beyond the stream micro fiction spooner

Inktober – Days 26 to 31

We made it! One ink drawing by Laura Morgans, one piece of writing by Tom Spooner, every day in October – part five.

Bangers

The air was muggy with anticipation that Saturday afternoon. There were loud whispers about how these bangers were illegal, smuggled into the country by criminals; how they had travelled entire continents in the hidden compartments of enormous lorries, evading authorities at each and every border along the way.

The bangers were two inches long and red with a thread of fuse protruding at varying lengths from the top.

We were going to explode an apple. We had made a hole and pushed the largest banger down inside it.

It was unspoken, but we all knew how it would play out. The older of the two brothers would light the banger and the younger, wilder one would run with it down Dog Shit Alley until he reached a suitable spot.

The lighter wheel span and the flame ignited first time. The eldest brother moved it towards the apple in a slow deliberate arc. The fuse hissed and spat into life and the younger brother started to run.

In the moments before the explosion, the world appeared to sharpen in focus. The sun caught the stained glass of the Caribbean church; a dog barked in the near-distance; a bird trilled from within a garden shrub. Everyone held their breath.

His gusto ran out after around two metres, at the point where the two alleyways intersected, and the apple was dropped onto the tarmac.

After a brief moment when time seemed to lumber in sticky suspension, the firecracker exploded. The apple was sent in a thousand and one different directions. It was magnificent, triumphant and very naughty indeed.

The pulp of the apple dripped down the red brick garden walls towards stinging nettles and weeds. To us it was a slow, chest-puffed march of victory. That afternoon, the winners wrote history.

the alley and banger laura morgans

 

Prince of Wails

It had the feel of a bad day from the first breath; the look of one too as he pulled the curtains and peered down on the litter flailing around the garden under grey skies.

He couldn’t be bothered with breakfast and decided to head down to the river instead. Remembering the colour of the sky, he put on his tweed jacket and picked up a woolly hat from the floor. He braced himself.

 

“I went walking down by the river

Feeling very sad inside

When all at once I saw in the sky

The little white cloud that cried”

 

The bench was covered in algae and the wood was rotten in several places but he sat on it all the same. He removed his hat and looked up at the heavens. The rain fell slowly down and he wiped his face with his hand, feeling the slickness of his features and the roughness of his stubble.

 

“He told me he was very lonesome

And no one cared if he lived or died

And said sometimes the thunder and lightning

Make all little clouds hide”

 

He heard a low rumble somewhere in the distance. A lorry on the overpass or a storm over the town, he could not tell. The old timber yard lay abandoned across the river, razor wire surrounding the two decaying buildings. It used to be full of noise and chatter, splinters of raw laughter piercing the sense of complete activity. Nothing now but crumbling bricks and dull echoes.

 

“He said ‘Have faith in all kinds of weather

For the sun will always shine

Do your best and always remember

The dark clouds pass with time’”

 

Just then, impossibly, the sun appeared and glinted off the razor wire like gold flakes on a black cloth. Something moved near his feet – a river rat, he thought with a shudder. But then a robin hopped out from beneath him and up onto the arm of the bench. He felt in his pocket for some crumbs to feed it.

 

He asked if I’d tell all my world

Just how hard those little clouds try

That’s how I know I’ll always remember

The little white cloud that sat right down and cried 

 

The walk home was brisk, his limbs easing with each step, his shoulders relaxing. The skies were clearing and a tune had entered his head. It was an old Johnnie Ray number. He started to hum the opening bars. When he got home, he was going to dig out that 78”, wind up the gramophone and sing it loud.

(The little white cloud that cried)

gramaphone johnnie ray little white cloud that cried

Scuff

The man descended and ascended the same two sets of external steel stairs every day. There were 72 steps.

Over time, from the man and others ascending and descending the stairs, the paint in the middle portion of each step had worn away, exposing the shining steel below. Either side of this centre section, however, the paint remained intact.

The man did not like this – how the footsteps had worn away the paint in some places but not others. For a reason he could not explain, it seemed unfair.

He decided to do something about it.

It was not a grand gesture, but it was something. For every ascent he would make sure he placed his foot in the outer portion of the step. He then scuffed his shoe, left to right, willing the paint to breakdown. As he descended, he would do the same, planting his two feet wide apart.

It felt good.

One day soon the paint would fade and the steel beneath would start to shine through. It was for this reason that he didn’t mind the sideway glances and the occasional sniggers as he shuffled awkwardly past someone on the stairs.

At least twice every day he continued to do his bit. Then, one cold evening, he was descending the stairs when his shoe caught under the step.

He fell thirty one steps and broke his neck. Just before he died, he looked up and could just make out the light from the streetlamp reflecting in the side portion of the step.

When they found him, they all remarked on how content he looked with that half-smile on his face.

external steel stairs drawing

 

Beyond the Stream 

Beyond the stream, the woods were thick and dark. Daylight tried but failed to penetrate the canopy. Those that entered described how the trees behind them moved closer together, sealing them in and shutting out the day.

Saoirse’s father made her promise that she would never cross the stream. She could watch the fish from the bank, drink a cocoa with Wild Bill in his lodge, but under no circumstances was she ever to cross the stream and go anywhere near those woods.

Saoirse loved her father, but knew that he worried too much. Since her mother’s passing, he looked differently at her, like a dandelion clock whose white seeds could never scatter. In her mind, a breeze was blowing: she was travelling in a thousand directions, far and wide she roamed. She had an adventurer’s spirit, driven by a desire to connect with a world bigger than her own, learn its secrets and share hers.

When she saw the stag across the stream, she did not gasp. She did not call out for Wild Bill to come look either. Instead she calmly removed her boots, knotted the laces and hung them around her neck. She removed her socks and rolled up her trousers. The icy water flowed around her calves as she stepped out.

When the stag turned slowly and headed into the woods, Saoirse was close enough to see its breath plume into the air, smell its musk. When the leaves above swallowed the daylight and the trees closed in behind her, she welcomed the darkness. She counted to ten and then started to run. It wasn’t dark anymore; she was the light.

beyond-the-stream-micro-fiction-tom-spooner

 

The Red Leaf

Your red is my favourite redautumn leaf art laura morgans

It is better than any red I know

It is the red and more so

Of fires I have watched turn to embers

On cold dark nights

Of sunsets and sunrises

from the Mekong to the Mancunian Way

Of the disco shirts I dare to wear,

And the socks I love to flash

Of robin breasts and tomato soup

Ruby ales and rib-eye ooze

Of Rothko, Titian, Blake and Bacon

It is a red from a dream

A secret never told

It is the lips of the girl I have found to love

In the leaf that I now hold

 

Butterfly

“I want to be a butterfly, Daddy.”

“How about a friendly witch?”

“I don’t like these scary costumes, Daddy. Please make me a butterfly. We can knock on doors and people will be happy to see me.”

“If you were a witch you could cast nice spells on all the people to make them happy. Or how about this? You could be an Egyptian mummy?”

“Daddy, a butterfly! I want big beautiful wings and wobbly eyes.”

“How about a werewolf? Like a doggy. You could howl at the moon. Owwoooo!”

“They won’t like it as much as a butterfly.”

“Okay. Maybe just some vampire teeth, then? You can take them out if you don’t like them. And maybe some cobwebs for your hair? It will be fun. Think about what a surprise it will be for Uncle Pat when he opens the door. Seeing you with pointy teeth or a bolt through your neck.”

“I can be a butterfly without wings. I’ll tell Uncle Pat that I am a giant butterfly from his garden and he will be very happy. He loves butterflies. Everyone loves butterflies.”

“You win – we will make you the most beautiful butterfly Halloween has ever seen.”

halloween costumes for girls ink drawing

 

Want to see and read more: part one, part two, part three, part four.

79 thoughts on “Inktober – Days 26 to 31

  1. You are so awesome! I do not think I have read something like this before. So great to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  2. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of
    your blog. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility
    problems? A handful of my blog audience have complained about my site not
    operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.
    Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  3. It’s the best time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be
    happy. I have learn this post and if I could
    I desire to suggest you few interesting things or tips.
    Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more things approximately it!

  4. I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it.
    I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

  5. We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be what
    precisely I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here.

    Again, awesome website!

  6. I’m not sure the place you’re getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time studying much more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.

  7. I have been exploring for a little for any
    high-quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house .
    Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site.
    Studying this information So i am glad to exhibit
    that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I so much definitely will make certain to don?t omit this
    web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  8. excellent issues altogether, you just gained a emblem new
    reader. What could you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made some days in the past?
    Any positive?

  9. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark your blog and will come
    back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice weekend!

  10. Definitely imagine that which you stated. Your favorite
    reason seemed to be at the internet the simplest factor to consider of.

    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst other people think about
    worries that they just do not understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as neatly as outlined out the whole thing with
    no need side effect , folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.

    Thank you

  11. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s
    new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  12. What i don’t understood is in fact how you’re no longer actually much more well-appreciated than you might
    be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably in the case of
    this subject, made me in my view imagine it from
    a lot of numerous angles. Its like men and women aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Girl gaga!
    Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  13. Hello I am so excited I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was looking on Digg for
    something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a fantastic post and
    a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look
    over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also
    added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more,
    Please do keep up the awesome work.

  14. Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to other viewers that they
    will help, so here it takes place.

  15. Hi there I am so thrilled I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Yahoo
    for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to
    say thank you for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    read it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included
    your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
    lot more, Please do keep up the awesome jo.

  16. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had
    to tell someone!

  17. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all
    is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would
    cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not
    100% positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

  18. My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be what precisely
    I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating
    on a few of the subjects you write in relation to here.

    Again, awesome web site!

  19. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website
    and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once
    in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  20. Thanks for some other magnificent post. Where
    else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal approach of writing?
    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.

  21. I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing issues with your website.
    It looks like some of the text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know
    if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Cheers

  22. Excellent blog here! Also your site a lot up fast! What web host are you the use of?
    Can I get your affiliate link on your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  23. What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you’re not actually a lot more neatly-preferred than you may be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You understand thus significantly on the subject of this matter, made me individually consider it from numerous numerous angles.
    Its like men and women don’t seem to be fascinated unless it is
    something to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always take care of it up!

  24. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this
    board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to give something back and aid others like you
    aided me.

  25. I do not even know how I ended up here, but
    I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger
    if you are not already ;) Cheers!

  26. Currently it seems like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right
    now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  27. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web page on a regular basis, this website is genuinely fastidious and the people are
    really sharing nice thoughts.

  28. I really like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever
    work and coverage! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve included you
    guys to my personal blogroll.

  29. If you would like to obtain a good deal from this piece of writing then you
    have to apply these techniques to your won weblog.

  30. It’s really a nice and useful piece of info.
    I am happy that you just shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness
    to your submit is simply excellent and that i can think you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine along with your permission allow me to clutch your feed
    to keep updated with imminent post. Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  32. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where
    to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

    Cheers

  33. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Cheers!

  34. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  35. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a
    few simple tweeks would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Many thanks

  36. Terrific article! This is the kind of information that should be shared around the web.
    Disgrace on Google for no longer positioning this post upper!

    Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  37. Hey there just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure
    why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and
    both show the same outcome.

  38. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just
    wanted to say wonderful blog!

  39. Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is a very smartly written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info.

    Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  40. Amazing blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There
    are so many options out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..

    Any ideas? Many thanks!

  41. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my
    newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
    maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to
    your new updates.

  42. You really make it appear so easy together with
    your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I believe I might never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely vast for me.
    I am taking a look forward for your subsequent post, I will try to
    get the grasp of it!

  43. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
    Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
    However, how could we communicate?

  44. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s
    equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve
    hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently
    about. I’m very happy that I found this in my search for something concerning this.

  45. I do not even know how I stopped up here, but I assumed this
    publish was once good. I do not realize who you’re but certainly you are going to a well-known blogger if you
    happen to are not already. Cheers!

  46. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles
    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your
    weblog? My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my
    visitors would really benefit from some of the information you
    present here. Please let me know if this ok with you.
    Many thanks!

  47. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  48. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a
    reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost
    moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!)
    Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

  49. I and my buddies were found to be reading the excellent helpful tips on your site and all of a sudden I got a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the website owner for those strategies. My guys ended up for this reason excited to read through all of them and have in effect honestly been tapping into those things. Thanks for being simply thoughtful as well as for making a decision on these kinds of excellent issues millions of individuals are really wanting to discover. Our sincere apologies for not expressing appreciation to you sooner.

  50. My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this
    info! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.