Creative Work: ‘Rising to the Surface’ by Ryane Nicole Granados

Creative WorksThis week we have a short story from repeat contributor Ryane Nicole Granados. Set in California, this piece takes a look at whether or not there is such a thing as neutral influences in our lives. 

The language of the prose is strong and moves the reader fluidly through to the end. We hope you will enjoy it. 

Rising to the Surface

“And after Miss Asher resisted arrest, is it true that she proceeded to kick from the back of the squad car until the heel of her shoe wedged into the right wheel floorboard?”

At this point I begin to tune out the ticker-tape of the prosecutor and police sergeant whose photographic memory rivals the accuracy of the world time clock. Adjacent to the witness stand hangs an American flag and on the other side of the judge is the State of California flag. The peculiar state bear always looks to me like he is walking off the edge of the fabric. I can relate. I want to walk out too. The alternating floor tiles of white and brown feel like a childhood game of hopscotch calling my name. Continue reading

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Creative Work: ‘Silvia’ by Barbara Biles

Creative WorksFor this week’s post, WPN has expanded its geographical horizons, bringing you a wonderful piece of fiction from Canadian writer Barbara Biles. Biles’ work is reflective of ancient tales, drawing influence from Greek Mythology to parallel the way we live and love in the modern world. This short piece explores two generations of characters, all with their own ties to mythology and the Greek gods who have spawned them. You, the reader, are an active participant in this tale, being spoken to, almost in secret, about Silvia’s affairs and the speaker’s memories as she has grown over the years.

Silvia

          Her hair was blond as a child then prematurely grey so that you thought of her as ash-blonde; beautiful but mature. In spite of her resolve to become a biologist she fell into the same trap as dozens of other girls of the sixties, believing the whole amusing idea of free love: equal opportunity to hop in the sack with no repercussions. So funny I forgot to laugh.

Silvia got pregnant the first time out and like her namesake, Rhea Silvia, who was seduced in the forest by the god Mars to become mother of Romulus and Remus, she bore twins thus ending her own concocted tale of perpetual virginity. In Silvia’s case the seduction was in the back of a Chevy Nova at the edge of Groat Ravine. She could end the resulting pregnancy or put her boys up for adoption. Unlike Rhea Silvia whose boys were set adrift on the Tiber River then rescued and suckled by the she-wolf Lupa, Silvia chose to stay with her Aunt Margaret in Toronto for a stint and from then on wondered what kind of life her boys might lead. Certainly not likely to create a city like Rome or commit fratricide.

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Creative Work: ‘The Magpie’ by Catherine Franklin

Creative WorksThis week, we dip back into the pool of prose within Kingston University with a piece by Catherine Franklin, debut writer to Words, Pauses, Noises. ‘The Magpie’ stumbles about the throes of mental disillusion in this short-story about one human’s compulsion for objects. 

The Magpie

I have a photo of a man whose name I don’t know. I’m a hoarder, a magpie; I collect things I don’t need. It started with something I heard on the radio; a soothing voice explained how she was unable to walk past a discarded scratchcard on the ground, just in case it was a winning ticket that had been overlooked. And once I’d mimicked this, clapped and triggered the avalanche, I couldn’t stop. I also couldn’t bring myself to throw the scratchcards away. I pinned them over each other on my noticeboard until the pin wasn’t long enough and I had to start a new pile.

Receipts came next. I didn’t need them, but I couldn’t bin them, just in case they would be of some use some day. Consequently I’ve kept every receipt for everything I’ve bought in the last five years. I have thousands, tens of thousands maybe; more than I could count. It escalated until I was keeping and collecting just about everything.

There’s always that temptation, but I’d never set out to steal. When the opportunity is there, however, I just can’t turn it down. It began on a bus. A woman bent down , picked up a glinting silver key and held it out in front of me. She asked me if it was mine, but it wasn’t. My mind said no, but my lips released the affirmative. I had no use for this little key, but I slid it into my pocket after thanking her and later blu-tacked it to my bedroom wall.

In this way and through fortunate serendipity, I’ve gained a mobile phone, three wallets, four umbrellas and twenty eight train tickets, amongst other obscure objects. Piles of jewellery crowd my bedside table, and I’ve accumulated enough scarves to wear a different one every day for a month. I have a photo of a man whose name I don’t know and it’s the most prized possession I’ve uncovered in all these years. I found him in a wallet nestled between bank notes, removed him and sat him behind the transparent window in my purse. Continue reading

Creative Work: ‘Five Years Good Luck: The Confession’ by Sophia Burgess

Creative WorksIt’s human instinct to fear what we don’t know. The realms of an unstable child’s mind is classic territory for society to tip-toe around in. Sophia Burgess, debut writer to Words, Pauses, Noises dives right in with her piece, ‘Five Years Good Luck: The Confession’ with her account of a child’s reasoning from a gruelling perspective.

Five Years Good Luck:The Confession

​Ten. Ten was the age where it was totally my fault it happened. ‘Cause when I was five it was the fire, but things went pretty downhill the next five years. My sister died in a house fire and my Dad drowned himself in booze every night to forget it happened. Maybe it was how little I was involved in that one, maybe if I’d done more than been in the same room with my sister when the smoke seeped in, then those years following wouldn’t have been so unlucky for me.
​See, my Mom died giving birth to me, so it was totally my fault. I did my part, and from what I remember the first five years of my life were great. But by year five, when it wasn’t my fault really that my sister died, I didn’t get the bike I wanted for my birthday (for the three years in a row I asked for it), got on Dad’s nerves all the time, flunked Ms. Abbotsford’s class, and moved to the next city where I had no friends.
​I was at a loss, you know, when you start asking, not to anyone in particular, to God maybe, you start saying ‘what did I do?’ I didn’t know yet. Didn’t know what I should have done differently when I was five, if I wanted my luck to continue.

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Creative Work: Short Story ‘Help Wanted’ Part 1, by Cais Jurgens

Creative WorksEverybody’s had one of these jobs, where a new unknown world appears and you slowly get sucked in. Help Wanted is a portrayal of just that kind of workplace that comes with a language and culture of its own. The familiar sense of community in a foreign backdrop where you almost belong, but don’t quite feel a part of. Words, Pauses, Noises is proud to showcase this debut piece from one of our own, Cais Jurgens; part one of his short story.

Help Wanted

By Cais Jurgens

 They call bullshit an art form.  I’ve always found there to be a fine but noticeable line between art and dumb luck and my job at 1674 Broadway at the top end of Manhattan’s theatre district was a result of the latter.  I wish I could tell you I’d sauntered in, put on a show of flaming cocktails poured expertly into a chilled martini glass and was hired and highly paid but it didn’t exactly happen that way.

The reality is that I was on the verge of giving up on that unseasonably warm November evening.  I was salivating at the oddly satisfying thought of ending my job search for the day and heading back to a friend’s couch in Brooklyn to hose down my empty stomach with what would be the first of several beers that night.  Instead, I pressed uptown with my rejected resume, watched the sun dip a little lower into New Jersey with every city block and eventually wandered into the swankiest Sushi joint I’d ever seen.

It was beautiful as well as classy.  Floating globes lit the room and in a warm essence that mingled with the lingering scent of skirt steak and hot oshibori towels.

I was nervous yet beaming dumbly from ear to ear and hired on the spot just for showing up it seemed.  Bar-back.  I was satisfied with the title.  My other title came to be White Boy, as I was the only person featuring both white skin and male genitalia employed at the establishment.  Continue reading