Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Dead Girls excerpt

Try the Leafy Salad

“Gee.” Chloe started through the windshield at the frontage of what used to be Northern's Chip and Fishy. “What price, progress?”

It looks nice, Clo.” Shawna unclipped her seatbelt and smoothed the creases out of her skirt. “Clean, anyway.”

Upmarket rubbish.”Chloe pulled her key from the ignition. “I mean, anything called the Magic Faraway Tree has got to be a vegan restaurant. Last time I was here you could get steak and kidney pie and chips, a can of Tizer and a deep fried Mars bar and still have change for a fiver. I bet a glass of tap water costs more than that in here.”

So what? It's been a long drive and I'm tired and hungry. At least with vegan food wou're not coing to fall prey to salmonella. Come on. There's bound to be something on the menu you'll eat.”

Probably the beer stains on the menu.” Chloe cracked open the door and climbed out of the car. “Mind you, I bet even those are speciality ales brewed in a plastic bag and filtered over coffee grounds”

No, they're not licences, look.” Shawna pointed to an enamel sign. “Seems popular though. It's busy for a lunchtime.”

I'll say.” Chloe caught a whiff of something from the kitchen. A smell she associated more with smoking than cooking. She smiled and put her arm around her girlfriend's waist. “I think I'll try the brownies first.”

Saturday, December 03, 2016

short forms 3rd December 2016

in the middle
the death of her brother
from her selfishness over her
mum's change

© Rachel Green 2016

radial wires
from a telegraph pole
seven solitary sparrows

© Rachel Green 2016

endless emails
from a woman who wants to buy
my old mandolin
The day she's due to buy it
"Sorry, found another one"

© Rachel Green 2016

literary fiction
makes me wish
I was a better writer

The Chloe book
will get another rewrite
a more serious note

"try to be more descriptive, bitch"

© Rachel Green 2016

She tries to be better. Fails.

© Rachel Green 2016

Friday, December 02, 2016

short forms 2nd December 2016

ends in collapse
I don't want to write it
I'd rather write literary

© Rachel Green 2016

grey morning
a crow checks a chip wrapper
a knot of sparrows

© Rachel Green 2016

number 2A bus
trundles past the house
misted windows
at the bus stop opposite
a truanting child

© Rachel Green 2016

my better novels
modern issues

a post Brexit world
where a woman is persecuted
for her tiny penis

No funding for transfolk

© Rachel Green 2016

Watery blue eyes. She looks old.

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

short forms 1st December 2016

her dad
has a secret
he can't tell anyone
not even his daughter, the fruit
of love

© Rachel Green 2016

beautiful frost-bitten clouds
obscured by rain

© Rachel Green 2016

transpecies boi
mounted on the toilet wall
s/he still holds hir doll
for intimate inspection

© Rachel Green 2016

new plot twist for Chloe
There's something at the back of my mind
tickling, tickling
her parents were siblings
immigration fraud

© Rachel Green 2016

my terror over hurting someone else

© Rachel Green 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dead Girls Love Cats

Night School

Chloe pulled up her attendance record for the last month, thankful Mrs Gardiner, the school secretary, relied on a rotating list of three passwords Chloe had been able to crack after a simple five-minute conversation with her the first day of term. Today's password was 'Tempest', after Mrs Gardiner's seven year old tabby cat.

Paging back a week, she compared the school records with her diary. There was no point altering entries in the week just gone. Mrs Gardiner's memory wasn't bad enough to forget such recent input, but in a school of over three hundred kids, data over a week old was fair game. Chloe altered her Tuesday and Friday zeroes to ones, but left Wednesday untouched. She'd convinced her father she was ill that day by feigning stomach cramps and sending him to Mundy's supermarket for tampons.

When she was satisfied her attendance was within the mandatory 85%, Chloe opened the student performance results and increased her C average to a B, with the exception of Physical Education, which she left at a barely passing C-minus. She left her IT mark at an A. There was only so much people would believe, and to pretend she was good at sport would stretch their imagination like a rubber band in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

“What are you doing?”

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thirty Minutes or Less

“One more cut and you'll bleed out.”

Chloe looked at the demon, her eyes narrowed. “That's not helpful, you know.” She rested the thin sliver of steel against her wrist. The lump in her throat felt the size of a football.

“I'm not trying to be helpful, just stating a fact. Hurry up, I haven't got all day.” It pulled a watch from its waistcoat pocket and checked the time on it against the digital clock on the bathroom wall. “It seems I have another seven minutes, mind. Your clock is fast.”

“Mum sets it that way so we're ready for school on time.”


“My brother and me.”

“I thought your brother was dead.”

“He is.”

“Squashed flat in an RTA.”

“Do you mind?” She cave an upward nod toward the instrument of her impending death.

“Not at all. Go right ahead.” It scrolled through its phone. “Are you going to be much longer?”

“I'm going to take the rest on my life.”

“Ha-ha. Clever. Only, if you're going to be another thirty minutes I'll order a pizza.”

“What sort of pizza?”

“All the meats.” It put the phone to the hole in its head which deemed to pass for an ear, then paused. “Why? Do you want one?”

“What? A last request?”

It smiled. “Sure. Got any money?”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Official Caution

“Honestly, they look so easy to drive.”

Sergeant Wilde was in plain clothes, but she still had that air of official zealotry. You could tell she wasn't used to kids by her manner, half consoling and half cajoling, like a community sports instructor who's caught you having a fag at the back of the cricket pavilion. “But you've not had a lesson, have you? How old are you? Fourteen?”

“Fifteen. It was my birthday last week. Not that anyone cared.” Chloe folded her arms. One card, that's all she'd got, and that was from her aunt Ruska who'd put in a hundred hryvnia note. Chloe had been excited until she'd found it was worth less than three quid.

“So not even a provisional licence yet?”

“I had a lesson on my dad's building site. I learned how to drive it and work the shovel. It's harder than it looks but it's not exactly rocket science. There isn't even a steering wheel.”

“No, but there is a lever for raising the bucket, isn't there?”

“Obviously. I didn't mean to carve a six foot deep trench behind me. I wondered why I couldn't get any speed up.”

“The speed limit was five miles an hour.”

“So I wasn't speeding.”

“No. Not through the graveyard, anyway.”

Monday, February 29, 2016

Screaming for Blood

Jennifer Wilson got in a pre-emptive strike. At least, that's what she told Miss Simmons when the science teacher noticed the three-deep ring of teenagers in the top playground half way through lunch and waded in to pull the two girls off each other.

“I was in fear for my life, Miss. I'm allowed to strike first if I'm in fear of my life. That's the law, that is.”

Miss Simmons turned to the other participant who looked, if anything, worse off than Jennifer. “Is that true, Chloe? Did you threaten Jennifer?”

“As if.” Chloe Good's mouth snapped closed from what certainly appeared to be open-mouthed wonder. “I wasn't doing nothing.”

“See, Miss? Double negative.” Jennifer's best friend Holly Taylor Pointed at Chloe. “She did mean to do summat.”

“Don't be a smarty pants, Holly. I think you'll find the concept of the double negative has entered the OED as expressing an empathic negative.” She looked from one girl to the other. “Right. Both of you can go and see Mrs Hammond. I'm sure she can get to the bottom of this when she calls your parents.”

“It's all right, Miss.” Chloe wiped a smear of blood from her mother. “No need to call me' da. I started it. It wo're Jenny's fault.”

“That's good of you to admit, Chloe. Award yourself three weeks of after school detention.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

short forms 19th February 2016

formal warning
for excessive absence
she works on a way to freelance.

© Rachel Green 2016

spikes of rye grass
scintillate in sunlight
deep frost

© Rachel Green 2016

battling depression
my poetry use to improve
when I was down
Now I can't even get myself
to write at all

© Rachel Green 2016

malware detected
the same two instances every day
what adds them back?

if only I could scan
for what was wrong with me
remove infections

would it work for bigots?

© Rachel Green 2016

work to do. Her sagging jaw

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Suicide Note