Comments Posted By rhyme79

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sleeves

I was sick of having to wear sleeves. It was 22C weather outside, and still I wore a hoodie. I have scarred arms. It’s because of shit I do to myself. People mostly don’t really notice how it might be odd. Occasionally someone would say, “Aren’t you hot?” My repertoire of answers to that question was slowly growing but the staples are the standard teen shrug combined with a look of indifference, “No.” and “Not really.” Those worked, so far. I could list the failed and awkward answers I’ve used, but they make me die inside a little just thinking about it.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 06.01.2016 @ 4:22 pm

truth

Sometimes the truth is hidden by our own intellectual dishonesty. We lift the corner of our secreted rugs and drive the real world hurriedly underneath. We all do it. Cut and splice. Sometimes a sub-conscious censor. But we do it to protect ourselves, so we can carry on albeit within a reality edited. To know we fool ourselves so readily is perhaps the truth we find so hard to face.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 03.18.2013 @ 3:13 pm

size

Hannah’s tongue had swollen to thrice its normal size. The only noise she could make sounded like a choking hamster laughing at an angry squirrel. Trying to convey anything spoken was pointless as her bulging cheeks and stretched lips squashed the usual shapes she formed to make words into meaningless squeaks and coughs.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 01.16.2013 @ 8:56 am

promise

When time holds out its hand for some proof of what you’ve done, the heart takes a nosedive when it realises you don’t have a damn thing to show for the years of effort you’ve put in. Despite making promises to friends and telling yourself it would all work out and it would all slot into place in the end, when time comes to check on you, there’s not a damn thing you can do to fool it.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 01.09.2013 @ 10:42 am

placed

He placed the final gem into its space and in that same moment the shield started to glow the brightest white he had ever seen. Squinting painfully as his pupils recoiled, the shield began to vibrate and to hum a long, single note. The vibration bled out from the shield in a droning wave reaching out to the cave’s walls which buzzed in reply. Gently at first, a pleasant sound, like a bee’s wings. But second by second the sound became deeper and deeper and the walls shook harder and harder. Ancient dust and tiny splinters of rock began to fall from the ceiling in dirty clouds. Grabbing the shield, he thrust it over his head. Then vaulting across the chamber, he sprinted back down the tunnel towards daylight.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 01.03.2013 @ 2:17 pm

barrel

Filling a barrel with explosive materials isn’t something you get the opportunity to do very often, at least I don’t, being normal and all, so I jumped at it. Not the explosive barrel, the chance to fill it with the exploding stuff. Despite the awareness of the potential danger of sending my face in fifty different directions at once, it was a bit of a let down. It was hard work, much like loading anything else into a barrel really, except with a chance of blowing my face a full fifty ways from Sunday. Some people might like the thrill, adrenaline junkies like bungee jumpers and such. They’d probably enjoy it more than I did. Maybe it should become an ‘x-treme’ sport; barrel filling, the TNT edition. I can see a TV market for that, definitely.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 01.01.2013 @ 3:25 pm

How can you tell? I mean is it obvious when they have you over a barrel, or is it much more subtle, cowering under the bureaucracy or something. Y’ know, the forms they make you fill out asking that ask everything about you. So you fill them out. You tell them all about your house, who lives in it, the shape of your windows, how many taps there are, why you bought a new telly and how long you intend to leave the spare bedroom like that. You’ve measured every-bloody-room with a 30cm ruler because you couldn’t find the tape measure and filled in all the little boxes, you’ve even measured the depth of the shag pile, they didn’t ask but you had gotten into a measuring mood. And after all that, all of it, what happens?

» Posted By rhyme79 On 01.01.2013 @ 3:10 pm

officers

It was alright. It wasn’t like I planned on this being a regular thing or anything, at least that’s how I justified it to myself. The officers outside the hall were loud, smoking and joking in the dark winter air. It was hard to distinguish the cigarette smoke from their dragonlike, frosty breath and the only light was a lamp above the doorway, but its sulphur yellow stream didn’t reach far. Its beam painted the head and shoulders of the people standing around, all else was in darkness. The unlit lower bodies gave the illusion of floating heads, a ghoulish army at play. They laughed and slapped each other’s backs, standing in yellowy, glowing epaulettes that jerked up and down as they laughed. It was no effort at all to sneak in unnoticed.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.29.2012 @ 11:46 am

soil

He was crouched by the drystone wall at the edge of his land. The dry, dusty soil ran through his fingers as he grabbed and squeezed it in his palms. The day was another cloudless one, though he scanned the vacant expanse above him hoping to spot a forming wisp that would swell then heave and gush over the dirt. Deep down he knew there was no thing he could do to provoke a wet sky, but desperation had him almost believing there was some weird smelling potion or esoteric book of spells that would bring forth a deluge. He’d probably have to sacrifice a goat and pour the blood onto the dust whilst he chanted strange words from an ancient, black-bound book and danced an odd, non-rhythmic jig. At least that was how he imagined it. He’d do it too, if it was the only way.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.28.2012 @ 12:57 pm

knows

Who knows what might have happened if he hadn’t answered the call that night. If he had been in the shower, went out and forgot his phone. If it rang earlier or later, if he was driving, or working. If he’d missed that call would he still be here? If the two events; call and answer hadn’t crossed, hadn’t had interaction things might be different. But maybe it would have happened another time. Maybe the universe has it all planned anyway and we can’t fight it. We can try, but we’ll lose every time. The universe called, and he answered. That’s the way it was supposed to be, and so it was, forever.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.22.2012 @ 3:39 pm

determined

I wasn’t going to crack. Last time I was in this situation, I gave up and told them who I was working for. It’s easy to say, ‘Ahh, it’s just a little bit of torture. I can handle it’ But when I’m actually in that predicament and having my nipples sliced off with a blunt and rusty butter knife, things never, and I mean never, go according to plan. But this time I was determined to keep it buttoned. I wasn’t going to tell them a thing, not a single thing, nothing, nada, not even my shoe size. (If they happen to ask.) But that big bloke lolloping towards me right now with the generator and set of jump leads might have a slightly different idea.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.12.2012 @ 1:26 pm

available

When the booth finally became vacant, it seemed like I’d been waiting for hours, but it was probably more like twenty minutes or so. Queueing has that ability. It sucks all available happy thoughts into a chasm of nothingness, where they sink, all feathery and papered, to die a black and tarry death on the bottom. The previous occupant had spilled something on the floor, it stank of artificial strawberries and was a shade of red that couldn’t possibly have had a natural origin. I swallowed in an attempt to summon some saliva, and removed my jewellery, dropping it into the pocket on the back of the door. I picked up the handset and spoke, “I’m ready, do it.”

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.11.2012 @ 3:10 pm

July

His birthday was in July. The sixteenth. And we’d always have a picnic to celebrate. He’d squeal with delight when we laid the rug down on the grass. Every time. That little face of his is what I’ll always remember. Those glowing, blue eyes and his smiling innocence framed by that fine, blonde hair in the sunshine. That vision of him in my mind never fails to make me smile, and for a second I dare to forget. In that half moment, I time travel, and he’s back, and we’re together. But my stomach buckles and it all screams back to me, like a home movie at a million miles a minute being sucked in through my eyes. A stretched blur, swallowing whole every last bead of bliss it contained, spitting out a void where I was once happy. The wave of shock rockets through me like an unexpected fall from a height, spiraling. And I have to scrunch my toes to grip the floor and stiffen my legs to stop me falling forward. Every time.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.08.2012 @ 10:26 am

roof

The roof leaked. I can’t remember a time it didn’t. We’d place saucepans, jugs and watering cans strategically to catch the water during storms. I’d sink into my red, threadbare armchair by the stone fireplace and close my eyes, listening as the drip-drop-symphony played. The heavy rain seeped through the broken tiles, and each globule jumped from the ceiling into the targeted receptacle like a high-diver into a paddling pool. The low batter-batter on the roof became a bassline against the percussive doink, driip, driiip. The dynamics of the conducting rain speeded and slowed the tempo of the kitchen equipment band. Drop, gonk, driiip getting higher as the pots filled. Sitting there as I did, I’d forget about that damp room. The yellowy flicker of the fire would bleed through my eyelids and I’d forget about that cottage, slip-shod and beaten, and I’d drift on the rainy rhythms to someplace I’d rather be.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 12.06.2012 @ 3:40 pm

interest

As I sorted through the boxes, some of the items of interest included; a threadbare, clearly well-loved grey teddy bear, a Reader’s Digest book entitled ‘1001 handy hints for your home’ and a Haynes maintenance manual for a Fiat panda, several pieces of what was once a soda-stream machine, a green kilt with a corresponding leather sporran, a scrap book with umpteen pages of newspaper and magazine clippings about fishing, a chipped, Chinese design plate wrapped in pages of The Sun newspaper from 1987, a leaflet about ‘managing gout’, three felt-tipped pens, all red, all not working, an airless, plastic football, a length of old-looking, silver tinsel, some dated cutlery with dark brown, wooden handles, a bit dusty but still functional I suppose, a child’s bright pink bucket and spade set still with traces of sand from some rainy, cold seaside holiday I expect, a pair of black denim jeans that looked like they were probably the height of fashion some time in the early eighties, an orange-handled Phillips screwdriver and a ‘Quireboys’ LP in a sleeve that shows some long-haired blokes in pin-striped suits trying to look like England’s answer to Guns N Roses.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 11.03.2012 @ 12:45 pm

guard

The ground we walk on is disappearing and the walls that shake from their own weight are built ever higher. We are on guard. We are primal, wary of strangers and frightened of those who should be our friends. The outer limits of what was once our freedom is now ‘controlled freedom’, lest we should hurt or one from outside our walls should trespass upon what is ours and destroy it more quickly than we were. Our brains are filled with war. With war on terror and war on drugs, then the scars are normal because power unused is power wasted. But we are only a dream, our world is only a dream, a paradox formed of our own private projections, as we’re caught up in the stream of end to end ‘stuff’. Stuff that doesn’t matter and that we do not question, not ultimately and not now. We use outsides instead of insides to feather and to plump our continuing avoidance of ourselves, fermented and dangerous but kept quiet behind our walls and above our invisible ground.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 11.02.2012 @ 1:11 pm

solution

Every Tuesday things change. The morning is different to other mornings, Dad fidgety and worried, preoccupied. He sits at the kitchen table looking through letters and other paperwork full of numbers. His hands shake and his voice gets croaky from swallowing. People come to our house and park their expensive car in the road. Dad says they helped him find a solution to something, but I didn’t know what he meant. They shake hands in the hall while I watch from the top of the stairs. They walk through to the kitchen, Dad last in line. Sometimes there’s two, sometimes there’s three, but they always wear long, heavy, black coats over their suits. The tall man wears dark glasses, trendy glasses, not like the ones old men wear. He never has a tie and keeps his shirt unbuttoned at the top. I hear the wooden kitchen chairs screech on the tiled floor and peer at Dad’s back as he stands in the doorway between kitchen and hall. They talk for a while and sometimes Dad rushes back and forth from the lounge holding things like envelopes or his wallet. There’s more tile screeches and they head back to the front door, shaking hands again as Dad opens it. Sometimes one of the men slaps him on the back as they leave. It makes him stiffen from his elbows, look at his feet and put his hands deeply into his trouser pockets as he rocks back onto his heels. Sometimes I look out onto the road from my bedroom window as they leave. They never talk and they never smile, just walk straight to the car and quickly get in. The tie-less man drives them away. They don’t ever come back until the next Tuesday morning.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.24.2012 @ 9:59 am

forth

The back and forth of your reasoning makes me dizzy. It makes me seasick. Well, it would if we were at sea. Your indecisiveness is bearable, I can see it’s hard to decide on things sometimes. I’m a little fickle myself when faced with too many choices. Put me in front of a supermarket display of anything with more than half a dozen options tops, and I’m there for ages. This is why I think less choice is better. It’s better because it’s quicker and it’s less stressful. Getting wrapped up in decisions that feel important at the time, but that just aren’t, is stressful. And this is why you make me want to hurl. Your decision making processes are a lot like a tennis match, except you are both players and the rallies don’t ever end. You see the issue, serve. You see the alternative, return. But then you see the alternative to the alternative, return, so you go with that. But then you decide not to make a decision after all, you’ll just leave it. Or will you? No, you’ll decide you need to choose, other player serves. I swear, one day I will just pay someone to make your decisions for you. Or pay for therapy. Not for you, for me. Well, maybe you could go for a couple of sessions. You clearly need it. Some days I can actually see the anxiety coming out of your ears. Well, maybe that’s a lie, technically. But you are anxious, a lot. I wish that just sometimes you could see the black and then see the white and then choose one, instead of obsessing over a million shades of grey. Just once, maybe. What’s the best way to find a psychiatrist?

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.22.2012 @ 2:06 pm

teeth

His nose was the first part of him through the door, closely followed by the rest of his head. Dark brown, floppy hair in the traditional posh-boy style, impossibly bright blue eyes and his mouth of smoothly white teeth, framed by perfectly plump lips. If he wasn’t such a tosser, I might have fallen in love with him, right there.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.21.2012 @ 11:59 am

It wasn’t your fault. Well, not entirely anyway. I take some of the responsibility for being completely clueless and letting you carry on. But it was you that did carry on, and on and on. I appreciate that sometimes once you’ve gotten your teeth into something, it can be difficult for you to start to chew or to spit it out. But maybe that’s a life lesson you should ponder and heed. When several people are making odd faces at you and performing surreptitious hand gestures, it might be good to wonder what it is they’re trying to tell you.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.21.2012 @ 11:34 am

entrance

As if all eyes were metallic, she made her entrance soulfully into a magnetic field. Heads numbering hundreds turned in a swish of simple choreography as she pirouetted and waxed low under blue lights. All mouths held breath inside, doubling and doubling in pressure while she floated away and faded into the mirrored night.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.18.2012 @ 11:27 am

bury

For years I tried to bury it, to weigh it down with heavier thoughts. I made the hole deeper and shovelled my feigned ignorance on top. It didn’t float to the surface every time it rained, it also didn’t cause its disappearance, or my own. But avoiding and pretending did a good job of inducing invisibility. Pushing down delayed myself. It held me back. Stunted. I denied the direct question, though asking could have freed me. She sort of swayed into view and became the answer, mixed with vodka. She left, then she left again. Forever. Or for a lifetime. At least for a lifetime. Digging is easier than burying.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.16.2012 @ 8:52 am

upper

The upper floors were like a one-way filter. People would be moved up there and we’d never see them again. We tried to find some consistency in why they’d go, but if there was any, it was either subtle or beyond us. We didn’t want to think there was some kind of mass conspiracy, a dark scheme swallowing up innocents. Even less did we wish to think we were a part of it, even if it was unwittingly.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.15.2012 @ 10:18 am

walls

Choosing the rusty chair said more about her than she could have shared. More than she knew. Her dainty toes contacting the naked floorboards with knees swishing to rock and spin her smoothly in a heart-like rhythm, the chair still slick in movement despite its neglect. She seemed at home in this room. It felt unloved. The piles of junk in two of its corners crouched in the shadows. Books, chewing-gum-grey soft toys and a skateboard missing a splintered chunk from its deck were balanced nervously on broken furniture and blankets. The other corner was stacked with brown cardboard boxes of multiple sizes and the walls harboured several long cracks where the plaster had given under the stresses of the house settling into the mud.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.04.2012 @ 1:10 pm

combine

Some people close their eyes as they finish a sentence. It’s started to bug me when people do this. They pull in their chin whilst puffing out their chest and they wobble their head in a weird, hybrid sort of gesture, somewhere between a shake and a nod. It annoys me because this specific combination of body language gives me the impression that they think what they’re saying is really important in a snobby sort of way. It makes me think they’re both socially clueless and think they’re better than me. Closing their eyes shuts of the person they’re talking to, as if they don’t matter and neither does anything they have to say.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.02.2012 @ 2:13 pm

Take equal measures of anxiety, guilt and mood swings and slosh together into a small, predictable bowl with a tiny dribble of sociability to ensure viscosity. Agitate to blend. Next, in a large, shiny container take a generous portion of doubt being sure to remove all encouragement. Add a small packet of opportunity. The best to use is the dehydrated, meaningless kind that is now commonly available in any supermarket. Stir well. Combine both mixtures in a larger, shinier bowl and swamp with an increasing measure of memory loss, pre-combined with a good intellect and liberal serving of regret. Divide into thirty three pieces of non-uniform, random size and arrange into some kind of vague design. Sprinkle each with a delightful mix of depression and frustration. Leave to prove then knock back. Repeat this several times, being sure to allow room to stew. Finally, serve with a conservative dusting of budget cuts and any prescribed medication. This recipe goes well with all kinds of clueless idiot. You can usually find these anywhere incompetence is paid a salary. Enjoy.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 10.02.2012 @ 1:48 pm

vote

It’s an interesting debate as to whether voting should be compulsory. I think I read recently that Australia has compulsory voting. My personal view is that voting should be optional because elections are supposed to be the very embodiment of freedom and equality. This is why so many people have fought in the past for the right to vote in free and fair elections and many still continue to fight. However, perhaps paradoxically, the freedom granted by the right to cast a vote for a chosen candidate must also include the freedom to abstain from voting if a person so chooses. Forcing a person to vote by law isn’t very free. I can’t think of any benefit of compulsory voting other than guaranteed votes for the election candidates. I can’t see how it benefits the electorate at all, though feel free to tell me if you think it does.
Requiring a person to vote is in effect forcing a person to exercise their right. Is a forced right, still a right? I don’t think so, doesn’t that cancel out that right?
Mandatory voting assumes a citizen condones the election and state or style of government, in addition to assuming the citizen feels there is a candidate worthy of their vote. If a person chooses not to cast their vote, in a mandatory voting system they are directly breaking the law. But a person may choose to abstain for a multitude of reasons, from ones of practicality and logistics to ones of protest and disagreement. Forcing a person to vote removes a citizen’s right to choose whether to condone or condemn their government and to express that belief. Some argue that providing a ‘none of the above’ option in elections solves the freedom and human rights issues that occur from an enforced electorate. However, I feel that having such an option available to voters or an ‘I abstain’ box on ballot papers forces a person to contribute to an election, electoral and governmental system even though it may not be one they condone. This forces a voter to go against their belief, which is in direct contravention of freedom by definition.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 09.30.2012 @ 12:06 pm

fawn

If a sudden storm were to remove this town from the clutches of timely progress entirely, we could be free. The rain may wash us away with snapping pillars among brickwork, street signs and market awnings of canvas and rusting, silvery beams. But it wouldn’t matter. I could sleep in the tower and watch the people slide. I could sweep along the rooftops and laugh at the cats climbing telegraph poles. We would decide to leave or stay but it wouldn’t matter either way. We could round up the crying children lost like frightened fawns in a forest of dangers and darkness. I could take them to the mayor who would pat them on the head and feed them orange lollipops and tell them everything is alright. If this town were razed, erased, wiped clean by a storm we didn’t see coming.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 09.29.2012 @ 12:48 pm

hundred

Show me nine hundred soldiers that envy their children. Battlers with hovering pictures of front gardens and wheelie bins and conkers and bikes. Fighters crouched behind walls loading water pistols, stifling giggles and not give away their hiding place. Camouflage from the fields piled up and smudged in kitchens where mothers tut at the mud on the mat. Short back and sides as always, like an imp in a cardboard box but too respectful to chew its way out. Hip high barley runs and bitten legs, gritty, bloody knees on asphalt and bumped heads. Enormous backpacks stuffed to heaving with no room for naivety, poured away by mates and tracers. Booted with perpetually untied laces and licked tissues on faces pushed away with a show of tongue tip. Stringy, pebbled pockets and small, plastic men. Mushroom helmet chinned and covered then strapped. Show me your chldren’s climbing tree and sunny playgrounds. Show me nine hundred soldiers that were ready.

» Posted By rhyme79 On 09.28.2012 @ 12:28 pm

affairs

In all affairs of change and movement there will be loss. The intrinsic quality of alteration, though often subdued, is timely deletion. It’s a dispossession of unknowingly brief states that the channels of grief will bleed onward. Change is abrupt and bludgeons. Or, however inevitable, change is accidental, unstable and arrogant. Often the apparent is ignored and self-deception enables the continuation of contented ignorance in the face of a natural force. But eventually, biting and snapping, new shapes power through. Change, charging, not stopping but dropping remnants of its appearance on the floor as its busting and bursting through doors, and crashing through windows knocks pictures off the wall. Still, some adjustments are elderly, overdue, gentle and meekly culpable. A waft of acceptance settled upon the aged dust and blended sympathetically but silently with the layered evidence of expectation and framed retrospection. It’s a metamorphosis of drying, crackled skins floating on the air. Thereon, these old days land and are kicked under the furniture as the moment rages on, obliviously. Sunken, silken shells remain as an elected amnesiac’s flashback to front-line warfare. A memory laid, converted and compartmentalised to shade the summoner from intolerable pain. And so, our perseverance is rooted in ignorance, always. But change itself will never change .

» Posted By rhyme79 On 09.26.2012 @ 1:20 pm

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