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…

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’.

You Cannot Tell

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I first saw him in the window of my living room. He was wearing a worn out, black bowler hat and a brown leather coat. His eyes were illuminated on his dark, shadowy face. He was carrying what seemed to be a blade. Other people would have been terrified but I just stood there, sort of transfixed by his appearance. He came the next night, this time looking into the kitchen. A red rose replaced the knife in his hand. I wondered why he was coming to my house. Perhaps he was homeless. It was 7 days later when I started to become worried, though. He had been coming to my house and looking through the windows for a whole week and on Monday he had come with a knife again – it had blood stains on the tip. I thought about calling the police, but would that make me his next victim? I shuddered. I decided to stay put in my bedroom, lock all the doors and shut all the curtains. I soon dozed off.

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The next morning, I was no longer in my bedroom. I was on the floor of my living room. A chalk outline surrounded me. Nobody else was there. I was very confused. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something come out of the wall. It was shadowy, scruffy, a tall figure looming like a tower. I turned around and saw that it was the man that I had seen in the window, pale-faced and untidy. He was holding the same blood-stained knife; it glinted faintly in the dim light. He gave me an icy stare, then leapt at me. His knife jutted out and he cried out in rage. I screamed and rolled over to dodge him, the knife swishing past and narrowly missing my head. He dived through the floor, like it was some kind of eerie wooden swimming pool. I crawled backwards to the sofa, bewildered as to where he was. Suddenly, he sprang out, shouting in anger. His face was nearly scarlet, his scruffy eyebrows highly slanted. I flinched as he flew through the air towards me. His coat was splattered with flecks of blood. I wanted to move but it seemed like I was glued to where I was. He brushed my shoulder, but as soon as he laid his hand on me, a bright white light lit up the room. The man howled as his hand glowed red. It must have burned, seared, split his palm open. Slowly, he started to disappear, like smoke wafting away from its chimney. Oh, how he shrieked! The sound echoed around the room. It rang inside my ears, it slowly mauled my brain. I closed my eyes tightly, nearly gluing them shut. When I reopened them, I was alone in the room. Everything was silent. No blood. No knife. No hat. No man. Just me, in the room of the house. I could hear police sirens wailing outside. They reminded me of banshees, sobbing in mourning. Apparently, my neighbour had heard the screaming and shouting.

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From then on, I was alone in my house. No one came to visit, no one stood outside the windows. But one day, the doorbell rang, and outside was a black bowler hat, a rose, a knife and a note:

‘You cannot tell.’

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🍰 A Piece of Cake: TOP ATHLETE! 🏆

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A boy was in his sports class, beginning to feel very bored. He was the worst out of everyone. Suddenly, his teacher shouted, “Exercise is important!”

The boy was puzzled as to why his teacher had said this. But, in order to try and impress his teacher, he left the school and ran to the McDonald’s in the next city. After travelling 30 kilometres, he reached a McDonald’s branch and asked, “Could I have 100 buckets of fries 🍟, please?”

He was given the fries for free (as he was their 1000th customer) and ran back to his sports class. When he arrived at his school, he presented the fries to his teacher. “Where have you been? You haven’t exercised!” exclaimed his teacher.

“Exercise? I thought you said extra fries!” said the boy to his teacher, who was watching a crowd of people shout “TOP ATHLETE!”

✍🏻 A Short Story & Doodle by The Pawsome Lion 🦁

🍰 A Piece of Cake: Them

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The day my life changed was the 3rd of August 2013. I can recall it vividly. I was hanging out with my three friends at the park. It was the late evening so there was nobody else there. We were just about to leave when we heard a rustle behind us. We all looked around, but there was nothing there. Thinking that it must have been a squirrel, we turned around and carried on walking. Then it happened. It happened so quickly but it felt like an eternity. A strange aircraft appeared in front of us. A door in the side of it opened and a wide beam of light cut through the trees. My friends were suddenly whisked off their feet and sucked into the weird metal contraption. The door shut with a loud clang. The aircraft rose up and sped away into the now purpling sky. I dropped onto my knees, my mouth open. 😱 I found it hard to come back to my senses after experiencing that. I decided not to tell anybody because they wouldn’t believe me anyway. Now, I never leave the house but from my window, I can see more people becoming victims of alien abduction 👽 and I wonder why I wasn’t one of them.

✍🏻 A Short Story & Doodle by The Pawsome Lion 🦁

🍰 A Piece of Cake: A Book-less Tragedy! 😵

It was the Easter holidays and I was in my dad’s car 🚗, holding a huge pile of books 📚 in my hands. We were going to the library to exchange them for some new ones. When we reached the library, we started looking for a place to park the car. To our surprise, we found that there were hardly any cars outside it.

“Strange…” I said. 🤔

“Oh well, now we’ve found a place to park the car!” my dad said cheerfully. 😃 He hated the long searches for a space to park.

My dad turned the ignition off and unlocked the doors. I heaved the books up and stepped out of the car. Struggling to see above the books, I staggered over to the library’s main entrance – and discovered that all the libraries were closed for the Easter holidays! I couldn’t believe it! How was I going to live without a single book to read? I was sure to die a slow painful death 💀 in a BOOK-LESS world…

✍🏻 A Short Story & Doodle by The Pawsome Lion 🦁

A Piece of Cake: The Box in the Window

Every now and then, you will see a post called “A Piece of Cake”. In these particular posts, there will be a short story written by me! 🙂 This story is inspired by the POW (Power of Writing) that I did at school on Friday. Today’s story will be:

“The Box in the Window”

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Elizabeth who lived with her mother. They both lived in a huge house with three floors. There wasn’t anyone else in the house, only Elizabeth and her mother.

One day, both of them went to a jewellery store. Elizabeth saw a strange box in the window display. She stared at it for a little while. Then, her mother went inside and she followed. There were greeted by a cheery shopkeeper.

“Hello!” he cried. “How are you?”

“Fine thank you.” Elizabeth’s mother replied.

She stepped into the shop along with her daughter. A sea of gold filled the room.

“You have a very nice shop.” mumbled Elizabeth.

“Now,” interrupted Elizabeth’s mother. “I’m looking for a pearl necklace.”

“Well, I have just the one for you.” answered the shopkeeper.

Elizabeth slowly shuffled over to the box in the window while her mother was talking to the shopkeeper. What could be in it? she thought. She stroked the latch of the box. Then, slowly and carefully, she opened it up.

“No!” exclaimed the shopkeeper.

But it was too late.

To be continued…

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*Media Source: Google Images*