I hope your new week has got off to a good start. Here’s a new writing challenge for you:
Write a story or poem on any of the following themes:
- Valentine’s Day
Last week’s theme’s were as follows:
You produced some interesting pieces:
Shaun Kellett‘s writing flows so well and you never know where he’s going to take the story:
I’m thrilled to have been mentioned in this week’s Mary Jane instalment from Rajiv Chopra!:
“Poof……. Poof …….. Poof!” The word had such a marvelous and magical ring to it. “Poof!” and suddenly, Batman, Mary Jane and Harley Quinn had disappeared! The Old Man thought that he had made them disappear, but no – it was I, Loki, who mad them disappear and vanish into thin air.
Where have they gone? Are they dead? Maybe. Wait. Death would be too kind, too easy for them. No, no, no.
Death, my old friend, and I have had many long walks and talks together, yet it is not time for me to give them over to him. Oh no. I am too selfish for that. They are mine, and where they are, is my secret. It is mine, and it is for me alone to devise the little tortures and chastisements that I have in mind for them. They must suffer until I decide to bring them back.
So, little reader, let me keep my secret in the dark and hidden recesses of my soul. Don’t attempt to pry open my secrets, and I won’t attempt to pry open yours. You see, I am Loki, I am the Game Player, the Trickster, the Puppet Master. It is I who pull the strings, write the stories, and everyone dances to my tune.
So, let them be. Let them burn, and let their souls burn in the little tortures and punishments that I have dreamed up and, I shall dance to the music of the raging fires that shall roast them alive. Hee! Hee! Hee! Yes, me – Loki. I am indeed the Master of the Game!
Now, let me turn your attention to the figures we have left, frozen, on the street below us. The Hobbits. Yes, they too were destined to disappear, but someone old and ancient pleased their cause. In the mercy of my heart – the mercy that defines me – I I have spared them. You see, I, Loki, am The Merciful One.
Poison Ivy. Hmmm, she is a delectable little angel, and I am sure that The Old Man will like her and teach her a few things that she will adore.
Who is The Old Man, and who is The Wench next to him? He is old indeed, almost as old as ancient history. His fame had spread far and wide in the land where he lived, and dangerous foes had been sent to stop him.
Hee! Hee! Hee!! Now, it is time for me to withdraw. It is indeed time for him to rise again, and for you to learn a little about his alternate history.
Wait, my friends, wait. Wait, with bated breath for his history. Let us see which direction she, who is known as Esther, would like me to take you.
Wait, my friends, wait…
Robert Griffiths wrote an entertaining story this week:
Music and fame 1997
Deep in the south-west of England, leading away from a small town sat a row of small cottages leaning against one another, stood two young men in a small room with electric guitars hanging from straps around their necks. They both looked tired. Luke, the tallest, with his long blond hair and broad shoulders that supported the head of a strong and handsome Viking, had the good looks that ladies fell for. The other, Jake, smaller, slender and with a face reflecting disdain and contempt.
They had spent the entire morning practising on their guitars. Luke was getting bored. He drifted towards the window and with one of his fingers he pushed the curtain aside, looked out with disinterest and turned to face Jake,
“You know what we ought to do, matey?” he said and turned around.
Jake pushed aside a strand of greasy hair from his face.
“No, what’s that?” he asked.
For a second a fraction of interest crossed Luke’s face. “Form a band, get some gigs, get paid and get some money!” he said.
The tiny seaside town had no work, no factories or industry, and the shops that used to trade had closed. The word money caught Jake’s attention.
“You can play lead, I can play base, John can be our vocalist, George our drummer,” said Jake, “that new bloke from London has a spare room at the back of his workshop, I will ask him if we can practise there.”
The two of them became very excited at this idea and agreed to meet in their pub Friday night.
“You had better clean yourself up if we are going to be pop stars,” said Luke.
“I’m a rock guitarist, they don’t wash,” said Jake.
Friday night in ‘the local’ Luke and Jake had herded their new band together. Everything had been agreed; Luke-lead guitar, Jake-bass, John-the singer and George-the drummer. They were discussing what to call their new band. As none of them worked and they spent most days surfing or skateboarding, the names they choose reflected that life style. Luke dismissed the names ‘The Layabouts’ or ‘Crack’.
“No, they make us sound like dirty, druggy bums,” Luke said.
John, the singer, small, neat, clean and shy with a pretty face, said, “We do take drugs and we don’t work.”
Luke eager to get started said, “I have spoken to the bloke from London, he said we can use his spare room to practise so get your things ready, Tuesday night we start.”
With a buzz of excitement George took out his dole money. “Drinks all round!” he announced.
As always, he was dressed in trousers and a jacket that had seen better days on another owner. He walked off in the direction of the bar. Luke watched knowing this errand would take time as George was a true Devonian, nothing was done quickly. He stood and looked down at the others.
“I’m off!” he announced, and thought this lot look more like refugees than pop stars.
The following Tuesday the band had gathered in the Londoner’s work-shop. Guitars plugged in, drums set up and speakers ready. Luke directed the proceedings. “No music sheets, we will improvise – jazz, rock,” he told the others.
After three hours with no jumping around, no dancing, they had played looking down with great intensity, the room was thick with sweat and cigarette smoke. Luke called a halt. “That was great,” he announced, “we meet again Thursday night.”
“It was loud, I wonder what the neighbours think?” said Jake.
They packed, cleaned the room and walked out into the Londoner’s workshop. He was bent over his work bench ignoring their departure. Luke went over to him,
“I hope it wasn’t too loud for the neighbours,” he said with politeness.
“You play loud and tight, let me worry about the neighbours,” said the Londoner.
“Goodbye, see you Thursday!” said Luke.
“I won’t be here, here’s the keys,” said the Londoner. “Let your selves in. Lock up when you leave, drop the keys into me when you’re passing. I thought you sounded great,” he said with a soft cockney accent then put his head down and continued to work.
For the next months, the band gathered Tuesdays and Thursdays. The meetings became a comfort in their personal lives that was full of anger and angst, unemployment and monthly pay-outs from the government. It was work they wanted. They were becoming angry, discontent and these emotions came to life in their music, which was now full of fury and rage with each practise their sound became more frenzied. George drummed with smashing outrage, Luke led his guitar into riffs, split with deafening cracks, Jake’s bass throbbed and John’s singing, was throaty and angry. Luke wanted to practise on Wednesdays as well and they all agreed, but George said he couldn’t; he had just started free jazz drumming lessons at the college and his teacher was keen he didn’t miss any lessons.
The band’s continuous practise had started to draw a crowd outside the Londoner’s workshop. Word was spreading about the raging music. In pubs and bars people spoke of this band practising. The most popular pub’s owner thought of getting the band to play there. One Friday night the landlord asked to speak to Luke as he was at the counter. Luke looked very suspicious.
“I haven’t done anything,” he said.
“You’re the leader of the band everybody’s talking about,” he said, “I want you to play here next weekend, I will pay you,” and gave Luke a free pint. Luke picked up the beer and turned sharply back to his table and his band.
“We have got a gig!” he roared.
“Where?” said Jake.
“Here!” said Luke.
John hooted and drank his beer and George lit a cigarette. By the end of the evening they agreed to practise every day until the next weekend, if the Londoner let them.
“You can practise all day every day,” said the Londoner, “I’m not here in the day time.” During the week, Luke fussed, he wanted things to go with organised control, no drugs, little drink and rehearsing for hours each day.
“How many do you think will be there?” John asked as they packed up on the end of another practise session.
“At least several hundred,” said Jake.
George lit a cigarette and Luke beamed. “We are going to be rich and famous soon,” he said,” let’s go down to the beach for a swim!” George was out first, he already had swimming things in his bag.
The last days leading up to the weekend they filled with playing loud and tight and practising until arms and legs ached. Luke, Jake and John were becoming more and more excited and George smoke a packet each session.
“How are we going to get our gear to the pub?” Jake asked Luke after the final practise.
“No worries, Dave is taking everything in his van,” said Luke, “he just wants free beers.”
Early Friday morning they gathered at the Londoner’s workshop very excited, talking of cutting, getting a recording contract and playing massive gigs. Luke made some tea, John sang, Jake strummed and George smoked.
Dave arrived with his van and the boys loaded their equipment, in the car park the pubs manager was eager to help and gave them extension cables, jugs of water and money to Luke. Eventually with curtain up, the stage set, speakers in place and microphone tested, the Londoner arrived and took Luke to one side,
“It all looks great, the boys seem ready if a bit scruffy, but your one missing, where’s the drummer?” Luke looked up and around the stage; Jake stood with his guitar; John stood by the mic. The drums stood empty and alone, the drum sticks on the floor in front of them.
Luke got up onto the stage,
“Where’s George?” he asked Jake.
“The last time I saw him,” he said, “he was going to the pub, further into town, for a quiet drink.”
“I better find him,” said Luke.
He jumped off the stage and raced along the road to the pub he knew George liked. Nerves jangled with uncertainty. He knew George was a timid man. On getting to the pub he rushed in. George was sitting alone at a far table with an empty pint in front of him.
“Come on! You’re going to be late!”
“I’m sorry, mate, I can’t do it!” George said in an embarrassed whisper,” the college has offered me a teaching music course. If I pass I become a teacher; it’s full time, I’m taking it. I’m so sorry, mate.”
He put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a card. “This is my teacher’s number, he is a great drummer, he will fill in for me. Just call him, I joined the band for music not fame.”
Luke stood up and put his hand on George’s shoulder.
“It’s no problem, buddy,” he said and went back to the others.