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.Continue reading “Con”
“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.”
“Yes please, two sugars.”
“There’s sugar on the table, in the bowls, slim packets of sugar.”
“Oh, yes, so there is.”
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?
You might not imagine so, but creating an ice sculpture is very tiring work. Today, by lunch time I was exhausted. My name is Guðrún, I am an artist and during the winter months of the upper Northern Hemisphere, I busk my skills in towns and cities, creating ice sculptures in return for donations of appreciation from tourists and shoppers.Continue reading “By Lunch Time I Was Exhausted …”
“It’s such a beautiful day.” Standing on the fifth floor balcony of the hotel room they’d checked in to only minutes previously, Santiago surveyed the vista before him.
Maria dropped her backpack onto the bed, removed the hair band she’d worn all day, ruffled her hair and joined the distinguished-looking young man, outside. “It’s just such a beautiful countryside; where are we, exactly?”
“You know what?” Santiago’s expression softened, “I don’t know for sure. I know we are in northern Europe. After we met for the first time this morning, at Charles De Gaulle airport, our train stopped in Brussels and then continued through Belgium. Could we be in the Netherlands? I’m unsure, I dozed off several times.”
“No.” Maria pointed towards a mountain range. “The Netherlands are flat, bicycle friendly flat. Did you know that in the town of Utrecht you can coast along unaided on a bike for one kilometre after pushing through just five pedal rotations?”
“I did not know that, Maria.” Santiago grinned, amused by his companion’s reply. “How did you happen to come by this information?”
“I’ve told you, I received a good education back in Buenos Aires.”
“A good Catholic education and upbringing. I wonder what Sister Carmella would think of your pink hair?”
“I wonder what she’d think of this?” Maria faced Santiago and forced her hand between his legs. Her fingers groped the loose folds in his trousers, until, from touch, she identified his balls. With a firm grip established, Maria pulled her catch towards her. Santiago felt a flourish of bodily changes spring into action, as his lips met with hers.
“Al-right,” Maria said, pulling away from the embrace, “a decent sized set you’ve got down there.” She winked, smiled, lifted up a little onto her toes and planted another kiss, this time onto the smooth space between Santiago’s eyebrows and nose.
“You know, it matters not where we are,” Santiago fixed his gaze into Maria’s green eyes, “I am just glad we found each other.”
“I can check our location!” Maria excitedly retrieved her phone from her jean’s back pocket and began tapping in her birth date code to access the phone’s features.
“No, hold that action Maria. Don’t you see? We are two porteños on an open ticket, a random adventure visiting the other side of the world a long way from home. Isn’t there something magical about that?”
“Oh for sure!” Maria cleared a list of notifications from her locked screen and returned the phone to her pocket. “Honestly, all the station names we’ve seen, they’ve meant absolutely nothing to me. All I can tell you is that we are not in Spain.” Laughing, she draped her arms around Santiago’s neck and scattered light kisses across from his jawline, to his cheekbone, to his temple. A sense of euphoria grew large and fluffy, inside Santiago’s head.
“M-Maria … Maria, I, I, love, you.”
Maria could make out the shape of two nipples showing through Santiago’s shirt. Deftly, she slid her hands down and covered both protuberances with the face of her thumbs. “It’s still early,” a cheeky expression danced across her face, “let’s open the wine you picked up. I’m taking a shower.” She gave his left nipple a sharp twist, felt his chest muscle tense and a satisfyingly deep growl vibrate through her momentarily flattened palm.
“If you don’t mind,” Santiago said, “I’ll kick these boots off and watch some TV whilst you shower.”
“Go right ahead, I won’t take long.”
“What’s up Ramesh?” Akira gently drew her boyfriend close. Automatically, Ramesh laid his head against her shoulder and across to her right-side, upper chest. He felt disconsolate, giving wonder and consideration as to whether he could feel reconciled with himself, now or forever in the future.
“I can’t say goodbye, it’s like we’ll never be together again.”
Akira sighed. Despite her grace, kindness and love for her boyfriend, this recurrent happening had begun to wear her down. “Ramesh, how old are you?”
“Me? I am 18, you know I am 18. Why do you ask?”
“Because Ramesh, this – this behaviour is unusual, for a young man of your age.”
“You think I’m needy, don’t you?” Ramesh snuggled his head into the yellow, furry fabric of Akira’s top.
“Clingy I would say, Ramesh.”
Slap your hand down hard,
Flat upon the table,
In several extended bursts,
To get ‘most anyone’s attention, here.
“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.
Nowadays, I cry at anything.
Ben E. King
singing Stand By Me.
Marley and Me end scene
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)
(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)