Short Story Saturday – The People Who Wear Black by Mike Russell

Mike-Russell-Author

This week’s short story is Mike Russell’s The People Who Wear Black. I hope you enjoy it!

The People Who Wear Black

Mike Russell

Sometimes things are naughty. They do things they’re not supposed to. They appear and disappear and fly around all by themselves. Things aren’t supposed to appear and disappear and fly around all by themselves. Once I saw my dolly do it. She flew around my room. It was night time. Of course it was. We sleep in the daytime. Daddy says it’s better that way because daytime is too bright. I had my candle lit. So I could see her. Flying around my room. I wanted to light another candle so I could see her better but Daddy says we must only have one candle lit in a room. We don’t have any electric lights in the house. Daddy says they’re too bright. Sometimes I think Daddy is scared of seeing something. I wonder what it is that he is scared of seeing. Dolly flew around my room then she disappeared. Daddy found her in his bed.

‘What’s your dolly doing in my bed?’ he said.

‘She got there by magic,’ I said.

‘Tsk,’ he said, which is what he says when he is grumpy about something.

‘I saw her fly around my room,’ I said, ‘then she disappeared.’

‘Tsk,’ Daddy said, ‘things don’t fly around all by themselves or disappear or reappear. There are laws against it.’

‘But laws don’t stop people doing bad things do they?’ I said. I know that because Daddy told me it when I asked him what happened to Uncle Tom. ‘So laws against things flying by themselves or disappearing or reappearing won’t stop things from flying by themselves or disappearing or reappearing,’ I said.

‘Tsk,’ said Daddy.

‘Will Dolly go to prison?’ I said.

‘Don’t be silly,’ Daddy said. Then he told me about The People Who Wear Black. ‘They wear black so you can’t see them,’ he said. ‘They wear black shoes and black trousers and black jumpers and black gloves and black balaclavas. And they creep around quietly in the dark. And they pick things up so it looks like the things are moving all by themselves and they cover things up with black cloths so it looks like the things have disappeared then they uncover them again so it looks like they have reappeared. It’s The People Who Wear Black that make it look like magic happens. It doesn’t really.’

‘What about when magic happens when it’s light?’ I said, ‘Nothing that looks like magic ever happens in the light,’ Daddy said.

‘How do you know?‘ I said.

‘Tsk’, he said.

‘I’m not sure I believe in The People Who Wear Black,’ I said, ‘I think magic does happen! And I think you keep me in the dark so I don’t see magic happening because I think you don’t like magic!’

‘Tsk!’ he said then he went into his room then came back out again with an electric torch and gave it to me. I didn’t know he had a torch.

‘Next time you think some magic is happening,’ he said, ‘switch this on and see what you see.’

‘Alright then, ‘I said, ‘I will.’ Then I went to bed.

The next night, my dolly started flying around my room again. She wasn’t as graceful as before but she was definitely flying. She flew over the bed and over the toy-box and over the candle. I switched on the torch. There was a man dressed in black standing in front of me. He was holding Dolly in one of his black-glove covered hands, moving her about above his black-balaclava covered head. He was about the same height as Daddy. I screamed because he looked frightening then I pushed him and he stumbled backwards and tripped over and fell on the floor. When he fell he said ‘Tsk’ like Daddy does. I was glad he fell over because he was horrible. Then he stood up and ran out of the room. I picked up Dolly then I shouted:

‘I saw one! I saw one!’ Then Daddy came in and he held me as I cried and he seemed really happy.

 

www.strangebooks.com

Advertisements

The Friday Film – Beetlejuice (1988)

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

It’s high on my list of Tim Burton favourites. It was obviously a huge hit and you can even get Beetlejuice Lego! I’ve watched the film so many times and it delights me with every viewing. The Day-O dinner scene is one of the greatest comedy moments in the history of film. Continue reading

The Monday Poem – Five Haiku by Paul Eluard

This week’s poem is Paul Eluard’s Five Haiku. I hope it inspires you 🙂

There were only a few of them
In all the earth
Each one thought he was alone
They sang, they were right
To sing
But they sang the way you sack a city
The way you kill yourself.

Frayed moist night
Shall we endure you
Longer
Shall we not shake
Your cloacal evidence
We shall not wait for a morning
Made to measure
We wanted to see in other people’s eyes
Their nights of love exhausted
They dream only of dying
Their lovely flesh forgotten
Bees caught in their honey
They are ignorant of life
And we suffer everywhere
Red roofs dissolve under the tongue
Dog days in the full beds
Come, empty your sacks of fresh blood
There is still a shadow here

A shred of imbecile there
In the wind their masks, their cast-offs
In lead their traps, their chains
And their prudent blind-men’s gestures
There is fire under rocks
If you put out the fire
Be careful we have
Despite the night it breeds
More strength than the belly
Of your wives and sisters
And we will reproduce
Without them but by ax strokes
In your prisons

Torrents of stone labors of foam
Where eyes float without rancor
Just eyes without hope
That know you
And that you should have put out
Rather than ignore

With a safety pin quicker than your gibbets
We shall take our booty where we want it to be


Paul Eluard

I Cannot Give the Reasons

One of my favourite and most re-read books is Mervyn Peake’s A Book of Nonsense. The following poem comes from this book.

I CANNOT GIVE THE REASONS

I cannot give the reasons,
I only sing the tunes:
the sadness of the seasons
the madness of the moons.

I cannot be didactic
or lucid, but I can
be quite obscure and practic-
ally marzipan

In gorgery and gushness
and all that’s squishified.
My voice has all the lushness
of what I can’t abide

And yet it has a beauty
most proud and terrible
denied to those whose duty
is to be cerebral.

Among the antlered mountains
I make my viscous way
and watch the sepia mountains
throw up their lime-green spray.

Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake