The Code Is This

Hot brick shit-head hemmed tight smash and murder familiar with a live feed. Game children scream it. I have no cash, love, and plastic man on those walls. The code is this: 30 minutes walk, tops, in shade to work, or by the water (relaxation and other writing). Google Maps for me means Victoria Park, where Linda took me for recommends.

More directions on an alternate route. I tell her when we get there, “I haven’t been here since I was their size.”

Slowly, slabs inside canal, it’s mass, a special dirt through rails on this green path. It’s a fragment dream or memory on this day. A canal, stinking, maybe it goes back to the road. My first familiar is a club (a bowling club) but later new houses. On the other side, the empty canal shows up more  concrete slabs: illuminated grey topology rising to the railings and the old factories on the other side.

There’s an old grey bridge on the road like a tank.

By me, a thick forest hole I might have hid in. Did my grandfather take me here, my mother? There’s something…it’s like we lived around here.  This feeling lasts another five minutes and it’s all green and sun and it’s quiet. Everywhere it’s quiet, but for three harmless bugs that move like hornets. I remember, and not much has changed, besides the aeroplanes. They fly low over-head when they do. I saw the under-belly and the rotors and the whirls like primal wind-mills.

At the end of the path is love. As if several miles of walking among trees which walk shadows around the lake of the same length. Swans looking respectful, ducks and forty bobbing white little grey ones (pigeons), Larger birds line a branch which sticks it’s feet up over the cool ripples. Away there, It’s an island. There are five six of these, as big as my street.

A strong river over the bridge could take vehicles, but says none on this point. A memorial grey black tells it’s reach. The trees are thick and heavy, fifty, sixty foot. Oh, it’s love. The curl around the lake and out to a gap were a red concrete building, post-modern cabin sits by perfectly mowed grass. I’m noticing on the bridge there is a bench space and I sit and watch. There are small groups – mothers and kids, no screams. By me, a child plays around a tree.

“Aeroplanes aren’t yellow granny. That’s an old tree, and I love old, old trees.”

There is breeze.

159: Blog / Short story: No Evidence

I didn’t blog here yesterday, first no-show in over three weeks. Of course, if the dole found out I had taken a day off advertising my creative talents, well now, unemployed people are not legally allowed holidays. Still, as long as I’m showing records of three applications a week I’m justifying my subsistence.

I was out tonight to hear comrade Patrick Brown perform musical voicery. I’ve known Paddy on and off for quite a while but hearing him rip out ‘My Girl’ was a bit Who, WTF, Another Person! Sadly, I’ve no tech captures, but it was a pleasure hearing Paddy get the guitar out for ‘My Lagan Love’ and his Rat Pack duet with matching hat wearer Gary in ‘Me and My Shadow’ was immense fun. Actually, the whole programme was distinctive and muscular, less associated with people graduating a singing class (that it was), than some stunning top-league singers. There was a lot of theatrical acting too, expressionism, performance: a very shapely singer named Geraldine even sat her bum on Paddy’s back while he was bent over on all fours on the stage.

Hey, you gotta have a hobby.

At the urging of Tim Pilcher, I’m coming off Facebook and Twitter for a week in protest at the NSA’s Operation Prism. (Clue: You can read about it in the news and millions of people are talking about it) Of course, my abstinence won’t make a jot in the same way yoga isn’t really exercise, but it is good for you.  It’s the practice and the principle. You’re here reading this, so you know exactly what I mean.  My contact details are here.

Okay, short story time.

No Evidence

It was the first snowfall of the year. Eliza watched from the bay window as her bikini she held tight in a ball. You can’t see this, shedding fir, sent from a whiter place. The snow gave no evidence but the sound, it was far away at first: crispier as it would have got closer but behind the double-glazing and reptilian central heating, Eliza heard nothng. There would be no lazy day applying creams in the elements, no commune with the space around her small but rich haven. It was not until, while focussing on the white-lands of the space were her drive-way lay that she saw Bob. Screaming, she dropped the dress, but remained rooted to the spot. China’s most expensive A.I. would be destroyed in that weather.
“My tin man, My tin man, My beloved tin man my tin man!”

165: Spellcheck (Flashfic)

One of the great practices awarded me by the Belfast Writers Group is that of having a go at flash fiction, 15 minute writing exercises. Last week I uploaded ‘Locked Doors’ which I will tell you nothing more about. No. Forbidden. I wrote this:

The boys rolled the wooden wheel twelve feet all of it speedier and somehow keeping pace another three in front carted grid pallettes: stacked half dozen. Another the same ahead of them. Muscled up and aged between eight and ten, some acted as guards, waving them along. Or maybe they were like startled pigeons or the car passengers which ran alongside.

And they’ll drop them off and get them in another factory and the adults will stack them tall in the field and then everything will burn. The lush green land of Antrim, burn! The blue skies of Down, burn, smoke and flame! Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone —

“IF YOU BURN IT, Will it grow again?”, I yelled.

The boy whirled to look at me, then pushed his wheel again. My distraction would not help it stop. The two teams of carters did the same and escaped narrowly their own wounding. An ox-man and four-boobs bleacher turned to look at me, her saggy plastic bag even, piercing the area with it’s haunting.

I selfishly expected not to make it home by desk.

That night, the freedom fighting guardians urinate: our country-men undressed to Scientologist pyjamas, Westboro Baptist night-gowns, number 20Q the woman-beater. As they slept or did not, I took my reprieve, and crept out into the darkness. Jay met me among the criss-cross of back alleys and the graffiti exhorting warfare. It hadn’t seen a spell-checker.

‘Cameron Go, Game of Thrones Style!’

Then the pair of us moved the brushes and sprays onto the next blank wall. There we painted a large iris overlooking a yellowed union flag underpants, that dripped down into a coffee cup on fire.

‘Radio 4 – For God and Ulster’

That was on the next street over already.

‘Daily Fail Wordsearch – Today: Indians’

We took our time there because Jo wanted to make it ‘Canadians’.

By 3am we’d become annoyed, so returned home to a flask. He wanted to expose the negligent junkie dad at 3 G.S.E, I thought it would be good for us to de-weed the bus stop.

“Yeah, we’ll be putting up a timetable next.”

Forty new pieces of cross-discipline graffiti went up that night and there was a spate of copycat acts later that month with old world maps re-created, and classical music notes on the Albertbridge. Inked hyperlinks adorned Knockbreda, a mosaic appeared one night on the Castlereagh Road. In Dee Street, a minimalist man, Chad Kilroy peered over a wall, and asked, “Where’s Banksy?”.

Only four of these were burned in the July 12th bonfires, painted on the walls by people’s homes. Within two years, literacy was up.

172: Locked Doors

There were no electrics, just the feel for blood and fluffy spider’s homes, abandoned saucer, and a penny from another age. The echoes were gone, stopped after the door was sealed. A lopsided rotary telephone, pale green waste of the 1980s hung off the orange sponge. There was no room for ghosts, but the photo seeped in regardless, and the buttons, nuts, screws, washers and bolts. The key hung in the lock always then, black and thin, but it was enough. Too easy it turned. When us boys were of age the doorway saw it’s last influx – a surrealist inferno of snakes and ladders weeping through these Elysian fields. The Rubik cube chucked, Evil Kinevil came off his bike, the 1981 Sapphire and Steel annual was 2-D only.

The sports-men retirement didn’t seem so bad – twilight years reading editions of Valiant, and Lion. The Arsenal Subbuteo team counted among them a fatality, two cripples, and the comics attracted silverfish and held the damp. In time the dust fell upon Bond’s car clogging the engines, the plans of Thunderbirds International Rescue were of no use to anyone.

In happier times, I’d locked my brother in there.

I returned to the house to help them move but when I got to the cupboard, the key had been removed, just as it was when The Brother Wars were at their fiercest. It was locked. On the other side, Action Man and Buggy Boy, Streamline and Lego Tom Baker waited. In that keyhole chink of light they heard the compact digital that played only 80s music. It should have been a living hell but provided consistency and stability, like nursery rhymes. The glint of new neighbours illuminated the chequered red and white table-cloth, the shinier bits of the cutlery and the cleaner laminate. The curtains came off and the muddy old windows were exchanged for the 21st century. Children entered the house again. They regarded the keyhole with curious eyes. The middle class parents made them watch Blue Peter were sugar-drunk presenters raved about British Pathe, time capsules and the Wayback Machine.