Writing Purples.

in_purple_by_andry122_deviantart-com

I am supposed to be writing for NaNoWrimo this month but there are six days (about) left and I only have ten thousand words of the fifty thousand minimum limit. I shall give up without much of a fuss this year. And hope for the best in the coming year.

With cheer I say, I do believe I have once again stumbled upon the Writing Blues! Everything seems to come to a juddering halt before the brick wall of discouragement. None of my characters will adhere to my commands. They have wilful souls of their own, and oddly, all seem to be biased towards the defiant, sullen demeanor. This will not do at all, because they can’t all monopolise the brooding inclination. They can’t all have the same damn personality!

These aren’t blues, though, so much as purples. This is not the muffled thump of me falling into a pit of writing misery. This is the tremulous hanging in the airless space between inspiration and avolition. Between red and blue. In purple.

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Dear November

november

You are cold and harsh this year, my dear. You gave us glorious snow two years ago. Snow that stopped the world, that created mounds in the roads, that fell in heavy heaps from the trees, thumping softly and unseen below. Snow that created a muffled silence, a glazed paradise.

Now, you are empty fields, frozen soil. Sheep droppings in icy piles. Wet puddles, rain. Desolate, muddy moisture.

You have lost your ardour, November. And I have nothing to do, so I am soaking in the dreary fields, with tired eyes. I feel like the days are all merging into one.

Heavy clouds scud across the sky and I see perpetual frondescence before me, endless and ending. Scene flashing in and out of focus as my feet trudge over grazed grass, chewed down to the stalk. Wherever I turn I see the world shrouded in ceaseless grey, evergreens surging up in the corner of my vision, a chasm, yet so full of being.Every breath I take is life, photosynthesis, respiration, cells laboring throughout organisms, cogs in the machine of life, breathing, working, living.

But oh, November, it feels so still to me. I don’t see your city lights, twinkling through the cold haze in the night. I don’t see warm shop windows, glittering with Christmas preparations. No fancy boots, woolly scarves snuggling into crisp, smiling faces, red noses, fluffy hats, curls tumbling over pretty, fashionable coats. Heels clicking, merry music wafting on the breeze, hot donuts sprinkled with sugar, carts of candy cane and coloured balls of fluffy sugar on the high street. No rush, hurry, drama.

It’s all emptiness here. Rolling hills, scuffled footprints of animals long gone, mist creeping over dark terrain, pitch black, death everywhere. I longed for emptiness, November, and green. I longed for trees and nature. Now I am not so sure.

Sometimes I wake up in the dark and I watch the branches of the evergreens swaying madly in the night, hear the menacing whistle of forces I cannot see hurtling over grassland, and I sit beneath the sky light wondering about the outside, in this snug cocoon of fluffy pyjamas and spotlights and heat storage radiators.

I can’t help but wonder, sometimes; where do I stand in this vast system of existence?

Hurry up, November, and send us some snow, that I might listen to the glistening stillness, and behold the world muted for a moment, holding its breath, so I can catch up at long last.

The Summer of the Rooks

Can you ever tell when the Rooks come into town?

flock of rooks

They swarm in on the sunrise, that’s what. From far away they look like any old birds. A flock of geese, perhaps, flying home after a long winter away.
But rooks are more sinister than that. They squawk and caw along with the crows, in graveyards.
I heard they were carnivorous birds too. Which is especially morbid, when you think about it. What are these awful carnivorous birds doing loitering about graveyards? Lots of meat in graveyards, if you ask me.
The summer of the Rooks is different, though. Every four years there is a Summer of the Rooks. It occurs when all the Rooks from all over Urigal fly to the capital city of that land, and there is much merrymaking as the days grow longer, and the minstrels walk about in long beautiful gowns, their long tresses bleached golden by the sun, their voices trilling in sad beauty; the markets are groaning with produce, the people were at peace and rest. All is right with the world. Once every four years.
This year, of course, was no different. Twig was alive, as Twiggy as ever. His shock of white blond hair was positively silver that summer, the sun had been out so much. His cousin Delilah was as delightfully moody as ever, and as protective of her cousin Twig as she always was. His best friend George, the Pie-Boy, as the Phenomenal Girl liked to call him, was ever present. And yet there was a look in his eye which suggested that he possibly had a past which was finally catching up to him. His violet eyes no longer twinkled with merriment. He had started to talk about an Alex, a Lem, and a Tristan. He had started the twitchings one always knew were Home-sick Twitchings, and yet nobody acknowledged them because it was a Summer of the Rooks, and everybody was meant to be content.
Rooks by day, folks. Rooks by night. Why was the Summer of the Rooks always so splendid, when rooks themselves were such morbid birds?
Well, quite simply, the people of those lands believed them to be good omens. Omens of happy tidings, of lush fields and great yield, of fat cows that gave full, rich, creamy milk, of hens that laid half a dozen eggs a day; each, of snails that ignored lettuces, of worms that happily wriggled through soils, of fish that flashed silver in a river that was a sea of bounty, of days filled with warmth and laughter and food, of people who did not know hunger or sadness or irritability because they had all they could ever want in one season.
I wore a woolly hat, that summer.
Twig commented on it. He said, “Cor, Pegs, that’s a beautiful hat you have on”
George told me his sister Lem had the exact same hat. It was just a normal hat. Blue, with zig zag stripes, and patterns in white wool. It had a little pom bobble on top, and two strings hanging by my ears. I wore it everywhere. I wore it in the forest when I went looking for blackberries. I wore it in the strawberry fields, I wore it everywhere, I tell you, everywhere.
It was never cold on the Summer of the Rooks, so I really cannot say I had a solid reason for wearing my hat. Nobody asked me, however, so I didn’t say anything. Nobody stared at me, or told me I was a tad odd. They didn’t even think it, I don’t think. I don’t know why nobody questioned it. Not even Rob. I don’t know why Rob didn’t question it.
We were walking over the bridge, me and Rob. When this huge cloud rolled up, cracking like some huge angry beast had slammed a stone fist into it. Lightning tore a great rift in this black cloud, and Rob and I shrank back from the monstrous beauty of it all, as the thunder clapped around us, a deafening sound, reverberating around our skulls.
Then the rain began. Soft at first, then huge, like ten penny pieces, slamming on our heads and shoulders.
I looked at Rob, and he was smiling at me through the rain, his eyes were golden because he was Rob and he had golden eyes, and his eyelashes, which I have always admired because of their supreme length, had beads of water dangling on their pretty tips, and his hair hung over his face as rivulets slid down it, and he was smiling through the deluge, down at me, and he said,

“Your woolly hat is all wet”

And beyond him, I saw the rooks, crowing through the rain in mockery, not seeming in the least ruffled by the downpour.
rooks in rain

Walking Amongst the Dead

beautiful summer

It is my friend’s birthday today. I have known her since the tender age of twelve years. We have travelled through puberty together, and have experienced the most excruciating years of our lives.

It wasn’t pretty. I was self absorbed, she was insecure. We were pathetic. Together we ruled our own little world of complaint and misery. She never talked about her crushes, but I knew every single one of them and what they did to maintain their health, and what they ate before dinner. I knew all her little irks, her little peeves. I knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, I also knew what her parents wanted her to be.

I didn’t know much. I still don’t. She is a clam, yet a sea of information. She is sweet, innocent, naieve. She has been thrown into a world of sharks and competition, with no preparation or warning, and it is already wearing her down. I am frightened for her, frightened for me.

She is bowing to the pressure of what the world and its dog wants her to be.

She is failing to please everybody.

Sometimes, people walk amongst the dead.

You pass people, and they look right through you, as though they were in a different realm. They are all cold, hard and unseeing. They are filled with their own inner torment and wrath, their own turmoil.

You say, well, hey! Hey there! Would you like a cube of this quivering red jelly on this nice hot March afternoon? No? Oh, well, I shall eat it. Before it melts, you know.

There was once a boy, and he was a lovely boy. Truly. He would sometimes awaken from his dead state, and tell me things. Like, once, he said, you can climb that ladder, Lady Pinkymoe. You can. I was at the bottom rung a lifetime ago, but now, I am at the top. And I shall be doing Further Maths.

How! I mused. HOW could he do Further Maths when I am still stuck on the third rung. I am holding on desperately but nobody will reach out a hand to pull me up.

That, dear folks, is because they are all to high up to do anything. Some of them are too low down, swinging by one arm, getting weaker even as the seconds tick by. Soon they will drop off, like dead dried flies stuck to a gas lamp. Up in the ceiling of my Biology class.
But, yes. Back to the dead people. They are alive, really.

They live, and breathe and walk. They wear make-up. Oh God. Too much make-up. They follow the fashions. They laugh and squeal and feel and scorn. They LIVE. They glimmer and flicker on the rainbow horizon of LIFE. They really do.
But inside?

Inside they are dead. Shallow husks. Soulless, mindless, SHEEP.
And, what, I ask will it take to get them out of that state?

Growing Up.

Some people do it before others. Some are semi-dead, like that lovely boy.
Some are waking up, as their 18th gradually draws near, and Responsibility sighs and starts to wind itself round their necks, settling heavily on their shoulders.

WAKE UP, THOUGH!
THE OCEAN WILL NOT STAY BLUE FOREVER!
AND THE SUN WILL NOT AVALANCHE SO, IN THE BLUE SKY!
THE GLITTER AND GLIMMER OF YOUTH WILL FADE.
AND YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW.
FOR IT.

Except, perhaps, regret. And lots of experience. Perhaps. Depending on how dead you were.
Seize the day.
Don’t miss opportunities.
They are as fragile as summer daisies.