Letters From The Front

Written by Eruantien

The Civil War Letters of Rev William Salt, still perfectly preserved

from Sergeant Amanda Davidson:

Dearest brother,
We’ve been here for about a week now and nothing has happened. The living quarters are the worst that I’ve seen for a long time, but despite that it’s looking like the nicest posting I’ve had. But enough of me; how are you? How’s work been treating you? How’s the compact machine gun coming along? I hope you get all the kinks worked out soon. Lay some flowers on father’s grave for me.
Love,
Amanda
PS. I do wish it would stop raining.

Dearest brother,
We were attacked last night. Lost most of a company. The Colonel reckons that they were just probing the line, I hope he’s wrong. Have you had any ideas for how to stop the rounds getting jammed when the bolt draws back to let the next one into the chamber? Oh, it’s still raining, the place resembles a bog more than a battlefield.
Love,
Amanda

Dear Richard,
I’m writing to you from the infirmary now, there was a bit of a scuffle this morning and I took a scratch. It’s nothing really, but the colonel insisted I went to the infirmary to get it seen to. I like your solution to the jamming autorifle. I’m so proud of you little brother, now we have a weapon that might yet turn this war around.
Love,
Amanda

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Eliza

Written by Lilith

Where cat meets girl...

Where cat meets girl…

She awoke with the taste of blood in her mouth, curled up in the scummiest corner of the alleyway and wrapped in a large crumpled blanket. Or was it a cloak? She lifted the fabric up and tried to get a better look at it, but something distracted her; her hands.

Her hands. She turned them over and over, trying to make sense of the opposable thumbs, the multiple joints of her fingers, and the softness of them. They were so useless! How was she meant to defend herself with these? Her arms seemed weaker, too, but she was reassured by the fur that still spread down from her shoulder to elbow to the back of her hands. She lifted the cloak off herself to get a better look at the rest of her body.

Her knees were bent the other way, for a start, and her feet seemed completely wrong – so long and flat! She only spent a few seconds noting the new prominence of her mammary glands, then craned her neck over her shoulder to see whether her tail was still there. It was, thank the Gods, and longer than ever.

Her eyes were struggling now with the low light in the alleyway, but her ears were still in the right position on top of her head, and as she twitched them experimentally she was happy to note that she could still hear everything she needed to. But there was something in the way of them… She lifted a hand to her head and lifted some of it up. Dark grey, shoulder length fur – no, hair. Human hair.

She was half woman, half cat. A Beastman.

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You’re Home

Cold and alone… Can this really be home?

Written by Blue-Eyed Devil

No home for you there, little boy.
Just keep on walking by.
No point looking in, little boy,
Just avert your eyes.

The day is dark and cold, little boy.
But ’tis warmer still
Than the warmth of a lie, little boy,
And no lie hides the chill.

Truth will sell you short, little boy.
Leave you sad and alone.
You may shiver and cry, little boy,
But the truth is, you’re home.

Morning Tiger

Written by Rob

weekend away

The couple’s weekend: wine, romance and sex. What can possibly go wrong?

“What are you grinning at?” Karen snaps at me. I should be used to this. She has a beautiful face but it’s screwed up enough to frighten a pitbull. I’m confused. Sure, we’ve not been getting on too well of recent, but last night, as soon as I slipped between the sheets, she was all over me like a rash. Such passion and surrender; so giving, so inventive: I thought all my Christmasses had come at once. This morning she seems to be back in the doldrums again.

“Didn’t you enjoy last night?” I try.

“I slept well, if that’s what you mean.” I give up. I’ll never understand women. I was feeling full of beans. I was up with the lark and out for a brisk constitutional. Now I can feel her sapping the positivity out of me again. I’m so glad I sneaked out of the dark room without waking her.

We’re away for the weekend. Karen’s pal Julia and her partner Derek invited us to watch the rowing regatta at Holme Pierpont. They found a quaint little hotel just a few miles down the road from the regatta venue and booked for all four of us. Now Karen and I are waiting for them in the lobby, ready to share breakfast.

The lounge door opens and Derek staggers out, looking like he’s near to death.

“What’s up with you?” I ask, though I’m fairly sure that I know. I left him in the lounge with a bottle of brandy at around midnight. It looks like he didn’t make it up to bed.

“I think I must have dozed off on in the chair last night,” he croaks. “I’ve got a mouth like the sole of a limeburner’s clog. Where’s Julia?” Continue reading →

The Writer’s Block

Written by Dice

N.B This short piece was written on behalf of the author’s recurring writer’s block. 

writer block

Uh-oh, looks like this writer is suffering from that horrible Writer’s disease: The Writer’s Block.

“A tale, a tale write, a tale to write?” cried the Swedish lady. Why is she Swedish? Who knows? They felt it to be right.

Should she not speak in Swedish? På svenska hon ska tala. An English-speaking community this is, to write ‘In Swedish she should speak,’ would achieve little but to confuse them as they attempt the pronunciation. And maybe now they would learn it and sound… uncool at school.

“A tale to write?” enquired the balding fellow, with the LIMP, pronounced L-imp. “Why a tale to write?”

“I feel that I must, since it is my hobby and my joy.”

“Then write dear lady, if you are indeed expensive.”

“I would, but for my life I fear that I have that dreaded thing that I cannot name.”

“Name it blonde woman, name it, you must not fear what’s in the name. Name it quickly as the backing music is becoming more sinister, and the room has become colder.”

A convenient breeze passes through causing the man, woman, and the scurrying shrew to shudder as the pitch from the violins increase.

“I can’t name it, to name it would be to admit it!”

The woman shrieked in horror and placed her white-gloved hand upon her reddening cheek. A strange action to take, but less strange when you considered the balding man with the big, strong, firm, and attractive belt had slapped the blue-eyed lady with his moisturised hand. Continue reading →

Harplands

Written by Bobartles

Image Courtesy of Royal Berkshire NHS website.

Image Courtesy of Royal Berkshire NHS website.

Just down the street, at the edge of the town,
there’s a jumble of buildings, old and run-down.
Behind steel-plated doors a full three inches thick,
lies Ward Number One,
where the sick heal the sick.

There’s a man dressed in white with a comforting stance,
whose father disowned him for being a nurse,
and a sister in blue with a phone in her hand,
and twenty-five packets of pills in her purse.

The man with the clipboard and half-hearted smile,
whose girlfriend bled out after something he said;
the cleaner who sweeps down the halls all day long
to drown out the sound of the voice in his head.

The day’s rounds are done, but still it is known
that only the patients will truly go home.
For this huddle of boxes of slate and red brick
is Ward Number One,
where the sick heal the sick.

This One! An Alexander Episode

Written By Dice

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Chennai Mathematical Institute in India looks quite suitable for time travel. Which door will you choose?

“It’s this door,” declared Alexander gesturing to a white-wood moulded door, one of many in a seamlessly ending corridor which repeated in the same pattern of doors, plant pots and portraits of old men.

“I think you’ll find it is this door,” disagreed Zander demonstrating towards an identical door three doors down. Every door in the endless corridor was identical in every way. Having been led through a maze of identical, inter-crossing corridors full of identical white doors, Alex had no idea why these two should be different from any of the others. He decided it was best to ask Jennifer.

“This one is closer.”

“Who invented the room?”

“Who discovered its potential for inter-universal travel?”

Jennifer was the woman who he had met in the Impossible Room, which in turn had transformed into a replica of Number 10 Downing Street with this endless maze of corridors. Jennifer was the only one in the Impossible Room who wasn’t a parallel universe version of himself. She was slim with brown hair and a pretty face. She wore little make-up and had her hair drawn back into a low ponytail.

“What are they arguing about?”

“Which door leads to where we want to go,” she replied simply.

“But I thought we were, you know, travelling into the past.” Continue reading →