Nothing about this was normal. But then, that was Normal all over. Most people didn’t realise that the damn thing had been hanging out with them until it buggered off. Waking up to find a recycling bin rammed through the windshield of your second hand BMW and a dollop of sketchy looking poo sliding majestically down the inside letterbox was a boot camp reminder of how fickle a companion normal could be.

See, that was the other bastard thing about normal- you could only measure it by its opposite. Which always felt like a kind of roundabout way of doing things. Conner looked over at the man perched perkily on the edge of his favourite chair. Good old normal had its non-descript fingers in every pie imaginable. It had happily skipped with him through long, golden days and it had cowered with him under the duvet as the black dog paced the dark halls of his mind. It was littered across the monochrome grey of scarlet battlefields and feathered with the peacock colours of love. In a line up, normal would stand, perplexedly overlooked and ordinary next to the average looking guy, while whispering corrupted stars into the ears of the serial killer.

Conner cleared his throat, ‘Well I for one need a cup of tea, can I get you anything?’ he ran his hands over his face, feeling unwelcome stubble catch at his fingertips. The man certainly looked better, there was a healthy colour to his cheeks and he sat with an annoying authority that made Conner feel decidedly uncomfortable. The prospect of an ambulance being the solution to all his problems was rapidly fading along with the evening light. Even the most tolerant of paramedics would look unkindly on him calling them out to a patient who vaulted onto the stretcher as they arrived through the doorway. He just had to keep reminding himself that whatever happened, he was not answerable to this stranger.

‘The outline of civilisation scours chalk from willow fingers…’ the man spoke softly, threading the line like poetry. His voice also cut out the middle man and interfaced directly with Conner’s brain.

Good old normality eh? It was so easy to overlook just how great it was until it had thanked the crowd and gone for a drink at the hospitality bar. People talked about weird shit like telepathy, but no one actually believed it was real. Conner battled on, ‘I have Darjeeling, Earl Grey, Green, White… Peppermint?’ Strictly speaking, Peppermint wasn’t a real tea, but these were desperate times.

‘Specters of acrid hope.’

Conner laughed easily, but it was the daisy chain laugh of a deceiver, ‘Is that some kind of Himalayan blend?’ He had never been so freaked out in all his life.

‘Snakes of peroxide venom are the martyred weavers.’

‘I have decaff if you’d rather?’

The man twisted his head like a bird, ‘Sanctuary and oblivion flicker with the same tepid fires.’

The words roamed around inside Conner’s mind, trying to find a purchase of understanding. He grinned hopefully, ‘I’ll put the kettle on then shall I?’

In the relative safety of the kitchen, Conner leaned against the dishwasher and wondered if the milk was still in date. He wished he had an answer for what the hell was happening here, but he didn’t. He just had tea. And tea would have to do because tea was normal. And in all honestly, normal was the only thing left to hold onto in situations like this.





30 thoughts on “Normal

  1. I hadn’t either. I love the wordpress universe. And i love writing anyway, but it’s really helping me with my anxieties lately. I have so many about the coming election. The last debate made me sick. There’s one more to go. I like to be in the know about things, but i might have to skip this next one. Donald has the scary personality of a true tyrant.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s like watching a slow motion car crash from this side of the Atlantic. I think the whole world is holding its breath with you. Recent revelations should have utterly scuppered him, it makes no sense mate. Fear is a powerful weapon, all we can do is try to dismantle the walls that it builds around us and possibly move to New Zealand.

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  3. I do not understand how ANYONE can still support him for President, yet many do. It’s sickening. And the Republicans who should have deserted him are sticking with him. Moral cowards! Heals about putting Hillary in jail if he’s elected. He’s the one who should be behind bars. He’s a confessed sexual predator! He’s on tape bragging about it! And yet now he denies it all. Makes my head spin exorcist style.

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  4. Great wee story Jac 🙂 Not sure I’d be able to get my head around one of your tales if it was called ‘weird’!! Lol! 🙂 And I totally agree with what you and Mary were talking about, the US elections, and in particular Donald Trump are frightening……………I used to think we had it bad here in the UK!! But we seem quite a sane bunch in comparison! 🙂

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  5. Haha, thank you, I love that idea, I’m totally writing one called ‘Weird’ now.
    I’m not sure whether to be more worried about Brexit or the US elections. Normalised madness has seized control of the crazy train.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Was it Michel Foucalt who suggested that as a society we create our own versions of normal and then enforce them through law? Sounds like something he would have said.
    What is normal indeed?

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  7. Normal is created by group consensus and those who don’t meet the rules, are segregated. We strive, we battled, to be normal, but, do we sacrifice ourselves, who we are, for, normality?

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  8. There are so many questions around this. Where is the authenticity in an imposed normality? What is the alternative?
    Then there’s the other great battle, the one that goes on inside our heads, and it feels like the quicksands of that are constantly shifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Haha, thanks Andy and watch this space. I’ll credit you with the idea, possibly inspired by your photos from Kirkcaldy, which I have to say are brilliant and weirdly creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Jac, and glad you like the Kirkcaldy photos 🙂 I wish that wordpress had existed when I still lived down in Cornwall, I could have taken lots of photos and turned them into West Country posts 🙂
    BTW I love your bit in your about section, about the West Country still trying to find something to be placed in the East for……………..there is one thing, we are on the Eastern seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes! The eastern seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean. That’s brilliant, I knew someone would come up with something. I only had Eden, but I’ve a feeling that’s been used somewhere before 😜
    I was in Scotland a couple of months ago. Without going all floppy and new age, it’s such a weird and powerful place. I’ve never been anywhere like it before. Your photos really capture the strange beauty of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. LOL!!! Love the idea of Eden, I hadn’t thought of that one Jac 🙂
    Thanks for the compliments about the photos, I think it’s part the reason I love Scotland as much as Cornwall, there’s that same mystical feeling to the landscape, maybe connected to the Celtic history that both places share 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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