Data log attributes: Begun on 5787th day of 23rd Lunar Cycle
Today was the day I started on the gene project. It was not as complicated as I expected. Unit 5481 tells me the beginning is always easy. All you have to do is choose the number of genes you want to work with. It’s maintaining the culture that’s the nightmare.
”You see this meadow, boy? It was a swamp before we moved here. One of the conditions for buying the mansion and the adjoining land was that I paid to have it fixed and also the beach. You enjoy the beach, right boy? The restoration of the pier as well. How do the villagers repay us? They let their dogs shit on the meadow. They shit on the meadow, boy. They want me to pick it up… Look out the window! There’s Andersson with his ugly daughter.” Erik stopped and rolled down the car window. “HEY! Andersson! Pick up after your shitty daughter’s shitty dog! Or I will empty my septic tank all over your ugly house. I’d do you that favour. The shit glaze would probably raise the property value.”
When she left home Briony hadn’t meant to leave so – well, quite so permanently. She went to the shop to buy a cabbage. A medium sized drumhead was what she had in mind, although in fairness there was an option for cauliflower. Dinner was beef, already in the cooker, rich and redolent, herby and delicious. Beef, Beef in beer for Dick and to go with it mashed potatoes and cabbage. His favourite.
When my father came home from work and said we were going to a concert I was thrilled. It was to take place upstate along the Hudson River in a town called Peekskill. To get out of our stuffy Brooklyn apartment at the end of summer was heaven-sent. I didn’t know dark times were swirling around us.
“You’re going to love the concert David. Paul Robeson is going to sing,” said my father.
“Are you sure Frank? You saw what happened the other night,” said my mother.
“It will be fine. More of us will be there and we can’t let them get away with this can we? After all this is America,” he said.
I watch as Daniel sprints away. Head down. Arms pumping. Balance ready to fail him at any given moment. Adrenaline fires my heart as he skids on a pine cone at pitch-forward-and-split-head distance from the wooden bench. I breathe again as he thrusts his hands forward and climbs laughing onto the seat and gives the old man a hug who, in return, as usual, pats my son’s head and continues to stare at the trees lining the park.
“I got a book from the library today it’s about a dog and Charlie wanted it but I got it first and gave it to my teacher and…”
I’d left for the party minimally drunk and maximally desolate. Eva and I had argued earlier. “Laurie,” she’d said truculently, “why don’t you want to go? Who stays in on New Year’s Eve? Jenny and Pete are our oldest friends. But maybe you have your own reasons?”
-Go on! A minute of rest is a minute lost in the Garden of Eden. Legs, listen to me. You will stop cramping and raise my body of burden another step. One more. That’s it.
I know. The air is drier, lesser than I thought. I have not given you sufficient energy to climb another cliff. If I could I would have banished my thought process and saved you some energy. It has done me no good, only fueled me with doubts. I remember praising the hour when the sun set. ‘To be rid of the burning sun,’ I said, ‘is all I can ask for.’ The heat cost us my water and I was already conserving my supplies.
For those of you who are wondering how on earth they missed out on such an exciting bunch of midweek Football ‘Friendly Internationals and are now contemplating whether or not Scotland blew a 4-0 half-time lead against the USA and did Australia send their cricket team instead of the Socceroos, I have news.
Wonder no more. No such fixtures took place this week. The ‘scores’ are – as you have no doubt already guessed – a tally of authors published on Literally Stories since our inception in November 2014 (an asterisk denotes new writers scheduled to appear on LS soon.)
For a review of this week’s stories I’ll hand you over to the readers.
The Number 26 by Diane Dickson. Fran Macilvey said: Very interesting and poignant.. Thank you, Diane!
Three Weeks by Todd Levin. Vic Smith said: Another good story, Todd, thoughtful and observant. I enjoyed reading it.
Honey Pie by Tobias Haglund. June Griffin said: Tobias, this beautiful story is so real, it left me hurting.
Len Cordy and the Lollipop Guild by Shane Bolitho. Des Kelly said: Nicely written. Filled with evocative scents, sights and sounds. You drew your characters well.
Sanctions by Hugh Cron. Vic Smith said: Another slice of truth, Hugh. You speak for those with no voice, without trying to turn them into saints. Des Kelly said: Nicely told. Full of despair.
Story of the Week for week ending Friday 13th March went to a photo finish. In horse racing the idiom would be it was that close you could throw a blanket over the runners and riders. Fine, but if you did that then horse and jockey might not cross the line at all. They might veer off at an acute angle, plough through the running rail and head straight for the nearest…I digress. It was close. But there are no horses or blankets. There is however a winner’s enclosure. Albeit a crowded one.
Three winners. Hugh, if you can just…budge up a bit Todd. That’s fine. Tobias if you could tuck your elbow it then…good, now you can all take a bow.
Don’t forget to vote for your favourite stories to choose the winner for next week:-