Saturday, 11 October 2014
'Open with care. Each packet contains one instant woman who will fall in love with you immediately. Guaranteed to satisfy all your Earthly needs. Just add 500 mls of water. Use by April 2014.'
MY HANDS were shaking as I tore open the packet and poured the contents into the jug.
So it was a few months out of date? What was the worst that could happen? A speech impediment? A limp? A penis?
I added the water and stirred. Nothing happened at first, then it started to fizzle and I detected a hint of vanilla in the air. Vanilla mixed with wild roses and bubblegum. I closed my eyes and inhaled the aroma and then there she was, sat on my kitchen counter in a pair of hot pants and a crop top.
'Howdy lover,' she said.
She was perfect. Two eyes, a nose and a mouth and everything else was where it should have been. And she was all mine. To satisfy all my needs forever.
But I really wished I had taken notice of the expiry date.
She smiled at me. Beautiful and thankfully Penisless. But I would have to wait a few years, I had to get her through kindergarten first.
'You could've made a safer bet, but what you break is what you get
You wake up in the bed you make. I think you made a big mistake.
You own me. There's nothing you can do. You own me.'
Mark Berninger of The National. Lucky You.
It wasn't so bad when I only had one or two followers
but now I have 359 and it's getting
I can't even have a crap in peace.
I wake up in the morning and they're stood
at the end of my bed
I've had to get a bigger house and invest in an extra long dining room
so that there's room for all of us
Stupid social media
Apparently it's based upon a 21st Century thing called Twitter
in those days it was all on a computer screen, not real
like it is now. Creepy bastards I wish they would all curl up and die.
I'm just glad I'm not following anybody anymore,
that was insane. I was here, there and everywhere until they all blocked me.
I wish I could block this lot but I've run out of blocks.
The only thing I can do now is
shooting the bastards.
(C)Ally Atherton 2014
Write on Edge
'I love you too honey.'
I heard the comforting sound of static that could only be Suzanne's voice, I just had to wait a few seconds for the translation.
'I can't wait till we're together, it won't be long now.'
I couldn't wait either and then nobody could come between us. But we were always together even though we were light years apart.
I kissed my hand and waited to receive her kiss back. That's how it works you see.
The kiss arrived and I kept my hand in the same position and kissed her again. Sometimes I spend hours at a time kissing Suzanne and I do get a lot of funny looks. People don't understand. They think there's something wrong with me but I just want to shout and scream to the whole world that there's nothing wrong with me. We are in love.
I confess I must look a little bit odd. Talking to my hand like this, but I'm not, I'm talking to Suzanne. And thousands of light years away she's doing the same thing, only she doesn't really have hands. They're more like flippers. But the rest of her is normal. She's blonde, blue eyed and has legs so long you wouldn't believe. I can get over the flippers. She tells me about her family and about school and about her dreams. She wants to be a botanist. She loves anything like that and we spend hours talking about plants and stuff. Although it's very different over there and they don't have gardens so to speak, just window ledges full of pot plants. They all live in high rises. It's a planet of high rises but pot plants are very popular.
I hold my hand to my ear because there's an incoming message. It's a loud one this time and I think that even some of the people on the train have heard it.
'Tell me again, what are Earth girls like?'
She knows they have arms instead of flippers but apart from that I don't talk about them much.
'Not as beautiful as you,' I said.
Of course I've seen plenty of pictures of Suzanne and I've sent lots of my own to her. I'm not one of those guys that pretends to be someone they're not. I'm no Brad Pitt but I try to take care of myself. And she's beautiful. We share photo's all the time. It's easy once you get used to it. You just put your hand tight up to your face and close your eyes and the pictures materialize inside your head. It doesn't happen straight away and you need to keep your hands pressed tight and your eyes closed for about thirty minutes to get a really great picture. The longer it takes the better the quality. It's much better than any digital camera you get over here. It's all in your head see, the colours become living breathing parts of you.
I can't wait till we meet in person. It's not going to be long now. They're saving up the money for a transmat booth. It's the latest thing over on Meros. They are slowly doing away with cars and trains, that kind of thing and soon everybody will have one. She tells me that you can travel anywhere in the blink of an eye and that it will only take a few minutes to get over here. I can't wait.
We spend the rest of the tube journey kissing.
Everybody is giving me that look and a few people are filming me on their phones. I don't give a shit anymore. What me and Suzanne have is special and they can laugh and stare all they want. They will be laughing on the other side of their faces when Suzanne comes over. I do worry about the atmosphere though. I'm not sure what it's like on Meros. We haven't really talked about it much. I'd hate it if she came over and ended up whizzing back into space like a popped balloon. Or what if she got here and found it impossible to draw a breath? Sometimes I think it's probably better to keep talking to my hand just in case.
A lover thousands of light years away is better than a dead one. Or a squashed one.
(C) Ally Atherton 2014
"Time is the longest distance between two places."
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie
It's 12 35 and the clock has stopped and that's never happened before.
It was 12 35 when I was born and it has been ever since.
I have found myself knee deep in shit and it is dark, so dark I don't know where the ground starts and the sky begins. I am searching for the seam.
I am coughing and farting and vomiting at the same time. There should be a word for this phenomenon but at the moment I am happy for it to remain wordless.
I have other things on my mind and many questions.
Is this human shit or animal shit that I am sitting in?
Where am I and who am I? And why has the clock stopped?
I can't begin to describe what it's like to live every 12 35 that has ever existed and to be every person that has lived and breathed for just 33 seconds.
That's all I have ever been given. It's not a lot of time at all, barely enough time to scratch my arse or brush my teeth.
I've been around the block.
I was there when they knocked down the Berlin Wall, I was Queen Victoria's chamber maid, I witnessed the great funk of 2257 and I even fucked Marilyn Monroe once for 33 seconds. Couldn't really get into it.
But most of the time it wasn't like that. Most of the time I was insignificant. Doing mundane things for 33 seconds like fastening my cuff links or crocheting or barking. That last one wasn't because I was insane, I was a German sheep dog once.
But now it's 12 36 and I'm up to my knees in shit trying to think of a word for coughing, farting and vomiting at the same time. I think I found the sky.
If you must speak ill of another, do not speak it, write it in the sand near the water's edge
I had oatmeal for breakfast because I rolled a four.
It's the way I start every day, with a choice. I've had oatmeal three times this week, I don't know if that makes me lucky or healthy or both.
Every morning as the clock strikes eight I run to the water's edge and drop to my knees.
I wash the die with my eyes
closed and say your name in my mind's eye.
I am only allowed to say it once so if I get it wrong there are no second chances. I have learned to say it one small syllable at a time.
Sometimes when I say it I feel your breath on the back of my neck and I can hear you laugh as you fly through the sky with the clouds and the seagulls. On some days I get nothing. I'm just cold and wet and sometimes it feels like your name is one step ahead of me and already spoken before I get the chance to catch up with it.
Then I open my eyes and write everything I should be thankful for in the sand or the name of everybody who has ever hurt me or every bad thing that I have done recently - depending on whether I roll a 1, 2 or a 3.
Today I rolled a 1. I am thankful for breathing, for gravity, for the oatmeal.
Then I rolled a 5 and made my way back, knowing that the sea would do it's job and receive my words in it's own time. Whenever I get a 6 I have to wait and make sure it happens. That happened on Monday and it was pissing down.
I wrote this as part of this week's writing prompt over at Write on Edge Take a look, take part. Connect.