In the meantime I have been doing a little more sketching, this time of people I've caught accidentally in photographs of other things:
So that's the pictures, now the words (yes I'm afraid this is a longer blog this time). I've decided to post a couple of 500 word stories that I wrote a while ago. Hope you enjoy them. Comments welcome.
It ended in the same way as it began, on a cloudy, moonless night. Rain plopped gently into the sand, and drummed loudly on the planks of the wooden hut above them. For two weeks they had met here, every night, but tonight it was time to say goodbye.
The rain had led them here on that first night, independently of one another. First the boy, and then her. She had given him a wary look at first, as if trying to judge if he could be trusted, but then a glance around had shown that there was no other shelter on this part of the beach.
She stepped in and shook herself dry, sitting down on the step next to him. And that’s how they met, sitting there in silence and staring out at the dark water. When the rain had stopped she stepped out cautiously, and giving him a quick backward glance, she ran off. The boy didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye.
The next night was clear as the boy strolled down the beach. The stars shone and the moon was reflected in the sea. When he came to the hut he had been surprised to see her sitting there, as if waiting for him.
He stepped up slowly, not sure whether his company was welcome or not, but she appeared to give him a nod of acceptance. He sat down and introduced himself, telling her that his name was Billy Connor and that he came from London. She stared up at him for a moment with her blue eyes, before turning to look at the waves.
As they met night after night, the boy told her more and more about himself. His family were here on holiday for two weeks. But, all that his parents and older sister wanted to do was lie on the beach all day getting sun tans. He would rather be in the museum, learning about the history and culture of the island. The rest of his family weren’t interested in museums.
He told her that History and Geography were his favourite subjects at school, and that when he grew up he wanted to be an archaeologist, or a historical researcher, or maybe even a curator in a museum. He hadn’t decided yet, but still had plenty of time to work it out.
And so it had come to the final night. He was flying back home tomorrow and he would miss her. He still knew nothing about her, not her name or where she came from, but he would still miss these moments of stillness and of being able to talk freely.
He told her that he would take her with him were it not for his mother’s allergies, and the fact that she might belong to someone. He hoped that she would understand that he wouldn’t be coming there again. But she simply purred gently as they stared out at the falling rain.
No one would be expecting it from him, of all people. He was the quiet, nerdy kid with the strange name, who always sat in the corner of class, the timid field-mouse of a student who wasn’t even worth teasing, since nobody ever noticed him.
He would never have even come up with the idea if he hadn’t seen the article about the celebrations in the local paper. It was the perfect opportunity, the whole town would be there, and they would be in awe of him.
He made a trip to library; picking up books on anatomy, back issues of horror comics and of course Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The assistant had given him an odd look, but Barnabas had just smiled nonchalantly back.
It had been difficult keeping his father out of the garden shed until he spun him a story about how he was building him something for Father’s Day. His dad winked at him then, tapping his nose twice and saying how proud he was that he had finally taken up woodwork. Barnabas thought that he would be disappointed that he had been lied to, but would understand when he finally saw what his son had created.
And on hindsight maybe it hadn’t been such a great idea to put the sign on the door saying: “Top Secret Project – No Unauthorised Personnel”.
It had only made his younger brother even more curious as to what he was doing. The game had almost been up one day when he came home to find that little Joseph had already broken through two of the three padlocks with a pair of bolt cutters. He had ended up having to bribe him with free sweets and football stickers for a whole month.
His mother had been the most persistent at wanting to know what he was up to. First of all she had been worried that he had joined a cigarette smoking gang, which then led to her thinking that it was a drug taking gang after he borrowed a couple of tea spoons.
She had been satisfied when he told her that it was for a science project. But that only lasted a day, by which time she had come up with the notion that science was a codeword for biology, which was a euphemism for girls. The only way he could stop her going in there was to agree to listen when she spoke for an hour about the dangers of unprotected sex.
But it was worth it, because now the monster was ready. Tomorrow the whole town would see what he had created, when it was unveiled at the Halloween celebration Monster Painting competition.