Tag Archives: creative writing

Colourful Island (Part 2/4)



Somewhere along the east coast stands a man, the man wearing glasses. He stares out to the grey sea, it disappoints him greatly. He is blinded by the extended nothingness that confronts him. The sea laps at his feet like wet time soup. He barely notices how cold his feet are. As he stands there he is as still as a flagless pole, moving only to make a small canopy of intertwined branches from the surrounding dead trees, these trees replicate his stature so well he’s invisible in his foraging.

Unknown to him, a woman and a boy that live amongst the trees are looking on, fascinated, in safety, hiding from cannibals that they have recently escaped from. They’ve been keeping an eye on the man with glasses ever since his arrival to the coast. For now, they believe he will not venture where they are sheltering.

“He doesn’t look like a cannibal, does he?” says the Boy. “He’s too bony I think, I hope we can trust him as he’s been eating crocus veg, I’m sure of it, the man’s been eating it from a hole in his clothing.” The Boy grows large disc like eyes from the encouragement they bestow.

“One more night I reckon, if he is still there by next light we’ll go over, I wanna know what he’s looking for.” The Woman is more cautious and only just survived from her mistake to remember it. The Woman adds, “Of course, he could be completely insane.”

“Ok.” the boy replies duly.

By next light the Man with Glasses is still there, he is looking out to sea, once more.

The Woman and Boy take their small bundle of belongings along with their rations of crocus veg and begin to walk nervously towards the Man with Glasses.

“Stay close boy, I don’t trust him… Anyone. If he gets aggressive and we get separated, don’t run to our shelter ok? He’ll know where we’ve been staying; we won’t be safe there again.”

“Ok, I won’t.” He squeezes her hand intensely, for he suddenly feels less confident than ever.

“If he’s a cannibal, he’ll go for me anyway as I’m bigger.” She says in belated and ineffective reassurance.

“Now I am scared, if he catch’s you first what will happen to me? I’ll be on my own again!”

“You’ll be fine, trust me, by the looks of him he is too weak, I’ll hit him hard with this branch,” she pulls out the thickest branch from the nearest tree to their camp and says “we’ll be ok, ok?”,

“Ok then.” He replies.

By the slow fade of the no-light, The Man with Glasses senses them approaching, he turns his head and moves his right ear like a satellite. His eyes are well rehearsed in fatigued focus. He sees them well enough and decides that they look more scared and confused than he does.

He is first to speak, “I won’t bite. You can trust me. If you have the strength, you can help me find the way out of here… if you like?”

“Don’t talk in riddles. If this is some kind of trick I swear to god I’ll hit you with this branch so hard you’ll-”

“Please, I’m no threat to you or…” he pauses to access them, seeing them so tired and pathetic, “you’re wasting your energy anyway. Is he yours?”

“No, no he’s not-”

“She’s not my mum. She’s been looking after…Out for me.” The Boy interrupted, he was feeling ignored.

“Ok, look we should stick together, it’s not safe. By your manner, you know of cannibals around here, right?” hoping for a warmer reception he cracks a smile his face is unused to.

“Yeah, you’re right about them, you look sane enough, but we’ll keep our distance for now if it’s all the same to you? What are you looking for anyway?” she asks while eyeing a misshapen sea. Being so curious to care was a mixture of emotions she hadn’t enjoyed for a long, long time.

The Man with Glasses looks back to the sea and says suggestively, “An Island” He wasn’t sure of the reaction he was going to receive, “I was told, by someone, that there’s a way out of here, what we live in, what we have become…That is.”

“Let me get this right, you seem to think there is some kind of answer out there?” she points to an empty horizon. “Are you serious? How would you know that? And who told you?”

Looking down, he felt foolish, “Well… I know, I don’t have the answers. I don’t’ expect you to believe me either, really. I’m not sure I believe it myself, but, I am here — when I thought I might never move my feet again.”

Suddenly, “I’ll help!” blurted the Boy “I know what you’re looking for.” He didn’t know, but it felt like a game and that was ok by him.

“Great, welcome aboard!”

“Aboard, aboard what” The Boy didn’t understand, right now, he felt he didn’t need to. He felt he could trust the man with glasses, despite his vague answer to the Woman he felt all the better for this.

The three of them now camped by the sea, they take turns to look out, hoping the fog will clear. By the third new light rations of crocus veg are seriously low, the rain keeps his spare boots topped up, extra spare pairs from the new recruits come in handy, no-one asks as to where they have come from.

The group of three have now come to know each other in simple terms. They don’t care for names. In such horrific conditions, the dementia like symptoms that comes with their depression is like an unwanted buy one get one free offer. This small group of one man, one woman, and one boy are now an unrelated family, brought together by a myth. An island of salvation, they imagine its beauty, resonating colours, all the discoveries and treasures of man. Some remnants of their past lives must’ve survived in their dreams. Being in a trusted group is a small blessing, a vital power up capsule in a computer animated game of survival.




Colourful Island (Part 1/4)

For my one hundreth post I thought I’d share my apocalyptic short story with you. I’ve enjoyed many stories/films about a decaying, semi-destroyed planet; when survival takes people to surprising places, and hope is all we really live for. I hope you enjoy reading mine, I shall follow it up with part two for you very soon.


In the Midland Territory, amongst the choking white dust, is a blemish on an otherwise invisible horizon.

Sitting alone on the ground, cross legged, elbows on knees, his hands are clenched into adjoining fists that have forged themselves to his chiselled jaw. His heart thumps to remind him he is alive, he can almost hear it throb while he sits. His clothes were once high-street fashion; they’re now dusty rags with mystifying labels. Balancing precariously upon his sharp nose; thickly rimmed glasses, they loosely connect him to his past with unbridled loyalty; the past that is forgotten, deleted. His fingerprint smeared lenses magnify his two weary windows of perception of what remains.

Ahead of him is something moving, a dark form that seems to bleed over the oppressive grey backdrop. On first observations what lies ahead appears indefinite, levitating. Blinking rapidly his eyelids caress the little moisture he has around his eyes; creating a strobe effect of what is now a human shaped blur. As he observes, The Blur seems to enlarge, as if an aggressive and multiplying cell.  The man with glasses battles hard with his concentration and rubs his eyes as if he was awoken, ‘stay conscious!’ he pleads. For a moment he closes his eyes, his face wrinkles belying his real age; showing evidence of his chronic dehydration. His head slumps forward invitingly as gravity succeeds in its pull.

Suddenly, he hears a voice, the voice blares at him to get up!

The two words rattle within his head, looking for somewhere to settle and be registered. He shakes his head as if any information could fall out of his ears as easily as the dust that chokes him.

The Blur repeats itself, “Get, up!”

The man with glasses responds by jerking his leaden head skyward; like a baby in search of its mother. His eyes scan for some identification.

“What? Who are you?”

“That’s not important right now!” The Blur rages,

“Search for The Colourful Island, get up off the dust and walk!” The Blur then strains for breath like an elderly asthmatic.

The Man with Glasses hadn’t prepared himself for any conversation of any kind. Clearing his throat he croaks, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about. Walk on stranger! I don’t need you and your–“

“It’s the way out of here you miserable fool! The…way…Out! Do you hear me? The colourful island, that floats off the coast!” The Blur spitting words out as if any explanation was futile.

The man hears uneven footsteps, noticeably distancing from him; eerily without echo. Then a powerfully foul scent causes him to flare his nostrils, he winces in disgust as the stench hits the back of his throat; the smell of death. The heavy stench loiters like a flock of starving vultures that stare upon him; these vultures take flight and follow the blur, somewhere, to the island perhaps. Consequently, the Man with Glasses pushes the ground with his hands, gathering the strength to stand. At first he shakes like a shambolic crane. ‘The blur,’ he thought, ‘the island,’ it makes no sense. He is then up on his feet. He steadies himself and mumbles, “If only I didn’t feel so wasted.”

With so many questions unanswered, he feels branded, part owned by this new mythical island. The man with glasses knows he can’t afford to be cynical, he cannot allow that; the Island, a cruel mirage to others maybe, but hope floats! If the blur chooses to float…then so can he.

Previously, The Whiteout came like a wave upon wave of delayed lightening, an effective and devastating wipe of a vibrant world. No computers operate, no libraries exist; the ruins that remain stand amongst rubble are deformed man-made rocks. Important text scatters itself amongst the dust; therefore, it has become the very dust that completes the overlapping and shifting dunes of anagrammed deserts. A vast and deserted stage is set under a cheap lamp sun, with cities of remaining residents who wander aimlessly in their destruction site milieu.

Suddenly, somewhere there’s a rip on the skyline; it hovers, flickering like a vibrant, attention seeking neon sign. It is surrounded by a 360 degree horizon and forever served above a constant and lethargic grey tide. Therefore, human-likes are gathering around the coastline, some like scavenging pack animals, some resemble lonely and independent aliens, others cower in shrivelling miniature armies having lost their war; trying to press pause on their ever-decreasing circles of friendship.

Meanwhile, after his blur encounter, the man with glasses yearns for the coast. He visualises nothing else other than seeing the sea, and more importantly, his island.

He follows the Blur’s footprints; formed in a dry, off-white snow, they seem new and have a purposeful print as if there they’re purpose is to arrow a direction. He hopes he doesn’t find a body at their end. He walks in the new-light and rests in the no-light. The air that once burned has since cooled, though it leaves it stuffy and opaque. Any scattered materials he discovers help camouflage his reducing mass of a body. His rations consist of crocus veg, the water he collects for drinking are from the spare boots he has hung around his neck by their laces.  One desperate humanlike would kill for a pair of good shoes. The cabbage-like crocus veg only grows in the Midland Territory; this is unexplainable.

Crocus veg has little nutritional benefit. As for the Animals, they soon died. ‘The Whiteout’ seemed to blot out their natural instincts. The man with glasses meets nothing on his journey until the smell of sea-salt. He can taste its bitterness on his cracked, weathered lips as it kisses him as a once beautiful but evil woman did.