Archive for ‘Flash’

November 9, 2014

Week 0

Annie woke up with a mouth of sour grey and the heaving of something that was nearly forgotten, nearly, then forgotten. It was a worm burrowing in her abdomen and hardening and her head was something apart. Her feet fell out of cold bed and found yesterday’s tights and she followed with right hand, and control-flopped to the floor by the glass of water Reuben left last time he stayed. She took a sip and it tasted like more air and glass than water. She opened her mouth and sighed out, dragged the weight of her body up, up, and flowed the course to the bathroom.

Before she left she took the three days old glass down to the kitchen, placed behind yesterday’s dishes. Mum gently pried, reminded, kissed, byed. The unremembered feeling didn’t leave so in Lit she argued about the bough of cherries in My Last Duchess and avoided the crowd of common room Poker. Reuben told her that he woke like he’d fallen, jolted, and said he’d heard that when you sleep your body is on another plane, so when you wake with a start, it’s your spirit re-jumping you. They sat on the grass both heavy and quiet, and later she went back to his (mum out) and they watched a film she wouldn’t remember.

He kissed her cheek, eyes, lips, and they laid on his single bed and his lips brushed the short hair on the back of her head. Her arms had goosebumps, so he dragged the quilt from underneath and half covered her. She stayed like a figurine to keep under her side of the S-shape cross-cut their embrace made.

An hour and a half of stillness meant that she needed to go home so rose cold and kissed him and tomorrow tomorrow soonsoonsoon Reuby, the feeling fluttered like rain falling in the silhouette she saw of herself as she walked along the flat stones home.

© Lydia Allison 2013

July 13, 2014

Standing in the river.

If anybody walking the road were to stop a moment and look over the wall, they might see this. Now, it is past her knees, and just the tips of her fingers pull at the tension of the surface. If you were to join her you may notice that the water is reaching towards her hands, rather than her pushing into it. You won’t though. That is why she is here. Just to stand, alone.

 

She likes it. The sound of it. She comes here to stop thinking. Here, everything manages to stop. It starts with her toes; and when they stop, no longer tingling, she goes deeper, and plunges her hands in too, with the palms open, and her bones turn to dead metal, and all that’s left in the world is a shirt and a head.

 

She can see the sky in front of her is dark, but behind she knows the sun is bright. The yellow-orange water tells her it will sink though, but the river will stay. Light and cold. She steps further. It’s reached her sternum, her handbag is long gone, the feeling is leaving, but there’s still so many words going around and her head can’t hold them all. So many people and voices making sounds. The water holds her, its presence is firm and constant.

 

When the surface reaches her collarbones, her breathing will deafen her to the noise. She will just be.

 

Although her eyes shut minutes ago, she smiles, with nobody to see it. She sees everything through closed eyelids. The muddy slope down to the stream, her abandoned shoes (ha!) and the bronze scum cumulating around the edges of the water.

 

She allows it to pull her and she leans to the left, swaying with the weight of the current, and she sees them all, the voices, all the noise and the questions, the demands. She sees them but finally, doesn’t hear them. She relaxes further, leans at a more unnatural angle. She feels something glide past her face, with the sharp flatness of the other: something not of the river. A dead leaf or an old ATM receipt. The current presses on her. She leans more, filled by the white noise of the moving water, and breathes in silence.

 

© Lydia Allison 2012

December 1, 2013

Roses. Those strawberry dreams are no good.

Do you remember that teacher we had at school? He taught us Biology, had a real sweet tooth. Every example he gave us had something to do with food. Well, sweets. He said mitochondria were like liquorice torpedoes. Do you remember? Probably not, you always preferred the science of it. Well, mitochondria are like liquorice torpedoes – now you know.

Once, he was teaching us about haemoglobin, how it picks up as many oxygen particles as it can hold, and when there’s a lot, it drops some and picks more up. I think that’s what he said, only I don’t remember the science too well because he was talking about Quality Street. He said he loved Quality Street, and if the room were full of Quality Street, he’d be running around trying to pick up as many as possible, dropping them as he went along, filling his arms and pockets. I thought that sounded good, but I think he was trying to make a point about respiration.

Anyway, then he went on and talked about what happens when you get carbon monoxide poisoning, and it’s when your cells are trying to pick up what they should (like the ones with purple wrappers) but then they pick up a toffee coin instead. And it gets stuck between your teeth and then you can’t open your mouth so you end up dropping all the green triangles and the little bronze rectangles of fudge and everything.

Well I’ve been thinking about that loads. Because I’ve been trying to collect all the good stuff. But it feels like I’ve waited too long, and everyone else has had their hand in and taken everything, and when I think I’ve got something, it’s just another toffee coin cementing my jaw up and setting hard behind my teeth.

I need you to remind me. I’m stuck, dying, can’t move. Tell me a pink foil story because all I can remember is the fights. If I could move my lips to kiss you goodbye, you’d smell the rank sickly sweet of it; but I can’t, so I’ll leave you again, and again I’ll look for the bright ghostly crumples you might have left.

© Lydia Allison 2012

August 2, 2013

Dressing up

ArtiPeeps

Spotlight

Every Friday, 1 artist/painter/poet/writer, letting their work speak for itself.

 

Lydia Allison

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Dressing up.

by Lydia Allison

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The day our boy friend said yes – what a thrill! Not red, we said together, scarlet! His straight angular life inside soft silk, structured for someone other. The skirt hanging crooked with his awkwardness, concave chest wrong and beautiful in her mum’s old sewing room.

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She leads him through to a bedroom she says is hers. I know it’s her parents’, though I don’t say. She touches his back in the place where shivers start on a girl. The part that squirts sparks all the way down to your heels, and up to the back of your head. And the front too. She thinks I don’t see.

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We leave and make him wait, still wearing that skirt (oh!) to find our ribbons – rouge not red – to criss cross around the straight chest…

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August 1, 2013

The Dream:

A cloud of smoke. A cliche, she would say, but he never liked French, or art, or reading. She was always reading. He had thought she had those long black eyelashes to shadow her eyes from the glare of the page. It made him smile on the occasions he could sneak a glance at her, reading. Somehow, though, this was rare – the being able to secretly glance. Somehow she could tell, could see him through the fine fibres that provided a canopy to the shiny bulb of her eye. Not that they were buggy, although he once said that during an argument – that when she put on mascara like that her eyes looked buggy. Then they had really bulged, and he didn’t regret it. Not at first. Then he did. But she said that once you say something like that, that’s it. Even if you apologise and say you only said it because you were mad. She said that he still meant it when he said it, whether he regretted saying it or not. He said that it wasn’t true though and she said, What? So you just said it to hurt me, because you know I’m conscious about how I look? Because I know I’ll never look like small featured white Fucking Paris Fucking Hilton? Because when people say I’m striking what they mean is that I stand out because it looks like God highlighted the plan and selected bold when he made me? He had laughed but had to stop it and push it down and it made him feel sick because she wasn’t joking.

He remembers too much. The smoke – he likes science, and, looking at the curling particles, would once have liked to speculate what reaction could produce such effect, but, as I said, this is a dream. As such, he doesn’t have to be him. It doesn’t have to be chemical. This is a machine. The smoke is the machine. He steps into it and lets the steel grey diffuse intrusively through his thick cotton t-shirt, his boxer shorts, and the bobbled wool of his old socks. It stiffens and he lets go. He feels like he is being held at the peak of a park swing for too long, he starts to go dizzy, he feels his guts shift up (or down) to his chest. Even though his eyes are closed the black screen seems to be spinning.

When he opens them he still feels he’s spinning. Like he’s woken too soon and his body is having a tantrum; forcing his consciousness to roll around on another plane while he lies paralysed. He is comforted that it will pass. He closes his eyes and takes a breath, his thoughts flash to her probably at the toilet. A pause. A scream. Silence and a dry throat. The he on the other plane still calling in terror. The smallest thought, wish, dream.

© Lydia Allison 2012