Unravelling Twine

photo credit: Piyushgiri Revagar Centre via photopin (license)

I never knew my father. I recognised him of course, I’d see him every morning silently cutting up his bacon rashers and sausages before forking them into his mouth; while us kids bickered and fought using our cereal spoons as make-believe swords. Then in the evening he would be found hiding in the dark shadows of the living room while the rest of us hovered like a family of moths in adoration around the flickering light of the television screen.

The rest of the time he seemed invisible, apart from the odd glimpse of him sat on the old wooden bench in the shade of the crab apple tree at the bottom of the garden. Mum used to send him there as she hated the smell of his tobacco. There he would sit his pipe gripped between his teeth while his hands worked unravelling a twisted mess of green twine. He never seemed to unravel it, every time you saw him there he seemed to be, starting his own labour of Hercules anew.

I never found out what he was doing it for or if he ever finished, and now I’ve left it too late to ask him.

 

© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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How to Satisfy a Dragon

Day 2 of my review of the year and a tale about Dragons from my other blog – On the Broken Road

On the Broken Road

photo credit: Look into my eye via photopin (license) photo credit: Look into my eye via photopin(license)

Thomas stared directly into the eye of the dragon and the dragon stared back, unblinkingly at him.
Thomas knew he was responsible for his own predicament, as a long reptilian tongue snaked in through the open bedroom window – Thomas imagined the dragon’s tongue could taste his fear, the dragon salivating at the thought of eating Thomas down whole.
Because that was what the dragon had said “I like to taste their fear, it makes them so much juicier.” when Thomas had first summoned it and asked it to eat his stepmother.
Now as Thomas lay in bed his eiderdown pulled tight around him as the dragon’s tongue gently brushed his cheek. He realised that he should have made sure before he began whether one stepmother alone was enough to satisfy a dragon.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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Consorting with the Enemy

photo credit: Lammyman Rita Hayworth via photopin (license)

photo credit: Lammyman Rita Hayworth via photopin (license)

‘American girls are not like us.’ Violet said.

She stood at the mirror fixing the suspender to her new stockings.

‘My Davey wouldn’t like me consorting.’ Enid replied, ‘He warned me watch me’self with the Yanks.’

‘So they get a little fresh.’ said Violet, as she smoothed the silk down her leg ‘Wouldn’t be good for morale to say no, not after they’ve taken me to the pictures and everything.’

‘It just seems wrong.’

‘It’s only a kiss and a cuddle, poor ducks might die fighting Hitler tomorrow. I’m only doing my bit for the war effort sending them off with a smile on their faces.

‘Anyway what about your Davey? All alone in a strange port you can’t tell me he wouldn’t?’

‘All the nice girls like a sailor.’ I sang.

Violet smirked at my reflection in the mirror as she paused in touching-up her scarlet lipstick.

‘Oh Mo, how could you. My Davey ‘e wouldn’t.’

‘Sorry Enid, we were just having a joke.’ I said, ‘We both know your Davey wouldn’t look at anyone else. Don’t we Violet?’

‘Mmm,’ Violet mumbled, ‘it’s not just the nice girls that like a sailor though.’

I didn’t think I would have been friends with Violet if we had not been billeted together. “All fur coat and no knickers” Mother would have called her, but she was at least a spot of colour amid the drabness, a welcome distraction from Enid’s moon-faced earnestness and constant talk of her Davey.

‘What do you find to write in that diary Mo?’ Violet asked, ‘Scribbling away all the time like the Daily Mirror, is any of it about me?’

Violet had stood back from the mirror to turn side to side and view herself from all angles.

‘Of course it is Violet,’ I replied, ‘every single word.’

Violet turned around to face us now, arms spread wide.

‘So girls how do I look, will I make old Winston proud?’

‘Ooo just like Rita Hayworth,’ Enid sighed, ‘my Davey took …’

Violet stood at the door, giving us a “V for Victory” sign before slamming the door shut behind her.

We listened to the sound of Violet’s feet as she descended the stairs.

‘I’ll bring you back some candy Ducks.’ She shouted, her voice echoing through the wall.

Enid grinned at me, the only thing she loved as much as her Davey was chocolate.

 

© 2016 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

 

This little story developed out of an exercise I did on a course I went to earlier this year. Combined with a snatch of conversation overheard in a coffee shop; while I don’t know what exactly the person I heard speaking thinks is different about American girls, I’ve left it to Violet to express her opinion on the subject.

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Travels on the Broken Road.

Black_Crow_clip_art_hight (2)

As promised earlier in the week I’ve got a new project to announce – I’ve launched a new blog and the first post went live last night. Made of Sticks and Stones will be remaining my main blogging  home but the new venture will act as a retreat or place in the country where I can get up to all sorts of fictional stuff without the neighbours watching.

The only rules being that all stories are between 50 and 600 words in length.

On the Broken Road

So I do hope you will visit, and any feedback is as always greatly appreciated.

 

Checkmate

Day 11 of the Review 30 and a little tale of spies

Made of sticks and stones

photo credit: Shadow Chess via photopin (license) photo credit: Shadow Chess via photopin(license)

He had not expected the King to be a woman. But his briefing had given him very little information, all he knew was he was meeting an agent in a shabby cabaret bar in a Vienna backstreet who would recognise him.

A blonde, long hair falling onto bare shoulders, had sat herself down next to him her skirt rising as she slid herself along the seat towards him revealing long shapely stocking clad legs, he had been about to tell her to leave when she had given the password, her voice intoxicating as she whispered in his ear. He had asked whether she had the package but the King had not answered just placed her hand on the inside of his thigh, her blue eyes staring challengingly at him as she stroked her hand up and down his thigh.

Hurriedly they had left…

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Surplus to requirements

And so to Day 9…

Made of sticks and stones

It was not when the self-service tills began to multiply. Not even when the postal drones made the mailman redundant or the robo-soldiers disarmed the troopers for their own protection did the humans realise they had a problem.

And even when Google and Apple replaced their chief execs with algorithms there was barely a raised eyebrow.

It was only after Politician 2.0 was elected President and began decommissioning us as units surplus to requirements did the human race start to wonder whether progress might not have gone a little far.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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A six word Advent calendar – Day 12

Short and sweet for Day 3 of the Review 30 for November

Made of sticks and stones

It sounded much cooler in Spanish.

© 2014 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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Embers

Let us kick off the Review 30 for November with the opening chapter of something I’ve been working on; other than world domination.

Made of sticks and stones

As I said at the beginning of the week I have been working hard on a new project. This has developed out of the final exam project for the University module I completed in the last academic year; a small idea that has grown and grown, this is its beginning.

photo credit: Phoenix rising, with babies via photopin (license) photo credit: Phoenix rising, with babies via photopin(license)

Chapter 1

A shout from one of her clan sisters brought her back to the moment. All the clans were coming together, flying south. She had never seen so many of her own kind before, eighty at least and more shapes appeared on the horizon all the time and slowly coalesced into the distinctive shape of more lizard birds.

Most were brown like her family. Some were grey, the winter sun glinting silver off of gleaming plumage, while others still appeared to sparkle an iridescent blue, light dripping on to their feathers…

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November Review

2015

As the year comes puddling wetly towards a conclusion it is time for me to look back on my posts over the last twelve months. As I did the same last year I guess this makes it an annual review.

What I will be doing is picking 30 of my blog posts, one for each day of November to share with you – not necessarily the most popular posts, sometimes just ones I’d forgotten myself and a chance to reconnect with what has been rattling round my brain over the last 365 days.

It is an eclectic collection and hopefully there’s a little something for all tastes.  So keep an eye out for post number one later today.

Out of the north

(words 320)
‘I’ve lost it.’ Red moaned.
‘It’ll return, it always does.’ I replied.
‘The signal was there Blake and now it’s gone.’ She said, staring intently at her monitor screen.
I knew what she wanted, that double trace to come back long enough for her to verify her theory, to guarantee that her name would go down in history.
And I knew that I wanted her.
That was why I volunteered for the posting while the rest of humanity hid away in fear far to the south of us. I was literally the only man for a thousand miles.
I watched as she got up from her desk and walked over to the window that made up the whole of the northern wall of the observation station. The dazzling lights in the sky outshone even Red. Her features obscured, only her silhouette visible against the abstract canvas of the falling meteorites and intermittent explosions to the north.
Red just stood there looking northward. I wondered how much she could make out of the terrain but knew she was as familiar as I with every rock and leaf of the view.
In daylight she would have been able to make out the path that winded its way lazily down the steep slope to the forest floor below. It was a beautiful view, trees as far as the eye could see.
A week earlier though, there had been no trees at the foot of the slope. We had been able to see the river and the little pier with the motor launch which was our only means of escape. That was gone now, destroyed by the trees southward march.
I wondered if Red would allow me to attempt to save her.
She smiled as she passed me, returned to her desk and her attempt to establish first contact. For Red was convinced the message was being sent to us from the trees.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.