Once Upon Too Many (A Dark Fairytale)

There once was a boy who lived in a hole. There in the warm, musty darkness where roots embraced him, he hid from the bright world outside. He hid from the loud, the violent and crude. He hid from the harm they’d done.

They found him cringing that meekest of creatures, pushed in a corner like old fruit in a shopping bag. He mouldered. It was their duty to save him. Everyone wanted saving, didn’t they?

The men with their silver badges glittering, their colleagues in white all wide smiles and soft words, tore the boy from the roots he clung to; he screamed for them to stop. They carted him away like a stray dog to a pound and placed him in the knowledgable care of strangers. But they had no knowledge of him, this child from deeper regions.

He woke to crimson, some his, most theirs. Its stickiness reminded him of tree sap back when there were trees to weep. And he remembered. And he wept. The memory of those lost forests stung like the syringes thrown in his hole. His nice safe hole. He ran. They ran, too, those who still could.

Out in the savage daylight, he made a decision. The little lost boy with pain in his eyes made a promise. He’d dig deeper. He’d burrow like a mole. No one would find him again. Once upon a time was one once too many, his mother used to say. Before they took her and all that was green and blue, too.

Forgotten to Bloom

Forgotten to Bloom

Every morning the flowers in the meadow raised their heads. I watched them from the riverbank as a scirocco licked my bare legs and arms, the birds and the bees, too.

Summer lasted longer than normal; each new year the same. Still the flowers clasped shut unwilling to colourise my little corner of the planet. Still I waited. We all waited.

The first snows of a late winter happened overnight. I stepped out into a world of freckled frosts and individual snowflakes. The flowers, at last, cold and confused, had bloomed.

They died the same day as confused by man’s earth as us all.

50 Word Stories – Trashed Tales

She ran between the raindrops like a mouse who’d lost its umbrella. Flitting from flower to flower, mushroom to mushroom, upturned coffee cup to empty packet of crisps, she wept through the ancient forest. Why? Because even the little folk now know us, and that’s enough to make anyone despair.

Blue

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Blue

The world is blue.

Although life can be defined by the colours in which we parade, the earth itself lies resplendent under an emerald green jacket. For most people, a copse of trees or lush meadow define the idyllic. But not all.
For some, those identifiable dreamers, blue is the colour they aspire to be it ultramarine sea or cerulean sky.

Blue will fold around us when the green dies away.
Blue will be there when needed until our dying day.

A rippling reassurance when troubled. A turbulent chastisement when persuasion fails. Our droplet of universe.

The world is blue.

Always


I had flirted with the idea of immortality, who hadn’t, but discarded it with little further thought. When one was young, one dismissed such notions. When one grew older, in my case, much, then it required further attention.
I had no need for a body; it had always been a disappointment. My brain required the attention as that was where my true self resided. I had no family, proper friends, not even a dog, so had no commitments to consider. Unless death was a commitment, in which case I considered it fully?
The preparation took two months, nothing more. Immortality, that ideal which had transfixed the Greek scholars onwards, came to me in less time than it took to grow a vegetable garden. I was rather euphoric about the whole affair.
The day came, and I flicked the switch. A cobalt light crackled through my hillside laboratory at the same time as something far brighter illuminated the horizon. I didn’t hear the explosion, but my mind told me it came.
I woke.
Life had left my physical form, replaced with the vessel, in my case an old goldfish bowl full of a saline and vinegar mix, that contained my brain and ocular receptors. They were all I needed. At least, I’d thought so.
My bowl lay on the ground, as fortune would have it, with its lid still screwed on and me floating around inside it. The Earth, however, had changed. The sky was crimson, clouds gone. The sun baked an already charred planet.
Too long. I’d left them too long. Mankind had blown themselves to smithereens and all that remained was a brain in a glass with eyes to stimulate it. I was alone. More alone than any person could’ve dreamed. What was more, I always would be. Always.

Mirrored.


We bled for each other, the world and I. The liquid of life flowed from our veins in torrents of gushing pain; no one saw it. One minute here, full of life, effervescent, the next husks. We emptied in silence; it left us without the energy to cry. Mirrored, we were, the world and I. Pale reflections, we died together.

Over Shade and Shadow

Over shade and shade we ploughed our lonely furrows. We travelled at night when the dark ones were least prevalent, when the universe swallowed them and hid them away. They couldn’t touch us then though I often heard their skittering, ebony talons tickling the ruined forest floor. We prayed for the moon to stay hidden behind the storm clouds, the intermittent lightning making us cringe in its stead. This was how we moved. This was how I made my way home to you.

The grasslands were a welcome break from the giant, decrepit trees. The shadows were there, of course they were, but governed by the trails they cast, their willowy fingers in direct mimicry of the fronds that fluttered around us, they were too weak to harm. They tried though. Oh, how they tried!

The mountains appeared along the horizon like the razor-toothed saw I’d left behind with half-eaten sandwich; we only carried the bare minimum speed being essential. Soon the massif threatened, then loomed, then engulfed. And even though I knew you and the other women just a slab of granite away, I like the others, trembled. We forgot the mountains cast the broadest shadow of all, a world of obliterated light.

The others pretended it would be like the night, that the shadows couldn’t touch us if swallowed by the greater whole. I argued them wrong, but they shouted me down. Exhausted, they waited, whereas I would not. I pressed on into the sliding shade, the sun slipping ever lower against the highest peaks. I ran.

I ran and clambered, struggled and ran again. Over gaping crevasses like ogres’ maws, climbing sheer cliffs slick like a mermaid’s slimy skin, I moved like a man possessed; I was a man possessed.

As the world around me grew darker, I smiled. I’d made it, the mountaintops in sight. I burst onto the plateau like a cheetah ready to bite its prey. That’s when I realised my mistake. Right there and then, as our house was almost close enough to pluck from the horizon, the sun sinking behind the distant ocean and casting the longest shadows of all, they took me. One, a gnarled oak limb, strangled. Another, a pile of rocks, lumpy and squat, pinned me to the ground. The others, the shadows of eagles, shades of hidden pinnacles and ever more took their revenge upon another man. That’s all I was to them just another.

They tore me to pieces as we’d torn their world, nature and all, into a billion shreds of what it should’ve been. I knew the world’s hurt then, and though it pained me to admit, I wished they’d tortured me more. I’d have deserved it. We all would.

The End.