Don’t You Know Who I Am? (Superman FanFiction)

“I’m on the decline, my dear. I was such a strong man in my younger days, I never thought ‘d be so… weak or chubby. But then, even men like I was get old and fat at some point. The Christmas dinners, teas and cakes out and now in this nursing home they feed me all the time. It could be worse. The company’s good, though we keep having the same conversations.  The food is good. You treat me well here.”

“I’ve had a good life. I worked as a journalist for the Daily Bugle before it shut down. I wrote articles for them for forty years before I retired. There was a lot of in-fighting, and they couldn’t keep up with the technological age in the end. Lois and I had five children! If I wasn’t here, I’d be babysitting all the grandchildren. But then, that was always Lois’s strong point. When her health went down, I couldn’t do it on my own. There are so many of them! At least they come to the home sometimes. Of course, I’m just circling the drain, just waiting to join her. I keep all the articles I write her in a scrapbook by my bed. You’ve probably seen it, but not taken a look. Feel free! Take me up and I’ll talk you through it!”

Mr Kent’s carer, Jacqui, was always a good listener. She helped the old man out of his chair, into the hall and into the lift where his bedroom was. He helped him onto sitting on the bed before pulling a small chair up beside him. He opened the scrapbook and smiled. An old issue of the Daily Planet, about Superman right enough.

He indicated one of the articles. “It was a full time job, writing about Superman. Me and Lois both had it, on top of writing our own stories. I’m surprised nobody put two and two together.”

Jacqui was curious, “Two and two together about what, Mr Kent?”

“That it was just me without glasses and a costume! I thought some clever cookie might have piped up and put me and Lois out of our misery!”

The carer raised her eyebrows, “You were Superman?”

“Still would be if my health allowed me. I’m a bit stronger than the rest of these old guys, but not much.” Mr Kent chuckled.

Jacqui found this very hard to believe. Everybody who read a paper or social media knew that Superman was dead. He died of some kind of heart attack and pronounced dead on the spot. The funeral was televised and everything. But then, she thought, he’s on the decline. He said so himself. He might just be having delusions. The worst thing to say was that it wasn’t true.

So Jacqui smiled, and said, “That’s remarkable Mr Kent! Would you like to take that to the lounge and have a cup of tea?”

The man’s face radiated with warmth, “Why, my dear, I’d love to.”

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Magic’s Price [Re-Uploaded]

My dad is a wizard. Mum nicknames him ‘Merlin’ but you may know him as a children’s entertainer called Magic Eric. You may just think he’s just plain old card tricks, balloon animals, kind of magician, but this isn’t true. He is so much more than that.

At my birthday party today, the weathermen said it was going to rain. It rained everywhere except our little village. He made the garden gnomes come to life. He made the cake last forever, I swear it kept growing back after a slice was taken. What a treat! I got to eat so much. We had a paddling pool, and pop music, and party games… I was sad to have to say goodbye to all those people when the day was over.

But Dad was so pale and tired, trying to make the party so fun for me.

Dad is now taking me down to my room, without saying much. He closes the door, and sits beside me on my bed.

“You know the price for all this magic, don’t you son?”

He looks me right in the eyes, like the time he told me that our dog Arthur had died. Do I? I look up at him blankly. He shakes his head.

“Of course, you forget every time. It’s your youth.”

He puts his hand on my shoulder. What? There’s a familiar jolt. As I get weaker and weaker, he grips me tighter and tighter. Why? Why can’t his magic be for free?

I can barely keep my eyes open! I look up at him. His face looks angry. Why is he angry with me? His eyes look numb and wet.

I wake up the next day, in my bed, with my pyjamas on. I didn’t fall asleep in these. I feel very groggy. I stumble down to the kitchen and Dad is eating fruit salad, chatting to Mum. He gives me an over-the-top smile: “How’s my great little apprentice doing? All tuckered out after the party last night?”

Mum is smiling innocently at me. Dad is looking at me, trying to figure out what I’m going to say. “Yeah, it was pretty fun. Thanks Dad.”

 

 

Down With The Sickness

The sun shone through an open window. I could hear birds singing, people laughing and talking, ELO’s Mr Blue Sky playing. I was sitting on the toilet, holding a basin, wishing I would just throw up already. Today, I was sick. And not in the cool, hip-hop way either.

In fact, by this point, I’ve been ill for two weeks. This was the second round of antibiotics, as the first one Amoxicillin was just too mild-mannered to fight off this chest infection. The flem clung to my throat and ribcage like stubborn cobwebs, or like a weepy, creepy ex. My sinuses were clogged, making my head heavy in aching pain.

I had to watch from afar- or in other words my Facebook newsfeed- all the nights out, dinners out, days out and other people having an all-out great time. I had to cancel shifts with my Easter holiday work- all of them over two weeks; Burnsfest, Easter Sunday with my family, Easter Sunday with my boyfriend’s family and god knows what else.

Why? I was housebound with it. As in the Disturbed song, I was well and truly down with the sickness. It was like the poltergeist that just wouldn’t go away. It was named The Cough.

I could barely move without coughing violently. I could barely think without coughing violently. All I did for the next five or so weeks was cough. Sometimes, I coughed for so hard and so long I made myself throw up.

I tried everything to exorcise this demon that haunted my body.

At first I thought: it’ll only last three days at most. I’ll stay positive, guzzle as many vitamins as possible, rest up and maybe if I ignore it for long enough, it’ll go away. Right? And for three days, I was led to believe this.

But on the fourth day? Nope! The Cough decided to stay, and it decided to exhaust me. For the next three days after that, I was bedridden. Then for the next two weeks, I would be couch-ridden. The Cough took up all my energy. I could barely play video games, let alone write meaningful content.

My Easter holidays evaporated and any shred of positivity had gone along with it. The Cough’s hold upon me had weakened, but I couldn’t bring myself to do everything I could do before. Still zero energy.

Another four days and I dragged myself back to work. If I didn’t go back now, The Cough would win. So I went back. I’ve been back at work for a week or so now and I’m still fighting it. Just about.

It’s not just a bad excuse for not producing new content. I really have been so ill I’ve not been able to write. I’ve been so used to going at a hundred miles an hour every day, but this past month I’ve been barely moving at a snail’s pace. Maybe if I hadn’t been going so fast, The Cough wouldn’t have had such an ample target.

I’ve decided to pace myself as best I can. I have an unbearable urge to say yes to every new project that appears but I doubt that’s a sustainable practice. This little blog post is one small baby step into creating new, fresh content for the website. Be patient though: I’m still locked in mortal combat with The Cough and it’s still breathing.

Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for helping with the editing process. I’m still pretty new to blogging and wanted to make this one worth your while! x

Do you have any illness horror stories? Have you also been a victim of The Cough? Send me your stories in the comments! It’ll give me some goddamn perspective! 😀

This Gives Me Closure (prose poem)

To you,

I opened my soul in the dark. To you, it was a roll around the park. To you, what was I? A laugh? A whore? An easy ride? All your courtesy and respect died. You left me out to dry.

You saw everything you had to see, and cut contact with me. I cried as if I was bereft but my eyes are clear now. You’re the one who has lost out. You’ll chase after some glossy glam girl, and then another. You’ll smirk but you’ll never be truly happy. And now I’m happier that we’re apart.

I Know The Effects of Gravity

From my top floor apartment I can hear eery Christmas jingles from inside shops. It’s got a good location, if you like going out in the town and to the student union but I’ve never been a big fan. Usually, games nights in my house would do me. If I had any friends, that is. They’re always busy, and they live at the other side of the country. They don’t call or text anymore.
I look down at the great drop below me. The shoppers are like aphids. From here, you can’t see their expressions, and you can’t hear them talk to each other. Any one of those aphids could be squashed, or burned by the magnifying glass of God at any given moment, and they’ll never see it coming.
I could jump you know. I can’t stand this life anymore. I hate Christmas, especially. The cheer is fake and that once a year I have to pretend that my family actually care about my life, at least outside my career prospects. All of them piling in from St Andrew’s to lord it over because I’m at Glasgow which is for slow people. But I’m studying medicine, like they want me to, so they can’t hold that against me.
Next week, I’ll be in the exam hall, tested on how efficiently I can regurgitate facts. Everything I’ve learned, everything I am will be defined by that day. I know for a fact going to fail it. I’ve missed so many classes, because I’ve been either so anxious I can’t speak or so depressed I think I’m coming down with the worst flu ever. Slow person. It almost suits me now. I can barely drag myself over to the window sill.
The only person who is actually there is my cat, Tesla. She’s out hunting. Every time she comes home, she brings back a bird or mouse corpse. It’s these little kindnesses that make my life less bitter. Except for her, I have no-one.
I bring myself to my feet. I look down again. I could do it. I could jump… but then, I can hear the cat flap. Tesla. I can hear her meowing. You can’t be hungry, can you? There’s food in your bowl. She sits at my feet. Her claws dig into my feet and she’s looking up at me with those ‘Don’t Leave me’ eyes. She knows.
“You’ll manage fine without me.” I cry.
Tesla meows louder, and sadder. As if to say, ‘But I don’t want to, without you.’
I collapse onto a heap on the floor, and cry my lungs out. She pads up to me, climbs onto my knees and starts to lick my nose. I need help. I pick up my mobile phone and text some of my friends to invite them down for Christmas. I’ll try to keep going for another six months.
My phone pings. It is my friend Stephanie. She says she’s coming down tomorrow.
Featured Image by McKenzie Clarklove-is-a-violent-feeling

Braineater

Always hungry, Never sleeping. Mind, eaten- decaying. Lucky to speak. Feed me. Where am I? Help me. Move slow, like corpse. Move by smell of food. Many corpses- like me, around. Rotting as walking. Guts hang out. Food moves. Food talks. We catch food. It has body like mine. It screams. We break it with our teeth. Devour.

Another food screams for his brother. “No!!” We turn. More food. This food has a stick. Bang! One falls. Stick kills. We don’t care if we drop. We reach, trying to grab food. Bang. Now black.

 

braineater

 

Featured text and image by Jen Hughes (c)

Peacock at Kew Gardens

I have no name but Peacock. I live in a big garden, with domes, grass, gravel and stuff. There are lots of chirruping, berry eating birds, flowers and trees, and apes in all shapes and sizes. But there’s nobody here quite like me. What’s that thing you’ve got in your hand? I’ve heard it’s called a camera, it’s for capturing memories? Am I a good memory? I like how it flashes. You stare and smile at me, because my feathers are colourful. You apes are so easily amused. I like that. Now you’ve got a picture of me, you can show me to all of your friends and they’ll think I’m magnificent too. Because you think I’m great, right? I mean, what’s the point in me being here if you don’t? There’s no bird quite like me.

That’s why they keep me by myself, I think. You should be looking at me, keep looking at my tail feathers. Look at me! I’m handsome! Don’t walk away, don’t- never mind. I just wanted somebody to talk to.

(C) Text and Featured Image by Jen Hughes