Friday, 4 April 2014
I used to view the world through rose-tinted glasses, enamoured with everything I saw, with everything it was and could be. I had hope for the future, contentment for the present, and forgiveness for the past.
Somewhere along the way the lenses turned to green. The subtle, slow change from one hue to another barely perceptible, until the transformation was complete, and the iron fist of envy had me in its clutches. I began to crave what other's possessed, to hate them for having what I did not, and the colour was everywhere I looked.
It was a smaller step down to the blue, but decidedly more noticeable. I no longer wished for what was not mine, instead I spiralled down into the deepest depression, the darkest of blues coloured my every thought. Happiness was elusive and slippery, impossible to grasp.
Just lately the glasses have taken on a more pinkish colour again, not the warm rose-tinted pink of days gone by, but a more sinister pink that is rapidly darkening towards red.
And I can feel the rage building inside me...
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 28 March 2014
“We're not gonna make it, are we?
His voice was weak, his breath ragged. He was giving up.
“Shut up and keep running.” I snapped back.
We had managed to stay ahead of the pack, but they were close behind, I could almost feel them breathing down my neck.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw him stumble slightly, he was going to go down. I reached out and grabbed his hand, pulled him roughly along, forcing him to keep up.
I squeezed his hand tightly, grinding his knuckles inside my own, hoping the pain would give him that extra ounce of fire in his belly, that one more molecule of determination.
I was not leaving him behind, if he failed, we would fail together.
This was it, I gave a final burst, dragging him along with me.
I punched our clasped hands forward, using them to break through the tape.
A few yards further we both collapsed to the ground.
Less than a second later the rest of the pack followed, some falling to the ground as we had, some running on a little further before coming to a standstill, hands on knees, gasping for air.
I reached out and grabbed him to me. We clutched each other tightly as tears rolled down our faces. Exhaustion, relief and euphoria all adding to the moment.
We had competed against each other all our lives, as twins do.
Last year I had taken Silver in the marathon, and he the Bronze. The year before, the positions had been reversed. This was our last year, we were both retiring from competitive sport, and it felt good to be going out breaking even.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 21 March 2014
I have heard that over the years scientists have sent many radio messages into space, in the hope that someone may be listening. Eventually some of them formed the opinion that anyone, or anything, that had the ability to track these signals, and the capability to travel the vast distances involved to get here may not be coming with benign intentions, and that it may be wiser to cease broadcasting the messages... In case someone may be listening.
Are those radio waves still travelling?
And more importantly, have they been heard?
* * * * * * * * * *
THE VACUUM OF SPACE
The being had been travelling for many years now, following the tantalising scent, flowing with the undulating waves, feasting on the delicate flavours as it hurtled through space. The tastes and aromas strengthened as it neared the source, its hunger burned fiercely.
It slipped effortlessly into the atmosphere, and there it found a new taste to savour.
It began circling the tiny blue planet. Faster and faster it went, absorbing, devouring, feeding ravenously. Stripping the air and the surface of the planet of the delicious ingredient until there was barely a morsel left.
Its ethereal body, unhindered by liquid or solid, combed the oceans, then beneath the world's surface, seeking out every last drop of food, until there was none remaining.
Its hunger still burned.
Stretching out its senses it tested the surrounding star systems, searching, hunting.
A strange, new flavour came its way.
Once again it began following a distant scent, it left the blue planet behind as it hurtled once more through space, continuing its never ending quest for sustenance.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
In a concrete bunker far beneath the surface of the Mojave desert, a corporal stared at his computer screen, unable to understand the figures he was looking at.
“Major? You have to look at this, Sir.”
The officer walked over, and looked at the screen over the Corporal's shoulder.
“According to the readouts Sir, the radiation levels have disappeared, none of our sensors are picking up traces, not in the air, or on the land, even the oceans appear clear, I know this sounds crazy, and impossible, but it's as though the war never happened, somehow the planet's clean again,”
“There must be something wrong with the sensors Corporal, the surface of this planet will be uninhabitable for decades yet.”
“With respect Sir, it's extremely unlikely that thousands of sensors are all malfunctioning at the same time, I've run a systems check too, the hardware's working okay. It's as though something's sucked all the radiation from the planet.”
The same scenario was being repeated in many other bunkers in many other countries.
Before long, the survivors of the world war three apocalypse would tentatively emerge to a new beginning, to a new, clean world. Time would tell if they could keep it that way.
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
Friday, 14 March 2014
I drove past her house every morning, she was always there. She was beautiful, and I fell hopelessly in love with her.
She must have been over forty years old, but looked much younger. Probably high maintenance, but I didn't mind, when she was mine I would care for her, cherish her.
Most people would consider us an odd match, me being so much younger, but I wouldn't care what other people thought, I just had to have her, and I would, in time.
At night I dreamt about her, her curves, the proud way she stood.
I was filled with fear that someone else would love her too, I just had to do something, I had to be brave and ask the question.
Today, I would do it today.
I pulled to a stop outside her house, climbed out of the car and walked straight up to her, I felt an overwhelming urge to touch her, but decided it would be a shade forward and presumptuous, better to ask permission first, I just ogled her, almost drooling.
I walked around her, brushing against her as I did, I didn't mean to, I just couldn't help myself.
I walked up to the door and knocked timidly.
A moment or two later the door opened a few inches and the face of an old man appeared.
“Yes?” He asked me.
“I... I... h..hope you don't mind me asking sir,” I stammered, “but the Cortina on your driveway, would you possibly consider selling it?”
©2014 Stephen. J. Green.
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.