Overhead, they swoop and soar, chirp and chatter, but Axel doesn’t seem to hear. His defences strong, resolve weakened, he protests his plight in that way of teenagers. His old head on young shoulders says he was destined to be caged.
My heart breaks to see him, happy in his own skin, with eyes black as the crows, but never to be free as the birds. I told him, ‘Accept nothing, Axel; challenge everything.’ He slants his eyes at me as if to say, ‘Don’t be ridiculous; it’s the way it’s always been.’ His chair squeaks with each slow wheel rotation but when he’s in a playful mood he’ll make it whir like a rotor that might lift him up to swoop and soar in the blue sky and billowing clouds. ‘I figure it’d be pretty cool up there but I guess I wouldn’t last long,’ he says. ‘Probably,’ I reply. I don’t want him to tell me he’d prefer to be up there. He’ll be there soon enough. I cannot imagine my life without him, empty of his squeaking and whirring, but I swallow, smile and open the door. He pr…
...... as I was reminded at the weekend, when I went for lunch with some friends and saw that the table next to us had been reserved for a NaNoWriMo "Write-In" group!
Yes, November is here again.
Some of us will be taking up the annual NaNoWriMo challenge, but some of us may feel that we just don't have enough time, headspace or energy to turn out 50,000 words or more in 30 days.
If that is the case for you, and you fancy something a bit more personal and tailor-made, or just not quite so much pressure, then why don't you take us up this year on our annual Cafe Aphra November Challenge?
Here's how it works:
YOU get to choose what you want your writing challenge to be for this month.
You set your own goal, whether it is a daily wordcount, an overall wordcount to reach by the end of the month, or simply a writing project you want to get FINISHED by 30th November.
Sometimes we all need deadlines to motivate us to get it done, an…
I found a grave. I came on the evidence one day, in a forgotten file, randomly numbered by my camera.
I remember walking through white snakes of sand, lifted by the wind. It blew straight off the North Sea; ice in its jaws. Always seeking I had strode out, looking for messages in bottles, finding only crackled plastic. Holding my camera with numb hands, it had been too cold to take many photos. Further up the sand, I passed through the iodine egg-stink of seaweed, then, crunched through broken shells to the path, up and away from the rage of the ocean. The wooden steps were filled with sand, an oil company’s unmaintained project. Corporate social responsibility ravaged by the elements. On the cliff above the beach, marram grass, pink campion, gorse and broom, grew, holding the sand together with their roots. The fierce wind had stolen my breath as I looked towards the new horizon. Crumpled red and orange petals had led me through the grass, past the remains of a fire-ring of stones,…