Friday, 27 April 2012

The First Night of Spring.



(A Flash Fiction Story)

Dog Rose moved silently across the lawn of the small park, heading towards the locked gates on Manor Road. Tonight he would take his route around the terraces houses that lined the streets around Manor Road. This was one of his favourite routes but he hadn’t travelled it for some nights.

When he reached the gates Dog Rose simply gave a shiver of his body and he passed right through them. For a fairy like Dog Rose it was easy to shift the reality of his body and pass through any solid object; but that was barely one of his talents.

The humans were still arguing about when spring actually began for centuries now and they still couldn’t agree when it was. But the fairies, like Dog Rose, always knew when spring began, and it was tonight. Dog Rose intended to mark the night with something special.

This had been his area for centuries now. He had lived here ever since he’d been brought into this life. Back then there had been a whole community of fairies living here and he’d relished their company. Back then this all had been open countryside, long narrow fields with thick hedges and full orchards. Over the following decades and decades Dog Rose saw the city slowly and relentlessly take over this area. He saw the fields turned into factories and streets of terraced houses. Now the open areas were the patches of grass and neat parks in the east end of the city.

As the area changed, swallowed up by the city, the other fairies had left or drifted away. They had said the city was no place for them but Dog Rose didn’t agree. As the city grow around him he found his new environment fascinating, there were so many new opportunities here, so many more chances for mischief as more people came to live here and the new buildings went up.

As the other fairies left more and more Dog Rose found himself on his own, and the more he found himself alone the less pleasure he found in creating mischief. For the last handful of decades, since he had been left here alone after White Daisy had left to find the countryside again, he had barely committed any mischief, there was no pleasure in them anymore.

Though he hated to admit it, Dog Rose was lonely and longed for company.

It had been raining during the day before and the pavement Dog Rose moved over still had the odour of moisture. Even at this late hour of the night, the streets were still not dark, light poured out onto them from the houses and street lights that lined them, but still Dog Rose was not concerned. He could easily make himself disappear if anyone came along whom he didn’t want to see him.

The boy was there again, sitting out on the flat roof of the extension to his home, the last house on Livingstone Street. The boy was still staring up at the night sky, his legs pulled down in sadness. Dog Rose had seen him many times before, he had even struck-up a kind of friendship with the boy, appearing in the guise of another youth.

Unseen, Dog Rose drifted up to the flat roof and then with a shiver of his body turned himself into a youth, the one the boy had seen before. Then he walked around the roof to the boy and sat down next to him.

“Hello,” Dog Rose said.

The boy turned towards him and Dog Rose saw that the boy’s face was swallowed with a large bruise. Seeing Dog Rose the boy’s face broke into a smile, though it was limited by that bruise.

“You came back,” the boy said. “I haven’t seen you in days.”

“I’ve been occupied but I’d never not come back, not to you. What happened to your face?”

“My dad found another gay mag’ in my bedroom. He said he’d beat the gay out of me, this is what I got. God I hate the bastard, I wish he was dead or I was dead or a million miles away from here. I hate it.” A tear appeared in the corner in his eye as he spoke.

“Why don’t you leave, run away?”

“I’m sixteen and I’ve got no money and no nothing. I’m stuck here until I can get a job or something.”

“You could run away with me?” Dog Rose said.

“You’re no older then me, you got any money or anything?”

“I’ve got something better?” with a shiver Dog Rose cast off his disguise, his body falling back into its true form. His skin glowing silver, his blonde hair falling over his tunic with its matching britches, and his translucent wings rising out of his back.

“Oh God,” the boy whispered, his face filling with delight.

“Come with me,” Dog Rose said.

“Yes,” the boy replied.

Dog Rose lent forward and placed his mouth over the boy’s. in a deep and passionate kiss Dog Rose drew out the human spirit of the boy and breathed into him new and magical life. It was a kiss of love and new life, the same kiss that Dog Rose had received when, centuries ago, he was first drawn into this life.

****

Dog Rose led Lichen, his new companion and the first new fairy in this area for decades, back up Livingstone Street, at an almost break-neck speed. With delight rushing through his body, Dog Rose was taking Lichen to start a night of mischief. They would light this area up with their mischief and Dog Rose could feel Lichen’s excitement bubbling over as they ran along hand-in-hand.


****

The next morning the body of Gavin John Riches, a sixteen year old youth, was found on the roof of his home, in Livingstone Street, East London. No one could determine his cause of death, though his body showed the evidence of the abuse he’d suffered at the hands of his father; but soon interest in his death faded, people were far too concerned about the strange outbreak of poltergeist activity in the area.

Drew Payne
May 2008.

Over and Done



Yesterday, my short story Over in Sixty Seconds or So was published on the GFF website, read it here.

It’s another one of those sideways looks at life I write about, so often. This time it’s about a man suffering from premature ejaculation, hence its title. I know it’s not the most upbeat of subjects but it’s certainly one typical of me. I do have a desire to understand these subjects and then write about them in a real-world way. In this story I look at why it happened and how it made the guy in the story feel.

There is some colourful language in it, it’s a very adult story, but don’t let that put you off.

Happy reading.

Drew.




Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter Witness

(A Flash Fiction Story)

Easter Sunday 2010

This year was double the number of marchers then usual, singing loudly but tunelessly Onward Christian Soldiers, as they made their haphazard way along the High Street. I sat in the window of my flat’s sitting room and watched the marchers below. My flat, being above the laundrette, on the corner of the High Street, gave me a good view of the march and I could look out for my sister but I wouldn’t be seen.

It was their yearly tradition, their “March of Witness” on Easter Sunday morning. They would leave St. John’s Church, the local parish church, walk up the length of the High Street, around the traffic island at the north end, and then back along the High Street and into St. John’s Church. My sister told me, they saw it as their “witness” to our local community. As if marching along the High Street, once a year, would turn us away from our wicked ways. This year they had changed their Witness March into a protect march.

The tiny congregation from St. John’s was joined by those of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Pentecostal church on the Fowler Estate. Many of them were carrying placards that proclaimed: “Equal Rights for Christians”, “We Will Not Give Up Our Beliefs” and “The World Needs God Not Human Rights,”

It was chilling to watch them, the anger and energy that had suddenly poured out of them. They were reacting to a persecution that to me was almost imaginary. None of those church goers were ever attacked and beaten up when they left church, the way my friend Joe was when he left a gay bar in Brighton (he’d only just been discharged from hospital, three weeks after he was attacked).

“We’re the most persecuted minority in the country,” my sister had announced, the night before at my mother’s dinner party. I’d actually choked on a mouthful of wine when I heard this but it didn’t stop her continuing, “Our beliefs are always ignored for Political Correctness. We have no rights in this society. Homosexuals and immigrants have more rights than us. Only last week a Christian woman was threatened with the police when she refused to let a homosexual couple stay in her B&B. It was her home and she didn’t want her children exposed to all that sin,”

“Nonsense,” our mother snapped. “As a solicitor I’ve had a lot of enquiries about this. The law says that if you’re offering a service to the public you can’t pick and choose who you offer it to. You can’t turn someone away because they’re gay or they look gay.”

“Yes, but homosexuals get all these protections ahead of everyone else,” my sister complained. “We Christians don’t get the same protections. Anyone can be prejudiced towards us and get away with it. When we stand up for our beliefs we’re called bigots and snacked down,”

“You bloody little fool!” I could see the annoyance on my mother’s face. “The Equality Bill, the one you hate so much, extended protections to lesbians and gay men that were already enjoyed by Christians. It’s against the law to deny someone a public service because of their religion. Now it’s the same for sexuality...”

My sister didn’t reply, for once, she just pursed her lips and looked away.

Later that evening my sister cornered me in my mother’s kitchen and started her explanation without any promoting from me.

“We just want to stand up for our fundamental beliefs before they’re taken away from us. No one respects us anymore. They never listen to us and when we stand up for our beliefs they call us prejudiced. This March of Witness tomorrow is to show how much everyone needs us Christians and to stand up for our rights.”

“Tell it to someone who cares,” I replied.

“God still loves you and he can cure your homosexuality.”

I didn’t reply, I just pushed past her and walked back into the dining room.

Much later, as I was leaving for home, my mother kissed me on the check and quietly said:

“The trouble with your sister is she wants to save the world from its sins, the shame is that the world no longer needs saving.”

“I wish she’d stop trying to save me,” I replied.

Now, looking down on those marchers, part of me actually felt sorry for them. They had lost all their influence and power, the world no longer needed them, yet they couldn’t see that. They still wanted the deference that they had long ago lost. They were quite pathetic creatures, a joke to many, yet they couldn’t see it. They were so sad, out of touch with everything and they couldn’t make themselves relevant.

Then I saw it, the placard carried by a squat man in a suit too tight for him, it read: “The World Needs Salvation Not Sodomy.”

All my pity vanished. They were bloody bigots just trying to hang onto their age old prejudices. The sooner they all died out and their churches closed the better.

I stood up and walked away from the window, those marchers could freeze to death in a blizzard for all I cared, and headed towards my kitchen. I had an Easter breakfast to prepare.

Since his discharge from hospital Joe had been staying with me, caring for him and looking after him was now far more important.

Drew Payne
May 2010.