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If Tiger Could Tell the Time

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posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 05:58 AM
Part One - Jester (Friday 21st December 2012)

Muted jeers could be heard coming from the White Lion, a public house situated in the back streets away from the better side of the city. It was very noisy in there and jam-packed to the rafters with crowds of people. Two large, unsavoury-looking and boisterous men were sitting at the bar. Together they were leading a loud heckling campaign against the young man on stage, while their unfortunate victim was in the middle of performing a card trick.

Known as Jester, his posters on the walls declared that he was a comic-magician and juggler of all sorts, although of what exactly he hadn’t specified. They featured an image of him looking relaxed, casually holding some props and grinning coolly. At this time, though, he couldn’t have been further from it. After a slow start, it was all becoming rather a struggle with all the shouting and as a result he was feeling rather worn and stressed, his face pale and his light brown hair darkened by sweat, sticking his exposed fringe against his forehead.

He was dressed in a pair of patchwork blue and black jeans and a bright red shirt, a festive touch he had thought of at the last moment as he didn’t have any tinsel to hand. The traditional black bow tie and tails were the only things to suggest that he was a magician. He caught sight of the red carnation jabbed into his buttonhole. It was beginning to look a bit peaky as well and in desperate need of water. Jester decided that in future he would be better off using a plastic one instead.

On his head was a rainbow jester hat with bells on the ends, like the spiky ones worn by sports fans and hence his name, Jester. The combination of the dangly hat and jacket tails and bow tie, with his thin arms and legs, made him look like a demented multi-coloured Jiminy-cricket. Either that or he was a strange musical hybrid of the mythical Medusa.

It’s early days, Jester thought to himself optimistically. It’s only my first gig. There’s still lots of time to improve. I can polish it some more and by the second and third, it will be much better.

So far everything had been going wrong and Jester was looking forward to getting out of there. His jokes had been more Christmas-cracker than Comedy Store and the fire juggling that was supposed to follow was a non-starter. Even before Jester could pour out a glass of paraffin, the landlord had swiftly informed him, in no uncertain words, that to perform the fire juggling contravened their health and safety policy. Whoever heard of a pub that had a health and safety policy? That left him with the not-so-well-practiced magical act.

Everyone has it rough when they first start out, Jester reasoned, as he shuffled the cards. You’ve got to tough out the hard times to reach the easy ones. You’ve got to climb the mountain to reach the summit. At that moment the summit seemed unreachable, a far off peak in the distance. Would children’s parties be any easier? He wondered, imagining their bright cheerful faces lit up by his comical juggling instead of these angry ones.

Like the hundreds of other people all over the country, Jester had been made redundant from his job and found himself unable to find another. Getting fed up with applying for jobs he didn’t want to do, Jester took things into his own hands and bravely decided to do something off his own back. Years back, a group of them who could juggle did some street performing whilst in college to earn a bit of extra money. Performing in pubs was new to him. It couldn’t be that hard could it and at least it was warm and dry compared to the streets where you had to duck the showers or shiver in winter.
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 05:58 AM
Now he was starting to regret his haste, feeling that he had most definitely bitten off more than he could chew by starting off his new career at this particular pub, situated in a dodgy part of the city and on the Friday before Christmas. It was gone half-past three and the punters were well ahead with their drinking, already merry with booze and not particularly receptive to the string of end-of-the-world jokes he had prepared, thinking they would be topical with it being 21st December 2012 and all.

“And now I will attempt to predict what this gentleman’s card is,” Jester was saying, but he had lost the majority of the crowd and the two men at the bar were well into their heckling campaign.

I’ve just got to hang it out for another few minutes, Jester thought grimly as he tried to steer the trick to a climax. The sooner it’s finished, the sooner I can leave.

“Err …your card is the…err,” Jester said puffing and huffing from his failing efforts to contain the crowd.

It really was a good trick, but it was completely lost on them. He tried to make the effect more spectacular by making weird gestures over the man’s head, which only made things worse. The man’s nose was flushed red from too much beer and his temperament was none the better for it. A growl could be heard rumbling deep within the man’s belly, like he had just swallowed a ferocious beast that wanted out.

“The two of diamonds!” Jester announced, revealing the wine bottle containing the man’s card and simultaneously flinching against the sound whilst trying to keep things going. Just a little bit longer and I will be sitting on the train and on my way back home, he thought wistfully, yearning that cramped stuffy carriage which suddenly felt so appealing.

“Hey! What do you think you’re doing?” the man suddenly boomed at him in great anger, right next to Jester’s ears. He had not appreciated this tinkling gangly looking man making strange movements around his head.

Jester dropped the cards and bottle at the loud noise. Seeing that the redness of the man’s nose was spreading to the tips of his ears, Jester got ready to run, but before he could take flight, the man had grabbed Jester’s hands and was pulling him off the stage. Jester flew like a multi-coloured cricket swatted in mid-jump and fell face-first hitting the wooden floor hard.

“Ouch!” Jester exclaimed, as his nose throbbed. I’m going to have quite a nice bruise there in the morning, maybe even a black eye. Spilt beer and dog hairs, Yuk!
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 05:59 AM
Then touching the bridge of his nose very gently, he marvelled at how lucky he was that it hadn’t been broken. Several bulky men, probably the friends of the two men at the bar judging by the encouragement they were giving them, decided to join in and they all became a messy rugby tackle, with Jester as the ball. Both of the men at the bar used the opportunity to jeer even louder.

“Help!” Jester called, but his voice was muffled under the mound of bodies and the rousing sound from the punters.

The mob rose and threw him across the room and Jester stumbled into a table and chairs. He sat there dazed for a few seconds, the little bells tinkling like little chirruping birds flying around his head.

Ah great, he thought with dismay as he felt his aches and pains growing. Burst eardrums and I’ll bet there’s going to be lots of bruises. I’m definitely not coming back here again.

The landlord appeared and like a referee brought things to a swift close. A chorus of acidulous booing started to break out, rippling through the pub like an aural Mexican wave.

“That’s enough!” the landlord bellowed at them over the noise. “Time out, or you‘re out - and that goes for the lot of you!” As the booing faded, the landlord herded the mob back to their seats. Then he was leaning over Jester, holding out his coat and a small brown envelope. “I think you should be going,” he said helping Jester up.

Jester didn’t argue with that. He took the envelope saying hastily, “yes, I think I better had.”

He didn’t bother to change, tossing his things randomly back into his suitcase and zipped it up, not wanting to stay any longer than was absolutely necessary. Putting on his coat, he made for the door before anything else bad could happen, pulling the suitcase along behind him. Jester took a final glance towards the bar where the landlord stood. The landlord shrugged and shook his head as Jester closed the door and his first performance ended just shy of four o’clock.

Outside, the rain was falling and it had got dark. Water cascaded from overfull and broken gutters, crashing down into the narrow lane, running in little rivers through the kitchen rubbish spilled from the long line of waste bins. Jester passed the bins, trying not to step on any of it. Following the cobbled lane, he reached the main street.

Jester shivered as he felt the first drips of blood. His nose had started to bleed. He pinched it, rummaging for a tissue and finding one in his coat pocket. Folding several tissues together he made a wad and held it against his nose. Dragging the case awkwardly now with his left hand, he quickly crossed the street, ducking into the shelter to wait for his bus to the railway station.

Someone had pasted A4 sheets of paper advertising the opening of a new nightclub on the glass. Tiled randomly around these, were business cards for female escorts and other less than desirable services. Some were on the wrong side of the glass and the weather had eroded them, leaving a mess of glue and paper. Lines of hieroglyphics were scrawled in black marker pen over the top. Words now unintelligible, had in a former life been swear words written by bored teenagers.
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 05:59 AM
Abandoned takeaway boxes and their contents littered the floor. Rice, noodles and squashed chips floated like drowned worms in a puddle of very unnatural looking red-orange gloop of sweet and sour sauce. Jester stood in the only place that was remotely clear of rubbish, between the bin and a seat where a pear-shaped woman sat chatting loudly on her mobile phone. She had been gossiping about some new man she fancied who worked at the local supermarket. When she saw Jester she stopped mid-sentence to stare at him.

It was then that it dawned on Jester he had not changed from his performing clothes. Even though he had his coat on, he must have looked quite the fool wandering around the streets dressed in the ill-fitting black magician’s tails and red shirt poking out from underneath. The flower was gone, it must have been lost in the rugby scrum at the pub and the hat was now sagging, heavy with water.

He smiled broadly at her through the wad of tissues. Fortunately the bus arrived five minutes later, due at a quarter past it was running late. Unfortunately the bus was full and Jester had to stand half way down the aisle where, for the next thirty minutes, his strange attire drew several curious glances.

The bus was nearing his stop and Jester pressed the bell. When he got off he was glad that the rain had stopped. The depressingly bleak, early evening was lightened by the jolly Christmas displays in the shop windows and masses of coloured lights sparkling in rows across the street. Every shop was thoroughly decorated too and the world here at least, was bright and full of festive cheer. With the season in full swing, the shops were opening later, brimming with colourful stock and enticing price reductions and sale signs, the doorways and checkouts bristled with shoppers.

Jester passed several shops, but did not go in any of them. A clock was chiming. One two, three, four, five. Five O’clock. Time he should be heading for home as his train was due. He did not take much notice of the decorated windows either, as he was not in the mood for shopping, much less squeezing through the crowds and queuing for things he didn’t want, need or could afford. Here his presence no longer drew any attention from the passers-by who were too distracted by their last minute Christmas shopping to worry about the scruffy, oddly dressed man in their wake. So when Jester suddenly vanished into thin air, no one noticed.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 11:52 AM
Well that's certianly a cliff hanger, I sure wish there was a little more to this! Then again, I guess it is up to my imagination to take it to the end yes?!

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 01:00 PM
No, there's loads more - it's actually the first draft of a 120,000 word story. Not sure how much of it I can post here, but I was going to test the water with a few parts.

Anyway here is goes with another one and if anyone reading wants to leave some feedback or send me a U2U please feel free.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 01:02 PM
Part two - Jester

Jester had hardly touched the shiny object when everything around him blinked out, like a light bulb blowing or the closing of one’s eyes, he thought afterwards. When the world appeared again, coming back into existence without even a murmur, he found himself sitting on the cold, hard pavement. Jester remained there for a moment or two, catching his breath and waiting for his mind and the street to settle, while people continued to rush past him avoiding any contact and doing their level best to ignore him.

Dazed and bewildered, Jester wondered what had just happened. His first guess was that someone had bumped into him and pushed him over. It was such a busy street with people coming and going so briskly, he must have fallen over and been knocked out briefly. No-one stopped to help, they all rushed past Jester who watched as they turned their faces away from him, avoiding his eyes.

I must look a mess. They probably think that I’m drunk, Jester thought, feeling sorry for himself. I’m going to need one after the day I’ve had.

He felt a tickle and Jester groaned, his nose had started to bleed again. He was about to search for a tissue when he realised he was holding onto something. After wiping his nose, he examined the object properly. It fit neatly into the palm of his hand. It was a gold and silver pocket watch. It looked brand new as it was very highly polished and there wasn’t a single scratch on it.

“Ah, so you’re the culprit of my little accident then? How can such a pretty little trinket cause so much trouble?” He gazed at its mirror-like surface which caught the colourful reflections from the night, winking them cheekily back at him.

“Protesting your innocence are you?” Jester glanced around him, wondering if perhaps someone had lost it. “Well let’s give you the benefit of the doubt then, as its Christmas.”

Everyone was scurrying about in such a hurry, carrying numerous and bulging shopping bags in each hand. Had one of them dropped it? He couldn’t see anyone who seemed to be looking for it. Maybe the watch had been lying there on the ground going unnoticed for some time.

As he was sitting outside Leopold’s Bookshop, Jester peered through the shop window and immediately he thought he saw such a person inside. Maybe that was him, or her, he couldn’t tell from this distance, but there was definitely someone in there talking to the shopkeeper. Were they enquiring about the watch? He got to his feet, pausing for a moment to lean against a shop window as his legs started to wobble.

It’s worth a try, he thought, squinting past the bright display again. There’s definitely someone in there. Maybe it has only just happened and the person who bumped into me realised they had dropped the watch and went in there to ask.

Tempted to knock on the window to get their attention, he went inside instead, pulling the suitcase along behind him. The shop was a second-hand book store although it appeared to be selling new books too. It was warm in there after the cold, smelling like such shops do, of musty paper and lemon beeswax furniture polish. A maze of bookcases stretched out either side of an aisle that lead to a counter. These had been covered with snow flakes and rows of tinsel. At the counter, behind a small tree decorated with a string of white fairy lights, a tall grey bespectacled man stood, watching Jester expectantly.
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 01:03 PM
He peered at Jester over his rectangular framed glasses, which reflected the tiny lights of the tree. The man coughed lightly. “Can I help you?” He asked.

Jester glanced about him and saw that they were the only two people in the shop. Where had the other person gone? He hadn’t heard the door or passed anyone. Maybe he had imagined it.

“Um. Yes.” he said and cleared his throat. “Has anyone been in here recently asking about a lost pocket watch by any chance?”

The grey-haired man briefly considered Jester’s question. “No, no, not that I know of,” and he shook his head. “I’ve been here all day today and there’s been no mention of watches of any kind.”

“What about yesterday or the day before that?” Jester tried, thinking now that maybe it wasn’t the person whom he had bumped into and that the losing of the watch had happened much earlier.

Shaking his head again, the man replied, “No, I don’t think so. Is there anything else I can help you with? A book maybe?”

Jester shuffled on his feet awkwardly. The shopkeeper clearly wasn’t able to help. “Um, no, I just wanted to ask about the watch.” He shrugged apologetically and backed out of the shop nearly bumping into one of the bookshelves. “Oops, sorry. I’ll be going now, thanks,” and he gave the shopkeeper a small wave.

Once Jester was back outside in the street, he stood there letting the door close behind him unsure of what to do next. Graphton’s the little jewellers might be able to help. Probably the person had bought it from there. Yes, he was going to try the jewellers, they would have a record of their daily sales and would be able to confirm if they had recently sold one.

Listening to the strains of the Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas and thinking the Salvation Army must be somewhere out of sight in the shopping arcade, he headed towards Graphton’s. He hadn’t gone far when he realised with a start that everything looked different. All of the shop windows had changed from earlier that day.

Maybe I came in another way, he thought, trying to explain it away, although knowing very well that deep down he hadn’t, but also knowing that there was no other rational explanation for it. No wonder I got knocked over earlier. He wasn’t known for being overly observant, but surely he knew the city well enough not to get lost in it.

As he passed the next shop and the clock was chiming four o’clock he stopped dead in his tracks. Jester stared with unbelieving eyes, wondering if he was seeing and hearing things. He swore under his breath looking more discreetly this time, as his curious behaviour was beginning to draw unwanted stares. He let the people pass by and then looked at the sign again, just in case he had misread it, but it was quite clear.

It was a countdown to Christmas, announcing that there were 19 more days until Christmas, showing the date as the 6th of December 2011.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 03:13 PM
a reply to: YarlanZey
I'm really enjoying this and find myself intrigued with this story. You have a good knack for leaving the reader wanting more.

I also like the fact that you don't take 9 paragraphs to describe a lamp in the corner as many writers oddly feel the need to do.

More please, you have a fan.

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 03:42 PM
a reply to: onehuman

Thanks onehuman - I'm chuffed to have you as a fan. Just for you I've added some more

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 03:45 PM
Part 3 - Jester (Tuesday 6th December 2011)

What was he going to do? Jester felt too weary to cry and too dazed to do anything else except lie on the bed with his hands on his head and his eyes closed, hiding from the mean-spirited world that on a whim had turned against him. As his thoughts came and went Jester grew more and more agitated. He grabbed the other pillow and held it over his head to create another barrier.

“What am I going to do?” He wondered aloud against the fabric of the pillow, and for what must have been the hundredth time his stomach churned when there was still no answer. “It’s the 6th of December 2011, for goodness sake, not the 21st of December 2012!” Which is when it should have been.

He was certain that when he had got up that morning, which now felt like a very long time ago, it had been the 21st of December 2012.

“Somehow I’ve gone back in time to 2011.” Jester said again, a fact which stubbornly just didn’t want to sink in. “That, or I’m going mad.” He wasn’t sure which of the two was the most preferable. “Or both because I’m already half-way there by talking to myself.”

To begin with, Jester had thought that it might have been concussion, some kind of mistake, an elaborate joke or maybe he really was losing his mind, but then he realised that it was the only explanation, even though it was completely impossible.

“I’ve time-travelled back to 2011.” He repeated again, the words still not sounding right.

Jester removed the pillow and rolled over, opening his eyes. “It’s time travel!” He exclaimed.

It was true. His wallet still held the receipts from his visit to the city from earlier that day, or whenever it was now because it seemed it was no longer the 21st December 2012, physical evidence that had travelled back with him. His train and bus tickets, a receipt for the coffee and toast he had eaten that morning, and the receipt that came with the money the landlord had paid him. All were dated the 21st December 2012, which by all accounts was now over a year in the future.

Not knowing what to do he had checked himself into a hotel, situated not far from the railway station, as he did not want to put too much distance between himself and the city. Once there, he had tried to work out what had happened and how he was going to sort it out.

The television flickered, catching his attention as it lit up the dark room. He had left it on and had forgotten all about it.

“And what do you want? Are you going to mock me again?” he asked, but the television was only the messenger and he shouldn’t be shooting it down.

The closing credits of a late night film were rolling down the screen. There was no music, it was silent as he had muted it earlier too, tired of listening to the reporter on yet another news bulletin recounting a news story that Jester had heard before. After they ended, an advert for a new television series flashed up. It was one that would be starting in the New Year, in 2012, a series he had already watched in its entirety.

He glanced at the bottle on the bedside table. It was very tempting. “And I know what you want too,” he told it, wondering if he was strong enough to resist after his resolve was being so fully tested.

Along with the gum and newspapers he had also bought a bottle of vodka. Initially when he had grabbed it, it was on a whim and he had not actually intended to drink it, as he didn’t usually indulge in the hard stuff and lagers were more his thing. Jester knew too that it was not a good idea to drink alcohol when you had suspected concussion, but it wouldn’t do any harm would it? Jester didn’t really believe he was concussed, not anymore, not now and things were already so monumentally wrong, that surely a little drink couldn’t hurt, could it?

“Okay,” he said, giving in. “It can’t make things any worse than they are.” Waking up with a hangover had never been so appealing.

Rolling off the bed, Jester grabbed the bottle and went over to the dressing table where a small kettle, two cups and a basket were neatly arranged on a tray. The cups had some milk cartons, teabags and sugar and coffee sachets stuffed in them. The little basket held a handful of individually wrapped biscuits. Tipping out the cartons and sachets from one of the cups, he opened the bottle. Discarding the lid on to the tray next to the watch, he poured some of the clear liquid into the cup.
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2014 @ 03:45 PM
“Cheers,” Jester toasted his reflection. “Here’s to what has to be the worst day I have ever had in my whole life,” and he took a swig. “And although that’s only thirty years or so, that’s definitely no exaggeration,” he added very seriously as if the reflection was not likely to believe him and needed to be persuaded of his conviction. He took another swig. “And I think I can be forgiven for having a drink too, so I don’t need to feel guilty about it either.”

The vodka was strong and it made him cough and splutter, but it felt good. He took another and another, wanting the numbness of being drunk to come so he could escape into it. Filling the cup again he swallowed it in three gulps and a pleasant tingling started somewhere inside him, the alcohol igniting a warm glow that soothed. With a clink he refilled the cup for the third and final time. Leaving the bottle on the dressing table he took the cup with him back to the bed where he finished it and collapsed on top of the newspapers which rustled in protest.

“That’s better,” Jester stretched out across the bed. “Mm. Perhaps this has been all a dream and I’m going to wake up soon. Like in that TV series, what was it‘s name? Crossroads.” he muttered half incoherently to himself. “Waking up at home would be good. Even waking up and finding myself lying on the pavement is good as long as it’s December 2012 again.”

“Cheers! To the future,” he said, slurring his words, s'n-word'ing to himself at the silliness of it. “And may it be a good one the second time around.”

He drank some more of the vodka and seeing the telephone by the bed, he picked it up and dialed the number for 1A Cabs which was in his phone book. A woman’s voice greeted him.

“Hello? Yes. I’d like to book a cab please,” he said, trying not to giggle.

“Where are you leaving from?” The woman asked.

“Two-thousand and eleven and I would really, really like to go back to two-thousand and twelve, if you don’t mind.” he said, flopping his head back and laughing hysterically.

There was a pause and when the woman spoke again she did not sound particularly amused. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t quite catch the street name. Would you repeat it for me please?”

“I said, I’m currently in two-thousand and eleven and I would really, really like to go back to two-thousand and twelve.” he said again. “Pretty please?” he added.

There was a click as the woman on the other end hung up. Jester blinked at the phone, shaking it.

“Well, that’s just charming isn’t it?” He said as if expecting it to reply. “I’m sorry, it wasn’t your fault.” he apologised, sorry to have hurt its feelings. “I have just been having a bit of a mad and crazy day, that’s all. Why, if a white rabbit was to turn up right this minute and look at his watch and say I‘m late, I wouldn’t be the least surprised.”

He tapped out another number, only this time all he got was an answer phone. After the long beep he said, “Well that’s just so typical. Where are your mates when you really need them the most, hey? What are you guys doing that’s so important while I’m stuck here in the past?”

He hung up and giggled to himself whilst considering who else he could call. Finishing the drink he put the cup on the bedside table and lay down on the bed curling up. It didn’t take long for him to fall asleep.
edit on 30/11/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 03:26 AM
Part 4 Alicia - (Saturday 24th November 2012)

When Alicia got home, she dropped her bag by the front door, hung the wet coat over the hook and took off her shoes and socks. Alicia didn’t have any slippers, her feet were always warm enough and they tended to overheat in them. She padded through the hallway, touching the radiator as she passed it, trailing her outstretched hand over the undulating, hot surface.

A small grey stripy cat came running out of the lounge to meet her, his tail pointing straight up in the air. He was purring and when he reached her, started rubbing against her bare ankles.

“Hello Kitty,” she said.

He mewed and kept on bumping at her legs with his head, his purr sounding funny when he rubbed against her ankle and it dragged his mouth open slightly.

“Are you hungry?” Alicia asked, bending down to scratch his ear and then lifted him up to give him a kiss on his head.

“Let me see now, you look like you’re all there.” And she inspected him closely. “No, I don’t see anything that’s starting to fade away.”

He mewed again, this time it was louder and more urgent. “Oh you poor starving little thing, can’t you wait a minute longer? What have you been doing all day that’s made you so hungry?”

She kissed his head again and took him into the kitchen where she put him down on the floor, opening the fridge she took out a pouch. “Mm it looks like its tuna today,” she said as she squeezed out some food into his dish and changed his water, with Kitty following her every move and mewling all the time.

“Have you been out? Where did you go? Not pestering Frank again I hope?” Frank was the overweight elderly black and white moggy who belonged to Alicia’s next door neighbour. Kitty liked to sneak past the window whilst Frank was sunbathing and tease him.

She put the bowls down and Kitty couldn’t get to his food fast enough. He wolfed it down, still purring away.

“Now, what shall I have?” Alicia asked him, but he ignored her, he was too busy tucking into his own food to be concerned about her dinner.

Alicia fixed herself a jacket potato letting it bake in the oven while she got her chores done. When the bell chimed she spooned on some prawns and mayonnaise she had mixed earlier and left in the fridge, snipping some herbs and spring onion over it. After dinner she washed up then settled down in front of the television.

Kitty jumped up onto her lap. While she looked through the recordings, he spent a few minutes washing himself, moving around and flexing and bending so he could reach every spot. Kitty yawed widely, briefly baring his sharp little teeth and then settled across her knees with his tail wrapped over the top of his head.

“Well Kitty, what shall we watch?” She asked using the remote to see what was on.

Kitty had closed his eyes. He wasn’t particularly fussed about what she put on, being more than happy just being curled up on her lap and dozing.

Alicia stifled a yawn. “You know, I’m actually feeling quite tired too. I think it might be an early one for me tonight, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to stay awake for a whole film.”

And she was right, as soon as the opening credits started to roll, her eyelids grew heavier and heavier until they fell shut.
edit on 2/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 03:31 AM
Alicia was travelling on a train, flying high above a jungle, but she was not being conveyed in the conventional way by sitting inside a carriage as you would expect. Both their sizes had been distorted, allowing Alicia to sit outside on top of the train, and so it felt more like she was riding upon a great dark-green wingless dragon than a locomotive.

The engine was its head, with the multiple funnels, nostrils snorting out a trail of smoke. The domes and livery had become scaled and the golden trim was curled up into whiskers. Underneath where she was sitting was the driverless cab and directly behind that, the hooded tender, a solid and think body. A line of carriages formed a long, disjointed tail and the brake van a stubbly bit at the end.

Smoke rose from the angry fires raging deep within his belly, a rage that was being fed and directed at the other creature in their wake, a white and black tiger, who was crouched in hiding within the greasy leafed jungle. Train issued a loud, steamy whistle and together they plunged towards the creature.

Tiger was baring his sharp teeth and his golden eyes flashed with wild emotion, a warning to them to keep their distance. Train hissed back in reply, expelling plumes of hot white steam from his valves and pistons, his tail snapping back and forth like an angry snake, twitching and expressive, lacking in patience. As they got closer Tiger struck out at them, a furry striped paw with ivory claws that were long and razor-sharp. Train swerved away, soaring higher up into the sky. Their precarious and rapid ascent to the clouds made Alicia catch her breath and she held on as tightly as she could.

The swiping and slicing of claws followed them. Tiger was leaping from bush to tree and from tree to cloud, growing and stretching and becoming engorged with each jump until he was towering over them. Enormous while Train was now the size of a sparrow in comparison. Tiger swatted clumsily at them as they raced over the tops of the clouds, but because Tiger was so big, his huge paws moved slower through the air, and Train was now the agile one, quickly darting out of the way.

As the claws cut through the air again, Train bolted upwards and the sharp angle made Alicia lose her balance and then her grip was gone and she was falling. She tumbled towards the soft layer of clouds, punching a hole through them and then she saw the ground coming up towards her at great speed. Alicia screamed out in terror. Tiger roared triumphantly, bearing down on her, his glistening teeth making ready for the kill. Train was nowhere to be seen, left behind somewhere above the white, fluffy clouds.

Time slowed briefly as Tiger gleefully jumped down an invisible staircase catching up with Alicia, rapidly shrinking as he descended. Finally, when he had reached his proper size, he leapt at her like an arrow, sharp and true, clamping his teeth around her left calf. She cried silently, as the hot needles pierced her skin and blood began to ooze out and the ground came rushing up towards her.

edit on 2/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 03:31 AM
Part Five - Alicia (Sunday 25th November 2012)

Alicia woke up to daylight peering through the curtains. She was lying on the couch with the red throw wrapped tightly around her, tying up her legs and restricting their movement. Kitty was standing on the opposite arm, his eyes full and intense from concern as they stared down at her.

“Oh dear Kitty, is it morning already?” she said sleepily.

He uttered a soft meow, holding his head to one side.

“I must have fallen asleep. Have I been here all night?”

When Kitty answered and it sounded like he was telling her off; giving her a stern reminder that she had her own bed and he had his and that they should stick to their arrangement.

“I know Kitty, I’m sorry,”

He jumped off the arm of the couch and walked along her legs mewling all the way to her head, at which point he started purring loudly in her ear, the way he did when he was hungry. “Okay, okay very subtle, I think I get the message. Let’s sort out your breakfast then, before I go deaf.”

Kitty was always very hungry in the mornings, which was why he slept on the couch and not on her bed. If he curled up at the end of her bed, pleasant as it was to have his company, he would start pestering her for food at some dreadfully early hour so he stayed out here and she had her room to herself. This arrangement suited them both and they had got used to sleeping separately.

Alicia filled his bowl and changed his water. “You eat that, while I get dressed,” she told him, feeling full of purpose, but he ignored her, tucking greedily into his food. “Today I’m going to go back to the wastelands.”

She noticed the da Vinci book she had borrowed from the library on the table. It was still open from when she had been reading it the previous day. As she closed it, the words of a poem suddenly sprang into her mind.

“Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright in the forests of the night.” Her voice had become slightly shrill and Kitty looked up at her, his own eyes two little shining stars.
edit on 2/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 03:33 AM
It was her second visit to the wastelands that weekend and her fourth or fifth altogether, although she wasn’t really keeping a count. As she had peeled back the fence and stepped into the wastelands, Alicia was pleased to see that there were no visible signs of any disturbances except for her own. That meant the knowledge of its existence continued to belong to her, and she hoped, her alone.

All the floods had gone from the ground and with the cooling air plunging to below freezing at night a heavy frost covered everything that was still in the shade, encasing it in a thin layer of invisible film that sparkled as the light caught it at different angles. Where the direct sunlight hit the frost it had melted, forming dribbles and changing the tones of the palette, so that instead of being muted and bejewelled, they were darker and more vivid. She could literally see the water leaving too, watching as it was being sighed away into the air as little pockets of steam.

As she walked Alicia took pictures and all the time she was seeing more and more. It was beautiful, delightful and amazing. The frosty ground was covered in millions of crystals, spreading all over every surface and up the walls too. Even some of the spider webs in the bushes hadn’t escaped the attention of those frosty fingers, as they too were glittering with tiny shining beads that had been threaded onto the silky lines overnight.

Alicia wished the camera could do it justice, at the same time feeling that there was so much more to capture than just what could be seen through a lens, or with the eyes. She found a place to sit and discarding the camera, pulled out her tiny A6 sketch book and a soft pencil. In no time at all she had filled several pages of rough drawings and quickly written notes too, trying so very hard to get these little gems recorded before they were gone forever. Once her scribbling was done and she felt it was out of her system, Alicia just sat gazing all around letting the peace and quiet fill her.

The air was fresh and the sky clear. It made the colours so much more vibrant, unlike one of her last visits when the fog had rolled in, hovering close to the ground making it white and grey. Drained of its colour the wastelands could have been sketched in pencil, the light hues represented by gentle shading and the darker ones by harsher crosshatching. She remembered how the smoky air hung, weaving everything together until it was one lumpy mass of cotton and even then, when there was nothing to see, there was still something more. Alicia shivered, feeling cold and she stood up putting the sketch book away. There was always something more here, beyond what she could see.

Across the yard she explored the outside of the buildings again. Last time she had visited they had been stubborn and unyielding, and were so again, not yet trusting her enough to reveal their secrets. More spears of buddleia shot up all around here, the arrowheads brown and crumbly with autumn. In the summer these would be shades of violet and cream with bees and butterflies crawling all over them and she looked forward to seeing this. The tiny shrivelled flowers were no less beautiful than their former colourful selves, delicate and forlorn in the final stages of their life cycle. Alicia wondered what a dusting of snow would do to the scene with the new shapes it would create. She shot some more pictures and carefully climbed around the buildings, searching again for a way in.

A wall patchy with moss caught her eye. The rectangles of blue-grey were softened by the passing of time and gouged and warped by another buddleia which was growing out of it. The coils and knots made for a wonderful picture and she took several, some close up and some at a distance, when she discovered another feature in the wall where it had started crumbling. A huge crack had spread its way through the cement where the wall had become unstable, creating zigzags and an impression that part of the wall had moved and unhinged itself before settling itself back down slightly askew. The staircase crack smiled at her sadly and Alicia felt moved by it.

Pareidolia, she thought. Seeing faces where there are none.
edit on 2/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 03:34 AM
Further along, a part of the wall had almost collapsed and a dozen or so bricks were haphazardly left in a pile. Alicia picked up a couple of them, seeing the rough shapes and scratches and tiny cracks and holes that made eyes and noses and mouths. Some had blushes of colour splashed over them, mustard and rouge, faces made up. All of these blemishes had been made in the cooking process and by Mother Nature with a little help from Father Time.

Alicia was examining another brick when a golden glint caught her eye. She frowned towards the light which disappeared when she looked at it directly and she lost sight of it. When she turned away again it reappeared. Alicia smiled, “so this is going to be a game is it?” she asked. “Well two can play at that.”

She made to turn away, but didn’t and quickly looked back, and as she did saw it clearly flashing amongst the bricks.

“Ah ha, found you. I see you peeping over there,” she told it and quickly strode over to the spot before it had a chance to disappear again.

Reaching amongst the bricks and parting a thick fringe of moss she discovered the source of the light. It was a pocket watch.

“There you are, now I’ve got you.” Alicia picked it up and turned it over. “Well just look at you. What were you doing hiding in there? Let’s clean you up shall we.”

She ran her finger gently over it pushing away the clumps of mud and moss that were clinging to it, revealing the blemished, but smooth surface underneath that was broken in places by a series of grooves.

“I’m sure I can find someone later who can do a much better job than I can, but this will have to do for now,” she apologised.

She stared at the watch for some time.

“Wow,” she breathed. “Hey there handsome, you are quite something aren’t you?”

It was scratched and bruised from age, but still in good condition and she could see now that some of the places where she had thought it had sustained damage was in fact where it had been engraved.

“Mr G Rite, presented by the G. W. Railway Company 1976,” she read the beautiful script. “That must be your owner, Mr G Rite.”

“Maybe a wind will help and then we can see if you have anything to say for yourself,” Alicia turned it gently then held the watch up to her ear.

It was silent. “Oh, you’re not working.” And she put the watch in her pocket.

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 06:28 AM
A nice surprise to start the day. You have been busy and I'm glad for it.

I am starting to see the glimmer of both stories beginning to come together. I really hope you get to finish this here as I truly am enjoying it. Lol it would be quite stressful to never know how it all comes together much less the ending!

Just curious, is this your pen name as well? It has a nice ring to it
edit on 12/2/14 by onehuman because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 2 2014 @ 07:13 AM
a reply to: onehuman

Glad to have cheered up your day

I write in my spare time where work/family allows for it and for my own enjoyment. I have nothing published as yet (except here if I can count ATS). I also belong to a writing group with a small membership of three including myself and I am very much the baby being the youngest.

I have lots more of Tiger, but it is not quite finished although I have resolved Jester's story (and yes he has forgiven me). How do you see it coming together-there is a twist but probably not what you think as you haven't had enough to see it yet. I will be exploring some of the other characters in more detail tooin, Where There be Dragons, which is going to be sequel.

I have also written another story, Orb of the Famulus, which is complete at 121,558 words and awaiting a read through. I posted the prologue on here, but that was ages and ages ago and it got no comments. I have dusted it down if you want to read it: Orb of the Famulus. I am also working on a sequel called, The Riddle of the Storm, with a further sequel (titled, but can't say as it contains spoilers) and currently stands at a few hundred words.

I haven't thought about a pen name, but was going to use my real name. Yarlan Zey is a character from the book The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke, one of my all-time favourites, so I cannot take any credit for it.
edit on 2/12/2014 by YarlanZey because: To correct it 'cos I should really be wearing my glasses!

posted on Dec, 4 2014 @ 01:00 AM
a reply to: YarlanZey
Good morning or afternoon, whatever the case may be. I sent you a message. Just thought I'd let you know as it is hard to tell sometimes.

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