He Came Back To Cornwall

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He came back to Cornwall.

He came back from the war with a bloody arm, a bandaged leg and a few scars on his face. He came back from the war to find his dear family in their little village. He came back from the war, but he wasn’t expecting this.

The year was 1919. After spending a few more months in London, he finally decided to travel back to his hometown. He needed to feel warmth again, he needed to feel love and happiness, and his lovely little Cornwall was just the place for that.

Lugging his rucksack on his back, he walked into St Mawes, not knowing what to expect when he knocked on the door of his house. Maybe shouts of his name or crying or laughing and hugging. He walked through the streets filled with desolate but running shops, and many grey houses. They were tilted and uneven, like buildings from a fairy tale.

He walked further into the village, people eyeing him strangely as they passed him. Then he found it. Right in front of him was his childhood home, still standing as it had been 27 years ago.

Shuffling nervously up to the wooden door, he gave it a slow tap, creating a deep, hollow sound. There was a sudden scrambling inside, and then the lock clicked. The door creaked open, and the face of a middle-aged woman, wet with tears, met him. It was his mother, and as he looked over her shoulder, he spotted his father, sister and brother.

Hastily, his mother wiped her tears away. “Oh, hello,” she sniffled, “Um, who are you?”

He was puzzled. Why wouldn’t his own mother remember him? “It’s me, Mum. Your son!”

“Son?” she repeated, “My dear boy, you must be mistaken!”

“Who is it?” his father coughed.

“It’s a young man. He’s come back from the war. He says he’s our son!”

“Son? Poor thing, you can’t be! It’s all that war business getting to your head! Old Matthew, he…he, um, he died.”

Surely this was a dream, or some kind of practical joke! How would his own family forget him, and, what’s more, say that he was deceased? He simply couldn’t believe it.

“But…” he whispered, “But I’m Matthew!”

“Matthew was killed at the start of the war by a bomb in London.” his mother said firmly but not unkindly. “Do come in though, dear. You must be worn out!”

Silently, he stepped through the doorway, shutting the door behind him. “Thank you.” he murmured.

“This is Sarah and John.” his mother said, gesturing to his sullen-faced brother and sister. He did not respond.

Later on, they all sat down at the table in the kitchen, which was very familiar to Matthew. They had a dinner of corned beef and morsels of bread, and then they all retired to their bedrooms.

He had some trouble dozing off, and it seemed like a few seconds when he woke up again, realising that something was shaking his side. He widened his eyes and turned his head, only to find his ginger cat, Oliver. It was early dawn, and it would need feeding. He got up and walked into the kitchen, the floor making the occasional creak. Then he remembered. Oliver had died before the war.

He dropped the bowl he was holding onto the floor. It made a loud crash, sure to wake someone up. He turned around. The cat was not there. Frantically, he ran up the hallway to the other bedrooms, not finding anyone. He ran outside, meeting with cold, icy air biting into his cheeks. The village looked deserted. Then he saw something coming up the street. Oliver. He was dazed, confused, not understanding what was happening. He turned back to return to the house, only to be pushed to the floor by another man. It was his father, and he was armed with a gun.

“Heil Hitler.” he whispered. The family followed: “Heil Hitler!”

Then the father pulled the trigger, and then it was the end. If only he hadn’t felt the urge to come back home. If only he was ordered to stay in London. But he still arrived. He came back to Cornwall.

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The Others – Part 1

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March 20th, 1998. 3:15pm in Oppicretum, the only city known to be inhabited on planet Griseoculum. There was a Blemiyeh sat to Jake’s left, a Cockatrice to his right, a dwarf sat in his lap, a Brownie on his arm and a gargoyle perched on his head. Outside the bus stop he was sitting in was a sphinx, one of the few creatures in Oppicretum that spoke English and Grisian, babbling away with riddles and puzzles.

“Ooh, what about this one? What can you catch, but never throw? Hmm? A cold! Hahaha! Come on, try this! What binds two people together yet touches only one? A wedding ring! Oh, my Anubis, you’re worse than you look, you little toad!”

Jake was a 28-year-old man transferred to Griseoculum from Planet 56-B. He lived alone, and had no family that he knew of. He was the only human there – that is to say, part-human. Jake was also half-Kappa, because of the depression on the top of his head. A Kappa, as you might know, is a creature that resides in rivers, originating in Japan, Earth, around 3 million light years or so away from Griseoculum. Jake never needed to pour water into the depression, as he was able to perform magical feats without it. He was, however, able to breathe underwater.

Jake wasn’t planning to get on the hoverbus that afternoon. He had no idea why he was sat there. He was one of those people who did things for no reason at all. One minute had passed, and the Blemiyeh, Cockatrice, dwarf, Brownie and gargoyle, with the sphinx following behind the bus, had all boarded, leaving Jack on his own. He sat there for a few moments more, and snapped his fingers, conjuring a Snackable Delicator – a type of chocolate biscuit with food crystals eaten in Oppicretum. As he devoured the Delicator, he looked back towards the plaza behind him. There, he noticed a figure in the distance, a figure with a suitcase, a figure wearing a brown trilby hat, a figure in a tweed suit, a figure that slowly became clearer and clearer until Jake could see that it was not just a figure, but a man, a human.

Jake jumped up, which was also for no particular reason, and threw the Snackable Delicator aside, shortly glimpsing it disappearing with a pop. As he and the man drew closer, Jake shuddered slightly, which was another action with no reason (I told you Jake was one of those people who do irrational things), then stopped beside the clanktern, which was not really making any noise apart from the occasional tick, waiting for the man to arrive at the same point. When he did, the man dropped his suitcase, looking as if he was going to collapse. “Hello,” he said feebly, stretching out his hand so as to shake Jake’s, “My name’s Stephen, I’m 27 and-oh! I forgot! You, um, you do speak English, don’t you? Everything else I’ve come across talks some newfangled language, something like-”

“What, like ‘Bookoo zabar brakay zeebee’? I’m Jack, 28, the only part-human here – well, one of them.”

Stephen seemed to squeal with delight for a moment. “Oh, great! Could you support me for a few days? I don’t have any money, I don’t know the language and I only have two outfits, including my pyjamas!”

“Of course.” Jake picked up his suitcase, doing it reluctantly, which was yet something else without a reason, and asked, “Want a drink?”

Stephen, who was now sweating heavily, nodded, and Jake rubbed his fingers together, making a bottle of a type of fluid appear, handing it to Stephen.

“Asphod-Aqua.” Jake said, “Enriched with aloe vera, Purgatio minerals and Recuntills. Very healthy.”

“Oh, thank you.” Stephen said whilst taking a swig, then suddenly started babbling about anything that came to his mind.

“This planet is amazing! All these different creatures, they’re really cool. The sphinx caught my eye, all those clever riddles, and then you’ve got the hinkypunks, and Arabian agreets too! I must say, those Brownies are fascinating too, they’re purely brilliant…”

And as he rambled on, Jake decided that he would have some fun just this once, and with a short clap, there was a squelch, and Stephen was covered in custard. He spluttered out from behind the thick layer:

“Then, of course, we’ve got you.”

To be continued…

Simply The Best!

HAPPYBIRTHDAY

There are two dates in November that are special to my family: the 10th and the 14th.

Mrs Mom always told us that me, Fatimah and Ali were lucky to have a second mother.

Fatimah and Ali used to ask who that other mother was, but I knew just the person Mrs Mom was talking about. Dr Auntie, Mrs Mom’s elder sister, was someone who had been there for us right from the start. She’s not just your average auntie! Out of everybody on Earth, I haven’t met anybody that could replace her! She’s loving and understanding, and it seems that her heart is made of pure gold.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a day go by without Mrs Mom and Dr Auntie talking to each other, and by that, I don’t mean just once, I mean at least 10 times (or 100, I lose count)! Mrs Mom and Dr Auntie are tightly knit and are very close sisters; I think we only ever need to make a phone call if we’re in urgent need of help! Sometimes, Mrs Mom doesn’t break any good news to us until Dr Auntie is tuned in and listening! And that is how important she is to the family!

Another great trait that makes Dr Auntie ‘Dr Auntie’ is that she’ll never say no, and will do anything to fulfil our needs. I think that if I asked her for £1,000,000, she’d rob a bank just for me (although, of course, she’s an honest and kind person, so I highly doubt that she’ll do anything of the sort. I really need to read those T’s and C’s.)!

I can still remember how she used to always find a way to make me happy when I was little. She knew I was the kind of kid that absolutely LOVED opening presents, so, on top all the other presents she’d got for my birthday, she’d take the wrapping paper and wrap anything she could find – literally. Books, socks, pens, plates. In fact, I still recall one account where I was surprised with a biscuit! Isn’t she sweet?

There’s many other qualities that make her probably the best auntie ever (subject to prejudice and sheer adoration!), so it’s no wonder nobody was like her! She’s my biggest inspiration and is somebody that always tries hard! She won’t give up and will not stop at anything to help her family! She’s definitely the role model to follow! Now, coming back to those two special dates in November, the 14th marks Dr Auntie’s birthday! The whole family looks forward to this day, because it’s that time of the year when we can really thank her for everything she’s done for us!

Dr Auntie has, of course, done many favours for me too, so I have specially dedicated a poem to her, which, I must admit, is small compared to what she has done for me, but is my way of saying thank you. Dr Auntie, this is for you!

Simply The Best!

By The Pawsome Lion

Dedicated to Dr Auntie

There’s millions of people in the world,

But none of them are quite like you,

You’re funny, loving, you’ve got a heart of gold!

And you make us feel like “YAY!” when we’re blue

You’re always there when we need help,

We can just give you a yelp!

A mother you are similar to,

It seems there’s nothing you can’t do!

You’re always by our side,

In the dark, you’re our brightening guide!

And I’d gladly go on and on,

Because when you’re around, no hope is gone!

But it is somebody’s special day,

And it’s a reason for you to shout HOORAY!

Because HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

It’s YOUR special day!

Happy birthday, Dr Auntie! May God make this the best birthday ever!

p/s: Dear Dr Auntie, please pray for my interview, so I can bring back the biggest birthday present of all!

Your favourite nephew (self-claimed! 😁),

Omar Mukhtar – The Pawsome Lion

11 Reasons Why You’re Great!

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Dear Mamajee,

Now here’s some reasons why you’re the best uncle,

There’s quite a lot, 11, to be exact!

Now, for a start, you’re always caring,

Always loving to all of us!

Number two!

You bring happiness with you,

And three, you’re so talented in cooking,

Your food? It’s basically heaven in a spoonful!

Next up’s the way you’re always by our side,

You’re also smiling, cheering us up!

You brightened up every dark corner,

Your laugh is just the thing to make us grin!

Whenever I think of stars, I remember your eyes,

Your hugs are warm,

Your jokes are so funny!

And to end it all here, you’re so loving!

You’re almost like our father!

And yes, I could go on and on!

Like the fact that you’ll never say no,

Or how you’ll fly across the world just for us!

But I just want to say,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

And thanks for everything you’ve done for us and more!

From your nephew,

The Pawsome Lion,

On behalf of Fatimah and Ali

p/s: Dear Mamajee, remember where we took this picture? My birthday gift to you is some very good news…

Under The Lake

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Every day is just about the same for me. Wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, grab an apple and walk straight into that 300-foot deep lake outside.

I work under the surface – well, when I say under, I mean on the other side. There’s plenty of other people that come too, it’s part of life for us. We work for Death, writing reports on certain people that are assigned to us, then calculating their life expectancy. Death has less on his plate because of us, so all he needs to do is fix his schedule.

Everything we do, think and feel is written on our bodies as soon as we pass through the portal. When we resurface, the writing disappears. Death pays us quite a fair salary each week, so life is sweet. There’s just one catch: whenever I start work, my skin is empty.

Death doesn’t favour me as much as the others, even though my wages are the same. There was another one like me, but she died sometime before I started. They call us Outsiders, which is pretty rude, but I don’t care.

I was always empty-skinned until that one day when my life seemed to change forever. I went through the same morning routine: brush teeth, wash face, eat apple, walk into lake. I just didn’t know that under the lake, it would be different.

The first few steps in are through the water barrier, then we should arrive on the other side. This time around, though, the journey seemed longer, and as I delved deeper and deeper, I could make out the distinctive shape of a person in the distance, a man, tall and skinny. He gradually came closer and closer, until I could see his face. It was Death himself, and he had grabbed hold of my hand. Before he pushed me up to the surface, he uttered four words: “You, master of me.”

And suddenly I was floating back up, and I flew out of the lake, landing on my feet. I wasn’t the slightest bit wet, as always. There was a piece of paper in my hand, reading:

Take my place under the lake.

Yours,

D.

And on my hand was a single word, as if written in black ink. ‘No need to ask for wages anymore.’ I thought to myself as I walked back to my cosy little home, smiling at my own hand, reading over and over again ‘Death’.