Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sea Sixteen

Her feet teased the ground with a tread so light she rivalled the soft touch of the winds that playfully stroked her body at each graceful step. She could smell freshly mowed grass and the sounds of labourers from beyond the patchy hillocks that ran the length of the beach. Gulls squabbled amongst the weeds that bound the damp, sandy soil together. The birds, so elegant when riding invisible air current far above, hop-scotched and squawked impatiently as they fought over scraps in the scrub.

Then she heard him; turned to his voice, flashed him a wide smile then, laughing, sped away. Her feet tore at the white sand, the air was rougher, catching at her loose clothes and pawing jealously at her hair. She ignored it, eyes closed, half against the sandy wind, half from the laughter that creased her face. Soon, and just as she had expected - longed for -  she was folded in his grasp, his sweet scent in her nostrils as they fell to the sand and he rolled on top of her.

With fingertips light as whispers, he brushed the sand off her face. She opened her eyes to look into his face, but fleetingly before closing them anew, as her mouth opened to meet his kiss. His hand slowly caressed her side, then with increasing urgency he pulled aside her clothes to stroke her breasts, playfully tweaking a nipple. She gasped, a noise that came from low in her belly. He pressed his mouth against her hungrily, his tongue slipping into her mouth.

She coughed.

Then again, harder this time. She had to sit upright, swinging her legs over the side of the bed, her body gripped by a series of spasms that stole her breath away. Finally, when she was able to control the attack, she looked at her palm, spattered with white phlegm, flecked with dark blood. She wiped it off on the tattered top that was more glued to her body, rather than worn.

She stayed in that position for several minutes, catching her breath. The drip of rain water into a plastic pail in the corner of the room marked time with her panting inhalation. Gray light threatened to shine through the single white-washed window. Morning then.

Her lumpy scalp itched and tingled. A shower of dry flakes dislodged as she scratched at the tufted hair still left on her head. She reached her scarred and twisted hand, each fingertip wrapped in scraps of rag where the nails had been, to the large plastic bottle of sleeping pills on the side table. She gave it a shake, to assess the contents.

Still enough for many more nights of sweet dreaming.

Or, perhaps, just enough for one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mister Fluffy


"What's that, Mister Eff? What did you say?" Martha clasped the tea towel she had been using to dry the breakfast dishes to her ample bosom and looked down at the floor.

"Miaow!" Mister Eff said, rubbing his head against against her plump, stockinged calf.

"Whatever am I to do with you?" Martha asked, shaking her head, mouth twisted into a crooked grin. She flicked the tea towel at him. "Shoo! You've had your breakfast, now be off with you. I've a million and one things to do today, and I'll be lucky to manage half that."

Mister Eff plucked at her leg, making her jump like a startled sofa.

"Now that really is quite enough, you silly creature," she scolded, lips pursed, tea towel twisting in her grip.

"Miaow..." The sound was plaintive with just a hint of apology.

"Well, no more to be said then, Mister Eff," Marta said. "But you really have to get up off the floor. You're going to be late for work, and I've got a lot of cleaning to do. I'm a house-keeper, not a psychiatric nurse."

Sunday, June 6, 2010


As the extremes of acceleration eased, Major Brad Charmington relaxed. He flicked an eyelid to change the range on his display. The enemy was less than ten thousand kilometres away and closing fast on the transports that Brad was escorting.

He took his hand off the controls to manually assign the incoming star-fighter as a live target.He could have used the jawbone cadence system to achieve the same effect but Charmington was old-school. He loved the tactile feel of combat.

FIRE ALL. His finger brushed the screen. Brad's eyes closed monetarily, savouring the feeling as his payload deployed itself in an orderly fashion.

Once his ship had finished launching its deadly ordnance,  he turned about, back to the carrier that was his home in the fleet.

He slapped hands with his crewmates, took a few drinks in the mess hall and finally fell into his bunk with a weary sigh.

The next morning, just before he had the machine clean his teeth, Brad clicked on the viewscreen to watch the results of his assault. He barked a laugh, as one by one his foe evaded or destroyed each of the missiles and torpedoes that had been launched at him. Brad cocked an eyebrow, as the enemy turned away from the cargo fleet, his defensive arsenal too reduced to continue. Job done.

Charmington snapped a salute towards his unknown foe. It had been a worthy battle.