It All Began

geological-time by skeeze

Original image by skeeze; tweaked by cp

“It all began when Jan met Ned.”

No. Wrong.

Wrong?

Everything that ever had happened in Jan’s life led to that moment. Ditto for Ned.

Fine.

“It all began when Jan was born, three years to the day after Ned.”

No.

No?

You’re forgetting the effects of a mother’s nutritional levels upon the foetus. And we all know how a stressful environment can affect the child for the rest of its life.

Okay. If you say.

“It all began when Jan’s mother bought the pregnancy test-kit.”

No, no. You have to factor in the father. And what were the circumstance of the mother’s life up till then.

Okay.

“It all began when God, in boredom, sighed and for an instant reversed his gravity.”

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Okay, so it’s not a road, but a path. And it’s not made of brick, but of short-cut grain-stalks. And it doesn’t go to the Emerald City but passing through an exceedingly emerald field, skirts a sand-quarry to arrive at Norwich City (whose football club colours just happen to be green and yellow).

Footpath through grain-field at Arminghall

Footpath through grain-field at Arminghall: Photo taken 21st June 2018

#picoftheweek: Follow the Path

The sharp-eyed amongst you might notice what could be a circle midway along that path. While it could be an outgrown modernday crop circle, it’s more likely to be the markings from an ancient round barrow. This field sits bang in the middle of a site sacred since Neolithic times (the path also passes alongside Arminghall Henge).

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A Wheel of Time

Days were we fetched our water from a well. Days were the women met at tha village pump. But the wheel turns and leaves us only memories. And relics such as these.

Sparham village well and pump

Sparham village well. Or is it a pump? Photo taken 5th July 2018

When first I saw it, I thought by the wheel that this had been the old village well. But I notice there’s also a spout, more suggestive of a village pump. Yet I’ve never seen a pump with such a ‘handle’.

 

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An Innocent Fellow

GA04

Photo by Skeeze; Image by crimsonprose

The stairs being of wood, not Grandma’s bone-breaking stone, Klukelunnen would have happily climbed them. But the giantess Neat Fleur wouldn’t have it. She scooped him up one-handedly and held him securely against her generous pillow-like chest. She smelled … nice, not at all like the Nixies. Neither was that pillowy chest at all like theirs, all grown so heavy they dragged down to their waists, leaving nothing breast-like upon their chests.

“Where …?” he asked on the chance she might answer. So far, her record of listening to him AND answering was slenderer than a shard.

But wonder of wonders: “My room,” she told him. “Those guys at Anthropology can whistle a tune; you’re mine—at least while it rains. Mine to do with as I wish.”

Klukelunnen gulped. That sounded … ominous. His head filled with every jawman’s Heroic tale of Giants, and of Giants and Pixies and Nixies and Stones—particularly of the Giantess and the Stone. Well, no matter what—he set his jaw firm—he would not wed her. Besides, he wasn’t a hero. He was here by mistake, a spell gone wrong.

She kicked open the door. “Tra-lah!” And to his relief she put him down.

He’d no time to look round. There was one thing he needed, and needcd NOW!

“I need a pee. Where’d I go?”

“A …?” That seemed to frighten her. He jiggled from foot to foot, knees jammed tight, legs crossing, uncrossing, while she held a finger to lips and looked … kind of perplexed.

“Have you no channel? A hole? A urinal? Needn’t be fancy. Only I don’t want to pee on your rug, and I might have to. SOON!”

That spurred her to action. Her rug was smooth as moss on water-worn chalk, though all-over patterned in a bewilderment of colours. This shouldn’t be called the Land of Giants; better would be the Land of Colours. Not that Home was such a dismal grey place. Yet he had to admit it never could equal nor rival this. And he still needed to pee. Desperately.

She picked him up—“Mind the bladder! Don’t press!”—and, kicked open another door to deposit him in a white-stone and glass cubicle with a floor patterned in regular bumps.

“There,” she said and pointed to a silver-ringed hole in the far corner as if he needed the showing.

He turned his back to her. He’d prefer to wait for her to vacant his vicinity, but it seemed she intended to linger, and he couldn’t wait any longer. Oh, the relief! He peed and he peed and he peed. He thought the stream never would end.

Eventually, he laced his pants.

Now to clamber over the rim of this convenient construction. He’d rather the struggle up and risk the tumble than to have her handle him again. She watched from a distance, arms crossed beneath her black encased bosoms, no attempt made to help him. In fact, she seemed to be smiling. Amused at what she thought would be his antics? But that shining white barrier reached only his waist. And a deep shaggy piled carpeted the other side, where she stood. He did a quick leg up and slithered down, feet sinking deep in the shaggy carpet.

“Don’t move,” she said and reached over him, into the cubicle, and Hey presto’d her magic. Lo! a veritable cascade fell from the heights, all cleanly contained by the white-rock and glass walls, to gurgle away down the silver-rimmed hole. “Neat, hey?”

“Neat?” he queried.

“Yea, neat. Clever. Simple. Ingenious. A mark of this world.”

Klukelunnen frowned while his head coped with the mental sums. On first meeting, when he’d given his name, she had replied that hers was ‘Neat’. Yet her unrelated sib, Jace, had called her Fleur with no slither of ‘Neat’. What if he’d mistaken her intent: that she hadn’t said ‘Neat’ as her given name, but rather as a compliment to him? Which meant …? Hey, she thought him clever! He nodded. He grinned. This Fleur wasn’t so bad, after all.

*

She allowed him the freedom of her room. He ran all over, looking at this, at that … was that a bed! No thin mattress upon the floor, here. And mirrors, mirrors, everywhere. Apparently, Fleur liked the look of herself. But it was that transparent glass that held Klukelunnen transfixed the longest. Or rather, what was happening beyond it.

He’d seen cascades before—there was one in Gruff’s Cavern—but they tended to fall from a hole in the rock, and be localised, the edges clearly seen. Not here. Not in this Colourful Land of Giants. The water was falling everywhere, for as far as he could see. But he could see only as far as—were they trees, like in the jawmen’s stories? And looking up … well, if there was rock up there it was at an unfathomable height. Then again, another difference: a cascade fell. Like, it fell and fell and fell. Though once in a while it might stop. But not here. If he understood it right, here it was unusual for it to fall, usual for it to stop.

“Hey, Big Boy.”

Klukelunnen looked around him. Who else was here in the room? As far as he could see there was only him and … Fleur.

Oh, wow!

She had removed that black casing and allowed her breasts to … oh, wow! He could feel the blood rushing to all his places—though mostly to his face; he could feel himself blushing. Nay, nothing like a Nixie’s chest, that.

“You like?” she asked him, doing things to those … things … that she really should not.

He took a deep breath. And he ought to turn around, again to study the rain.

“You want to see more?” she asked, her voice gone all breathy.

He closed his mouth, teeth cutting deep into his lip. But he couldn’t hold it; he let out an appreciative whistle. She smiled. Grinned. Chuckled. And unbuckled her belt.

He tried not to watch how those … things … bobbed and wobbled and moved about. It wasn’t that he’d never seen … he had cousins and aunts. Though his aunts mostly had snakes for bottoms.

She dropped the belt. It landed, curled like a snake at her feet. She hooked her thumbs into the top of her shiny black pants. He turned around. No, he mustn’t see this. This was going a stripe too far. Yet … he peeped over his shoulder. She saw. And grinned, her snaky tongue between teeth and lip. He hid his head under his arms.

Oh, the urge to look … his curiosity … would she have a snake for her bottom, too? But, nay, he had seen her two legs. Legs divided. Seen where they …Nay, nay, nay, Elunnen, just keep those eyes closed. You know what she’s up to; you’ve heard the stories. She’ll have you wed and captured here and … But he couldn’t stay turned; he looked—just a glance—turned fully around. And his eyes travelled from her naked knees up … licking his lips. But, Nix, nix, nix, he counter-spelled her. She wouldn’t trick him to wed her.

His spell didn’t work.

“You want to touch?” she asked him.

Nay, he did not, did not, did not. Oh, but aye, he did. He snapped his betraying hands away, clutching them with fierce determination behind his back. And she leaned over him—in all her pinky-nakedness—and pried those apart.

“You guys are all alike,” she said—teased. “Always trying to sneak a look, yet when offered a touch, you turn shy.”

“I … I …” He struggled against the pull of her hands.

And the door burst open.

Relief slid through him, even more blissful than when he’d peed.

“Jason’s door is locked!” stormed a female voice.

Fleur released him and turned to look. “How many times, Daisy! Knock before entering.”

“Have you had that waxed, Fleur? How disgusting. Does Mum know? You do realise that’s a sign of not wanting to admit you’re a woman—like anorexia: a refusal to grow up.”

By now Fleur had grabbed a silky robe and wrapped it around her.

“Too late,” the intruder, Daisy, said. She’d quite a nasty tongue. “I’ve seen it now. And what’s … Hey, what is that?” She was looking directly at Klukelunnen. Klukelunnen was looking at her.

Shorter than Fleur and without the sapphire hair—hers was more the colour of topaz or citrine, held in two unruly clutches to either side of her head. Yet she had the same emerald eyes (absent the deep blackness around them). Indeed, no black for her, but a frock of riotous colours, tightly gathered around her inconspicuous breasts, that fell in full folds to her naked knees. She had short white socks and besandalled feet.

That,” Fleur answered, “is a Hobbit. And what are you doing, home already and barging in here? And what does it matter if Jace has locked himself in his room?”

“Mum said to tell Jason the moment I came in—did you know it’s raining? Really ruined Jasmine’s barbeque—but don’t worry, her mum brought me home. Brought us all home. But how dismal for Jazzy. And that’s not a Hobbit. Hobbits are taller. At least three feet, maybe four—fictional and Flores. Is it real?”

“Of course, I am real,” Klukelunnen answered the girl, Daisy.

“I’m taking him to the guys at Anthropology,” Fleur said.

“But there’ll be no one there,” Daisy said. “Not after four a’ clock on a Friday. No one there now till Monday morning.”

“Oh, fuck!” Fleur expleted, though she sounded like she didn’t mean it.

I will take care of our little friend.” There was no doubt in Daisy’s tone, that she intended to claim him.

“You can’t. He’s mine.” Fleur stepped in front of him.

This talk of Fridays and Mondays meant nothing to Klukelunnen. But if holding his hand out to this shorter, smaller, non-sexualised Daisy stole him away from the luscious Fleur’s lascivious company, then he’d hold out his hand. He’d cling to her leg. He would plead for her to take him away. But that wasn’t needed.

“Would you rather I tell Mum about you being waxed? And what I caught you doing with this little fellow? This innocent little fellow.” She scooped him up—Klukelunnen allowed it without a struggle. “Come on, little fellow. I have just the place for you—since she killed my Flopsy and Peeps.”

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Ode To A Gnat

gnats for fun

 

O you assailant of non-Euclidean flight!
Why must you always wait for night?
Why won’t you attack when the sun is bright?
O vampiric smidgeon of the night.

 


First posted in 2015: reposted in aftermath of massive gnat attack.

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The Colours of Summer

So here we are, post-Solstice, and no matter what the weather might do, it’s summer. I know it is, cos every beach-front store has a bright display of beach toys.

Beach Toys

Beach Toys on sale in Southwold: Photo 26 June 2018

#2018picoftheweek challenge: Summertime

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Helas, Hobbits and Anthropology

GA by SergelJeanette

Image by CP, on an original photo by Sergel Jeanette

Now what strangeness was this? Klukelunnen stared at the glass. But where was his reflection? And where was the room behind him? He turned to check that it hadn’t changed. No, it was still as it was; not suddenly grown vast, a green-laid floor lidded in blue, and the source of that light.

He nodded, grimly, with understanding. So, the jawmen told it true in their tales. There was a Land of Giants, and his ill-said spell had brought him to it. Yet … no, it couldn’t be. Only heroes went there, and he wasn’t that. He was just Klukelunnen, and marred, to boot, with his invisible scar.

At the sight of a beast he backed away. Long-legged, it must have stood thrice his height at the shoulders. A horse, was that its name?

Youch! Granny’s Drawers, now it had sighted him. It charged towards him, growling and barking. No, Klukelunnen wasn’t a hero; he quaked in his blue high-polished boots.

“No-no, please,” he pleaded when the giant Jace opened the glass (What, a door in the glass?) and in leapt the barking beast.

It was all over everything: leaping on furniture, knocking over glasses of smelly stalked stars (water splashed him despite he’d hidden himself behind the fabric hangings). He watched, disgusted, amazed and awed, as it licked—aye, licked, not bit—the two giants. And they laughed. Aye, laughed!

“Helas, Helas, quieten,” Jace the giant told it.

“Sit!” Neat Fleur added. And incredibly the beast—Helas—sat (though on its haunches, not as he and the giants might sit). But the gigantic beast ‘Helas’ didn’t sit long.

It began with a sniff at the air. Klukelunnen guessed what that was about. He’d heard of it, once, in one of the jawmen’s stories. The beast was scenting the air. Klukelunnen particularly remembered how the Nixies had laughed at that term, ‘scenting the air’. “What with, what with? Rotting weed and retted linen?” “Nay, with ancient dead fish that haven’t been eaten.” “Mmm, delicious,” they both had agreed.

Klukelunnen thought he’d like to pee now, before the beast ate him.

“Helas, here!” Neat Fleur commanded.

Phew! With glum expression, the beast returned to her side where it slunk to the floor.

“He won’t hurt you,” Neat Fleur assured him. “Though he does like to chase cats. Have you not seen a Great Dane before?”

“Don’t be a looby, Fleur,” said the giant Jace. “He’s told us, he’s not from this land.”

“Yea, but,” she said, “they have Great Danes in France, don’t they? Are you from France? Parlez-vous français? Allemand? Italien? … Polanais?”

Klukelunnen clutched the deep-piled fabric hanging and stared back in incomprehension.

“So where are you from?” the giant Jace asked.

“Home,” he said. “Our land.” He knew no other name for it. He knew stories that told of other lands, but always when the hero returned, he returned to ‘Home’. Though, he supposed, this Jace might have meant which part of his land. There were four parts to the land. Dols, they were called. Dolnixen, Dolpixel, Dolfernan, and Dolstone. “Dolstone,” he offered.

“Is that in Cornwall?” Neat Fleur asked which earned her a clip round her head from Jace.

In the short time spent in their company, Klukelunnen had discovered this pair of giants were ‘unrelated sibs’; that’s what Neat Fleur had called them. They were of the same age—20, though 20-what she didn’t say—and born almost the same day. “But don’t think us twins, cos we’re not.’ That’s when she’d said of being ‘unrelated sibs’. And “We’re not usually together. We’re usually at Uni. But this being the Hols …”

“So, little fellow,” the giant Jace said, “what are we to do with you?”

Klukelunnen thought to feed him might be a good idea, and show him where he might pee. The need was increasingly pressing.

“So he’s not one of your—”

“Oh, for crying out!” Jace answered his ‘unrelated sib’. “We’ve been through all this.”

Well, as far as Jace had insisted that, no, Klukelunnen wasn’t one of his computerised manikins, adding that he didn’t know how to construct one anyway. “Not with skin and hair and things.”

“I think it best we take him to ‘Anthropology’,” Jace said. “Let them study him. Maybe he’s a Hobbit like those they found on Flores.”

“Oh yea,” Neat Fleur flopped down on the floor beside Helas. “Like they’re extinct these past thousand years. Nothing but bones now, aren’t they.”

“Yea but the School of Anthropology has to be best,” Jace insisted. “Let them have the problem. After all, did we invite him into our home? And best be rid of him before Pops and Curly Tops come home.”

When Klukelunnen was still young and forming he had found an attractive if rather dead pebble and brought it home. Oh, the fuss that did cause. Where was he to put it? Who was to mind it? Nay, lad, it cannot stay there; it’ll be tripping our feet. In the end, it had become such a trouble he’d had to return it to where he’d found it. He could see the same thing happening to him. Moved from here to there to there and back again, with no one wanting to have him around. Aye, and that was fine with him—if only they’d find him a way to go home. So perhaps Jace was right, and the School of Anthropology would solve it for him.

“Off you go then,” Neat Fleur commanded Jace in the same tone as she’d used for Helas to sit.

Jace remained where he was, slouched on a huge, highly slouchable sofa (Klukelunnen assumed it a sofa, though it wasn’t exactly as described in the stories). Jace mimed pulling the pockets out from his trousers. Honestly, Klukelunnen so wanted to ask if he’d no better clothes to wear? ‘Work-wear’ trousers and an undervest? Really! He hadn’t even donned his shoes!

“Curly Tops has the keys,” Jace said. “Hers is in the garage for its M.O.T. Remember? Your call.”

“I’m not going,” said Neat Fleur, suddenly sullen. “I don’t know the geeks there. I’m at Leeds, remember, not here at Cambs. No, your Uni, you go.”

“Don’t reckon we’ll either be going,” Jace said. “Look at that weather. Coming on to a storm.”

Klukelunnen followed the giant’s eyeline—to outside the glass-door. What with his concern about Helas, and then all the hoohah of what the giants were to do with him, he hadn’t noticed how much the outside light had dimmed. Drastically, he’d say. Now beyond that glass all looked dark and heavy.

“It’s going to pelt,” Jace said.

“Well I’m not going out in a storm,” Neat Fleur said, clearly not open to further argument. “Come on, Kluky, my sweetie, let’s go up to my room.”

Hmm, Klukelunnen grunted. Perhaps she’d have food up there. Perhaps she’d also have somewhere where he could pee. Though what else they’d do there … maybe she’d tell him more about ‘Hobbits’, and these studious geeks at Anthropology. Would they be able to send him home? Only, he was beginning to remember a particularly scary tale he once heard, of The Giantess and the Stone.

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