100 WORD SKITTLE // Bookmark Me

Folks think it’s weird when a bookmark costs more than the book itself, but how can I deny myself this little whim? The more expensive the demarcation, the better I like it. Anyway, words are cheap.

It’s the only reason I carry a book in my bag. Whenever I open it and look at my hidden treasure, my heart sings. But not in words. No. It’s an inner reverberation that conveys more meaning than the text I’ve already forgotten.

An added benefit is the gazillion groupies that clamour for my attention. Girls tend to crush on bookish boys, you know!

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

PERFECTION IN ACTION // Pneuma

The North Wind whispered to the Great Southern Plain, “Let’s breathe until we are no more.”

“Sure, sweetie.” The Great Southern Plain opened wide and breathed the North Wind in… deep and slow.

With the roar of many voices the Falls of the East disgorged over the omphalos of the Great Southern Plain. And the Western Chines straightened its stone shoulders, bristling, thrusting its spiky, serrated nipples at them.

“It’s okay, sugar,” sighed the Great Southern Plain invitingly. You can breathe with us.”

So they hugged together and they breathed together until they were no more.

And then Morning came.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

100 WORD SKITTLE // The Power of Oomph!

I looked at my horoscope today, and decided to test it. To see if it actually works.

I’m a Scorpio. Apparently, I’m some kind of magnetic personality that makes others go weak at the knees. So, when a nearby toddler fell over and howled like a banshee, I nodded sagely and made a mark in my notebook.

However, when a sweet natured grandad asked me the time before collapsing on his bus seat—chest in hands—I quickly got off at the next stop. I guess I should have told the driver but I needed to process this newfound power.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

Covid Diary pp. 19-20

Dear Diary,

I still can’t kick the habit of eating off of a knife. I remember my mother would get mad every time she saw me do it. I’d listen to dozens of reasons as to why I should avoid it. There were rather sensible ones such as hurting my mouth, and completely superstitious ones such as getting an angry temper for the rest of my life.

I did, of course, attempt to state my position. I’d declare dozens of reasons as to why I should be eating off of a knife. There were rather sensible ones such as reducing the amount of dirty utensils that would need to be washed after dinner, and completely superstitious ones such as it helping to develop an immunity to werewolf bites for the rest of my life. But my mother wasn’t having it—and anyway, why shouldn’t she have the last word? She was my mother! Her verdict would always be delivered with the same stinging whip crack as a wet kitchen rag to the neck—which she also did.

All rationales aside—even the irrational ones—I learned not to fall into these habits while my mother was in the room. But at other times? Well, then all bets were off. I didn’t have to concern myself with her displeasure and so I’d often not be conscious of all the wrong things I was doing until after I’d done them. And then I’d get a wicked little smile on my face. I still kinda do.

In these days of lockdown and social distancing, I find myself wishing she was still here. I would love to defy her again, to find new habits with which to earn the pleasure of her displeasure. I wonder… could that be the reason why I still eat off of a knife or walk under ladders or leave umbrellas open inside the house?

And also, I’m not afraid of werewolves, but that’s a completely different story for another time.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

100 WORD SKITTLE // Unentitled

This is an untitled story. It has no feelings of entitlement when it comes to being given a title. Why? Because it’s a humble story with humble expectations.

What’s in a name anyway? Titles are for marketers and sponsors who usually don’t care to read what’s written beneath said titles. They care only for numbers to crunch, property to own, and supermodels to breed. It’s all about empire building, baby!

But the story doesn’t want to be exploited by mean old moneybags. That’s why it hides behind a nonexistent title, hoping that they won’t notice it and leave it alone.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020