Fictional Mumblings

The discourse of a mistake

This world, the world enclosed within these walls, not the world beyond the window, just the world within these walls, is a ballroom.  Its people are gaudily dressed, horribly mismatched dancers.The orchestra is unseen but its power is unyielding. With the beat of a drum, the stacatto rhythym of an otherly trumpet, dancers are brought together from across a crowded room.  Close enough to lace your hand through his hair, near enough to hear her heart’s whisper. Strangers too are soon friends. Hands and feet shimmy together, eyes shine with laughter, hearts weigh heavily the happiness of a dance. The rest of that world melts away.  The orchestra always unpredictable, masterful in its direction is a wily, old conductor of our steps.   Sometimes  soft, mellow, like a twinkling of rain on a late Summer’s day, other times we struggle to keep atrot.

And just as suddenly, the music stops, we drift apart, disorientated. Un moment….  There are stars in our eyes.  Just a moment too long.  But soon with fresh eyes and a jaded glint, our ears full from listening what we refused to hear, we are on our way to some other place, with some other people.

Fictional Mumblings

Sundry Sunday Thought

There are no signs pointing out happiness on this road. This road is made up as I go along. It’s not here, not there. I’ve tried to find it in a map book; they’re still scrambling to update their latest edition, or so they say. It’s a gravel road. The pebbles crunch beneath my feet. The sun beats down unrelentingly but the way ahead is unlit. There’s a speed limit but there’s no one crouched in the bushes monitoring it. I’m a little behind on it. Okay, I’m a lot behind on the speed limit. But no one’s watching. It’s a gravel road straddling the Tropic of Nowherecorn and it’s desolate except for the idea of it.

Fictional Mumblings

Waiting- A Free Writing Challenge

>Parasputin made up the rules:

a) choose a topic

b) set a timer for 5 minutes

c) switch off your monitor to reduce the temptation to edit

d) write continuously, no edits

I obliged:

a) I chose a topic by consulting The Writer’s Block, a little book of ideas interspersed with bits of literary nonsense designed to ‘jumpstart the imagination’. I eventually settled on:

b) I set a timer and dug in:

The order in the pharmacy irritated me; neatly metred rows of cosmetics, aspirin, Dutch medicine, bandages… Everything was neatly stacked, nothing out of place. And the smell, a mix of people, medicine and cheap perfume; I could feel my insides rebelling against it. I take a step forward, a sigh weighing heavily in my chest. Winter evenings at the pharmacy; the queue stretches interminably long. The four pharmacists at their booths, like ticket vendors at the cinema, eye the clock with a weary eye. Seven o clock seems far away. A young child walks away on uncertain legs, sucking merrily at a tube of Gaviscon. His mother is unperturbed chatting to another woman, ‘They say no swine flu, elko kone hamjaaveh? My sister’s three kids go to school there. Aasia, the smallest one, she’s in grade five now, so fast they grow up neh…. Ja, she said only eight children in her class today…’ Her voice trailed off as she continued. The other woman, clucks her tongue and feigns the appropriately disapproving expression. I could tell she was not really listening. Her eyes seemed far away. She was well dressed, her court shoes peeking from beneath tailored pants, her blazer unruffled at the tail end of the day. Standing beside her in my ratty jeans and mismatched scarf I felt gauche. I looked at her again from the corner of my eye, admiring her poise and patience. She waves the little stub of white paper in her hand absently.

c) The urge to edit is overpowering but I enjoyed the exercise and have posted my effort untouched. Dignity is overrated anyway.

d) I tag Saaleha, MJ, Aasia, Waseem, Nooj and anyone else up for it.

Fictional Mumblings

All the games we play

They walk toward each other outside the town’s dingy station. It’s five after midnight. The raspy wind nips at them gratuitously, forcing them deeper into their coats. She steels herself, breathing deeply. He still looks like a mischievous boy, she thinks nervously. He draws nearer and she stops, wordlessly prompting him to come towards her. She really has changed, he thinks, a smile tugging at his lips. It’s been too long. He extends his hand invitingly, the tiny specks of amber in his green eyes glinting fiercely, like embers of a banked fire. He knew she knew.

She meets his eye briefly and then looks away quickly, too quickly, belatedly noticing his outstretched palm. Hesitantly, she unfurls her hand towards his. The touch is brief, awkward, fumbling, nothing like the easy familiarity of old.

Between them not even a hello escapes. Her body shakes in fear. She opens her mouth, letting out a hiss of air. He rocks back on his heels, watching her carefully, his hands in his pockets. She looks away from him and the silence stretches past them out into the lonely night.