365 Ficlets – Day #326 ~ “Tech Duty”

“What do you mean you’re not on Twitter?”

David was staring at me, slack-jawed and wide-eyed as he finished the above question. His reaction was as if I’ve just told him that I don’t enjoy having a woman blow me, or that even though I’m a meat eater I think that bacon is crap. The thing is that it’s a no-brainer to me; I don’t need to broadcast my every thought every moment that I thought it. Sure I’m working in “Web” and I blog, and I’m on Facebook, or Farcebook as I like to call it, but why is it beyond belief that I don’t have a Twitter account?

David got himself together and tried again;

“I mean how do you stay in touch with everything, man?”

This was not the first time I’d heard this, and I already had a stock answer;

“What did you do before Aprl 2007? Were you in a desert of solitude without any sense of human connection? Seriously?”

He didn’t get it, he went on for about another hour, so guess what? Yeah, I have a Twitter account now. Now the only thing left to do is to work out what the Hell to do with it?


365 Ficlets – Day #325 ~ “Sleepless Nights and Loving Mornings”

I ran my fingertip along her shoulders and slid my other hand around her waist, pulling her gently against me, letting her know that I was there. She laid a hand on top of mine and gently squeezed it as she relaxed back into my embrace. She turned her head a little and whispered;

“Hello, Baby. Did I wake you? I’m sorry.”

I rolled my palm over her shoulder, cupping it and massaging it softly as I let her know that I was happy to be awake by starting to lay kisses around the nape of her neck.

“I see. You’re quite happy to be awake then?”

She asked the question in such a way that I had a distinct impression that she was playfully raising an eyebrow, but there was no brush off there; I could tell that as I felt her other hand gently running up the inside of my thigh.

“I love you, Baby. Take me to bed, or lose me forever.”

We laughed together; it had been such a long time since one of us had quoted the movie that had brought us together all those years before. I scooped her up in my arms, and carried her back to bed.


365 Ficlets – Day #324 ~ “Home Invasion”

“Wake up.”

Fran was shaking me hard, her hands gripping tightly onto my shoulders. I clawed my way out of my sleeping state. Just as I was about to ask her what in the Hell was wrong with her she clamped her hand over my mouth and whispered in my ear;

“Listen. Do you hear that?”

I strained to hear whatever it was that she wanted me to hear, but the silence was all I could detect. I was about to tell her she was crazy, that it was just the wind, or the cat, when I did hear something. Someone or something knocked over something breakable, because there was an almighty crash from downstairs; something glass or china broke against the floor. The fear that ran through me at that moment was electric; someone unwelcome was in our house. Our son was sleeping down the hall from us, and the stairs separated us from him, so my thoughts immediately turned to his safety. I turned over and whispered to Fran;

“Wait here for me; I’m going to go and get James before he makes any noise.”

She nodded and I slipped quietly out of bed.


365 Ficlets – Day #323 ~ “Back to the Bay”

“And what is the purpose of your stay, Sir?”

I smile at the immigration official;

“Some business, some vacation. You know how it goes.”

They nod and smile back, then hand my passport back to me and I’m in. Even someone like me, with no nefarious thoughts, with money in their pocket and with no plans to out stay their welcome, entering the United States can be a nerve-wracking business. Still now that I had passed the test I could make my way into the City and focus on the meetings that were the genuine justification for flying half way around the world, and even with that pressure hanging over my head, that was a relief.

I headed across the bridge from the terminal to the BART station and having bought myself a ticket waited on the platform for my high speed ride into the heart of downtown. London could learn a lot from San Francisco on this front. This was my second visit in just over a year and I was still impressed by how simply, efficiently and cheaply the airport is connected to the main part of the City.


365 Ficlets – Day #322 ~ “Travelling Blues”

“Hello there.”

Oh God, she’s grinning in that way; you know what I mean, the way that your scary aunty did when you were a child. It’s been a constant stream of them, horny fifty-something widows and divorcées, ever since I boarded the boat. I really am starting to wish I’d listened to my friends who had warned me about the dangers of holidaying alone, on a cruise liner. Don’t misunderstand, if I was less than fifteen years younger than any of them then I would be happy of the attention, but not only am I still in a place where I want my lovers to at least be capable of having children, but I am on holiday alone not to find a replacement for my last one, but to simply get away and forget. Still, I am not able to simply ignore her or anyone else; we are on this relatively small ship together for ten days after all, though thankfully four of them were done;

“Hello. Taking the air?”

She nodded and sat down next to me, unbidden.

“I’ll be honest, I saw you head this way after dinner and I wanted to talk to you.”

My heart sank, the last conversation that had gone this way – after lunch – had been very depressing.


365 Ficlets – Day #321 ~ “Torture”

Hot, too hot. Mouth dry, throat hurts. Eyes open? No, too bright.

“Are you ready to tell us what we wnat to know, Mr. Devlin?”

That voice… Who is that?

“Your current level of discomfort is not the end of the road. There is more to come if you don’t give us the information that we want.”

Have to focus. Is that the one who was called Ignatius by the tall one? Yes, the voice of Ignatius, I recognise him.

“Mr. Devlin?”

Open eyes; slowly. So bright in here. Can’t see him, must be a PA system. Sit up, straight back. Show him strength; resolve. Try to speak;

“N… Noh.”

Throat so dry, can barely make a sound.

“Would you like a drink, Mr. Devlin?”

This is how they start. I say yes to anything and then I might say yes to more things. Have to fight the temptation, but so thirsty.

“How can that hurt, Mr. Devlin? Surely you can accept a glass of water?”

“No th… No thankyou.”


365 Ficlets – Day #320 ~ “The Cut of Memory’s Knife”

“What are you doing here, Vic?”

Her smile sent a shiver through Paul, he remembered the time long ago when he would wake up to that smile. Having been put back out into the field, Paul had been given no information on his handler beyond the protocol and the eight meeting places. When he had picked up the location instruction he had wondered if it would be Harrison again; the last time in London it had been Harrison, but he had never thought it might be Victoria.

“Hello Paul. How’ve you been?”

Paul shrugged, still reeling internally while trying to come across as at least professional.

“You weren’t told it was going to be me, were you?”

“No, but it’s fine. I’m fine. How have you been Vic?”

She smiled again, and then suddenly she was all business;

“Well, we want you to infiltrate a new group working in and around Southwark. Their activities have started to become a little too out in the open, and we need to understand what their wider objectives are, so that we can plan the correct approach to frustrate their plans.”


365 Ficlets – Day #320 ~ “The Cut of Memory’s Knife”

“What are you doing here, Vic?”

Her smile sent a shiver through Paul, he remembered the time long ago when he would wake up to that smile. Having been put back out into the field, Paul had been given no information on his handler beyond the protocol and the eight meeting places. When he had picked up the location instruction he had wondered if it would be Harrison again; the last time in London it had been Harrison, but he had never thought it might be Victoria.

“Hello Paul. How’ve you been?”

Paul shrugged, still reeling internally while trying to come across as at least professional.

“You weren’t told it was going to be me, were you?”

“No, but it’s fine. I’m fine. How have you been Vic?”

She smiled again, and then suddenly she was all business;

“Well, we want you to infiltrate a new group working in and around Southwark. Their activities have started to become a little too out in the open, and we need to understand what their wider objectives are, so that we can plan the correct approach to frustrate their plans.”


Backgrounds for your widescreen monitor…

So, while I was away on the Futility Weekender in March I took the first still-life I have ever been pleased with, so I decided to celebrate with some widescreen backgrounds for Mac and Windows users. Please feel free to download and use them, as long as you don’t try and pass them off as your own 😉

Mac

Thumbnail of Mac Desktop Background

1440×900
1680×1050

Windows

Thumbnail of Mac Desktop Background

1440×900
1680×1050

Just right-click on the one you want and choose the ‘Save as…’ option – enjoy!

If people want them I will do some traditional resolution versions for square displays as well, so let me know…


365 Ficlets – Day #319 ~ “Queen’s Walk”

The lights on HMS Belfast were like searchlights, illuminating imagined enemies or intruders, rather than being placed by design to showcase her odd, fading beauty. Paul looked out across the river, towards Tower Bridge; he took another pull on his hipflask, now only half full with the cheap whisky he had taken from Grant’s flat. “For the cold.” he told himself, but was it really?

He heard footsteps approaching, but in a move planned to suggest nothing but impeccable cool he continued to count the lights on the buildings on the North Bank, and refused to turn and acknowledge the approaching stranger. The footsteps stopped close by. He heard a low, gentle cough and then in a soft genderless voice;

“Excuse me, but do you know the way to Borough Market at all?”

It was his contact, and so Paul paused for a moment to frame his practised answer and then turned;

“I am afraid not, I am just visiting from Baltimore.”

He spoke as he raised his eyes, only realising that it was Victoria as he finished the protocol sentence.