Keys

Keys Image copy

Keys is the latest flash Fiction work from Alison Little.

Keys

Around us we are surrounded by keys, hung from every section, floating around, spinning. Shadows brightly identified by the white surfaces which are the parameters of our encasement in this heaven -like cell. The keys float and dangle head height like angels in an outer world. The jingles and rattling almost ghost-like, jitters of evil coming to take us from the purity of our setting. Clattering faster and faster, more and more in motion together, louder and louder, machine gun like in battle, will we be taken?

Subtly they quieten down, jingle in serenity again, bell-like, the instruments of the piano, not one of the devils jailers on a dictated mission to take us to him. We are safe within the white purity of our surroundings, the playful clacking of the brass and steel instruments of secure captivity. The tags which identify their uses, the fobs which fumble and the enlarged shadows which follow their leaders every move. Sounds which surround, which inform, which provide safety but exclude us from freedom.

A dreamscape of soulfulness suspended in our vision and the recipients of the routes of sound waves. Serenity, shadows and the safety of celebration.

Alison Little

Keys was written in response to an art installation all named ‘Keys’ created by Raymon Watson for the History of Hands exhibition held at the Victoria Gallery & Museum in Liverpool. In this, a collection of keys originally from the Crumlin Road Prison were suspended and used in conjunction with a sound installation. The exhibition ran from the 10.03.18-21.04.18.

History of Hands Exhibition

Victoria Gallery & Museum

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A Light from Above

Ogdens image copy

A Light for Above is a Flash fiction piece written by Alison Little, potentially to be used for the opening of a short story or Novella, the text is read by herself. All characters and events are fictitious and not based on real life. 

Reading of text by Alison Little

In the distance, she can see the tower of Ogden’s rising over the West Derby Road. The nights are beginning to get dark sooner as the winter approaches, but tonight twilight is nearing even earlier in response to the waterlogged clouds charging across the Atlantic. She is soaked again, still wet from the afternoon downpour, a quick snack had followed, now she was out again in more flood like conditions. As the traffic charges by on route to the finer suburbs, she does not bother to flinch away from the puddle water lash as there is no point. Her clothes are soaked through, her underwear is stuck to her and her hair is itching against her rain-soaked face. Trainers squelch and split out fluid from all sides as she tries to hurry forward. Equally to the rain, there is the discomfort of it being a warm evening, a second soaking from the clamminess of perspiration, bad weather clothing needed to be worn on a humid evening.

The lights are on in Ogden’s shining from the tower, the pains of the glass looking degraded from decades of road pollution from the dual carriageway. She can envisage them in there, waiting for her, conspiring their next plan. She was there to meet her Brother and his wife, she only met him when it was necessary, the last time being their Fathers funeral. They had to sort out the financial matters over the ownership of the disused factory. As she enters the code, a simple 6666, Damien plus an extra one, had been the same since the Seventies. Light beams down on her from above, she feels exposed, her clothes stuck to her, will her brother be able to see her nipples or the curves of her thighs through her fitted black trousers? She fastens her coat tightly around her to disguise her body. The light seemed to suggest it was her fault everything had been exposed, what was supposed to remain hidden was now in the open.

Riendeer versus Diesel

santa copy

The last call of the evening on my busiest evening of the year Christmas Eve, I overheard a comment about how reindeer must be soo much cheaper than diesel. Reindeer cheaper than diesel? You have to feed them and they eat loads. Harnesses have to be bought and you have to pay extra for the re-enforced ones when you have some many of the damn four-legged things. There’s re-hoofing which is bearly affordable then there are the exploitative vet’s bills. You need to provide stalls for them to sleep, a constant supply of hay is required, making sure it doesn’t get wet and there is enough to last over the winter. That’s in addition to the four-acre field which I am still paying off the mortgage on for them to graze and get exercise in the form of running around and playing silly animal chase games. Then you add in the time it takes to find them when they go missing, that Rudolf is a pain, always breaking out I think he’s getting his leg over with some girl reindeer probably thinning her antlers over on the other side of town.

Reindeer cheaper than diesel, as if!

End of the year, a year spent making toys with only the help of a number of miniature Elves. Exclusive, handmade, limited edition creations which utilise traditional manufacturing techniques. Then despite the fact I’ve travelled all around the World, over only one night, the kids aren’t interested in the toys. They want the latest Wii, hoverboard skateboards and pixel purses. It’s the North Pole, how are we supposed to churn out the latest digital technology creations on mass?

Then there the issue of everyone thinking I want to drink milk like I’m some kind of baby. I managed two brandy’s over Paris, one malt whiskey in Glasgow, then things seemed to be looking up on my first call in New York. I thought I’d been left some fancy cocktail, a long island iced tea or something, then when I went to drink it the mother snatched it from me. ‘That’s mine’ was followed by her slapping my hand like I was some kind of Street beggar.

It got worse in the Bronx, one woman was actually unconscious, the apartment stunk of the crack she had been smoking from the glass pipe which had been smashed on the floor. On waking she got me confused with some kind of oversized bat despite the fact I was dressed head to toe in Red. So not only do I have to pay taxes to support her crack habit, I am expected to provide the funds for her child as the father wasn’t there, I also am required to personally deliver presents for her offspring.

Then when I eventually get back there’s unharnessing the reindeer, feeding them, brushing them down and sorting out the stalls for them to sleep and making sure there’s something footed up again Rudolfs so he doesn’t get out. And what does my wife do while I do all this, she cooks dinner with the food I have afforded. I only got away from her whining about being menopausal a few years ago, before that she was always moaning about being pre-menstrual. Once, in the Seventies she even wanted me to pop to the shops and get some sanitary towels when I was still wearing my best Christmas Eve Santa Suit.

Next year I am cancelling Christmas, I am making no toys, there will be no more employment for blasted Elves, the Reindeer are going, the field will be sold and I am getting the latest diesel sleigh. No more milk, no more ungrateful kids and no more being expected to provide for Crack whores offspring.

Next Christmas is officially cancelled!