Tales From The Ridge

Monday, June 27, 2005

Edible Flowers

The last writing challenge was 350 words on "Edible Flowers".

Her husband’s name was Gdansig Kallorifax, but that was the least of her worries. Twelve years of marriage had changed him; she had married an athletic young man with an ardour of passion and vigour that had spread from his heart and his loins to fill every inch of their home, but over the years he had doused these flames with beer and filled the hole they left with food. Now he was a bloated walrus of a man, his skin stretched tight by his burgeoning gut, and he wallowed on the sofa like a beached whale waiting to be floated back to the sea.

The love of food that had replaced his love of her led him down many culinary cul-de-sacs, and, though the sight of him repulsed her, his wife dutifully indulged his variable gluttony. His journey as a gourmand had taken him past raw sea urchin roe, deep fried frog, stinging nettle leaves, chocolate-covered wasps and goat brain curry to his latest stop – flowers. And so she prepared meals for him that, although as unappetising to her as his usual fare, at least had the benefit of being sweetly fragranced.

It wasn’t the flowers that made her snap; she had decided some time ago that something needed to be done. She’d already made the decision. The flowers were just a happy coincidence.

That evening, though, she looked at him as he ate and remembered the good times at the beginning, before he had lost interest in her and in himself, and a doubt surfaced in her mind that asked her if she was doing the right thing. He can change, it said, but she forced it back under, starving it of oxygen, and looked at him as he really was: a lazy, corpulent caricature of the man she had once loved. The doubt had arrived far too late anyway; the nightshade petals had been the first thing on the plate to pass his lips.

Next week's challenge will be 300 words with the title "Roland, The Dog-Faced Boy".

Friday, June 24, 2005


The heat is as oppressive as a firing squad; gritty sweat slicks under my shirt as the devil himself breathes on my neck. The fan is little help as it turns its head left-right-left as though searching for a lost child; it merely pushes the stale air bureacratically around the room. Bulging clouds outside the window hang heavy in the air, laughing, taunting me. They don't need so much rain in their grey bellies, yet still they will not release it. If this heat doesn't lift soon, I won't be here much longer. There will simply be a puddle on a chair where I used to be. Ecks marks the spot.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


They weren't ready when the end came, even though they had known it was coming. It hit them when they sat down to eat dinner one evening. He'd cooked dinner, spaghetti bolognese, whilst she'd taken her shower. It was always like this. She came out of the bathroom wrapped in steam and a towel, and gave him her usual smile. He smiled back. She got changed. The pasta squirmed onto the plate, and he pinned it down with sauce. Cherry red polka-dots appeared on his shirt. It was always like this. They sat down at the table; him on the left, her on the right. Even though it was a little close to the wall, he didn't mind sitting on the left. She told him that the food tasted good. He thought it was nothing special. He told her that it was always like this. And at that point, as the parmesan relaxed into liquid on their plates, their relationship ended.

The important thing about endings, though, especially when writing fiction, is to know when to

Monday, June 13, 2005


The last writing challenge was 250 words on the title "Punk".

Keep it simple, keep it quick, don’t give them time to think. If you think you’re dead. You’re a puppet. No-one will even care when your vomity corpse is found under the bridge with broken ribs and a needle in its eye. Kick them, smash them, it’s the only language they understand. If you don’t you’re just another cog in their fascist machine, and I will tear out your throat and piss down your neck. I’m no dogsbody. I’m not like everybody else. I will tear out your throat and piss down your neck. Blood, sweat and tears. That’s just the speed talking. Do something, do nothing, I don’t care. Don’t wait for me. Get pissed, get off your face, get angry. Steal something from someone. Lift them up, knock them down, then stomp them into oblivion. Blood, spit and beers. The end justifies the means. Visit someone else’s misery. I’m looking at them and they’re looking at me. United we stand. Do I offend you? If you want to know more just ask. But there’s no point in asking, you’ll get no reply. If you think you’re dead you probably aren’t. How could hell be any worse? Now you’re thinking. This is a sentence. This is another. This is a third. Go ahead and laugh, it really is that easy.

The next one has a two week deadline, as Ecks has to go to Paris again for another week...it will be 350 words on "Edible Flowers".

Monday, June 06, 2005


Ecks is off to Paris for a week now. Will he return as Ecques Tête du Dorsale?

Probably not.

Blog updates upon his return, mes amis.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Paradise Jazz

A slightly different post today. No fiction, just bare-faced advertising...

Buy Paradise Jazz by Kat Pomfret!

Image hosted by TinyPic.com

"My growing up was poetic; the kind that everybody likes to read about but nobody wants to have. In print, my childhood was one gigantic laugh-out-loud Christmas TV spectacular (things are certainly funnier in the past tense than the present) but the truth is, for Mom, Tantie, Jimmy and me, life was like jambalaya; plenty of flavour and lots of good things but, looked at one way, nothing to hold it all together, and, looked at another, Lord, you try unpicking one thing from another. And the unravelling begins for the first time with a bowl of sugar doughnuts, begins over again with a first-class ticket for flight 181 and a bottle of Freixenet, then begins for real the night Sanderson Miller walked into Paradise Jazz and heard a soul-dark girl singing white hot blues."

She's a very talented young British writer, Paradise Jazz is her debut novel and it's released today. It's available direct from
Snowbooks, the publisher, or of course Amazon.

PS Kat Pomfret can now be unveiled as Ecks' mystery short-fiction-writing-challenge buddy, and as she was being consumed by the whirlwind of activity surrounding the release of her book last week she asked that the short story challenge set last week, "Punk", be delayed. So Ecks is sorry to report to those expecting a sizzling fictional piece about violence, piercings and phlegm that they will have to wait (although the mysteriously named yet efficient
Belle Nuit has already composed a piece).

P.P.S. Yet another friend of Ecks has started a blog. There's a lot of it about, apparently.