Tie

desert story picture

The sun hung high in the azure sky, dominating the arid landscape beneath.  I crept forward, my hands raw and bleeding, my mouth as dry as the dust beneath me.  Nearby, a lizard sat under a scrubby bush, eyeing me curiously.  I briefly considered trying to catch it, but then carried on crawling towards the distant shimmering horizon.

"Tie, sir?"

The voice cut through my exhausted mind.  I looked up, squinting.  A little man smiled down at me.  He was smartly dressed and carried an incongruous parasol in his left hand.  In his other hand, he offered me a silk tie.

"Water," I gasped.

The little man frowned.  "Sorry, sir.  I only have ties.  Would you like one?"

"Water!" I repeated.

He shrugged and went on his way, whistling.

I collapsed, weeping, into the dirt.  I had clearly lost my mind.

"Tie, sir?"

The voice was different than before: a tall, swarthy man, robed in white.  He too offered me a tie.

"No!" I cried.  "I don't want a bloody tie! I need water!"

"No water. Only tie," replied the man, and left.

It was then that I saw it: in the distance, ahead of me, palm trees surrounding a lavish, domed building.  Convinced that it was a mirage, I crawled on,  trying to ignore it, but the image persisted, becoming ever clearer.  Soon out could make out details of the building, and hear shouts and laughter, and then even the splashing of water.

I crawled on frantically, ignoring the terrible burning of may hands, until finally, I reached the entrance of what looked like a hotel. I began to ascend the cool, marble steps, but was confronted by a porter.

"Can I help you, sir?"

"Water! I need water. Please."

"I'm sorry sir, " replied the porter, "but you cannot enter the hotel without a tie."

I Lost My Heart In A Nightclub

girl in a nightclub picture

I lost my heart in a nightclub, but she had no name, no number; just a smile, across a crowded room.  It was probably not even intended for me, but I grasped it and made it mine.  How my heart glowed, to be noticed, to be admired, to be loved, to have that smile.

I lost my heart in a nightclub, but she has no name, no number; just a smile.

Plot Nets


Once upon at time, long ago, in a far away, and frankly, quite enchanted land, lived a little girl. Her name was Little Red Riding Hood, for no reason other than that she wore the cutest little red riding hood you ever saw. Her grandmother, whom she loved dearly, and who clearly did the same in return, had made it for her out of the softest lamb's wool.

One day, her mother suggested that since it was a lovely bright day, LRRH (that's Little Red Riding Hood) visit her GM (grandmother), who lived just a mile away in a clearing in the woods....

You choose the next part, whether to read, or to contribute your own.  Lot's of fun. At least, I think so.

Who Am I?

Worn old man picture

I awake.

Who am I?

What room is this?  Whose bed?

Light shines through the soft-curtained window.  Clouds hang lazily in a blue sky.

I hear birds singing.

I get up, groaning.

I am an old man.

A mirror.  I approach.

A man in the glass looks back at me: unshaven, heavy lines, wispy tousled grey hair, age spots, sallow eyes.

This is me?

I want to say hello, to hear the sound of my voice, but I don't.  I turn to the door.

A hallway.  Stairs.  Photos of children on the wall.  I stare a moment at their happy faces.

The front door.  A kitchen.

I am hungry.

A grey fridge stands in the corner, a note stuck to it.  Large letters.

"John," it begins.

Am I John?

"You have lost your memory.  It happens every night.  Don't worry.  I'll be home soon.  There is food in the fridge.

Love, Jenny."

Jenny.

Who is Jenny? Is she my wife?

I open the fridge.  A small tupperware bowl contains a salad.  I find a fork in the drying rack.  I eat the salad standing up.

The kitchen is tidy.  I like that.

I wash the bowl and fork and leave them to dry.

Should I wait?

I walk through the house, a stranger's house. I feel like an intruder.

I hear a car drive by.  I look through the window to see a pretty, treelined avenue.

I need to leave the house.

I do.

Walking.

Wind in the trees, whispering, but not to me.

Houses neatly line the road.  Flowers. Lawn.  White fences.

In the distance, a child shouts.

Walking.

An old woman approaches, pulling a trolley behind her.  She looks at me, curiously.

I look at her.  She has a kind, smiling face. Tired eyes.

"John," she says, and takes my hand.

I think she is my wife.

Rome

rome piazza

We decided to go to Rome, the missus and I.  Well actually, she decided, as usual.  I tried my standard objections: the cost, the stress of travel, the bloody foreigners, but she wasn’t having any of it; she was bent on saving our marriage.  I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it.  In fact it was nice and quiet since the last of the kids moved out, and even better when the bloody Jack Russell was run over by the old biddy next door. Flat as a pancake I tell you – that did make me chuckle.  No, apparently we needed saving, time to talk about things.

God help me.

Rose

Woman dancing in a field picture

“Rooooose!”

His voice was rough with overuse – he had been shouting for hours. Usually she just wandered off to the bottom of the garden, or sometimes climbed over the fence into the pasture beyond to chase after sheep, but this time there was no sign of her and he was frantic with worry.

Then he saw her, walking along the pavement towards their house, naked except for a little cap she had made out of newspaper. He grabbed a coat and ran towards her.

“Rose, where have you been this time?” he shouted angrily as he grabbed her and wrapped the coat around her. Her trim little body was blue with the cold and she was bleeding from a gash in her knee. “What happened?”

She looked up at her husband with confused eyes. “I was looking for you. But I couldn't find you. A nice man offered to help me look for you. But he wasn't so nice. I ran away.”

“But Rose,” he replied, “I was here. I am always here.”

He held her tightly and together they stood on the derelict porch while the sun settled for a well-deserved rest.

Pride Of My Heart

Beautiful little girl picture

This was the place: derelict building, the guy had said, at the end of the alley, last door on the left. Mind you, he had been very drunk and took a full unsteady minute to examine the photo I showed him before answering, “That’s Lola for sure, not that you’d recognise her; you her father or summat?” I nodded and gave him all my available cash before moving on. This was the end of my search, many months of wandering the streets at night, peddling the picture of my little girl, trying to avoid trouble.

I pushed the door open and climbed the stairs, covering my mouth because of the putrid stench of urine-washed vomit, finally arriving at what was her room. I hesitated before pushing the door open, dreading what I might find.

She lay there, my angel; pride of my heart; cold and immobile; gone.