Arthur had quite the crush on Millie back in high school. She saw him more as a dear friend, however. He never worked up the courage to reveal his feelings for her though, and she slipped through his fingers. He was sure if he would have been able to serenade her and express his feelings, he would have prevailed.
It was on the occasion of their sixtieth reunion that he discovered her again. On the on-line registration page it had brief biographies. Millie had been widowed for five years and he for six. Surely this was an opportunity not to miss. He contacted her, after some catching up she agreed to attend the reunion with him. He then arranged a meeting in the park near the old school a week before the reunion.
Dressed in his best suit, Arthur waited for his chance. Flowers in hand, and guitar ready he was going to find the courage to serenade her, and win her heart this time. And he did!
Joseph sat at his customary spot on the pavement, and huddled for warmth in his threadbare overcoat. He placed a cup, with chips in the enamel, in front of him and pulled out his cardboard sign, Please help – God bless you.
As usual he remained invisible to most people, though some would toss small change into his cup.
One young man made the effort to give him a smile each day, and apologise for having nothing to spare.
“God bless you all the same,” Joseph would respond.
One day the young fellow passed by without his usual greeting. This at first sent a wave of disappointment through him. Then it occurred to him that something might be wrong, so he rose and followed the man into the park where he sat alone on a bench.
“Is there something the matter?” Joseph asked.
“No,” the man said before bursting into sobs.
“Tell me,” Joseph prompted.
“You know I have told you that I didn’t have anything to spare. That was because I was saving up to get a bus ticket to go see my parents on my Mum’s birthday. That’s tomorrow and I’m still four pounds short,” The young man said despondently.
Joseph said, “You gave me plenty each day, because your smile made my day.” He then took his enamel cup out of his coat pocket and presented the youth with four pounds. I think it’s time for me to give you something in return.”
It was no Truman Show. It wasn’t even Big Brother. It was humanity on display. Tower block over looking tower block and all the life that took place through open curtains or closed drapes. Did they know their domestic existence was on display to be observed or even documented by whoever may?
Well such thoughts and concerns were always in the forefront of Cindy Andrew’s mind. Her mirror-tinted window film, and plug in sound-proofing made sure she wasn’t caught going about her daily routine of recording her neighbours.
The missing sock dilemma has long puzzled people. How do so many odd socks appear in the laundry? Some have hypothesised that they are the offspring of full pairs, while others hold that there is some maleficent being that devours odd socks. Many have dismissed this latter theory. That was until some chilling events took place in a launderette not for from the sight of an industrial chemical spill. It seems that the toxins in the water supply have caused mutations in the sock-eating entities. They have not only increased in size, but in their appetite. New government advice now recommends handwashing only. I repeat – hand wash only.
Celestria walked along the sandy path with pretty little balls she had captured along the shore. She loved catching the colourful spheres and watching all of the interesting things that happened on them with the magnifying glass she kept in her little case. It always made her a little sad to let them go again, but Mother was very strict about that. The pretty objects could not be kept captive, but always had to be set free at the end of the day.
Merton thought that delivering parcels again might be a nice little money spinner to help make ends meet in his retirement. The first few deliveries for the university seemed straightforward enough. Then came the Schrödinger delivery. He was told that he had to collect a box containing a cat from the physics lab. He was then to deliver the same box back to the same lab the next day. When the delivery was made, he was told to repeat the process for the next two weeks. Under no circumstances was he to open the box, or attempt to feed or water the cat.
The professors all seemed really excited about this arrangement, and there was much discussion as to whether the cat was living or dead.
Merton just didn’t get what those eggheads were carrying on about. After all, with his thirty years working for UPS he knew the answer. Well, after he had kicked the box down the hallway, dropped it from the back of his van, forgotten it twice on the subway, and placed it under five heavier boxes to make space, the answer seemed obvious.
It is said that in a secret clearing in the Great Wood, two barren trees are captured in time.
Alion the woodsman had captured the attention of Nain the wife of the Wizard of the Wood. At first their relationship had been mere friendship. Nain enjoyed the gentle good-natured humour of the handsome woodsman, but as time progress it grew into an infatuation. The infatuation, in turn, became love – a love readily reciprocated.
It was not long before their rendezvouses became frequent and the Wizard of the Wood grew suspicious of his young wife’s departures from his keep.
Then came the fateful day when she departed the keep in a cheery spirit. The wizard transformed himself into a woodpecker and followed her into the forest.
As the woodman and Nain embraced, the wizard was filled with rage and in his anger changed them into trees. They have ever since been destined to stand in the clearing suffering the ravages of woodpeckers.
Life had never been easy along the embankment. Eel-fishers and boatmen made their lives in the cramped dwellings clustered there. That was in the “good old days,” before the river began to silt over.
Now the channel is far from navigable, and even the poor fishermen and boatmen have moved away leaving the embankment to those even more unfortunate and downtrodden. The houses are increasingly rundown and only those with no other place to stay will even attempt to dwell there.