I'm starting to suspect that my phone has a very bad opinion of me.
I went to grab a coffee from a cute wee place in Dungannon that does great coffee to go, I almost forgot the Barmaid Rule (yeeeah, who remembers the post that appeared in?) but that's nothing to do with the story, came back out to the car and did the usual check of the phone before driving off.
Now, anyone with a smartphone knows that they are tracking your every movement like that one creepy guy at work who asks if you've had cybersex yet with the guy you've secretly been chatting to on Tinder. So, the phone helpfully will tell you how long it will take for you to get to the destination it predicts you're going to, I'm sure everyone has seen that little notification.
Why, at 11 o'clock in the morning that my phone thinks that I would want to go to an off license is beyond me.
Not even a local off license but one in a town 15 miles away. Driving to other towns to hide your shame is the behaviour of alcoholics and fundamentalist Christians. What the hell exactly does my phone think about me?
Is it because I sent a Bible quote refuting a guy who was quoting the Bible to hate on gays last night on Facebook?
That was an interesting bit of news, wasn't it? Everyone is pissed off at Facebook for doing exactly what they said they do in their own Terms and Conditions but it's a shock to everyone because NOBODY bothers their arse to read the EULA. Except me apparently, and I made my peace with it.
And then completely without irony or self-awareness people are bitching about it... on Facebook. Guys and girls, seriously, if it annoys you that much just delete your bloody account or shut the hell up. "Ooh, ooh, I don't use Facebook, I just use Twitter because I'm a savvy social media user myeeeeehh." Well, guess what...
Elon Musk made a big point of deleting the official SpaceX and Tesla Facebook pages. Now, I love Elon, he's a cool guy and possibly the real life Hank Scorpio. But what a fucking pointless statement that was. I follow Elon, SpaceX and Tesla on their very active accounts on Instagram (owned by Facebook) and Twitter, I get to give him likes at least twice for everything he does, so literally all he did was delete the least active pages in his portfolio (but don't worry, the fan pages survived the purge). I'm not giving him hate though, I love the guy, if there's anyone going to find a xenomorph it will be him, but deleting a couple of barely used pages just isn't news.
Cambridge Analytica and its associated companies did kind of make a mess for everyone though, not just Mark Zuckerberg's billions.
My own particular pleasure is to be called a 'cave dweller' by Jacob Rees-Mogg, a man who can't gain weight or grow a moustache because he'll be sued by Hasbro for infringing on their copyright on Uncle Pennybags. I'm not going to start slinging mud at the Tories though because really what's the point, when was the last time you ever thought the Conservative Party gave a shit about normal people?
And Trump? Well, lets just say if someone told me Russia paid for CA to mine that data I would not be surprised. However I suspect that whatever control Putin thought he had over Trump old Vlad forgot that he was dealing with a petulant man-child who will do what he wants because he just doesn't give a fuck. So the Russian diplomats are gone for an attack with a weapon that could only be traced to former Soviet stockpiles, and none of that stuff ever made it onto the black market ever.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not warming to Trump, I'm just waiting to see which country he decides to go to war with first. Probably Spain because he couldn't find Iran on the map, plus they sound suspiciously like they are talking Mexican.
It'll all probably work out in the end. Even if the bombs fall at the very least the fans of zombie movies will finally get to live in the post-apocalypse that they have always dreamed about, that future of fighting for survival, hiding from raiders, mourning the tragic passing of indoor plumbing.
As for me, I'm just going to be rambling bollocks on the internet to avoid doing any real writing and when the first bomb falls I'm getting in my car and driving toward the flash so I can go out with a smile on my face and the memory of someone nice I was talking to today.
Of course maybe I've got all that wrong and Siri was just trying to get me drunk.
Well, someone actually matched with my nonsensical Tinder profile, possibly out of morbid curiosity or possibly because she was still drunk from the night before (it was the day after St Paddy’s and our epic Grand Slam victory in the Six Nations).
Having met my goal the profile bio has now been taken down as nobody really wants to learn about the VAT rate of breads and pastries, and the Fraggle Rock theme has been replaced with a Bruce Springsteen song I really like that also happens to have a suggestive title. For all it really matters anyway, I imagine that it will be a fortnight at most before I take my profile offline again.
In the meantime I promised a poem if someone matched with me, and I’m not going to disappoint. Unfortunately due to a combination of other projects and procrastination (laziness) I’ve missed World Poetry Day (21 March), but we’ll say I’m doing this in honour of the event anyway, which means I’m either being avant-garde or a hipster.
There was an age when the world was dark
And time it was but a faraway dream,
It came after one lingering spark
Of light and sound in a flowing stream,
In aeons forgotten in the haze of morning
When the reverie fades,
And the head starts pounding.
A universe exists beyond the heavy shades
And stellar power dries the dew of night,
A hopeful promise eternally remade
In the dawning of a new day’s light,
The morning check of the social world
To see what has been said,
And what apologies might be owed
The rumour of a new connection
The teasing heart of a rightward swipe,
Surely no one could want the affection
From someone clearly a total gype,
And yet here it was really true
There was she,
And very pretty I can tell you.
So a chat there was, the sharing of a joke
And mutual agreement that someone was a dose,
An accountant she thought from my HMRC boke
I had to tell her she wasn’t even close,
It transpired she hails from a farm near town,
And soon conversation dried,
For it’s a lonely life with the charm of a clown.
Don’t anybody dare say “Aw, that’s sad,” it was one more swipe than I expected to get with that profile, which makes it more successful than the time I went on to Plenty of Fish with Hannibal Lecter as my profile picture and the headline “It puts the lotion on its skin or hosey time”.
Happy World Poetry Day everybody.
The opening to Murder Syndicated, the second part of the five part series that I'm working on. Despite the dark opening it's almost universally agreed that this novel is more accessible than it's precursor so I might do a Stephen King at some point and go back and give Murder Inc a reworking.
Anyhoo, I've stopped this excerpt before any spoilers, which is a shame because the paragraph after the excerpt has a spoiler and the paragraph after it has a masturbation joke.
- - - - - - - -
The sky was black and rolling with thunder, columns of smoke rose into the air across the charred landscape and all about there was the stench of death.
Feathers flecked red with blood were whipped into the air by a cold wind and swirled about everywhere as a grim reminder of the slaughter that had come to pass.
I knelt on cold and blackened dirt. Bloodied, bruised. Defeated.
My few companions had lain down arms, we could not hope for victory but maybe, just maybe save those who had fallen, that it wasn’t too late for our wounded.
A tall man in tarnished armour stood over me, his once golden hair matted and dark with blood, his eyes were sad.
He saw no pride in the defeat of his brother.
I was taken by strong hands, my condemnation already decided, my fate writ. I no longer had the energy to stand, my will was gone.
I was led across a desolate waste, scorched by an eternal and ageless heat under the watchful gaze of mountains black as the end of time, sentinels to the death of mercy.
The scar on the face of this vast desolation fractured and opened before us running as far as the eye could see on either side, a split in reality itself between those of us on foot and that faraway mountain range.
Stones cut my feet as I was trailed across that barren waste, dragged inexorably to my damnation.
A craterlike maw raised ahead, the original split where the chasm first tore upon this land and from which a jet stream of smoke and embers spewed forth bathed in a vicious orange glow.
The path to the maw was lined with the ranks of those who had cast us down, those who had once been our brethren their backs turned now on us. They called us traitors.
The others who had lain down their arms were behind me, they would share my fate; we would all be punished.
Catching on a rock I stumbled to my knees, falling from my captors hands I sprawled on the dirt cutting my hands and face, minor wounds compared to those already taking their toll.
The one who led the way in blood soaked armour and long hair perfectly straight and black as jet turned and regarded me only with contempt, with absolute hatred.
He moved to step toward me but was blocked by my brother; under that sky of death and burning embers he turned and reached down for me. Straining, he pulled me up as I struggled to find the strength.
One of my companions, a trusted friend of a lifetime rushed forward and took my other arm; I would be carried to my doom by my brother and my blood-sworn comrade.
A path hewn into the broken stone led to that voracious glow, from here we could see the jet stream, lightning crackling along the acrid funnel of the howling twister.
The ranks of our once brethren ended on a ledge overlooking that damnable pit, the stench of death in the air replaced with the pungent malodour of brimstone carried from the deep.
“It has come to this,” the dark haired one stared over the precipice, his face hued in a spectral orange, “I hope you count the cost.”
He looked to me for some response, some justification, maybe for me to plead mercy or offer one last act of defiance. I would give him no such pleasure.
“Very well,” he turned his back to me, “cast him in.”
My brother like any true brother hesitated, his loyalty sorely tested by the bonds of blood. In this dark and savage place I pitied him more so than myself or those who were to share my fate, I pitied him for what he would have to live with.
“Michael,” I said, my voice broken, in his hesitation they would question his loyalty and he would be condemned to burn alongside me in the Lake of Fire, “do it.”
We took a few slow steps together, the heat washing up was unbearable and cut at my lungs, we stood on the edge of oblivion as brothers in arms for one final time.
“Goodbye,” he said, “brother.”
In that moment time slowed, the end, a funnel of malevolent energy before me, an army behind. I closed my eyes as I felt his muscles tense, I took one last deep breath of free air.
It was as though time had slowed to a crawl.
A solitary white feather flecked with blood drifted before my vision, one final reminder of what I stood for framed against a column of ash and flame.
As I reached for that token I felt myself rise bodily into the air and tumble out over that precipice, thrown to oblivion.
I screamed as I fell through an infinite blackness toward a flaming ball of light, an eternal and damned sun hidden from all creation in the infinity of the pit. The vortex of the jet stream struck me and I was caught up in a swirl of liquid fire.
My flesh burned.
I flailed in agony as I tumbled through all the hatred of the universe.
Nothing existed but this pain.
I saw my flesh stripped away by the fire, I felt my eyes boil and pop but had no loss of sight.
I would experience everything.
I awoke with a start and was momentarily confused by the silhouettes all around me, the strange shadows and slivers of yellow light at odd angles. Eventually it occurred to me that I was lying in my bed and the light was the New York City night peering through the gaps in my curtains like a pervert.
Sitting up I wiped sweat from my brow, feeling like a bit of an idiot for getting spooked by a nightmare, barely noticing the sweat was rising off me in a light steam. A bit of the abyss had come back with the memory.
There was a bottle of sparkling water on my bedside cabinet, cool beads of condensation on the bottle hinting that it had not warmed up much, which in turn told me that I had not been asleep for long.
Gulping down several mouthfuls just a little bit too quickly I burped and then excused myself to the empty room. You never know who might be looking on, and if people knew how real the possibility was then the porn industry would slip into financial ruin overnight.
Lying back into my cocoon of pillows I stared up at the shadows on my ceiling, today had been the last day of my suspension, in the morning it was back to the NYPD, back to the job.
As a followup to yesterday's post, I'm now back on Tinder with the profile as promised and doing my part for thumb exercises. I can already feel my neck getting sore from all the left swipes.
But hey, that VAT information may be useful to a select few of you.
If some mad person actually matches I think I'll write another poem.
It's only Tuesday and already it has been a busy week for picking something to blog about. Trump has sacked a guy, Russia has murdered a guy, and I touched a guy. Well, it was myself but in the dry spell I'm having you've got to count every bit of contact.
So today I'm going to talk about the exciting thing that everyone wants to hear: I'm going to go back to Tinder.
Yes, ladies, get ready to swipe left so hard that you'll hurt your thumbs and give me whiplash. I like to think that my presence on that app has single-handedly created more Thumb War champions than the entire public school system in the UK, and those boys masturbate a lot.
To really capture that dynamic left swipe you need to have the perfect profile pic, something that really speaks to the lady about the bullet she is dodging. An image that simultaneously says 'That guy could be fun' and 'my reputation would never survive this'.
Luckily for me I found my lime-green mankini whilst tidying the house last week.
So, we've got the image and now we have to get the profile just right. Women claim to love comedy right? Therefore the absolute last thing that I want to do is be funny. In the past I somehow managed to get a following on Match.com for my really outlandish profile descriptions, a couple of which I've attached for your reading pleasure.
We want to avoid that kind of attention at all costs.
I think that the best accompaniment to my mankini profile pic would be to randomly copy 500 characters out of Northern Ireland Tax Law from the HMRC website because nothing says sex like the VAT rate for soda farls.
I should probably disconnect my Instagram from the account, but lets be realistic here, the only time anyone goes from Tinder to someone's Instagram is to see bikini or shirtless pics (depending on what you're into). Since I have neither the abs or the pert boobies that would lure anyone across apps I think it's fairly safe to leave it up there.
Last but not least we come to the bit in which you can bind an anthem from Spotify. So, do I pick a really romantic song or something emotional that will show just how deep and soulful I am?
Nah, you know where this is going. If the Fraggle Rock theme isn't available then the obvious choice is Mah Na Mah Na by the Muppets.
And there we have it ladies, I'm ready to be dropped like a retired Russian spy and simultaneously be the best exercise that some of you working in offices will get this week. And people said that I would never contribute anything to society.
Well, I completely forgot to do a post on Wednesday, my plan to create content on a set schedule has taken a bit of a hairline fracture already. Probably will need to work on something a bit more useful than sarcastic blog posts or lazy reposts of stuff that I already have done.
So on that subject here's the second chapter of Merrily Merrily, it's the last freebie from it that I'm giving because I'd like to make some money from it, and I don't really want to set up a Patreon to offer pictures of myself in various stages of undress in return for continued support.
Anyway, when we last met Sophie she had just arrived in the Kingdom of Trancelvania with Walker the clockwork man and discovered that she was now an adult who liked to dress up.
- - - - - - - -
A Walk in the Woods
“Hey, wait a minute,” Sophie tried to keep up with Walker as he merrily strode into the dark woods that surrounded their little cave like icky hair in the plughole, “hey, stop whistling and talk to me for a minute.”
Walker was practically skipping through the mossy ground and fallen branches whilst Sophie was struggling to keep her feet. She thought about how high heels were a bad idea for a forest trek and then with a yelp of surprise she suddenly stumbled forward.
Pulling up the hem of her dress she saw that her high heels had transformed into ugly brown hiking boots.
“Well, that’s better,” she said, confused as to how she was making these changes, “I guess?”
“Come along, Miss Weaver,” Walker cheered as he poked his head from around a tree, “we still have a ways to go.”
“Wait,” Sophie ran to catch up with him, “what’s all this stuff about saving the Kingdom?”
“Do you remember when I wished you a good morning?”
Walker paused and looked back at Sophie and she became very aware of the fact that she was now standing in a spooky forest at night with a total stranger. She was pretty sure that her mummy had told her not to do that.
“Yeah,” she took a step back, “when does the sun rise?”
“It is a little after nine in the morning,” Walker looked past the gaps in the trees to the stars above, “the sun has not risen in two days.”
“What, like it slept in? How does the sun not rise?”
“Nobody knows, the light just went away,” the clockwork man looked down at his oversize feet, “it has been getting colder without the sun. I was sent to find a Weaver in the hope that you can make it shine again.”
“But how? I’m just a little girl,” Sophie lifted her arms in such a way as to show off her dress, “who apparently thinks that she is a princess, I’m not an adventurer.”
To her surprise the gown had become a green tunic and dashing white pantaloons, and matching brown satchel to go with her hideous brown hiking boots; something a bit more fitting for someone going on an adventure. A hooded cloak appeared on her shoulders to round off the look of dashing adventurer chic.
“Well alright then, I guess I’m an adventurer now,” she really wished that she knew how she was doing this.
“I do not know how were are to save the Kingdom per se, but I believe you can,” Walker took a step forward and placed a friendly hand on her arm, “but we will need the help of someone wise and of someone strong.”
“I suppose you were told all this by a kindly wizard who smokes too much and hangs around with dwarves?”
“The Oracowl of this forest came to me. I don’t know if he smokes.”
“Oracle you mean?”
“No, Oracowl,” Walker smiled and started back on his path through the trees, “he is an owl, a really big one.”
“Oh... kay,” Sophie raised an eyebrow and followed the weird tin man a few steps behind, she wondered if maybe there were a few cogs missing from the adding machine in his head.
“Are birds of prey known for their sage wisdom?”
“Eagles live as far away from people as possible,” Walker nimbly jumped a fallen log, “chickens are a tasty dinner. Which one would you say is smarter?”
“I wouldn’t want to fight an eagle for his drumstick,” Sophie said as she brushed a stray branch out of her path.
She noticed that the leaves on the trees all seemed to be fluffy clouds as if they were made from cotton candy, and felt just as sticky. Absently she tore a bit of the fluff from the nearest tree revealing some green underneath and brought a shout of ‘Oi!’
Pausing by the branch Sophie saw something hairy sitting in the greenery next to a web-like hammock, she swatted the air before her as it threw a cloud of hair.
“I don’t go breaking into your house,” the spider said as it wove a patch over the hole, “I swear, some people think they can go around doing as they please, tearing up webs, no consideration for the hardworking arachnid.”
“Oops,” Sophie said, trying not to burst into a terrified run, “sorry.”
The spider continued to grumble about the ‘Two Folk’ having no respect for an honest day’s labour and something about shift work. Sophie didn’t know what that was but it didn’t sound like fun.
Rushing after Walker she grabbed his spindly little arm and stopped him in his tracks.
“Walker, are all of these trees,” she cast her eyes around the thousands of fluffy branches that surrounded them, “are they filled with spiders?”
“Yeah, this is Spiderholme,” he brushed a few of the thrown hairs from Sophie’s face, “they are spinster spiders, they work in the silk factory on the edge of Cuddleton.”
“Are they,” she looked nervously around, having that weird ticklish feeling as if spiders were crawling over her back and in her hair, “you know, dangerous?”
“Nah,” he started walking again, “they can get a bit surly sometimes, but you would get in a bad mood too if you had to spend all day weaving cloth with your bum. Usually they are quite friendly.”
Scratching at an imaginary spider Sophie decided to stick next to Walker and hopefully they would get to somewhere a little less creepy a lot more quickly.
Far away from Sophie and Walker hidden in a mountain valley that would be black even in broad daylight there stood what might charitably be called a Dark Tower. Really though the place looked like a passing Cosmic Horror with a bad dose of the flu had sneezed on the planet and the resultant mess had hardened into this sprawling fortress.
The town within its walls might once have been a lovely place but now it was home only to banshees and ghouls, and one passing internet troll who really liked the ambiance.
The buildings were empty, with tiles missing from the roofs and paint flaking from their walls, the stone walls were stained every colour on the dirt spectrum from snot to pee. Rubbish, broken parts and abandoned carts littered the streets, market stalls sat with their produce still on display but the food long since gone rotten.
It was as if one day everyone had simply vanished.
The black tower loomed over the town like a grim and overly enthusiastic prison guard watching for the first inmate he could beat up and throw in the dungeon. The tower stood silently watching for any movement, it was keeping an eye on everything.
In places it was built in straight lines but in others it looked as though the stone had bubbled and melted to form some kind of living shell, its black foundations had twisted to wrap themselves around the outer walls of the fortress, spreading like a monstrous blob into the valley.
The trees and grass around the fortress had turned yellow and brown like something a heavy smoker would cough up. Animals no longer came near the valley and the once blue river that passed through the city and under the fortress now ran thick with mud.
Once upon a time this had been a beautiful place, that people from all over the land travelled to, but since the dark came and the magic was gone it had turned to brooding and a place of despair. The nightmare had spread out like a sickness to infect everything around it.
Nobody came to the valley anymore, even its name had been taken by the veil of dread. People now only knew it as the Castle of Pandemonium, home to a Queen blinded by anger and paranoia.
Sophie and Walker had been tripping and stumbling through the forest for an uncountable time. With no daylight it was hard to tell if it was even still morning.
Aside from a few bruises from falling as she got used to her new size Sophie found that she was not getting tired in the slightest. She discovered that since big folk didn’t have to waste energy on the whole growing thing they got much better miles per gallon.
A few song birds had tried to sing uncertainly, they knew it was supposed to be bright and singing was their gig but on the other hand people tended to shout rude things if they sang at night.
The birds weren’t the only animals that were having a difficult time of it. A quick and sprightly fox had been seen darting between the trees like a hairy ninja only to be chased home by his vixen for being out gallivanting at this time of the day.
Walker was still humming merrily to himself as if he had not a care in the world, which was quite possible if his brain was just a bunch of cog wheels.
He still had not explained how he expected Sophie to be able to bring back the sun and she started to suspect that his entire plan was:
Step 1) Find a Weaver
Step 2) Go... somewhere
Step 3) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Step 4) Sunlight
It did not instil her with confidence.
He also had not explained to Sophie what a Weaver was beyond ‘it means being a Weaver’, which in the grand scheme of things was not an awful lot of help.
She couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that Walker was just making this up as he went along and hoping for the best.
“Ah, here we are,” he said as Sophie walked into the back of him, she hadn’t noticed that he had abruptly stopped.
There was a wide gap in the forest and as she looked instinctively both ways Sophie realised that this was a cobbled street. To her right was the edge of the forest and the first of a few odd shaped houses with low walls and high thatched roofs.
Lanterns burned along the road leading into the village and farmers ran carts up and down the street to the market.
“Welcome to Cuddleton.”
Well, this will either be seen as a treat or another case of me just being lazy. I like to think that it's just funny after a video of two holographic campers being violently beaten to death by a space-hockey player to follow up with the first chapter of my fairy tale novella. If you like it feel free to buy it on Amazon and validate my existence.
- - - - - - - -
Gently Down the Stream
Little Sophie Weaver lay in her bed with a yucky tummy and a runny nose as she had done for two not very fun days now. Being sick and getting off school always sounded like a good idea when you are eight years old, when they talked about it at school everyone seemed to forget the actual part about being sick. The dizziness was awful and there was a small fortress of snotty tissues building up around her bed.
There was little to entertain during the day when you had to stay wrapped up, there were no cartoons on television just some people fighting on a stage, and some guy with mad hair looking at antiques. Sophie hated antiques, why did people pay so much for old junk when you could just go out and get new stuff that looked good?
Adults could be quite silly sometimes.
But not daddy, he called her his Little Buttercup because of her blonde hair; he made her feel strong and protected. She didn’t see daddy so often these past few days, he had been away from home a lot recently though he had been with her more since she got ill. As long as daddy was there she knew that everything would be alright. He needed to be strong because mummy cried a lot. She spent a lot of time with Sophie, helping her and looking after her, but sometimes it felt like it was too much.
She was happy now to be tucked up in her bed with her funny green nightlight glowing in the corner next to her gently bubbling fish tank.
As she cuddled her Floppsy Bunny her eyes were starting to get heavy and she could feel herself starting to drift off to sleep. She kissed Floppsy on the head and hoped that her tummy would feel better tomorrow; she was getting lonely away from all of her friends.
A thump came from somewhere at the end of her bed like a toy had been knocked over or a pillow had fallen.
Sophie didn’t think much of it until she heard a slightly squeaky voice say ‘Whoopsie’.
“Is somebody there?”
That was a silly question to ask she thought, of course somebody was there, he had said ‘Whoopsie’.
“Oh my,” a tin face popped up at the end of the bed, “the last step is always a bit higher than you think.”
A small tin man with an oversize pointed nose and a rakish tricorne hat climbed up onto her bed and sat down, crossing spindly legs that ended in oversize shoes and leaned gloved hands on his ball shaped knees.
“You would not think that would be tiring,” he wiped his brow, “but let me tell you...”
“I think I have a fever,” Sophie said, unsure if this was real or a dream, “who, or what are you?”
“Oh right, you do not know me,” he backflipped into the air like his legs were on springs before doing a cute little curtsy, “I am Walker, knight and guardian to the Weaver. That would be you.”
“Weaver is my surname, my name’s Sophie.”
“Yes, Ms Weaver,” he did another little bow and Sophie saw a large brass key sticking out of his back, like an old windup tin soldier or something.
Crawling out of her bed sheets she touched one finger to his pointy big nose and gave a gentle push that made him fall to his backside with a cry of ‘Hey, quit it.’
“You’re made of metal?” She looked at her finger, his skin had felt cold and hard.
“Do not be so judgemental,” he crossed his arms and his robot lips did their best impression of a trout-pout, “it is what is on the inside that counts.”
“Oh, sorry,” she hadn’t meant to offend him, “like a soul?”
“No,” he sprung from one foot to another like a hyperactive Jack Russell terrier, “clockwork. I am a Clankydoodle.”
“That’s not a word.”
“A robot guardian,” he flexed his arms like a body builder, the thin bit of tin actually seemed to bulge, “not as impressive as my big brother though, I just cannot get the Austrian accent right.”
“But why are you here,” Sophie sat on her feet, “why would I need a guardian?”
Walker climbed up the bed to sit opposite her with his legs crossed, he smiled and pushed his hat brim back with one finger like a cowboy about to slur some greeting.
“I am to protect your Lucining,” he said.
“I don’t think that’s a word either,” she crossed her arms, “what’s a lucining supposed to be?”
“You will find out in about three seconds,” he stood, Sophie watched as he came to stand beside her with his hands out and palms open.
Her eyes got heavy and she tipped forward, Walker caught her and gently laid the little eight year old Sophie back in her bed and tucked her in. He placed a hand on her forehead and felt how warm it was.
“See you soon.”
Sophie awoke in near darkness staring at what looked to be the inside of a drain pipe that had not been cleaned in a very long time. The ground beneath her was soft and spongy, like moss, and as she sat up she realised that it was moss.
Looking around she saw that she lay in a small cave and the scraggly bits hanging from the ceiling were actually small roots poking through from the plants above. The dim light of cave was by a small purple thing glowing in the corner, like some weird kind of firefly or glow bug.
“Good morning,” Walker jigged happily through the cave entrance, Sophie looked past him to the starry night time sky and wondered if there was a screw loose in his clockwork.
“Why am I in a cave,” she was pretty certain scary stories started like this, “where did you take me?”
“The Kingdom of Trancelvania,” he said cheerily, “we are not far from the village of Cuddleton.”
“And how did I-oh!”
Sophie stood up and banged her head on the ceiling, which caused her to fall backwards onto her bum, she looked up at the roof and it was far too high for her to have hit it.
Getting onto all fours to stand she noticed that her arms had gotten a lot longer and more slender than the slightly chubby and awkward little things she remembered. As she rose the ceiling got close very quickly and she found that she had to crouch.
“I’ve got bigger,” she said as she patted her arms, chest, and legs, then checked her bum to make sure that she wasn’t massive but it was hidden under layers of lace in a green ball gown, “what’s going on? Why am I in a gown?”
“You are the Weaver,” Walker shrugged with a slight whirring of gears, “you must see yourself as a princess.”
“Princess?” She gave the dress a little test swish, “I didn’t know I was so precious.”
Sophie realised that it was not just her body that had changed but her voice too, she sounded like her mummy. As she stepped carefully out of the cave so as to not bang her head again she felt a smile spread across her face as she was able to stretch out her arms and raise her head high.
In the end Sophie couldn’t help but laugh, this was wonderful, it was amazing to be able to stretch so far. She had always thought it would be scary to be so far above the ground and that big people must have being walking around with this constant dread of tipping over. Now that she was here though it all felt so natural and being small by comparison felt clumsy, and well, a little bit silly.
She fell backward into a bed of moss and kicked her feet into the air, giggling at how long her legs and arms were.
“Did that bump on the head drive you mad?”
“No,” Sophie sat up with a broad smile across her now elegant face, “I’ve never been this big before, it’s amazing. How did you do it?”
“I did not,” Walker offered her a hand, as he pulled her up he seemed to grow in stature as well, “you did, you are the one weaving the world around you.”
“I’m doing it,” Sophie looked puzzled as she was able to look Walker in the eye as she had done when she was the height of an eight year old, “how?”
“I do not know,” he shrugged his shoulders and then spotted her toy rabbit on the ground outside the cave, as he passed it to her he said, “you are the Weaver, I am just your guardian.”
Walker then drew a long and curved sword, the type that Sophie recognised from all the old pirate shows, a cutlass she was pretty sure they were called. He checked that the blade was sharp by slicing through a weird purple plant that looked like a carrot and deflated with a farting sound, and smelled just as bad.
Then as he sheathed the blade he rolled his shoulders in a way that caused his clockwork insides to click and then jumped back and forth from one foot to the other. She noticed that the key on his back had gone soft and was hanging like a rather fetching bronze cape.
“Well, I’m wound up and ready to go,” Walker stretched his shoulders back and struck out his chest, “we should make a start, we have to find the bravest and strongest heroes of the land.”
Sophie never noticed that the firefly that had lit the cave was actually a small sprite who was watching on with interest. When the girl left to follow the clockwork man the sprite let her light dim and she became the pixie that she was, she watched the Weaver walk off and she smiled to the twinkling stars.
“Walker,” Sophie caught up with the tin man and stopped him in his tracks, she looked nervously at Floppsy Bunny in her hands as she knew that she wasn’t going to like the answer to this question, “why am I here?”
“To save the Kingdom of course,” he said with an oblivious smile, and Sophie felt like she needed to go to the bathroom.
Lazy post this evening, was away getting over the cabin fever of the last couple of days by hanging around a shopping centre (that's a 'mall' for my US/Canadian friends). Did a bit more work on the doggy picture too, it's probably nearly done. That'll make up another post when I can't be arsed putting in any real effort.
But anyway, seeing as I'm determined to be lazy here's one of my favourite cinematic murders.
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