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V Festival 2014: 10 great acts not to be missed

Here’s my blog about great acts to see at V Festival 2014. I hope you enjoy and if you’re not going, hopefully you’ll love the music vids.

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Countdown

The time of death given at birth is precise. Some will spend their lives finding a way to be the one that avoids their fate, cutting away at the countdown implanted in the back of their necks. You second guess how you’ll succumb, wracking your brains on how it will end for it to then just end. The slogan, ‘No hiding, no escape, so live life’ but what now? Countdown’s stopped … destiny is beaten.

Bricks

It’s nearly as tall as I am now. I’ve had to start it three times now because of Rocky. He’s such a clumsy dog. Everytime someone goes past the window he runs across the room like he’s some kind of super hound but when he’s on my beanbag he’s like a big heavy brick and I can’t move him. Daddy says that I shouldn’t pull him by the collar but he doesn’t come up with any other ways of shifting him.

Chloe says that I should do this up in my room and not in front of the TV but what does she know, she’s just a stupid sister. I think Chloe calls Rocky on purpose just so that he knocks over my tower. That is why my next tower is in front of the television, so she will have to watch it being built. Daddy is always telling me to not put the little pieces in my mouth. I only swallowed a red one once and the doctor in the hospital said that it will work its way out on its own so I don’t know why Daddy is so worried, it’s not like I’d tried to eat a whole house.

This tower has a window halfway up as I thought I’d be kind to Chloe. I told her the tower won’t be in the way now as she can watch telly through the window, so there will be no need for one of her tantrums. Not this time.

Last brick, a green one, and it’s done. Daddy bangs something in the kitchen and Rocky is off like a rocket. There goes my tower! Daddy comes to the lounge door when I cry loud enough and he looks all around.

“Jeremy, clear up all your lego, it’s all over the place!”

 

 

Written at Yeovil Creative Writers meeting in a 10 minute timed exercise to write a story about a brick.

Recognition?

Being abducted wasn’t as bad as I imagined. My ex-wife said that I’m no use to anyone but here I am being ‘chosen’ by another life form. The light burned my eyes but I soon relaxed and  let the beam take the strain. As I arrived in their loading bay area, the two extraterrestials looked at me and then at each other. One frowned. “I think I’ll do the aiming next time shall I?”

 

Submitted to http://www.paragraphplanet.com – 75 word story challenge 

Knife and Easy

It was so easy for the knife to slice through. I’d read that would be the case if it had been prepared correctly. I had planned it for a couple of months now and there would be just the one chance to get it right. The blood ran down the edge of the blade and I felt a great satisfaction. Definitely do this again sometime. Our eyes meet. “I think I prefer mine well done, darling”.

 

Submitted to http://www.paragraphplanet.com in their 75 words exactly story challenge.

Train of Thought

I hate Chloe. Daddy says that ‘hate’ is a very strong word but it can’t be, it’s one of the shortest words I know. I could understand if he said that ‘locomotive’ was a strong word as that’s really long and can probably hold a lot of things on it if it had to. Hate is so small, everything would fall off. Daddy is a silly man, because I really, really, really hate Chloe.

I’ve spent ages making my train and just like that, she has picked up the last carriage and sat on it in front of the television. She didn’t even have a ticket! I can’t tell the Guard as he will report me to the Fat Controller and I don’t need that hassle, not on this day, with such a tight timetable.

“Tickets please”, I’ll give Chloe a chance to return the carriage or pay for her seat. I hold my hand under her nose. I don’t think she’s seen it so I wave my hand in front of her eyes. I’m giving her a chance here!

“Out of my way Jeremy, I’m watching this!”, she slaps my hand. SLAPS MY HAND! Can you believe it?! She’s going to be in so much trouble now.

“Daddy!”, Ha! Now she’s for it.

“Daaaaaaadddddy!”, where is the silly man? Chloe needs telling off and at least that is something he can do. He has a good smack in his hairy hands.

“Daddy! Where are you? Chloe’s stole my train!”, Jesus! This is ridiculous! He’s only around when I’m being naughty, never Chloe. That’s why they think she’s so good, they never, ever, catch her. That’s another reason why I hate Chloe.

 

At last, Daddy is here.

“What’s the problem now Jeremy? I’m trying to make breakfast”.

“Chloe”, I point at her. I then point at the stool. Daddy is just standing there. I walk over and poke Chloe in the back of the head.

“Owwwwwwwww!”, Chloe screams out. It never hurt that much. She’s such a liar.

“Jeremy! Why did you do that?” Daddy is getting cross. At last, now Chloe’s going to get told off.

“Why did you just poke Chloe?” Daddy is looking funny. He does that when he’s angry. I point at my carriage that she’s sat on and then I point at my train. It’s quite obvious what’s happened here, even to the silly man … surely. Daddy shakes his head and walks out of the room.

“Jesus!” That’ll get his attention. It got Mum’s attention in the library. She told me not to say it like that as it sounds like swearing. I felt proud. I’m still in the Butterfly room at Nursery and already I know my first swear word. I couldn’t wait to tell everyone there. It must be an important swear word as Grandma says I should mention it in my prayers each night. I laughed. Silly Grandma, she’s very old and says very funny things. I decided I would just say that word quietly in my prayer so that Mum doesn’t hear me and get me in trouble.

He hasn’t come back you know. I go in the kitchen and he’s putting butter on toast.

“I wanted cereal”, which I did, not toast, the cereal that looks like mans. I call them mans because the cereal is lots of little people and fishes. I think the fishes are in the box so that the people don’t go hungry but Daddy says they are not real people and so wouldn’t worry about eating the fishes. That’s good because a bowl of mans and fishes will be really nice to fill my tummy. That’s if Daddy hurries up!

“It’s not for you Jeremy”, Daddy smiles. I don’t think Daddy has brushed his teeth as they look yellow like he’s been spreading his teeth with the butter as well. If I had yellow teeth I would use a white crayon and colour them in. There’s one in the toilet from yesterday. I was helping Mum then as she has made the walls new by putting square plates on it and filling the gaps with a big squeezy toothpaste. I liked it better before she started because there is newspaper all over the floor and messy dust everywhere.

I helped Mum by pointing out all the messy dust but she kept telling me that she knew about the dust, “Thank you very much, Jeremy”.

“Well, do something about it!” I told her. If that was my train track all over the toilet floor like yesterday, being all messy, she would keep going on and on and on about it. Now I go on and on and on about the messy dust and Mum gets all uppity.

“Don’t you speak to me like that!” Mum shouts, “You’re going on the naughty step”.

I don’t know why the naughty step is always in trouble. I just know it is always in trouble the same time as I am. It’s near the bottom of the stairs so I think it likes to trip people over when they run up them. Chloe says that I push her and that is why she trips but she is silly because that is why it’s called THE NAUGHTY STEP! Derrrr! It does naughty stuff. Of course I have to sit on it again because Daddy always believes Chloe and that is reason one hundred and nine, why I hate Chloe so much.

 

“I’m hungry now!” Where is my breakfast? I’ve been waiting ages and I will waste away. That’s what Mum says when I don’t eat my tea. But tea is disgusting as there is too much green and yellow on my plate. I hate peas. I like beans. I like orange but I am allergic to green. Laura at Nursery said she was allergic to green but she had a green top on and she was still alive so I think she was joking me. I know jokes. I tell jokes and Daddy says he will laugh so much that his head will fall off. I will make sure they are not that funny as I want him to keep his head on so that he can make my cereal.

“Knock, knock?”, this one is really funny so will watch out for Daddy’s head. I said this at nursery and we all laughed so much that we had to crawl around the floor like a cow and then wait to be milked. Was that after my joke or were we playing farms? I can’t remember now. Maybe if I was a cow and then was milked, Daddy would have enough for my cereal.

“Knock, knock Daddy”, come on Daddy, answer the door.

“Who’s there?”

Who’s where? Now what’s he talking about? This is a joke, there’s no-one at the door.

“Who’s there Jeremy?” Must be the postman. I go over to the front door but there are no letters. I open the letterbox to have a peek at him but it is really bright. That’s good, the passengers are always pleased when it is sunny for a train ride.

“Jeremy!”, Daddy made me jump. The letterbox nearly bit my fingers. That was a dangerous thing to do, the sort of thing that Chloe does when Daddy isn’t looking.

“Jeremy, you said Knock, Knock? What’s the rest of the joke?”

“Not a joke, I’m a cow, mooooooooo”, keep up Daddy. I’ve been a cow all along and I need to be milked for my mans cereal.

“I haven’t got time for this”, Daddy never has time. I will find him a watch. He always says I’m under his feet but I’m not that small. I think he needs to look where he’s going and to stop treading on me. I’m surprised that I have any fingers left after clumsy Daddy feet and the hungry letterbox trying to eat them.

“Huuuuuuunnnnnnnggggggrrrrryyyy” If I say it long enough it will go in one ear and still be there when it comes out of the other ear so it will all be in his head.

“Are you really hungry or are you hungry because you’ve seen the toast?” Daddy is wobbling the knife with butter at me. He doesn’t look like he’s going to try brushing my teeth with it, which is good news.

“I want mans, not toast” I’ve already told him that I wanted mans. He never listens. All he says is that I’m four and he’s an adult and he knows best, blah, blah, blah and if I wait I’ll get my breakfast, blah, blah, blah, but I’m still stood here and I’m hungry. And anyway, he doesn’t know best.

He didn’t know that if you tickle your belly button, your bum falls off. Everyone knows this except Daddy who said, “Don’t be stupid Jeremy”, Stupid? It was Finlay at Nursery that told me and he was dressed as a Doctor at the time, so it must be true. Who’s stupid now Daddy?

Aha, mans and fishes in a bowl and with milk.

“Thank you, was that Jeremy?”. Daddy always says that.

I carry my bowl really carefully as it’s a ‘right royal pain in the bum’ when I spill it. We’ve got cats though so don’t see the problem. Failing that, Mum has a spray and cloth and she always says she hasn’t got enough to do in the day and has nothing better to do than follow me around, clearing up after me.

She doesn’t though. I dropped a biscuit behind the sofa last week and it’s still there now. If she had followed me about she would’ve known it was there and cleared it up. I don’t want to eat it now though as it’s all fluffy and fluffy biscuits make you sick. A bit like green things. Actually the biscuit is going green as well as fluffy so I am right not to eat it. Lucky escape. Might give it to Chloe and she will be sick on the floor and then she will go to the naughty step. Ha! Ha! Good plan Jeremy.

Daddy said that if I ate any more sweeties I would be sick but it wasn’t the sweeties that made me sick. I think it was the horrible tea I had. I keep telling them I don’t like cheese and I will be sick and I was because as soon as the sweets were in my tummy they met the cheese and they didn’t like it either and that is why they came up again. Even the cheese came back too. I did tell them. They haven’t given me cheese again, or sweeties, just in case but it is only the cheese that is difficult to eat. Chloe is never, ever sick and eats way more sweeties than I do, which is why I hate her. Horrible Chloe.

Wow! The train is full! There is George pig, two George pigs actually. My baby sister will have them so better get this train running.

“I’ve left the driver’s seat for you” says Chloe, “I’ve got all the other passengers to their seats and coupled up the last carriage. I think the Guard is about to blow his whistle. You’d better hurry!”

There’s always pressure when you’re a train driver. I need to get my cap on. It’s a bit big but if I hold my head back I can see under the front of it. You can’t drive a steamie without a cap. Think I’ll have to take breakfast with me.

The boiler is all stoked and I have checked the couplings. I don’t want to leave a carriage behind so this is very important. George pig has fallen off.

“Come on George, you can’t fall out of the train as you will get hurt. Now sit still.”

Right, all ready to go. Chloe has the flag and whistle and I am at the front. Breakfast has spilt a bit but this is urgent as I can’t let the passengers down. Daddy says that train journeys are very expensive so he will understand about the mans on the floor as there are a lot of people here that have paid all their savings.

Chloe waves the flag and blows her whistle. I let off the brake. And we are off. As we pull away I can see Chloe disappearing in the distance. I stand up at the front and shout back to her.

“Thank you Chloe. I love you”, because I do.

I really, really, really love Chloe.

Bonfires

It was traditional for my father to have a bonfire on Sunday evenings. He used to say that ‘it cleansed the week just gone, sending notice to God that we have burnt away the impurities of life and we were ready to embrace Monday without conscience’. I used to be transfixed by the particles of ash that danced and flickered up in to the night sky, thinking that God must look down at our snow globe as the white dust fell about us.

Of course, even God can get bored of watching a snow globe and I presumed it was his way of stopping this and making his point when representation from the Serious Fraud office arrived to get my father to understand His point of view

My father’s complexion turned the colour of the ash that tried to carry his secrets away on the winds, when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for defrauding the charities he was forever championing. Well, it was nine years actually but he took his own life soon after his sentence began.

This was also the death knell for Mother as well. Her occasional cannabis habit that ‘helped her to cope with the stresses and strains of life’, became a heroin dependency to ‘cope with the stresses and strains of your father’s death’. It was no small wonder that the end of this path was Moorlands Children’s Home after the dependency consumed her.

 

It’s colder tonight than of those when I was a child. It always seemed warmer when I was younger but this bonfire has to be tonight, regardless of this evening’s temperature. Burning paper seemed a simple pleasure, the speed that each sheet disappeared confirmed its eagerness to join the party dancing towards heaven. These clothes seem a little reluctant but I will persevere, I’ll have to.

 

Just before Reginald’s wife passed away, I made a promise to her that I would care for him until his dying breath. I was always going to as, not only was it my job at The Vicarage Nursing Home to do so, it’s the God’s honest truth that he really was the only true friend I had. I always left his room with a smile and he helped me through the dark times when my sleeping hours relived the times that ‘The Tuesday Club’ visited my room at the children’s home. If I close my eyes now I can still feel the grip around my throat, how my thighs bruised with each thrust and those masks. Those masks are what used to induce my panic attacks and Reginald, Beatrice before him, that coaxed me back to life. That is why I have to burn these clothes. I have to leave no trace of anything that would incriminate his memory for those who only know him as dear ol’ Reginald in Room 14.

I don’t think that I was meant to find it as I’m not quite sure why he would’ve decided to bring it with him when he moved in to The Vicarage but there it was in my hand. I had opened the suitcase in the wardrobe that he always forbade me to look in until that day. He wanted me to find a book from it but I found the clothes and then I found it.

The frailty of his face when I held up the mask made me almost feel sorry for him. He had seemed to have glazed over by the time the room had come back in to focus as I found myself calmly laying a pillow over his head. I applied pressure to it over his face and pushed slowly, pushing harder, until life had left him.

It’ll look like natural causes for sure, at his age, and I don’t foresee further investigations. Still, I had to burn the suitcase and its contents.

That is why I am here on a Sunday night following my father’s tradition to burn away the impurities of what I’ve done and clearing my conscience, as I had already cleared Reginald’s.