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'Looks like summer finally arrived.'
'Yeah. It's rather nice, really. All the flowers out, bright sunshine...'
'I don't like summer.'
'Of course you don't.'
'I don't! It's like that annoying kid who tells one funny joke and, seeing that everybody laughed, keeps telling it over and over and over again. Summer saw how much everyone enjoyed spring, so decided to go over the top with the heat and the colours, until everything it just too much for our poor, fragile bodies to take.'
'So what your saying is, you've got terrible sunburn.'
'It hurts like hell, James. Like hell itself.'
'You ever noticed how leaves look like body parts?'
'I mean, if you take an oak tree leaf...it looks like the webbed feet of a frog.'
Scratching his chin, he considered the point presented to him.
'Well...I suppose they do kind of look like webbed feet...'
'And, and...those leaves on that bush.' He continued, walking over to it and plucking off a couple. 'These look like insect wings.' To illustrate his point, he held one in each hand by the stem, and started to flap his arms, making a faint buzzing noise.
'What the hell...?'
With a faint grin, he shrugged his shoulders, then dropped the leaves.
'But my point still stands. They do look like the wings of insects. And then, in the Autumn, when it turns brown and crackly and you can break away the green flesh, it looks like a skeletal hand.'
'A skeletal hand?'
'Yeah. It looks as if something is trying to climb its way out of the ground. Maybe spring.'
'Or a dead body.'
'Don't be silly. Dead bodies wouldn't want to get out of the ground. It's nice and warm in there.They don't want to leave it.'
Writing is strange. Very strange indeed.
You have all the words that exist in the world. Even some that don't. And you then try and put them in some sort of order that makes some sort of sense. (Unless you're James Joyce)
You create characters, and a situation for those characters to be in. You force them to act in a certain way. You give them joys and tragedies and loves and losses. Controlling every little aspect of their world in order to suit your own preferences.
We are Gods. And we can be vengeful with a horrific delight.
'Do you think there's a God?'
'I don't know, really. I mean, that's the point, isn't it? We can't know.'
'We can't know? What about all the anecdotal evidence?'
'I hope you're being sarcastic.'
'Well, yes. There is the anecdotal evidence. But for every person who prayed to God and was cured of cancer, there are hundreds of others who just kept on dying.'
'So you don't think there is a God?'
'To be honest, I don't think that that's an important question. Whether there is a God or not shouldn't really affect they way we treat each other.'
'I mean, if there isn't a God, then it doesn't give you an excuse to act amorally. And if God exists, then just because you believe in It doesn't mean that all your actions and opinions are the correct ones.'
'So...what...the question in itself is distracting?'
'Right! It divides people into either/or, when in reality, it doesn't matter. We should still treat people with respect and integrity and honesty.'
'I don't think I want there to be a God. An afterlife, where we can meet up with all the nice people we met here, but no God.
It was strange. The world had been buried in a mound of grey and brown for so long and then, with the wink of a magician pulling his favourite trick, it all turned colourful.
So very colourful. Artificially colourful, as if someone had gone around adding food dye to all the petals and leaves. As if it would hurt your teeth to take a bite out of them.
The bees are floating between the flowers, in a very lazy manner. Bees seem to have it all sorted out. Gentle work in the summer, and then be down for the winter.
I find that some people never really understand the need to spend time alone with yourself.
I'm not being antisocial. I like people. People are amazing and wonderful and full of interesting ideas and thoughts and opinions. I'm more than happy to spend time with people, listening to them.
But sometimes, I do like to spend time by myself. To think for myself. To look out the window and listen to the silence. The wind. The birds and the bees. The sound of life continuing onwards, without any input from yourself.
It helps to cement my place in the world.
'I think I've been pricked by a radioactive flower. '
For some unknown reason, I thought that this would be a good way to start off this batch. I believe that I would then go on to describe how my blood had turned to sap, how I was suddenly attractive to bees and how I no longer needed to eat solid food.
I don't think I'll continue on with the idea. I'm not even sure why it seemed like such a good idea in the first place.
If someone else wants to carry on with the amazing flower boy, feel free.
Sometimes, for no reason at all, I get rather sad.
Nothing will have caused it. No terrible thing will have happened. The world we be just as it was, still as beautiful as snow streaking past a streetlight, as the sun pointing through the window, picking out the small particles of dust that dance their waltz to an unknown beat.
Nevertheless, I'll still find myself wanting to find a nice, cool, dark corner to curl up in and close my eyes, hugging my knees to my chest whilst I hum softly, blocking out all the bad thoughts in my head.
It was a warm day. Warm enough that he felt like his skin was being bathed in hot chocolate as soon as he walked out the door. Hot enough for the veins in his arms to rise up from the depths, like sea snakes from the deep.
As he walked, he slowly traced a finger along his veins, nail gently tickling the skin. He found it strange that his blood was being carried in those lightning strike tubes right that very second, bathing his cells, giving them the oxygen necessary to continue on with the process of breathing, dividing, living.
In a seemingly random formation, they attack.
Without care, without thought, without humanity, they start to dive. swirling down to meet their victims like a glider going out of control.
They care not for their own lives. They do not live any longer; just exist, to derive a perverse pleasure from circling around their target, a faint hum like an overworked fan announcing their presence.
They enjoy listening to the screams, they shiver in delight as they watch the vain attempts to fight back, cry out with an euphoric intensity as they once again inflict suffering upon the poor innocents.
'These bloody flies.' He muttered, ineffectually swatting at them with his hand. 'It's almost like they enjoy watching you suffer.'
His friend couldn't help but giggle, a light little sound like a small cloud on a summer's day.
'You look like you're trying to dance to tubular bells.'
He placed a smile on his face for her comment and lowered his hands, stuffing them back in his pocket to prevent them from causing him further embarrassment.
'I just don't like flies. They always look like they're plotting something. Especially when they rub their hands together. They're just malicious little things.'
'What would you like heaven to be like?'
'Well, I'd like it to be a giant hotel. When you die, your spirit immediately checks in to the hotel, and you can catch up with all your friends and family. You may want to visit the facilities the hotel has to offer, or explore outside. When you're ready, you check out, and you head back down to earth, to meet new people and experience new things. And this keeps going on forever, until you get bored and leave the hotel, to explore beyond its boundaries, to find spiritual enlightenment and fulfillment.'
I was talking with a friend. He was telling me that he introduced someone to this website, and that she liked the things I had written.
Writing is a pretty lonely process. You sit in a room, with the rapping of keys as your soundtrack, trying to pull out the words in your head and nail them to the page before it all slips away forever.
So it's really nice to hear that someone actually reads these things, and that they enjoy them.
It made me smile for the whole day. If I could, I'd give you a massive hug.
Having spent the morning coaxing my body awake, I decided to go and talk to the wagtail.
The wagtail comes down at precisely 13:27 every other day and perches on the arm of the bench in our garden. I tend to go out and feed him breadcrumbs, whilst having a gentle conversation.
'Do you think there's a meaning to life?' I asked as I held out my hand to him. After pecking at the crumbs resting there, the wagtail straightened up and thought for a second.
'I think if there's a meaning to life, it's to give life meaning.'
I may, and I say this very tentatively, I may have...finally caught up on sleep.
Yes. I know. Please, calm down. It may not even be true.
However, for the past couple of days, I have been getting up at 8:30, without the use of an alarm clock or anything. Just naturally waking up at 8:30 without groaning and biting against the light of a new day.
It's strange. I can get so much more done when I'm not sleeping. I don't, but the capacity for doing more is there. To be completely honest, I like it.
So it turns out that I was wrong. I haven't caught up on sleep.
I slept in until 11 am. It was glorious. I woke up with a gentle grunt, as if I was surprised to find myself in such a state. Once I had reestablished reality, I cracked my body back into shape and pushed myself from the bed, ready to face whatever the world had decided to present me with.
For some reason, the world had chosen to be rather sweet, so I had been presented with a sunburst day, light streaming down to laugh along with me.
'I'll tell you why I like science.'
'I never asked you why you liked science.'
'I like science because it's full of facts. The propagation of an action potential along a nerve is not dependent on morals or ethics or arguments. It'll happen, in a particular way. I find it very difficult to form an opinion about anything. There seem to be so many sides to every philosophy. And you can take a firm view, but there always seems to be a better argument around the next corner. So that's why I like science. You can't argue with action potentials.'
It's so very, very hot.
We're not used to hot. Hot is a rather alien concept. Cold, mild, tepid...these are things that we understand. Not hot.
I can feel the skin on my arms cooking, frying underneath the sun as I type this. The smell...like chicken.
It's falling off my bones. No need for a carving knife. Flesh dripping away, melting down onto the keyboard, pooling down at my feet, making my toes stick together.
So...hot. Too hot. I'm burning. The fire is clawing over my skin, ripping my apart, inch by inch, head to toe.
Sometimes, when I'm writing, it feels like there's a dense fog settling in my brain.
I have an idea, something that I wish to express with words, but I can't identify its shape. My fingers can barely scrabble to grasp the meaning. Even if they are able to take a grip, I can't pull it into the light, to be identified, explored, fashioned.
It's vary rare that I have blinding moments of clarity, where I'm able to write what I mean. The miasma always seems to be twisting through my mind, dragging down my thoughts, dulling my perceptions of everything.
'I find it strange how people complain that they've lost their faith in humanity, based on the actions of a few individuals.'
'I know what you mean. It's like sticking your hand into a large packet of M&Ms, getting to red ones, and then assuming that all M&Ms are red.'
'That's not the most poetic phrase of putting it...'
'Why does it have to be poetically phrased?'
'I don't know. It's just what tends to happen...but anyway. I think, for the most part, that humanity is pretty good.'
'You know what? I agree with you. Humanity's good.'
I saw you smiling at me. I tried to smile back, but my lips were oddly rebellious. Smiling at the world seems rather easy; smiling at people who are smiling at you is harder.
I wondered what your hair would look like if allowed to escape from the braids, to tumble down your shoulders like waves of men falling from a high tower. How it would of felt to hold you as we danced to music from a decadent age.
Fantasies. Sometimes I think they're the most wonderful thing in the world. Other times, I feel like they're empty vases.
'Do you remember the first time that we went out for a meal?'
'Of course I do. I broke a bread stick in half and pretended to be Dracula.'
'You did. Did you know that I wanted to hold your hand?'
'No...why didn't you?'
'I don't know. All I know is, I sat there, and went to move my hand. And it felt like the most natural thing in the world to do. I didn't have to force myself into intimacy...it was just...the right thing to do.'
'I wouldn't of minded if you held my hand.'
'If you could describe me in just one phrase, what would it be?'
'I would describe you as...a broken paradise.'
'A broken paradise?'
'You're like Rome seconds before it was sacked. Atlantis as the first waves groped at the buildings. Pompeii as the ash blinded the sun.'
'I...I don't know what to say...Is that a good or a bad thing?'
'I have no idea. But it's what you are.'
'A great structure destined for destruction?'
'Well, yeah. One day, you'll die. But up until that point, you'll be a glorious paradise, of beauty, of intelligence. If love.'
People sometimes stare at me when I take my pet squirrel into town.
I don't know why. It's just like a dog. Except smaller, and with a greater penchant for nuts.
A squirrel is a very handy pet to have. I've trained it to climb up to the top shelves in the supermarkets and pick up those hard to reach items.
I let her perch on my shoulder when we're walking around, so that she doesn't tire herself out. She makes a delightful 'chipping' sound when I carry her around, although she does look wistfully at the trees we pass.
'I have to ask you a question.'
'Why did you let me write about a pet squirrel?'
'Well, I didn't have any better ideas. I thought you could write about rain, but you always write about rain. I thought you could write about sleep, but you always write about sleep. Then I thought you could write about squirrels, and you've never written about squirrels. So I thought it was about time you did.'
'But it was rubbish?'
'It may have been. But it was original. And that is the most important thing to be.
Hannah had noticed that it had been raining.
Hannah vary rarely noticed anything that happened outside. Outside was so...well...small. The world was horrifically finite. There were only so many people, so many landscapes, so many monuments...
Online...now there was the epitome of infinite, of eternity. Hannah adored the internet. She could go anywhere on it, do anything, create an entire world, a civilisation.She was a God.
And God's didn't have to pay attention to the outside world. Not when they were so busy dealing with their creation. But Hannah had noticed the rain. It was heavy.
I can't remember the last time that I was this tired.
My mind was racing last night, like a train going down hill with no breaks. I could feel my thoughts getting hotter, burning red, orange, blinding white.
It burnt me out completely, seared my eyes until I could no longer see, scorched my skin until it all peeled away.
I really, really need to sleep. To switch my mind off and let it cool down. But there are too many interesting things to think about. So many wonderful ideas to entertain, stories to form, music to discover. So many.
The little boy was sitting on the floor, faced turned to the wall. He was giggling, barely pausing for breath.
'How long has he been there for?'
She rubbed her chin as she pondered the question.
'Maybe 6...7 hours? He was like this when I came down this morning.'
'He's been laughing at the wall non-stop for 7 hours?'
'Around 7 hours.'
'What the hell is he laughing at?'
'I have no idea. I tried to talk to him, but he just ignored me.'
They stared at him a while longer.
'It's just...damn creepy...'
'So it looks like the sun has gone.'
'Yeah. I wonder where it went?'
'Maybe it got tired of heating up the earth. Decided it was too much work.'
'Yeah. Maybe it retired.'
'Maybe it took up painting.'
'Maybe it still heats up Mercury on Saturdays, just to be able to relieve its glory days.'
'Maybe it realised what its work was doing to its health, so booked a trip to a more relaxing galaxy, to rest and recuperate.'
'Maybe it wanted to spend some more time with its family.'
'Maybe it wanted to travel.'
'Maybe it died.'
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