Rattler’s Tale #4

A RATTLER’S TALE Story
by Anthony North
for
Friday Fictioneers
dVerse
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
KEYUDOS
Call back Saturday for another story

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

BIRDIE

Birdie loved windows.
He’d perch there and watch – especially the tech.
It was everywhere nowadays – tech.
Phone, alarm – a man by a laptop, writing.
Not that Birdie knew what they were.
He didn’t have consciousness like humans do.
Though he was smart.
Birdie stared, and the writer stared at Birdie.
Eventually the writer got bored – went back to work.
And Birdie stared some more.
Finally smart Birdie had seen all he wanted to see.
He uploaded the passwords and droned off.

Book 28 of 68, A Family Loss: A Crime cum Horror Novel, out 27 April

Rattler’s Tale #3

More RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
for
Friday Fictioneers
dVerse
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
KEYUDOS

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

TIP TAP TAPPING – a typewriter possessed

Grandad was dead.
But sleeping in the old house, that tip tap tapping.
All night long.
How prolific a writer did he intend to be?
Gets into your head, that tip tap tapping.
It was an old typewriter – very old.
Grandad found it many years ago at…
…he’d never say. But it inspired him to be a novelist.
He had many bestsellers before his suicide at 61.
I sat.
Tip tap tapped.
Wrote.
I was hooked!
Then I found it – the last note Grandad wrote.
And I write …
…for 40 years 4 months.
It was signed Hemingway.

ACROSTIC
FOR POETS & STORYTELLERS UNITED

She loved him.
Was his mother. Yet …
Warned of danger.
She didn’t understand, of course; even though she hated the soldiers.
Was unable to grasp what he was; yet she grasped her staff tightly.
Given, he was, as if an undeniable miracle from heaven  … but …
An incomprehensible death.
Explanation? Pointless, yet she was …
Never the less for it. Except …
She picked up her staff to strike the soldier, but his thoughts …
Persisted. Not with A CROss STICk.

MULTI VIRAL
FOR THE SUNDAY MUSE

Viruses have a habit of multiplying.
At first biological, they soon have their eye on the economy.
And once the economy is quarantined, politicians fall.
Revolutions go viral.
But luckily we left the tanks in stores; pointy things in silos.
But who would have thought.
When granny was quarantined she had to find something to do.
Add a weather beaten wall and a can of paint …
Granny was on a mission.
Yet granny soon went exponential.
And now that the biological, economical and political were over …
They looked at graffitied cities all over the world …
… the look of despair of the disenfranchised youth …
And banned aerosol paints for the over seventies.

Book 28 of 68, A Family Loss: A Crime cum Horror Novel, out 27 April

Rattler’sTale #2

More RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
for
Friday Fictioneers
dVerse
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
KEYUDOS

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

SODOM ‘n’ STUFF

‘And the Lord God said: “Let there be cars … and there were cars” …’
‘Is that how it was Dad?’
‘It was son; but it all went wrong.’
‘What happened?’
‘Mass production, motorways, broken communities, air travel, globalization, climate change …
‘Well, in the end Planet did a HG Wells & shut things down.’
He became reflective then. Said:
‘If only we’d looked in the right direction, we wouldn’t have ended up like Lot’s wife.’

HYPO FLORA
FOR POETS & STORYTELLERS UNITED

Why does Rose have thorns?
‘Cos she’s got a prickly temperament.
Why is Daisy in chains?
‘Cos little girls like her.
Why don’t we have the freedom to roam?
‘Cos gardeners imprison us.
Why don’t the little ones grow?
‘Cos they’ve been classified as weeds.
Why do people keep cutting us?
‘Cos they can’t hear us scream.
What is Ivy doing now?
Strangling humans.

HUNDRED
FOR THE SUNDAY MUSE

Okay, excuse the way I’m saying this;
Shouldn’t really be saying anything – I’m not very bright …
I’m 100, you see.
For ages life seemed boring –
No opportunities, no nothing, as if I was stuck in the dark.
Then, when life took over, it happened so fast.
No time to think, plan, nothing.
I was just buffeted this way and that, pressures mounting all the time …
It sometimes felt I was going at 100 miles an hour.
Of course, careering at high speed had consequences.
I made no money – I’d only have burned it anyway.
No photos of relationships – never had any; never loved.
It was just a jig-saw with no doors opening.
And then, at 100, I found myself in the proverbial tunnel.
And then the light approached …
And now, I suck my mother’s breast, happy to forget the 100 minutes of my birth.

Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March

Rattler’s Tale #1

Two RATTLER’S TALE Stories
by Anthony North
for
Friday Fictioneers
dVerse
Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
in association with
KEYUDOS
Stories: Eyes and Veg

EYES

It began as I walked up the starecase.
With each step my trepidation grew.
Sweat, like shards of ice, lacerated my skin.
I was waiting for it, but not like this.
The corner of my eye.
Why does horror always first appear there?
Because we instinctually turn away.
I’m an individual, you see.
Ha! See
I demand my privacy, to my thoughts
My emotions.
But
It was there now, floating to my front, its evil eye bottomless
Waiting
Staring
At the top of the stares I came to the door.
The sign said ‘Doors’, plural, but there was only one.
And above, ‘MacroHard.’
I opened Doors – entered the gallery.
The ultimate techno experience.
Whether you wanted it or not.
On every wall there were eyes.
The selfie was now streaming ..
… tears

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

VEG

Fresh veg on a half empty shelf.
I just can’t get that image out of my mind.
A metaphor?
Veg – short for vegetables.
Or vegetate?
Words entered my mind.
War.
Done that.
Chris.
Married her.
I suppose I felt like that veg when I walked into the store.
You know – old, redundant; on the shelf.
It was a dirty shelf; people went straight to the freezers.
They were sparkling new, full of plastic food.
I’m trying to contact Chris, tell her…
…what?
I still see the old veg shelf now as I go into the freezer.
In the morgue.

 

Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March

Promptville #1

 

Welcome to the World of Prompts
Promptville
Promptly
****

WRITING TIPS   STORYTELLING   MEET THE TEAM
*****
Multiple prompts in one post – Good reader, I married them

CONTENTS
For Friday Fictioneers – One Act Play
For The Sunday Muse – The Music of Love
Eye On the World -loud mouthed columnists have their say
For Poets & Storytellers United – A  Selction of Delicious Red Fruits
For dVerse – All of them

ONE ACT PLAY

One by one they appear – like a montage.
All the world’s a stage, so it is good the backdrop is a theatre.
And they are all actors – As I am (was) …
… except … I can’t say it … except …
… I had to eventually accept I was not very good.
My fellow actors all told me so!
That’s when I began the one act play.
After I learnt new skills, that is.
The play begins by photographing them …
… continues by slitting their throats.
Stuffing them.
Placing them on timber stands upon the stage.
Then I act.
Who’s wooden now?!

THE MUSIC OF LOVE

The music of love can be a symphony of emotion, she knew.
It can range from sultry adagio to the crescendo of wild passion.
Cathy – or ‘C’, as he called her – knew this.
She had recently had a crescendo – and not the nice kind.
He had taken a vow of celibacy, whereas she was a passionate concert pianist …
… and she wanted more than love – she wanted sex. As the nearly dress she wore, made clear.
‘I can’t go on like this!’ she had screamed.
His reply included his usual silly language of anagrams and word games.
‘Sex is just ex s,’ he had replied.
She stormed out. Went home. Sat at her piano and played a dirge all night long …
… until …
She answered the door to the courier.
Took the envelope.
Opened it. Viewed the picture of him in bed.
(hateful?)
And the music sheet for one of Chopin’s Nocturnes.
Music of the night? His bed? Could it be … ?
She placed the music on the piano. Stared. Then she remembered his word games:
… hop in C …
The music of love played long.

 

 

Philip Osophy says: ‘Poisonous’ atmosphere throughout UK govt? I doubt it. It is a typical excuse when a new regime moves in and begins a U turn. unCivil Servcie don’t like change.
Politics Page

Techie Without a Clue says: AI finds a super compound that could fight many medical conditions? Great! But it’s still dumb – does only what it’s told. Then human intelligence takes over.
Technology Page

Dr Illya Ness says: Life expectancy has ground to a halt in UK. Austerity blamed. No! Austerity was an excuse for the Tory Cameron Regime to purposely destroy the Welfare State.
Illness Page

Major de Ranger says: Staff at UK Houses of Parliament find door dating back to 1660? Am I alone in thinking this not knowing could have had dire security implications?
Warfare Page

Polly Ticks says: UK EU trade talks sabre rattling begins. The EU can’t afford to let UK go without a deal. The Commonwealth has a third of world population and the Queen is head.
Economics Page

Guru Tony says: UK court ruled Heathrow 3rd runway illegal on environmental grounds. Not over yet. Heathrow appealing but not govt. Big Boris didn’t want it anyway.
Environment Page

 

A SELECTION OF DELICIOUS RED FRUITS

It had been the strangest of job interviews.
Was he merely eccentric, or could he really be a vampire?
Regardless, after my interview he invited me back to his flat for dinner.
‘We share so many interests,’ he said, as he poured the wine.
It was blood red in colour – as for its constituency and taste?
I gagged.
There was only one course – what he called, ‘a delectable dish of steamed red fruits.’
He continued, dribbling as he forked one piece after another:
‘This piece is like a breath of fresh air; and this?
‘So good for the blood.’
Now a bigger piece – a delightful smile as it slithered down his throat.
‘Ah, the fruit of love.’
I thought it was horrendous and far too fleshy.
After dinner I said: ‘I’ll take the job.’
He was elated. But of course, he wasn’t a vampire.
No, like me, he’s a fellow cannibal – though a lousy cook.
And tomorrow?
I begin work at the organ transplant distribution centre.

 

Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March

MORE THAN A BLOG
A microcosm of knowledge and literature from the inner muses of thinker & storyteller Anthony North

Writing Tips   Storytelling   Meet the Team   General Fiction   Science Fiction   Horror Fiction   Crime Fiction   Essays Page   Twitter PopLitChallenge

Pop Lit (literature for social networks) & P-ology, or Rational Holism –  Anthony North’s new way of thinking … and writing. Join his mind.

Dog Day Musings

Meet the Team
More new poetry/fiction after the Loud Mouth Columnists have their say
*****

DOG DAY MORN

It was a chance encounter one foggy morning.
They’d never met before – the lady sat on a bench, the dog stopping to her front.
She thought, how beautiful; which brought back memories …
Of better days, when loneliness was unknown;
When she was part of a crowd;
When relationships seemed never ending;
When fun was had;
When she realized anything was possible …
but now … ?
Age
Oh, to be young again. But …
… memories are such wonderful things.
They invigorate – make young again.
And for a while, she was.
And armed with her thoughts, she took one last look at the lady and walked off.

Poets & Storytellers United
The Sunday Muse
dVerse – Poets Pub

 

Dr Illya Ness says: Covid-19 means End Times? There has never been a time when Revelation prophecy could not be applied, and never a time when it happened.

Pappa Razzi says: I like Harry & Meghan but they’re being foolish. Royal isn’t just a brand. You can’t have wildcards playing with 1,000 years of history.

Guru Tony says: Average Brit wage reaches pre-downturn levels? This is an average wage that includes the rich, thus perpetuating the lie that the poor aren’t still poorer.

Prof Isaac Galistein says: House coal and wet wood to be phased out in UK by 2023. Good! As long as those who can’t afford the changeover are helped, of course.

Polly Ticks says: Brexit trade deal: Macron says he won’t let French fisherman down. He’ll bait the UK with that line – he is the master of fishy business.

Techie Without a Clue says: A message in a bottle has washed up on the same shore as it was sent 82 years ago. Marvellous! But should have waited for Twitter.

 

RAW INTELLIGENCE

They looked at raw intelligence – studied it – but couldn’t understand it.
‘Maybe it’s a hardware problem,’ said the leader.
The others agreed and popped it back in the head. But still it didn’t work – couldn’t figure out he was dead.
So the robots took it out again, and again and again in an eternal loop …
… which was the problem with artificial intelligence.
It’s dumb.
Which is why they had to try to understand the real thing.
But they were running out of humans.

Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March

Time Floods Lonely Boris

Meet the Team
Scroll down for poetry from the Archives
*****
The one and only
Fame, Fortune, Followers
The one and lonely

TIME FLIES

‘Time flies,’ said the skipper as I turned off the hyper drive.
‘You can say that again,’ I said.
‘Time flies,’ repeated the skipper.
Then I got it.
Damned hyper drive, going so fast it messes with …
I swatted them. Those damned time flies.

Poets & Storytellers United

Guru Tony says: The 2nd major storm to hit the UK in a week is unleashing its fury with flood warnings aplenty. Meanwhile, the coastline is eroding as the sea gets hungry. No one dare mention the 2 feared words – water table … rising!

Polly Ticks says: So Boris has made the youngster Rishi Sunak Chancellor of the Exchequer. He doesn’t look like a puppet, but Boris is increasing his power grab. As long as his self-interest agrees with mine, fine. But Big Boris, I’m watching you.

Endurance of old
When different thought led to stake
For the love of God

SUNSET: As the sun goes down the dark veil rises. There will be agony tonight; fear, violence, greed & corruption. And the criminals are even worse.

Such a recipe
Food of all kinds served daily
Best dished up for thought

 Taken from Bermuda Triangle. See Essays page, above
*****
Gas hydrates on the seabed could also play a part, releasing methane in large quantities. Rising to the surface, water would go frothy, buoyancy would fail and a boat would sink. Rising into the air, methane could ignite a plane engine. Wreckage hits the bottom, water disturbance eases and silt covers the evidence.

Book 27 of 68, Mysteries of the Bible, out 27 March