The Bundle of Spare Dreams

She has so many dreams. Far too many.

Surely she could spare a few for those less fortunate, who don’t have any at all?

This one she doesn’t need any more, the one about becoming a famous film star (with her teeth? stupid, stupid).

Nor this one about becoming a concert pianist (almost…no, nowhere near).

As for the dream about losing fifty pounds in four weeks, that dream has hardly been used. It’s as good as new. Someone could Continue reading

Witch’s Chair

Cernunnos, Mosaïcultures Internationales, Montreal Botanical Gardens, 2013That Cedric and his horned serpents!

But then he’s always been an odd one. Those eyes! One green, one white!

Is it true that means he’s a witch? Or half-witch, seeing as only one eye is white.

The girls go mad for him. I don’t understand it. He’s nothing but an uneducated lout who likes playing in the dirt.

And that punk hair! The stupid hat!

Those serpents drive me crazy. Why couldn’t he have rabbits or guinea pigs like any normal person? I have to call him twenty-five times a day to come and get them out of my vegetable garden.

You wouldn’t believe how arrogant he is, the way he struts about town as if everyone has nothing better to do than look at him. Well, he’ll find out soon enough he won’t always be a pretty face (if you’re the sort of person who thinks that kind of tough watch-me-climb-out-of-the-earth face is pretty).

The chief of police is insisting Cedric undergo the witch test.

Cedric says Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Parrott

She is a most admirable woman. Everyone says so. Always so kind and generous to those less fortunate. What charity! What munificence! What benevolence!

She picks the silver tea spoon up from the white tablecloth, polishes it with the linen napkin and smiles at her reflection in the spoon’s bowl. She really can’t think of anyone more deserving of admiration than herself.

She always thinks about this on Sundays for Sunday is the day she distributes her largesse.

Every Sunday she invites – she likes to think of it as ‘sponsoring’ – some impecunious young man to afternoon tea at Hotel Parrott.

This week’s fortunate fellow is a philosophy student. He’s clean, which has not always been the case with some of the young men.

How he’s tucking in! The cucumber sandwiches, the petits fours, the tarts, the scones, cream and jam.

More? she asks.

He can’t manage another mouthful but she urges him on. More! she says. More! More!

How grateful he’ll be, how he’ll thank her. That’s only right of course.

And as for him? He forces down the last cranberry scone and gazes through the window, admiring the blue rooster in the square. So proud and calm on his plinth.

More! she says, waving to the waitress to bring another plate of scones.

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*****

2016 is my Year of the Blurt. Each week I’ll try to take advantage of odd spare moments to write a quick Blurt which I’ll post Thursday mornings. Probably the Blurts will mostly be fiction, but who knows!

 Thank you for dropping by to read this week’s Blurt. It was inspired by the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Admiration.

The photo is of “Hahn/Cockerel” by Katharina Fritsch, Trafalgar Square, fall 2014.

Please note: all material on this website, except for comments by others, is © Susi Lovell

If Not The Ghost Man, Then Who?

I know Oliver claims to have been the first to see the ghost man, but in fact it was Tommy.

Tommy was heading home for breakfast with two brook trout he’d caught in the stream that meanders through the town when he caught sight of the ghost man emerging from the forest.

He’d wolfed down two helpings of french toast before he thought to mention the ghost man to his parents.

Word spread in no time. By elevenses there was quite a crowd in the park where the ghost man had installed himself on the bench beneath the big old oak.

No, that wasn’t the ghost man. This fellow was far too solid to be a ghost man. But if not the ghost man, then who?close-up of bannister finial

“The mushroom man!” said the mayor.

Of course! Of course!

The first thing they all noticed about the mushroom man was obviously that he was extraordinarily pale.

Of course he’d be pale, they told each other, with the forest so dense and tangled that no sunlight could penetrate. (But really, how would they know? Which of them had ever dared venture into the dark, dank, silent forest?)

The second thing was that he looked at them with eyes that saw more than they were comfortable with.

The third thing? That Continue reading

At Dinnertime, As The Crows Gather

She’s decided on macaroni.

What could possibly go wrong with macaroni? All you have to do is to boil it, then smother it in cheese sauce.

It’s absolutely essential that nothing go wrong.

Jon, Timothy, Sol, Freddie, Barry, Hugo, Ryan… what disasters she’d had with the meals she’d cooked for them.

Martin would eat her macaroni and love it.

She opens the fridge door, takes out cheese, cream, pepper, then pulls out the drawer for the cheese grater, a kitchen utensil she’s always been fond of.

No, no, Martin is absolutely not a shredded cheese guy. He’s more spicy tomato.

She replaces the cheese and cream in the fridge. Reaches for the last two tomatoes that remain in the plastic tub, some red pepper. She slices the slimy soft edges off the red pepper.

A soft rustling sound outside.

crowIt’s only the crows. They always gather around dinnertime. In the trees, on the Continue reading

See The Future In An Apple Peel

1.

Marnie leans forward and gazes into the translucent sphere. A sky blue thread and a wisp of gold drift through the crystal ball.

“What do you see?” she whispers.

“A handsome young man with golden hair, piercing blue eyes and…”

Marnie leaps to her feet, sending the chair toppling backwards. Jeremy? No! It cannot be! Never!

2.

The cards are worn and creased. They are not easy to shuffle. A couple fall out of the pack. Marnie picks them up, shuffles again.

“Focus,” says the young woman with the long shining hair, tapping the ash off her cigarette on to the floor.

Marnie focuses…his wavy dark hair, the tattoo on his left…

She places Continue reading

The Illuminated City

Beaver Lake, MontréalIt was a bitterly cold night and the bus was late. The young lad in the bus shelter checked the bus timetable again by the flickering light from a nearby lamp post.

He shoved his hands deep into his jacket pockets and looked at the girl in the jeans ad on the side of the bus shelter.

What a mane of blond hair! What plump lips! What a deliciously curved waist! What shapely hips! What he would give to have a girl like her to take to the school prom next Saturday. The jeans clung to her long legs, smooth as melted chocolate.

“What are you staring at?” snapped the girl in the ad. “I’m sick and tired of people always staring. Haven’t they got anything better to do?”

“Sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to.” He wished he had a cigarette. He wished he smoked. “The bus is late,” he said.

“It’s always late.”

A light ripping sound, nothing more than a whisper really, and she Continue reading

Beware the Half-Light

graveyardBeware the half-light, was what her grandma used to say. ‘Tis the time of mystery and nefarious shenanigans.

Beware the broken mirror, her grandma also used to say. ‘Tis only the five minutes you have to make good.

And yet here she was, in the garden in the half-light, hacking at the hard, frozen ground with Grandma’s old trowel. Five minutes to bury the broken shards of the mirror.

Not even a crumb of earth could she dislodge.

Five minutes. More like four minutes. She must have used up at least a minute throwing salt over her left shoulder, turning around three times widdershins, and grabbing – carefully – shards of the broken mirror and running to the potting shed for Grandma’s trowel.

The wind sighed Continue reading

One Love – In Code

My aunt Cicely was singing in the kitchen. Of her love. At least, that’s what my mother said.

“For Uncle Jeremy?” I giggled. It was hard to imagine Uncle Jeremy as anyone’s love. He was old for one thing, almost fifty. And had very little hair and a lot of stomach. And only talked about how many dragons he’d slain in his video game.

“Shhh,” my mother hissed. “He’s in the sitting room, he’ll hear.”

Uncle Jeremy wasn’t to hear? Aunt Cicely had a secret love!

Poor Aunt Cicely! To be married to Uncle Jeremy and love someone else.

All that summer we stayed with them, I often heard Aunt Cicely singing in the kitchen of her love.

koi at the Chinese Gardens, Montreal Botanical GardensI tried to catch the words but couldn’t make head or tail of them.

“…spotted koi, light in the leaves, chocolate chip ice cream, buzzing bees, my sister Marie in her yellow dress, sandwiches with cream cheese and watercress…”

(Marie was my mother.)

Obviously Aunt Cicely was singing in code so Uncle Jeremy wouldn’t understand.

I imagined her love – he’d be tall, with a blond mane of hair and one of those long low sports cars. He’d have a name like Gideon, or Hawk.

When I heard Continue reading

The Questions Desk

The party of twenty would arrive shortly, at 8 pm. At last all was ready – the table laid, the chairs in position, the candles waiting to be lit, the flowers in the vase, the crown roast in the oven. She hesitated. Something was not right.

The little white ferret, crouched beside the grandfather clock in the hallway, was watching her too carefully. It also knew that something was not right.

Did the curtains not match the carpet? Were the pictures on the wall too somber? Had she forgotten a spice in one of the recipes? Was the party of twenty allergic to leek soup? What was wrong? What was wrong?

She put on her hat and ran down the street to the Questions Desk. The queue was very long, as was to be expected on a Friday evening. How would she Continue reading