Filed under: Short stories | Tags: crime, fiction, free, long reads, music, short story, writing
Once upon a time there was a girl without fingerprints who made her money through petty crime. She’d steal cash and jewellery whenever she got the opportunity. She would break into houses without having to worry about leaving her prints all over the place. As long as she was careful she could turn over a house without leaving any trace of her being there at all.
The girl spent her plunder on a big flashy car, a wide screen television and all the most modern and sought after gadgets. She decorated her neck, wrists and printless fingers with some of the jewellery she stole, and that which she didn’t want to wear she sold on for more cash. To any outsider she looked like a successful businesswoman with an impressive salary, and I guess that’s exactly what she was, but she never had to wear a suit or carry a briefcase.
But one day the girl realised that enough was enough, when she was caught in the act by a little old lady and was forced to whack her over the back of the head with a saucepan. The girl had never wanted to hurt anybody, she only wanted their stuff, but there was always a risk that she’d have to get a little bit violent. Her smooth fingertips could only do so much for her; if someone saw her stealing and recognised her face them game was up.
The girl know she couldn’t go on stealing from people and causing them so much hurt. The problem was that she was hooked; she loved the thrill and dizzying rush that came with each theft, and knowing that she could so easily get away with it without leaving prints on anything made it even harder for her to stop. So she decided to do one last crime to stop the whole thing; something truly unique.
The perfect opportunity arose when a nice lady knocked on the girl’s door asking if she would like to change to a new energy company. The girl faked interest, invited the nice lady into her home, put the kettle on and made her a lovely hot cup of tea with a little dash of something special that would put her to sleep.
When the nice lady was slumped over the table in the land of nod, the girl began to examine her hands. She had silky smooth skin, perfectly shaped nails and long, delicate fingers covered in perfect prints.
With a sharp knife the girl deftly sliced a thin layer from the tip of each of the nice lady’s fingers. She then placed each graft onto the tip of her own fingers and covered each one in gauze to keep them in place as they fused to her own flesh. She then bandaged up the nice lady, brought her round with some smelling salts, and crafted an elaborately convincing story to explain their injuries which involved a wobbly teapot and boiling hot water. Confused but content, the nice lady went on her way with her bandaged up hands to try to knock on some more doors.
The girl thought she had got away with it. For the first time in her life she had fingertips and she knew she would never ever again want to commit another crime.
A few weeks later the girl awoke to policemen banging on her front door. They wanted to ask her some questions about a thief in the area that they were desperate to catch. They spied her big flash car outside the house and noticed her huge television and copious gold jewellery that adorned her neck. They began to get suspicious. They invited her down to the police station so that they could take her fingerprints.
The girl was puzzled, but didn’t feel worried, since her brand new fingertips hadn’t been anywhere near the awful crimes she had commit in the past.
Here’s the twist. It turns out the nice lady trying to get people to change their energy company was nabbing everything she could get her hands on when people invited her into their homes. In fact she was planning on taking whatever she could from the girl before the tea knocked her out. When she came round she knew immediately that her fingerprints were gone, since there isn’t a feeling quite like losing your fingerprints. But she acted innocent because she knew that all her previous crimes couldn’t be linked back to her.
The girl without fingerprints and now with fingerprints slowly began to realise this as the police officers began to question her about the energy company charade. As much as she tried to explain the whole saga, they just didn’t believe such a ludicrous tale. As far as they were concerned her prints were all over the houses of her victims, and she was bound for jail.
Often at night when an unbearable silence hovered through the prison the girl looked up at the ceiling of her cell and thought about how she was doing time for crimes she didn’t do. And then she thought about the crimes she did do and thought maybe she deserved to be there anyway. And all the while she picked and nibbled and gnawed at her fingertips in a bid to smooth them down, so that when she got out she could hunt down the bitch that fleeced her and slit her throat without leaving any prints on the knife.
Filed under: Music, Short stories, Uncategorized | Tags: 365thingstowriteabout, bonsai tree, death, fiction, life, long reads, nature, religion, short story, tom waits, writing
The little man who lived in the Bonsai tree had prayed for rain for days and days, but his land remained dry as a bone. He could see the leaves of the tree turning brown and crisp, and he knew it wouldn’t be long before they began tumbling to the ground and the only thing left would be the gnarly trunk and branches, bare and sad and dead.
The little man prayed out loud, so desperate was he for the powers above to listen to his pleas. On many occasions he was sure he had seen big faces with wide eyes stare down on him, and he’d throw his hands up to the sky and call out, ‘Make it rain!’ He was sure that whoever it was up there could hear him, but for some reason they were simply ignoring him and watching calmly as his tree began to shrivel and the dirt beneath him dried to sand.
As the drought went on the little man became weaker and weaker with nothing to drink and nothing growing from the parched ground that he could eat. For a while he thought the powers above him were simply testing him, making him strong and determined to survive despite anything. But when the pains in his stomach got so severe that they were crippling him, and his throat so dry that it hurt with each breath, he started to lose his faith in the man above.
He had lived a good, honest life. He had said his prayers each day. He had respected the hand above when it plucked at his tree’s leaves and poked at the soil beneath him. He had opened his arms and home and shared his food with passing insects, despite the differences between he and them. He was grateful that whoever it was up there had grown this tree for him to live in, and for that reason he did his best to be faithful, kind and true to everyone and everything that passed him by.
So why had his creator forsaken him now and left him without rain which was certain to bring him to his knees and kill him?
The little man died at the foot of the tree, laid out flat on the ground staring up through the thirsty branches of the Bonsai tree and into the great expanse of sky. His eyes slowly glazed over, his heart slowed, his chest rose up and down with a shake and crackle, until eventually his body simply ceased and he was no more.
As it happened, rain came just a few hours too late. As the water fell down upon her the Bonsai tree soon drank her fill and immediately began to feel better and brighten, and she went on living, growing more leaves, getting stronger and surer with each day. But she mourned the little man that used to live so contentedly within her. The tree gave up all faith in the powers above, and realised that there wasn’t really anything controlling their existence. A God wouldn’t have taken a life so cruelly from her friend, and if He had then He was not worth praying to.
The Bonsai tree knows that there is just life and death, and that is all, and the little man which rots beneath her boughs is proof of that.
Topic inspired by 365 Things To Write About
Filed under: Music, Short stories | Tags: 365thingstowriteabout, boats, fear, fiction, long reads, music, short story, the doors, water, writing
People told me my fear of boats was an irrational one. I said one word and one word only to these people; Ti-Fucking-Tanic.
The very premise of boats is, to me, ridiculous. They are made of metal. And they’re supposed to float. I’ll admit I’m not big on physics, but common sense tells me that metal is heavy and dense and sinks to the bottom of water. And no matter how much any scientist tries to explain to me that the construction of a boat allows it to glide gracefully on top of the water rather than get swallowed up by it, I believe that boats are deadly, unnecessary forms of transportation.
But despite all this I one day found myself on a boat. A cruise ship, no less. This boat weighed 100,000 tons, and it bobbed up and down on the water like a rubber duck. It’s the kind of thing I’d avoid like the plague. But somehow, something (probably vodka) managed to get me on it.
I stood out on deck and observed the vast blueness of the ocean around me. It was obscenely fucking blue. It was taunting me, telling me that everything was nice and tropical and that there was nothing to be afraid of, when I knew full well that I was on a boat in the middle of deep water with no chance of survival.
But what was worse were my fellow cruisers. Wrinkled old hags with lilac rinse perms and leather satchel skins. They laughed when I explained my fear. They laughed in my face. If I had a fear of flying and was on a plane people would be comforting me, soothing my worried brow with gin and tonic and peanuts and sucky sweets to stop my ears popping. But here on this big ass ship all I got were mocking cackles and old lady contempt.
So I locked myself in my cabin and I swore I would stay there until we hit land. I closed my eyes and dreamt of golden sands and luscious grass, of nice smooth tarmac that stayed steady beneath my feet. I applauded the sheer kindness of solid ground for always being where it was supposed to be, always there for me, ready to catch me when I fell. Not like that cruel, wet ocean that would swallow me up as soon as it got close.
But my contemplations of land versus water were suddenly disturbed by a terrifying alarm. I knew that alarm. I recognised it from the safety drill we had had that morning. That alarm meant that death by drowning was imminent. The ship was sinking.
I threw myself out of the cabin door and began to push my way past all the old leather satchel ladies. They had lived for plenty of years already, the world could manage if they died. I had so much more to give, I needed to be saved.
As I reached the deck I realised that one half of the ship was already much lower in the water than the other. We were definitely going down. The crew were trying to put people into the lifeboats but they were taking their sweet ass time about it. They didn’t seem to realise the imminent danger that we were all in. So I took charge.
‘I am the captain’s daughter, let me through, let me the fuck through. Daddy has told me that I have to get in a lifeboat immediately. You must obey him or he’ll throw you overboard.’
The old ladies began to bitch and moan, but move they did, and I managed to get to the edge of the ship and look down at the little yellow lifeboat bobbing cheerily in the sea.
Being on a ship was bad enough, but at least the cruise liner gave the illusion of being a small floating town. There was no way on earth, or on sea, that I would jump in that flimsy banana skin and try to row to safety.
So I stepped backwards, told the old dears that I was just testing them and that I would go down with my father’s ship, and told them to hop on board the banana boats. And then I casually wandered back down to my cabin, locked myself in, removed my lifejacket and waited for the water to rise.
So I guess my fear of boats killed me in the end. Too afraid was I of getting in a little boat that might tip me into the sea, I stayed on a big boat and slowly drowned to death. Call me crazy if you want, but if you do I’ll rise up from the dank ocean floor and haunt the shit out of you.
Filed under: Music, Short stories | Tags: 365thingstowriteabout, blueberries, blueberry, fiction, food, life, long reads, lyrics, postaday, short story, The Raconteurs, writing
The pink blueberry was hanging alone at the end of her branch whilst all her blue peers clustered together and giggled and sniggered. She was the butt of their jokes once again, simply because she was a different colour.
‘Hey pinky, what’s up with your pigments? Where’s your anthocyanin?’
‘It got washed away cos she’s been anthoCRYanin!’
The little pink berry ignored their shouts and taunts, but she was burning with shame. She knew she was the wrong colour, she knew her pink flesh made her useless. Who would want a pink blueberry? The whole appeal of a blueberry is that it is blue. If people wanted a pink berry they’d go for a cranberry or raspberry, something sweet and fancy, not a pathetic, not-blue blueberry.
She hung from the branch and contemplated her existence. Maybe she could simply wriggle free and throw herself to the ground, an honourable suicide so that the blueberry pickers wouldn’t have to stare at her pathetic pink skin, and she would no longer have to listen to the cruel words of her stunning blue acquaintances.
‘They’re coming!’ yelled a berry from the top of the bush. ‘The pickers are coming!’
The pink berry panicked. She thought of the humiliation she would have to endure as she was picked, mocked and tossed aside by the berry pickers. She began to turn herself from side to side, twisting her little stalk until it became weak, and with a little crack she was released from the bush and she tumbled down and down and down onto the grass on the floor.
She bounced. She should have known! Berries don’t squish on grass, they bounce and roll, and are forced to die a slow and agonising death on the ground. At least she was away from the bullies and name-callers, and at least she wouldn’t be noticed by the pickers.
She saw a great big boot come down with a thud beside her. Too close for comfort. She’d suddenly gone all scared; she didn’t want to die, she wanted life! And now she was at risk of being messily squashed by a picker’s sole.
But the picker saw the pink berry beside his foot. Her bright rosy colour stood out from the green grass and caught his eye, and with delicate fingers he picked her up.
‘Ey, look at this, got a pink one!’ the picker called to his colleague.
‘Just throw it into the basket, they all taste the same.’
So with one last glance the picker tossed the pink berry into his basket, and she bounced and rolled amongst hundreds of other berries, all of them blue. They saw her pink skin but they said not a word; they knew they were all for the same fate.
The little pink blueberry was boiled up with sugar and baked into a pie, along with all the normal blue blueberries. Her flesh was just as sweet and juicy, and mushed up inside that sweet pastry casing she looked no different to anyberry else.
Her colour didn’t matter; in death they were all equals. If only in life it had been the same.
Inspired by 365 Things To Write About
Filed under: Music, Short stories, Uncategorized | Tags: 365thingstowriteabout, art, doobie brothers, fiction, limerick, limericks, paint, poem, poetry, postaday, short story, snow, wizard, writing
There was an old man in a blizzard
Who believed that he was a white wizard.
He went to a shrink
Who had a quick think
And said “Don’t be so daft, you’re a lizard.”
So I’ve decided to venture away from short stories and towards bad limericks and embarrassing Microsoft Paint portraits, because I am so horrific at both that it could end up being entertaining.
What do you think? I reckon I’ve got the wild staring eyes thing down to a tee…
Inspired by 365 Things to Write About.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: art, beauty, life, long reads, media, men, models, news, newspaper, nudity, opinion, page 3, page 3 models, press, sex, stereotypes, the sun, women
So I’m taking this opportunity to make the most of my limited blog-voice and have a rant about something.
Recently I’ve seen a link popping up on my FaceyB newsfeed which is a petition asking for The Sun to end their Page 3 tradition of printing sexy laydeez with their breasts out. The argument goes that by presenting half naked women in their newspaper every day reinforces the objectification of women. Apparently, according to some angry petition signers, The Sun’s Page 3 is responsible for sexual harassment and rape on the streets of Great Britain, because it lets men think that women are nothing more than sexual objects that they can use and abuse at their will.
Right… I’m hopefully not the only person to think this way, but if a woman has got a banging body, tonnes of self-confidence and oodles of sex appeal, and she can pose for some nudey pictures and make a living out of it, then good on her. That’s empowering. That woman is in control of her body and is consenting to the pictures being taken. What’s wrong with that, if she’s comfortable and happy with what’s happening?
And do men really think that women are simply a pair of tits because The Sun features them? Yes, perhaps there is a minority of men who look on women as nothing more than a shag and a sandwich, but that’s a minority. Most men have enough common sense to know that women have brains and personalities. There’s also a minority of women who see men as nothing more than a penis and handyman, but again the majority of women have the common sense to realise that this isn’t true either.
And what about lesbians? It seems that this desire to ban Page 3 is focussed towards despicable, perverted men who want to fap over a nice pair of chebs. Don’t some gay women also appreciate an attractive lady’s body? If so are they just as despicable as the men, or are they off the case because they’re women?
I guess what I’m getting at is that this petition is stereotyping; it insinuates that the Page 3 models are not in control of their bodies and it suggests that dirty old men are the only ones to appreciate these models. I’m a straight female and I’ll admit I can enjoy and admire a Page 3 model, firstly for having a fit body that she obviously works hard to keep that way, and secondly for having the confidence to stand in front of a camera to show that body to the world.
And what about the objectification of men? Another delight to pop up on my newsfeed recently is ‘The Lady Wank Bank’. It features pictures of topless men with their muscles rippling and their nipples pointing suggestively at the camera. Photos of good looking men in just their pants are often featured in adverts, newspapers and magazines. Are the women who have a little stare and a drool at these fine figures just as despicable as the men who stare and drool at the Page 3 girls? Does this reinforce the stereotype that a man is just a penis and a handyman?
If the style of these Page 3 shoots were to change, if the women were lounging in long grass beneath a sunset with a wide rimmed straw hat placed jauntily on their heads, and there was a black and white filter and fancy lighting, would it be okay then? Because it seems that nude shots with a little more pretentiousness thrown in is considered art; it no longer objectifies women but it empowers them by demonstrating the beauty and sheer sexiness of the female form. But at the end of the day it’s the same thing; a naked woman.
I think what I’ve presented to you is a number of questions, without really coming up with an answer. We’ve also got to think about the fact that the Sun is advertised as a family newspaper, and it’s debatable whether or not skimpily clad women are acceptable viewing for all members of the family. But then again there are plenty of places kids can see boobs either by accident or on purpose, the most obvious place being the internet. And why should it be a bad thing if they do? Boobs are natural, beautiful things that can be admired by straight, gay and bisexual men and women everywhere. And so are men’s chiselled pecs and abs.
So I pose this to you, internet. Instead of getting rid of Page 3, why not encourage more male Page 3 models? That way there’s equal exposure to sexy men and sexy women, and there can be no argument about whether it objectifies anyone, and everyone can appreciate the human body in general in its finest form. Say, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are lady days, and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are gentleman days. And Sunday can be a day for pictures of animals in ridiculous, hilarious costumes for everyone’s entertainment. Unless that reinforces the stereotype that animals are sexual objects, of course…
Thankyou and goodnight, come at me with your thoughts, yo.