She – Magpie Tales

tooker, george self

I had always loved her. I knew her, inside, and out. The rhythm of her breath, the rise and fall, the swell and retreat, oh yes, I knew her, completely.

She is mine.

I hold her close to me, close my eyes to the sound of her, the feel of her, smooth and undulating under my fingertips. I caress her with my thumb.

She will always be mine…



(Note: This picture raised a memory for me, an amusement, an in-joke, somewhat at odds with the feel of this painting, but never mind. My entire family are creative in one way or another and amongst many, many other talents, my mum creates beautiful objects from clay, fires them in a kiln and from the bounds of the earth, art is born. I own a beautiful rendition of a seashell that she created, fired and glazed.

It’s my shell. Michelle.

See what I did there? Please don’t groan too loud!).


Here’s this week’s entry into Magpie Tales. Please visit here for more creativity, and why not take part, if you feel the urge!

In absentia – Magpie Tales

To Carly, the world around her was muffled and blurred, as if she were being tossed about in swelling seas, utterly at the whim and wish of the tides. This was a long yearned-for feeling, this separation, this distance, this other-worldliness. It had been a long time coming.

Others saw her as emotionless, cold, unfeeling, least of all broken-hearted. That’s what they wanted from her, to see her weeping and wailing, maybe even clutching at her hair, ripping her shirt in two, destroyed by despair.

They didn’t understand her, and now it was clear as the summer’s day outside her, that they never would. She was more broken, more destroyed, more cast adrift than she had ever been before, probably never would be again. But she channelled, she focused, she used all the pain, the loss, the emptiness and turned it into something real. It was, for her, the only way.

‘This time last year, none of this existed,’ she thought to herself, and raised a small smile. ‘Oh, I wish beyond all measure that you were still here in the flesh, but wishes are not horses and the devil will not ride. This book is testament to you, my love. Thank you for inspiring me with your absence.’

Carly raised her coffee cup, saluted her absent love and swallowed her tears with the bitter-sweet beverage. ‘For you, Andy, for you.’


Here’s this week’s entry into Magpie Tales. Please visit here for more creativity, and why not take part, if you feel the urge!

Altered state


Eddie wasn’t happy. She had fought for the last piece of cornbread and it had turned out to be dry, hard and mouldy all at the same time. It was black mould and she had a vague memory of being told that it was the dangerous type – but what was more dangerous than dying? She sighed, sitting in the ground, still shocked at how they could all have fallen so far.

A few weeks ago she had been safe in her house, even though there had been holes in the roof, none of the doors would shut properly and most of the windows were broken. It had still been hers, her haven. Now it was buried under an avalanche of scree, the detritus of the mountain above dumped on them all. She was now homeless and the sheer horror of it, the death, the destruction, was incongruous with the looming monstrosity that now reared above them, Pythagorean in its order, for the mountain was now glass-like, a pyramid, perfect in its horrific proportions. No houses, trees, people or animals blotted its smooth features. The weather had also turned, the water that had destroyed the mountain in torrents a mere memory these days. The sun burned down on them incessantly, relentless in its ferocity.

Where would she find water now? At the very least, she needed to moisten the cornbread in order to be able to chew and swallow it. The stream had dried up, the puddles had hardened to smooth, oily, sunken eyes. There was nothing for it. She lifted up her skirts and released the bright yellow stream of piss. She stared at the soggy bread lying limp on the ground and just as she was about to pick it up and force it into her mouth, she heard a twig snap behind her.

“Whatchoo got there?”

“Gemini'” sighed Eddie, trying to conceal the fear in her voice. “Where’s your sister?”

He waved nonchalantly, loose-limbed as ever. “Oh, back there.”

Eddie assumed that he was referring to beyond the shadowy trees, back to where the mercy truck had deposited its spoils. “But there’s nothing left, all the food has gone.”

“Well, not quite all. Driver’s dead,” said Gemini, his eyes cutting into her like blades. He grinned, menacing.

“Oh.” What else could she say? All she knew was that she needed to keep him talking, otherwise he would start thinking. Thinking was bad these days, but even more so for Gemini, he who constantly whittled away at pieces of wood with a wicked, curved blade.

“So why aren’t you with them?” she asked.

“S’boring there. They’re still hoovering the ground with their eyes, fighting over the last scraps.” Gemini tossed a pebble up and down, eyeing up Eddie meditatively. Sex was on his mind, even now, even in this world. He was terrifyingly calm, nonchalant.

His hand reached out like a striking serpent. He gripped Eddie’s wrist, yanked her towards him. She could smell his rancid breath, wanted to recoil, knew she shouldn’t.

“We need to repopulate the village. You and me, we are the ones,” he said. Strands of livid flesh shivered wetly between his incisors as he spoke. An image flashed before her eyes, of him sinking his teeth into the dead mercy truck driver’s leg, tearing, glorying in the horror of it all. He grasped her between the legs, pinching hard. “Let’s do it.”

Or maybe the driver hadn’t been dead, screaming for his own mercy as Gemini wrought his mad version of justice. Maybe, he hadn’t been dead.

“Yes, Gemini. We are the ones.”