They were modest old ladies, maiden sisters who had always lived together in their Papa’s old house. Neither married, although there was a whisper of gossip about the younger and prettier sister. Their long dresses were buttoned at the neck and covered many petticoats. They were the epitome of Victorian proper manners.
I had tea with them every four months from when I was first able to hold a tea cup. From the demurely dressed teapot to the lace covered plates and saucers, everything was hidden. Even the tables had voluminous pantaloons peeping demurely from beneath long ruffled tablecloths. The conversation omitted mention of male – men, boys, stallions, bulls, stags and rams were banned from the discussion – difficult in a country area.
Their deaths meant little to me, until I was told I had inherited their house. I threw open the drapes that kept the rooms in deathly dimness. I took the furnishings down to be washed, a needed spring clean.
Is it possible to be shocked by table legs? They were pornographically carved, phallic structures standing proud and showing signs of much use.
How they must have laughed at their visitors – so prim and proper – with penises under the tablecloth.
Category Archives: Derin Attwood
Ques and Dahnya, aliens from the Tadpole Galaxy, had travelled for thousands of light years to get to a memory from a long dead traveller. Ques had sifted his dead memories and now demanded the same banquet experiences.
Dahnya, with menu in hand, knew the impossibility of his feast. At the top of the list was The Taste of Sound. Impossible! She listened to the sounds of the earth. All good, but how could they be a taste? As she flew from country to country, she had an idea. From a lonely shore, she collected two large conch shells and took them to Ques, sitting high above the earth.
“When you hear the sound, breath through the shell,” she said.
She blew through the conch shell. The deep mournful sound washed over the alien, he put the shell to his mouth and breathed in deeply. The essence of the sea, mingled with some sand and a large crab, invaded his mouth with such force, Ques was knocked off his spacely perch. The crab grabbed Ques’s uvula just before being swept down his throat. He swung out through Ques’s mouth and reclaimed his shell as it fell towards the sea.
Ques was so horrified at the pain of earthly eating, he slid into his spaceship and left the universe for good, which was a relief for Dahnya. The next thing on Ques’s list was The Taste of Pain.
|she found it as we blew dandelion seeds to the wind|
|get rid of it|
|she talked about it like an old friend|
|we were friends first|
|she nurtured it|
|why did you treat it as special|
|she planted flowers|
|it grew and took over|
|it killed something beautiful|
|it drained her vitality|
|she said even weeds deserve life|
|you did too|
|“It gave me the password to heaven.”|
|it left me in hell.|
|she smiled as she died|
|I died too I didn’t smile|
|she wanted flowers on her grave|
|I planted dandelions and blew the seeds to the winds|
They say that in space no-one can hear you scream. Does that make space the noisiest place in the universe? It could be, but of course would any-one know?
Darius decided to find out so he sprouted wings and flew to the moon. When he got there, there was nothing to scream about and no-one to scream to. But as he flew around looking for inspiration, he saw a thought as it entered his head. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
He raced back to earth to find a falling tree to listen to. But all he found were those still standing and those already fallen, and as much as he asked, no-one and nothing could or would tell him if there had been noise. After a long search, he returned to the moon.
On the way he looked back and saw a tree falling, but he was in space and he didn’t know if the tree made no sound, or if its scream hadn’t made it into space.
Darius was so annoyed he had missed it he screamed, but he didn’t hear the scream and he didn’t know if it was because he was in space or if he had suddenly become deaf.
Then he had a horrible thought. If no one sees you, are you really there? And he wondered if the reason he hadn’t heard his scream was because he didn’t really exist.
If I stop at the top of the hill and look around, I can see right out to the horizon. I see the trees, lakes, fields and sky. Close in, it’s green and yellow, the water cold blue. In the distance, countryside is blue and grey. The sky is vast, a myriad of blues, greys, lavenders and whites. In some parts, the sky and lake merge and the horizon disappears. Of course, if I come tomorrow, it’ll be different, the colours will have changed and I can see the horizon again.
From the bottom of the hill, looking up, I see trees, the hill and sky – white clouds on blue. The world is smaller, the horizon nearer. The lake in the distance has disappeared – the colours are louder. From here everything appears bigger. Am I smaller, I wonder.
The trees and the hill tower above me. But on top of the hill, the distance alters perception and I feel insignificant – but huge. The sky is massive, but I stand above everything. The mountains can sit on my hand – the trees are mere twigs on the ground. The colours are different. Grass has many shades of green, flowers glow like jewels.
Of course, generally I just trudge up the hill and down the hill, and I don’t look at anything. It’s there, but I don’t see because it’s always there. Or is it? Would I notice if it disappeared?
Duncan was a strange kid. Weird, the neighbours called him. He collected things. He had a flat pet collection, the dried remains of things he’d picked up off the road after they’d been run over. He had a dried dung collection, a dead insect collection and a wingless butterfly collection. In the country everyone left him alone, and he collected to his heart’s content, keeping them in an old chook house. They were pleased when he moved to the city.
Dunc was a strange guy. He collected dead things, encased them in resin and displayed them in a gallery. The magazines described him as eccentric and called his collections eclectic. It was terribly chic to attend his openings, and everyone wanted to buy his ‘art’.
But then they realised it was just dead stuff and poop encased in plastic. But they still bought it and pretended it was good.
She moaned all day and half the night. She’s such a drama queen! Two goddamn inches. That’s all they took off, and that is what she asked for. “Straighten it,” she said. That’s what she wanted and that’s what she got.
I mean, she can pretty well tuck it into her panties – if she wore them. Spoilt as. It’s always a major tantrum where she’s concerned.
Her hair is long and thick, blond – of course – the perfect shade. So adaptable, she wears it up, down, curled, straight, plaited, crimped … well, any way she wants really. And she looks spectacular. She doesn’t need to throw a tantrum to make everyone look at her.
Everything about her seems perfect – on the outside. Perfect look, perfect house, perfect bedroom, large room … big as mirror. She sits in front of it pouting and preening, then flounces out to answer the door.
So I sit in her perfect bedroom, beside the perfect luxurious bed and look into that huge, perfect mirror.
There’s no mirror in my room. None in my house either. It’s a long time since I saw me. I look pale, gaunt actually. The blue scarf is too dark for me. I take it off –
It’s not shocking. I thought it would be.
I’d love the chance to get a bad haircut. Chemo-therapy is such a bitch.