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Frimmelstein’s diary – short story

You can’t exactly end up more dead, can you?

A short story borne out of a writing prompt from the excellent Voidspace magazine. I have included the full prompt below in case you fancy giving this a try! Would love to hear your feedback on this tale which has been well received so far.

WRITING PROMPT – FREEWRITE

Read the first question, set a timer for three minutes, and write every thought you have. Repeat with the next question when the timer rings.

What was your first intrusive thought?

Why is poetry the language of the dead?

What was the reason you woke up this morning and are you sure you are awake?

Does your best friend know you?

Is everything a lie?

How do you know you are alive?

What did the last spider you kill say?

What do you look like to an ant? What about to a vulture or to a whale?

Do you regret being born?

What should this question be?

belloc, dark humour, poems, poetry, politics, rhyme

The Last Dance

This poem is a homage to one of my current favourites, Tarantella by the marvellous Hilaire Belloc (1870 – 1953). It uses the same frame and structure with a distinct reference to more recent events!

I listened to the original version, actually sung by Belloc which is very upbeat and jolly, however in my reading of this piece there is a very sinister tone. The title of this piece is ‘The Last Dance’ in reference to the original title Tarantella.

Do you remember when you got in,
Mr Johnson?
Do you remember when you got in?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw upon your heading,
And the coughs and the sneeze of a deadly disease,
And the party wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young brexiteers
(And the lies on the dark memoranda)?
Do you remember when you got in, Mr Johnson,
Do you remember when you got in?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young brexiteers
Who hadn’t really got a penny,
And who weren’t paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the Din?
And the Hip! Hop! Hap!
Of the clap at 7
Of the hands to be washing and the swirl
Of the last girl gone, Theresa, chancing,
Glancing, dressing like someone’s mother and
Dancing, oh how she danced

How through fields of wheat she advanced
Lacking and back tracking,
Snapping at a clapper and the spin
Out and in —
And the Tong, Tang, Ting of the old right wing.
Do you remember when you got in,
Mr Johnson?
Do you remember when you got in?

Never more;

Mr Johnson,

Never more.

Only the high resigning horde:

And the letters were a torrent at the door.

No sound

In the walls of the Halls where falls

The tread

Of the feet of the dead to the ground

No sound:

But the boom

Of the far, far fall like Doom.

dark humour, humour, poems, poetry

#slap party

Dave slapped Steven hard across the face,

He thought about punching him but changed it

To a slap at the last minute,

Phil slapped Dave, no one slaps Steven apart from me he cried,

Steven slapped Phil, they were into that kind of thing

Jodie slapped Steven and Phil, she was gung-ho slappy,

It was the thing that made her happy,

Dave tried to slap Jodie back, but missed and then tried to carry it off as if

He was fixing his hair,

Susan thought about slapping them all,

Tony slapped her – I told you don’t even think,

About slapping anyone tonight!

Ben slapped Tony for being a bit judgy,

Dave started slapping Willy-nilly,

He didn’t like it much,

They all formed a circle of slap,

And applauded each one

Slap, clap, slap, clap

In the morning they were all a bit red faced,

Oscar, late to the party,

Wished he’d given them all a slap

dark humour, featured, poems, poetry

A trip to Casualty

I had to go to Casualty last night

It was in a place called Holby,

All the usual gang was there,

Charlie, still not retired

Duffy, remember her?

Megan, you know the one, she

Used to clean up all the vomit

And was the only one who wore a green uniform

She was Daniel Day-Lewis’ mum

In that film about a left foot

As I entered the building, this chap

Who was once in The Bill

Can’t remember his name, the actors name, not the character,

He was doing some scaffolding work outside

He shouted down in a jolly fashion,

I’ve never done this type of work before, but

I’m sure it will be fine!

One of the boards looked very loose

Later the scaffolder was admitted into Casualty,

He had impaled himself with a scaffolding pole,

Duffy called the doctor in,

That looks nasty the doctor said,

I think we should try to remove it

Charlie intervened, his years of acting experience coming to the fore,

I don’t think we should do that he said, you could kill him,

He used that furrowed eye rolling expression

Which everyone knew meant Charlie was right again

Charlie phoned an off screen Consultant and

Sorted it in a jiffy

The doctor huffed a bit and left in a mood

To go and work in rep theatre

Charlie, Duffy and the scaffolder had a mini celebration

The scaffolder ended up vomiting everywhere

Megan cleaned it up

dark humour, humour, poems, poetry, rhyme

Lose the syrup

Every time you see me wince,

When your toupee misshapes,

How long must I endure,

Your less than subtle skull capes

How it flops and furls around your head

When you get up to dance,

How it holds the general public

In a static gaping trance

How I hate, how I despise

When you allow your lid to rise,

When it detaches in small patches

as you swerve the stormy skies

What is hiding neath your syrup?

some sort of barber based disaster?

Does your scalp squeak when you wash it?

Is it pale as alabaster?

lose the syrup 

don’t use a syrup 

remove the syrup I beg

I imagine a dilemma,

When your lady friend comes round,

you kiss her gently on the hand

While holding tight  to your crown

Will the rug remain in situ

As you dazzle with repartee?

Or watch in horror

as it falls in her lap

when you serve her creme brulee?

And in your efforts to impress 

tell me how far would you undress?

would you rest it on the mantle?

or perch it on a candle?

Are there contraptions by the bedside

Does it need a nightly mangle?

or do you prefer to  fling it with abandon?

do you let it freely roam?

is it scattered with your clothing

like a guinea pig, uncombed?

What’s the deal with what lies under?

does it look like a wrinkled egg?

Whatever it is can it be that bad?

remove the syrup I beg

lose the syrup 

don’t use a syrup 

remove the syrup I beg

Are you afraid to show your curls

 or is it thin and getting thinner?

is it tattooed with a picture

of your favourite Sunday dinner?

Was that dye job so disastrous

that it requires a hairy jacket?

did the lustrous black it promised you 

not do what it said on the packet?

Do you remember at the racetrack

When you stooped to pick up your beer

Do you remember the redness of my face

When you uttered the words so clear

‘Ahem, scuse me love,

but it would appear my syrup

is caught in your stirrup

just to think of it drives me to tears

Whatever it is stop worrying

Bald is cool man,

Bald is character,

When alls been done and said,

So please remove that weird appendage 

you have resting on your head

It isn’t cool, you don’t look young,

You look like what you are

An ageing, vain and wig adorning

man who went too far

Dad, you’re old, you’re bald, let it go