, he never said who, and I never asked.
Waxy never showed up at the bar again after that evening. No-one saw him or heard from him. Despite police enquiries and searches he was never seen again, it seemed he had just melted into obscurity. Waxy was the best friend I had in the town, and I prayed that he was okay, wherever he was. It was just possible that he had skipped town ahead of some vengeful husband of one of his 'Hot ladies'.
Yesterday as I was walking home from work I passed a garage and garden sale at the late widow Clarkson's house, sad about her, she died suddenly of a heart attack, only in her forties too. I called in to see if there was anything that would help brighten up my rather spartan home.
I knew the widow's son Frank, a pleasant, hard-working young man that always seemed to struggle to make ends meet, and I thought it would be a neighbourly thing to do putting a few dollars his way.
As I browsed the clutter of pictures, furniture and assorted bric-a-brac I came across a huge lump of wax, it looked like some kind of weird sculpture, there was definitely a face in there, fingertips and elbows poking out at odd angles.
Suddenly the face twitched, the mouth moved slightly. “How's it goin' wit' you?” came the familiar voice, accompanied by a slight wink of one misshapen eye.
I nearly fainted. “Waxy? Is that you in there?” I whispered. “Jeez you look a mess, I gotta get you home.”
Acting as nonchalantly as possible I carried Waxy over to where Frank stood near the fence.
“How much would you like for this?” I asked him.
Frank glanced at the sculpture. “Whatever you think it's worth.” He replied, smiling broadly.
I pulled fifty dollars from my wallet, offered it to Frank.
“That's about forty nine more'n I expected.” Said Frank, looking a bit unsure of himself. I insisted that fifty dollars was a bargain for such a work of art, and he reluctantly accepted the money. He found me a large cardboard box to put my purchase into, I bade him goodbye and set about the task of carrying my friend back to the house.
Once home I pulled Waxy from the cardboard box and placed him on the kitchen table.
“I got a blowtorch in my toolbox.” I said to him. “With a bit of work, and a lot of luck I'll see if I can get you somewhere near back to your old shape. What the hell happened to you?”
Waxy chuckled. “Well, ya know all those hot ladies I kept making dates with? Last time I saw you I was going to meet the widow Clarkson, she was one hell of a hot lady I can tell you, truth is, she was just a little TOO hot for me to handle.”
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 31 January 2014
He was the first.
He just couldn't stop laughing.
He laughed, and laughed, and laughed.
He laughed until he died of mirth, and the laughter echoed around the room, bounced off the walls, ricocheted off the window, then flew out through the gap under the door.
The laughter hit a passing cleaner, who then laughed all the way to the bus stop, and all through the ride to her job at the airport, infecting everyone she passed along the way.
Soon, the whole world would be laughing... and dying.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.