All posts by drcrowthorne

Forget-Me-Not’s

Forget-me-nots for Forgetful Pops,

Forgotten himself forgets time each day.

Forgets the forgiving fires,

Wiping them away,

The fingers of the faded,

Flashbulb photographed,

Forgotten, fallen, families.

The final sound, gunfire,

The flare, 

Tumbling, falling, finally, with finality.

Fogged eyes.

Fossils now, fermenting. 

Finished.

Forget me not, ‘forgetful’ Pops

For I am the man you killed. 

 

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Stoic Bricks and Muddled Time

Author’s Description: Just a story I’m hoping to enter into “Time to Write”. I knocked it out in one go, so grammatical errors are probably going to be prevalent, but please disregard the tense changes. They’re part of the story! 🙂

Amid the hushed suburbs of some amorphous old town in England, a stoic brick was pondering the precisely regular noises coming from the room it composed. The brick, which was about to set a cognitive personal and world record, was hearing a peculiar grunting-snoring mix, that almost sounded as if its producer’s throat had a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel, lodged in it.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel existed entirely, of course, in the brick’s cognitive realm. Yet, the brick’s ponderings weren’t completely wrong; in fact, there was someone with a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in their throat. Yet, this man (or woman, the brick didn’t know), was as far from the perceptual field of the brick, as was the validity of the idea, in most people’s minds, that bricks could think at all.

Yet, it was nonetheless true.

The brick sat, stoically thinking about what exactly it was hearing. But bricks don’t often achieve a pensive state for more than a few minutes, and much like its compatriots, the brick’s mind dissolved, back into its bricky trance, from which it was to rise again only 23 and ¼ years later, when the building was being demolished. The last emotion the brick would feel, would be an unshakeable stoic outrage, before it was pummeled into the ground by a large sledgehammer.

And as the brick fell stoically back asleep, a black-lightning haired man, with set of eyebrows thick and long as the Thames (thick and long enough, some thought, that birds nested there on occasion), collapsed upon the street; he twitched uncontrollably, as though his lightning hair had electrified his nervous system. He clutched his throat with the grip of a homeless man holding a five pound note donated from an exceptionally rich passerby.

And people strolled past, without the faintest perception.

Todd Terrance, the man whose snoring had awoken the brick, awoke himself. A dull, prickly haze covered his chin and jaw. An inky aura diffused across Todd’s room, which perpetually smelled like old socks. In a sluggish stupor, and slumbering pace, Todd threw himself reluctantly from bed.

I don’t like Mondays, thought Todd. Yet, it was true to suppose also, that he didn’t like any day. But then, there would never be any reason to hate that day if he hated every day. So Todd supposed to himself that today was special. Today was worth hating more.

Because today, wasn’t like any other day.

The lightning haired man’s body relaxed. And people kept walking by. Occasionally, someone would step through him.

A lead sledgehammer slammed into the bricks, a fierce sonic boom-like sound erupting from the impact. And with that, all the bricks in the wall awoke. A wave of stoic surprise flowed through the bricks, one by one, as each impact followed every other. And the bricks began to wake, and shout.

Todd hobbled about, slowly picking up the tumult of his possessions. A vast, messy being was being assembled within the suitcase. Socks, shirts, pants and underwear all mixed, and in a furious mish-mash, which would have threatened to explode with utter disdain – if it had been alive, that is. But thankfully, the clothes had no consciousness, and so, relaxed, stupidly collapsed in a heap, in Todd’s case.

Blow by blow the brick’s friends shatter, into a constellation of pieces. The surprise matures to outrage, despair, and a sad resignation, which then evolves back into shock, when the brick habitually falls back asleep and wakes up again as the hammer slams against the wall. And the last thought of the stoic brick’s intangible mind happens. A dull, stoic outrage floods through its length.

Todd steps out of the house, walking to a restless taxi parked at the curb of the road. The barge of suitcases following him behind stare sadly ahead, and Todd strains to push each on into the thimble-sized trunk of the taxi driver’s taxi. Yet, after all the hustle and bustle, the suitcases rest safely, if a little stuck.

And the taxi drives away, past the footpath where the lightning haired man is collapsed.

And several hours later, a large truck arrives, to demolish the houses along the forlorn street.

The brick thinks about the grunting-snoring mix, and the semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodged in the throat of its creator, whilst, 23 and a ¼ years later, the brick’s entire psyche erupts simultaneously in a torrent of stoic outrage. The hammer falls upon the wall, just as the brick’s ponderings cease, and it falls back into its bricky slumber for 23 and ¼ years. And as it shatters, and sleeps at the same time, a semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel flies through the air.

A protester screams “Save the Houses!” from the street as the heavy hammer slams into the wall, as the bricks subsequently erupt into a wave of stoic surprise.

And the projectile flies through the air.

The semi-chestnut-semi-ping-pong-ball sized piece of gravel lodges, two inches down the black-lightning haired man’s throat, as he collapses, clutching his throat, and twitching uncontrollably, just as Todd wakes up, a sluggish hate emanating from his very being.

And as the man collapses upon the pavement, as the passersby walk, unnoticing.

Time.

Shourye Dwivedi

Cigarettes and Coffee – Draft 2

The cigarettes and the coffee mix, vividly, in incandescent ways. He relaxes, as the army of tremors in his hands cease – his cocktail of drugs ignited something in him. Nicotine and caffeine – the only two friends that’d stayed with him since beyond the horizon of his memory.

The weathered wall stares at him, and he stares back. Weather couldn’t have done this. Blood and gore, like Van Gogh’s bastard children play out across the dispassionate cement; “Starry Night” could barely compete with this crimson masterpiece.

And whose masterpiece was it?, he thinks.

Blue light sprayed across the wall drips to the floor, filling the room with a sickening aura, the very antithesis of the sun as it trudges past the horizon, tossing javelins of penetrating light upon the remote building in which the murder took place.

Footprints. That’s what they needed. Footprints. Like echoes of a time long past reverberating through the blue light, they appeared. And as the blue cello strings were strummed, their music flowed to his eyes, plummeting tumultuously through into his cavernous mind.

He could almost see the man, walking, after finishing his fourth piece in the last month, slamming the door on his way out, an artsy smile upon his blank, generic face. He could almost  touch the generic-man’s companion, a thin, shining knife dressed in ruby syrup, protected in the bony hand of its master.

‘Daydreaming are we, Detective Inspector Stewarts?’ queries Sergeant James McClarance. His greedy ink-blot eyes stare out from a veritable mountain range of age upon his face. A skin-crawling odour erupted from his mouth.

Cigars, that’s what it is, he thought.

‘No sir, just musing upon this fourth murder. How do you think it was done?’ Stewarts asks, tentatively. Rage flared upon his cheek, and he wanted to break the man’s jaw. But attacking your superior’s isn’t what the police force seems to like, or even accept. Getting in McClarence’s good books was imperative.

His hoarse, gravelly voice falls upon Stewarts’s muted ears. The white noise takes over, and he look at the painting of blood upon the wall. Organs hang, stuck to the wall, and the fractured, dried red coating flakes off in heaps.

He need another cigarette. He need this one badly.

‘I’m sorry sir. May I be excused? I need to go to the toilet.’ He says, right in the middle of McClarence’s sentence. A grimace is moulded in his face by hands unseen, and he lets Stewarts by. As he walks to the toilet, he feel it in his pocket. The knife.

Stewarts saunters into the piss-saturated cubicle. The door screams as it opens, and closes behind him. Locking it, surely as he could, he takes out the knife.

The blade grins at its master.

He drops the knife in the toilet. Flushing he takes out a cigarette, and sticks it between his lips. Lighting it, thin hairs of smoke fly up from the paper covering. He inhales, the poison filling his lungs, and calming his body.

He walks strolls back to the murder scene, and stands by the dark corner, leaning against the wall, and looking at the viscera upon the wall, he smiles.

The coffee and cigarettes mix in incandescent ways, yet to the mindless subordinates in the police force, they light no paths to the killer. Sergeant McClarance stares, stoicism the one quality his character lacks.

Slowly as the sun falls, McClarence walks, out of the building, trudging to his car. A thin, taut thread is laid, meticulously by thin hands. A spider sits, waiting, in gleeful agony for its prey.

McClarence doesn’t notice the shadow that lies in the back seat of his car, nor the glistening razor that is held in its hand. An artsy smile echoes through the night, as the shadow lies upon the curdled-milk cushions. An engine hums, blissfully through the night.

And the artist with his brush, flowing as an extension of his hand, begins his strenuous, but enjoyable work, grinning through the night.

Finally a fly is caught, and as it struggles, the spider’s body tingles. The fly, whose last thought is as fragile and instantaneous as its end, smells something.

Cigarettes and coffee.

 

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Cigarettes and Coffee

The cigarettes and the coffee mix, vividly in incandescent ways. He relaxes, eyes staring blankly at the weathered wall. Yet, weather couldn’t have done this. Blood and gore, like Van Gogh’s bastard children play out across the cement; “Starry Night” could barely compete with the profundity of this masterpiece. And whose masterpiece was it? Blue light sprayed across the wall drips to the floor, filling the room with a sickening aura.

Footprints. That’s what we need, right now. Footprints. Like echoes of a time long past reverberating through the blue light, they appear. He can almost see the man now, walking, after finishing his fourth piece in the last month, slamming the door on his way out, an artsy smile upon his blank, generic face.

‘Detective Instpector Stewarts, daydreaming, are we?’ queries the snake of the UPF (United Police Force, that is). Sergeant James McClarance, the man’s real skin was no comparison to the inky scales that befitted his icy character.

‘No sir, just musing upon this fourth murder. How do you think it was done?’ I ask, tentatively. Honestly, I wanted to break the man’s jaw. But he was a whole three ranks above me. Getting in his good books was imperative.

His hoarse, gravelly voice falls upon my muted ears. The white noise takes over, and I look at the painting of blood upon the wall. Organs hang, stuck to the wall, and the fractured, dried red coating flakes off in heaps.

I need another cigarette. I need this one badly.

‘I’m sorry sir. May I be excused? I need to go to the toilet.’ I say, right in the middle of his sentence. A grimace is moulded in his face by hands unseen, and he lets me by. As I walk to the toilet, I feel it in my pocket. The knife.

I walk into the piss-saturated cubicle. The door screams as it opens, and closes behind me. Locking it, surely as I can, I take out the knife. Dried blood cakes it, and a thin sliver of sinew extends from the blade. I drop the knife in the toilet. Flushing I take out a cigarette, and stick it between my lips.

Lighting it, thin hairs of smoke fly up from the paper covering. I inhale, the poison filling my lungs, and calming my body. I walk back, slowly to the murder scene, and stand by the dark corner, leaning against the wall, and looking at the viscera upon the wall, I smile.

The coffee and cigarettes mix in incandescent ways, yet to the idiots of the UPF, they light no paths to the killer. Sergeant McClarance stares, stoicism the one quality his character lacks. As the inadequacy of his circumstances falls upon him, he struggles, screaming at his subordinates.

And as he does, I watch, and smile. He’ll be next.

Shourye Dwivedi

The Drunkard

Look at him. Watch as he heckles the walkers. See him lie on the curb, abed with his sweetheart. Watch him beg for the unwary dime, to keep him the way he is – to buy the poison which pumps his lungs, and burns them also. The drunkard sits, and waits. He sits atop the brow-beaten curb. His form, dark and obscure, drains piteous gestures from the passers-by. Yet when he talks, he reveals himself, and it belies this ‘truth’.

He was married once, they say. He was once a man of means? Hardly, but he made do. He once had a child, and a wife. Though, he has no more. He says they are dead to him, as he spits upon a crevasse in the asphalt.

I went searching for the truth of this drunkard. I wanted to find what he hides behind the golden liquor – the veil of steel he hooks upon the rungs around his heart. He sits, and watches me cautiously as I approach him. And I, with my hooded cloak, hide my eyes, for he too may penetrate my veil.

“Maria!” He cried one night I was with him. Maria. That was the name of his bride. He was to marry her in the summer of 1982, and yet, I find nothing in the state marital records. It seems he did not marry this woman. My escapades through the obituaries reveal that it was on the month before his planned marriage, that she died.

It was a curious case – a door locked from the inside, and a room without other entry. Yet she was inside. Dead. They never found him – the murderer that is. I look at the door now, its hinges screech as it begs for its euthanasia. The room is empty, but for the dust that fills it. And there is a dark, brown stain upon the wall. That must be where she died. Nostalgic echoes rush into me. I rush forward to meet the floor, as my legs give way.

Did she cower, I wonder, as I sit hugging myself, shivering. Did she fear death, or did she embrace it? I realise that I shall never know, but there is no reason not to wonder. I throw a clay pot on the floor at the thought. Its form shatters into a myriad of pieces as it hits the ground, and one flies to my cheek. The ruby syrup drips down to my chin, and splatters upon the ground. How lucky she is.

Months later, he married another. A woman his brother found – Donna Favaldo. Her, I found, for she is not dead. She lives in a house, southwest of my own. I walked there one day, and saw a strange man stroll from the building, a dirty smile upon his face. The thought signalled the march of my food to my mouth – I threw up in her yard, and ran away.

I could hear her shout behind me: “What the bloody hell!” she screamed, half naked, hurling a large rock at me from behind. It turns out she is a prostitute.

His son I found as well, a bar tender in a local restaurant. At my questions, he flinched, and told me he knew nothing about the drunkard. I knew he did. He lied to me. I walked out, coolly, and sprayed the walls of the place with profanity that night. The bright pink spray paint sits there, to this day, disgustingly brilliant.

He has been forgotten – betrayed, and forgotten. He was a nice man. A quiet, dutiful man and he has been betrayed, and forgotten. He doesn’t deserve it.

His wife cheated on him. I asked the local gossip-mongerer Heroni of his story and that is what happened. His wife cheated on him.

And he knew. I look at him now, as he sits like a dog on the pavement, turning his head this way and that, following the people around him asking them for a dime. He disgusts me. He knew.

He knew that his wife was cheating on him, and yet, he accepted it. He agreed to it. He stayed quiet, and life was ‘business as usual’. He was weak; a coward. Once more the food rushes to my mouth – though this time I could stop it. I wish I hadn’t.

She drove him bankrupt, took his house, and threw him out. He is alone.

That is not the story of the drunkard who lives opposite my house. He has been a drunkard all his life. He did not love Maria, or Donna Favaldo. He has no son. He had no wife. He has nothing.

I approach him, and hear the expected ‘Have you a meagre dime for a poor man?’ Out of my pocket, I throw him a roll of 100 dollar bills. I see his eyes light up, and I pull down my hood.

I ask him for the bottle he holds in his hand, which he kindly donates. I walk back to my house, closing the door. I smile as I wipe the bottle clean. I drink whatever is left inside, the bitter liquid hurling me into inebriation, and I smash the bottle against my wall, half of it still left intact.

The world becomes abstruse. I feel myself fading away, as my blood pervades the carpet. I relax in my chair, and sit back.

Staring upwards, I see the fan turn. Cool air hits my face. I think of the moments. I drown in my memories – eyes lighting up seeing Maria, Favaldo, the bastard son I leave behind…

… and finally, the drunkard.