Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The Ballerina Who Joined the Army

This story is about a ballerina who wanted to join the army. She practised hard everyday in her garage while her brother went out to buy beer. Spread eagles, pirouettes, swan glides across the tiny cobwebby room, faster and faster, harder and harder till her shoes drummed up an indignant patter on the wooden floor. Even when her brother returned, with a little more than just beer, she continued, with only a little moue at the corner of her mouth to show that she had noticed him at all. Later she washed the dishes and listened to Simon and Garfunkel.

She joined the army, or so she told everyone who knew her. She was there with the boys when they cut through emerald wet forests with mosquitoes thickening the damp air. She stepped through the puddles of dirty blood with light feet, her rifle slung over her back, the metal pressing against the delicate knobs of her spine. None of the boys looked at her twice, but she didn't mind. She was pretty when she smiled, she knew it, but no one smiled then. She didn't say much, ate her canned soup with the rest.

The war wasn't very useful. Lots of people were angry about it but they didn't help much either, even when they wanted to. They didn't really know what the boys and one ballerina were doing in the jungles of another country, of how they marched and were ambushed. Our ballerina even had to use her gun. No one seemed to notice her. Or maybe they were ashamed. She didn't know, and no one stopped long enough for her to ask. Some of the boys were shot down right there, and she was sorry. Even though they never spoke to her she had grown fond of them. She was that kind of girl.

There was once a ballerina and she joined the army. She went further than she knew existed, and came back happy and sad when her brother broke down the door and told her to make the bloody bed.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Waiting Room- I

The man was looking down at a cat. The cat was gray, with dirty white spots. It gave the man a look only a cat can give a human, but Mr Percy H. Overcoat- for that is our man- didn't mind. He picked up the cat, holding it around its bony gray stomach. He crossed the low hedge between his house and the neighbours' and deposited the animal on the shaved lawn. The cat twitched its whiskers and walked away around to the back of the house. Mr Overcoat stepped back over the hedge and went inside his house. The time was 8 pm and Oprah was on.

Later that night, halfway through Oprah, Mr Overcoat fell asleep and dreamt a dream he would never remember. He itched in his sleep. Even later, with the TV still on and the quiet streets outside falling dark, Mr Percy H. Overcoat drifted over a thin line of consciousness like a wisp of eiderdown and when he awoke he knew that he was dead. For you see he was the first human to have contracted a new virus that was till that day unknown to man. Much later a bunch of smart grownup scientists discovered the impossibly long scientific name of the virus and found out that it causes instant death within 3 hours.

They also found out that it is transmitted through cats.

This eventually led to the whole world hunting stray cats and throwing them into bonfires and lakes and wet cement for quite some time. Animal rights groups had a field day.

While this is all well and good and should properly concern us all, it is not what this story is about.

This story is about Mr Percy H. Overcoat and all the interesting things he saw and heard and did next. Because we haven't seen the last of him yet.