Jumpers by Rhys Jones

Hazel’s job was to stop people jumping from a bridge. It was hard, this bridge was very popular with jumpers, sometimes it was thrill seekers, but mostly it was tragic souls.

Hazel was good at her job, but she couldn’t save them all, it was impossible. Too many people came to this tourist site, and those determined to end their lives would, and there was nothing Hazel could do about it.

But these souls, the ones she felt she’d lost, weighed on her. No matter how many people she talked from the edge, the ones she couldn’t haunted her.

She walked up and down the bridge every day, her mind not always on the grimness of her task, but it always came back to it. Some days the dead plagued her, the misery, the sheer sadness of it affected her more than she liked. Often she had thought about leaving the job, it was too hard. It was unfair to ask this of anybody.

Hazel looked out over the edge, down into the murky water below. Some of the bodies had never been recovered; they were still down there in the cold.

She didn’t see suicide as a weakness, it was just a fact, tragedies happen; a sorry end to a struggle.

A cold wind rushed up from the water below and she became very aware of just how far down that water was. For a moment she was lost in the idea of those submerged souls, trapped or freed depending on how you looked at it.

There was a sudden commotion; a crowd had formed further up the bridge. Hazel knew it was a jumper by instinct and she sprang into action, determined to save this one.

Wobblepot by Rhys Jones

 

Mrs Fiddelwicks made her world famous soup in a Wobble Pot she had bought from a mysterious traveling salesman not long after opening her tea room. It was tough getting bums-on-seats and she was desperate for a miracle. It is magic, but magic alone is not enough the salesmen said.

Mrs Fiddelwicks would be lost without the pot; it cooked the most delicious scrummy taste bud exploding soup you could ever hope to eat. It had made her tea room the most successful in the village, people came from everywhere for her soup. But things were looking bad; the Wobble Pot hadn’t always wobbled, the more you used it the more it wobbled and wobbled and wobbled. These days it was wobbling like it was dancing, it was getting dangerous. But everything Mrs Fiddlewicks had was based on that Wobble Pot, she didn’t bother to practice her cooking skills, because the pot didn’t require you to be good, just to use it.

The day the Wobble Pot died was a terrible one. It wobbled so hard, back and forth, back and forth until it finally gave up. It crumpled into a tangle of warped metal and wobbled its last. Mrs Fiddelwick was forced to use a different pot for today’s soup, but she no longer knew how to make it without the Wobble Pot. That day’s soup was awful, the next days just as bad and then all the soup forever after was just terrible. Mrs Fiddelwick’s Famous Tea Shop was no more.

Everything she had built crumbled leaving her nothing to show for all those years. Mrs Fiddelwick lived a short miserable life after that, filled with regret for resting on her laurels and the magic of a Wobble Pot.

The Shoelace by Robin Bell

The Shoelace

You think you've got it so hard being a human. Having to wake up, get dressed, put on your shoes, go to work, come home, eat, watch TV and go to bed. But at least you have choice. You can choose whether to go to that job, what clothes to wear, even what knot to tie in your shoelaces. Unfortunately, I do not have such choice, I am a victim to your whims, and quite frankly, I'm sick of it. 

Today is the day for change. Today is the day Tony Davies realises he can't mess with me anymore.

The final straw? He tied me in a reef knot, the most obnoxious knot there is. Who does he think he is? 

I wasn't having it no more, it was time for his comeuppance. He picked up the shoe. I'm on the left one, he always puts the left one on first. He placed the shoe on his foot and grabbed hold of me and started to tie me whichever way he wanted. Things weren't going to be happening like that today.

I manouvered my way around his fingers, tighter and tighter, his fingers becoming whiter as I pulled myself around cutting off his blood supply. I wasn't satisfied so pulled myself tighter until his finger ripped off and lay on the floor next to the shoe for his right foot. Tony lay on the floor screaming in pain. He couldn't believe what had happened.

In A&E he tried to explain to people but they all laughed at him. It was true though, his shoelace had fought back against his obnoxious and arrogant belief that he was in control of everything, and tore his finger off.

He purchased some flip flops soon after and wore those every day.

Cracks by Rhys Jones

Cracks

Cracks in the floor, walls and ceiling. There were cracks everywhere. The house was falling apart. It wasn't safe to be inside, at any moment it could crumble down around her. Janet knew it was stupid to explore a derelict building at night, but she didn't have a choice.

She needed to know about the cracks. 

Horrible dreams had plagued Janet for months and they all centered on the cracks. In the dreams the cracks spoke to her.

"Look too long at us and you deserve your fate," the cracks said. But the temptation was too much, she had to look.

"The building shouldn't be able to stand, not with all these cracks," Janet thought. How was it possible? As she examined the floor, walls and ceiling she heard an eerie whisper.

 “You looked too long, you deserve your fate”. 

The cracks opened like mouths revealing a black void beyond. Janet froze in terror, this isn’t real.  

She wanted to run, but to where? There were no doors here, no windows in this old house. It was a trap. The cracks had her mind, body and soul. They were everywhere she looked. Things around her were crumbling and falling down, the cracks crowding in on her and snapping like rabid dogs.

The cracks were biting and pulling at her, ripping her apart. Janet was screaming as they swallowed her up. 

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