Scratchings 1

Stories on this page:

Chaos – Encounter Lightning – Happy Now? – Expectation


The presence permeated the void, like early morning mist among gravestones. It studied the mass spreading before it, for, in the beginning, there was … well, everything, really. It it just lacked organisation.

Everything that ever was or that ever will be, was there. This Everything was not recognisable as anything in particular. The planets hadn’t formed a suite, dinosaurs hadn’t evolved to extinction, mountains hadn’t risen above seas not yet formed and homosapien wasn’t himself. All the atoms that ever would be were floating around loose.

The presence coalesced and stood before the Everything. The random circulations and vibrations calmed and became still. The presence folded its arms and surveyed the atomic masses. There was a universal, yet metaphorical, sucking of air through clenched teeth.

“Complete and utter chaos!” she said. She spread her arms wide, encompassing Everything, and scooped it into a seething bundle. She squeezed the Everything into a ball, brought it to her lips and blew.

Everything in her hands exploded. It was quite a big bang, and Everything spread outwards. The presence watched. The colours were beautiful and the patterns fascinating.

“I wonder …” she said. This was going to take some time.



I like nothing more than a long hot shower to make me feel good. I close my eyes and let the water flood over my face and neck. Shampoo; I feel the soft foam run down my back. Rinse once. Hair’s still not squeaky. Rinse again; that’s better.
I squeeze shower gel into my hands and work up a good lather. Smooth over my shoulders, down my arms. Back up and across my chest; that’s nice, lower. Far enough! I twist to reach my back, then down over those smooth buns. Carry on down, down those long legs. I bend over to reach my calves and ankles. The spray pounds on my back and splashes around the cubicle.
Now for the bits I missed. Where’s the shower gel gone? Fumble on the shelf. Damn! Where is it? Rinse the bubbles from my face. Open my eyes, blink, focus.
Aarrrgh! Huge spider! Angry, red legs thrashing to stay alive, running for the dry. So do I; grab a towel. The droplets turn icy cold as the breeze from the open window hits my back. Outside the shower I’m safe. So is he, scuttling back outside to the cool dry garden.



A formula to remember (for electricians everywhere)

‘I’ve gotta get the fire going under this cauldron before I run out of full moon!’ Ivy Watts wasn’t an efficient witch, but she was persistent. Beyond the woods, in the next valley a storm rumbled. She rubbed her warty chin and gave the cold brew another stir.

‘Ha! I know!’ she hoiked up her long black dress, leapt on her bicycle and pedalled back to her cottage. Ivy had left the brolly in a bucket behind the door. She stuffed it into her belt and rode back to the woods and the dormant cauldron.

The storm was close, there wasn’t long. She took a length of bailing wire from her knicker leg and wrapped it round a some kindling. The other end she wrapped around the handle of the umbrella. Now the storm was over head and the rain started. A quick splash of whisky, for her and the fire, and she raised the umbrella to the sky. Immediately there was an explosion as lightning ripped down, through the umbrella, along the bailing wire and into the puddle of whisky.

She staggered out from the smoke, raised her hand in triumph and shouted, ‘Power IS Ivy Watts!’



Happy Now?

He cupped her cheek in his hand and wiped away the tear with his thumb; the blood from his hand smudged it across her face like war paint. She was quiet now. ‘I’m going. I won’t be home tonight so don’t wait up for me.’ He stood next to her, the knife in his right hand dripped onto her once white blouse. The press would describe it as a frenzied attack, multiple stab wounds. ‘They don’t know the half of it!’

“I’ve put up with you for five years.” his voice wavered. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know what else I can do to make you happy.” Tears flowed down his face turning the spattered blood into a grotesque mask. He stepped back from her body. He loved her more than any other, but she was never satisfied. Jewellery, clothes, cars, the best restaurants; she took everything but gave nothing. Just that awful sneer.He turned to leave, but as he did there was the faintest sound.

“You’re still alive! You bitch! Even that wasn’t enough for you!” He grabbed her hair and twisted back her head, exposing the smooth flesh of her neck, and raised the knife again.



The two hundred yard exclusion zone was already in place when Sergeant George Taylor arrived at the scene. After fifteen years in the army, many in Northern Ireland, he was familiar with the procedures for suspect packages; now that he was a police officer, the routine was the same.

This package was a cheap, plastic briefcase. No markings, no protruding electrical wires, no black sticky tape. But there, just under the handle, was a loop of fine wire. It was just big enough to get a finger through and was poking out of a small hole drilled in the body of the briefcase. He settled back and rested on one knee.

Was the bomber hanging around to see the results of his handy work? George scanned the crowd standing behind the security tape. A man wearing sunglasses brought his left arm up in an exaggerated arc to look at his wristwatch. George’s attention zeroed in on him. The man grinned and tapped his finger on the watch.

George stood, raised his arm to point at the man and, as he drew a breath to shout to his colleagues, he heard, from the briefcase, a gentle whirr, then a click …


All articles/stories (c) K Patrick Moody

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