Borg

I am Borg. I live in a cupboard in a big house. And when I smell a child, I come out, unseen by adults but the children sense me…and smell me…and hear me, dragging my folds of drooping flesh along the floor to get them.

Many people come to the big house and they bring many children. Their families won’t miss one, a juicy tiddler. I have to live after all and I love to suck on the marrow inside a crisp, long leg.

Listen…there’s one now, coming into the room, all alone. And through the keyhole, I spy her, drawing nearer. What is she searching for…most likely her smart phone? ‘I’m bored!’, she says. Not for much longer, little girl. I have your phone. Just a few more steps…come on, yes, open the cupboard…open the door…and let me out…Aghh!

Ella turns on her heels and flies screaming out of the room, back along the corridor and down the stairs. Her three friends rush to her, while I trail after. I am slow, I know, but every bit of this big old house is familiar to me and they can hide but I will find them. And when I do, they will become Borg too. That’s just how it is. It is The Way.

Ella points back to the upstairs room, unable to find her words. What can she tell them? And the other children follow her finger. From the top of the banister, my dark red eyes glow fiercely at them. They scramble in wails and leg it. Slowly, savouring the meal which will soon be mine, I follow, leaving behind a trail of orange fleshy scales, rubbing into the carpet. Something else the children will answer for…

As I descend the stairs, all has gone quiet. Adults pass freely by me, through me, without notice. They’re not in the game, not any more. They escaped. Only the children…only the blood and meat of the children keep me going. I raise my snout in the air. They think they are clever, that they can outrun me. What fools they are! No-one escapes Borg. No-one. Ever!

I enter the library. At the back, there is a tall wardrobe. All is still but I know they’re here, all four of them, with silent, eyes popping out at each other in the dark.. I hear their hearts bopping, their breath racing. Soon, I will eat one of them.

I creep to the door of the cupboard and fling it open, belching my hot, rotten breath to numb them. Ella emerges instantly, brushing my side before I can grab her.  She runs off, shrieking. A grown up, distracted by the noise, comes into the room. I hate these adults. I wish I could eat them too.

While I’m looking back, two of ybe others dash past me. They scream too. You are safe…for now…but one day, I will tear you apart and eat your heart.

But there is one more, a boy. A boy is in here in the dark inside the wardrobe, stacked with chairs. For a moment, I hesitate. Maybe, I’m mistaken. Could the boy have hidden somewhere else?  Just then, he squeezes out and I am caught unawares. He is too quick for me and rushes past.

Now they are outside on the grass where there is a kind of maze, etched onto the lawn. It only has one way in. One way in…One way out! Go in, go in, my lovely bones. Go in…and I will follow and make you all Borg, like me.

And they entered the labyrinth.

I reach the entrance.  There is a traffic light on red. I wait. It stays on red for a very long time. Further along the pathway, I hear the children, talking and shouting, then, suddenly, the light changes to green and all goes quiet, except for the chill wind at my back and the cry of a solitary crow. I rumble in.

Some way in, there is a notice, ‘Think’. A lot of good that does and I press on. I am hungry. It is weeks since I have fed and these four will not escape me again. I am almost at the centre. There is another notice, ‘Feel’. Who puts this nonsense here?

I reach the opening to the centre of the labyrinth. And there’s the girl, Ella, with her friends, sitting close together. They are squealing under a notice, which says ‘Hold’. I spit on the floor to slaver my throat and wet my teeth. But then the light changes at the entrance to amber and red and I must wait. I feel I can almost reach them. No hurry….

The children are holding something. It looks like an…anchor? Where have they got an anchor from? What..? And they rise into the air beneath the anchor. The fresh wind blows past, helping the four holding onto its long chain to push off. They sway and, for one moment, Ella’s foot dangles in front of me. I open my slimey jaws to catch her but they pull her back before I can strike and they’re gone. Red-Amber-Green – I stare into the empty chamber.

There is nothing for it but to return to my cupboard and lick my toes. I’ll not forget them, Ella and her three silent companions. Borgs live in cupboards for a very long time. I have never seen a dead one, have you…though there may be one inside your cupboard? My advice…don’t prod.

In time, I turn into my human form and work as the house manager. Some years pass before Ella and her three friends return to the house. And I remember them. I watch them. I greet them. I know them. I shake hands with each of them and lick my lips. And they know me. ‘Welcome back’, Ella and friends. You are all Borg now and our eyes darken amber red in the gloaming!

 

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The Seabird and the Anchor Story 2

20160122_164722.jpgSo, a friend of mine is part of the Distington Knitters and Crocheters and they posted pictures of their lovely wares on facebook. I innocently asked could they make ‘sea birds and anchors’. ‘You’re ‘avin’ a larff’, my friend told me. They speak plainly up north. But then, she wrote, ‘I’ll ask but you’d better come up and tell us their story.’ See birds and anchor…oh, and something to do with being frozen underneath…I think…and sunshine too, late in the afternoon…So, what is the story of the seabird and the anchor…where does it begin? Who’d like to start?

Once upon a time, in a cave to the west lived, and died, a colony of seabirds. The anchor saw the seabird circling above the boat, looking up and away. ‘If only it would look over here and notice me…’ Just then, the seabird swooped low towards the anchor. ‘It’s coming! Cripes, what do I do..?’ But the greywhite seabird dashed by and perched on the high sand dunes, looking towards the sunset.

‘I’m an anchor. I sit grounded, solid, dependable but do I feel restless? Do I want to be free like the bird to twist and turn, and soar with the wind? I sit stationery, safe, trusting, solid and dependable and I watch the ocean. Do I want to be like the ocean, ebbing and flowing, sometimes gently sometimes not but always moving? From this place of static dependability, I feel safe but stifled, trapped and my creativity longs to be free, to soar with the birds, to go with the ebb and flow of the tide, to experience the wind, the wild places. It longs to be free !!!’

‘Maybe tomorrow then, I’ll do something.’ It was trying to catch the eye of the bird. The last of the daylight bounced off the gleaming edge of the anchor, catching the bird’s eye. It took flight and settled on the upright. ‘I’d like to tell you something…’

The anchor waited in anticipation to hear what the bird had to say. The bird preened its feathers and called loudly, buffeted by the sea breeze, from the edge of the anchor. The anchor waited in excitement for the bird to speak. At last the bird opened his beak and…

…breathed in the salty air. The gusts of wind, trailing lines in the sand, almost picked the bird up. The beach was empty now save for the sea bird and the anchor. The tide had retreated, leaving wavy ridges rippling the sand. Pools of sea water squatted, abandoned. Away, far out, stood an island, its jagged rocks defying you to ascend. Lofty mountain peaks rose behind.

‘Anchor, you know I’m here, don’t you? It’s feels good, solid. I like it. I seem to spend so much of my time riding the winds, wherever they take me. Just sometimes it feels…I feel it would be nice just to stay in one place for a time. Take time to look at what’s going on around me. Even to look closely at that patch of rust forming on your side, follow its lines, sink into its reddish hollows…and yet, you see, the wind…how hard it is for me to stay in one place. I need….I mean, have been looking for someone like you, Anchor. I’m wondering will you be my anchor?’

The anchor looked surprise. ‘That’s a whole big question you’re asking me there. I don’t know. I’ve been here so long. This is me, where I am, who I am…Tell you what, why don’t you settle yourself down in the sand, behind my blade, out of the wind. Get some sleep. See how we feel in the morning. You might have flown off again by then!’

Sea bird snuggled down, as invited, for the night. Bird and anchor fell asleep to the music of the wind and the waves.

The wind and the waves soothed bird and anchor and anchor dreamt of what it must be like to soar above the ocean and, as he dreamt, he saw his long steel blades slowly being pulled from their base and, one by one, they rose and anchor felt as if he was slowly rising and as he rose he looked fearfully down at the hole he’d left behind and felt afraid.

Morning came. ‘It’s time to wake up’, called the bird. ‘Can I call on you? Can I take you with me?’
‘I’d like to but couldn’t we wait for some more time..? Come back in a decade or two, I’ll be ready then.’     ‘What’s the matter? It’s a chance to go and see more people and places.’
‘Ok, let’s…’

It was the dawn. The tide was rushing in. Life was stirring.
‘Lift me.’
‘Lift you. I’m trying. You’re too heavy.’
‘Think light. You can do it. Think how light your anchor is now and we can go.’

Seabird tried to clear its mind and focus on raising the anchor beneath. ‘Think light yourself, anchor.’

And the sand budged. Grain by grain, the bird was able to lift up the old, tired anchor till it hovered a few feet over the shore. ‘You’re not that heavy, you know. You seem really light to me now.’
‘Well, now you got me up here, where we going? Just don’t drop me. Remember I’m more a depth’s person than a height’s.’
‘Ok, hang on, let’s go…’

 

(The Seabird and the Anchor Story 2 is a collaborative piece, written by Flo, Elspeth, Maureen P. and me, originally on facebook over a week or so. Thanks everyone, writers and readers/supporters. It was great fun, flying and anchoring with you all.)