Sorry that I've been away for a while; work piles are rising not-so-steadily and I've often been distracted by other means (Damn Facebook...). However, I do have a certain something that I'd like to display to you. Two certain somethings, in fact. A poem entitled "That Spark, that Single Spark" and a madcap little short story I'm gradually knocking together called "Frank the Tranq".
"That Spark, that Single Spark" is essentially a rhyming, semi-rhythmic little poem, but it has some spurts of prose within it too. I wrote it for a competition linked to my Creative Writing course, with particular emphasis on the 'Creative'. The project behind it is called Project Spark (I don't really know enough of the details to advertise them officially, but feel free to look them up if you like - they're based in Sheffield Hallam) and it is looking for a short piece of fiction (poetry, prose, virtually anything) to help promote the importance of creativity. This is what I came up with, on roughly the same day I first heard about it. Having read it through again though, I feel that the poem may have been a little hasty and rather cliche in parts, and so probably won't get picked up. Either way I thought that it might be good to show it somewhere. It still has a lot going for it. I'll let you know if I hear anything more about it.
Meanwhile, "Frank the Tranq" is purely my own creation. I'm certainly not going to hand it over to anyone else; partly out of potential embarassment and partly out of paternal pride. If you'll forgive and surpass the obvious cheesy nature of the title ('Rhyming AND incorrect abbreviation? Really?!'), you'll find quite an odd little tale told from the perspective of a bounty hunter with a thing for tranquilisers and sedatives, as well as a dualistic personality. The thing I love about Frank is that he doesn't know what he is: sometimes he thinks he's a cold psychiatrist with a biochemical research specialty, sometimes he thinks he's the half-crazed patient that escaped. He is both and neither. Frank also has half a bleached white van dyke beard but that won't come across in the extract I'm about to give you. Nevertheless I hope you like him and/or are disturbed by the very thought of him. One or the other, I think I've done my job as a writer.
Now, let us commence...(A tad overdramatic? I agree.)
THAT SPARK, THAT SINGLE SPARK
Without that spark;
ink can't sing,
art can't win,
words are dust,
love is lust,
light is cold,
fresh is old,
hands are small,
white is all.
Without that spark,
without that single spark of creation, renewal, life,
there is no sign of us.
FRANK THE TRANQ
I could run for days. I’d like to run for days. But I won’t.
If I keep running, I’ll miss him. He’s pretty damn fast for a fat guy. Whenever I try lining up a shot all I see is his big wobbling butt. Wobble. Wibble. Wobble.
I’m gonna shoot him. I’m totally gonna shoot him! There’s a dart in here with his name on it. Here. You see it? ‘Wobble-butt’. That’s cos I’ll probably shoot him in the ass.
But I’ll have to be careful about it. If I exceed the proper dosage I could easily take him to a point beyond resuscitation. 25ccs. That should be sufficient. Emergency precautions will not be necessary. Especially the kiss of life. Ain’t no way I’m gonna touch those fat slimy lips.
There’s a certain grace to it, this chase. I am the mighty lion, my target the gazelle. No, wait; he’s too fat. The dude’s a water-buffalo. The buffalo is floundering down the path, stumbling over his oversized hooves. The lion has taken to higher ground. Watch the lion jump. See the lion snarl. Watch the lion line up his firearm with the water-buffalo’s toupee.
Not yet. He’s a tricky bastard, this guy. He keeps finding nooks and crannies to slip down. But I will find him. This is my maze. I am testing him, and he is so predictable. He runs left then right, right then left, and so on and so forth. A distinctive pattern. So glaringly obvious. He will tire soon. A man of his weight and girth will need to stop and rest. That’s when I’ll get him. Get him with the barbiturate. Get him with the night-night juice.
Keep running, Wobble-butt. Keep galloping, Buffalo-boy. It’ll be good exercise.
If he keeps turning back to look up at me he’ll eventually hurt himself. He’ll trip up on something, maybe crack his head open. I’d tell him to focus on what’s ahead if I was sure that he could even hear me. Traffic’s pretty loud tonight. Hopefully he’ll get tired soon then - POW-POW! Buffalo down! Then, I guess I’ll call them in. I won’t be able to carry him all the way back to the facility. I will suggest that they bring a stretcher and a spacious van of some sort. Then a brief conversation with the client and - KA-CHING! $68,000 for one night’s work. Not bad. Pretty good.
He’s slowing down. He’s reaching for the trash can. Oh, oh! I think Wobble-butt’s gonna puke! Whoa! And he has! Yeah, he ain’t looking too hot. I should get down there before he faints.
There ya go, big guy! Now, hold still. This will only hurt for a second. Trust me; I’m a trained professional...
One for the money. Two for the show. I should really just have given him one, but what the hell? He’s still breathing. If he stops, I will just have to resuscitate him. But I’m wiping his kisser first; I know where it’s been.
How far is HQ again? Ah, to hell with it. I ain’t walking back. Phone on and call.
Ring, ring. Ring, ring...
“Oh, hey! Yeah, I got the buffalo, but not in the ass.”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, private joke. The target has been neutralised in the northwest alley along 21st Street. He’ll be out for a good few hours yet.”
“Good. I’ll send out a team. Stay where you are.”
Hey! He cut me off without saying goodbye! Bastard! Why do they always do that? It’s not cool, it’s just bad manners! And he probably won’t say thank you either. He probably will not even call me back. Ungrateful bastard. You put in hours of painstaking work and skill and they just leave you standing there without so much as a ‘We’re very grateful for all that you did.’ I don’t know, maybe I should just take my malpractice elsewhere.
What do you think, fatty? Nah, sleeping like a baby. An iddy biddy buffalo baby. I’m so glad he didn’t start bleeding out; you can never quite tell what people are allergic to. They never tell you until it’s too late.
What time did he say they’ll get here again? I didn’t realise before, but this guy stinks like a bitch. And now it’s raining. Swell. Swelly swell. Swell-a-rooni.
Ah man, sometimes I just hate working nights.
And that'll do. I hope "That Spark, that Single Spark" wasn't too cheesy. Though some of the images make me grimace a little bit, I still can't help but feel enamoured with the well-meaning and starry-eyed nature behind them. I hope that you liked meeting Frank too. If things work out the way I plan them, you may be hearing from him again quite soon...
Thanks for reading,
:) Owen :)
P.S. Psst, check this out if you haven't done already - http://steelmagazine.co.uk/. It's got some of my other work, both fiction and non-fiction. Oh yeah, and there are other great and interesting articles as well, if that's your thing...XD.