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The fear of these hung around for years after Aunt Nicea passed away. She used them as punishment for not producing decorations that were up to her standards. To her credit she was always pushing them to improve and it did show in there later schooling. Reflecting on it they couldn’t help but think that she was living vicariously through their achievements.
The question was always about the garish frame. Why gold leaf and why the intricacy surrounding such a tranquil scene?
They were a wedding gift from a forgotten relation, placed safely out of reach in the room from which we children were forbidden. In my earliest memories I broke a shepherd’s crook and mended it with desperate, childish clumsiness. The inevitable punishment never came – in all the intervening years the damage was never noticed.
Mother always hated those pale, pastel statues: perhaps that’s why father insisted they always be displayed.
“Hello, my name is Winnifred.”
The train rocks forward, backward. Soothing.
There’s a bit of a commotion, now.
“People call me Winnie.”
Why is everyone shouting?
“I’ve always wanted to work for Arcadia Inc.”
There is definitely some sort of situation now. With Kung Fu. Or something.
“I’m sorry I’m late. Some trouble on the train.”
Is that a dagger? Why are those symbols glowing?
“No, nothing serious, not really…”
Blood. Blood everywhere.
“Excuse the stains. Like I said, a little trouble…”
Does no one hear her speak the killing words?
“No, of course I don’t need to see a doctor.”
Does no one see the man in grey, the man with the dead eyes?
“Most of the blood isn’t even mine…”
He reaches into the black torrent of her curse, he reaches into her black heart.
“I would have rather died than missed this opportunity…”
He turns her inside out, he folds her up. She’s gone.
“It was nothing, really.”
His icy hand reaches inside me, inside everyone.
“I guess I keep cool in a crisis.”
I give him my memory. I give it willingly.
“I’ve already forgotten all about it. Let’s talk about the job, shall we?”
Why would these two ordinary teenagers be concealing bright red top-hats in their school bags? Why did they bunk class to research a band from a different era? Why did they choose to sit with the man dressed as a Walrus and the mother with the red hippy skirt and the Lennon spectacles? Why are they listening so intently to the audio-stream from their phones?
It started last night, in Toronto, on the streamed version of CHUM Rock Radio. The DJ felt strongly about the Rolling Stones cover story: “The Stupidest Song of All Time?” He felt the playful inanity of the Beatle’s “I am the Walrus” should be celebrated not mocked. By the end of the show he had two hundred locals signed up to dress-up Beatle’s style and sing it live at their studios the next day.
Three hours later, when #iamthewalrussingalong started trending, it had become clear no one wanted to be left out. The meme had taken hold: pictures of people cutting their hair and sewing outfits flooded the net, planning and meet-up threads were created, techies stayed late to beef up the streaming-proxies.
Even now the DJ seemed over-awed at his creation: “There must be a thousand people in our building right now, the crowd is really excited and the outfits amazing. I’m looking at a webcam in St Petersburg, seems those Russian Cos-folk have been drinking since sundown. Hope those of you out in public are ready for this, we got six minutes to go here…”
“Collie, this is a damned waste of time.”
“Yes, Sarge.” No, Sarge, damn it, Sarge.
“That was one hysterical broad, lad. Those tips have a way of not panning out.”
“If you say so, Sarge.” You know what you are, Sarge. A Little City Policeman, sitting in his row. Like she said, now I think about it. Ten years on the force and you’re nowhere, ‘sarge’, and you know why? Because you’re one lazy bastard. One lazy, witless -
“Say, Collie, isn’t that our friend Reggie? Drunk as life and bothering the passengers, wouldn’t you say? Let’s do these nice people a favour and escort his royal Reggieness off this train, what do you say, Collie? Hey?”
“Yes. Sarge. Sure thing.” Sure thing, Sarge, let’s ignore the tip off about a mad bomber on this train, let’s just leave all these people to die horribly, Sarge. We’ll have saved them from the drunk though, right, Sarge? Might get a commendation for that, oh yes.
“Crazy tip, anyway. Singing that nonsense Beatles tune. Lady may have had a drink or two herself, Collie, hey? Collie? What on earth are you staring at over there? Collie?”
I am the walrus. Coo fucking choo.
Obituaries. Next to the comics and the crossword. Morbid, morose, sad, and yours.
Write an obituary in the second person. Be as dry or as flowery as you like.
Condolences to the family in the form of comments on the obits. This may not be the best time to ask for that R500 you’re owed from last week’s poker game.
Word Count: 300
In Vino Veritas, and all that. The human race is constantly expanding and finding new ways and places of making booze. Wine on the moon? On a satellite orbiting the Earth? On a floating thingy on a lava bed? At the bottom of a deep sea trench?
Write the back of the wine label, giving some details about the soil, the new cultivars, the farm that produces the wine.
Comments on the wine. Bit tart for your tongue? Wet saddle overpowering the fresh grass? Let the winemaker know.
Word Count: 300