I got the letter this morning from one of the big five. This is the ms they accepted.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Machine wash at 40 degrees on a fast spin. Wash separately. Iron.
It’s going to be published as a children’s book next year. They want me to pad it out a bit but essentially they are raving about the idea. This they love – my two fingered salute to them I sent out believing I was about to be turned off for being a crashing failure. My stories of The Amazing Arctic Sinking Man, OAP Extraction, Finn with a fish swimming in his eye, locusts and rusting submarines, paper bullion – all rejected for this. Continue reading “An Android Wakes Part 8 : To Kill a Mockingbird”
Mr Cricklewood ran his fingers over the paper. Raising the letter to his nose he breathed in and let the smell transport him to bluebells, birdsong, young love.
Sighing he replaced the letter in the envelope, slipped it back with the others. Around him: panelled walls, a stained glass window showing a picture of a mockingbird, oak spindles of a staircase that once led him to her embrace. It was time, he thought.
He walked over to the writing desk.
His old fingers creaked and clicked as he sealed each letter with wax, the smell filling his nostrils. When each was dry he lifted it to his lips, kissed it, said goodbye. Continue reading “An Android Wakes Part 7 : OAP Extraction”
He was watching Master Chef when it appeared over his retina. At first his brain miscalculated and inserted the angel fish into the programme, where it swam through the steaming crust of the Mockingbird pie. Then after a moment the fish popped out of the screen and passed through the wall into the hallway.
Finn blinked and rubbed his eyes, looked at his watch. It was late. He really should get to bed earlier. He turned off the TV and sighing got to his feet. As he did the image of the fish appeared again: flickering with the beat of his eyelids.
He tried closing his eyes but the fish was still there floating in a sea of blackness. It turned, swam towards him and disappeared. Finn slapped his hand over his eyes, stumbled and knocked over the cans of beer at his feet. Continue reading “An Android Wakes Part 6 : Is That a Fish in Your Eye?”
No-one would believe him but Albert Mockingbird had discovered the elusive Hawking Particles whilst visiting his great aunt at Scunthorpe. He’d spotted them next to her bed floating with her false teeth. He could recall the precise eureka moment with clarity as he’d picked up the glass, noticed the unusual weight to it, and swallowed the fluid – his aunt’s teeth bumping off his shoulder and falling onto the paisley carpet.
Of course he had known he couldn’t risk staying there a moment longer, the Bureau for Scientific Discoveries had been following him for months and wouldn’t hesitate to kill him in order to assign the discovery to one of their paying clients. Scribbling a note, he left without waking his aunt and headed for the airport intent on smuggling them through customs.
His boss at CERN had smiled when he confided in him the day after and he was retired off: a carriage clock the answer to his breakdown. So sad after a life-time’s work, they had said. Albert knew though. He could feel them buzzing around his body like fire flies. Continue reading “An Android Wakes Part 5 : The Amazing Arctic Sinking Man”
Her chest rises and falls marking out time with the movement of air, muscle: the unbidden will to live. Before her the door is bricked in, the window boarded and sealed, the old lime wall drunk on carbon dioxide. Around her the stillness of the air, the silence of dust suspended, waiting to fall. Her wrists, bound, are chaffed. Her lips, red, are dry, cracked.
She remembers sunshine, laughter, the free fall of play.
Continue reading “An Android Wakes Part 4 : The Locust Wife”