It’s so hot but beware the water

I am beat, the sounds of summer

 

I am beat, sunshine

 I stand on the edge,

listening for the sounds of sun.

I hear children, music playing,

beer gushing, water spraying.

The tarmac beings to bubble,

my heart slows like a clock.

Beat   beat       beeeee-eeeet.

I retreat and stop . . .

sizzle and rock,

breaking it down.

 

 

Lost in Spain

 lost in spain

El Burro chants and coughs up globules,

Breathes like a juggernaut decompressing,

Steam exits through his nostrils. It’s a sign!

 

Monty and Victor are apart from their bicycles

and apart from themselves. The earth splits

and the cacti crackle. Another sign!

 

‘How does it go: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain?”’

‘That’s it, Victor, you’ve got it,’ says Monty.

The buzzard clouds shift and groan. The final sign!

 

The two friends don’t hear their calling.

they walk and sing the song,

don’t feel it falling. No breath. No sign!

 

 

Barking to Woolwich, the River Way

Big taxi mouth, Barney Eggleston, got himself and his pooch kicked out of a London cab for mouthing the dirty. Not only that but a big tit was dancing on the roof of the cab and taking the St Michael, so he let it have one with a five-note concord straight in the beak: a right bloody mess. In the melee his pooch only went and got himself on the wrong side of the river.Barking to WoolwichAfter things went river n’ tits up, Barney was straight on the blow to his missus: ‘Andy, listen up, dog’s bollocks only gone and got himself the wrong side of the river’.

‘What you on about?’ she screamed.

‘Prince has only gone and got himself -’

‘I heard that, cattle brain, I just don’t know what you’re on about.’

‘Look, Andy, he’s got south side of things and I don’t know how he got there.’

‘Well, you’d better get figuring, that dirty pooch cost a cow’s arse lick.’

He wasn’t sure what Andy meant by this but his brain had bigger beef to fry. He tried to reason out things in a thoughtful way: ‘It’s like that story about the fox and the chicken and the eggs and the boat.’

‘What you on about now?’

‘I’m meaning it’s like he’s the chicken and the fox is me, and -’

‘Fuck off with all that,’ shouted Andy, throwing her receiver down.

Barney put away his blower and whistled for his pooch to come over. He even tried to entice it with the wave of Adam Smith. But then he remembered however monetarily inclined his pooch might be, he couldn’t swim a doggie.

‘Stay there, Prince my lad, I’ll come to you.’

But too late: Prince had gone off to use his return ticket on the ferry.

Barney was waist deep in Thames pong when he saw the ferry come towards him and it was then that he remembered that he couldn’t swim either. His phone rung: it was Andy: ‘the fox would eat the chicken, you ponce. But don’t get any fancy pant ideas about cooking up Prince,’ she screamed before a circling swirl of water sucked her and Barney down. And then a curious stillness, save a few bubbles popping up on the water’s surface, and the passing sound of a dog’s howls deep in the heart of the river.

 

Night Swimming

Each summer’s night Beatrice and Marie Von Sudenfed arrived for a skinny dip under the lustrous silky moon. They skipped amongst the pond flowers on the bank that led into the water. The air swooned with perfumed blossom and the light warm scent of the young women’s skin.

Suddenly a puff of pheromone escaped the lively, watery earth like pollen from a flower sac and rose and swirled and blossomed into the form of a proboscis-quiffed-teddy-boy-flower, his stem straight and firm like iron, his beady eyes fixed on Beatrice as if he wanted to impregnate her. She felt the aroused intent in the air and shied away, whilst Marie Von Sudenfed, the elder and more experienced of the two, reached over to wring his stupid neck.

He ducked down and appeared to evaporate away. But later as the moonlight cracked and seeped amongst the branches of the trees, his fine misty tentacles could be seen caressing over the water as the girls swam out to the nervous centre of the pond.

Night Swimming

 

 

Hand Me My Hand

hand me my hand‘You can pin a maggot on a mackerel but you can’t pin a mackerel on a maggot,’ whispered the featureless child, his unheard words of wisdom floating away on the wind.

There was lot of wind on the Suffolk coast that day and it was busy dragging the kite belonging to the father of the featureless child along the far side of the beach.

‘Feck it, feck it and feck it,’ scalded Dad.

The snake on a rope thought he said ‘fetch it’ but his impulse to slither over and fetch it was curtailed by a sharp yank on the tie-rope around his neck. His trunk slinked and then coiled up into itself; his gasping tongue protruding to fork the passing currents of air.

Amongst the masses of messed up line attached to the kite emerged a giant ugly deep sea fish. It stank and shouted at a woman and a baby ahead of it.

‘Not mackerel, not a maggot, not a monkfish,’ mumbled and murmured the featureless child.

‘Mmmmer mmmmer mmmmer, can’t make any fecking sense of any fecking thing you say, lad,’ blasted Dad.

‘Sssssand shark, it’sssss a sssssand shark,’ hissssssed the snake.

Dad went to have a closer look. The stinking sand shark bit. He came back with the kite but without his hand.

‘That takes the biscuit,’ sobbed Dad.

‘That took your hand,’ corrected the featureless child.

Dad looked at him for a moment. ‘I understood that bit, lad, you’re right. Good to hear you talk normal for a change.’

The snake slithered back with Dad’s hand.

‘Thanks, snake,’ said Dad with a playful yank at his tie-rope. ‘Now let’s go home, your Mum has got some serious sewing to do.’

 

The Wisdom of Solomon

THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON

Solomon King lay on the hem of the ocean, the sea tickling his toes. He watched his father with his giant flask of popcorn, his wife with her billowing cornetto hair, and his children, Posy, Mabel, Greta and Sidney paddling in the shallows and he wondered to himself how he got here and where he was going.

The moon turned and the waves pulled back to reveal a little man in a pink wetsuit burrowing into the sand.

‘He must have been here all the time’, thought Solomon. ‘I need to ask him what he wants.’

Suddenly a flock of seagulls fell from the sky. They snatched the popcorn from his father’s flask, and then rained them like crap confetti all over everyone and everything.

Solomon looked down, the water was creeping over his toes and the little man in the wetsuit was gone.

 

Waterworld

An old lady and an old man sit on an inflatable sofa.

waterworldSaid it was like 1938 to 1939 all over again.

I know.

Teetering on the brink, dithering in the face of disaster. All all too late, nothing to do about it, we were all doomed. Doooomed! No one believed him.

Not now.

Earth heating up, waters rising, washing us away in the swell!

Leave it. Let’s rest a little.

I worked for him after they put him in a nursing home, tight as a tack he was.

Was he?

He was! I put his dentures in a tin and shaved his whiskers with my fingers to save on razors.

Of course you did, makes sense now you say it. Now, are you going to buy me a drink, I’ve come a long way.

I don’t know you, do I?

You do, we talk ever day. My drink? Please?

Another one said Noah’s ark was real, found the planks and everything.

Everything?

Don’t need Noah now, and a boat would be a waste of time. They’re building rockets to Mars. Branson’s in on it; he’s one of them.

One of who?

The chosen ones, been selling tickets on shuttles to his rich friends for years; we’ll be left to fend for ourselves.

He wouldn’t do that. He’s got a nice smile.

Dinosaur teeth, they all have: Cameron, Charles, Camilla, Cilla.

Cilla?

Black! Cilla Black! My scrotum is litmus. All that itching, it senses things, can tell a bad one from a good one, it knew the deluge was afoot.

Rained 400 days so it must have been very itchy.

And 400 nights, sandpaper on nylon sheets. I’ll get you that drink now.

Daft sod, I was teasing you. Where are you going to get me a drink from?

Their sofa wobbles in a swell, the gloop of dark water twisting and spreading under the moonlight.

Could use a cup to scoop it out.

We don’t have a cup. And we can’t drink; it’s contaminated

We’re done for then?

Of course we are.

Can you swim?

Can you?

Used to be able to.

There you are then. Why don’t we hold hands, have a kiss maybe, share some of the old air raid spirit?

My scrotum is telling me this isn’t going to end well

You don’t need your scrotum to tell you that. Now shut up and give me a kiss.

But I don’t know you.

We’ve been married for sixty years you silly old fool, now hold my hands and give me a kiss.

Bert takes Mary’s hands in his, and kisses.

‘Oh, your lips are dry, love’, he says.

And a wave suddenly moves them from view as a large rocket passes over the moon.

 

 

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About dogsbodiesandscumsters

Alan McCormick’s collection of short stories and illustrated writing with Jonny Voss, DOGSBODIES and SCUMSTERS, was published by Roast Books in 2011. Alan is Writer in Residence at Kingston University His short stories have won numerous prizes and have been widely published and performed. Jonny Voss has been working in London as an illustrator since 2000. His personal drawings and commissioned work can be seen at www.jonnyvoss.com Alan and Jonny collaborate on illustrated shorts under the name, Scumsters – see their site www.scumsters.blogspot.com. Their work has been published by Volume, Litro, Decongested Tales and can be seen online at 3ammagazine and Deaddrunkdublin.
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