International Writers Magazine:
used to be a fine boy of nine
With the world full up in my pockets
Before the wizard changed me -
Now I dont know why I do or dont
Wont ever be good or do as I should
Im a magnet to everything that moves -
Ive the stealth of a shadow
And the speed of sunshafts ----- piercing you
Im a horizontal rocket
Blasting out of moonbeam puddles
On mushroom garlic nights
I wear the shroud of death - softly
Removing life - just for the sake of it!
Im animal technology
I can read the universe by a sniff
Of the suns wind washing my clammy
Paws just before I catch a vole
Or snatch a worm inside a mole
I fear nothing but the tallest tree
I play in all time and sleep on silent snowflakes
Before the wizard changed me -
I used to be a fine boy of nine
the world full up in my pockets
Basildon was designed for traffic and adults: It was a soulless place
for a child. You couldnt walk anywhere in a straight line;- had
to flow down concrete rivers across the contours of cultural vacuity.
Building sites were always the best places, there was always stuff left
around. I discovered a small site near us and noticed a green hut. I
started working the window and found it easy to open. I then saw something
that made my heart race; on the floor in the opposite corner next to
some dirty magazines were dozens of bottles. I ran home to tell my older
brother and we waited for nightfall before returning. We made half a
quid each that night. The week after there must have been a party because
there were at least a hundred bottles, some unopened! Because I was
small, I would climb in, grab a load and pass them to my brother waiting
at the window. Things were progressing well until my brother yelled,
- "Paul, quick get out!".
I immediately thought that he was playing with me, remembering the time
he threw a large jar of pickled onions over me from the roof of a deserted
house, I smelt like a fish dinner for weeks! But then I saw in the middle
distance the black and white stripes of a policemans uniform.
Mikey had vanished!
As I got down from the window the policeman grabbed at me but I managed
to escape to the woods. I finally collapsed in a heap by a big oak tree
and made my way to a ditch to see if I could see the policeman go by.
I looked at my hands and was amazed to see two beer bottles still on
Just at that point I looked up and struggled for breath! The policeman
was walking along the path but he had Mikeys coller! I
lept up in one movement and ran over with tears streaming down my cheeks.
When we got home my father appeared shocked, but he seemed to thaw as
he and the policemen joked with each other. Apparently some expensive
equipment had been stolen and the policeman did not want us around the
area. When he had gone. my dad called for Mikey who returned soon after
telling me that dad wanted me in the shed. As I went I wondered what
I had messed up in the shed. I entered, "Yes Dad?"
"Mikey tells me that this was all your idea."
"Yes Dad," I replied, looking in his molton tar liquid eyes
I could gauge an anger that I had never seen. I heard a huge bang and
had absolutely no idea what had happened. Had the shed exploded? Were
we at war? Then the pain started, like a deep bass at first, but quickly
turning into high trills. And the horrible taste of salt in my mouth.
Just then in the darkness I heard "Ill change you - if its
the last thing I do."
I ran upstairs to my room and saw that both my lips were split
the bottom one in two places. I washed my face as best I could then
I turned the light off and took up my usual place by the window looking
out at the town. The tears flowing freely down my face stinging my lips,
but giving respite to my pounding headache. I cried and clenched my
fists, teeth and all my muscles for what seemed an age until
I became changed.
Paul Valentine December 2008
Paul is studying for his Masters in Creative Writing at the University
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