The Flea

I awoke on the morning of the Literature Festival and felt the zing, this was it, this was the day I would become a proper writer. Not one with zillions of half finished projects but one with focus and drive!

I had booked the workshop months ago – the toast I made was left cold on my plate, congealing butter oozing. I wore my new jumper but forewent the coat. It was a nice jumper, black with an old fashioned looking pattern of concentric rings around the neck but look close and you could see the rings were space invaders and pac men and the like. It had been knitted specially for me.

The air smelt of frost when I left the house, there was a faint wet glitter left but that was all.

I remember I picked up a coffee, one of those too large affairs in a cardboard beaker, I thought it would help me get through the workshop, make sure I was awake, attentive and full of pep. If I had not stopped for it, things would have been very different.

I stood outside the venue sipping my hot beverage in desperation, the steward had said I couldn’t take it in with me and it had cost more than £3! I could not bring myself to just discard it, but the session was about to start at any minute. I thought on the phrase my grandmother would have used had she seen me hoping from foot to foot the way I was doing, ‘have you got a flea in you bonnet?’ I could hear the voice clearly, I shuddered and went to put my coffee down in defeat.

A hissing, whine filled my ears and the air pressure above me changed causing my ears to pop in that painful way they do when your in a car going up and down rolling hills.

‘WRITER!’ It was a croak, a horse cackle made of clicks, it… wasn’t human. I turned my head and stared into a putty grey face with big faceted black orbs that glittered. The mouth was all fleshy tendrils with a curved viscous center part. Blood pushed it’s way into my head but I was fading into the darkness of a faint. ‘Will do’ I heard through cotton wool fog.

I came around to a keen coldness pushing at my bones, fingers numb and back aching, I appeared to be in some sort of cage in a wind tunnel. I could not move except to wiggle and shift the angle of my head. A strange smell of electricity and crab filled my nostrils.

My horror on realisation that the monster held me and the cage was its legs, turned my stomach inside out, the wind splattered it making me rentch more. This could not be happening, this must be a dream. It was impossible, a giant flea could not have kidnapped me!

My inner critic responded with, ‘it is not a flea, fleas do not have wings’, and though the legs were hairy and shaped as a fleas they were grasping me in a way more reminiscent of louse gripped onto birds to be transported. It seemed like an eternity that I scrabbled to cling to the grotesqueness fearing that I would fall, for I was being transported over a glassey looking body of water. I reasoned it was a long way down to look that way.

I set my mind to a carmness, it didn’t work but I tried anyway, fear was paralyzing thought which was a most dangerous situation. The Flea was obviously an alien or I had had a mental breakdown, yes that was the most likely, a nightmare, just a very vivid one. I started to laugh and laughed and laughed and laughed until I retched once more. Hysteria had a steely grip on me. It was a better place than the reality I found myself in so I stayed there until exhaustion put me in a stupor.

Some indefinable time later I became aware that we were loosing height and I tensed for an impact. The thing landed on top of a cliff of yellow stained limestone. It released me from it’s clutches and I staggered, there was no where to run to, I was stranded with another cliff behind.

I sank down and sobbed expecting a blow from the creature at any moment. It did not come.

‘Writer!’ it clicked. ‘write!’ And it flopped from an upright position to a scuttling wood louse type of locamotion. It went to what I had initially thought a pile of general detritus, it was a round dome, crude but the more I looked the more I noted door and a whole for smoke and the like. It went in and came out with an old manual typewriter. I had seen them in films but never in real life, it was old and heavy and it was placed at my feat.

It looked at me, I could feel that that was what it was doing, though the glittering eyes did not appear to have actually changed. ‘Write’ it clicked again.

‘Erk..’ was all I managed to squeek, I cleared my throat and in a stupidly high voice managed to ask ‘write what? Waht do you want?’

‘Novel’ it clicked.

I blinked and stared at the type writer, ‘oh.. ok’ I muttered and sat, though I expected to be skewered at any moment and to have my life blood drained from me. ‘I’ll…’ I swollowed. ‘I’ll need stuff,’ it stared at me. ‘P..paper and correction stuff, food, a loo?’ It turned away from me and I wondered if it had understood. Or indeed weather typing fastly would be a good idea or not. Would I be returned at the completion of the novel or would I be a reading snack?

I felt a shiver run down my spine, I wanted to laugh – well now I had to write that was for sure. I typed ‘The Cliff’ as a title and began writing, slow and clankily but I was at last writing.

Posted: Friday, June 22nd, 2012 @ 9:09 am
Categories: Uncategorized.
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2 Responses to “The Flea”

  1. marc nash Says:

    ha ha ha, a very clever take on the tyrant that is writing!

  2. John Wiswell Says:

    I wondered if it wasn’t summoning another writer from another dimension, perhaps beyond the fourth wall. At least she got to work!

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