Saturday, 5 December 2015

Space Hoppers and Guilty Feelings.

Howden Drive was never the safest place to live, I think that's when I first started to barricade myself in. It wasn't safe on the outside and now all these years later I'm still trying to lock myself away from everybody. The furthest I'd wander was the back yard where I'd play wall tennis for hours on end. Looking back I was probably the wall tennis champion of the world, I don't think Ivan Lendl could have beaten me on my best days. 

I also liked to bury things. I remember once trying to bury my orange space hopper. To be honest I can't remember whether I succeeded. Maybe it's still there underneath the shed that went up years later. I often think about that space hopper and wall tennis and all those years of hiding away. And burying. I still think about burying. That's what I think about sometimes in the middle of the night or after a particularly bad dream. I think of her. And how I never got to bury her completely. She's always there and she won't go away no matter how many times I try to apologize.

192 Words


                                                                                (C) Ally Atherton 2015

Monday, 16 November 2015

Noah Today

A friend sent me this today and it made me chuckle.



In the year 2015, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in England and said:
"Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing, along with a few good humans."

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: "You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights."

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark.
"Noah!," He roared, "I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed.

I needed a Building Permit.

I've been arguing with the Boat Inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.

My neighbours claim that I've violated the Neighbourhood By-Laws by building the Ark in my back garden and exceeding the height limitations.

We had to go to the Local Planning Committee for a decision. Then the Local Council and the Electricity Company demanded a shed load of money for the future costs of moving power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the Greater Spotted Barn Owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals the RSPCA took me to court. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the Environmental Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

Immigration are checking the visa status of most of the people who want to work.

The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, the Inland Revenue seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least ten years for me to finish this Ark."

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked, "You mean you're not going to destroy the world?"

"No," said the Lord, "The Government beat me to it."

Friday, 2 October 2015

In the aftermath of another school shooting, should we be scared of mentioning mental health?

I got drawn into an argument on Twitter regarding yesterday's tragic Oregon School Shooting and the issue of Mental Health. It's a hot potato and many of us disagree about the gun issue as well as the ways in which the US government could attempt to prevent these tragedies. Here are a few of my own thoughts on the mental health side of things.

Anybody that is responsible for a school shooting, killing and maiming people on a grand scale must have a wire loose somewhere. It's not rocket science.

Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes. It can range from mild depression to anxiety to anger issues to schizophrenia to dementia. The list is endless. If somebody was to write a definitive book including every Mental Health condition it would be a book as big as the White House itself. But for somebody to plan and carry out a school massacre there has to be a mental health issue somewhere. I'm sure a lot of people who have suffered from a mental health issue won't like my statement but it doesn't mean it isn't true. Just because it's not a nice thought doesn't make it wrong.

I'm not saying or suggesting that everybody who has a mental health problem is capable of a mass shooting, of course not. That would be ridiculous .That isn't what I am suggesting and I don't think it's what President Obama was suggesting in his TV press conference. Although unfortunately I don't have a direct line to the White House to confirm that. But let's not mask the facts so that we don't upset a few applecarts. When it boils down to it and when all the investigations have been complete it will come out that Chris Harper-Mercer had some kind of a mental problem. Whether it is a long term depressive illness or a long term hatred for certain people, it's a mental health problem. You could say that he was evil. And I'm not arguing with that. But inside every evil is some kind of a mental health problem.

So there are a few people getting worked up because people like me are linking a school massacre to mental illness, but aren't the two inevitably linked?

I am not saying that murderers shouldn't be punished because they have some form of a mental imbalance, of course not. They should be punished. And harshly. But we shouldn't be scared of suggesting that in all probability there is always a mental health problem at the core. Did Chris Harper-Mercer have a diagnosed mental illness? I don't know. But to coin an unfortunate but common phrase, he must have had a screw loose somewhere and maybe it's about time the US government did something about mental health, as well as the gun laws?

Just because somebody suggests that a mass murderer probably had some form of mental health issue doesn't mean he is tainting all sufferers with the same brush. And it doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it because that's how things get swept under the carpet.

What do you think?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Smell of Dragon

Most people I know have ditched their cars and prefer to do their shopping whilst riding on the backs of their dragons. It's so common place these days it's almost as if the dragons have always been here. They've had to make all the doors bigger of course but most big stores have built in dragon flaps to make it easier for everybody.

I'm an old romantic though and dream of a world without dragon shit and dragon flaps and the smell of dragon farts follows me everywhere, it's almost impossible to imagine a world that doesn't smell of dragon fart. People try to compensate by smothering themselves in perfume and by wearing pegs in their noses but it doesn't work. None of it works. We live in a dragon fart world and we just have to suck it up and move on. I don't have a big one because dragons don't come cheap. I have a geriatric dragon. It's the dragon equivalent of a battered old Ford Escort. I'd actually be quicker walking. But walking is as old school as sitting in the back row of a Neneh Cherry concert. You wouldn't want to be seen dead walking on your legs. And It will soon be illegal.

Already there are signs up in front of the town hall mentioning plans to make Chorley Town Centre a No Leg Zone and Morrisons and ASDA now have dragon only check outs. So old romantics like me are being squeezed out. We have to shut up or put up or invest in a better quality dragon.

(C) Ally Atherton 2015

Friday, 14 August 2015

Today's Friday Phrases via twitter

'Wake up it's killing time.'

I opened my eyes and saw that our doors were open. I was terrified. Today friendships would end in death.


It takes 2 - 4 years to get to know somebody. Couples who wait this long before marriage are less likely to kill each other with a cleaver.


I remember clearly the day me and my wife had a bath together. It would have been romantic but I had the tap end and she was quite dead.


At 9 I used to kill time by hiding in my wardrobe. Closing my eyes

I prayed

for Narnia or Trisha, the girl next door's bedroom.


Tuesday, 4 August 2015


I sneak up on you and turn your key.

Sometimes I do it when you are asleep, when you don't hear night sounds like your fridge belching or your floorboards groaning as I tip-toe across them. I turn it just enough so that your good dreams don't overexcite you and the bad ones don't go on for long enough to kill you.

But when you are awake I have to turn your key when you are not looking. When you are doing simple things like boiling a kettle or peeling a potato or hanging your smalls on the washing line. I have to be careful that you don't see me and that I don't drop the key before I have the chance to turn it. I especially have to make sure that I bob down quickly enough whenever you look at yourself in the mirror. I've been caught out a few times like that and I see the momentary look of horror on your face before you have the time for your brain to forget seeing me.

I sneak up on you and turn your key.

I make it all happen. Every sneeze. Every fart. Every annoying song that crawls into your head.

It's me.

And I'll be there for you until your key grows blunt and rusty and completely unturnable.

                                                                                     (C) Ally Atherton 2015

Written for this week's Light and Shade Challenge




When I'm about to travel I get

the itch

Unscratchable like a missing foot

or a whole leg

Then I disappear

Bit by bit

                                                                                   (C) Ally Atherton

Sunday, 2 August 2015

I need a whinge jar.

I've found this on Facebook and I'm going to give it a try. It's not going to be easy for me because I can be a bit of a whinger!

24 hours without complaining. Maybe I need the equivalent of a swear jar so that I can put some money in every time I let a whinge slip. A whinge jar.

I'll let you know how I get on. Started at 14 38 UK Time.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Next Day Update:

Okay now that was difficult. It seems spending 24 hours without complaining is more difficult than I could have anticipated. I started off so well and then it all went tits up.

I'm sure it's very possible but it would probably need a lot of lip biting. I think it all went pear shaped when our wonderful new neighbours appeared with another car to add to their collection. I swear they are taking up the whole street. And you can hardly park a bicycle on our street. And that's all I really needed for my complaints to follow one after the other.

I think it's a bit like trying to open a bumper bag of salted peanuts.

No matter how carefully you try to open one you always end up with a shit full of peanuts on your carpet. But I haven't given up. Maybe I'll try again. From this very moment..........................

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Saturday Microfiction

Sometimes I just need a shed

so I can be alone with my thoughts, a drop of rum

and the bodies of my victims.



Friday, 26 June 2015

Friday VSS

A thousand screams would be 2000 tomorrow. Every day was multiplied by two. It could be me next. 

Satan was ruthless and very good at math.



 I noticed the elevator had an extra button that wasn't there before. It was flashing.

I took a closer look and written in small letters was the word 


I closed my eyes and pressed it. Knowing I would open my eyes to find myself in the place where I had started my journey, the place where I was wanted for stealing the Jesus Circuit. But I have been running for long enough and they have questions that only I can answer.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

How to spot a fake facebook profile

Okay so how do you spot a fake profile?

I guess there are no hard and fast rules but here are a few things that I have learned in the last few months whilst running my own  Facebook group.

Blank Background

Check out the background of somebody's Facebook profile. Is there a picture or is it blank? Most fake profiles or spammers don't bother to create a background image. So that's your first warning sign to look out for. Any picture will do and a photo of a real person is even better. But if there is no background image, ask yourself why.

Facebook Avatar

Look at the the avatar. If there is no avatar then that's a major warning sign. Some fake profiles won't even bother to give themselves one. But if there is a photo, take a close look at it. Does it look like it's been snatched from Google Images? Most real people aren't perfect. The vast majority of us don't look like glamour models. We have moles, we have one eye that looks a little wonky, we have double chins and zits. So if you see an avatar photo of somebody that looks impossibly beautiful and they are eating an apple or obviously posing for a catalogue there's probably a reason.

Profile URL

If you want to know if a Facebook profile is real then check out the URL of their profile. Most real profiles will have their name at the end of the URL. For instance this is mine.

But most fake profiles don't have a name. They have a sequence of numbers and letters.

And if there is a name at the end of their profile, check to make sure it's the same one. If somebody has John Smith as their profile name and it says 'Shirley Rodgers' at the end of their URL then that's another warning sign. Why two names?

Sex Changes

Look out for profiles that seem to have two different genders. That is a surefire way of detecting a fake profile.

If somebody is calling themselves Robert Davies then you presume they are a guy. But click ABOUT or TIMELINE on their profile. Does it say HE or SHE? If it says

See what she shares with friends

then you have a gender conflict! How can Robert be a SHE? Has he had a sex change?

Photos and other Profile information

Fake profiles are usually blank profiles. So if details are a bit thin on the ground, ask yourself why.

There are a whole host of things that should be on there.

Works and Education.

Places Lived.

Contact and Basic Info.

Family and Relationships.


Life Events.

Not all of us like to include too many details for privacy reasons. So you need to include this one in context with of all the other warning signs that I've already mentioned.

What photos are available to view on their profile?

If you just have the one Google image of a blonde bombshell eating an apple, again ask yourself why.

Real people will have real people in their photos. Family photos, holiday photos. Photos of their dogs and their cats. Their new tattoo.

Finally check out their friends.

Fake profiles and spammers usually have very few friends on their list. Real people have at least a handful unless they have set their profile to private.

And if there are friends, take a close look at them.

If the guy that has asked to join your Facebook group is named Trevor Smith then you'd expect a few other English names on there. But if the people on his friends list all have Arabic Names or Chinese names you need to ask yourself whether he is an English guy himself.

Similar check out any groups that they belong to.

Some fake profiles will belong to hundreds of groups whereas some won't be members of any. Both are suspicious in my experience. If your guy is named Trevor Smith and all his groups are Chinese then that is also suspicious. If most of his groups are groups on how to make money or buying and selling groups, be doubly suspicious about his intentions.

Accepting that friend request or that new member into your Facebook group can have major repercussions if you don't check them out properly. So I hope this article has been helpful. But also trust your gut instinct. If somebody sounds a little dodgy or too good to be true, don't let them in. And try sending them a private message. Most fake profiles and spammers won't reply.

                                                                                          (C) Ally Atherton 2015

Friday, 19 June 2015

Friday VSS

Alice put the quarter in the slot and pressed the button marked 3367. It was a long way into the future but she waited to see what the machine would spit out, she didn't expect a blood soaked handkerchief and a knife. She threw the knife as far as she could.


When my alarm clock goes off in the morning I know it's time to bring in the milk, to feed the cat and to untie the rest of my family

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wednesday VSS

1976 was coming to a close and the seconds were ticking. Another year was hurtling towards her, it was time to kiss goodbye to The Jam, choppers and canned ham sandwiches.

She slammed the door behind her knowing she would never be back.


                                                                                      (C) Ally Atherton 2015

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


I can't find the end of the duct tape. I could be here for hours and I need somebody to help me. I've never been a very practical person but I don't think I'll ever find the end of the duct tape. I need somebody to help me. I need a duct tape specialist or the duct tape fairy.

This always happens to me. I'm just not very good at duct tape. It will be Christmas soon and I still won't have found the end of the duct tape. This is like the duct tape version of Chinese Water Torture.

For God's sake where is the end?

I roll it around in my hands as if the end will magically appear. But I'm not looking to pull a rabbit out of a hat, I'm looking for the end of the duct tape and I haven't got the rest of my life to find it.

Soon she will be awake. Soon she will start screaming.

                                                                 (C) Ally Atherton 2015


I opened the bedroom door. A body on the floor, blood everywhere. I must have drunk more than I thought.

Sunday, 14 June 2015


   If ever you find yourself crawling through your attic at night


   you find a doll in a box

   there's nothing to be scared about even if it blinks

   when it's not supposed to

   and the attic door slams behind you


   And even if you feel a tug at your sleeve


  It's your imagination

  playing tricks with you because the alternative isn't worth thinking about


  screaming never works

                                                                         @Ally Atherton 2015

   Written for the Light & Shade Challenge

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Knowing how to change a tyre, jumpstart a dead battery and hide a body in the boot should be a part of the driving test

Monday, 11 May 2015

Y is for YOUR FACE

So what does your face say about you and how much does your face affect the way other see you?

I really think a face can make a big difference in the way people are treated and that's pretty scary considering the fact that we have no control over it. It's genetic. So what kind of face do you have and how has it affected your life?

Personally I have a sneaky feeling that I have one of life's slappable faces. It's not the best face to have and it's nothing to boast about but it's just a conclusion I have come to. It comes from having 44 years of experience living on this small rock, smack bang in the middle of our solar system. I think I have one of those faces that screams out

Slap me

Laugh at Me

Go ahead, poke me, take the piss out of me as much as you want.

I am older now and balder and wrinklier than I used to be but basically I think I have the same Slap Me face that I have owned ever since I was a 6 year old. I have had to fight my corner for a long time but I think I have ample evidence that points to the fact that I have that face that people want to take the piss out of.

But there are other kinds of faces. Only a few hours ago I was out walking our Dog with my wife and we saw something that we both automatically pointed out and it started me thinking all about faces. We saw a women with a crying face.

Now what is a crying face?

Well I'll try to explain. A certain percentage of unfortunate people have a face that looks like they are about to burst into tears at the drop of a hat and most of them look like they are crying when they are talking or even laughing. It's a remarkable face really and it you look carefully the next time you are out in public I'm sure it won't take you long to find one. They pretty much stick out like a sore thumb. I don't have a crying face. I don't think I do anyway but maybe you have one? Nobody tells you what kind of face you have but it's one of those things you can work out for yourself.

Or you could have one of the other faces. You may have a pissed off face.

I feel sorry for pissed off faced people. They can't help it ( just like I can't help having a slappable face), but they have one and there's not a lot they can do about it. It's just that their normal, relaxed face, looks pissed off all the time. This kind of face is usually long but I have also seen small ones. They come in all shapes and sizes but I'm sure they are the type of people that  get asked all the time questions like

'What's up with you?'

'You okay?'

or they get the old nutshell

'Cheer up, it hasn't happened yet.'

The funny thing is they are usually not pissed off at all. They just have a naturally pissed off face. Poor bastards.

So if you get asked those questions a lot, the chances are that you have a pissed off face.

But the list is endless. There are smiley faces. Startled faces. Jack the Lad faces. Mean faces. Soft faces. Baby faces. Serious faces. Worried faces. To some extent we can all control our faces but most of the time we can't. We have no control over our resting face. Whether your resting face is a Slap Me face or a crying face like the girl we walked past earlier.

But one thing I'm certain of is that our faces probably have a big impact on the way we are treated and on how successful we are and maybe also on our chosen career pathway. When was the last time you saw a politician with a Slap Me face or a school teacher with a mean face? Or a vicar with a Jack the Lad face? So the next time you feel like a round peg in a square hole think about this for a moment?

Does your face literally not fit?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

X Marks the Spot

Wouldn't it be great if we had a treasure map for our lives with a big X marking the spot?

Just like the birds seem to need a big X in my back yard so that they will eventually find the food I have provided for them! Yep they still haven't come anywhere near apart from one bird yesterday that was scared off by next door's cat. Maybe that's the problem. Next door's cat. She's hungry and cold half of the time. I am sure the poor thing isn't getting fed properly.

Okay back to the X. For the last few years I have felt lost. Completely lost. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard stone. It's not a nice place to be. It's a lonely place, even though I have a supportive wife who doesn't really hassle me. I have the choice of either going back into nursing or staying hopelessly under employed. I have been trying to avoid going back into nursing but I don't seem to have a choice. Nobody wants to employ a guy in his 40's. It's either nursing or nothing, I can't really see an alternative. But I bloody hated it. I always felt like a square peg in a round hole but I can't see any way out. Nobody is placing a big X anywhere else. I have had a few opportunities over the last few months but they have all ended unceremoniously. So do I stay unemployed and miserable or go back into nursing and be miserable? Fucking great choice.

I took a leap of faith by getting out for the sake of my health and my sanity but it has backfired. I don't know how many people have ever been in the same position as me but it's horrible. Searching for a way out. I'm trying to work out whether to turn left or right but I'm going around in circles.

I think I've found the X but it's not where I want it to be. I want somebody from up high to move it somewhere else. So I can be happy. I want to be a round peg in a round hole.

Monday, 4 May 2015

W is for Who shot all the birds?

So come on hands Up. Who shot all the birds?

We live on a busy town road and I've been trying to attract birds into our back yard. We have our fair share of countryside around our town but essentially we live in an urban town where the only wildlife tends to wear short skirts, red lipstick and leggings. Our yard is tiny and so any prospective birds are going to have to put up with a makeshift bird table ( an outdoor shelving unit that I rescued from a skip), a bird feeder filled with seeds, some bread crumbs and a bowl of water. But I kid you not, I have not seen one bird anywhere near my 2 star bird cafe! In fact I think there are less birds now than there were to begin with!

Okay it's only been a few days so maybe I will get some eventually. I have read that it can take a few days or weeks to get birds to feed in a garden. But I am guessing that the main road at the front of the house is a stumbling block. So today I am waiting and waiting. I saw a few starlings nibbling on the ground in the back alley a few hours ago but my bird cafe is being ignored. What are they waiting for? Caviar? Worm soup?

But I'll hang in there. I will change the bread crumbs every day and wait for them to bite. Rome wasn't built in a day and I'd be happy with a pigeon. Anything is better than nothing.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

V is for Vanishing Spray

I'm a big fan of football. It started out out in 1981 when me and my Dad had a 50p bet over the F A  Cup Final between Man City and Tottenham. Before that I used to carry my Manchester United bag to school and back but I didn't really understand football at all. But that 1981 cup final changed my whole life. It went to a replay and I lost the best. Tottenham won and I was gutted but I couldn't sleep at all that night. I was too excited. I was kicking footballs around in my head.

But football has moved on a lot since then and I hate Manchester City now but love football more than ever. Even though in many ways the beautiful game is going downhill. I am sick of watching English football teams full of foreign players. Don't get me wrong, some of them are fantastic but I want to see our own young players playing for our top teams. And I'm also sick of seeing footballers rolling around like pansies every time somebody taps them on the shoulder. The game has changed but not always for the better.

And now we have goal line technology and hopefully soon we will have more technology introduced. But the best things are the simplest things. We now have vanishing spray. A new innovation so that referees can mark out the correct distance for the opposite team to stand when a team is given a free kick. It's been a wonderful but simple addition to our game.

But it got me to thinking. What would you do if you had a vanishing spray? What if you could disappear for a while?

I'm sure there would be lots of amazing uses. Would you nip into your local shop for a free loaf of bread or would you help yourself to the contents of the till? It would be incredible. It would probably be the best superpower ever. Invisibility, but just for little while. You could slip through the turnstiles of your favourite football team without being noticed or you could take as many free bus journeys as you wanted to.

I'm sure there are many seedier uses of a human vanishing spray. But where would you go? What would you do with it? Would you use it for the benefit of mankind or would you sneak into the nearest and most convenient women's changing room?

Would you be good or bad with your very own can of vanishing spray?

If I had a can of vanishing spray there are lot's of things I would do. I would watch Manchester United every week (I'd have the best seat in the house) and I'm sure I would help myself to a few free pints of lager and some nobbies nuts when nobody was watching.

I'd definitely be a little naughtier that I am now. Would you?

U is for Useless

Do you feel useless?

I do a lot of the time. I don't have many special talents or skills. I guess writing is the only thing I'm any good at but I don't know if I'll ever be good enough to sell any of my work.

Apart from that I don't know what I'm particularly good at.

I can't dance, I can't sing. My singing is so bad my electric shower needs an autotune attachment. I can dad-dance of course but that's as far as it goes for busting a move. I have always had this fear of dancing in public. I have more chance of busting a blood vessel than busting a dance move. I think it's hereditory. I come from a long line of bar stool foot tappers. If anybody was giving out prizes for that one I may stand a chance.

But I think I have this fear of doing anything in public. Leave me in a room of my own for a year and I will happily do anything but add a few people and I tend to lose all use of my legs and my arms and any other body parts that are needed. In a room of my own I can have a go at anything. But sadly we don't walk around with our own room attachments. If we did I'd be a lot more successful as a human being.

I think that's my real problem. People. There's just too many of you bastards out there.

Anyway back to what I'm not good good at.

DIY. I am particularly useless at anything connected to DIY. I just don't think my brain is wired correctly when it comes to anything that involves a saw or a plug or a plank of wood or a hammer. I am particularly useless as operating a drill. If you ever see me holding a drill, be scared. Be really scared. I think it boils down to the fact that I'm not very Blokey. I've never understood the fascination with blokey things like cars or chainsaws or fart jokes. Maybe I'm a woman in a man's body in many ways. That's a scary thought. I'm not even really a tit man. God help me. If somebody gave me a screwfix catalogue you may as well give me a Vauxhall Astra maintenance handbook written in Latin.

So what am I good at? I'm okay at writing up to a point and I car drive a car without crashing it into the nearest lamp post. And I guess I'm a good listener and I can juggle with four balls. But I guess we are all useless at some things and okay at a few things. Maybe the trick is to stop thinking about the things you can't do.

I'm sure I am good at more things than I give myself credit for. So what are you good at?

Monday, 27 April 2015

T is for Thank You

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to some very special people. Saying thank you is cathartic don't you think?

When me and my wife first started out we lived on a council estate in an area of Wigan called Worsley Mesnes. Now Worsley Mesnes has always had a stigma attached to it like most council estates probably do. But that's not always fair, there are lots of wonderful people who live in council estates, it's just the odd few morons that give them a bad name. But I'd like to give a big shout out to some of the people that helped me when I lived there.

I met so many helpful people. I always remember the amazing scrap metal guys that lived in that area and how helpful they could be at all hours of the day and night. They would do anything for you. They don't limit themselves to removing old refrigerators and washing machines they even took our family car a couple of times. And both of those times were in the middle of the night. That's pretty dedicated. I mean I didn't even ask them they just came and took it away for me. The second time it happened they even left it in a field for me and redesigned the wing mirrors and took all the CD's that were always getting in the way. So a big thanks to them.

There were also a lot of artists in Worsley Mesnes. Often they would come along and write urban poetry on our walls and a few times they added special features to our windows for free.  I especially liked their cracked cobweb design that they did for our kitchen window. All for nothing as well. I can't thank them enough really. Where we live now we get none of that. My car sits on the side of the road and no bastard will take it for a night-time spin and not once has anybody even bothered to dent the body work for me. Lazy bastards around here.

Finally I'd like to thank all the guys at school that used to give me cool nicknames. I particularly loved being called Gay Lord and Snap and Puff. I was so lucky to have been given such cool names when most of the kids were just known by their surnames. They made me feel special. I also remember all the times they used to help me to look mean and moody. Looking mean and moody was important in that school, so a few bruises and plenty of black eyes really helped and it set me in good stead. So thanks.

Thanks a fucking bunch.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

S is for Smell

Noah is dead.

I want to fold myself up like a napkin until I can deal with this.

The dove is selfish and hasn't come back. She has thrown all the words into the sea and they have drifted to the bottom. Unlike me they don't have to hold their breath but are now useless and soggy and all the letters have been merged into a squiggle. It's just me and the animals now and I haven't got a clue how to steer this thing. I don't know how it happened. Maybe I left the book closed for too long and he died of starvation or some tropical dream disease. The animals are fine but they know what has happened and are in mourning. They haven't folded themselves up like me. But they didn't love Noah like I did. He was my life.

I think this boat is going to sink. I remember learning about a boat called the Titanic that sunk killing many people. I cannot remember how I learned it. It could have been in helmet or in the watching zone. We learn about lots of things without knowing we are learning them. It's how things work. But I know lots of people died and there weren't enough life boats. I think I am going to need a life boat for me and all the animals. We'll have tom leave Noah behind or I may have to throw him overboard because I can't leave him on board. He will start to smell and I don't want to remember him as a bad smell. maybe when I wake up he will disappear from this book, this dream, whatever it is.

Part of my WIP written for the A to Z challenge

R is for Remembrance

I know now what the crackle gave me. The gift of remembrance. I remember yesterday. Exposure day. And nobody else does.

We talked and we walked and we shared our gifts. I told them about the reapers and Bag told us that she could see everything ten seconds before it happens. I wonder if she saw it coming. Her exit. her disappearance. Being chosen.

Everything was back to normal. Everything except Bag. She was gone and Rosh didn't even know who she was. I don't think anybody knows who she is. She's been erased. All memory of exposure day has been erased. I am beginning to think that there have been other exposure days before the one yesterday and I have forgotten them.

I lay in the big tub and disappeared under the water. It's a circular tub in a circular room. We wash and we spend all day washing. I don't know why they think we have to spend all day in the tub. We wash and we go all wrinkly. The reapers don't like the water. They sit behind us so that they don't get wet. It's the first time I have seen them totally removed and I wonder if they remember yesterday at all or if they even care. They don't seem to care about anything. They are just waiting to perform their duty. I wonder if they know when it will happen and that scares me. The fact that my (unseen) reaper could know exactly when I will die, the day, the hour, the very second of my demise. It's a terrifying thought. And it makes me realise that we all have a death day as well as birthday, we just don't know when it is. Today could be my death day and we I don't know it. Every year my death day comes and goes without my knowledge and so does all of our death days.

I stayed under the water for thirty minutes and nobody even noticed my amazing gift. I could have drowned and they wouldn't have noticed. I lay under the water and thought about Noah and the boat and all the animals living underneath. And how they are exactly like the pages of a book. And just like a book they disappear when you close it or turn the corner of the page. Everybody in the book freezes and waits until you start to read it again. This makes me sad because Noah and all the animals are frozen. They are trapped in my book and I have to go to sleep again to get them moving. They are basically dead.

And I think about Ink and how she is probably walking the colourdors right now instead of being here with all of us. I wonder if she is lost like we were yesterday and I wonder if she even knows about the door. The door that we went through. The door that me and Bag went through but I came back through alone. At least that's how I think it happened.

Part of my WIP written for the A to Z Challenge