Blocked

Completed today (June 21st) as part of World Writing Day

“Bit of a cliché, isn’t it?” My worst critic said. I sighed.

“Look it’s all I can think of. Anyway what would you know?”

“Just writing about Writer’s bloody Block. How original and bold.” The comment was oozing with enough sarcasm to kick off a fight in a nunnery.

“Oh, that’s an idea there. What about fighting nuns?” The deafening silence I got back was enough of a response. “Alright nevermind then.” My gaze drawn back to the blinking cursor.

“Well you’d better write something. Make it funny too. That’s the stuff they like. Your other stuff is well shit.” My critic smiled.

I keep hitting the keys hoping my random word choices will miraculously apear on the screen.

“You spelt appear wrong. Two p’s.”

“So, your gonna help now? Why the change of heart?”

“Oh, you are still utterly awful, I just felt embarrassed for you.”

I turned away trying to drown out Mr. Critical with more key pressing. Random words and half formed ideas take centre stage in a great circus of second rate fiction. Sci-Fi gets blasted, Slice of Life Drama gets cut and well the Romance got told to fuck off. Mr. Critic certainly had his perfect comment lined up for whatever I typed out on the screen.

“Hey, you can’t blame me.” Mr Critic complained. “It’s all your own fault. If you wrote good stuff, no one would complain.”

“You are the only one that complains. Let me write my strange meta-rant thing.”

“Ooooooh, someone’s defensive.

HEY!

Stop looking at the cat video and get back to work.”

“But he’s really cute! Look at him he can play a keyboard!” I say, a little too excitedly.

This time Mr. Critic sighs.

“Fine, I’ll get on it.” More key tapping, more random gibberish.

“God, it’s really gone off the rails hasn’t it? Best put an end to it.”

“Sure whatever, how should I do it?”

“I dunno, I’m just a figment of your imagination, who thinks you are a shite writer.”

“Oh thanks, that really helps.”

“Shut it. Just say it’s all a dream.”

“Bit of a cliché, isn’t it?”

“That’s my line. Just rip off the Sopranos and end it mid-sent…”

Full Moon

Every month the pages turn,
the horror creeping in

Time ticks by and slowly
his scary world begins

Uncontrolling voices start,
he cannot get away

The manic life he hates so much
takes over come what may

A person I don’t recognise,
a stranger no one knows

Dangerous, so scary,
life is threatened,
voices grow

Painful scars inflicted
to release the fear inside

If only I could reach him
but the demons make him hide

Tears appear from everywhere,
the lucidness returns

He cannot face reality,
fresh scars begin to burn

A frightened child is lost within
a world he cannot see

The moon retreats,
The madness fades,
Once more his mind is free

Greener

Completed today (June 21st) as part of World Writing Day

Stop.
You’re going to fast.
Enjoy the finer things.

Hurry!
You’re missing out,
life’s passing you by,
you must seize the day!

Stop.
Try meditation.
Live in the moment.

Hurry!
You need to make a living,
a career,
you must make the most of your live!

Stop. Hurry! Stop. Hurry! Stop. HSutrorpy…!

Hell in the Gym Hall

Completed today (June 21st) as part of World Writing Day

Girls to the left,
Boys to the right,
avoiding eye contact
with all of their might

It’s that time of year
when they’re forced
into prancing,
the dreaded,
the hated,
Mixed Social Dancing

Lecherous Bob
with his big, sweaty palms,
his desperate to squeeze
Busty Babs in his arms

Angela’s eyeing up
Geeky boy Winston
who’d rather be reading
his copy of Piston

Mousy Michelle
makes a beeline for Ricky
but is pipped at the post
by foxy faced Vicky

Freckly Fred
blushes straight to his roots
as he’s left with the teacher,
sexy Miss Boots

With a skirl of the bagpipes
they head off round the hall
trying hard not to trip
as they fumble and fall

In gym halls,
in high schools
from Orkney to Fife
all teenagers face
the worst time
of their lives!!

Betrayal

Going through the motions
living life
but barely living,
waiting for another world
to steal her away

Drowning in pity
for what her life
has become,
no memory of the girl
she used to be

His gaze no longer
holds her nor
makes her feel alive,
the dying embers
of their passion
extinguished
and long dead

She is lifeless
until she glimpses another
and she is hooked,
drawn to the surface
by an invisible force

He invades her thoughts,
creeps in to her day,
a lighting bolt
sparking lost sensations

Betrayal
has renewed her

This girl is Alive

Red Sky At Night

Written today (June 21st) as part of National Writing Day

 

The sky is aflame.

Ablaze. A fiery hue decorates the night sky above Fife. Red, yellow, orange. Fire. Flame. A furnace at the foot of the heavens. Incinerating the clouds. It awakens me. Stirs me from my half-hearted slumber. As it has done every night this week so far. Five nights now. Mossmorran. The Exxon ethylene plant. Skulking on the outskirts of Cowdenbeath. It’s warning flame burning into the darkness. A beacon calling out across the countryside. The towns. The coast. Engulfing, smothering, suffocating all. The eye of Sauron. Curtains wither, unable to resist the light. It invades the privacy, the seclusion of the bedroom. And yet it inspires. Infuses me with an energy. A vibrancy. Alights the embers of my being. My inspiration. It draws me in, welcomes me, lures me. Like a moth to a…well, you know. It burns through my writer’s block and screams, yells, demands in my ear ‘WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!’

I open the curtains wide, tempted even to tear them from the rail, desperate as I am to submit to the light, to the flame. Invade, bathe, swarm. The room fills with light. I turn and look at my wife asleep on the bed. She barely stirs. Oblivious to the ferocity, the majesty of the flame. Oblivious to the inspiration. I sit down at my writing desk placed directly in front of the window. I gaze at the flame. Its power relentless, its energy undying. Staring. Staring. Worshipping. My mind sparks, burns, replaying a relentless reel time and again. A movie clip. Black and white. Colin Clive, in that famous scene from Frankenstein. He bellows, screeches. It’s ALIVE. IT’S ALIVE!!! My skull pulsing with the words, the images, the demands. The message. Clear. Sent from the flame. It IS alive. I AM alive. I grab a pen and splay out a raft of blank paper before me. And I scrawl. Word after word. Letter upon letter. A continual flood streaming from my fingertips, dripping from my mind. Page upon page, claimed and vanquished. The prey to my predatory inspirations.

Ablaze. My mind, the flame. The fire, my words. My bones shimmering in a frenzy, my blood scything through my flesh with purpose. Frenetic. And I scrawl, write, scrawl. Again and again. Barely moving the pen, allowing the flame to spew through me onto the page. Spilling forth directions, incantations, ingenuity. My limbs, the page, the flame becoming one. One through inspiration, one through the fire. A single entity, a single expression. A single desire. I write. Write. Write. And let the flame, the night, take me.

I awaken.

The morning light streams in through the window, the curtains cast wide. A pool of sweat darkens the pillow. My forehead clammy, evidence of the latter. I scramble up to a sitting position, staring out the adjacent window towards Mossmorran. The flame gone. Absent. Slight tufts of smoke now emanate lazily from the chimney, the tower. I glance down. Fully clothed. Jacket, shoes and all. Bedraggled. Creased. Soaked. In sweat. In grime. In blood. Blood? My knuckles pulse, etched in dried blood. I turn my hands. My palms, red. Awash. I lift up the duvet. Islands of blood dot the bedsheet. I scramble for explanation, for logic. My wife stirs beside me. I quickly pull myself under the covers, concealing myself, the sheet, the mystery. She yawns.

‘Morning’ she croaks, caressing my face. I smile weakly. ‘You look awful, you look like you’ve hardly slept again!? Are you feeling ok?’

‘Thanks. It’s that bloody light at Mossmorran. Keeping me up. I can barely sleep.’

‘Mossmorran?!’

‘The flame at Mossmorran, yes. Every night this week.’

‘Every night this week!? What are you talking about? There’s been no flame? I’d know about it if there was because it usually bloody well keeps me up! You know that. Plus there’d be comments on the local twitter group about it. Folk are always complaining about it. Here, let me have a quick look…’ she swivels and pulls the charger cable out of her phone and draws the latter to her chest.

My wife flicks and scrolls through her Twitter feed as I warily look on. A realisation creeping into my mind from somewhere. What the realisation is I don’t know. And yet something prods at me. Simmers. My body trembles.

‘No’ she says, ‘nothing about it. See? You must have dreamt it. There’s always comments about it if that flame is burning. And the whole bloody sky lights up so I doubt anyone would miss it.’

‘I’m telling you, the flame was burning last night! It’s been burning now for the last five…’

‘Aw jesus…’ she interrupts, ‘that’s another one.’

‘Another what?’

‘Another person reported as missing. An old man. Last seen leaving the pub last night. His wife has just posted on the police page. Always comes home. She’s adamant something must have happened. Bloody hell. That’s the fifth this week! It’s every night! All local. If that’s not scary I don’t know what is!? Horrible. Just horrible’ she says as she steps out of bed.

My mind drifts from my wife’s words, her fears. Under the covers I reach out a hand, feeling a damp patch of blood lingering between my knees. Memories attempt to form in my mind, speeding by, begging to be snared. Colin Clive’s maniacal exhilaration flits in and out. Fragments. Scenes. Shards.

‘Have you been writing again?’ I hear my wife mumble distantly as she approaches the writing desk, stepping in front of the image of the ethylene plant stretching across the window.

I turn, intending to discreetly pull myself out of bed, and feel an object jag into my side. My pocket. My jacket pocket. I creep my hand nervously to my pocket and jerk as it connects with a blade. Pain shoots up my finger. Stabbing. A warmth floods from my hand, still concealed beneath the covers. Blood. Panic, pain, fear explodes within me, dragging me from the bed. I stop. Muddy footprints adorn the bedroom carpet. Leading to the bed. To a conclusion. To me. A shudder echoes through my frame as I look up. My wife stares at me. A clutch of paper thrust from her hand.

‘What…is…this?’ she whispers, fear coursing through her voice.

The paper stares back at me. Pages upon pages. Letters, words, repetition screaming back at me. FIRE FLAME FIRE. FIRE FLAME FIRE. Again and again. Front and back. Decorating every inch of the paper. FIRE FLAME FIRE. FIRE FLAME FIRE.

I pull myself from the bed to a standing position. My wife recoils, her eyes widen, horror clasping hold of her as she looks at me. The paper drops from her hands as she sees the blood drenched across my hands, my clothes. Words catch in her throat. Fear, definitive and absolute, exudes from every pore of her flesh. Her eyes on me. Judging, questioning, cowering.

‘The…the flame…’ I mutter. ‘It’s the flame…’