Saturday, 14 July 2012

The understanding of Hell

The title isn't entirly accurate it's more a case of the understanding of who should go to Hell and why they're there.
This is a story that a Rabbi used to travel around the villages sharing. I'm not religious but I think it is a very interesting tale and somewhat close to the truth.

I once ascended to the firmaments. I first went to see Hell and the sight was horrifying. Row after row of tables were laden with platters of sumptuous food, yet the people seated around the tables were pale and emaciated, moaning in hunger. As I came closer, I understood their predicament.

"I once ascended to the firmaments. I first went to see Hell and the sight was horrifying. Row after row of tables were laden with platters of sumptuous food, yet the people seated around the tables were pale and emaciated, moaning in hunger. As I came closer, I understood their predicament.
"Every person held a full spoon, but both arms were splinted with wooden slats so he could not bend either elbow to bring the food to his mouth. It broke my heart to hear the tortured groans of these poor people as they held their food so near but could not consume it.
"Next I went to visit Heaven. I was surprised to see the same setting I had witnessed in Hell – row after row of long tables laden with food. But in contrast to Hell, the people here in Heaven were sitting contentedly talking with each other, obviously sated from their sumptuous meal.
"As I came closer, I was amazed to discover that here, too, each person had his arms splinted on wooden slats that prevented him from bending his elbows. How, then, did they manage to eat?
"As I watched, a man picked up his spoon and dug it into the dish before him. Then he stretched across the table and fed the person across from him! The recipient of this kindness thanked him and returned the favor by leaning across the table to feed his benefactor.
I suddenly understood. Heaven and Hell offer the same circumstances and conditions. The critical difference is in the way the people treat each other.
I ran back to Hell to share this solution with the poor souls trapped there. I whispered in the ear of one starving man, "You do not have to go hungry. Use your spoon to feed your neighbor, and he will surely return the favor and feed you."
"'You expect me to feed the detestable man sitting across the table?' said the man angrily. 'I would rather starve than give him the pleasure of eating!'
"I then understood God’s wisdom in choosing who is worthy to go to Heaven and who deserves to go to Hell."

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Noisy Woods

I was given the prompt "Write a story or poem about the song 'Purple People Eater'" If you don't know what that is then check out the video here.
And here is the result.

Three nights. That's how long Timmy had been kept awake at night. Tonight was no different, he lay there staring at the ceiling of his bedroom getting more annoyed and curious than ever. It wasn't rowdy neighbours or insomnia that kept him up. It was a mysterious noise, a noise that sounded like a really bad saxophone player.
Living on the edge of town between the main graveyard and the bordering woods meant that he had his fair share of the strange and bizarre instances. He once had to hunt down a satanic cult that was in taking meetings in the woods. Not because he had anything against Satanism, it was the screaming of the sacrificial cat that was disturbing his movie time.
He had sought them out without thinking about it but here he was, a grown man of 28, sitting wide awake terrified of what? Someone that is so bad at playing the saxophone that his family sends him to the woods to practice? No, that wasn't it. He felt there was something more to it, something much worse.
It wasn't just the noise that kept him awake at night, he already tried using ear plugs. Nope this was something deeper, something that penetrated right to his very core. A primal fear.
"Come on, gather yourself together and fix this thing head on!" Timmy was suddenly on his feet and shouting at himself, "You've dealt with worse than this. Go out and deal with it!"
With this self motivating speech he decided to phone his best friend and try and persuade him to come over and help with whatever it was.
*Ring... Ring...Click* "Hello?" An inquesitive voice comes from the other end of the phone.
"Mick? It's Timmy, I really need your help out here. Can you head over to mine right now?"
"What? It's half three in the morning. Is it not something that can wait till morning?" Mick says groggily.
"No it really can't. I'll explain when you come over but we need to head to the woods to deal with some idiot, so bring your big flash light and baseball bat."
"Fine, I'll be there in five" *Click*
Timmy suddenly gets a surge of adrenaline at the thought of Mick and him going out and sorting this problem out. While thinking about what he's going to do to whomever it is he gets dressed and heads out to wait for Mick.

"Five minutes you said. It's been twenty." Timmy exasperated explains to Mick while pointing to his watch to make sure that he got the point.
"I had to get dressed for the occasion didn't I?" Mick explains while showing that he has kitted himself out with boots, camouflage jacket and of course carrying his trusted baseball bat, "Anyway what's the big hub bub about?"
Timmy explains about the noise while they both start heading into the woods, not really knowing which way to start out and simply following their ears.
"It sounds like it's coming from over there, next to the clearing," Mick whispers.
Timmy, nodding, heads west towards the clearing and signals for Mick to go round the other side. If they were going to get this guy they were making sure that he didn't have an escape Timmy thought to himself.
As he got closer he saw that there a light in the clearing and a shadow moving about. Stepping up to the edge of the clearing gave him a full view and what he saw literally took his breath away.
Up in the branches of the biggest tree sat a massive winged creature with what appeared to be a huge horn on its head. The creature only had one eye but it saw Timmy as soon as he entered the clearing.
Taking up on its huge wings it flew down in an attack on Timmy. There was nothing that he could do, the creature might have been huge but it was quick and it was on him within the time it took for him to take a breath. It landed on the ground directly in front of him but the force that blew from his wings forced Timmy to take cover on the ground.
At this moment Mick came running out the clearing, baseball bat held high to defend Timmy. The creature must have had a sixth sense, thought Timmy, as it grabbed both the baseball bat and Mick's throat in the blink of an eye. Seeing Mick as a threat it pulled his arm clean off, blood sprayed everywhere, hitting Timmy in the process. Mick screamed out in pain as the creature tossed aside the arm, still clutching the baseball bat.
"No! Stop please, don't me" Mick managed to shout during screams of pain. Somehow the creature managed to look disgusted by this and threw him clean across the clearing, knocking Mick out in the process.
Timmy still sat on the edge of the clearing, not knowing what to do. He just sat there clutching at himself while trying to find his voice to scream for help.
"And what of you? Should I not eat you either?" The creature asked Timmy calmly.
Flabbergasted Timmy could only manage to mumble a response, "Well that would be nice. What is it that you want? How can you speak or at least that I understand you?"
"I once used to be like you, human. I was a geneticist and I decided that a project was ready for human trials.. Problem was that it was way too early, I mean look at me. I couldn't return home and I certainly couldn't let my co-workers find out what I had done. If they could have helped me I would then have been arrested for commencing human trials early. So I ran, well flew."
Timmy is still in a state of shock that he is having a conversation with this creature but he managed to regain some of his composure and carried on as best he could, "So was that you that's been making the noises for the past few day?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so. Is that how you came to find me? To put a stop to my music?"
"Music? Well I perhaps wouldn't have called it that but yes"
"Fine, I've made a decision anyway. I think I will put this ungodly thing that happened to me to use. I'm going to try and stop crime in the city. Sorry about you're friend I hope that he's alright."
Then with a mighty push with his wings he was away into the night sky leaving Timmy there to wonder if everything had actually just happened. It was then that he broke down in tears and lay down, hoping to wake up back in his own bed.

Three weeks had passed since the meeting with the creature. He still didn't sleep much better but for other reasons now and Mick was hopefully getting out of the hospital within the next week.
Turning on the TV Timmy saw the end of a news segment that caught his attention.
"-all found murdered in their home in a vicious manner. It appears that someone has severed their limbs from the rest of the body. It is thought that the victims were the head members of an Italian crime syndicate.
Police have nothing to go on at the moment except that one passerby is said to have heard saxophone playing at the time of the murder..."

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Taxi

Found this little story on Facebook and then lost it again, luckily for me it appears to be doing the rounds on the interwebs and now I bring it here to share with all yourselves.
It is a lovely tale, you can judge for yourself whether or not if it real or fake. Either way it is a story to make you think.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Egg by Andy Weir

This isn't my work, but one that I found years ago. So long so that I haven't got a where it is from. Luckily I did save the authors name at the time in the file name. A quick google search though has brought us his web page at So thank you Andy.
Please find below his brilliant work, The Egg.
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

Monday, 5 March 2012

The Devils Hangman - Prologue

The Devil walks into a bar, one of the most decrepit bars on the outskirts of the city. Not the usual rendezvous places for one of the most powerful beings in the world. Unfortunately for him the deal has to be done and this is the place to do it.
As he steps through the door everyone inside the bar turns, to see who is entering their domain. He can feel all the eyes on him, while a stony silence falls over the whole place.
The barman, however, had a different look on his face. One of admiration, 'turns out I still have some fans out there then,' thought the devil to himself.
Shrugging off the unwelcoming attitude, the devil walked further into the bar. As he passed by the tables, loosely spread throughout the pub he could still feel the eyes on him, following him. Then the hushed whispers started up. 'What’s he doing here', 'I thought he was a recluse', 'we don't need his type here'.
'What a merry bunch,' he thought to himself, 'considering they're meant to be the scum of the earth, they sure do have high opinion of themselves.'
Ignoring the comments he started to make his was forward to the barman, making to take note of who he saw as he went on his way. He then turned to look at the barman and was slightly taken aback, the barman didn't have the same look of contempt in his eye. No quite the opposite, his had a look of admiration, the Devil almost waited for the barman to salute.
As he drew up to the bar it seemed that the rest of the establishment suddenly didn't care. They all suddenly went back to their quiet chatter about the latest sporting matches or whatever it was that this level of scum talked about. Now that he was up at the head of the bar he could see almost the entire place and suddenly spotted exactly who it was he was looking for. Well, he surmised that it was the person he was looking for.
It was a loner, sitting in a darkened corner of an already seriously unlit bar. There was no one even close to his proximity, as if anyone who entered his 10 foot radius was liable to blow up in flames. 'And I thought that was my job' the Devil thought to himself.
"How long has he been here then?" the Devil asked the bartender, now turning to face him.
"Not too long sir, although he seems to be giving off some very serious bad vibes. Enough to even put off my people from approaching him. And I have to say that that can take a lot to do." The bartender say, suddenly physically shivering when he looks in the loner's direction.
"Hm, any idea on how you keep someone like that... Happy? What's he been ordering this evening?"
"Single malt sir. May I recommend that you take a bottle of this with you and just ensure that you keep his glass topped up for as long as your conversation lasts this evening." The bartender hands over a very expensive looking bottle of malt whiskey and two clean glasses.
The Devil nods at him, "Thanks, this might just do the trick. How much do I owe you? Also you don't have to keep calling me sir. My name is Lucifer, just Lucifer."
"Oh I know exactly who you are sir. I think that everyone on this world has heard of you at some point in their life. And please don't worry, the bottle is one the house. It's the least I can do for the man... Who helped save the world from itself."
Lucifer nodded once again at him. He noted the slight pause when the bartender had said man, it's true, obviously, that he wasn't a man in the true sense of the word. He was the Devil after all, but it still stung a little when people couldn't call him a man and simply as this other thing that just happened to save the whole human race from wiping themselves off the planet.
He shrugged off the feeling, he had more important things to attend tonight. This could be the start of a new beginning for himself, and of course it would have an even greater impact on the rest of the human race.
Picking up the bottle and glasses Lucifer started to make his way over the darkened corner containing the loner sitting at the table. He understood why no one wanted to go near, as he did he started to feel the sweat bead on his brow. There was something about this being that made you want to just turn and run as far away as possible. 'I'm the most powerful being on the earth, I will not run from anything,' Lucifer thought to himself.
As he gets to the table he realises that the stranger is still hidden within the shadow, could this be the person that he is planned to meet. It had to be no one else could have given off this strange and powerful presence.
He put down the glasses and started pouring the amber liquid into the first one offering it up to the stranger. Like a hand reaching out of the abyss, the stranger reached out to take the offering from Lucifer. Never once did his face break through from the darkness that he was hiding behind.
"So am I to surmise that you are the one I'm looking for," Lucifer started as he poured some of the malt into his own glass. "That you are indeed -"
"There is no need for names to exchanged," The stranger suddenly interjected, "I know how you are and you do indeed now how I am. The walls of this scum hole does not and I would much rather it stay that way. I shall call you Mr L and you may call me Mr X.
So Mr L what exactly is it that you seek? It takes a lot of someone of your calibre to contact the likes of me."
Lucifer looked sombre at this thought, he motioned to the chair and with a flick of the hand was granted an audience with the one man that could make or break all of his plans.
"Well Mr X, quite plainly I need you... To kill me!"

The Book

I was given the prompt "Write a story or poem about finding something thought lost forever."
And here is the result.

The house only had a few snippets of life left in it. It had been a tough job but we were nearly finished clearing out my father’s house of all his belongings. Yes, tough, both physically and mentally, my dad had died only the three weeks ago and this was us just getting round to clearing the house out.
It brought back floods of memories for me, I mean it was only me and him growing up. My mum had died when I was young and it meant leaving my dad to take care of me. He did an amazing job of it as well, even with all the female stuff that fathers usually run away from.
"Is this the last box that you’re taking then Lucy?" My husband, David, had just walked back in to the room, shirt sticking to him with sweat. The day had involved a lot of heavy lifting, my dad always bought stuff that was made to last. Luckily for me I didn't have to get involved, David had enlisted the help of one his friends, Harold, to give him a hand with the heavy lifting.
"Yeh, that's the last of it, can you pop that book in it before taping it shut," I pointed loosely in the direction of where I had left the book. The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it had been my dad's favourite book ever since he was a child, actually he had had that copy since he was a child. I often wondered what was keeping it together, the glue must have failed years ago, 'sheer love' was usually the answer that he gave me. The thought of that mad the lump grow a little bigger in the back of my throat, he was really gone and not coming back.
"What book are you talking about? There's nothing over here," David called over to me, snapping me out of my trance. I turned round, sighing as I did, men you can't leave to them to do anything.
"What are you talking about? I left the book on top of a pile stuff over here before we had lunch. It can't have just got up and walked off," I stopped short as I was walking over. There was no pile of stuff, and no book. No, I needed this book, it was my last connection to my dad.
"Where did all the stuff go that was piled in this corner?" I asked turning to David, my eyes filling up.
"I'm pretty sure that I gave it to Harold for the charity shop."
"What? Why? How could you just send some of my father’s possessions to the charity shop without asking me first? There could have been family treasures in it, hell what am I saying there was!" I was getting worked up now I could feel it.
David was taken aback, "I did ask you, I remember saying 'What's to happen to this stuff in the corner?' You just waved your hand at it and said it could go to the charity shop. Give someone else a chance of enjoying it"
My heart sank, I did remember saying that to him. Maybe I didn't put it on top of that pile then maybe I had put it on top of some other pile in the room. But I looked round, there was nothing left but the box sitting in the middle of the room. I ran over to it, knowing that it wouldn't be there, but I had to hope.
"Help me look through this then, maybe it's already been packed away," I called over to David.
"Honey it's not there, you know it's not," he had a sympathetic look on his face.
I couldn't take it anymore, I just sat in the middle of the floor and broke down in tears. After all the stress of the couple of weeks this was the tipping point. It may seem to many that it was just a simple book, but to me it was my last connection to my dad. Every time I would look at it I would be reminded of him, every time I flicked through the pages I would get a whiff of his favourite tobacco and whiskey. Now it was away, away to be sold for some pitiful amount.
"Phone Harold see if he's been-" I stopped short, David had already got his phone out and was talking to Harold. Hoping that he had decided to leave taking the boxes until the next day. The look on his face was enough to tell me that he hadn't though.
"No, no that's no problem. Thanks. The British Heart Foundation, on Main Street. No problem I'll give them a shout. Thanks again for the help the day, I owe you a beer or five." He hung up the phone and looked at me, "Sorry honey but he went straight in on the way home."
Admitting defeat I stood up and wiped the tears from my eyes. I would need to head over there tomorrow and hope that they hadn't had the time to sort through the boxes. Hope that it was still sitting there waiting for me, I would pay the pitiful amount they charged for it. But I knew that it was worth so much more to me.

"First thing this morning?" I was staring at the old women in the charity shop, my mouth hanging open. I had got there first thing this morning hoping that they hadn't been through the boxes, turned out they had a bunch of volunteers go through them the night before. The major problem was that someone had already bought it.
"He seemed very keen on it, said that there might have been some value in it what with it being so old and that."
"Yeh it had value. Massive sentimental value to me." I lowered my head in defeat. There was nothing else to do but go home and remember his life in our ways. I knew he would always be with me. But somehow it didn't feel quite as strong without the physical bond of the book.

Another week had passed since I lost out on the book. I would still look through his stuff, in the book shelves, anywhere, just in the hopes that it would suddenly show up. I knew it wouldn't but maybe.
Ding Dong
"Package for Ms Lucy Anderson," The DHL driver seem cheery, too cheery for a delivery driver, "If you would just sign here thanks"
I looked at it puzzled, I hadn't ordered anything and it was still a long way off from my birthday. I waited until I was at the kitchen table to open it, getting a knife from the kitchen drawer.
I almost lost my balance when I saw what it was that fell out. The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Not just any copy of it though, his copy. My dad's copy, I knew it was. I could still smell him on it. My heart lifted, a smile spread on my face. But how, how had it managed to find me again? There wasn't anything in the book that said it was owned to me.
Then I looked inside the parcel box and saw a handwritten note, "to my munchkin, Dad x"

The meeting point

I was given the prompt "Write a short story or poem about two old men sitting on a park bench. Why are they there, and what are they talking about?"
And here is the result.

There was a scratching at the door and that could mean only one thing, time to take Ralph out for his afternoon walk. I sometimes wondered if that dog of mine was connected to the atomic clock. "Fine," I shouted at him, "Let's get your stuff and head out." Like he understood, he started getting more agitated and running about even faster. Ralph wasn't the only one I thought ran off the atomic clock, as I reached the park I noticed that Archie was already there, as usual, waiting for his old friend Tommy. "Ah, there you're there Tommy. Wondered what was keeping you." "Oh shut it you. I'm getting old, takes me a while to get things done doesn't it" "Aye that's true. I used to be able to get down to the pub, have a swift half and then the rest of the half and back in time for countdown. I missed the first round yesterday, only 'cause I had to go pee. Damn bladder of mine. Mind you I still got the conundrum" "You? You wouldn't even know what a conundrum is. I was always the better one at English in school." "School? Now that's going back some time ain't it?" Archie suddenly looks solemn, "Just how long have we known each other now then?" "God, asking the difficult questions today ain't you? Well I think you moved in down the street from me when we were what? Seven?" "So what? Seventy two years I've had to look at your face?" "Hey this face has kept you going throughout the years. I'm the one that pushed you down the aisle with Eileen, most amazing woman I've ever met, apart from my own Maggie that is. I'm the one that put you right when you had your operation, hell I was running about after you something stupid. I still say that you milked that for more than it's worth." "Don't give me it I was near death with that one and I still thank you to this day for looking after me. I'm just thankful that Eileen wasn't here to see it, I don't know what she would have done. She was a strong woman but I don't think she was that strong. Anyway I've been there for you plenty of times as well, I mean what about that turn you took when you're Maggie died? You had no one over here, so who was it that forced you back out into the world? Me!" "Aye, ok. Truce, we've been there for each other throughout the years. What's your point?" "Well, I'm not sure what I would do if you were to go that's all." "Oh God you're getting soppy on me now ain't you. Is it not time for you to head over to the pub?" "Yeh, I guess you're right. You not coming over with me then?" "No, I think I'll just sit here for a bit lot longer, take in the park sights for a change" "Alright, see you later Tommy," Archie turned and gave his old friend a wave goodbye as he started away. Well that would be Ralph was happy for another few hours, he would be scratching at the door later on tonight though. And there was Archie heading off for his swift half. It had been hard on the old lad ever since Tommy died last month, but I think he's starting to get over it now.