Week 8

Imagine a character. Without naming or describing the character, have them describe something they hate or love. Up to 150 words.

Hey! could you pass me a paper. Thanks. Tabloids might as well read a bloody comic or Playboy, at least there’ll be fewer tits in it – and more news. I mean – look at this idiot. It’s getting harder to tell our Prime Minister apart from that pillock in the States. Idiots, the pair of ‘em. I should be in charge. I’d bring back the glory. Put the teeth back in the bulldog and give it a new pair of cojones. Long gone are days of wonder, now we just wander about not knowing our place in the world. This green and pleasant land ain’t what it used to be. Pour me a drink bartender, open your lugholes for a tale of woe. I mean what are we voting for now? The next spineless wonder? Animal Farm? Bad joke? Will do they do what the people ask? Will they fuck!

Write your own piece (up to 500 words in which you work to include observed and sensory detail.

An Extract from Mark.

Trilby whistled a happy tune, not well, one with a bounce to match his stride. A butterfly flickered among the flowers drawn by the nectar pools in their silk throats. He patted the outside of his coat, sliding a hand inside he found the flask and took it out. He unscrewed the cap and took a swig, then another, and finally a third before replacing the canister. The butterfly flitted up around him. He lowered his head, pulling the brim of his hat down. The butterfly continued to circle until it lost interest and returned to the floral opiate.

Hazy clouds showed little interest in the honey sun, giving it a wide berth before it swatted them from being. Shadows lay in fuzzy swathes painting suburbia in pseudo twilight. Trilby liked this time of day, the space between breakfast and lunch, where the thoughts of food wafted up from the stomach to get lodged between need and desire. He could taste the bitter burn of coffee long before the antiquated doorbell jangled. 

The cafe reeked of middle-class suburbia — shabby chic screaming from every orifice. Stressed paint sat around over-stuffed sofas peppered with arty tatters. China teapots raised a lid to powdered Wedgwood in need of a matching blue rinse – it was enough to make any granny flash a toothless grin. Proper copper coffee pots stood erect in phallic rows ready to ejaculate their bitter seed. But worse of all were the kiss-my-alley postcards depicting the Dickensian life Downtown. Trilby took a bundle of the cards thumbing through the sepia insults. ‘O, how humorous,’ he flashed one to the assistant feigning interest in life. He took the card over to the counter and began to peruse the beverage list. ‘That smells good. I’ll take an Arabica, black, with a pouch to go, if you would be so kind.’

‘It’s extra for the disposable cup, sir. You are aware of the new policy?’ The assistant eyed the red ‘panic’ button beneath the counter as she twiddled her thumbs.

‘Silly me,’ Trilby chirped. ‘Are any seats available?’ They both looked around the empty room.

‘All booked sir,’ the girl, blinked russet eyes. ‘We are not usually so busy at this time of day. Will it be just the pouch to go, sir?’

‘It will.’ Trilby thrust a hand into his pocket, pulling out some change. He stacked three coins on the counter then spread them under his palm.

The girl reached forward, her arm extending below the elbow. Trilby retracted his hand into his coat pocket and began to fiddle with a tiny cube. The girl blinked, her mouth opened and closed as though she was chewing a particularly nutty fart. Her head dropped to one side, and her mouth fell open with all the readiness of a blow-up doll. A small cough of smoke rose from her ear. ’There’s a good girl.’ Trilby took the money from the counter, collected his pouch and exited the cafe.

Time was tight. He’d already taken longer in ‘Smugsville’ than intended.