Fiction, Humour, Writing

The Ferry

The Ferry image 3

The sun came out to turn our car into an oven and spoil the small bottle of milk that we had brought for our tea. We rolled down the windows to let the cool air and camper-van fumes in, sweating while we eagerly waited for the long line of traffic to edge forward as each vehicle verified with passport control that passengers were who they said they were and ‘illegal immigrants’ weren’t crammed in as tight as commuters on the tube at rush hour, sweltering as their shirt collars and neck ties strangle them, and their collective body heat and deprivation of ventilation inebriates them.

One look at our one litre, two-door car and a brief glance at our passports was enough to satisfy the uniformed lady with the hard stare; one Caucasian female and one Caucasian male, driving a car so small that a litre bottle of sour milk is considered ‘luggage’. We probably seem like the least threatening of this bunch of ferry-goers, who are mostly pairs of pensioners, eager to whittle away a couple of weeks on foreign soil, in a slightly warmer climate, in the comfort of their air-conditioned vans and a safe distance away from their adult children, who incessantly demand babysitting duties.

We move and we stop and we start and we sweat and we wait for our turn to drive our four-wheeled snack into the gaping mouth of the ferry-beast, within whom we will spend the next sixteen hours; either stretched out across a couple of bar-stools, desperately trying to evade insomnia as the rumble of the giant engines vibrate the pits of our stomachs and the gentle swaying of the sea dizzies us into a state of silent, numb and apparently eternal boredom, while the darkness of the post-closing-time hours ticks past us; or stretched out upon the deck, letting the sun turn our skin a gentle shade of blister, staring into the ocean with the hope of spotting dolphins or sharks or sea monsters, eventually seeing nothing but a seagull, nipping at the surface of the water and signifying our journey’s end.

Fiction, Humour, Writing


Dinner Image

The bus nudged it’s passengers from side to side as it rapidly navigated through the sharp, narrow roads of the town. A curious old lady sat in one of the reserved front seats. She leaned her head to a side to better observe the contents of the pink plastic shopping bag that dangled in front of her. At first she thought it was some sort of white cuddly toy. But when she took her spectacles from around her neck and perched them on her nose the image came into focus and she saw it move. The bag was slung over a boy’s shoulder, the handles of the bag in one of his hands, a bus pole in the other. A head protruded from the top of the bag and returned the old lady’s curious glances with bright eyes, twitching whiskers and it’s long ears standing to attention. She looked and smiled at the boy and leaned forward in her seat to touch and feel the soft, white ears.

‘Is this your rabbit?’ she asks the boy, ‘he’s very pretty!’

‘Yeah. This is Dinner.’ the boy replies.

The old lady sits back in her seat, her expression of charmed admiration, slipped into confusion, to disgust, and back to confusion. The boy pushed the button on the pole and hopped off the bus.

He skipped along the footpath with Dinner swaying from side to side over his shoulder until he got to Lucy and Ciara‘s house. He knocked on the door and Lucy came out and lead him through the house to the tiny back garden where a box, smashed together with bits of old, white-painted, skirting boards and chicken wire, housed another black and white bunny. Ciara, the younger of the two girls stands over it, dropping pellets of rabbit food through the wire.

‘Is that her?’ the boy asks.

‘That’s her.’ Ciara says as she throws herself to her knees and removes the stone that keeps the door closed. She stretches an arm in and rummages after the bunny, trying to avoid getting her wool jumper caught in the stray, rusty nails that protrude within. She grabs her by a hind leg and lifts her from the box as she squirms to free herself from her grasp. She drops her on the grass and she scurries a couple of steps into space.

‘Isn’t she the coolest rabbit you ever saw?’ Ciara asks.

‘Dinner is cool too!’ the boy reacts. ‘What did you name it?’

‘Brittany. After Brittany Spears’ Lucy replies with pride.

‘Brittany the bunny… I like it.’ the boy says.

‘We can call one of the babies Brinner.’ Ciara shouts as she chases Brittany around the lawn, trying to gather the evasive bunny up into her arms so she can hold it and give it love.

‘Or Brunch.’ the boy adds.

‘Why would you call it Brunch? That doesn’t make any sense.’ Ciara reprimands, tired now from her futile attempt to catch the rabbit.

The boy shrugs his shoulders and lowers the plastic bag to the ground and releases Dinner.

Dinner immediately mounts Brittany and begins trusting quickly.

‘Should we give them some privacy?’ Lucy asks.

‘Maybe they escaped!’ Ciara says when the boy returned a month later. He was confused. Lucy had told him at school that day that Brittany was after having little bunny babies that morning. The three of them stood over the box, bewildered by the absence of the bunny babies.

‘They might have squeezed through the tiny holes in the wire and ran away.’

They turned the little back garden upside down searching for them, checking every bush, shrub, flower and blade of grass but to no avail.

The next day they found little bones in Brittany’s poo.

Fiction, Writing

Louise vs Kate

This is another little one from the writing class. It’s a continuation of sorts from Kate vs Louise. (You can read that here if you want but you don’t need to though). I switched from the third person to the first person. It’s a little more abstract too! Any feedback welcome. Thanks!

A seagull circled over our heads a number of times before descending and landing next to us.

“Get away from my fish” he squawked at us. We looked at each other.

“Go on… Shoo!” he cawed.

‘Is that a talking seagull?’ Louise asked, disbelief in her tone.

‘Go on! Get out of here you dirty rotten humans. Caw Caw!’ he continued, getting more agitated in his gait.

“It’s an extremely rude talking seagull too…” I replied.

A fish peeped its head out of the water.

“Hey!!… Smelly-ass” he shouted.

The seagull’s attention was drawn away from us, cocking his head towards the fish.

“Ha ha! You looked. How did you know I was calling you? You must have a smelly-poopy-bum!”

The bird shuffled awkwardly into flight, fumbling over himself in his rage. The fish turned and swam with the seagull hot on his heels… (or gills… or fins… or the underwater equivalent to heels…. Tail!… That’s it).

“Squawk, squawk, squawk…. you little fish sh*t…. When I catch you I’m going to gut you like a…”

The fish piddled and paddled and dipped and dived out of the birds reach whilst laughing his little fish ass off.

That excitement faded into the distance and then it was just the two of us on an empty beach.

The beach is the same. It’s the same as any other beach. It’s where the water meets the land. Sometimes they come together and gently caress and kiss and touch and rub each other. But sometimes the water beats the land, engulfs it and engorges it. The seasons change as swiftly and easily as our own human nature. From calm to rage, rage to turmoil, turmoil to mourning, mourning to peace and back again to calm… And now I am rambling.

If Louise could hear me I’m sure she would say something to bring me back to reality. Something like “Will you shut the f*ck up!” or “Stop making mountains out of piles of dog poo! The sea is the sea and the beach is the beach.” Then we would laugh and go and get ice cream.

But there’s nowhere to get ice cream around here. It’s too cold for ice cream anyway. Even if I could get ice cream, I’d have no-one to share it with. I imagined Louise. She doesn’t exist. I imagined the fish. The seagull was real but he doesn’t talk. He’s beside me pulling out of a banana skin. Is the banana skin real? Louise will know. Where did she go?

I look around for Louise and see the fish peeping out of the water again. “You are so crazy…” he says as he splashes at me.

“You’re so crazy that you have to talk to a fish to help you decipher what is real and what is not…. Do you know how crazy that is?”

“But the seagull was busy eating the banana skin.” I replied.

“Kate… Kate… Katie?… Kathleen??? Hello?”

Louise’s urgings signaled my time to return to the real world.

We were on the beach. “What kind of ice cream are you getting?”