There Is Power In A Name.

In 1000 words (by the end of each month) using the monthly prompt word. Write a short story, no more than 1000 words. To join in, read the entries and guidelines PRESS HERE. November’s random word is Educate.

Aland worked in artificial intelligence, Luna, two days a week for an Observatory; together they taught the children. They live in a self-sufficient home in the Fens. London was fifteen, Quacey twelve, Diana eleven, Amaris ten, Jaci seven, Candara five, Auberon and Neoma are the two-year-old twins.

eco home

London’s raindrop alarm splashed his hair, with a clenched fist to hit the stop button. Last week he tried ignoring it, four drips in and a deluge of freezing water soaked him. He was not best pleased with hanging out bedclothes and remaking the bed; all before school. The schoolroom was down the back of the plot; both Aland and Luna planned the lessons, they had a nursery nurse Martha to help educate Jaci, Candra and the twins.

“Who calls their kid’s such stupid names?” Shouted London, as his fist pummelled the jute wrapped bale in the barn. “Even our bales suck.” He punched hard into the rough cloth. ” Clean this dig that,” punch swipe, his hands were hot and speckled with droplets of blood, fibres clung to the wet grazes. London pulled his forearm across his face and sniffed hard. His brows creased and mouth screwed as he looked out of the hayloft door. From his position he could see Luna, teaching Quacey Diana and Amaris about pond ecosystems; besides the duck pond. Fishing chairs and nets lay with buckets, paper and pencils; cluttering a trestle table. Dad was doing something disgusting in the reedbed across the far side. He should be revising for his exam at the college next week, instead, here he stood, sulkily watching, keeping out-of-the-way. “I won’t stand a chance, the kids who have normal names and normal lives will hate me.” Regardless of the pain, he returned to finish, his punches clean, swift and hard.

Jaci and Candra were painting a frieze with stamps made from potatoes. Martha looked in on what should have been London revising. Her call to Aland was answered swiftly, “Hi, I am sorry to have to tell you; he’s gone again.” She heard a ragged sigh, his voice flat. “Thanks, Martha, any clue? Anything at all?” She could feel the sadness in his tone, “sorry nothing.” Struggling out of his waders he swore as his sock sank in the grey sludge beside the reedbed. Throwing the waders in the old golf cart, he slumped into the driving seat and turned the key. He watched the children with Luna and smiled to himself. A Kyte caught his eye gliding, like a dart; it plummeted. That’s when he saw movement in the hayloft, relief followed by anger. Going into the barn he coughed and stamped, Aland didn’t want to surprise the boy. Soon they were eyeball to eyeball. Aland winced at the sharp hay stabbing his bare legs. “Okay, I am listening.” His lips were pursed his brow furrowed. London shook his head slowly. Aland caught sight of some blood on the boy’s sleeve, picked his arm up to look. “Better go home get that cleaned before your mother has a fit.” London jerked his hand free. He reached the tackle and hook used for lifting and lowering bales; defiantly he stared at his Dad as he abseiled from the loft.

The house was quiet with the children asleep. The only sound was the bats … and the beat of a base carried on the night’s breeze. Lights shone from the schoolroom where London revised to the background of heavy metal; minus the headphones. “That young man is pushing his luck,” Luna had to hold back from banging the mugs into the cupboard, ” Really Aland, we can’t let him get his head; we will lose him.” She dropped her face to her husband’s shoulder. Squeezing her tight his lips pressed to her ear. “We will cope, we’ll find a way to get through to him.” She turned to him, “It needs sorting before his exams … or he will fail.”

moon-animation33

London sat in the hayloft watching the Moon; tonight it was almost full. Tomorrow a red Moon would be seen from this vantage point, but the thought of sharing it with his siblings and parents made him mad. He scuffed his boot angrily filling the air with dust. London’s cough disguised the sound of weary boots treading the stairs. For the second time today, Aland faced his angry lad. “You, home, now!” London moved towards the door as his dad grabbed him, “Do not push me, use the stairs.” His shoulders slumped, eyes focused on the floor; his boots thumped the steps purposefully. The boy, closely followed by his Father; left the loft.

Luna and the children were excited, today they prepared food for a moonlit picnic. Dad set up two telescopes, one at the lake the other in the loft. He hoped that Mum’s calculations were correct and the sky clear for the show. Jaci Candra and the twins covered spheres with crumpled tissue with the help of Martha. Quacey. Diana and Amaris wrote stories and poems depicting the moon’s phases. Their fun made London angrier. With wet red cheeks, London came face to face with his father, neither of them expected the other. “You always follow me” London roared, his nose only an inch from Aland’s face. “Sneaking up, spying on every little thing.” His nostrils flared, he snatched and flinched and took off at speed. Alund followed. Twigs cracked, sweat seeped into his eyes but he knew this was crunch time; the boy mustn’t win. Aland’s chest began to tighten his legs trembled, but on he tore. At last, London fell to his knees, breath spent, shoulders twitched and drips of salty tears fell from the end of his nose. Aland flopped on his backside; breathing heavily next to him. His head back; eyes screwed and mouth gaped. Eventually, they talked.

Luna watched as they walked, arms draped across shoulders; she smiled. London sat with his siblings around him. Aland tugged Luna away, hand in hand they walked with heads almost touching. London told the children how each one had been given a name specially chosen for its astrological connections. He told them how lucky they were to live there, together they watched the spectacle before them.

the names as verified in the link are:

Aland = Bright as the Sun (English/Celtic origin)

Luna = Moon

London = Fortress of the moon

Quacey = Moonlight (Scottish 0rigin)

Diane = Goddess of the moon.

Neomea = Full moon

Oberon = Large moon

Ameris = Moonchild ( Irish origin)

Candara = Glowing like the moon

jaci = Moon (American tribal origins)

The above list was compiled from various sources but most are verified in the link below.

Name Link

Does someone in your family have an unusual or meaningful name? leave me a comment I would love to talk?

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While We All Remember Them.

Florence wears her poppy with pride.
Bloody Mary at the ready ,
fag a dangle from painted lips,
burgeoning breasts child bearing hips.
All a wobble; she waits for the last post.
Lips a tremble; as she drinks a silent toast.

Her eyes and demeanour belie her pain the most.
An orphan of war; his body unfound.
Buried deep beneath foreign ground.
For peace he fought and lost his life,
then suicide tore away his grieving wife.

Alone, eyes all a puddle, she stands. Two minutes never brings them back. Silently clasping her shaking hands.

While, we all remember them.

Do you think my attempt is too fickle for such a poignant rememberance? Leave me a comment its good to talk.

Thanks to the artist of Florence who holds full copyright, giffy for use of tumbling animation. Both poem and poppies are my own.

The whistlers

I catch a noise before I sleep
The whistlers skulk about
Spreading fear skin deep.
Chirruping secret calls,
Hiding behind garden walls.
Disturbing young girls dreams I wake with terrifying screams.

I pull a quilt over my head,
Hide a torch beneath the bed.
Prepare to fight for my life
I take Mum’s vegetable knife.
It’s old and blunt, bent a bit
She stabs at spuds in the pot
To ascertain if they’re soft or not.

Armed, I squeeze Emma tight,
Her yellow suit warm and bright
She comforts me as I hum
a lulluby learned from Mum.
Doll and me are doing fine
Until music starts keeping time.

Through the crack, behind the bed
I hear the tune, inside my head,
Sweet and soft hardly heard.
Matching me word for word.
Spuriously stuffing notes in a sack
My sleep is wrestled into the black.

Sheets tangle around my legs,
like on the line, around Mummy’s pegs.
I can’t escape, I scream at last,
Sodden sheets and whitened mask.
Tapping her foot beside my bed
Mummy glares, shakes her head.
washed and clean no longer soiled
Tea is made …
Once the
whistling kettle’s
boiled.

For those who want to listen to me speaking the poem click the link below…

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WJ-42kvYrWdGtNM3RBdERHcWpYNlZwcXVxMGctWmVzYXFJ/view?usp=drivesdk

Written for A Halloween poetry competition press here to see all the wonderful enteries here Thank you Auroura for the opportunity.

A little Halloween can go a long way… What were you scared of? Or maybe you still are? leave me a comment I’ll answer quick smart.

Liking Autumn

I love the crunch beneath my boots,

Crisp mornings and coloured trees.

Fingerless gloves and owl hoots,

Long scarves down to my knees.

Conkers burst their, spiked armour,

Spill their seeds for conker wars.

Scarlet and golden paint a scene,

To cover paths and forest floors.

Without Autumn there’d be no respite

a harvest moon would not appear.

No Halloween or cosy suppers

To bring us all our Autumn cheer.

So many of you asked, ‘what are conkers?’ I have popped this link for you. Here . The shaddow fighter picture above was found un credited on the internet and depicts a conker war. All other shots are of my own making.

What do you like about Autumn? Have you played Conkers? I’d love to hear … go on, you know you’d like to.

A Disguise like Autumn

Many thanks to Sandis Helvigs for loaning the photo.

He was bold he was cold he lived in a disguise.

He used a leaf to cover his eyes

With Autumn.

He Wore A Disguise like Autumn.

A fancy dress parade was to follow the carnival. The Carnival comprised of floats and majorettes, brass bands, boy scouts, tumble tots and brownies not forgetting the women’s institute and the natty knitters. The music blared from speakers followed by dancing dwarves; who were following snow white on her bed. The shop doorways lined with stalls, mulled wine, hot soup, cards, gifts and all manner of cakes and crafts for sale.

They paraded through the town twice, full of fun and revelry. The floats were to be judged and prizes awarded. Collections for the hospice and the homeless had been going on several weeks before, and at the event. The parade culminated in the turning on of the Christmas lights by some vacant reality television star; that no one remembered.

As a watcher, I stood out, not dressed fancy or otherwise.Because of the cold all the clothes I owned I wore. As one of the recipients of the collections, I thought a few scraps of food would be given me, a few bits … to ease my bones in the late Autumnal weather. Especially knowing it was only going to get colder and harder sleeping rough.

I thought of the cost of the lights, music and costumes, I weighed up the fuel spent and calculated how much the prizes would be. In a previous time, I was a numbers man, a number cruncher and balancer of books. I wandered through the park to where finally the tractors rested their wheels and the children were reunited with parents and teachers. Backs were slapped, kisses freely given and received. Many prizes were happily accepted and some tears were shed in tiredness. Pride shone from the faces of people in fluorescent tabards who were clutching stuffed buckets of dosh.

I bent down and picked up a leaf, I twirled it in between frozen fingers, a beautiful Horse Chestnut leaf as big as a tea plate. The leaf was golden and rust, as if kissed by the turn of autumn its last disguise, before withering away. From my spot, I watched as a photographer took snaps of all he could see, a journalist took notes, then they spied me. I lifted the leaf to my face to hide, a voice asked: “Excuse me can I take a shot … what have you come as?” I stood still, my identity hidden from all but me. “Me,” I said, “I have come as autumn.” A look of confusion crossed his brow, he took the shot purposefully and slowly walked away. The girl tapped her pad with a chewed pencil she nodded my way. She glanced back once or twice as she disappeared into the crowd, I knew she was there somewhere, lost, like me, anonymous, unseen.

I wasn’t given any soup or mulled wine. The vicar scowled and turned away when I asked for a sleeping bag and a scarf. No eye contact was made, no smile thrown my way. I wondered what people thought their money would do, how much it would help … a man like me. Someone down on his luck, shabby, hungry and cold; wearing a disguise like autumn.

Please readers, let me know your thoughts, leave them in comments and I will get back quick sharp. Happy Autumn.

Who am I? A glimpse of me.

image

I hide in toilets, closets or hallways at gatherings. Whip out a note book ( pre secreted about my person) and scribble things overheard or sights seen,  a flash of imagination or dream.
My husband being asked if I am ill at parties is just a hazard he has to bear ” No, she writes” you hear him say, with a small flinch and a tick at the corner of his mouth with  palms up he shrugs.

Neighbours look edgy when they pop by for a cup of tea, they are begining to watch what they say. I am scuppering myself somewhat, as my neighbours with their Somerset dialects and accents thick with local intacracies, check themselves before speaking. Now I have to swap tea for wine to relax them. Wine to loosen their tongues and hear the peculiar jerky conversations recounted from the corner shop;  one that is mimiced on league of gentlemen.
They let out a high pitched giggle or two and their eyes swivel between each other, as they desperately watch me pencil in hand and I pour another drop and smile. They secretly compete with each other, wanting to see who will encourage my first scribblings of the day, it is their input their part to fill.
We have spoken at length about my need to capture words and sayings; fresh from native mouths. These lovely ladies know i will never betray their secrets, or at least not reveal where they were gathered and by whome they were said. These new friends or acquaintances as they’ve not known me long, understand it is just the way I am, what I do.

Sometimes I dont want anyone to … just drop in. Disturbing my solace my reclusive needs. Some of the time I am pleased we moved five hours from family, friends and the familiarity of place; so I can just be unsociable and write.
But we need new ideas, fresh perspectives and friends, friends we can never have too many of.
Besides I am only reclusive while in the flow, in my nook, or with my head in a book.
Other times I talk the horn off a unicorn, laugh raucously at silly things, tell jokes that only I
laugh at; I also have wantonly decadent adventures with my love.

Each morning I wake, I decide that today will be good ; and I go for it. My secret time is morning, when snores rumble from under a feather filled duvet and the light kisses the window in front of my desk. This time of the day alone with my thoughts and relaxed from sleep Cuddling my special cup filled with sustaining tea, I begin.

Please comment below let me know what you think.
Does this snapshot resemble some of yours?
Or is the madness just mine?