Candy Pink Ray

Occult and Visionary Fiction

Stories For Halloween: Relaunched — 27/09/2019

Stories For Halloween: Relaunched

From now until Halloween. This one has been posted before in the archives that I deleted, and the others will be new ones.

 

Relaunched

The folk songs of my youth are always played in a bluesy style now. Maybe this is not an auspicious time for my last-ditch attempt to make it as a singing star, but when I met the sugar daddy I just had to give it a try.

Now I’m up here on the vertigo heights of this stage, leaning over the microphone as I cajole the audience to look beyond the mundane consciousness of every day to something wilder, which refreshes like a spring of mineral water.

Belting out the song, I am not. My natural voice is soft, and the rhythm section says it better than I can with even the most basic beat. Just close your eyes and any rhythm is a path to an altered state. Under the stage lights the shadows of amplifiers lengthen unexpectedly and gyrate to the music. Dissolution follows, at least for the concert hall, yet here we all stand at the end, so our shadow play cannot be over.

He doesn’t care whether I’m here to sign autographs or to lift hearts. It’s just a gig to him, and who am I to pretend to have met a sugar daddy? It’s really the Devil.

 

 

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‘Ferrets’ and ‘Lemon Bubble Bath’ — 16/09/2019

‘Ferrets’ and ‘Lemon Bubble Bath’

Two recent short pieces, channelled from my muse Ino.

 

Ferrets

 

The litter of ferrets lay in the crook of their mother’s arm. Or shall we call it a paw? They were happy and secure there, fawn-coloured with a stripe down their sides and across their faces, as if their mother had dragged a paintbrush down all of them, after they had been born.

She was contented with them, whether she had drawn them like a charcoal sketch of animal family love, or had created them in some other way.

How do any of us know where they came from, and who painted their stripe? We can only guess or theorise, and we know that ferrets bite, and fight amongst themselves, and attack other animals. Such rodents are fiercer than we are ourselves, yet they hold their babies like a human mother in an old black and white photograph, in which the fawn is white, the stripe is always black, and the morals are black and white.

 

Lemon Bubble Bath

 

Lemons are too sharp for the puffy skin that clings to the front of the bathing girl. The lemon drop shard would shear the whole skin off, a sheep being shorn, while bathing in yellow, growing bubbles that widen, open and split.

Golden foam gathers and rises, tart with the sour surprise of lemon when it touches the taste buds. The bathing girl immerses herself in the flood of ochre-coloured juice, slippery with sliding pips popping out to lean above the water’s surface.

Lemon is rinsing and bleaching the arms and legs to leave them stripped raw and red, now open for the sun to burn further, on top of the lemon sting. Swim quickly to the side, bathing girl;  jump out of the ducking tub, scintillating and coarse as if you had been thrown into acid vinegar.

 

 

Picture of ino’s sigil by Dan Knudten

Marbles — 07/09/2019

Marbles

Once again my muse Ino and I each wrote a flash fiction story with the same title.

 

Marbles   by Candy Ray

 

I was throwing marbles through the door of a doll’s house. But it wasn’t a murder game, or a war game with cannon balls. It was target practice, like shooting a goal in netball.

You didn’t understand. You’ve never understood, always thought I was doing something evil, something that had got out of control. Perhaps you lived in that doll’s house. Or perhaps you couldn’t see that to the mind of a child, the front façade of a house doesn’t have to be a house at all; what I was seeing might have been a crumbling wooden fence with a large hole in it, or a canvas with a target hole at the back of a bowling alley.

You didn’t even notice that the front façade was on hinges and I had opened it out wide, so there was no house behind it. It was fun to swing it, like the door to the next world. All you could think of was that the game must be about wrecking a house, and you wanted to take the doll’s house and my marbles away from me.

You should have tried riding on one of the marbles, to see how it felt as you belted through that front door- it might have been exhilarating, like riding down a slide. We could have developed it together into a fairground ride and sold it to the funfair industry with their tacky reputation and tacky bulbs, some of them gone out at irregular intervals along the strings.

Instead you had to be a misery, and you stomped out of the room calling back, “keep your nasty game, then.”

That’s what I say to you, too- keep your nasty game.

 

 

Marbles   channelled from Ino

 

She looked into the depths of the marble and saw a red curl, probably made from a bit of paper but looking like a roughly peanut-shaped jewel. It was beautiful- if fact, all the marbles were: red glory and blue glory, yellow sparkles  like sunshine and orange carrot slivers.

She put them all into a box, a treasure chest of worthless gems made only of cheap glass, taking up room where genuinely valuable treasures might have been stored.

For several weeks afterwards her mind was full of marbles. She saw them before her twirling, pushing her to collect more of themselves  for the treasure box, and not even to take them out and play with them. Was she starting to turn into a miser, or a jackdaw ?

She changed her route to school so as not to pass by the shop window where she had originally seen marbles, some in packs like the one she had already, and others single, collected into a large wicker basket.

Yet she still felt as though they were rolling invisibly after her along the street, over her shoes and then, far more dangerously, under them just where she was stepping. If she gave in to this impression she would soon be crawling  instead of walking, reaching out for the marbles as she crawled to pick them up and stuff them into her pocket, and when she had enough of them, rolling them towards parked cars and trying to hit the wheels. If she hit her target and they rebounded off the wheel and came back to her, would she leave them on the pavement to trip up others, and then to end up in the road?

But she had to get a grip on herself, for there were no marbles on the pavement: they were only in her head, or of course in her box back at home, taking up valuable room on the windowsill.

She decided to play with the marbles with her friends, and only to buy a new marble if one was to get lost and had to be replaced. That would return her to sanity and the marbles to their proper place, in the games of children. She made this resolution while walking to school, along the road that didn’t pass the shop with the marbles. It was a good resolution. But she never did get there, all because of the marble under her foot.

Do you think it was a real marble?

 

Frogs — 01/09/2019

Frogs

My muse Ino and I  are still choosing a title and each writing a flash fiction story.

 

Frogs     channelled from Ino

 

The frog turned into a prince, because he was starring in ‘The Frog Prince’, and although he would never dream of fulfilling the expectations of a foolish story in the normal way, he did it this time because he was being paid handsomely, in wads of dollars.

You might wonder where they had found a frog to play the part. They had dredged a river in France, for the frog as you may know has a French accent, and there they had found a sleek green frog who was willing to play the part. He was a good actor too, which was a happy coincidence and helped greatly.

The frog soon asked about the matter of his remuneration. He didn’t want to be paid in flies, or even small water creatures. He wanted money, that ‘filthy lucre’ that is currency amongst human beings. And money they offered him: fifty dollars per scene that he appeared in.

The frog was happy with that. He didn’t think on what he might spend his money. After all, as he had a French accent he might be expected, after filming was finished, to remove to Paris, where he would enter all the most fashionable shops and spend some of it there. After that, with what was left, maybe a holiday on the Riviera in the company of rich businessmen and other film stars, during  which he would make a good  impression and become popular and possibly have pictures of his holiday in the tabloids.

But this was not to happen, for the frog was too small and sticky and frog-like to do these things. He genuinely was a real frog, and not a human-sized model of one, or a cartoon. So after filming was over he plopped straight back into a river, while his money remained in the bank. It crossed his mind that he had been conned, especially as there was a legal proxy who had been appointed to take care of his money, and presumably because he was a human he could spend the money, or alternatively distribute it to someone else.

However, even that didn’t happen at the moment. The frog swam away. leaving a legal tangle which would take a while to undo. In the meantime the audience watched ‘The Frog Prince’, and many of them liked the film. It seemed that everyone kept becoming a frog, while in the world that the audience inhabited outside the cinema, no-one was a frog. Except for the star of the show, and it just proves that however much you want money, you can’t always spend it.

 

Frogs  by Candy Ray

 

The tadpoles and water boatmen are swimming in circles in the heavy, dark green water. Should I scoop some of them into the bucket and take them home? I don’t want them to die this time.

I sit by the pond and take out my plastic-handled fishing net. It looks like a toy, and I’m sure it will be instrumental in killing any fish or other creatures that I scoop up. I would like to find an adult frog, but the frogs have a habit of stopping dead, crouching as if about to do a hand-stand and then slipping away to one side. It’s clever of them because it makes sure that they escape from me, and I can’t trust myself with them, although I long for their company.

The sun hits the top of the pond, but it doesn’t sparkle, the way it would on other stretches of water. The light seems to sink, to be drawn down into the depths, leaving the surface slightly paler in parts, but still a moody pea-soup shade.

Frogs like the dark, and newts do too. If I crouch at the slimy edge of the pond I might see one sliding away through the clinging brown mud- if I’m lucky. Or I might fall in.

Visiting the pond should be a pleasure. There shouldn’t be this thundercloud pall over it, partly a mood and partly a conviction that I’ll see no frogs today.