Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Last Day Of September

Right at the end of things, when she’s just about to close the door for the last time, she takes a breath.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Here Be Monsters

Even if I get my shoes muddy, it won’t matter. I could walk to the edge of as far as I can see, and it still wouldn’t end. And I know he calls it as he sees it. He looks out and yes, the world is flat here, but here isn’t the entire world.

Monday, 28 September 2009

The Time It Takes To Get From Here To There

He walks past the empty houses, focusing only on the crunch of glass underfoot. He doesn’t worry that it will pierce his soles. He has had his tetanus shots, and the sight of blood doesn’t bother him.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Of Abundance And Goodbyes

Everything felt okay. The spin of the world only altered a little. She took a step back from the kerb, waiting for the cars to clear a path.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Reverse Of Light

They held hands in the shade, practised being shadows. On the ground, their arms grew long where the sun caught them, and they watched as more of themselves spilled out, stretched across the stone.

Friday, 25 September 2009


As he passed her, he imagined she might put her foot out to trip him, but she didn’t move at all. He wanted to stop, to turn around and say something that would make it all better.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Not Sleeping But Dreaming

The silence wasn’t absolute. As she lay back on the grass, she heard the industry of small things, quieter than her heartbeat, but still enough to rock the tiny bones of her ear.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

In A Cellar, Somewhere

They kept the fire lit and told stories. They would be okay because the roof was arched, her Mum told her. She stared up at the whitewashed curve and counted each brick.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Absence Of Glass

Before anyone else is awake, he goes to the window and takes in a first breath of the day outside. The space for traffic is still unfilled, and the only sounds are the chatter of starlings and the hum of bees. On a bed in the next room, a girl stirs and bats imaginary flies in her sleep. He leans out into the morning, feeling the warm rush of August air on his face. He remembers the dot-to-dots he made from her freckles, the spirals and flowers and creatures he drew across her arms and legs, and wishes he’d taken a photograph.

Monday, 21 September 2009

A Beginning. An End.

When it’s time to leave he stands in front of the door, fastening and unfastening his coat.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Twenty-Two Years Of Occupation

With breath hot as tar he pushes me back, tells me I’m being stupid. I graze my elbow on the wall, and when I look down, tiny atoms of my skin cling to the concrete, a small clump of red and pink against the rough white.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Being Ten

He remembers how he tried to make that heart. Pressing his fingertips into the red clay, he made it as symmetrical as he could, and then he baked it in the oven for hours, hoping it would emerge as something unbreakable.

Friday, 18 September 2009

The Next Day And The Day After That

It’s been years since we kissed on that bridge, when I lost my shoe and didn’t realise until the next day. There’s a way of knowing what’s going to be said before it’s said. So we kept quiet and let it be forgotten.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

When To Stop, When To Stand Still

He knows she will never be on time, and so he has learned to enjoy the waiting. He pays attention to the world around him, the small things, things he might miss if he was in a hurry, or if she was there with him.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

And All The World Was Quiet

The world collapses in with all its bright colours. There is a new language, felt only through fingertips. He taps this strange Morse code against the bones of my hand and I watch the shapes, try to make sense of it. He doesn’t move any closer. He doesn’t look up. I stare at his hands and the way his fingers cover mine and feel lost.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

A Timely Reminder...

...that tonight, the Time Travel Opportunists will be taking over Quad and filling it with stories, short films, science, and other nerdery. Join us. 8:30pm in the cafe bar.

Some Kind Of Invisible

He wants to shut himself off. He wants the people he knows to stop calling, writing, knocking on his door. He wants to go through his day and have no human contact. He has changed his clothes. He has cut his hair close to his skull, angling the scissors, making mistakes in the mirror.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Staring At The Sea

He leaves them inside and pulls the door to. There’s too much going on. If there was a way he could rewind things, he’d shift everything back to the day before she arrived.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Ivy Is Plastic But The Missing Is Real

I lost him somewhere along the way. Before the lights went out, but after the crowds. I wanted to leave a breadcrumb trail, but he’s scared of birds, so there’s no way he would have followed. We should have tied wool around our wrists, bound ourselves together at the end of things. Now all I can do is wait, and hope that somehow we find each other again.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

At This Height, The Windows Are Stuck With Glue

It doesn’t take her long to realise everyone else has gone. She wakes in an empty room, only half-remembering getting there. The curtains have been stripped, the walls whitewashed. The floorboards are flecked with paint and she scratches at the raised blobs, tries to dig her fingernails underneath them.

Friday, 11 September 2009

When We Were Green

We are pretending it didn't happen. We are being economical with our truth.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

An Evening Of Time Travel

Next Tuesday, Time Travel Opportunists are taking over Quad in honour of The Time Traveler's Wife film being shown, and a general love of Time Travel-themed things. See the lovely flyers Biff made...

I especially like the part where he thought that we could actually travel through time and do it all a month in the past. He knows the Delorian is 'in the shop' at the minute.

Anyway, we're going to be reading from books about time (pretty much ALL of Momo if we have our way, but we might settle for just a chapter), showing short films about time, and reading our own stories about time, too. I'm writing mine right now. Well, I'm having a little break to write this, but I am in the middle of a story and I quite like it so far. I am being cheeky and writing notes in italics as I go along. I am asking myself questions like "where are they going?" and "how about graph paper?" and "does she know his sister?" It's fun. Better get back to it.

This Is Not A Test

I tried to cover my eyes. Even though it’s not too dark in here, when the door opens sunlight floods right in and sometimes it can be blinding. He had his back to it, but it got me like an atomic flash. I squinted past him and he laughed low, from his belly. And when I closed my eyes, the shape of him burned there in the centre, like he was all the world.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


He doesn't know how to take what she's said. He thinks he needs to just sit here a while longer and try to figure things out. She is running circles with the others, playing freeze tag. Half his friends are statues. He leans back against the wall and bits of stone fall in his hair. He knows he should feel heavy right now, but her laughter makes him weightless.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Time Travel Is Possible

She draws a line in the dirt. Whatever happens he has to stay on his side. They sit cross-legged, knees almost banging. The line is a table tennis net between them. It is a spiderweb.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Conservation Area Please Keep Out

There’s a space the size of a matchbox that nobody else knows about. It’s hidden underneath piles of old clothes and books. There are old cassette tapes scattered around, some of the ribbons unravelled and spilling out, words and music coming slowly undone. There’s a part of him in that space that doesn’t exist anymore. The part that was happy. The part that was loved by her.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Right Words Will Always Come Back

You write on brown paper bags. Sometimes it is just a few lines, sometimes it is more. Other times, it will just be a single word, and you will choose this word carefully, like you are choosing the only flower you will ever be able to look at for the rest of your life.

You don’t write in biro. Biro can survive water, and you need these words to be ephemeral, you need them to be as fragile as the thoughts behind them. You need to know they can be washed away with tears, that they will bleed into pretty patterns before they disappear completely.

Once they’re gone, you imagine the journeys they will make. The wind might catch a paragraph and sneak it into the tallest tree. There it will whisper to the birds, teach them a new song. A sentence might find its way into the pink hands of a child, as it crunches on cola cubes. A word might find itself part of a shopping list, and nestle there a little out of place, between bread and toothpaste, above bananas.

Your words will always be remembered, somehow. Even when washed away, even when the ink of them is just a swirl of an idea in a puddle, what’s important will go on, picking up pace like a downhill snowball, or a runaway train. Your words will go down the track, finding their way back to the one they were meant for.

And one day, a bird will sit on a windowsill, and like a postcard it will sing your words. And they will be heard, and absorbed, and kept for a lifetime in the soft rooms of someone’s heart.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

By The Time It Gets Dark All This Will Be Gone

He rolls pebbles under his hand so that they clink against each other in the dirt. In this light, I can only see the movement, not the details. The line of his arm draws my eye to the ground. He tells me something just crawled over his foot and I scream and he laughs and says, Just Ambiguity. And I know it’s a word and he’s trying to be clever, but all I can think about is how many legs an Ambiguity might have.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Everything Can Be Broken

So you take one rock and put your hand on it and with a pencil draw round the outline. You do it enough times that the lines are nice and thick and there is no mistaking that what you've drawn is a hand. You place it by the side of the path, half in the grass. You stare at it every time you come here, hoping one day you forget about it and it surprises you.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

On The Moon Things Are Different

My girlfriend isn’t my girlfriend anymore. She stole my shoes and threw them on the garage roof and I tried to climb up to get them back but I couldn’t reach, so I had to walk home in my socks. When I got home, no one noticed my shoes were missing. I ran upstairs and locked myself in my room and cried, mostly about the shoes, I think. Not about her.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

From The Window I See Thistles

The floor is made of sand. Other people come here at night, but in the daytime, it is only me. I like to do a handstand against the wall, and then my legs go out through the window-gap, and sometimes I just hang there and take my hands off the floor and pretend there is no gravity.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Happy September The First

There was never anyone around at weekends. She could do what she wanted. Usually she’d pick a new angle and draw the old bits of machinery. The rust would often rub off on her clothes as she sat on cogs or ducked through wheels. She liked the iron red of it, how the colour had its own scent, a sharp metallic tang she breathed in and tasted.

She’d arranged to meet him here. He came most Saturdays. He had to walk down from the hill, cutting through the beech woods, but he didn’t seem to mind.

When he arrived, she made him take his shoes off, so that she could draw his feet. She had him place them on the old millstone. She was interested in the contrast, she told him, between flesh and stone.