Soundtrack: Fabio and Grooverider DNB60 (BBCsounds)

Put on some music, start tapping. No plans, no rewrites. See what happens.

A smoke filled room. Lights flashing, bass rolling. A smoke filled room, the crowd enraptured, the crowd convulsing. A smoke filled room, a green laser piercing, making shapes in shadow across all their faces and the walls. A smoke filled room, the throng pulsating, the morass posturing, making shapes, making statements. A smoke filled room made murkier — harder to discern — by the plumes of dry ice and the incessant strobe. A smoke filled room too small for all these…


It’s a hymn really, a sonnet. Some words to try and express feelings of love to someone I met in Beijing who means the world to me and will never be forgotten. Someone, without whom, my time in Beijing would have been intolerable and utterly different.

Her name, and it is always a she, is Wong. That’s how my wife and I were introduced to her. Through an outgoing landlord, through the grapevine of expat life in the suburbs, she answered our call in broken English. …


Put on a favourite album and see what comes out — no planning allowed!

Soundtrack: Orbital — Live at Glastonbury 2004

It Fits. It fits.

These words to a screen, these words to a mood. They fit. The soundtrack, all frenetic and repetitive (those repetitive beats). They fit. These thoughts, these actions (stifled, stilled — for the sake of the children), they fit.

Fit my screen, fit my mood. Fit the space I have to fill before going reasonably up to bed.

Can’t make it look like I miss her, can’t make it look like I’d rather she was here.


…. Their eldest carried flowers, held a dress above the knee that didn’t need holding. She’d seen brides on telly and thought she knew what to do, wouldn’t be told that this wasn’t the thing to do. The flowers she especially liked. Yellow, orange and white, he’d ask to sort it all out, paid for them too. She felt like it showed he really cared, taking such an interest in the wedding like that, felt special, lucky and loved. She would have chosen differently, certainly nothing so simple. But she loved that he had mad the effort. They were well…


It wasn’t the day.

2019, May. A year later.

The alarm sounded. It was six or something, sometime before the dawn. The shit phone was playing something classical, something someone who works for the phone company thinks sounds classical. It isn’t anything you’d know, not anything famous — or even good. But of all the sounds available on this shit phone they’ve given me, it’s the one that sounds most calming, least likely to wake me up in a state: angry, unsettled and scared.

It was 6am — I checked — and I woke in a borrowed bed in a…


It had been raining, and raining hard, for a full day now. Ever since first she cracked open her eyes in the grey dawn, she had heard the rain on the window, could feel it on the damp tiles above. But then, so often did she confuse the pale grey light — the dove light: the fag ash — for still being night — the white street lights outside her bedroom mixing with the fug in her head, the ache in her bladder, to give rise to the notion that whenever she woke, it was time to get up, that…


#amwriting

Retreat 1, story 2

THE GIRL

05/03/2019 – early morning
It wasn’t the day.
The alarm sounded, something classical, something someone who works for the phone company thinks sounds classical. It isn’t anything you’d know, not anything famous - or even good. But of the sounds available on this shit phone they’ve given me, it’s the one that sounds most calming, least likely to wake me up in a state: angry, unsettled and scared.
It was 6am and I woke in a borrowed bed in a borrowed room – a room that belongs to someone else. Around me are other people’s…


Retreat 1, story 2

THE RIDOCOLYPSE

The doom clock said five minutes to go. Five minutes before the ridocolypse kicked in and everything would be changed forever. Maxim turned to me, his thick, black dreadlocks drooping, his black eyes half closed. Here, take this, I can’t have any more. He passed me the massive joint and slumped back in his chair, his eyes closing, a small sigh emanating from between his pierced lips. I looked at its glowing tip and marvelled at its construction. Not the fattest joint I’ve ever smoked, but longer than most and smoothly conical from roach to embered end. The…


These nits are the immortal.

They have been in one or other of them since before the holidays, on holiday, and now they are back at school.

These nits survive.

We have blitzed them with chemicals of varying degrees of animal tested, of skin safe and eye safe and humane eradication. On holiday, the chemicals came from the developing world — the third world, in old speak — and thus were simply poison. Pure poison.

These nits survive.

We have frizzed them with the fancy white comb that uses electricity to dislodge and fry them.

These nits survive.

We have…


Or, when shouting out is no longer enough

Three nights, four days. Buses and Taxis and Trams. Ponies and Ice Creams and Man!

Man! Can you do this, Man can you do this now. Thank you, Shrukren. Habiti, Ma Salama. Mummy, I need this now!

They fight, these littles, fight like cats and dogs. It’s mostly in our heads, mostly something that does not exist. Not like the people we have just endured, not like the people we have just explored. We were in the Holy Land.

So, Big wants Little to be elsewhere and, Little wants Big to play with her. There is a flourish of fists…

Tim Lyddiatt

Tim Lyddiatt is a writer and father, not too long back in the UK after travelling the globe, getting married and building a family.

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