Poetry

Elemental Hunter (inspired by The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore)

With clouds of dust about my feet

I gaze at you, my prize so neat.

I reach up and take your chin,

my nails pierce your dimpled skin.

The roaring of blood in my ears

enables me to look past your tears.

You turn your mouth from my lips

ignoring the wind that starts to whip.

Come now, darling, don’t you see?

You were the one who came looking for me.

I am a Hunter and you are my prey,

next time, stay out of the forest’s way.

 

Poetry

H.U.Gs

We sell heaters for 99p. They’ll not oil filled, or gas fueled; not even blower heaters. They’re fleshy and warm: heart utilization generators. H.U.Gs for short. Most people walk straight past them, not trusting them to be efficient enough for their needs. So they sit there on the shelf, year in, year out, gathering dust. I thought I’d tidy them up today, display them a bit better. I sold two in twenty minutes. The buyers were the happiest customers I’ve ever seen.

Poetry

Toast

The butter didn’t just melt on my toast this morning.

It oozed itself lovingly into the pockets of air

to become one with it. The bread was very fluffy.

 

The other day, the toast burnt. The butter simply sat

in a puddle on its blackened surface.

I swirled it with my finger; it looked like a golden elixir

gone wrong. I used it to write my name on the table.

 

She didn’t like that. I had to wipe it up immediately

using a kitchen towel. The yellow liquid stained the fabric.

My name had tarnished something of hers.

 

I make my own toast now.

Poetry

Return to sender

I don’t want to stand out here in the dark

waiting for a train that may never come.

All the others have been collected,

but no-one wanted me.

They looked at my identity, flicking the tag

away in disgust. Waving me off.

 

It’s quiet now that the crowd has gone.

And cold. I wonder if my parents ever considered

that no-one would take me in.

I was sent away. Now I’m being sent back,

returned to sender. I am useless

like the unused gas mask around my neck.

 

Poetry

Battle of Monsters

You’ve seen them before,

noses pressed up against you,

moist breath on your skin.

One side is right. So is the other.

They ask you to be the judge as they battle it out.

Please stop, you ask.

Your voice doesn’t work.

The lawyers do. Settling the disputes.

Settling the money.

Now, young one:

who would you most like to live with?

Extracts/ Flash Fiction

Merry Weather

At first, I didn’t see her. She was caught between two bushes, tangled up in cobwebs, spindly branches and the lacy trim of her silvery blue cape. I did hear her, though. Cursing so much that I thought a group of drunken sailors had strolled around the corner from the pub in town.

But no. All the swearing was emanating from a tiny fairy, red in the face from her efforts to untangle herself.

If it wasn’t for the fact that she saw me and gave such a scowl that my legs automatically wanted to run for the hills, I might have laughed. Instead, I mumbled an offer of assistance while pulling my most solemn expression, and stepped forwards to help. My fingers slipped in my attempt to de-cobweb her and I ended up jabbing her in the head. She bit me for that. Straight through the skin, so that a bead of blood rose from the puncture wound and stained her clothes. I winced, but her long frenzy of expletives detailing every inch of my incompetence drowned it out. Then she wept, equally as loud, about the state of her clothes and how they were positively ruined.

I think it was supposed to make me feel sorry for her, but in actuality it made her terrifying hold on me weaken enough to simply pinch her roughly out of the tangled mess, tearing her cloak completely. She wailed even more. I pointed out, bluntly, that she was free and if she hadn’t have been wearing the ridiculous thing, she probably wouldn’t have ended up in that state in the first place. In answer, she took a small stick from the top of one boot and jabbed it at my nose. Hot sparks shot out the end, singeing my nostril hairs. I let her go in disgust and watched her zoom away, emitting the wettest raspberry I’d ever heard. At least, I hope it was a raspberry…

Poetry

Aunt Maria: A reflection

We mustn’t walk out that door. Not yet, see.

They might still be there. Or even worse, we might.

Keep out of sight. Timing is everything.

Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten the rules already.

Tap tap. Hear that noise? It’s her again.

Let’s ignore her. See how she likes it.

Drowned out, background noise.

Like a buzz. A Queen Bee, I should say.

We’re not trapped in her hive anymore.

We can’t be managed.

I feel smug that she knows.