New Tiny Story

I’ve been under the weather recently (coughs and splutters to the tune of a tiny violin) and so I’ve not been doing that writing thing which I’m supposed to be doing so much of at the moment. So, in order toΒ get myself wording properly once more I set myself a silly little writing challenge. To write a story with an arbitrary number of words. For my arbitrary number I selected 0605 which is the unlock code for my phone (yeah, like anyone who reads this is going to steal my phone) and decided to write ten paragraphs of 60.5 words each. Fun times.

Here’s 0605 for your amusement.

New Story: For What is Sweet and What is Right

I wrote a wee piece of flash fiction inspired by the war poet Wilfred Owen’s poem Dulce Et Decorum Est.

The story is here (LINK).

For those of you who don’t know it this is Owen’s poem.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

 

Somnambupunk

Chuck Wendig does a weekly flash fiction challenge. This week it’s writing a piece of flash in the genre of “Somethingpunk“. I went for Somnambupunk. Yeah, I know that it isn’t linguistically correct but I liked the idea of rebelling against sleep and dreams.

Somnambupunk

drink_crime

β€œDon’t you think you’ve had enough?” the barman asked.

I fixed him with a Deadwood glare and he reached for a pint pot apologising.

Deadwood. That’s me. Edward β€œDeadwood” Wood. The Deadwood comes from my younger punk rock days when we all had ridiculous monikers like β€œCrow” or β€œYeti” or β€œBrew”.

β€œPal, I’ve had enough when I can’t get the glass to my mouth no more.”

I grinned.

I’m not sure what unsettled him the most. The glare or the grin. My dental health leaves a fair bit to be desired to tell you the truth but hey ho, that’s the price for a life of decadence on a shoe string budget.

β€œSorry mate. It’s just it’s not often that we see people drinking as much as this on a week night.”

He put the pint on the bar in front of me

β€œEspecially not since… well… you know. Since them.”

He was right. Ever since the creatures that run our world had made contact with the creatures that live in the places we go when we dream you didn’t see much in the way of excess on a weekday.

β€œYeah well”, I took a swallow, β€œsome bastard gets me working for them from nine to five and has to pay me for it. Be fucked if I’m working for some bastard when I’m asleep and some bastard else is getting all the benefit of my graft.”

β€œAye, I get what you’re saying, but it’s not as if you notice doing the work while you’re asleep is it?”

β€œThat’s not the point though pal.”

Swallow.

β€œIt’s the principle.”

Swallow.

β€œShit, that sounds like a load of crap. It’s the fact that we have a shite state of affairs where we get fuck all for ding the work that some other cunt gets the benefit off of. We get our free time where we’re too knackered to do fuck all aside from watch the telly and spend the fuck all we earn on shite giving our fuck all right back to them. Then the bastards go and figure out a way of making on us whilst we’re fucking asleep!”

I put my empty pint glass back on the bar slightly more forcibly than I had intended.

β€œSorry mate. Don’t want to come off all of a ranter but this shit does really wind me up. Another pint please barkeep.”

I grinned again.

β€œNo hard feelings eh? And whilst you’re at it I’ll take a vodka too. Why the hell not, eh?”

β€œI suppose it’s not like they can fine you or nick you or anything for not doing the sleep work. But how can you cope with working when you’re this pissed the night before?” He put the vodka in front of me and started pulling my pint.

β€œWell, you see, I’m in the rather enviable position of having paid, yet totally ungainful, employment in a role that a trained monkey would get bored of within a day.”

I knocked the clear liquid back in one.

β€œNot that I think a trained monkey could, or should, do my job. I would like to think that such a noble creature would have more self respect than to waste their, no doubt valuable, time on such an endeavour.”

He laughed at this.

β€œYour job sounds like mine.” Now was his turn to grin.

β€œAh, but at least your job fulfils a social purpose. You keep the liquor that oils the cogs of society flowing.”

β€œYou wouldn’t say that if you were in here on the weekends.”

β€œYeah, well I get my time off from somnambulabour seven days a week, 365 days a year mate. Everyone else deserves a night or two off at least don’t you think?”

β€œSomnambu what?”

β€œSomnambulabour. That’s what I call it. Working whilst you’re asleep. I’m pretty sure we used to joke about that when I was younger. That the fckers would have us work in our sleep if they could.”

Swallow.

β€œNever thought it would be anything but a joke.”

Swallow.

β€œYou know, when it first came out that they had been drugging the drinking water to make sure we all slept just the right kind of sleep so as to make us better workers on the other side. I really thought that things would kick off. Proper kick off, you know what I mean?”

Swallow.

β€œBut no. Fuckers on the other side tweak us in our sleep so we’re more docile. More compliant.”

Swallow.

β€œI’m just glad I was already a raging alcoholic when all this started.”

Swallow.

β€œAnyway. I have to be on my merry way. I shall stumble home to blissful, dreamless, sleep. Have a good night my friend.”

I wove my way to the door and the chill night.

β€œSleep well, and don’t work too hard…”