Wednesday, 31 December 2014

'Tis the Season...Three Pieces

 First Piece
‘It’s hard work being a pantomime prop,’ thought the two kidney beans, their three companions long since lost. ‘No-one appreciates the pressures you’re under as the stars of the show. The longeurs you have to endure between scenes, all the lapses into bored, becalmed quiet. We were expecting Jack and a Beanstalk,’ they mused, ‘but, confusingly, ended up with Red Riding Hood, carrying a knapsack bundle that clearly belongs to Dick Whittington!’

‘I thought it was free,’ said Red Riding Hood, ‘and as it was packed with bottles of mulled wine I decided a-wassailing we will go. Be of good cheer, you can come too.’ The old Christmas card read the riot act, demanding to come along as well. And Cheryl cut the cake so they’d have something to eat later.

The whole cast took off from the theatre roof, blazing pathways through the night sky. Only the old wishing well stayed behind, sulking and emanating an all-pervading smell of  damp and decay. The beans made a mental note to make friends with it later, against the day they needed a fresh start. Germination needed water - lots of it, and where better than a well that could make all their wishes come true?

The copyright of this post belongs to Clare Elstow 11/12/14

Second Piece

The disorganised confusion of the weather was offset by the charming, hopeful chaos within. As her new red boots took her towards the house, the young woman felt uplifting energy, a coracle of hopefulness floating her towards a settled resolution.
‘What if this was perfect?’ she thought, as the door swung open and sunshine appeared through the clouds, clearing away the wind and rain she’d battled so long.

‘Guess what’s in your stocking!’ said the bright apparition on the threshold. Was it an angel in disguise? Perhaps she thought, as she ran towards her mother, who was standing by the front door with its welcoming Christmas wreath.

The copyright of this post belongs to Clare Elstow 11/12/14

Third Piece
They could hear the boots marching down an empty street nearby. A relentless rhythm, transparent in its aggression. Utterly selfish, with no regard to the fears and lives of the occupied residents.

More sinned against than sinning, one family decide to retaliate. Absorbing the beat by osmosis, they do what they’ve always done at picnics by the riverside. A lone voice starts the song; a more highbrow member of the family adds a complex counterpoint, another a bass line. For a moment there is sweet harmony, a polyphonic heaven. Then joy is binned, happiness trimmed and the jackbooted beat predominates.

Everyone echoes the relentless beat, drumming on the floor, table, door – matching the aggression marching away. But one person fumbles again for melody, tries to ejaculate a burst of musical notes. The wistful sound of their harmonica drifts down the street, following the uncaring boots, blowing in the wind.

The copyright of this post belongs to Clare Elstow 20/11/14

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