So, April’s over. And if April’s over, so is the 2016 A-Z Blogging Challenge. And I’m both glad and sad.
Glad in one way, as it means that I can concentrate on getting my second novel beaten into shape and out to the kind people who’ve agreed to read and comment on it for me.
And sad too, as I already miss reading other bloggers’ posts and their comments on mine.
It was the second year I’d done the Challenge, and I scheduled a lot more posts in advance than I did in 2015. I’d certainly do that again, as it gave me more time to concentrate on the social side of the Challenge.
I loved the variety of blogs that I came across, often by pure chance. I was educated and entertained, amazed and enthralled. Thank you to everyone who visited, commented and just generally supported me, and everyone else who took part.
Would I do it again? Oh, yes. Sign me up now 🙂
“Zebras?” I raised my eyebrows.
She sniggered. “Yes. Haven’t you heard that saying?”
I shook my head.
“Dr Theodore Woodward. When you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well, in this context, the most common explanation is likely to be the right one.”
“So that wailing probably isn’t a ghost?” I was disappointed, in a way.
“No, Chris, I think you’ll find it’s the boiler on the blink again.”
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow will never come. All we have is today. The present. Or as they would say, a gift. If I had yesterday to do over, I’d behave differently. Be kinder, less judgemental. Wouldn’t wear a black cap, that’s for sure.
I look up as the cell door is unlocked, put my diary down on the cold, bare floor. The jailer stands before me, twisting his hands nervously. I glance past him towards the noose swinging gently in the breeze.
He sounds apologetic. “Sorry, Judge. It’s time.”
X. A simple denotation for a complicated concept. Two crossed lines in a box on a piece of paper. Stay in? Or come out?
“Come on, Steve, just put a cross in the box. This is only a mortgage we’re applying for. You’re not voting on Brexit.” He hugs me to take the sting out of his words, kisses the ring on my wedding finger.
“Sorry, Mike. But my parents still don’t know.”
Watch. And wait.
That was the suggestion. No aggressive treatment to cut, poison or burn.
Just watching and waiting.
And now it’s too late. A cancer spreading everywhere.
“I told you so, Captain. We should have eliminated the dominant life form on this planet when it crawled out of the sea.”
Sphinx. Mysterious. Unknowable even.
You stretch out your legs, your feet tipped with claws.
I throw the ball. But not too far these days. “Good dog, Sphinx, fetch now.”
Lipstick on your collar. That’s what I saw.
You said it was grease from the engine. Left there when one of the pistons went, on the way to Rotherham. That’s why you had to stay away the night.
Think I’m daft? I recognise lipstick when I see it.
But you can’t see it any more. Lying on the floor, your sightless eyes beseeching me to believe that you weren’t having an affair. Weren’t yet another man cheating on his post-natal wife.
I put the knife in the sink with the breakfast washing up.
We need bread and loo roll today. I come back and rummage in your pockets, looking for the car keys.
Frown when I pull out a show ticket. “The Rocky Horror Show?”
I want to go home. I’ve been here three weeks already. Twenty one solar days. 30,240 minutes. My work must be finished, surely.
I’m tired of being different, alien. I yearn to make that call, bring my ride back. Soon.
A youngling is close by. He pulls off the leaves covering me, hiding me. I understand his speech, as I’ve understood the older ones I have observed. He pokes at me. “Hello. My name is Elliott.”
I sigh. Right, that’s it. I’m bloody phoning home.
Heartbeat. Intestinal gurgling. Gasping.
Amazing really, what noises the human body makes.
Heartbeat. Intestinal gurgling. No gasping. That stopped. And now so has the heartbeat. I take the pillow off her face.
That’ll teach her to snore.
“Fairy tales. That’s what they call them. Untruths told to or by children, often to show a moral principle.”
She snorted, disbelieving. “How can they think we don’t exist?”
I shrug, rustling my wings, a massive 6 inches across when extended. “Beats me.”
She sniffed, poked the sleeping human child with her wand. “I think I’ll give it colic.”