Sunday, 31 August 2008

Monty goes on...and on...

Whilst I'm taking a rest from blogging and trying to focus on my novel (amongst other things), my dog, Monty has taken up the metaphorical pen otherwise known as the keyboard and can be seen tapping away with his little paws (okay, so they're quite big and very hairy) with renewed vigour. He does so enjoy Sarah's blog, particularly the little mentions of her dog, Tally and uses her prompts to aid him bring forth those formerly hidden emotions and to launch them into the blogosphere.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The Island comes to an end - at last!

Roland has reached the end of the road and some might say that it is about time. I've decided to put him to bed (without going back to the unmade one in the middle of the jungle) because I've got to start doing some serious writing for my novel. The school holidays will soon be over and the new uni term will be beginning so I'll have lots of reading to catch up on. Monty will continue to respond to Sarah's prompts on my behalf because he gets very twitchy if he doesn't and there's nothing worse than that, I can tell you.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

.....getting out of there

Roland was no celebrity but the next day, he was airlifted from the island along with his new half-bald, red-haired girlfriend with the gammy leg and curious emotional issues. It turned out that he wasn't all that far from civilisation after all; what he thought was the narrative was actually just a load of random fantasies bearing no relation to anyone's reality. It was all a set-up, a series of tricks, traps set by a television crew for entertainment. Once he had realised what was going on, that his fears of living the life of an undiscovered hermit were just barren, emotional shells, he felt more abandoned than he had done before.

If you believe something is real, is it reality? Or is believing reality itself? Every man is an island. No matter who is watching.

The Island - Part 10 - at last!

Sorry for the delay. It's good to be back writing again. I'm still taking prompts from Sarah Salway and if you visit her blog, you'll see where I'm getting my inspiration from. If I've missed responding to prompts for a while, I like to use a series of those I've missed in one chunk as a fun writing exercise to get me kickstarted. It seems that not having had time to think about writing and wondering where this story can go next is reflected in today's theme! I hope you enjoy reading it.

Whilst the girl slept – or not as the case may have been – I tried to think straight. I tried to imagine what might happen next but each different scenario was more bizarre than the last. This journey that had started out as a fun holiday excursion with my rugby friends had come to a halt, deserted me on this wild island with the strangest, desperate looking people I had ever seen. A vision of my air-conditioned hotel room with its cool, hard tiles underfoot - as opposed to the uneven, warm and damp uncertainty, the way you could suddenly sink deeper without warning – came to mind. I was no longer alone; that was the only certainty. I wanted to keep my bearings. It was absurd to feel that lost. If I had to find my way in a city, I would know exactly what to do. Surely, it was only a matter of using the same approach? Wherever this journey took me next, there would be something in the back seat of the car. A girl, with tufted, red hair, frightened, wounded, malnourished, possibly foreign. Clearly, she was Caucasian. But language? I had no idea. I am no linguist and unless she came from France, communication would be challenging. In fact, even if she was French, our conversation could well be limited to the customary exchanges to be heard in a Paris restaurant.

When she woke up, we'd need to get her wounds sorted out. Bathing in those parts was going to be tricky to say the least. But then so was getting out of there.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

The Island - Part 9

The crushed vegetation beneath my shins began to wriggle; I realised that it was inadvisable to be kneeling on the jungle soil but I was fearful of looking at the girl, fearful that she had landed with the fragility of a rotten plum. I needn't have worried; she was already struggling away from me with more purpose than the creatures I had flattened on the ground. The green smell of the bruised leaves, the sap oozing from the fractured stalks and shattered petals were wrestled into submission by the odour of fear and weeks of wild living. How could a frightened human smell so bad and yet an injured plant be so sweet?

Our arms and legs remained entwined despite the girl's efforts. I managed to free an arm and hold up my hand as if I was stopping traffic. I felt ridiculous and was on the brink of laughing. The pulling was subsiding and I wasn't sure if she had been calmed by my hand gesture or whether she had run out of steam. I offered my hand to her.

'Please. Let me help you. Use my hand to steady yourself.'

At last, she seemed to have given in and I was holding her rough hand in my own.

'Now, just stay there a minute whilst I stand up. There. I'm going to help you onto the bed. It's yours isn't it?'

She nodded and a grimace flitted across her lips.

'Well, we may as well make use of it.'

As I lifted her by the armpits to a sitting position on the filthy bed and gently swung her legs up, I could feel that she was severely undernourished. I turned the blood-stained pillow to its other side and supported her as she lowered her upper torso down to rest. Almost immediately that her tufted head touched the rancid pillow, her eyelids came down like heavy shutters over a Glasgow off-licence. It certainly seemed as though she was genuinely exhausted but I wondered whether she was really just playing for time.

Of course, I could just walk away and in a sense, maybe she was offering me the chance to do just that. But I couldn't. I had already swallowed the silent promise to help this wretched girl. The birds and insects seemed to hush waiting for my strength of resolve as I gulped down the lump in the back of my throat. This would be the hardest promise I would ever make.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

We're back ....

Well, it was good weather for flying kites.

but not so good for relaxing on the beach ....

or camping ..

Click on the last photo here and you'll begin to get some idea of what it was like. Sorry about the shoes.

Friday, 1 August 2008

We're all going on a summer holiday ...

I won't have access to a computer for a whole week. I suppose I'll have to make do with a good, old-fashioned notebook. The advantage of this is that when I come back, I should have a wealth of material just bursting to get out of my fingertips and onto a keyboard. Or maybe not. We'll have to wait and see. We're getting back to nature, you see (fully-clothed, I might add); the smell of damp canvas, dewy meadows and birdsong.... soggy pyjamas, children kicking a football against the tent, having to dig a trench around the outside to stop the water from flowing through the zip - no - I refuse to think like that! Be positive. Everything will be just fine. Starting with the 6am dash to get level with Stonehenge before the rest of the country.

This time tomorrow, we'll be sitting in front of the barbecue. Probably trying to dry off our trousers because you're not allowed camp fires.....