I (sometimes) call myself Mr. Pondersome. I'm a rather wordy, weirdy person. I say hullo a lot. I write a lot more. While you're here, why not give some of it a read?

Monday, 18 July 2011

Constance Part 3 - FOG RINGS AND CLARITY

Four years changed and I felt the brunt of none of it. By then my dreams had become plainer as imagination turned its hand to more grown-up matters. Nevertheless my steps towards the twenty year milestone were still as timid as they'd ever been. Not without Constance. She'd been there before, she had to be there again. And then, in the shade of dusk, she stood before me once more. Once more.

            She turned away. She'd changed her hair again: dyed it blonde, let it grow out. I sighed and touched her shoulder. Her cotton jumper felt damp. I moved around her, searching for a smile. Her lips twitched and quivered. Before I could catch her gaze, she hurried forward. I could not fathom where she was going: we were surrounded by a ring of fog.

            I reached for her hand but it flinched away. I tried a smile of my own but it didn't last. There they were: tears on her cheek.

            I shrank down, pleaded with her, followed her aimless walk but she refused to even turn to me. I asked her in so many ways what was wrong and what I had done but she would not talk. Silent as ever, but never before had it stung my ears so. Words streamed out of me to fill the moment, to save it, but...nothing.

            My hands shook as I moved after her, fumbled as they gripped the sides of her face. I stared at her, eyes mad and wide; searched for doubt, for the smallest hesitation. Her eyes did their best to avoid mine but I caught them. Redness swarmed about the silver, dulling their glimmer down to a spark.

            At lasts she pulled apart my hands and threw them back to my sides. I stood there and watched as she opened her hand and struck me. I took it: stumbled backwards, forwards, landed hard on my knees. With crooked fingers I touched my cheek, felt the sting again. I did not rise up; I let her step into the haze, cursing everything I could. I knew to stay back. It was her choice. Constance didn't want to stay.

            And why would she? She had good reason not to. It was my mind: I could have stayed a while longer. I had it in me to prolong the dream. But I didn't. I had abandoned all chances. I had abandoned her.

            As if responding to my wordless apology, she glanced back. It was brief, but she definitely stopped. She let something go: the slightest twitch of an aching smile. I returned the favour as best I could. I hoped that she knew I loved our time here, whatever it may have meant.

            And then she turned back, now standing before a corner. It was the best I could do. I couldn't lose her to the fog, after all. Not completely. She moved around it till she was out of sight. In a moment I was on my feet again, sprinting for the blank wall. I can't lose her, I can't lose her...

            There it was. At the very end, there it was again. Nothing.

            I slumped back down to my knees, yielding to the damn thing. Tears fell and disappeared, dissolving as quickly as the corner, the surrounding fog. It was coming and I did not fight it. I never once looked down.


            I felt the tears, the real ones, and they brought me out. I sat up, let them roll away, let others follow. When the morning at last arrived I felt no better. I couldn't understand why I wept for a figment, a fading woman; but I did and that made it all the more worse. The warmth had well and truly left now; I was alone with a cold day climbing up my shoulders. But I carried on. I dressed, stepped out and carried on.

            After all, a dream is a dream, isn't it? What hurts you by night, can't possibly hurt you by morning. Day is something else, too big to be held back by such odd little concepts. I went a whole lifetime thinking this way.

            Now I know how foolish such a thought is. Dreams are worse than reality; they can linger just as long. Eyes open or shut, they never really leave you. And she most certainly does not. Constance was and, in many ways, still is. Though I know I'll probably never see her again, she is welcome to my nights like the ghost of glory past. Like an angel never truly met.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


The slightest rustle of nylon unfolding: a very humble sound to drift into. Not to mention rather promising to a lustful teenage boy. I yielded to a glance at her thigh.

            Oh yes, she had certainly changed with the times; renewed herself, if you will. She could well have been anyone else if it wasn't for her angular chin, her pert little nose. The long brown ringlets had me fooled at first but I recognised the sparkle in those rolling eyes. We were old friends in new roles. For one afternoon in my sixteenth year, the woman of my dreams had become my lover. If only I could remember what had led to this very contented moment.

            My mind was completely blank. All I knew was that I was now truly a man and that a true man would not let a woman like her leave again. She told me she had to: I was only her four o'clock, after all. Naively I thought I was more. I watched dumbly as she draped her red leather coat across her shoulders; I merely nodded as she fastened the straps on her jewelled shoes. I kept commanding myself to stand up, to reach out for her hand but every moment after I did nothing. At last she collected her money and made for the door. At last I found my voice.

            "Please. I just can't let you go like this. I know it's inappropriate but I must be sure that I'll see you again." That was the gist: I can't quite recall the exact state of those faltering words.

            And she stood there. Her lips twitched as before; she had to bite down on the lower half. She reached into a hidden pocket and withdrew a card. She closed it in my quivering palm. It was something; the smallest token of a patient woman. I unfurled my fingers and glimpsed the top: in bold letters, 'CONSTANCE'.  I thought it an ill-fitting name for such a graceful creature. I held onto it anyway; tucked it away into the back pocket of my jeans and, indeed, my memory. Her smile regained its confidence as she turned back towards the door. She gripped the handle and was gone. I folded my arms and watched without even a moment's surprise. I followed shortly after but nowhere near as softly. Things were changing. A different place was waiting but I just couldn't bring myself to meet it yet. Just a bit longer. Just a few more...

            Within the seconds I was taken, I clung onto that name; repeated it from thought to tongue to teeth and back again. Constance, Constance, Constance, Cons-

            I grasped for my pockets. The insides were warm against my fingertips as I scratched and scrabbled around. I felt no sharp edges, no cool laminate. Just the same old fabric. I withdrew my hand as I opened my eyes. I should have read the number, the contact details. I should have memorised them. But they were only smudges now, everything except that name.

            And then I remembered where I was, realised that I'd never actually been in that room; understood that it was far away if it even existed at all. CONSTANCE. There was no Constance. She wasn't here. Reality had swallowed me whole again.

            But at least I had a name. The mystery wasn't nearly so thick or dark. Yes. Constance. Familiarity had more than a face now.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

"Constance" Part 1 - BISCUITS AND ELEGANCE

Dreams. I've never paid much heed to them. The kind I usually have are loud and screechy things, splashed with colours so bright they're obnoxious. And don't get me started on the experiences of my earlier, more tender years.

            Sleep was more of a place back then; a gaping cave mouth with a heaving breeze leading in. The things I found there weren't so much nightmares but wild imaginings dressed in formal clothing. Nothing is so paralysing than the sight of the usual going terribly wrong. On waking though, there was always a sense of relief as my eyes adjusted to not just the immediate surroundings but to the comforting knowledge that what was now happening was actually happening. Here the horrors were much larger but could always be hidden from, from behind a warm duvet and five extra minutes lie-in.

            But then, as I was drawn in one gentle night, I suddenly found myself...elsewhere. 'Elsewhere' looked nothing like the other dreams. It was the finest living room I'd ever seen. So many facets and ornaments of 1920s elegance. How I admired that period; its art, its colour. Such a fresh-faced era. But the room was a blurry nothing, a background fading in and out of focus. My focus was busily set on the sight sitting so primly before me.

            She was a raven-haired flapper, or at least dressed in that fashion. Her dress was sometimes green but often blue, but always curling with the ebb and flow of her slightest movements. This woman had silver eyes, a feature which more soothed than shocked me at the time. Her smile was a fragile line that dithered and parted with occasional flashes of white. Then again, my attention was far more concerned with other things: namely the light brown circles that were crumbling apart in her hands. Hobnobs. This was the object of my youthful passion. Suffice to say I was a boy who loved his snacking. And the woman must have known this too, or else why would she have been gleefully feeding them to me? I tried my best to keep from snapping at her long delicate fingers as they graced my mouth. After all, she was a thing of beauty, even to a ravenous twelve-year-old boy.

            At the close of that moment, I felt that warmth that they always talk about lightly writhing within. And as the blurry gates closed across the dying image, and as I returned to brief, weary squints at reality; I could still feel it. But it wasn't alone now; it had acquired a strange companion. Emptiness. I had lost my pretty thing down a well and knew that it would be a long time coming back.

            But it did. She did.

Friday, 15 July 2011

"Constance" Introduction (a.k.a. Getting the Compulsory Commentary Out of My System)

Hullo all!

Considering how well "Among the Magpies" did not too long ago, I thought that I'd write and release another serial short story for you. Well, to be perfectly honest, "Constance" is more of a short story with events that cut up nice and neatly into serial portions. It's slightly longer than "Among the Magpies" and (I think you'll be happy to hear) a lot less creepy. I still seem to lean towards the pathetic social pariah ([insert snarky remark about writer here]) bur I like to think that this guy is a lot sweeter. He's also a little bit upper-class camp, but I'm sure you'll find that out for yourself.
Anyway, that's all I'll say for the time being. After all, that's half the fun of a serial story, isn't it? The not-quite-knowing-what'll-happen-next feeling. I seem to get that sensation a lot when writing these commentary things...
However, there is one more thing. A (very) little poem expressing a rather uncharacteristically pessimistic perspective on individualism and rebellion against the norm. It's called "Upwind". Please enjoy and try not to get too bummed out by it (That's for all you fighters out there! I believe in you!). Meanwhile, if you are the sort of person who agrees with the message then try not to enjoy it too much (Damn you, you perpetual party-poopers! BOOOOOO!).


Standing tall
before the gales.
Freshest trick -
it always fails.

Oh and ah yes, keep an eye out for the three daily instalments of "Constance" and enjoy them too. If you can.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. Pondersome