Positivity flows between us like electric eels swimming upstream through unctuous sweat: electric, and hard earned. We blast away the toil in excessive bursts never before seen or expected. Loud is our keyword. Youth is our slogan. We wink and nod and laugh and scream. We’re ready. Bring it on. Turn up the music and to hell with them all. Then the bomb hits and we’re covered in glass. Well, it was good whilst it lasted and we’ve still a few minutes to go.
She said she was seventeen. She looked her given age, her clothing fashionable, worn with a hint of disdain, her figure slim and supple. It was her that eyes gave her away. They knew too much. I pitied her then, and she saw it. I regret it to this day.
The problem with anger was it wore off. Sorrow had limitations, too. Only indifference had the virtue of being inexhaustible. One could remain indifferent with contemptuous ease. The only problem was it made one listless, which If locked in your room drew anger and sorrow back. You just couldn't win!
"Is there a forever, Grandma?"
"I don't know, love."
"But you're a ghost, aren't you?"
The old lady adjusts her frail, grey frame in her oversized seat. "Not yet. Not quite yet."
"You'll come back to tell me?"
His Grandma's eyes blaze with once youth. "You can count on it."
“My cloud looks like a snake,” hissed Annie in a poor imitation of her chosen animal.
Tommy looked up with more consideration than his would-be girlfriend. “My cloud looks like a rhinoceros and it’s going to stomp on your little snake until it’s flat.” Would-be was the opportune word because now he’d never get the chance to be her boyfriend.
Cunning Jenny, a year older and wiser than the rest of us, thought long and hard before decrypting her cloud. After mulling over a few half-spoken nouns, she said, “My cloud is a locomotive and ain’t gonna stop for you.”
I was quite impressed by the flourish as she pointed to each of us in turn. She finished with a bawdy laugh and took another swig of her Cola.
“So?” said Annie, still in a huff.
“What?” said I.
“What’s yours?” she pressed.
“Oh, I can’t think of anything. Jenny wins.”
“Go on, I dare you,” she insisted.
“No, honest, she wins. I’m beat.”
But in truth, I’d won, as I knew girls much better than Tommy. It wasn’t until much later that afternoon after two full hours of Jenny’s kisses and cuddles beneath the lemon tree that she said, “Go on, Rich, what did you pick?”
She grinned back.
“A cannon,” said I. “It blew you all away.”
“He’s a hero, poppa.”
“But it doesn’t matter what they do, he takes it, then dishes out twice that back. Nightman’s my hero.”
“Why would you say that?”
“Because he’s just another fungus that’s infested with hate. I pity him. Worse still, I pity us.”
“You break it, you buy it,” he snarled.
“How can you break a comic?” asked my mate.
I didn’t hear him. I was lost in a world of skyscrapers and swinging between them. Pages infused with colour and quips, good guys and bad guys, burst into my world. What Marvels!
Her look, serene.
With doleful eyes,
I chanced to ask
Why tears her mask.
Her head, she shook;
It hurt to look.
So kissed her cheek,
That’s me a freak,
And walked away
As she did say.
Don’t go, don’t leave,
I won’t deceive.
Just need to talk,
Perhaps, a walk?
Will you be he
Who helps find me,
Where all have left
My life bereft?
I looked to she
And swore, you’ll see.
I’ll find us both,
My love betroth.
For you’ll soon know
Before I go
This life’s no dream