Who Can Make The Sunrise

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(Prompt: A horror story set in a candy factory and be sure to include some creepy children)

You walk along the dark corridor, the only light that isn’t from your torch filters through the factory windows. It’s not even sunlight. It’s moonlight. It took you so damn long to find the place that the sun had already started to set when you eventually got on the right road.

Crisp underfoot are wrappers from candy long abandoned, the noise reminds you of autumn leaves underfoot. That delicious crunching that brings forth warm memories of hats and scarfs, allows a feeling of safety to settle in your system amidst the dark factory. There’s a sudden noise that isn’t you, something that could easily be a child’s laughter or something else entirely. Maybe it’s just the rats, maybe it’s part of that soft music filtering through the factory. A worn out tape that’s probably been on loop since it was abandoned.

You’re only here for the documents, the investigation is well underway and you’re a damn fine detective with a gun, you’re not scared of some shitty factory no matter how creepy it tries to be. A shadow flits across your periphery and you turn ready to draw your weapon before shaking your head, relenting the need for the gun and passing it off as a rat or maybe even just your imagination. There’s the noise again, the thing that could be children’s laughter.

”Oh come on!” You roll your eyes head tilting back slightly, you’ve been so busy focusing forward, that you haven’t been covering all bases. You don’t need to you tell yourself. You hear that noise again and finally a tiny sliver of fear permeates your shell. A tiny sliver that bleeds into your brain and makes the shadows suddenly worrying, the dark a terrible threat, the rats suddenly seem the size of rottweilers.

You roll your shoulders trying to ignore the warning rushing around your system, the sudden accelerated heartbeat. This isn’t a horror movie dammit and this isn’t fiction. ”All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.” The quote echoes in your mind and you curse your mind for suddenly deciding that right now in this dark, dank, tinny silence. Save of course for that (creepy) music. In this empty, middle-of-nowhere warehouse is suddenly the place to become philosophical. You roll your shoulders again trying to physically shake away what your mind is doing.

The music is louder now and the shadow, the one that scurries across your periphery seems much, much bigger. You refuse to give in to fear though and keeping your torch steady you press on, pace unchanged.

The wrappers continue to crunch underfoot along with whatever else has gathered on this god-awful floor. The office is just up ahead, metal steps with a rail that you’re not entirely sure you want to touch.

There’s no light up there either, savour the moonlight that just seems to get thinner on the ground the closer you get. The door to the office is ajar and there’s that creepy sound again, the laughing. It’s not laughing, it can’t be. It has to be the rats, the echo’s, sound distortion due to space and the imagination. It’s not any louder or quieter in here, the music and you wonder how people worked with that all day.

The first thing you do is walk to the tape player and press the stop button. The music stops and you breathe out a sigh of relief into the silent air. The silence is actually quite calming. Slowly, ever so slowly, as you make your way to the file cabinet, the silence starts to become less comforting. You start to make more noise to fill it, your heart rate increases slightly and you can feel adrenaline start to pump in your veins sending these chills down your spine.

You need to fill the silence, need to fill the void because with no music, now you can focus on everything. Everything. Every thud, every scurry, every whisper of the wind. You start humming a familiar tune when you feel the changing of air.

You straighten up as you start to hear your pulse in your ears. Your hand is on your gun. Your breathing has dropped so quiet you don’t even know if you are breathing any more. There’s that giggle again, that high pitched child like giggle and suddenly fear floods your system and you’re caught, hung in a moment between wanting to turn around and not.

”Hi there, what’s your name?”

In Bloom

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Three days it had been, three long days since Detective Inspector George Staffordshire or ”Staffy” to the lads down at the station had hung up his coat and police badge for the weeks vacation he was being forced to take. 3 days they’d spent packing, shopping and ensuring Whiskey, the wife’s cat would be okay in the cattery. Chancer their six year old brown retriever was heading down to the rented cottage in the small village of Rushmore with them.

George had been scolded, directed and told how to drive by Maureen the whole way there. He understood, really he did. Maureen had been in a car accident a number of years ago and now panicked whenever she was in a car. It didn’t mean he didn’t want to throttle her, lovingly of course. Hen pecked and worn out George was more than ready for a pint or three in the first pub they found.

George got there eventually. After another hour of unpacking and several comments about the fact they were only going to be there for 3 days. They found The Poison Oak a proper old fashioned pub just down the road. George had gotten himself a pint of home brewed bitter and taken himself off to sit in the sunshine with Chancer, whilst Maureen chatted with the locals.

George was halfway through that first glorious pint when someone sat down opposite him. Chancer, ever the betrayer where a scratch behind the ear was concerned, greeted the stranger as though he was an old friend with a sniff and a wagging tail.

”Your wife’s telling half the village about you being wounded in the line of duty.” The man nodded to him and took a sip of the pint in his own hand. George grimaced.

”Thomas Travil or Tommy.” The man said holding out a hand that was definitely older than George’s, ”Ex-chief inspector, yep, my sister was the same. Still is actually, 67 and she’s still gushing about me like I’m still in the force. At least it’s the wife for you.” Tommy said with a smile.

”George Staffordshire.” George shook the man’s hand, his admission about the sister confirming the age difference between them.

”How long are you here for?” Tommy asked curiously before taking another swig of his beer and giving Chancer another pet. Traitor George thought looking down at the dog. It wasn’t that he was opposed to company it was just after the day he’d already had he wanted to be alone with his thoughts.

”Only three days but you’d think three weeks the amount of dog tins our cottage is currently storing.” George rolled his eyes and Tommy let out a laugh.

”Don’t let Mavis here you say that, she’s after donations.” he replied nodding to the pub. Tommy played with his glass for a minute as though he was wanting to say something but wasn’t quite sure how to phrase it.

”You’re about to ask me something about work aren’t you?” George kept his eyes trained on Tommy’s fingers as he asked the question before he looked up at him expectantly.

”I know, I know you’re on holiday,” George let out a small sigh and Tommy stopped him. ”Just, I know ok, if anyone knows I know. Believe it or not I’m on holiday too.” Tommy paused and looked around him as though someone might be watching before leaning in slightly to continue. ”I’m actually pretty relieved another coppers shown up, the locals get a bit funny.” Tommy made a disgruntled face.

Now George was interested, it wasn’t that he didn’t like the idea of a holiday but he really did enjoy his job. Well the paperwork was something he could definitely do without but the job itself he loved. The thrill of the chase, the intrigue of mystery and even better now he wasn’t actually on the clock.

”Go on.” George said leaning in, gripping his pint a little tighter and giving Chancer’s head a ruffle.

”I found something the other day and you’re not telling me it was wildlife that did it!” Tommy’s eyes darted from side to side again causing George’s brow to furrow.

”A body?” George asked quietly.

”Fifteen of em’ and they’re still there.” Tommy whispered, he paused for a moment and in that moment George’s eyes bulged, his pulse began to race. Fifteen dead bodies in one little village and no one had reported it, there were no mass task forces, no reporters. His eyes darted to the pub window where he could still see Maureen safe through it. Everything suddenly felt very close, the plants too near, like they were watching him. He pulled at his collar, although his mind was racing; the thrill of mystery already coursing through his system, his first priority was and always would be Maureen’s safety. No matter how intrigued he was.

”Fifteen dead cows, all together in one space.” Tommy shook his head in disbelief and the colour immediately returned to George’s face. If he’d known Tommy better he’d had clobbered the older gent around the head for scaring him. Unfortunately for George he didn’t know the bespectacled grey haired man before him, which was probably quite fortunate for Tommy.

”Rival farmer? Kids? Maybe some disease?” George suggested, easing back into the conversation and feeling his previous panic melt away.

”The weird thing isn’t that they’re dead George. The weird thing is that none of them seem to care.” Tommy said seriously prodding the table with his finger.

”It’s- ” George started but was cut off by Maureen approaching.

”I see you’re making friends.” Maureen smiled and took a seat next to her husband letting Chancer nuzzle at her leg a little and stroking him. ”Not going to introduce me?”

”Tommy this is Maureen, Maureen, Tommy.” George gestured between the two of them. ”Tommy used to be a copper.” George said and Maureen rolled her eyes at the pair of them.

”No wonder you’re talking then. Honestly George we come on holiday to get away from work!” She scolded him lightly.

”That’s my fault I’m afraid, I heard you talking about him and came out here to introduce myself.” Tommy admitted taking a swig of his pint.

”Well at least I know who to blame if he gets into trouble.” Maureen sighed but gave George’s arm a gentle squeeze shooting him a smile. After Maureen’s appearance the cows weren’t brought up again as they chatted well into the evening. They did however creep into George’s mind when he went to the shops a little later and when the creepy cottage opposite them was playing Brahms Concerto at three am full volume.

George turned over again, pillow over his head, Maureen asleep next to him and got up, whoever said the country side was quiet lied, big time. He’d have gotten more sleep in his office with the sirens blaring. George stood up and walked to the window glaring at the house opposite as though the occupant might see him and turn down the racket they were making. Maureen mumbled in her sleep and turned over just as George spotted something outside. He narrowed his eyes and then shook his head, lack of sleep was clearly doing things to him because there was no way people were moving around outside at this time. It was probably just the wind in the tree’s. George closed his eyes and went back to bed eventually drifting off.

The second day of the holiday was nice, relaxing. They didn’t do much, went for a walk, called in at the local and George didn’t hear hide nor hare from Tommy either. The mystery of the cows still played on his mind though something Maureen noticed, especially when she’d spent twenty minutes talking aliens and he hadn’t even noticed, he was too busy lost in thought.

Why, why would a farmer kill that many cows? Why would they leave them in a pile like that?

George was still pondering those questions at midnight when he heard a rapping at the window. He got up wearily rubbing his eyes and once again hearing opera blaring from the house over the road. He wasn’t so much shocked as he was annoyed to see Tommy outside the house.

”Sheep.” Tommy hissed when George opened the window and leaned out. ”It’s sheep now.” George’s brow furrowed, now he was more than curious, now he wanted to investigate. He raised a finger at Tommy telling him to wait and slipped over to the chair in the corner. George dressed quickly and pulled on his coat heading outside to meet Tommy.

George really had to question how he ended up here; crouched behind a wall, tired and grumpy on the second night of his holiday with a practical stranger.

”I’m telling you something’s off.” It was the fourth time Tommy had hissed the words at him and George was ready for giving him a kick.

”There’s nothing bloody here.” George said pushing himself up off his knees.

”Keep your voice down man!” Tommy said grabbing George’s coat and pulling him back down into the mud next to him. ”Shhh.” Tommy batted at George as he protested and before he could argue another word his attention was caught by someone approaching the sheep.

”See.” hissed Tommy as they waited with bated breath for a reappearance. The whole place seemed to have gone silent and they were all holding their breath, eyes wide and unblinking.

”What are you all doing out here!” Maureen suddenly emerged from the shadows as Tommy’s hand flew up to his chest and Maureen actually jumped herself.

”Oh bloody hell!” George grumbled shaking his head and standing up as something caught the attention of the others in the field behind him.

”George what on earth.” Maureen questioned him but George just grumbled again shaking his head and feeling foolish, this was something and nothing.

”It doesn’t matter because that’s it! I’m done! There’s nothing out here. I’m going home, if you want to play silly buggers out here.” George started to walk waving them off.

”George.” Maureen said quietly.

”No, you know what this idiot’s dragged us out here for?” George protested still walking away and Maureen called him again, hissing his name with urgency. There was a tug at his jacket that he ignored.

”No this has gone far e-bloody-nough!” George shouted as a sound that could described as metal being torn in two came from behind him and Maureen screamed a little too loudly.

”What are yo-” George cut himself of when he saw it. A woman no older than 35 who looked like she’d been made from the earth; skin more like wood, hair leaves and plants, feet planted solidly into the earth which seemed to carry her forward. Her eyes, as far as he could see, were dark and hollow and her arms were outstretched beckoning the plants forward. It took George a whole minute of wondering if he was dreaming or not before he realised he wasn’t. Her mouth opened like the gaping hole made by woodland animals in tree bark and a thick thorned branch, like some tongue from hell itself, came up out of it.

”We need to run.” George said but Tommy had started backing up, hands in the air and was muttering something about coming in peace.

”We didn’t see anything.” Maureen said almost tripping as she moved backwards.

The creature tilted it’s head at them and George had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well. ”Run you silly bastards!” Tommy shouted. George grabbed Maureen’s hand and they started to run away as the woman gave chase. George glanced back, his brow furrowing, was she? Had she gotten bigger. The earth seemed to be feeding her and a branch suddenly landed in front of them, they dodged it and continued to run until Maureen’s foot was caught on something and George was already too far away by the time he realised what had happened.

That sound of tearing metal echoed across the fields and into the night again. George realised then it was the call of whatever this creature was. George made to move forward but the thing picked Maureen up by the ankles and ignoring her cries and protests it swallowed her whole.

”George.” Tommy hissed at him. ”George.” Tommy said again urgently, dancing on the edge of the woods.

”No! NO!” George suddenly said defiantly causing the monster to stop in it’s tracks and watch him. ”I HAVE HAD ENOUGH! All Maureen wanted was a break, a little break, nothing too much to ask but all we’ve had ALL WE’VE BLOODY GOTTEN is one thing after another, if it wasn’t batshit mental Mary over the road playing opera at all hours it’s crack pot old police men telling me there’s aliens afoot. I am sick and bloody tired of this village. You, you think you can just come down here and eat my bloody wife?” George cried angrily shaking his fist.

”I know what you want George.” The high raspy voice of the creature said tilting her head at him as though she were about to seduce. ”You want a new woman, to be young again, a new chance at life.” She said. ”I can give you that George.”

”No, no I bloody don’t! I’m 54, I want my damn wife back, I want a shed and I want to be left alone!” He shouted. ”You bloody aliens think you’re going to come down here and change the earth but guess-” George was midway through speaking when suddenly there was a cry from the creature, piercing into the night, one that could only be pain and suddenly it exploded.

”Sorry love but you were taking too long.” Maureen said standing up from the ground where she’d been thrown. She smiled dusting herself off and held up a small pair of garden sheers. ”Well I didn’t know what you were doing out here.” She added answering his quizzical look.

George swallowed watching her, unsure if she should be afraid right now or just relieved, relief seemed to be the overwhelming emotion as he moved toward her and wrapped her in a tight embrace that almost cracked a rib.

”I think it’s time we were leaving don’t you?” Maureen said matter of factly looking down towards the sheep and the body bits. Tommy had gone, disappeared into the wild and despite searching for him for well over an hour they couldn’t find him. Within twenty minutes of getting back to the cottage they’d packed and bundled Chancer into the car. They left a note for Tommy not knowing if he’d ever see it then took off back home.

”Next year we’ll take a city break.” Maureen mused in the car watching the scenery go by in the car and catching something in the wing mirror. A lone Ivy leaf that appeared to be creeping towards them at the lights. Maureen blinked and shook her head, clearly she still needed a large brandy after everything that had happened.

Get a Namuh delivered to you door today!

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writingprompts:</p>
<p>writing prompt #241</p>
<p>I’m trying to track down the source for this image. Anyone know it?<br />
Update: ok, I think got the source. It’s from Us Design Studio. ” src=”<a href=http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lnz62pSOdr1qee12to1_1280.png&#8221; />

http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/76573939026/writingprompts-writing-prompt-241-im-trying

”We got another one!” Sarah called into the house. It would be ok if it wasn’t so damn annoying, especially when they were just left on the porch like that, for everyone to see, to steal. It wasn’t a damn newspaper it was a decent well bred human for godsake. 

”Well I didn’t order one!” Alice called back from where she sat on the sofa, deciding after a moments deliberation to get up and go inspect the package. ”There’s no more room in the cool house.” Alice sighed. ”Maybe it’s a mistake.” She said stepping out onto the porch and inspecting the label. It definitely had their name and their address on it. ”Where do you wanna put it then? I mean we could take it to a shelter or something, send it back maybe?” Alice asked putting a hand on her hip. 

”Gives us an excuse to have a bbq.” Sarah shrugged. ”Party?” 

”Party.” Alice nodded her voice breaking into a smile. ”Come on help me get it inside.” 

Most people think that for humans to start eating each other there’s gotta be some virus, some curse, that or your evil. There has to be something that means people are out of their minds when they start. That’s how the world thought it would happen if it did happen. It didn’t

Human meat started appearing on the shelves like it was cow or chicken. There was no rising of vampires, no zombies, no werewolves, no evil spirits possessing people. It just started happening. 

There was an event, something happened and all the cows and chickens and sheep got sick. Caught some disease similar to foot and mouth but more vicious. Someone said it was a political thing, that infected food had been shipped over by one country or another. Intending to send the most westernised countries into disarray. It spread like wildfire and suddenly there was a meat shortage.

Then there was a scandal; human meat was found in certain supermarket things. It was huge and yet the biggest thing, the thing that people seemed worried about was whether or not the meat was diseased. Had they eaten meat tainted with aids? HIV? Something more sinister? Cancerous maybe. The thought rippled through and overwhelmed the fact that innocent people had been murdered. For the first few years people were squeamish about it. Then politicians caught wind of the fact that this could be a way of dealing with overpopulation. Human meat started appearing on the shelves, at first it was cuts of meat, organs that kind of thing. You could go to a butcher and pick up a leg. At first they decided who died by using prisoners, paedophiles that kind of thing. A way to justify what they were doing.

Years past. All of a sudden the issue wasn’t whether the meat was diseased but where it was coming from, suddenly human meat was just like any other and people wanted to know where it was being grown. They wanted it grading for quality. It didn’t matter that cows, chickens, sheep had all started to flourish again because now, now there was a new meat on the market that people had grown a taste for.  

It took two more years before they figured they could package up a human like a chicken. People usually got a bit squeamish if the head was still on but some marketing guru decided that if they packaged it up like a chicken. People would stop seeing it as a human. Of course there were protests but overwhelmingly, the majority of people lapped it up. 

Now it’s as natural as buying a toothbrush. Get a Namuh delivered to you door today! That’s the slogan they use and the name a cheap backwards trick. Now people don’t feel guilty about what they’re eating, they don’t care any more and it wasn’t an evil that did this. It wasn’t something supernatural like humanity always feared, it was simply humanity itself. In all it’s glory. 

A rant and some thinky thoughts on Disney Women! Well sort of….

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When people talk about Disney women on a whole, it really bugs me that they seem to forget about characters like Mary Poppins and Eglantine (Bedknobs and Broomsticks) I get that it might not serve the feminist rant, or people are too busy concentrating on the princesses but these two were as much a part of my childhood as any of the princesses. Most critics of Disney women tend to focus on the princesses and how passive they are, how sexist they are (I don’t agree with a lot of this), a lot of what I’ve seen, on tumblr, various blogs, a few academic readings, focus on using the term Disney Women when they are actually only discussing the princesses. Strong women characters tend to get over looked. I just want to ramble a minute about Mary Poppins and Eglantine.

They were two strong minded individual women who lived and worked alone. Mary Poppins in particular is a fine example of strong women. Eglantine just asdfghjkl, I’m just watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks so let’s talk about her for a minute. 

She lives alone, in the country during the war and actively DOESN’T want to take the children but is forced into it. Her goal throughout the film is about getting those magic words, it’s not falling in love or finding a family, that happens on the side by accident. She genuinely isn’t interested in Mr Brown or the children for a good part of the film, perhaps with the exception of Carrie. 

They are a burden and an annoyance until they fall into the lagoon and even after that she’s still not this passive female character who needs saving. SHE FUCKING LEADS AN ARMY AGAINST THE GERMANS TO KEEP THEM OFF ENGLISH SOIL AND WINS! You aren’t telling me that’s not some epic woman right there. The children might have been forced on her at the start but then Eglantine is given choice after choice in that movie and that is ultimately what equality is about and she chooses in the end to let them stay with her. 

It pisses me off something rotten that people talk about Disney women and then miss out characters like this. Yes they’ve got a lot of shit wrong but we should appreciate the things gotten right too! 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Toy Story What was your favorite plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?

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I looked at this prompt for a while, trying desperately to remember if and what my favourite childhood toy was. I’ve racked my brains, I’m only 23 it shouldn’t be that hard to remember what it was. I have to say I’ve come to a conclusion that probably sounds incredibly cheesy, but it’s also incredibly true.

My favourite childhood toy was my imagination and in a lot of ways it still is my favourite thing to play around with. Sure I had Barbies and Lego, Playstation, Nintendo, dolls and a mountain of books but nothing, nothing ever equalled, gave me the same thrill, or kept me entertained as much as the depths of my own imagination.

As far as connection goes I suppose the biggest thing is the fact that I want to be a writer, that I write everyday and constantly revisit that rich and vibrant world of my imagination in order to do so.

Toilet Paper Tail

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Note: This came from a prompt. ”A young child comes out of the bathroom with toilet paper tucked into the waistband.” The name Grumble Bumpkin was also inspired by a friend of mine by the name of Ben so thanks for that Ben! 

 

”Eric buddy.” Anthony called from where he sat at the table. ”Eric, Eric woah where are you going!” Anthony said grabbing his son around the waist and reaching for the toilet paper sticking out of his waistband.

”GERROFF ME TAIL!” Eric shouted wriggling out of his dad’s grasp and taking off around the venue. What Eric’s dad was highly unaware of was the fact that whilst in the bathroom his son had undergone a wonderful transformation. No longer was he Eric Brennerman, boring school boy, no, now he was Eric Brennerman turned Monkey Boy. The incredible superhero who used his powers and gadgets to save the world. Who was he saving the world from his father would wonder? Why the evil Grumble Bumpkin of course, the wickedest witch to ever roam these planes.

”ERIC GET DOWN!” His grandma yelled.

That’s when Eric saw her, his wrinkly arch nemesis. Grumble Bumpkin, famous for her grumbling throughout the land. Her grumbles were so loud at times that they shook the very foundations of the earth. There was only one thing that Monkey Boy knew off could defeat the evil witch.

Toffee, not just any toffee but special caramel toffee that stuck her teeth together and stopped the grumbling, made her remove her greatest power; her false teeth. It would leave her weak and unable to talk at all.

Eric raced across the rocks stopping him from falling into the lava covered floor. He dodged two of Grumble Bumpkin’s guards and dived under the table out of sight. This would be his hiding place, he needed to find some toffee! Lot’s of it and quick but it was all kept over in the great town of Buffet. Where Chicken Drumstick Mountain lay and Fizzy Drink Creek ran.

He’d have avoid to the Big White Poof and the slippery floors of Dance Hallery if he wanted to get over there. He lifted up the invisibility cloak shielding him from view and peered out. There were too many enemies and not an ally insight. A gap was emerging though if he timed it right he could grasp the toffee and slide into the Caves of Buffet, crawl around the back of Djonia and leave some of this special toffee on Grumble’s desk. She would be non-the-wiser, she’d reach out for it and not realise it was going to render her powerless the rest of the evening.

Five year old Monkey Boy Eric darted out from under the table and made a run for it but he was stopped suddenly as he felt the huge arms of Gorilla Man scooping him up. Yanking on his tail until it was out of his waistband and the illusion was shattered.

”Daaaaddddd.” Eric moaned loudly.

”Come on let’s go play football on the green, can’t be much fun for you in here. Ey’ Monkey man?” Anthony said. Eric frowned for a minute, still angry about his tail but he couldn’t resist the prospect of football with the worlds greatest commentator. Eric tilted his head and looked at his dad for a minute before he replied.

”Ok then! Only if you don’t cheat this time though!” Eric said wriggling out of his fathers grasp and charging off towards the corridor. Grumple Bumpkin would have to wait until next time. 

Ben & Ellie

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Note: I’m not entirely sure where this one came from, or why it took so long to write. It was an interesting idea that just sprung into life and originally it was meant to be a lot longer, unfortunately what was in my head didn’t work as well on the page so I had to change it. 

Ellie let out a moan as her hands twisted into the sheets. Ben’s actions between her legs were always something she loved about him and one hand managed to leave the sheets and find it’s way into his silver flecked hair. It had been eight years, eight long years and they still, still couldn’t keep their hands off each other. There was still a passion, a fire built on pure love that burned between them. Something that left friends jealous, something that meant the only person the other found attractive in the room was of course their other half. Literally the other half because they were meant to be together, everyone they knew said it. Except of course when the television was on and James Nesbit or Nicole Kidman were on screen.

Ellie felt her head grow heavy and her eyes flutter but it had nothing to do with an impending orgasm. This was something else, she was falling asleep, in a way. Her hand fell slack on the side of Ben’s head. Ellie jerked back into reality and groaned loudly which caused Ben to look at her concern etched on his face.

”Did you just fall asleep?” Ben asked her with an eyebrow raised and a hint of humour in his voice.

”No, no, no of course I didn’t.” Ellie protested as Ben kissed her thigh before moving his body up hers leaving gentle kisses along her stomach and chest.

”Did you fall asleep, am I really that bad?” Ben asked a slight humour still in his tone.

”No, I didn’t ok?” Ellie smiled at him and pulled him into a kiss.

When love making was finished and they were lay facing each other, talking about the usual things; cleaning, life, friends, their respective days. Ben looked at her with a concern on his face. It was the third time he’d seen her furrow her brow and shake it off, he was beginning to wonder if the hiccup earlier was more than just that.

”Ellie are you sure you’re ok?” Ben asked brushing some of the hair from her face. Ellie shifted uncomfortably, she knew she wouldn’t be able to hide this from him forever but the longer she put off admitting something was wrong to him, the longer she put off admitting it to herself. She chewed her lip a little and tried to shake it off. How was she supposed to phrase it?

”Ellie please?” Ben asked, no puppy dog eyes now, his playful face had become serious. His brow furrowed at her as he repeated the question again. Ellie looked up at him for a moment, hazel eyes meeting brown for a moment before she took a breath.

”Something’s wrong.” Ellie said solemnly. Something was wrong, she knew it, she’d been feeling it for at least a week but the last two days things had been getting worse and it was worrying her. She was scared and nervous and she didn’t want to admit to anything but now she had to.

”Something? What do you mean?” Ben asked, panic evident in his voice. ”Is it me, is it us?” Ben asked his eyes were darting across her face and trying to get a read of what it was that was bothering her.

”No, no it’s not that, it’s, I’ve-” Ellie paused steadying herself and trying to relax, it was going to sound stupid and he was going to laugh at her for it. What was she getting worked up for it was just a few symptoms, wasn’t it?

”You’ve what?” Ben looked at her. ”You’ve what? Ellie please.” Ben said, he was worried. Ben was older than Ellie and he’d always been a little insecure about what it was exactly Ellie saw in him. She was beautiful, intelligent, loving and fun, she had all these adorable quirks that he loved but he could never understand what she saw in him. He was a blokes bloke, old fashioned. He loved the football and ate too much takeaway, forgot anniversaries and laughed when she was clumsy. Ben was twelve years older than her. Twelve years was a lot when your partner was twenty-nine. Ben had already been married twice and neither had been good for either his self-esteem or him on a whole. It had taken Ben a long time to get past the insecurities of being cheated on and the insecurities about him as a man still plagued him. Ben was unaware that Ellie had a few of the same concerns because she hid them from him well. She knew Ben loved her but he had two wives in the past, not only that but what if he wanted someone older. The fact she couldn’t have children and that her previous arsehole of a boyfriend had used it against her meant she felt insecurities too. It was Ben who vocalised his panic though, not so much now but especially in the early days.

Ben and Ellie had come together through their mutual love of Come Dine With Me. They had both been at the same party, invited by separate groups of people, yet as often happens, found themselves in a wider circle of friends. Two comments later about the narrator of the show and they started talking. Both had recently split from respective partners but they clicked, they could both feel it. Four dates, 12 phone calls, 247 texts, two nights of passion and a day at the seaside later and they were officially a couple. They were perfect for each other, one completed the other.

”Ellie?” Ben asked her again a little more firmly that time.

”I’ve been having symptoms.” She said slowly. Ben’s mind began racing in all sorts of directions, she couldn’t have kids but what if the Doctors were wrong. Positive first then his brain flipped to something more sinister. What if she was sick? Really sick? Not just snuffles where she was on the couch for a week and he kept her supplied with honey and lemon tea accompanied by buttery toast.

”What do you mean symptoms?” He asked his voice catching in his now dry throat.

”I, well,” Ellie paused a moment and looked away from him trying to work out how to vocalise it. ”I’ve been having headaches.”

”You’ve always had headaches.” Ben said but paused at the look on her face. ”Go on.” He added.

”It’s not just headaches, I’ve been feeling dizzy and drowsy. I, I keep getting confused Ben. The other day I forgot how to drive, in the middle of driving. I’ve never panicked so much in my life, I had to pull over onto the hard shoulder. I, I’ve been sick and and I’ve had a few panic attacks too. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” Ellie was close to tears, Ben could see it as she reeled off the list to him. Ben racked his brain trying to contemplate what was happening. A calmness came over him as he looked at her, he could see the fear in her eyes, it was a fear he was trying to crush down inside himself so he could be strong for her.

”Ellie, Ellie look at me.” Ben said rubbing her arm slightly as though reassuring her he was there. ”It’s probably just a virus ok? We’ll get you booked in at the doctor’s first thing tomorrow though ok?” Ben gave her a weak smile. Ellie frowned and replied in a voice that was barely a whisper.

”But what if it’s not? I’m scared Ben.” Ellie admitted.

”I know, I know.” Ben replied as he pulled her close to him, the only thing he could think to do. They couldn’t think about that right now. The truth of the matter was it could just be a virus.

”The surgeries not open until tomorrow night.” Ellie added.

”Then we’ll get you booked in for tomorrow night ok?” Ben kissed the top of her head gently and pulled her close again. In the whole time he’d been with her he’d never seen her look this worried. Not over something potentially serious.

 

Neither of them slept much that night. Ben tried to push worry from his mind but Ellie couldn’t even attempt that. Now she’d admitted there was something wrong it was hanging over her like an axe waiting to drop. She considered, at 2am, driving herself to A&E and seeing if the doctors would see her. She decided against it though, she’d be waiting around up there forever if she did go.

Ellie called into work sick, there was no way she could teach today. It wouldn’t be a welcome distraction it would just remind her of the impending doctors appointment. Ellie thought about a lot though during the day. She thought about whether it was better not to know, whether it was better to just carry on living in ignorance. She wondered if it could just be a virus but she shook that off. It had to be something more.

Ben’s day at work wasn’t much better. As an architect he was supposed to be working on a few new house designs. His mind was too busy on Ellie though, he couldn’t lose her. He was trying to stay positive but what if it was serious? What then? What if it couldn’t be cured and he lost her? He nearly broke down several times thinking about it over the course of the day. The clock seemed to be mocking him on the wall the ticking seemed too loud and the hands were moving far too slowly.

 

When Ben eventually got out of work he drove home first to pick up Ellie, she’d wanted to go on the bus but he refused to let her. He didn’t want to meet her there he wanted to take her. When they pulled up outside the surgery Ellie turned to him.

”Ben.” She said slowly, there was a calm confidence in her voice, it was serious though.

”It’ll be ok.” Ben said reassuringly, not quite sure if he believed it himself.

”But, but what if it’s not. Ben look at me.” Ellie said, she seemed calmer than yesterday, because she was. There were a few things she wanted to say before they went in, a few things she wanted to tell him. She’d thought about them all day and all night and she needed to vocalise them. ”Ben if, if it is, if it is the worst case scenario.” Ellie paused and Ben made to protest but she cut him off. ”If it is bad, I don’t, I don’t want it to change us. I-I want you to find someone to-”

”No, no we are not having this discussion.” Ben cut her off.

”Ben please.” Ellie tried again.

”No, no we are not having this conversation! We don’t even know what’s wrong with you! So we are not having any conversations like that.” Ben said firmly, there was an edge in his voice as though he was telling off a child.

Ellie fell silent and Ben nodded. He sighed, turned off the engine and got out of the car before walking around to the other side of the car and holding the door open for Ellie to step out of. She did so, but she eyed him, annoyed that he hadn’t let her finish.

They waited in silence, it was uncomfortable, too clinical and there were too many people in the waiting room. Coughing, itching, sneezing, rubbing heads. Ellie had a little moment of confusion, wondering what she was doing in there, who the people were, why she didn’t recognise them. Fear grasped hold of her heart tightly when she remembered, she didn’t let Ben see it though. Brushed it off with a smile.

Ben squeezed Ellie’s hand as she told the doctor what was wrong, the symptoms. The doctor was a large stocky man, a blonde moustache sitting on his upper lip, glasses and a balding head. There was something reassuring about him, he was warm and friendly enough and didn’t act like they were time wasting. He went through a variety of standard questions and Ellie either nodded or denied what he was asking.

”Now, Ellie, I have to ask this. Have you fallen recently?” The Doctor asked her. ”I know from past experience you can be quite clumsy. Have you had a bump to the head?” He smiled reassuringly at her, a little humour to lighten the tone. Doctor Breeter had been Ellie’s doctor for a long time and he’d lost count of the amount of times she’d been into the surgery with sprained ankles, sprained wrists, broken fingers, split knee’s, bruised hip once or twice. She’d stopped coming to surgery so much and had learned to deal with certain things herself. When she sprained an ankle she strapped it up, when she split her knee, she stuck butterfly stitches on it.

”No, no not that I can think of?” Ellie replied frowning.

”Yes you have.” Ben piped up from next to her, for the first time his hand left her grasp. ”She fell.” He said turning to the Doctor. ”She fell getting out of the shower about three weeks ago. You remember?” He asked her.

”Yeah you laughed at me and then had to bandage me up.” Ellie gave him a small smile.

”Were you unconscious at all?” The Doctor asked her.

”No, no I don’t think so. It was just a bump to the head, I had a cut, big bruise but that was it.” Ellie shook her head waving it off.

”Do you know what’s wrong?” Ben asked the doctor curiously.

”Well, yes and no. Ellie I think you have something called post-concussion. Your symptoms and the fact you fell point me towards that.” The Doctor admitted. There was a but coming, they could both feel it. Ben gripped her arm, the fear that had been slightly alleviated was back and gripping onto him strongly. That but, that pause seemed to go on for eternity. ”But, I can’t be definite so I’d like you to go up to the hospital just to double check. They’ll give you a CT scan, after that I’ll prescribe you with some painkillers for the headache. Post-concussion can last from anything to a few months to a year but it’s nothing to worry about.” The Doctor smiled at them both. ”I’ll put a call through to the hospital, get you an appointment today.” Doctor Breeter added.

Ellie simply nodded in reply and thanked him. The rest of the day and the trip to the hospital seemed to move by in a blur of emotions, relief, panic, fear and then back to relief as they found out it was post-concussion. The car ride home was a lot happier than it had been on the way in as they turned up the music. Ellie couldn’t keep the smile off her face as relief spread through her body. It was like a heavy weight had been taken away from her, the grip on her heart loosened and the fear from earlier disappeared.

”Let’s get takeaway, pizza and chicken.” Ellie said to Ben.

”DVD?” Ben asked her.

”Yeah, let’s go find something.” Ellie smiled at him. ”Let’s get something to drink too.”

”Easy Ellie, still a work night.” Ben grinned.

”Ice cream instead.” Ellie added.

”You know full well you won’t eat all that! You’ll eat like half a takeaway and throw the rest away. Pizza and ice cream, a DVD and hmm bit of music.” Ben said. When they stopped at the red light Ben looked at her for a moment before grabbing her hand and kissing it. ”I love you.” He said a little fiercely. The prospect of losing her this morning had been all to real, it had eaten away at him all day. The relief had made him want to physically collapse into a heap on the floor. He already knew how lucky he was to have Ellie, he already knew how much he loved her but the thought of losing her. The prospect of losing her had just brought everything home. Had highlighted the obvious.

”I love you too.” Ellie replied giving him a warm smile. Ellie watched him as he turned his attention back to the road. She felt a small flutter in the pit of her stomach, she wished she vocalise, wished she could show him how much she loved him but it was impossible. For a moment she saw, as she reflected on the day, exactly what her friends meant when they said they were a little jealous. That they were made for each other. If Ellie was on the outside of this relationship looking in she’d probably be jealous too. For the first time ever, after years of being modest she accepted that for a moment as she looked at him. He loved her and she loved him. She knew that and she liked it, she’d never doubt that for a minute ever again.  

Don’t They Know It’s the End of the World

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The meteorite was heading for Earth and there was nothing the Taktharan’s could do to stop it, for General Klackste, her duty was to remain objective, to remain distant and somewhat cold. She had to remain strong for her people, the people aboard her ship. It would fall to her or the Doctor to inform the human in their containment cell that as far as they were concerned she was now, perhaps the last human being in the universe, at least in this area of the galaxy. 

The General was thinking, staring at the space where Earth had been. She was going to have to protect the human girl from the biologists, the scientists who would want to explore her mind and body when the news about Earth spread. The last human would be an attractive thing to have in a collection too. The poor girl had become something of indescribable worth in a volatile space market and she wouldn’t even know it yet. 

There was nothing the General could have done though, their ship didn’t have the power to move the meteor and the General wasn’t about to risk her crew in a futile effort. She was sure that now the others around her were feeling that pang of guilt like she was. Despite the efforts they’d made she didn’t quite feel they had done enough, that the federation had done enough. The General shook her head as though trying to shake away the feelings she was beginning to have. Now wasn’t the time, they had all been fond of Earth but it was no longer. It was time to move on.

Doctor Braxenhall on the other hand couldn’t remain distant, impartial. He had treated the young human in their charge, he’ d talked with her at great length the hours she’d been there and he had grown fond of her. It wasn’t just that he empathised with the complete devastation that would come from learning her home had been obliterated, there was something else. 

Braxenhall was thinking about the intricacies of that small blue planet. In terms of the universe it was nothing, another star burning out. Another light in the vast sky being switched off, it had been so much more than that though. 

It had been a planet, a thriving planet filled with brilliant minds. The minds of inventors, artists, chefs, doctors, scientists, lovers, fighters, law makers. These were people with family, friends, other minds they were connected to. The next genius developing the next advance in space technologies could have been on that planet. There were millions of animals each with families, battle scars from fights for survival long since forgotten. Species who had fought to remain alive for millions of years, who had survived so much were gone, wiped out as easily as if one were turning out the lights. 

There might be realms, ships that held various Earth creatures but they might be swallowed up before the news of Earth’s demise reached them. There was of course no one to really care, to remember now. There wasn’t a large group of people to stand vigil over the death of the planet, when war breaks out other creatures rally around to remember to look after the graves of those lost, too keep the memory alive and ensure that what went before is not forgotten. Who would do that for the human’s? There were a few out there but not many. That thought gave way to a hollow space in Doctor Braxenhall’s chest, it formed a distance that was somewhat calming between the Doctor and the millions of minds, species, people that he had just watched destroyed in a matter of seconds. It did something else to the Doctor though, it made him feel fragile. 

When the General turned away Braxenhall knew she was doing so for the same reason. They no longer wanted to look because looking at that space reminded them how easily the universe could destroy them if it chose and that was more terrifying than any war or super weapon. The General gave Braxenhall a gentle nod, one to signify that he was going to be telling the young human that her world was destroyed. 

With a heavy heart Doctor Braxenhall turned away from the General and the view of the empty space that had been Earth. He sighed deeply and began to make his way towards the containment cell. The human’s crime was nothing more than stowing away, now she might be the last of her kind. 

Her misdemeanour it seemed had been her saviour or perhaps it had simply imprisoned her for life because a life alone, being the only one of your kind could be a prison couldn’t it? Only time it seemed would tell. 

Twisted Beauty.

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”They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. The same can be said of beauty, one man’s ugly can be another man’s beauty. On a whole throughout the world there are standards of things that can be classed as ‘ugly’, I’m not talking about shallow things, or personality traits that are defined as being unattractive. I’m talking about much bigger things, things like war and hate. Yet in the midst of these beauty can still be found.”

The older man paused a moment looking at his younger counterpart as he poured them both a drink. He knew why the younger man had come to him. Marty knew as soon as Jimmy had stepped through the door three weeks earlier with Jane that the younger man would be back and probably be seeking his council. Jimmy would probably be torn, as Marty once had been, his conscience in a quandary about just what they were liking.

”I knew a woman once, she was beautiful, everything about her was stunning from head to toe; the way her waist dipped in, the way her clothes hung on her, the flick of her eye liner. The way she laughed at dinner, the way she loved to drive for miles and miles down winding country road. There was so much that made her what she was and in case you hadn’t already guessed my dear boy, I was head over heels.”

”She was something to behold, but do you want to know the time I found her most beautiful. Do you know the time I loved her most? The time that it was most clear, above all the others that made my heart stop in it’s place? Now when I tell you this, you might think me a little odd?” The older man paused again, as he took a drink and placed it down on the side.

”We visited her home town, it was some time after the change had occurred, we’d been travelling together for quite sometime but there was one thing I couldn’t deter her from and that was revenge. I knew exactly where she was leading us the moment we arrived in her village and what it meant. The moon was full and bright, I remember it clearly because the hedgerows cast long dark shadows in the moonlight but she, she flitted around them like she was a moonbeam herself. I watched her for a while and she was at the house before I was even halfway through the garden. My ears of course picked up on the sounds she was making inside, the sounds the family inside were making. Begging, pleading.”

”By the time I made it into the room she was in she was screaming, shouting, crying. She was wreaking her revenge on those who had harmed her. The sight should have churned my stomach, not because of the blood but because of the way my loves face had twisted. It is a terrible thing don’t you think? To see someone you love become like that? Too see them become a monster. Yet strangely it didn’t, it made me love her even more.”

”Her face was twisted into something born from hate and pure evil as she worked and I didn’t want to stop her for even hate and evil in their purest forms can hold something beautiful. There was a fire in her eyes like I had never seen before. It radiated out of her and scared the human’s senseless, she wasn’t about to make their deaths easy, we knew that before we’d arrived. I was transfixed as she worked, the graceful when she danced around them, the tinny innocence to her voice with only the smallest ounce of malice, she was giving them hope and with a flick of her fingernail and then her tongue taking it away. The way her face twisted, her eyes lit up, her lips twisted into a smirk made me want her, made me love her all the more. She utilised her whole body as though it were an instrument, which, at this moment it was and the symphony of blood and misery she was leaving in her wake was quite simply my friend a work of art.”

”So when you say I wouldn’t understand what you are going through, you are wrong. We must remember that the light cannot exist without the darkness, good without evil, the stars cannot shine in the daytime can they? As I said before one man’s ugly is another man’s beauty and sometimes then, beauty can be found in the darkest, most evil of places.”

Another review again tonight…

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Die Hard, what else. 

Die Hard is a film close to my heart, as it is to many. A favourite that I’ve loved since I was far to young to be watching it and indeed, the first film I saw Alan Rickman in (but not the first film that made me fall in love with him). More than likely it’s where I learned to use the f-word every other sentence and where I learned a certain reckless John McClane ‘come and get me mother fuckers’ attitude that shows from time to time. 

The latest instalment of the series see’s John McClane going on vacation to Russia in search of his supposedly wayward son John Jnr.  No longer the baby-faced boy from the very first film, John Jnr has turned into a great hunk of muscle and like his daddy and by all accounts his sister and mother a grade A bad-ass.  

The film is set up to be fantastic; John McClane kicking ass again and this time in Russia. The anticipation for his personal rants as he tries to navigate the country and not get himself killed, is enough to have any Die Hard fan salivating at the mouth. 

So, we have the man, the son, the city, the guns and the bad guys. Throw it all into the mixing bowl then and what do we get? 

A disappointing attempt at an action film never mind a Die Hard film. The first mistake, in the whole hour and forty minute mistake extravaganza that the film was, is perhaps lowering the age rating. It’s noticeable from the off as McClane has to tone down his cursing and simply repeat the words ”Jesus Christ” over and over again in favour of using his more choice vocabulary seen in the earlier films. 

Taking the age rating down to a mere 12A also meant that the bloody violence and hand to hand combat was kept to a minimum as it seems were shots of the wounded McClane’s. Gone are the days it seems of John McClane walking over broken glass and us witnessing him pull the bloody pieces from his feet. Gone are the days of him pulling splintered pieces of metal from his shoulder or indeed kicking the crap out of one agent or another.

The loss of blood and swears from the film appear to have been replaced by the destruction of cars. A chase sequence – that probably should have had a car ‘destructo-meter’ in the corner of the screen – ensues about ten maybe twenty minutes into the film. The chase sequence adds nothing to the film but takes away. Bad guys established earlier are shown and re-shown through shaky camera angles laughing and making lots of ‘bad-guy’ gestures to show that ”yes we really are the bad guys.” as if the armoured car, guns, hunting down McClane Jnr, oh and I don’t know, the fact they just BLEW UP A COURTHOUSE wasn’t enough to tell you that. There’s a very lame attempt at giving John McClane one of his trade mark short snappy monologues but it fails miserably and the restrictions placed on him by the films age rating shine through. 

There are some supposedly touching scenes between father and son although the previous attempt to establish the tense relationship between John and John Jnr ruin these moments and make the chemistry seem ever more false. 

The film is loud, brash and in your face with a twist anyone with half a brain can see coming. Not only do the heroes not live up to expectation but the villains fall flat too. There are however some interesting things going on with Yuri’s daughter as she becomes paler and odder as the film develops. This isn’t actually a plot line in the film but her appearance seems to symbolise her decent into what one can only assume is madness and probably would have proved a better b-story than the father/son reunion going on. 

The ending, well the ending seems to be something vaguely reminiscent of Jaws 3 and it’s god awful attempts at a CGI shark moving ever closer before exploding. 

Over all the film is terrible, not just as a Die Hard film but as an action film. Long actiony sequences that a teenager on movie maker could put together, coupled with bad CGI and a  an age rating that see’s the characters thrown into a world of odd restrictions that cause out of character action and dialogue, mean the film is about as good as the aforementioned Jaws 3. 

My advice, only go and see the film if you want to give your opinion on it, otherwise save your money for something better. Perhaps movie maker and some toy cars so you can make your very own chase sequence? 

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