In the First Sixty Seconds

An ambassador. It sounds rather pretentious, doesn’t it? I’m not a real ambassador. An influencer? No, I’m probably considered a bit too old for that. What am I? I am an actor of stage, film, television drama and several incredibly lucrative voice-over spots for well established brands and household names. Seriously folks, a voice-over job is impossible to turn down. For a morning’s work, at worst possibly a couple of extra hours the next day, it is easy money. This is especially evident, when comparing the income versus effort ratio, against any other medium I am involved with. Of course, I need the other roles, to be considered for voice-over work in the first place. You can’t have one without the other!

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Tina’s Party

I met Adam at Tina’s party. He’d showed no interest in approaching me, so I went straight up to him and said, “Did someone tell you it was a fancy dress party?” He looked me up and down in a dismissive manner and rather loftily sniffed his nose at me! “It’s a nice outfit,” I told him, “French royal court, early eighteenth century?” The feathers, silk stockings, blue velvet and lace appeared absolutely immaculate and expensive.
“It is my own interpretation,” he replied, “but you’re right on the money. I’m impressed.” He stepped forward and then back again with swagger, before taking a slow, theatrical bow. This vision, together with the white foundation, rouged cheeks and lipstick, caused an idea to pop into my head.

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Con

Mike enjoyed working in the garden, out in the clean, fresh air. On a warm, overcast summer day like today, under cool shade provided by the cherry tree, he found the light reflection from his laptop computer screen, tolerable. True, working outside meant he had to put up with noise pollution from the neighbours. However, classical music streamed through decent loudspeakers served as an antidote, creating an aural backdrop acceptable to work to.

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High Hopes

“I’m guessing you must be Melvin! Hi, I’m Summer.” Confidence oozed out deliciously from the blue-haired young woman, as she crossed the courtyard in several long strides. Sat next to the marble fountain, Melvin looked up from the patch of ground he’d been staring at, as if brought out of a daze.
“Yes! Hi there, Summer I presume?”
“Isn’t the villa just beautiful?” Summer spun around three hundred and sixty degrees with her face turned up towards the sun. “As a student, I used to help with picking grapes in the vineyard, during college break.”
“Well, you know I’ve lived in the area for five years, not more than twenty kilometres away and I had no, idea, such a place existed.” Melvin stood up and looked around, surveying the architecture, “I must say, it’s impressive.”
“Yes, yes it is.” Summer watched Melvin shuffle left and right, his hand horizontal on his brow to shade his eyes against the bright sunshine. She felt her enthusiasm drain away. She trusted her gut instinct, at least during an occurrence like today, feeling it dominate her head and heart so decisively. “Look, lets get a coffee,” she suggested, “there’s a kiosk over there with tables and chairs set up nearby.”
They walked together in silence, like an old couple with nothing left to say to each other. Melvin sunk his hands deep into his trouser pockets, playing with his keys and some loose change, while Summer compiled a list of reasons in her mind.
“Let me get them, what will you have?” Melvin said, pulling out his wallet from a back pocket.
“No,” Summer replied, “I’ll get them, what would you like?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
“Okay, well if you insist,” Melvin glanced at the blackboard menu, “flat white then, thank you.”
“Flat white?”
“Yes please, two sugars.”
“There’s sugar on the table, in the bowls, slim packets of sugar.”
“Oh, yes, so there is.”

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From Station To Station

Two innocent souls, from a chance meeting, quickly form an intense friendship. Several days later, following a sweaty bonding of bodies driven by mutual carnal desire, they had come to regard each other as lovebirds.
We join them, yet another day later, at Obsomba station, located on the Northern Criss-Cross Line. In the golden hour before the setting of the sun, we find ourselves needing to ask, has someone had a change of heart?

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Flowers

“Hi Rihanna, I’m home!” Bill called out, closing the front door behind him and dropping his keys into a Jerusalemite ceramic bowl on the sideboard. He checked the time on his wrist watch, showing exactly five thirty-five. “I got you some flowers!”
“How long did it take you to get home?” The distant, tired voice of his wife, although familiar to Bill, retained the power to make him sigh to himself, betraying a hope for something different.
“35 minutes exactly, from door-to-door!” Bill picked up several envelopes from the floor, casually scanning them before casting aside onto a coffee table. Slipping his cycle helmet off, he removed his sunglasses and headphones, dropping them onto the red, leather chesterfield sofa as he passed. He walked through the apartment living room, towards the bedrooms. “I don’t think I can actually better that time, not without shaving my legs and racing head down. How’s your day?”
“Oh, you know, ‘same old same old’, exhaustion, a prevailing sense of apathy. I had to rest in bed again all day today.” Rihanna smiled weakly at her husband as he entered the bedroom. He smiled back, his features softening sympathetically.
“I had a strange day today.” Bill said, approaching the bed, sitting down and laying a bunch of orange-red zinnias on the folded sheet.
“Are these for me?” Rhianna read the gift tag.

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At the Drop of a Hat

Nowadays, I cry at anything.
Ben E. King
singing Stand By Me.
Marley and Me end scene
and separately,
Federal Air Marshal Bill Marks.
A real-life eulogy,
for a dead mother,
spoken by a grieving daughter.
Four examples that get me going, 
guns blazing waterworks,
every time.
©Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (poem inspired by a picture)

The Blue-Haired Women

JOURNAL FRAGMENT
(Annotation by Brinkinfield)

Sunday July 4th, 2120 (Possible typo? How could it be ~100 years in the future?)
They’re everywhere now, the blue-coloured hair women, swamping city streets, filling up bars and restaurants, taking over businesses, banks, major conglomerates, media outlets and universities. I’ll be lucky if I’ll find work as an accountant in this county, ever again.

(Monday and Tuesday, entries torn out from journal)

Wednesday, July 7th, 2120
Three days in a row now, I’ve woken up to find a blue hair coloured woman posted outside my cottage (and all down the street, outside the neighbours, too). Earlier, I went out to ask of her business and she forcibly pushed me, with her hand flat against my chest, back through the front door without saying a word. I’ve got to say, I thought her pretty hot, but it’s no excuse for rudeness!

(Thursday page, blank)

Friday, July 9th, 2120
I tried to go out this morning, with my food shopping list, fridge is empty. The blue hair woman pushed me back again, growling and baring her teeth at me! When I turned to bolt back inside, she slapped my bottom cheeks hard, left and right! Both are still stinging, seated on a cushion as I write-up this entry. After I’d regained my composure and pride, I went back to the front door, got on my knees and shouted through the letterbox, telling her I’d already alerted the police. When I peered through to gauge a reaction, she turned around and gave me the finger.

Saturday, July 10th, 2120
Midday, the internet is switched off. Nothing but a 404 error message or a question mark symbol centered within a blue square, depending on which site I try. Blue woman is still there. Earlier, she tapped on the kitchen window and pointed towards the front door. She’s got really long, well manicured finger nails. Still think she’s really hot. I found a food box left outside the front door, lots of veg, granola, almond milk and dried soya mix : (

Sunday, July 11th, 2120
4am, I can’t sleep. I can’t stand this ‘no internet’ situation much longer. I might as well be living in a cave. One week isolated and I’ve got absolutely no idea what’s happening on the outside. I’ve decided I’m left with only one option: seduce the bluie, get her onto my side, then see if any other renegades are willing to join us. See if we can’t get the internet back on and life back to some semblance of order!

(Monday page blank)

Tuesday, July 13th, 2120
I’ve written out Bluie’s daily schedule, based upon notes taken yesterday, while observing her closely from the bathroom window. At least now I understand she is armed with the latest Walther pistol, concealed under her dress, the holster strapped to her left thigh. As I watched, she spun the weapon around on her fingers, practiced replacing the magazine and aiming. I have to say, she looks pretty handy with it. At around mid afternoon, she looks tired and bored, several hours still, before she is relieved by the night shift. This gives me plenty of time to enact my plan, venture outside, confront and reason with her to switch sides, locate like-minded folk and form a resistance. If she refuses, I’ll soon show her who’s boss, for sure!

(End of journal, no further entries)

©Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (story inspired by a picture)

Be Happy

“Okay,” Gina said, “let’s get this straight right from the get-go. I am not your love, do you understand, Euan?” Gina fixed an icy stare onto the awkward young man.
“I’m just saying … ” Euan shuffled his feet and sank his hands deep into his pockets. “Look, why don’t we pop into the museum, grab a coffee in the downstair café?”

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Giant

Unexpectedly rising out of the castle top, 
the giant rose, 
furrowing his brow and rubbing his nose, 
just like he might be about to sneeze.

Initially, startled by his appearance,
beachcombers on the sand below,
felt doubly concerned, 
with rapid assessment given to the potential outcome.

“Great giant, God-like seeming in so many ways, 
disturbed from your rest, 
how long have you dwelt beneath this fortress-topped island?”
Asked a self-elected representative, 
as a device for sneeze distraction purposes only,
with no real interest in the giant's circumstance.

“Who said that?” the giant enquired, 
peering down and all around.
“I!” Yelled a young woman, 
squinting upwards at the huge colossus, 
darkly tanned hand, 
held above brow,
acting as a visor to the sunshine.

“Well, let me see … " the giant considered carefully,
"I reckon, give or take a year or two, 
using the Gregorian calendar accordingly as a measure of time ..."
"Do you still feel a twitch,
an indicator for a sneeze?"
Interjected the young woman, 
wise beyond her years.

"Possibly." Said the giant, 
cross-eyed,
wrinkling and twisting his formidable proboscis,
up and down, 
to the left and right.
"Then kindly," said the brave and assertive young woman,
"turn around one hundred and eighty degrees to be sure,
Direct your sternutation that-a-way."

Her rising out-stretched arm and pointing finger,
cut right through the salty air.
©Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (poem inspired by a picture)