Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The 15th Annual Intergalactic Space Race

Mr Stanthorpe had made an incredible discovery.

“Egad!” he shouted.

His cat opened its eyes, blinked twice and went back to sleep.

Mr Stanthorpe sat peering through precariously perched half-glasses; in front of him was a picture of a corkscrew.

“Could it be so simple?” he muttered.

He leapt from his chair starting a cascade of books that didn’t stop until he was well out of the room. In the kitchen he ripped open the second draw and pulled out a wooden handled corkscrew. Then he raced to the bathroom and retrieved a slightly rusty razor blade.

“Needs to be sharper but should do the trick,” he murmured.

The rest of the evening was spent sharpening the razor and welding it to the end of the corkscrew. The resulting contraption looked lethal but Mr Stanthorpe seemed pleased.

“Wonderful!” he exclaimed.

The next morning he sprang out of bed and made his way to the local showgrounds. The 15th Annual Intergalactic Space Race was about to begin.

Two shiny space rockets stood gleaming in the morning sun. One rocket steamed and spluttered while the other stood in imposing silence.

Excitement levels grew as the start of the amazing race drew near. But excitement soon turned to disappointment; neither rocket made it through the stratosphere. The inventors left the stage looking dejected.

Mr Stanthorpe made his way to the microphone.

“It’s quite simple really,” Mr Stanthorpe stated. “I make a tiny hole in space with this,” he waved his gadget in the air, “and I’ll be sucked through the hole, straight to another world.”

The crowd of lab coated rocket scientists roared with laughter.

“Allow me to demonstrate.” The crowd fell silent as Mr Stanthorpe performed a complicated twisting movement with the device.

“Did it work?” he asked the judge.

“I’m afraid not Mr Stanthorpe,” the judge replied.

He looked befuzzled and replied, “Who is Mr Stanthorpe?”

Monday, November 17, 2008

50 Colour Pages

School was out. The Highbury kids piled into a red, loaf-of-bread shaped bus. We were going home.

I wore a blue two button shirt with a collar, shorts that showed off my bony eleven year old legs and roman sandals. I was swinging on the overhead handrail and Simon was sitting down the back reading a comic.

Okay, so it wasn’t just any comic; this was the Buster Annual with 50 colour pages. I would've given a months pocket money for it – if I'd earned pocket money that is. Simon’s parents probably gave it to him as a happy Tuesday present. Yeah, I was jealous.

Anyway, there I was swinging away on that chromed handrail. I was wondering if a man’s legs need to be long enough to reach the ground if he is swinging in the air. I couldn’t work it out so I kept looking over at Simon and thinking about that comic book. Did I mention it had 50 colour pages?

Simon wasn’t the most attentive kid in the classroom but boy, you should have seen him with that book.

I dropped off the handrail and went and sat next to him.

“Wow!” I said “Wow!” Okay, so I said 'wow' twice.

“Is that the Buster Annual with 50 colour pages?” I knew it was.

Simon didn’t look up.

I had to get off at the next stop anyway so I cast one last longing glance at the Annual and swung out the door without using the steps.

Simon didn’t come to school the next day, or the day after that. After a week someone asked the teacher where he was. We were sitting on a tripped out stripy mat at the time and I remember the teacher going all serious and saying that Simon had been in an accident about a week ago and he was very unwell in hospital.

That didn’t explain why he was still on the bus every day reading that comic though.

Did I mention it had 50 colour pages?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Journey Down to the Sea

The path leads him along hilltops before taking him down to the sea. It has been a tiring journey but the man has savoured every moment.

Secluded is this beach, and shingly not sandy. The man smiles at the sparkling sea and lets the fresh air straighten and soothe him.

He says, “Hello my friend, it has been too long.”

The sea replies with its rhythmic voice, “Wash sea wash.”

“I was in a rage that night but you were stronger - do you remember? You gave me a new name; a secret name.”

The sea is resplendent in its blue robes; a noble king.

“You gave me a new and ancient name.”

The man is quiet - the sea waits.

“You gave me an ancient name and I found strength in it.”

The mans breathing starts to rhyme with the rhythm of the sea.

“You gave me a strong name. When problems came I remembered the name you gave me.”

The sea seems thoughtful, “Wash sea wash.”

“Problems came and I was alone."

The sea is a friend that listens.

"When I was alone the ancient name was my strength.”

Once more the man is quiet and the sea waits quietly with him.

“I could have died that night, the night you gave me the name.”

The sea is a gentle sage.

“My life was so full then and I couldn't see it. Now my life is finally empty, those I loved have gone before me."

The old man stands silently looking at the sea. Finally he walks slowly into the water.

On this coast the sea is south.

The man turns south.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Sea Knows

Lean in closer for I must speak softly.

There is not much time; my friend there is not much time at all. Soon I must leave, but you need to know; you need to know what I know and turn back from your quest.

The night was cold and black. The wind whipped off the sea and grabbed my coat. I thrust my hands deep into my pockets and kept moving.

Waves raced towards me, threw themselves onto the rocky foreshore and crawled back snarling. The world was a warning but I kept moving.

I kept moving, for on this dark moon night I had staked all for the sake of my soul.

The universe had aligned and that place, that beach was the portal. The universe had aligned and at that time, in that one moment, man could cross to the other world.

And cross I did my friend.

Lean in closer now.

On your side the leviathan sea churned and the wind howled like a beast enraged. On the other side darkness was light and all was calm. It was as I had hoped; there was a world of peace.

I knelt in supplication. For three days I prayed in the silence. The need for sleep did not drag at me nor did the need for food claw.

After those three days I arose and began to examine my new home. What I found shocked me to the core. This was no heaven. This was a world where the dead line up for hell.

Desperately I have searched for a way to cross back.

There is no way back.

Tonight the universe has aligned again and now you seek to cross.

Listen to the sea; now is not your time.

Turn back my friend.

Turn back.

He is gone.

Thank God he is gone. I will not share my peace filled paradise.