Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Zoot and Sandy and Life



“The worst kind of person to be in the world, is someone who doesn’t know themselves,” said Sandy the elephant as he cogitated on life with his best pal, Zoot the dog.

“How so?” Asked Zoot, who tended to hang on to most things that Sandy said.
“Well, folks who don’t know who they are, always cause the most misery in the world,” said Sandy, pretty sure of himself.
“How do you work that one out?” Asked an intrigued dog.
“Simply put,” explained Sandy. “If they ain’t happy in themselves, then they don’t see happiness in anyone else.”
“You sure?” Asked Zoot.

“Sure, I’m sure. I mean we’re happy, ain’t we and we don’t see unhappiness that ain’t there?” Sandy was pretty adamant about his thoughts.

“What about those birds, flying out there, Sandy?”

“What’s troubling you about the little birds today?”

And so Zoot explained that there was always one of the flock who would fly out of the group and torment other animals, sometimes Zoot himself. This annoyed Zoot and now that he was on that tack, he also got fed up with his garden - and Zoot told Sandy, that although his garden was beautiful, sometimes a weed would grow up in amongst the flowerbeds and ruin the look of it all.

“Everything’s got a right to be, young Zoot,” said the wise old elephant.

“So what can I do?”

“Well if you don’t want the weed there, then don’t have it. But don’t let focusing on a bad thing in a garden ruin it for all the rest of the flowers. In this life, Zoot most of us tend to look at the things which annoy us, rather than all the beauty that surrounds us. We always seem to hear the bad note in a tune rather than the other notes which are trying to make us smile. That bird which torments, well, it’s probably one of those creatures which just don’t know who or what it is yet. But that’s no reason not to see the beauty in the flight and grace of the other birds which are flying out there. Or even the beauty in the tormented bird who torments. Don’t let those who are unhappy or confused blind you to the wonder that exists everywhere.”

And with that, Zoot had another look at the passing birds in flight and realised that the little bird which tormented, was just as beautiful as those who already knew themselves. And that to be happy you just had to accept all the different ways that creatures chose to live. The rules of life weren’t Sandy’s or Zoot’s to make or break.


“Guess, I’ll be heading home for my supper,” said Zoot.

“See you tomorrow?” Asked Sandy.

“See you tomorrow, old pal.”


bobby stevenson 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

100 word stories



1956

He could smell success, just like he had smelt Hollywood, all the way across the country. Now he was here, having just stepped off the bus. His eyes still full of hope and want, eyes that hadn’t been dulled by having a heart stamped on and rolled into the gutter. It was the face, his face that was the selling point. A beauty that had got him anything he wanted back on the East Coast. But this town was awash with such creatures, and he was going to have to offer something more – perhaps his soul would be a start.





1896

Night after night, he’d sit on the front row and by his side a bottle of champagne and some rose petals. A man obsessed, but then what was new in that? It was always the same, he’d pick out a pretty dancer and bestow on her a cleverness and personality that were of his own making. Things that he never actually found when he got to know the creatures. The chosen one would have the petals thrown at her feet and the girls would smile to each other. The rich man, the rich lonely man had picked you. Be grateful.





1966

The suitcase had been thrown in the cupboard under the stairs and from what he could observe, the owner was getting ready to leave. He unclicked the little cardboard case and could see his father’s best shirt, socks, and underwear, inside. There was a letter explaining why he was leaving the family, one that was to be left on the fireplace one early morning before anyone woke up. He’d prayed for a miracle, that his father wouldn’t leave and it had arrived. That evening England won the Football World Cup and his father drunk and happy came home and unpacked.


bobby stevenson 2014

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Albert, Bob and Climie.





The sun was sinking low behind Overlook as he set out to walk back to Woodstock. 

He’d spent the day helping Joshua over in Bearsville’s fixing some pipe or other. Didn’t matter what it was, it was money and that’s all that mattered.

Like all the roads in the Catskills, there’s no sidewalk, so you just kept yourself alive by jumping from side to side. It was probably best to do it drunk, that way you didn’t worry.
Climie was humming some Bluegrass tune and trying to pretend that the coming dark wasn’t making him a little crazy. Some of those guys just sped out of town as if the cops were chasing them. I mean, they couldn’t see anyone, especially a kid in a dirty old pair of dungarees heading home.

He lived in Glasco road just past where The Family lived; a kind of house that took in all lost souls who found their way to it.
He would always run past The Family on account of all the stories he’d heard, but truth be told they were just folks like himself who needed a little hand to get back up, standing.

Climie must have been on the edge of Tinker Street when an old wagon slowed down. Now either it was someone lost, or someone he knew, or someone wanting something that he wasn’t prepared to hand over.

“Heading into town?” The driver asked.
Climie nodded and said nothing.
“Wanna ride?”

Did he know this guy? Climie was sure he’d seen the guy’s face around. He still had to get through town and out the other side to hit the Glasco road. So he thought what the hell and jumped in the wagon.

Climie looked at the man.
“Something bothering you man?” Asked the driver.
“Do I know you?” Said Climie.
“Does anyone, know anyone,” was the man’s reply and then he gave a little giggle.
“Sure I do, you sometimes talk to that red-Indian guy who sits on the store’s steps, where the Trailways bus pulls in. Ain’t you him?”
“He ain’t no red-Indian,” said the man. ”But he’s my good friend.”
“You live here?” Climie asked him.
“Does anyone really live anywhere?” said the man.

Climie looked at him as if he might be just a chord or two short of a tune.
“I can see it in your eyes, you think I’m crazy, don’t you?”
Climie dropped his face.
“That’s all I needed to know. I ain’t crazy, I’m just me.”
“So what do you do?” Climie asked.
“I am, what some people would call, a troubadour.”
“A whatma dour?”
“I sing songs for a livin’,” then the man grinned.
“Over at the Woodstock pub?”
“Not for a long time,” said the man. “Not for a long, long time.”
“So where you sing now?”
“Just about anywhere on this old rock. Anywhere they’ll have me.”
“You any good?” Asked Climie.
“I survive, where are you heading?”
“Glasco.”
“Been there long?”

Climie shook his head and told how they had to come down from Buffalo on account of his mom getting a job looking after one of Woodstock’s writers.
“Well I’ll be, I know your mom. Sweet little thing with bright blonde hair.”

Climie smiled, ‘cause that’s how he would have described his mom, too.
“You at school?” Asked the man.
“Onteora.”
“Over in Boiceville,” added the man. “Sure I know it.”

Then the man slowed the wagon down at the bottom of Glasco road.
“Going to drop you here, young ‘un, on account I got to visit my friend - or as you call him the red-Indian. If you see him sitting on the steps again, just say ‘Hi’. His name’s Albert and mine’s Bob.”

And with that Climie was out of the cab and running up Glasco and pleased that he hadn’t had to pass The Family. 


bobby stevenson 2014