Friday, 23 March 2012


As exams edge closer and closer for me, Ben and I have agreed to take a short hiatus until June 25th. I'm sad to see the project be put on hold, but I really want to put all my effort into exams. Writing pieces, thinking of themes, and coming up with obstructions is too time consuming for the moment and I'm deeply sorry if anyone is saddened by this news, but we'll be back with some new and interesting themes at the start of summer.

Wishing everyone the best,

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Week 2: "Water" - Andrew

Yet to discover your depths they see,
but life without mystery,
and for where they see you help life grow,
in abundance they end and all will know.

Tumultuous sounds are made in fear,
and where the void of all other existence is clear,
the drip drop dropping sounds echo near.
Moments before you tell them their sin,
you wait for them to gasp you in,
and at the moment they choke on your omnipresence,

You tell them:

“I am Life. I am Death. But mostly, I am your sentence.”

          They regard you as the cleanser of dirt and sin. They taint your streams and the oasis havens you gift them. You grant them rivers and reverence yet they corrupt and pollute. Do they not see your puissance? Do they not see how generous you are?
           Deluded into thinking you are the harmless dripping from the metal mechanisms they manipulate you from, or the soothing falls underneath the enveloping brush that natural life shield them with; they are mistaken. 
           For you are the preponderance of all things, you are the guardian of the depths and the seer of the void.

You are water, and they are man.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Week 2: "Water" - Ben

"He had been the midsummer rain on my windowsill,
Together we formed puddles on the glass,
Tears on the concrete.

The singing brook turns brine to the ocean,
The beauty in the meander,
The question in the current,
Where once we dappled green in the nymph-light of the canopy,
Now, the might is much too much
And the surf stung him
And the riptide broke his bones
And my shouts fell deaf against the roar
And he won’t come home
And you cannot drown in air-like love."

You grip the paper, now stained by the ink that marks it. Something drips a steady rhythm from your chin- sweat, tears, rainwater or a potion of the three.
You have not been here since you were a child and the walk in the storm reminded you of your father (clinging to his hand in the dark) and his hopeless fishing rods and of your mother, cursing behind you, lighting a cigarette against the wind.
Now the lagoon is heavy with algae and it breathes thick and steady. The rain, a drizzle, has broken through the centre and the body of water appears to open with a great shout. You are on your knees now. Your hands are mahogany- wet with clay.
Days ago it had been so clear to you that it was over. Now, faced by this place, it seems a shallow victory. You see his face in the shallows and it is sadness and not some furious vengeance you feel. It is all hollow.
The water kisses your toes like a lover and purrs like a cat at your heels. It wraps your shins like a plea and bathes your thighs like a lustful crowd. You are waist deep now. The algae clings to your body like a new skin. You think it all very new.
You peel off layers of clothing and they sink to the bed, needless, to be discovered by two lovers or perhaps a fleshy little boy, his grip clenched tight around his mother’s pruned thumb. Now you are baptised in the warmth and majesty of the lagoon. You rub the algae into your cheeks and you are perfumed by the stench of decay and flora. The water salts your lips with the taste of a river.
You are in the centre now, where the rainwater has shattered the protoctista- the mouth of the lagoon. Between radii, far away, you are aware of your nudity and your isolation and you find it thrilling and erotic. The mouth begins to devour you- pushing from all sides of a circle- and you submerge.
Under, you dream that you see phosphorescence on the face of the water and the oysters are chattering to you.
When you surface, you remember the paper in your hand. Sodden, the ink has turned a blackish mess and all that remains is the shadow of words and an opening:
“He had been-”
You nod. He had been.
And you flee home, forgetting your nakedness for the sake of new light and the sunrise.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Week 2: "Water"

Theme: Water:- Write about water (500-1000 words)

The Three Obstructions:
  1. You must personify water. 
  2. The piece must be in the second person and any tense.
  3. Within the piece there must be at least 10 lines of poetry*.
*Each line of poetry counts for 10 words of the overall piece. For example, 400 words of prose and 10 lines of poetry meets the minimum length of the piece.

Theme chosen by Ben.
Obstructions chosen by Andrew.

Please feel free to suggest future themes or obstructions in the comments for consideration.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Week 1: "Character Building" - Andrew

“You mustn’t leave me.”

            I pound my fists against his chest to no avail. Nothing happens; the weakening of time had dealt its consequence in both of us. It is not adrenaline and pain that Death feasts on, it is the slow waning of life that he savours. Whereas he sleeps, peacefully, I am left on the other side of the veil trying to find its seams to rip or shred or destroy, yet too weak to unleash the potency of emotion in any form. My eyes would yet weep more if not for the lack of moisture, and my arms would yet cradle him a last time. So for now, I rely on anger and pain.  For now I entertain my anger as I knew it will fade to grey, unlike the sorrow that will forever linger.

            My arms grow tired of beating the corpse, his corpse, and my body begins to tremble. I lift his still warm, living yet lifeless arm over me; finding a sense of comfort in his surrounding presence.
“You said...” I whisper, spattering a combination of tears and saliva onto his sweater. “ were impervious.”
            Lifting my head to look upon his countenance, the pallor of his face and dull blue of his lips that promises the oncoming decay suppresses my anger. Perhaps I relinquished it. Perhaps his immortal soul that has now transcended mortality comforted me.  It did not protect me. It did not free me.

Take it.


Quickly, before it leaves.


You feel it in his arm.

            “You left me, weak and ancient.” Ancient, just like this curse.
Its tendrils eagerly latch onto the corpse before I have even positioned myself accordingly. The blueness of his lips devolve to grey; the blotched, tanned skin soon followed. The flesh withers to nothing; the space between his fragile bones and sagged skin now a void like my empathy. I stand, easily for my age, and feel no remorse or guilt for what I have just allowed.
            Before I can stretch my new muscles and crack my sturdy bones, the skin on my face tightens. My lips become plump. My spine straightens and my scalp returns to its healthy form after so many years.
            I look down at the corpse I have just desecrated, smiling as I run my tongue over my teeth. A full set of teeth that, moments before, were mostly missing (and those that weren’t, were crooked and a dark, unsightly yellow).
This parasite that uses me as a mouthpiece hides in the corners of my mind for decades, appearing only when its existence is threatened. Attached to my mortality, it feeds; insatiable until sated. Bathed in bloodless bloodshed, it returns to the depths of my mind where the other souls of men become a dessert for the Curse. Staring upon the corpse that mimicked the aesthetics of a centuries-old mummified pharaoh, I bend down and take his sweater.

          The sweater is cute, and it's cold in the streets of London.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Week 1: "Character Building" - Ben

An opening door with the hesitance of dread. Perhaps they expect to find me greened and bloated- the greyish tinge of rot at my edges. To them, I am an opaque hourglass - my time courses slowly seawards but they aren’t gingered to predict the untimely accident they will no doubt call “peaceful”.
Perhaps they expect a state of undress too horrible for them to consider. Though once I may have been beautiful, they enforce loathing. Dimpled and wrinkled, with the pallor of years, I often trace the bruised tattoos of varicose, thinking they might form a painful map of some importance.
The polite young man who has been politely visiting for some time, seats himself and begins to politely talk to me with the smug glisten of considered politeness.
“How are you today, Mrs. Albert?”
It’s always the first question asked, though I know they expect no deviance from slow deterioration.
I gaze.
I must have been silent for some minutes, for he speaks slowly with concern and a furrowed brow.
“Mrs. Albert?”
My name with its widow’s sting.
            “Yes?” I have since forgotten his question.
            “You’ve been awfully quiet,” he condescends to me.
            “Have I? I hadn’t noticed.”
            I had. Time has become the strangest friend to me. As I extend towards the infinitesimal, minutes have wilted and seconds are browned and shed of all significance. This is the autumn of my years. I begin to express this to the polite young man but thought exhausts me and tired grey matter elicits only a sigh.
            “What are you reading today?” He leans forwards and then quickly falls back into his chair. They bathe me in lilac and lavender – the smells of age I reviled in my youth.
            I had long since forgotten the book in my lap. Rather, I no longer feel its pressure. Had I been dozing when they found me? For how long? It’s as if a bullet is loosed from the barrel and a trigger then pulled.
I feel sluggish and slow and confused and aware. My breathing shallows. The polite young man leans in again and I gesture for water.
            “Water?” he asks.
            I nod, though I long for something stronger. The worst part about this clinically beige and stone place is the “ginlessness”. I long for gin, though dryness is encouraged (a softer kind of mandatory).


            I open my eyes (had I closed them?) and the polite young man is here again. He is already politely seated and smiling politely at me. My hand is wrapped around something (too late) falling to the ground.   Soporific, I hear the helpless shattering of glass (mine?) and the polite young man is here again and he is leaping forward to clear the wreck.
            The door opens and I see him in the doorframe- as broad and strapping as our wedding day. I feel light pink and romantic. I feel as champagne does.
            “Is everything okay?” he asks.
            No, the voice is too high and never Irish. He is red with thick freckled ankles and in a dress. (It shatters like a glass too late from my hand).
The figure is sternly medical and now she is holding my wrist and holding something cold to my lips and something falls into the pillowed chamber of my velvet mouth.
We are all waiting for something. The polite young man who is here again looks uncomfortable and is mopping up something that has smashed on the ground (mine?). I believe him to be unprepared for responsibility.
I’m aware that the nurse with thick ankles is asking me to count with her.
We reach ten and I touch her hair.
“Such a pretty russet,” I say.
They both stare at me with shining eyes of kindness, but I remember they think me mad.
I find fleecy comfort in the pill I have swallowed without question.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Week 1: "Character Building"

Theme: Character building:- Build a single character (500-1000 words)

The Three Obstructions:
  1. The main character must be female and over 60 years old.
  2. Each line of dialogue is limited to 6 words.
  3. The piece must be first person and present tense.
Theme chosen by Andrew. 
Obstructions chosen by Ben.

Please feel free to suggest future themes or obstructions in the comments for consideration.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Three Obstructions

From Wikipedia:
The Five Obstructions ... is a 2003 Danish film by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. ...The premise is that Lars von Trier has created a challenge for his friend and mentor, Jørgen Leth, another filmmaker. Von Trier's favourite film is Leth's The Perfect Human (1967). Von Trier gives Leth the task of remaking The Perfect Human five times, each time with a different 'obstruction' (or obstacle) given by von Trier
Following closely in some vague footprint of this, comes "The Three Obstructions".

  • Each Monday, Andrew or Ben will set a theme for the week's writing. 
  • The other will then produce a set of three obstructions to apply to the theme that week. 
  • By Sunday, each of the writers will have posted a piece of writing (no less than 500 words unless otherwise stated), following the theme and obstructions.

The challenge is to inspire creativity in the restriction of technique, forcing each writer out of self-set comfort zones.

The project will be a learning experience, a test and (hopefully) a pleasure and we hope you enjoy it as much as we hope we do.

Please feel free to suggest future themes or obstructions in the comments for consideration.