Saturday, 16 January 2010

An experiment without a title

We walk through the trees. There is no forest, just the dense cluster of trees around us and hints of muffled birdsong far away. These trees hate us for the noise we make - the cracking of their discarded branches underfoot and our heavy, awful breathing. They hate our breathing most of all - they loathe those sorts of things - our punctuated in-and-out natures. Breathing and eating are awful to them.
The trees make their dislike of us clear. They throw up roots to lasso our tired feet, and they flick at our poor, cold flesh with the fine ends of their branches. They throw down leaves ahead of us to disguise the way, and when we occasionally find a path, they tip themselves down onto it and make us clamber over their fallen trunks.
We are lost again, and when one of our party drops a tissue accidentally from his pocket, I quickly dash to pick it up. I hope that the trees will notice this and will leave us an easy path out of this forest. But all they see is the dropping of the tissue, and out of anger at our litterbugging they twist and pull at the earth until they have run a rocky stream straight across our path.
We walk through it and accept the wetness of our feet. I make faces that show the trees how very little we like having wet feet. Later, if necessary, I will remove my shoes and socks in order to display the painful pruning of my soles to them.
We walk through the trees. The others do not notice the ways in which the trees show that they hate us. The others are careless in their treatment of the trees - they climb and swing on branches to "keep the spirits up", and I begin to side with the trees.
I dawdle behind our group - let them get several feet ahead of me but never out of their sight, or else they would stop and wait for me. I keep a careful eye on the trees and try to make my steps as quiet as possible. I believe that it is possible that I can begin to breathe both in and out at the same time.
Suddenly a holly bush snags my top and stops me short. I take that as a sign, and as soon as I am free I run off sideways into the forest, leaving my friends to their fate. I run so quickly that I create a wave of movement amongst the dropped leaves on the forest floor. With a final push of energy, I create a wave that is big enough for me to ride upon it. The trees blur past, faster and faster, as the leaves and twigs rush through the forest and carry me far far away.
In the distance I can hear the screams of my friends. They call my name - wanting my help and protection against the trees, but I am no longer one of them. I am part of the forest - travelling through the trees, not around them. I am inside of every tree and leaf that there is and ever has been. I hate the people and their noise, and I join the other trees in crowding around them. We encircle the people - weaving our branches together to create a wall that traps their soft, weak bodies. They scratch at us and try to climb onto and over us, but they are not fast enough. We blind them with flurries of dropped leaves and flick at them with the fine ends of our branches. Finally we tip our heavy trunks over - ripping and tearing at the earth beneath us to do it. We land heavily on their hot sweating bodies and finally we silence them.
They cool beneath us for hours. When night falls, we straighten and leave them for the beetles. Later, the bacteria which will break down their bodies until the parts are small enough for us to suck up through our roots. We will grow taller and stronger from the nourishment they provide.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Prompt: 'This is what's under my bed'

(Not for grown-ups, just sillyness on a tired evening.)

I have night-time glasses. There is a pair that I wear in the day, but at night, I take those ones off and put them down carefully by my bed. Then I close my eyes tightly and pull the bed covers up over my head. I have to feel around in the darkness, but I always find my night-time glasses somewhere beneath the quilt. They are bendy, so I don't have to be careful with them. My night-time glasses always match my pyjamas and they are made of a very light material that is soft on my skin.
Once I have found my night-time glasses and put them onto my face, I can open my eyes. The space under the quilt isn't dark with my glasses on. There is light coming through the cracks around a door that opens into my matress.
I never knock on the door, but I open it slowly, because it leads to the world under my bed, and I never know what will be in there.
Sometimes my sister is there, but she goes to bed before me, and she is always a long way into the world under the bed by the time I arrive. She holds hands with an octopus and licks an ice-lolly even in the middle of Winter.
Sometimes the door in my bed opens onto the middle of a forest, and I can only explore around the nearest trees because otherwise I would get lost.
It's never night-time underneath my bed, so all the people there look tired all the time. Sometimes they are too tired to play games and we curl up in a big ball of people on the grass and get warm in the sun. But often, it's snowing, and they will play on sledges and make snowmen and throw snowballs with me.
The people under the bed love practical jokes most of all. Every chair in the world under the bed has a whoopee cushion on it, and there is plastic dog-poo hidden in all of the food. People are always offering me sweets there, but I can never take them because they turn my mouth bright blue. All of the ink disappears there, so I can never write anything down. All of the toilet bowls are covered in cling film, and all of the fruit is made of wax.
The world under my bed is full of tricks and games. I come home tired in the morning and spend all day thinking of new jokes to play on the people there........................