Category: tandem blog post


pastis99

Pearls before Swine is my favourite comic strip as a lot of you know and i thought this was particularly apt as it introduces the topic of today’s Tandem Blog post [where i, alongside 8 other bloggerists, get given a title and have to write whatever post it inspires] which is simply:

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Ninety-ninE

Nectarine, you ask? Well it does happen to be a peach’s kin

Is then a meditational appreciator of the bacterial fermentation process not a yogi?

Nuts! You exclaim, as you read the peanut packaging warning that “nut traces may be found within”

Elderberries carry a similar disappointment of not being simply a youngberry that has reached senioric age

There lies with food, even before one receives a taste, the subtle hint of a deeper to-be-had enjoyment

Yet we typically gloss over the possibility of hidden character traits to simply head for those we personally enjoy

Nervous as the avocado may appear to be, would you instinctively consider her humourly barren?

Is the mushroom, after all, once he has been given space to wind down from a hard day’s work, not a fungi?

No! It’s time we moved away from these presupposed speculatory judgements, premised on gustatory satisfaction?

Engage in deeper understanding of who your food at its very heart may really prove to be.

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[Interesting piece of writing, you may be thinking. But i’m not quite sure how that relates to the theme. Although most of you probably were nodding your head and making the appropriate aaahing and oohing sounds in an Emperor’s Clothes kind of “Well of course, it is. Don’t YOU think it is? I saw it straight away. Did you not see it?” kind of way. Well, what if i write it out once more, but with a little bit of a nudge. Right away, you might notice the beginnings and go, “Well, that IS rather fun. But anyone can do beginnings. Good show sir, well done.” If you let your eye linger for just a moment longer, then the endings might come into view, and maybe that will be enough for you to… well…]

Ninety-ninE

Nectarine, you ask? Well it does happen to be a peach’s kin

Is then a meditational appreciator of the bacterial fermentation process not a yogi?

Nuts! You exclaim, as you read the peanut packaging warning that “nut traces may be found within”

Elderberries carry a similar disappointment of not being simply a youngberry that has reached senioric age

There lies with food, even before one receives a taste, the subtle hint of a deeper to-be-had enjoyment

Yet we typically gloss over the possibility of hidden character traits to simply head for those we personally enjoy

Nervous as the avocado may appear to be, would you instinctively consider her humourly barren?

Is the mushroom, after all, once he has been given space to wind down from a hard day’s work, not a fungi?

No! It’s time we moved away from these presupposed speculatory judgements, premised on gustatory satisfaction?

Engage in deeper understanding of who your food at its very heart may really prove to be.

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This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with 9 other bloggerists. One title unwrapped by nine bloggerists. We realise that 9 is a lot of posts to read, but there is a lot of great stuff to be looked at, so please do your best. Why not start with Cath’s post over here,followed by Scott which you can find over here. Make sure you see what Kerry came up with over here. Then the rest of the posts can be found below. Maybe bookmark this page and spend the next week checking all of them out. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

James: http://www.jamespreston.org/

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za/

Sarah: https://medium.com/@ricegirl2

Dave: http://bloggsymalone.wordpress.com

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost

death

“THAT… IS COMPLETE AND UTTER… RUBBISH!” D muttered, before slamming the door on his way out.

B hated his roommate!

Oh sure, it had seemed like a good idea at the time. Move in with Death? Everyone had been completely jealous. What in the world could be more exciting than that?

And to be honest, in the beginning it had been.

The thrill of watching the sand slowly pouring through the hourglasses. Sneaking a quick peek at whose time was coming next when the old boneshaker was asleep [or at least his version of ‘asleep’ which really meant sitting upright on a chair at the dining table with a pillowcase over his skull to block out some of the light – it could be fairly disconcerting if you walked into the room and found him there].

B’s personal highlight was watching Death struggle awkwardly every single time he mounted his horse Binky before he took off on a job. Every. Single. Time. Why he, Death, chose to ride a real live horse was beyond him. Something dramatic no doubt. Death was nothing short of dramatic.

And yet, as time passed, and in this apartment time really did pass, the initial thrill had worn off quickly.

Death had refused to let him take a look at his own hourglass, muttering something about it not being in the rules, and had kept it well hidden in a secured location somewhere B had as yet been unable to discover.

Oh, and let’s face it, B thought to himself yet again, Death was also a bit of a dick.

He paused for a moment and looked back at his painting. It really wasn’t THAT bad, he thought, before slipping his brush back into the grey and dabbing at the bowl of fruit he was trying to re-create. His mind returned once more to his thoughts about his roommate.

He refused to do his share of the dishes, he always left stuff lying around the apartment, who knows WHAT that thing was in the container right at the back of the fridge – it was beginning to smell beyond bad, and if he paid the most careful of attention as he moved his eyes away from looking directly at it, his peripheral vision was pretty convinced it was starting to move.

B poked once more at the banana, which was starting to look a bit like a… like a… well, clearly not all that much like a banana. He carefully put down the brush, and sighed.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have time to clear up after Death. His own work was so tedious, he was frankly glad any time he came home to find any form of distraction to busy himself with. After another hard day of what? Distributing kitten and baby videos on the various social network platforms. Organising weather forecasts for London.School history orals, political speakers, library visits and apartment bathroom floor tile selection. Not quite the stuff to make a poor ageing mum proud.

‘Maybe I am jealous? Could that be it?’

B picked up his latest creation. ‘Creation’ is a bit of a strong word for this, he thought to himself. ‘Attempt.’ Yes, that’s better. Just.

He took it into his bedroom and tossed it uncaringly on the pile with all the others. Take up a hobby? Whatever had he been thinking?

He threw himself on to his bed and within minutes he had completely succumbed to ennui and despair.

‘Ooh, this is good,’ he thought out loud. ‘This i can use. Perhaps i shall keep that up after all.’

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[With a wink and a nod to the late legend, Terry Pratchett, whose portrayal of Death [my absolute favouritest character of his] i borrowed from to help make my story realer, and whose birthday it would have been yesterday as i wrote this]

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This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with 9 other bloggerists. One title unwrapped by nine bloggerists. We realise that 9 is a lot of posts to read, but there is a lot of great stuff to be looked at, so please do your best. Why not start with Cath’s post over here, followed by Scott which you can find over here. Welcome Kerry who is new to the team by reading what she came up with over here. Then the rest of the posts can be found below. Maybe bookmark this page and spend the next week checking all of them out. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

Cath: https://t.co/98AE4tkase

Scott: http://squidsquirts.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-art-of-boredom.html

Kerry: https://t.co/zEWHwIT1kh

James: http://www.jamespreston.org/2015/04/the-art-of-boredom.html

Megan: http://www.meganshead.co.za/the-art-of-boredom

Sarah: https://t.co/rHoS76QhMt

Dave: http://t.co/2G0tFmSrSn

Nick: https://medium.com/@nick_frost/the-art-of-boredom-e5da71765c91

[To see the first Tandem Post i did with the title, ‘Meeting the Queen’, click here]

magic

“But these words are Magic!” he said, and i think it was the gravelly emphasis that he placed on the “GIC” part of “maGIC” that caught my attention. Otherwise, i may well have escaped that encounter relatively unscathed.

As it was, i did not.

i was instantaneously curious…

“What type of magic?” i asked, as if i was suddenly an expert on all the diverse varieties that existed.

As if an hour before i had not been a simple son of a milkmaid traipsing our last milkless cow to the market to try and bring home some money to at least get us through the week.

As if the five beans i had already exchanged Daisy for were not starting to look minute by minute more just like ordinary run of the mill very non-magical garden beans.

But magic words? Now, those could change everything. Couldn’t they?

i jerked back to attention. His mouth was still moving and it seemed to me that i had just missed out on hearing exactly what kind of magic words they were. .Damn! i imagined it very unlikely that i could trick him into saying that again. Although if the last few words i heard were anything to go by, everyone in the whole village would be suitably impressed with me for some reason.

Now that did seem like something that would make mum proud. i wondered though how easy it would be for simple little me to be able to encourage this wise and experienced old man to exchange his very magical words for my distinctly earthy little seeds.

“How… exactly… do they work?” i stammered, hoping that i was not asking a question to something he had already told me.

Internally i told myself to hang on every word that came out of his mouth. This explanation that he was about to give was of paramount importance if my mum was ever going to see past the fact that i had exchanged our beloved cow for a handful of beans. And now those for mere words. Well, of course she would think they were “mere words” and i could even hear her screeching the phrase angrily as i told her. She had never been one to believe in magical or mystical things. And so it was crucial that i…

“…will never be the same again.” The old man stopped talking. Damn! It had happened again.

Which all led to me, not more than twenty minutes later, walking very slowly, bedraggledly and overcautiously back towards our little hut in the woods. No cow, no money, no beans, no instructions as to how to use the magical words. And now, not even the words themselves. i had been distracted by the most beautiful winged butterfly you have ever seen as it fluttered past me as if calling out to me to run and laugh and trip after it as it led me through the deeply forrested path.

i sat down on a stump, determined to call to mind at least one of the words he had spoken to me. The light was beginning to fade and the shadows were growing around me, mocking me as i sought the correct combination of letters from the deep recesses of my brain. Again and again i dragged the letters together with my tongue, hoping that i would once again stumble on something familiar, desperate to have something to take home with me. It seemed futile, but i was determined now. Seconds passed into minutes and approached the hour, but still i continued. This was a battle i was not going to lose. Closer and closer i seemed to get as the magical words danced on the tip of my tongue as if taunting me, calling me ever closer and then instantly shooting off to the far reaches of my mind…

Until, suddenly, i had one! There it was. Exactly as i had heard him say it to me. i focused all my attention on this word, knowing that this was the treasure i could finally take home to mum. This was going to transform our lives forever. At last, i was ready to return.

And as i stood to my feet, i looked up for a moment at the stars that were starting to take their places in the night sky. So beautiful. i could name all the major constellations and gently spoke out the ones in view. i remembered back to my dad teaching them to me when i was barely able to speak. He would point and i would trace the configuration with my finger and repeat after him as best i could. If only he were still around. i could just imagine the radiant look of pride on his face as i returned home with a magical word. The magical word that was…

Damn it.

This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with Dave Luis, Mandy Collins, Nick Frost, Cath Jenkin and Scott Dunlop. One title unwrapped by six bloggerists. Read Dave’s post over here, Mandy’s post here, and Nick’s post here. Cath’s post you can find over here and Scott’s over here. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

priest It had been another sleepless night for Michael, for the most part.

Oh sure, there had been moments when he had drifted in and out of slumber, but the beasts awaiting him there had not made life any easier. Taunting him mercilessly with screeched out reminders of his shortcomings, spewed out revelations of the secret things only he knew about.

The things no one else must ever know.

Ever.

Because Michael was a man of the cloth. And, as everyone knows, nothing short or absolute perfection is the benchmark for a man of his, cough, persuasion. Always carry the look of dignity, togetherness. Never let it seem that anything is awry from the front. From up high. Be the one listening to the confessions, never making them.

To be fair, it is not even as if Father Michael’s sins were particularly bad.

Or all that interesting.

In fact, had any of his regular confessors heard of the things that were bringing shame to their confessee, there would have been multiple eyebrow raises and possibly even a partially-stifled giggle. They were that inconsequential.

But to him… creature To him they manifested after dark as hideous scale-covered demonic beings, cackling aloud as they floated way above and then took turns dive-bombing his cowering head, as he yelped and wailed and crawled tighter and tighter into a human ball. And so it continued, drifting in and out of sleep. In the moments of awakeness, it was his own thoughts that betrayed him, judging him with the conciseness of a French Revolution guillotineur.

Then, as Michael would finally escape his own thoughts, it would be back to the nightmarish abominations, hounding him relentlessly, refusing to give him a moments peace or refuge from their accusations.

And so it would continue.

Like the monotony of a metronome.

And every night it was the same.

It should therefore come as little surprise that the first light creeping in through the crack in the curtains, signalling that it was time for this priestly figure to rise from the dead, was such a welcome visitor. That innocent blessings such as the whirring purr of his alarm clock, so carefully set and thrice checked the night before, or the tea tray set quietly outside his door by Mrs Jenkins the housekeeper, would be such welcomed and anticipated delights. That even the feel of cloth on foot as Michael slid out of bed into his slippers and by virtue of them, the new day, would be a disproportionate joy-bringer. These simple things were but symbols of this reverend’s elations at dawn.

This post is part of a tandem blogging exercise with Dave Luis, Mandy Collins, Nick Frost, Cath Jenkin and Scott Dunlop. One title unwrapped by six bloggerists. Read Dave’s post over here, Mandy’s post here, and Nick’s post here. Also check out first time contributors Cath over here and Scott over here. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

[To continue to the following Tandem post i did which was titled ‘Magic Words’, click here]

Two steps forward and then one to the right. I stand and wait, watching… guarding… carefully listening to my own heavy breathing…

I try to remain focused completely on the spaces around me, watching for you, zoning out of the chatter and in on any nearby movement that may be about to occur.

This time you will not get by me.

I am ready, alert, prepared for the inevitability of your attack.

One thing in mind, protect my liege, at all costs, even if it means i may have to sacrifice my very life.

And there you are… I finally catch sight of you, caught behind your wall, for now, but I know that will not last

In fact, just one minute later and already I spot a gap in the wall…

Soon, you will be coming…

I take a step to my left, another step forward

And one more.

All the while, watching, waiting, thinking, calculating.

Perhaps if I just keep myself moving, you will eventually make a mistake…

Silence.

It’s as if I can almost smell the deep thought that is resonating in the air just above me.

My horse makes a startled sound.

“Sh, Th’gink, it’s okay lady, easy now,” I quietly whisper into her ear, trying to calm her down.

When the moment comes to strike, I need her to be ready, totally in control.

More silence.

Followed by a gentle tik, tik.

The tell-tale sounds of plastic on wood…

Like a black widow on the prowl, you seek a deathly mating ritual.

And I, I will do everything I can to stop you.

And almost all too easily, there it is. The moment I have been building up to.

In an instantly regrettable moment of distraction, you took your eyes off of me.

I suspect it was the sight of the castle to your left?

As I gallop into view, straight, straight, and then at the last moment pull an audacious slide to the left.

I have your man in my sights…

And you must fall, so that he may make his brief escape…

queen

This post is my first post as part of a tandem blogging exercise with Dave Luis, Mandy Collins and Nick Frost. One title unwrapped by four storytellers. Read Dave’s post over here, Mandy’s post here, and Nick’s post here. Please share your thoughts on our fun exercise in the comments on each post, and remember that with bloggerists, sharing is always caring. 

[To check out the following Tandem Post i did with the title, ‘Revelations at Dawn’, click here]

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