Okay – if you didn’t know already, J. Arthur ranked above all of the others in the X-Factor final on Sunday night. I’m not stooping to the madness and furore that surrounded this farcical talentless show so if you want to read about Sir Simon and his cronies, bugger off elsewhere.
FeckTV.com will trudge the depths, it’s true. But there’s a limit we’ll stoop to. Reporting on the X-Why-Zzzz Factor falls beyond the tolerance band for good taste.
Of course, the real madness that stems from shows like that lies within the UK public itself. How many millions of squids do we – and by ‘we’, I mean ‘you’ – spend on phone calls voting for a cast of wannabes who’ll inevitably become a lot wealthier than thou? And do we really want to line Simon Cowell’s pockets any more? You need flogging.
As UK Entertainment news has been agog with J. Arthur (in my day, that was a colloquialism for a wafty crank) these last few days, I’ve sought solace in making my own entertainment. And, no, not with a J. Arthur or two.
My good Canadian friend Nina Pelletier regularly hosts a prompt-and-share contest, in dire need of enthusiastic entrants following last month’s NaNoWriMo. Basically, all of the writers are completely shagged out after the madness of trying to write 50,000 words in a month towards a novel. As I may have mentioned, I failed miserably yet again making my record in the competition a 100% two out of two. Failures.
Anyhoo, in response to this week’s prompt-and-share, herewith my effort. Please feel free to read, comment, share or, if you think it’s truly shite, print it off and wipe your arse on it. Never let it be said that my prose is not absorbing…
A Moment’s Madness – flash fiction by Zebedeerox
Prompt: In nineteen minutes, you can mow the lawn, colour your hair, watch a third of a hockey game.
Any of the above, even hockey, would be preferable to…to…this.
It’s December, dark early. Short days, long nights. No one believes in vampires any longer, surely?
Well, not pig-ugly ones that thrive on hatred, feast on fear and are unyielding to the foggy frost descending, devouring the deepest, desperate hours of December night-time.
Yet the legends of the Northeast Scottish coast weigh heavily upon my mind. In such solitary confinement as I find myself, almost anything seems plausible.
These last nights, I have pondered upon the moon. What secrets she could tell, the horrors and victories she has seen.
Tonight, she was gone. All alone was I, staring through the flaking windowpane. Wilson would have to sort that out in spring.
The creeping condensation, furtive with its newfound fingers of crackling ice, spread from the corners, hypnotising me, whisking me off to a world of Snow Queens, Little Matchstick Girls and impish frost-demons with hedgehog-shaped heads, only conicals of ice replacing the spines.
Subconsciously, I acknowledged the fog billowing and blossoming outside. Disturbing visages in the veils of vapour borne on the North Sea breeze dissipated with every waft of Siberian wind.
The orange arc-sodium glow filtered through from the regimented lamplights that stood on parade along the coastal road. But only every now and then. Their light cast an eerie sheen on broken beams, glistening off the frosty particles that populated the mercurial mist.
We all have a sixth sense, I think. Like when you know someone is watching you. Impossible to know, yet still you do. I felt eyes on me and, so certain was I of a second presence, I froze. Petrification wrapped my body in rigor mortis.
I desperately wanted to turn, yet could no more move than if I was on fire and only inches from the sea yet buried to the shoulders in the sand.
Goosebumps popped up to prominence and heckles stood proud upon the nape of my neck, raised down the curvature of my spine like a wave rushing to the shoreline.
I sought the sanctuary of my bed. No, I know not why so, but to be laid upon my mattress seemed the safest place to be.
The face housing those culpable eyes slipped slowly into view. I prayed that this was slippage. That which I saw floating into peripheral vision was that you oft imagine glimpsed but can ne’er turn quick enough to truly perceive before it disappears back into its parallel world.
The vision began to fill my eye line and for a moment, I managed to avert mine own eyes. Yet still my brain would not acknowledge that which my eyes had seen.
A straggled mop of hair, not slick with Brylcreem as Hollywood would have you believe, glided on the murky air to face me. The fog formed whirlpools at its passing, or so it seemed.
As the torso straightened out before me, parallel to the ground, head first, feet furthermost, that mop raised to look me deep into the soul.
Madness. Pure, unadulterated psychosis, forging a visage of pure evil, stared back at me.
“What do you want of me?” I asked, through a mouth that remained dumbfounded. The face in the fog, framed by the encroaching circle of frost, stared back in silence.
The wide, red-rimmed eyes were staring at me through this first floor window as though in fascination. As I moved my head (fear and half-madness still restricting robust movement), the pasty-faced creature enveloped in buffeting clouds of freezing fog mimicked my every move.
Deep fear took hold once more; the creature braced itself, ready to strike. What, through the window pane? Is it not legend that night stalkers need invitations before plundering your mind, body and soul in your own home?
Instinct took control; like a cornered leopard I scowled onto my haunches, ready to meet my would-be attacker with force. The figure engaged the same position, ready to strike.
Like the soldiers of the trenches awaiting the order to finally go “Over the top!”, this was my Waterloo. The standoff, the fear, the shifting of position, the weighing up of character all dispensed with.
The pale, mop-haired creature bolted at the window; before I knew it I was heading towards it with equal velocity.
The madness of the other’s expression grew larger than life itself as we collided with the glass. I knew the face that wore hysteria in a mask of panic. It recognised me, too
I was the creature, the creature me and as the madness seeps from me in rivers of red across the concrete I think, “Wilson will no longer have to worry about painting that window pane in spring…”
Have Your Say: Are there any budding writers out there who could do better?
We’re looking for news writers in the fecktv.com style (as per the intro, not the ‘A Moment’s Madness’ short story) for England, Scotland & Wales. For full details, visit FeckTV.com.