It’s melancholic and funny as hell

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 67/100.  This piece is semi-autobiographical.

When I woke up, it was the year 2000.

Now, that’s unusual for one simple reason.  I fell asleep in the year 2018.  And when I say fell asleep, I mean, got clipped by a bus at ten miles-per-hour and hit my head on a nearby car bonnet.  Let’s just say it was a very strange day I was having.

A wander through my ever-glib hometown of Burton-on-Trent, I went into Cooper’s Square shopping centre to find both Woolworths and the Early Learning Centre were still open.  I discovered the Blockbuster store—car park packed, queues out of the door—advertising the latest films on VHS.  It wasn’t until I saw the Safeway supermarket—yet to be replaced by Asda—that I realised what had happened.  I’d gone back in time.

As I entered the soon-to-be Asda carpark, I passed Trolley Ted.  A scruffy, elderly man who looked like Santa; he would return trollies left in the streets to their supermarket homes.  I remember the local papers publishing an article when he died about ten years back (from a present-day perspective, that is).

A car thumped out one of that era’s number one hits, Shanks & Bigfoots’ Sweet like Chocolate.  I loved that song as a kid.  And in that moment of nostalgia, I wondered.  Was I here, right now?  Younger me.  Had I crossed my own timeline?  I’d watched enough Doctor Who, which, my three-year-old self was yet to discover his love for, to know that meeting my past-self was a very bad idea.

But, surely, a peek wouldn’t hurt.

Continue reading “It’s melancholic and funny as hell”

Superhero

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 68/100

For all we knew, the world was probably ending. Tensions between vampire gangs were at an all-time high, peace talks between world leaders and the newly-arrived extra-terrestrials had turned frosty and the anthropomorphic cats were now declaring war on anyone who had ever purchased repellent. If we weren’t living it, I can imagine how ridiculous that would sound. But that was all background noise right now. I was on my first date Melany.

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Stubborn Butterflies

This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 63/100

If I’ve learned anything about time travel, it’s that no-one notices when the past changes. Let’s say I went back in time to stop Hitler coming into power, do you think World War Two would have happened? Of course, it would; another far-right lunatic would come to power, dick around in Europe and spark the war. Today, we might not know who Hitler is, but the war would still have happened and much of history would stay the same. Speculative – maybe, but time has a strange way of healing itself – if ‘healing’ is the right word for it, especially when it comes to the big, traumatic events.

Even as a time traveller, some things will always happen, no matter how you try to change that. Some things, we can’t control…

Like me and Noah getting pissed as the world ends around us. That’s inevitable.

Continue reading “Stubborn Butterflies”

The Random: The Snake in the Beanie Hat and the Bomber Cats

He had finished work a little early, so Alan went into a charity shop, almost absentmindedly.  He looked around a bit, rummaged through oversized suits, admired some ornaments.  And then, something caught him eye.  A colourful hat.  A Rastafarian beanie.

Alan, being one of those people who carelessly appropriates other people’s cultures, (for example, while in China, he got a tattoo in Mandarin which he believes says ‘peace’, but really says ‘arsehole’), of course, brought the beanie.  It cost him four cans of Pepsi and a strip of bubble-gum flavoured chewing gum – because the manager was ‘hip’ like that.

On his way out of the shop, he squeezed his bald head into the beanie and felt something hard and leathery inside it.  He took off the hat and a snake slipped down from the top of his head, wrapping itself, non-threateningly, around his neck.

“Alright, me old mucker, me old pal,” said the snake.

Continue reading “The Random: The Snake in the Beanie Hat and the Bomber Cats”

The Saviours

Twelve years ago, they came to earth.  The Saviours.  An advanced race of intelligent extraterrestrials with one promise: to save us, to save the planet.

They wanted nothing in return. They had been watching for years, seeing our faults and our successes, our mistakes and our victories. They knew what it meant to be human and they saw potential for improvement – they’d show us how.

After months and months of talks, the leaders of the world came to trust our visitors. The Saviours forgave their initial threats and their scepticism, offering in return new technology, new medicine, new science – all of which worked. ‘The Saviours’ was a name we had given them. We were thankful.

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The Immortal

(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 72/100)

I was struck by lightning a few days before my seventeenth birthday.  It killed me quite badly.  Scorch marks, a complete shutdown of my respiratory and cardiovascular systems and my favourite shirt was ruined.

It was the hottest day of the year and our dads decided to have a picnic at the local park with me, my younger brother and sister, and our surrogate mum.  On the scale of weirdness, the subsequent storm comes second to the picnic.  We were a family under an unspoken social stigma, lacking most social skills in a social environment, so you can imagine the awkwardness.  I guess it was Dad 1’s way of dealing with that.  “No wi-fi here,” he said as he set out the sandwiches.  The rest of us exchanged a look of horror – Dad 2 included, and we promptly turned on our mobile data.  It was a far more expensive day out than any of us could have anticipated.

About an hour in, the fluffy white clouds bled to dark grey.  They hesitated for a moment as if to say, “watch this”, then unleashed heavy raindrops that stung our skin.  Dad 1 scooped everything up in the picnic blanket and we raced back to the car for shelter.  I was two–maybe three–steps away when the first bolt of lightning struck me down.  In that moment, I smelt overcooked chicken, wet dog and piss.

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3 A.M.

(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework.  Dialogue-driven; two boys walk home after a night out.)

“Shall we get a taxi?” Jordan asked,

“I don’t have any change,” said Adam.

Jordan patted his pockets.  “Yeah, me neither.”

“You could do with the fresh air anyway.”

“I’m not even –” he started, nearly walking into a lamppost before swerving around it, “ – drunk.” Continue reading “3 A.M.”

The Cold of Spring

(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework. Inspired by Raymond Carver’s ‘I Could See the Smallest Things’)

A car alarm started going off outside.  Her eyelids were heavy, so she tried to ignore it.  But then she wondered if it was her car; it was only a few months old and she had never heard the alarm before.

The clock on the bedside table said 1.55 A.M., though Ellie hadn’t adjusted it since the transition to spring nearly three weeks ago.  Other things occupied her thoughts of late.

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Nature’s Angry

(This piece was submitted for my Creative Writing coursework; graded: 70/100 with A Strange Day in July and The Chair)

The sudden roaring of oceanic winds so violent the ornaments shiver.  I go to the window, the fallen leaves swirl as if caught in an invisible tornado before scattering across the lawn in a flurry of orange, yellow and red.  Maybe nature’s angry.  Or maybe she just wants your attention.  I mean just look at what she can do.  Perhaps the sky is grey to make the leaves easier to see – have you ever thought about that?

Later on, rain drums on the windowsill as I lie in bed.  Counting sheep never works, but there’s something therapeutic about rain and wind in unison.  I’d go to the window again, but I’m wrapped up, nodding off.  I can only imagine her beautiful chaos.

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