I don’t want to post the thing I’m writing at the moment straight away because there’s more I can do, so I’ll post some older stuff first.
This is something I entered for a writing competition. I’ve been shortlisted and the awards thing is on the 25th of this month. I am, quite honestly, shitting myself, but it’s okay because no matter what happens I get a book voucher. That is a good thing.
The Life of Stone Men
My father’s shoulders used to be the highest place in the world. I’d look down and pretend his feet were mine; heavy footsteps that felt like they could crack the earth would leave me imagining the lives of giants, of trees, of stone men. But a tree will grow until it can grow no longer, or until its growing is interrupted and its life is cut short. A tree has no idea of how it will spend its time. A tree stands and grows, and the stones in the sea don’t hope to be one day washed ashore.
I often lay awake at night and re-watch my life, the images flicker and move behind my eyelids. The film pauses at points that should be so poignant, so bittersweet. I raise my hand to hide my yawn from myself.
I was hoping to be washed ashore. One day I realised I was level with his shoulders, and I remembered it when his shoulders were frail and shaky and far lower than mine. The promise of something new stole me away. They had a lot to compete with, my father and the stone men; they gathered moss while I wasted my years. I think of the time he dropped me, screaming blue murder, into the deep end of the local pool and waited for instinct to kick in. I’m not waiting to be washed ashore anymore, Dad, I’m swimming.
I look older under the fluorescent lights. She sometimes takes me to buy my tinned food, my sad loaf of bread for one. I always take longer than I should. The headache is still there, it makes my eyes water. The feeling of having something to do; some unnamed, unfinished task to complete hides at the back of my skull and makes me wring my hands and bite my nails.
From where I’m sitting, I can see out of the window. I don’t get out much. Everything hurts. I feel like I’m letting go. I can see pavement, cars, yellow lines and red lights. The sky is cold, an endless sheet of
blue. The blue dress. I loved her in that dress. Standing under the streetlight, God, she was perfect. She had freckles on her back. A few tightly coiled ringlets had escaped their pin and were resting on the nape of her neck. It was the first time I took her out. We had wine and
pasta. Again. A clean, trim middle aged woman comes to me every day at 12 and 5. She’s making god awful watery pasta again. I’ve had my medication. Yes, I’m fine. She closes the door quietly behind her; she’ll be back at 5 she says. I can hear her humming to herself in the kitchen. Her humming is occasionally interrupted by her telling me about her date last night. He’s taking her dancing next week. The tune she’s humming,
a waltz. We were dancing in her empty house, a slow waltz. We were doing it wrong. Neither of us cared. My eyes were flitting between the thick black eyelashes and the curve of her lips, slightly parted and stroking a ribbon of warm air against my face. I kissed her; she was warm and familiar and her body fit perfectly with mine. She kissed my neck and I went to turn out
the light. She’s asking me if she should turn out the light. No, I tell her. I won’t be going to sleep anytime soon. Not yet.
First posts are always the worst, I feel like I’m introducing myself to the internet.
Hi, I’m Alice.
There we go.
So now that this is over I’m just going to post writing and rants and maybe even the occasional photo. Cool.