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Recent Drabbles

The Dancer

The music starts up, the crowd hushes and I begin my dance: strong, elegant and honed by years of training.

Happiness abounds, but not for me. I am so very sad. This is my life, as it has been since my birth, for I am the dancing bear.

One day I get sick and they don’t make me perform. I love not dancing, so the next day I pretend to be sick, and the next day too, and the next. Life now is so good, I wonder if feigning sickness hard enough would kill me.

That’s when I’d find happiness.

Ken Magee Merits

9 most prolific5 most esteemed3 top drabble

Deal with the Devil

Jim had made a deal with the devil. Aged twenty-five, he had poisoned and killed his wife, and got away with it. In exchange he would now live to be a hundred.

He woke up, in a room he didn't recognise. He remembered the car crash. But he couldn’t move.

Suddenly his sister-in-law was in front of him. "It's called locked-in syndrome," she said. "Don't worry, I'm going to look after you."

The devil appeared behind her. "I'll be coming for you when you're one hundred," he chuckled.

Unable to do anything else, Jim screamed inside.

School Leavers

The school bell reverberated through the corridors. Principal Kirk stared out of her office window and watched the parent volunteers taking up their positions by the front gate. Lunchtime was always the riskiest period for runaways, but her new security measures seemed to be doing the trick.

Mind you, the CCTV cameras and special electronic locks had put a mighty dent in the school’s already-squeezed budget. And there had been a number of complaints about the electrified fence.

But in Kirk’s mind, it was money well-spent because it had been over a month since one of the teachers had escaped.

Ken Magee Merits

9 most prolific5 most esteemed3 top drabble

The Stars of the Field

“Mother, we shall not see stars tonight. Clouds have taken them from us.”

“Helen, we shall enjoy the night sounds instead,” Lilly said, smoothing out her dress as she sat upon the hilltop.

She looked at her eleven year old daughter. In the fading light, she saw a small representation of herself. Lilly could only pray that Helen might never be touched with the pain of love torn from the heart.

Darkness came and the hill was surrounded by a sea of fireflies. Lilly reminded herself that when you lose the stars, God has another gift, one closer at hand.

Hanging Questions

His last meal eaten and final cigarette smoked, the serial killer slowly shuffled towards his execution.

“Are my parents here?” he asked.

“No,” said the chaplain as they approached the gallows.

“Has the governor rung with a reprieve?” he pleaded.

“No,” said the warden as the noose was placed round the prisoner’s neck.

“Will it… will it hurt?” he sobbed.

“No,” said the executioner as he pulled the lever to open the trapdoor to the death pit.

“Yes, it will hurt like hell,” said St Peter as he pulled the lever to open the trapdoor that led straight to Hades.

The Performance

A screech split the air, cutting through the low conversations of the people nearby. Then the drumming started, slowly at first then gradually increasing in volume and intensity.

The audience was transfixed, some with expressions of disbelief, a few dour and judgemental but others, who had experienced a similar performance previously, with an element of understanding.

With arms and legs flailing and a scarlet face, the star showed no sign of stopping. Heels hammered incessantly on the floor as Molly’s mother stepped carefully over the rigid body of her two year old and passed the next item to the cashier.

Spaced-out Jared

Like many boys, Jared grew up fascinated by the daring exploits of the space race. He followed the progression from satellites that just beeped, through flights containing animals and finally to people orbiting the planet and spacewalking.

He read everything he could on space travel, both factual and sci-fi. Models of spaceships hung from his bedroom ceiling and posters of astronauts lined the walls.

On reaching adulthood, naturally Jared applied for astronaut training. The application form question asking why he wanted to go into space was easy to answer.

“I want to travel to Earth in search of intelligent life.”

Give Me Peace!

Sometimes I lie awake and look out my porthole at the stars. We have been travelling among the black night of space for three months.

It has been weeks since my feet touched the dirt of my home world.

I miss the feel of the wind on my face, but I think I miss the rain the most. The feel of the water soaking my skin, feeling it drench my hair, causing drips to slide under my collar, making me shiver as they crawl down my spine.

Yeah… I miss the rain.

“For goodness’ sake, get out of the shower!”

First Words Worth

I WANDERED, unsure which route to take through the woods, where every shade of green was to be found.

LONELY for some creature company, I made my way along a path.

AS I walked, I wondered how many species had travelled this way before me.

A squirrel raced up a tree, startling two thrushes from their leafy perch. A fox barked, way off in the distance.

CLOUD covered what little of the sky I could see, until I reached the glade. Suddenly the sun thrust its brightness into the clearing, illuminating a host of golden daffodils in all their glory.

Life Lessons

The Egyptian temple was dedicated to Hathor, goddess of music, dance, sacred healing and the arts.

Inside the hypostyle hall, a high priestess spoke softly to a group of new initiates. She unveiled a heart-shaped silver box. It was encrusted with turquoise and lapis lazuli, and inlaid with mother of pearl.

“Please take a message from the box. It will signify your major lesson for this lifetime.”

One by one the girls took a card from the box, read its message and returned it to its home.

They were all identical, with the inscription:

“First, learn to love thyself.”

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