By Scott Bailey © 2017
The the deepest dark
There is a pest
In response to the daily prompt Pest
From the shallows to the icy deep
Where dolphins dance and starfish sleep
Through swaying kale and shifting sand
Feel the touch of an oily hand
Where lights speed by in total dark
Where rest many a sunken ark
Where through the kale fish do slip
Feel a cold and choking grip
Where bubbles rise and currents surge
Where waters from the heavens merge
Where weight does crush both bones and rock
Feel the iron fingers lock
And here my heart it swells and roars
From roiling dark to shattered shores
And I will rise with fury’s might
And crush the hand that picks this fight
So fear the shark with jaws that rend
And the mighty swell that shall bend
Every fence and dam and wall
And drown the rumble of cliffs that fall
And when the hand has done its deed
You will curse your dirty seed
And then, at last, you will see
How small you are beside the sea
In response to the daily prompt Shallow
She had brought it on a whim at a garage sale. The woman who sold it had practically thrown it at her when she enquired, took only 50p. With bloodshot eyes, she spat the tale.
“She must have brought it for him! I have never seen before.”
She, it turned out, was some mysterious floozy who had apparently stolen her husband. He had disappeared one night leaving everything behind. His wife had found the picture hanging in his study. She assumed it was from her.
Now it hung in Suzanne’s hall. As she looked at it in greater detail it did not seem a likely love gift.
It was a simple landscape. A green field of swaying grass and in the distance a lonely figure. A man she thought but there was no telling why.
A simple image but compelling. The nuances of the colour were subtle and life like. She could almost feel the grass swaying. She wondered where the man was walking to. He seemed to be disappearing into the horizon.
A simple picture that had drawn her eye from the moment she saw it.
And so it continued to. As she went about her daily business she kept passing by and stopping to appreciate her new find.
In fact, she realised that she was finding the least excuse to pass that way more and more often. She laughed at herself. What a silly obsession!
But she did not stop.
Finally, she went to bed.
She could not sleep. The picture played on her mind. There was something about it. Something she was not seeing. There must be some subliminal symbol or hidden message that was trying to call out to her.
She tried to ignore it and get to sleep.
She could not.
There was something about the picture!
She got out of bed. Went back down to the hall and stared at it.
It was mesmerising. The brush strokes were so fantastically real. Had she stumbled on some forgotten or lost masterpiece? The grass almost seemed to be moving, rippling like water in the wind.
No! It was moving! And the figure, the man. He was closer! Holding out his hand in invitation….
He had not noticed the picture in the catalogue. But now, here in the auction room, it drew him. The fact that it was from the house clearance of a mysteriously missing woman somehow added to his desire for it. It seemed to have no worth. It was described simply as “Man and Woman in Grassy Meadow”. Artist unknown.
He had to have it!
He would pay dearly for it!
In response to the daily prompt Nuance
Humanity reduced to a bottom line.
Trapped. In a world where everything is measured and control pervades every area of life, four people begin to break down. Instead, they break through the walls of deceit and propaganda and into a world of revolution.
Each, in their way, vow to overthrow the established order. They embark on a journey against the forces arraigned against them, forces of state and self-doubt.
Ultimately their paths converge on a dangerous road and the discovery of an ancient secret.
One one level this is a story about how different people react the ever growing and relentless pressure of everyday oppression. It explores their journeys as they are broken and rebuilt and investigates their modes and motivations for rebelling.
At another level it is a critique on the darker side of capitalism and free markets and how that has driven us further and further away from the evolutionary advantage that gave us supremacy in the first place. It questions whether the human race has doomed itself or whether we still have the capacity to wrench ourselves from the track we have so tightly committed our society upon.
Read an excerpt here.
A woman alone, in a deep dark valley, finds her cherished isolation filled with creeping fears. Yet courage can lead to some surprising twists.
A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.
Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.
A paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……