Tales From The Town #14: The Little Drummer Girl

The little drummer girl walked barefoot through the woods, her hair fluttering in the breeze like the flag of a forgotten kingdom. She had walked these lands since the civil war. She would walk them till the next. A trail of blood, a trail of bones. This country of ours is an endless grave. Only the beat of her drum keeps the dead asleep.

“She’s definitely a ghost,” Ethel said, as she peered out from behind the tree to a get a better look.

“She’s not a ghost,” said Claire. “She’s a musician.”

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Notes:

1. Written on May 6th, 2021
2. The title is from a John le Carre novel
3. But mostly I was thinking of this Tom Vek video
4. Which I love more than I should

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Tales From The Town #5: There Is No Such Thing As Ghosts

They were hiding in the long grass in the hollow, watching the world go by. They could see out but no one could see in. Not even the dogs.

“Hana told Mum that Oya went to the ruins and Anna was there reading a book and there was a ghost there watching her and Anna wasn’t even scared at all,” Ethel said.

“There is no such thing as ghosts,” Claire said.

“There is,” Ethel insisted.

“There isn’t,” Claire said.

“What about Lucas?” Ethel said.

“He’s not a ghost,” Claire said. “He’s a reflection.”

“From the past!”

“He’s still not a ghost.”

“What about Lucy?” Tina asked.

“She’s not a ghost either,” Claire said. “She’s a memory.”

“But that’s what a ghost is!” Tina said. “A memory of yourself that never fades away.”

“But Lucy’s not her memory. She’s ours,” Claire said. “We’re not allowed to forget her.”

“She still sounds like a ghost to me,” Tina said.

“She’s not a ghost at all!”

“What about David?” Daniel asked, pointing to lonely figure moving glacially along the horizon line. His beard followed along behind him like a trail of smoke.

“He’s not a ghost. He’s a ghoul.”

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Notes:

1. Written between the 1st and 3rd of May, 2021

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Tale #140: All I Know Is That I Am Not You

I am an absence of self, a shadow of nothing. I do not know what I am. All I know is that I am not you.

I turn the key and open the door, each day, to somewhere new. A house, a home, a bedroom. Alone. And for a while, in the silence that’s been left for me to lose myself in, I dream of a life.

Yours, perhaps, pieced together from the objects and fragments with which you’ve built your home. Or mine, sometimes, constructed out of nothing but fragments of my own imagination.

When I hear the click of your key in your lock, I have to be quick. And as I leave I take something small. I keep it with me to remember you by in those long lonely hours of the night. For somewhere in the dark and the shadows behind the doors of your rooms, just like you, I dream. I dream.

And all night I wonder, if we compared my notes to yours, how close would I be to knowing you. How much of yourself would you recognise in me?

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Notes:

1. Written in February 2020.

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If you like the things you've read here please consider subscribing to my patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.