And The Gulls Become Her Thoughts

And The Gulls Become Her Thoughts

 

Clutching a bag of just-turned crusts

she steps onto the shoreline

Before a crumb is cast

ravenous birds, sensing stale bread

encircle her.

They have come to be fed.

Gluttony breaks from beaks

stabbing the broken host.

A mob of screeching demons

attacking these stark scraps

frenzied peck after frenzied peck.

A bombardment.

She stands amidst this crazed rapaciousness

stiller than a stone.

Seconds later, satiated, they have flown.

And on they go, calling, scouring

carcases trash-heaps

other homes.

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13 statements about the United States of Chimerica made by the Bird King during a press conference in the basement of his ruined palace

1. Jesus made the United States of Chimerica from the hide of a gator he killed with his bare hands back in the winter of ’81.

2. The people of the United States of Chimerica are watched over by a straight-talkin’ angel with hillbilly eyes and a crown of nuclear missiles.

3. Chimerican iconography 1:
Ronald McDonald smiling beatifically whilst firing a shotgun at a spinning globe.

4. Chimerican English is the language of commerce, war, touchscreen dreams, charity, love, power, landscapes, mindscapes and escapes.

5. God told Abraham Lincoln to establish the NRA. When the End Days come, the Statue of Liberty will hunt down those who won’t kiss the gun.

6. The flag of the United States of Chimerica is usually referred to as “the Scars and Stripes.”

7. Chimerican iconography 2:
The all-seeing eye, held in the teeth of a piranha.

8. On Independence Day, George Washington gave birth to the Empire State Building and a plague of dollars descended on the USSR.

9. The Boston Tea Party was orchestrated by Jesus, disguised as the Mad Hatter.

10. The Chimerican Intelligence Agency has exterminated all non-human animal species and replaced them with Simubots™ equipped with cameras.

11. Chimerican iconography 3:
A bald eagle crucified on a pylon. In the background: a burning bush, in the shape of a man.

12. At night, Ronald Raygun delivers triumphal nightmares in the subterranean maternity ward of the Pentagon.

13. We all live in the United States of Chimerica.

Holmes is Missing: The Case of the Ninth Carriage

It was the ninth carriage not the eighth. It was the ash not the cigar. It was the gentle dovetailing of salient facts that pleased him.

*
There was just enough time to catch the train. The rabbit in the distance was still visible. All was not lost.
*
Do this small favour for me, he said. Remain perfectly still. There are matters afoot that defy the intellect.That is not a biscuit.

*
Rain, steam and speed were of the essence. The man in the carriage had recently been to Belgium but that wouldn’t save him.
*
He was examining the curious lapel before him with a haunted expression on his face. My nemesis, he whispered. We must leave tonight.
*
The intersections meant nothing.The clue lay in the intersections between intersections. The clue lay under the clue. The rest was silence.
*
Note the name on the label, he said. Either that is a diacritic or I am a kangaroo. Do I look like a kangaroo? Does anyone?
*
The lady is undoubtedly in danger, he declared. The Portuguese are not to be trusted and we cannot waste our time on a mere fado.
*
The police were doing handstands in the hall again. Nothing surprises me any more, he said.
*
The Napoleon of Crime had met his Waterloo. There was much rejoicing in Euston. In Baker Street only the sound of a violin.
*
Give me your hand, Watson, he said. Now give me your foot. What have you got left? One must get into the mind of the criminal, he explained.
*
Don’t look now Watson, but there is a man in the doorway in the military uniform of a defunct army and it is too early for the postman.
*
The dust on that sleeve is all that is left of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he said. The criminal is likely to be one of the Desert Fathers.
*
How many fingers am I holding up, Watson, he asked. Have you ever asked yourself whose fingers they are?
*
I take drugs to clear my head, he said. It’s like colonic irrigation. Genius is a mental dump in the morning. It also helps when clubbing.
*
Some induce, some deduce. I am a deductionist by nature, he said. Give me a rusty Occam’s razor and I am happy. I bleed reason.
*
Apocryphal. How, in a carriage hidden by dense fog, wearing a veil over a balaclava, the master of a thousand disguises apprehended himself.
*
Apocryphal. How, one Christmas Eve, a man with a false beard and wearing a red cloak was apprehended in the study fireplace.
*
Apocryphal. How a certain sleuth strode across Grimpen Mire wearing a fake deerstalker in order to apprehend a fake deer.

*

Observation is the key, he said. I wake in the morning and observe myself in the mirror. I appear to be there. At least someone is.

Hercule Poirot is Missing!

Location: a street near an Art Deco hotel within sound of the sea

There was no one in the street. There was no one in the house. Where were they? Where was the car? What had happened to the plot?
*
The plot was beside the point. The point was to remain plotless. He opened a box left behind from the last plot. Nothing there.
*
An empty box was no clue. He checked his notebook. It was brand new. He took his pen and wrote a few random words that might mean something.
*
The street was indecipherable. That much was clear. But was it pointless to think so? That was what the words said. He wrote more words.
*
The mystery of the empty street was no less mysterious than the empty house. No car appeared though it was what the plot required.
*
He thought back to the time he had spent by the sea. There had been gulls and pebbles. Such things had a point and might add up to a plot.
*
The instruments had been well hidden. That is if they were instruments. He took a key from his pocket. All he needed now was a door.
*
The sea was at the door but the door was elsewhere. He wrote more words. He imagined a door. There was the smell of the sea to consider.
*
Somewhere in the attic lay the clue to the whereabouts of the house. Once he had located the house he was sure to find the sea.
*
Was there any point in having a key if there were no door? That remained to be discovered. Life is plotless, he decided. He must invent one.
*
You can’t invent everything. You could invent a sea and imagine a house with a door. You could open that door. You could smell the sea.
*
Whatever had happened had stopped happening. Something else was happening but what was it? What had the sea to do with it? Or the key?
*
This seemed to be the plot. It was as close to a plot as he could find. He wrote the plot down. He imagined the door. He turned the key.
*
The empty house and the empty street remained empty. The car must be elsewhere. The corpse would be in it, assuming there was a corpse.
*
There had to be a corpse. The plot demanded it. It was pointless without a corpse. He would have to invent one. But there was no car.
*
You could invent the car with the corpse in it. You could invent a sea at a door. You could open the door with the key. If it fitted.
*
You could invent moonlight. You could invent a lamp post. You could invent an alley, a corpse, and a car. You could invent a point.
*
The smell of the sea remained. That did not have to be invented. He wrote the words ‘the sea’ in his notebook. The sea was the point.
*
The point was the crime of which the corpse was the result. The corpse was in the car that remained to be invented. The sea was real enough.
*
The sea at least was real. It always had been. His notebook said so. The door must be nearby. He had the key. He was master of the situation

***

The 25 Days of Chimeramas

Hey Mutant Kids! Chimeramas is coming, when we throw open the doors of the invisible houses and release the voices within. Maybe one is yours!

*

Write your letters to Insanta via the Ministry of Verification: the Ministry knows if you’ve just been naughty or could be reclassified as evil.

*

Kids, Chimeramas is not just about giving up, it’s also about taking out: if there’s someone you haven’t assassinated yet, now’s the time!

*

Doc Moreau and I are working hard to get all the Horse Daleks ready for Chimeramas – as ever, no. 1 on the little mutant princess wishlist!

*

Remember, kids, thanks to your 2015 Necromantic Taxidermy Manual Annual n Spellbook, a puppy needn’t just be for life!

*

As Chimeramas looms larger, Doc Moreau will show you how to make delightful wriggling decorations using easily-trapped robins and sausages.

*

As the traditional cries for help arrive from far-flung Chimeric starships, we’re editing them into a lovely carol service.

*

The Chimeramas morning Arthropod Concert will be broadcast this year from Mars and will of course feature the Invasion Waltz.

*

The Empress of the Cabbage People has agreed the traditional Breaking of the Ceasefire between our peoples will go ahead on Chimeramas Day!

*

Therefore, the Ministry of Death regretfully announce that, ‘…for the 23 hours of Chimeramas, Chimerica will be at war. War!’

*

Our glorious troops will be relieved to rush back to the front for Chimeramas Day, and take up this long, pointless war where they left off!

*

Our enemy’s top brassica complain about only getting 23 hours of fighting, but, until the Ministry of Time locate that lost daylight hour…

*

This Chimeramas, tuck into a plate of roasted ectoplasm at everyone’s favourite restaurant, The Happy Séance – still taking bookings!

*

On the 70th day of Chimeramas the turkey carcasses got up and started walking round. It didn’t look like they knew where they were going.

*

On the 300-&-90-tenth day of Chimeramas the forks attacked us in an unprovoked act of aggression. The spoons, as always, remained neutral.

*

On the 13th day of Chimeramas the Ministry of Time announced Chimeramas would continue into the foreseeable and possibly fiveseeable future.

*

On the 70-many-eth day of Chimeramas Pope Hulk will deliver his Arbi et Orbi address from an arbitrary point on the M25 Orbital…

*

As ever, Pope Hulk will be alone, half-naked, shouty, and wearing the Papal Turkey. This year’s theme: ‘Forgiving the Shorts of Others’.

*

You know it’s Chimeramas when Dead Soup dribbles out of the 100ft tall slender grey chimneys of The Happy Séance! Birds faint and fall.

*

Only-for-Chimeramas puppies available from Doc’s Labrador Lab: guaranteed to explode on Boxer Day. Blast containment boxes sold separately.

*

You know it’s Chimeramas when the candleworms stretch their little bodies towards the Moon and all their heads burst into flame at the same moment.

*

It was the Night Before Chimeramas, and all through Frankenmaus not an organ was stirring, far less a pulse.

*

The Ministry of Time has just announced that the Night Before Chimeramas will last for one thousand years. Darkness level: all-encompassing.

*

This is in line with last year’s reduction to 1001 years and will permit The Insanta to visit everyone as contracted ‘in one night’.

*

The Insanta clacked its lobster claws, and that voice composed of bubbles and squeaks came out of the gloom, ‘Verification, please…’