These are the last two stories in the Red Notebook. Both inspired by real stuff.
It was horrific. A stuffed creature created by some deranged taxidermist. When I was younger we would go together to see Hammer Horror films in the cinema. You know the ones with Peter Cushing. The Kingfisher looked liked something from one those films. It would be one of those sinister objects found in the lounge of a mad scientist or the lair of an evil cult leader. The sort of item that let you know not to trust the person who owned it.
The Kingfisher’s big black eyes were reflective. It raised my hackles as it did it’s long sharp beak. I can hold this dead, stuffed, evil looking bird in my hands. It’s fate in my power. I could smash. I could throw it way. I hold it in my hands and wonder : Why did mum by this?
And the last entry in the Red Notebook
As awkward silences went the one that rested between Smith and Hawkinson was pretty bad. It had reached the point where it was becoming oppressive and putrid. The old friends had long ago exhausted their usual topics of conversation and had done so rather quickly. Seconds passed like kidney stones. It was readily apparent to both parties that each of them was searching for a gambit to get the conversation flowing again. Despite knowing each other for 20 years Smith and Hawkinson did not really know each other that well. They both shared the same set of friends and liked each other well enough. The thing was they never really hung out together. Not just the two of them anyway. There are some friends they both thought that you can share a silence with comfortably where the company of the other was enough. This, was, they both simultaneously concluded not one of those friendships.
Bridgette looks out of the window of her flat. After nearly 20 years she was free to enjoy the view. No more unexplained bruises from unexplainable accidents. She could sit here, look down at her children playing in the park below, and smile. She stares off into the distance, her drawn to Alexandra Palace, memories of her younger years, of summers days spent picnicking, surfaced and were pushed down again.
She sips her cup of tea. The clouds she thought looked grey and menacing. She hopes for a rainbow. Her gaze turns to the city. A place of concrete and glass. It was brutal and ugly like crockery smashed on the floor. All of it built in a different time.
She sips her cup of tea and is suddenly overcome with tiredness. So long the wait to be free and it was all too bloody late. Patting away a tear she pondered.
“Hello my darling. I love you.” yelled Frankie as he stood on the banks of the lake. The water rippled and flowed. Frankie was mesmerised by it all. He worshiped this lake, he loved it with all his heart. The cloudy and dark water, it’s deep waters, waters so deep that Frankie felt they could keep any secrets, keep them for years and years. Perhaps forever.
Frankie’s hands and clothes were filthy. He slipped into the lake. Red filth dissipated out from his clothes and skin. The cloudy lake water near him turned an opaque and crimson.
“My darling. I hope you like the gift I gave you” whispered Frankie to the lake. He felt like he was being baptised, he felt he was being purified, he felt warmth and love from the cold water. This place surrounded, no hidden, by trees was secluded and unfound. Birdsong was unknown here. This place he thought was heaven. If any place deserved a sacrifice and flesh and blood it was heaven.
This will break your heart. Standing on a train platform telling your best friend that you want something more. That shift you see in their eyes. Knowing that they will say no. She smiles. This is your heart breaking. With certainty but uneasiness she explains. Trying to let you down gently. You just want her to leave. The answer is no.
A different story.
Mina looked into the monsters eyes and smiled. This thing was supposed to be evil but she saw light in it’s eyes. It was strong, stronger than most men, that is where our fear of them came from she thought. The broad back of the creature was covered in spines and spikes and it moved on all fours with poise. There was no wasted movement. For something as large as a carthorse it was agile.
Mina reached in. It was aware. It could forms thoughts of a sort. Mina reached in to feel them. The emotions felts abrasive. The concept that formed in the creatures mind was close to what we humans call hate. It hates us.
It pounced against the cage. It was a futile gesture. Her folk excelled in steel and stone. They had craft. What the masses did not, could not, do was reflect upon why exactly they kept “monsters” like this one caged. Mina had decided it was because her folk had always done so and would always do so. People, humans, kept it caged not because it was dangerous but because it was beautiful. It’s beauty was glorious like the flames of a village set alight or a blood covered blade. Her folk always caged the beautiful when they could or destroyed it when they could not.
Mina recoiled. The monsters roared. It had twisted free like a cat in an unwanted embrace. Fury lingered. She was tempted to reach again. To whisper “Shush, you’ll be free soon”
There. Water, so beautiful, so perfect.
Remember when we were young.
Smiling in the sun.
Staring at the fountain.
It was so wonderful. Oh it was so wonderful. The noise and sounds it made. The whoosh as water spurted out the top. Atomised water droplets failing splashing into the pool at the base. The trickling sounds, like laughter, as the water flowed over stone.
Remember when we were young.
We were hot. The sun was remorseless. You said “Go on”. I took off my sandals and dipped my toes in the cool pool. Splashing and splashing watching ripples.
I giggled. You smiled I think. You smiled and joined me. Those fleeting, floating moments sitting at the edge. Listening to the water fall and flow and rise and dip and drop. We were still.
I close my eyes. Now. I close them and can still hear it. The ripples our feet made. There were birds. Yes. There were birds singing. Others were there. The familiar chattering and howls of families and children running and walking. In my heart’s memory we were there alone in silence but for fountain. It was an orchestra of fluids, of motion, playing an overture just for us.
Then it passed. Like sand grains in flowing tides we were swept away from our perfect moment. We went home. Our lives went on. The water’s song we heard in the fountain played on in our absence.
I go back there sometimes. Without you of course. It is not the same. Trickling, tinkling, splashing, sploshing. I hear them. The song is not them same. It is not for us..