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Crow: 100 Followers

📸Unique

     ‘Unique! Guess what day it is today?’

     ‘Sunday the 12th of July.’

     ‘But Unique, guess what day it is today?’

     ‘I’ve just guessed.’

     ‘Try again!’

He opens the blinds in my bedroom and although it’s 0444 the sky is pitch black.

I blink a few times and then rub my eyes.

     I noticed his sapphire blue eyes are gleaming now, Crow is happy. Elated in fact. I slip out of bed and say, ‘what happened the sun?’

     ‘Unique, don’t you know what day it is today?’

     ‘Crow, sweetie, I’ve already told you – Sunday the 12th of July 2020’

I then wink at Crow and head into the bathroom. I’m guessing I’m imagining the blackness outside. Maybe the time is wrong, and I’ve been woken up in the middle of the night? Either way, something is off today.

I brush my teeth.

I squeeze a large portion of coconut shower gel onto my navy-blue washcloth and wash away the night before.

A fine ballad of tweeting reverberates through our home and shakes the blueberry candle, just a little.

I dry off, dress and apply the perfect layer of Ruby Woo by Mac on my lips.

I enter the kitchen and look around for Crow. He’s not here – he’s usually eating bagels by the time I finish getting ready. I glance outside and see that it’s pitch-black. I check my watch and see the time is 0722. The sun is usually out by now.

I walk cautiously out into the hallway and slowly open the front door. The sweet song from above is utterly divine. I’m looking up and above my house is a? Well, what looks like a giant-size sheet of? Black. I walk down the driveway and hum along with the blackness above me. I recognise this tune, only I’ve never heard it in this manner. Piano Sonata No. 14 Beethoven

The shape above me looks like a triangle, off in the distance I see sunlight and at the very front of this black triangle, I notice a glint of blue.

The blue moves forward, separating itself from the shape. And there I realise Crow has grown – at a guess, he’s 3 metres long and his sapphire blue eyes are the size of Granny Smith apples.

He swoops down toward me, shouting, ‘UNIQUE GUESS WHAT DAY IT IS?’

I smile as he lands right beside me, his jet-black feathers blowing the last few shower droplets out of my sapphire blue braids. I stroke his left-wing and whisper, ‘we now have 100 followers!’

Crow squawks to the black plume above and that’s when I see a murder of 100 crows breakaway from one another and release blue sparkly words of love and appreciation.

They then disperse and fly away in different directions, across our universe.

Crow and I stand at the end of our driveway and salute all of you!

Thank you.

Love

Crow & Unique

Featured

Reading Plan: July 2020

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I only endorse products that I use personally and have something positive to share with you all.

It is now July 1st 2020!

Reflecting over the previous month, I admit to myself that I haven’t read as much as I had intended.  I felt awful, as the only way to improve my writing is to read more – and I’ll be the first to admit, my writing is treacherous.

I have a few collections of short stories and it was hard to choose which one I shall use in the challenge I’ve set for this month. However, after careful consideration I went with The Story Love, Loss & the Lives of Women – 100 Great Short Stories Chosen by Victoria Hislop

Please feel free to join me on my reading journey, I welcome your comments below.
PS: Attached is a PDF copy of which stories I’ll be reading each day.
Enjoy!
Dame Unique

📸 Dame Unique
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Exit Sasha – A Short-story by Unique

Written by Unique

Exit Sasha

     ‘Sasha, you should use a saucer for dinner. No rice, no chicken, just have salad no salt.’

     ‘Why?’

     ‘Well, can’t you see that you’re gaining weight?’

My mother removes the plate of Chicken, rice, roast-potatoes, and sweet corn from my hands. Places it on the kitchen counter. Then serves up one lettuce leaf, one slice of tomato, and two paper-thin slices of cucumber. No salt. She hands me back what she boastfully referrers to as Sunday roast.

     ‘There you go Sasha, eating in moderation will have you as slim and trim as me in no time.’

     ‘But I’m not fat.’

     ‘Sasha, darling normal women your age are a lot smaller. When I was your age twenty years ago, I always ensured that I ate healthily. None of these alcohol-fuelled, kebab filled weekends. Maybe you should sign up to that gym in town, its affordable and open twenty-four hours a day.’

     ‘Mother, you know that I don’t drink alcohol and I’m not keen on kebab.’

     ‘I’m sorry darling, so that wasn’t you on Facebook last night, with that misshapen girl outside Bill’s kebab shop? Hash-tag take-away selfie, wasn’t that the caption?’

      ‘I was holding Stephanie’s food; Lorna thought it would be funny to pose outside Bills.’

     ‘Well, Sasha, I’ve been telling you for months now. But if you want to continue eating yourself into an early grave, then go-ahead! I suppose I can arrange for a bigger plot to be created to accommodate you.’

I feel tears peering out at my mother. I’m hot. This kitchen is getting hotter, I need to get out of here. I place the meagre portion of salad on the kitchen counter. Watching my mother smiling. Perhaps content that her advice is supposedly penetrating its way to, my last remaining intelligent brain cell instructing me not to eat.

     ‘I’m not saying that you’re Fatso, from the movie Casper, Sasha. I just wonder if you’ve ever picked up a copy of Vogue. Don’t you even aspire to look better?’

I’m too angry to respond; I turn away and retreat upstairs to my bedroom.

You’re Fine if Refined

I close my door and lock it. I turn on my iPod docking system search for Mariah Carey, and press play on Cry Baby, singing alternate lyrics every-time. It’s becoming a ritual.

     Late at night, like a little child wandering around, with my sweatpants on, in my black plastic bag…

     I turn and size myself up to the floor-length oak-framed mirror, interesting gift from Mother. For a moment, I close my eyes and inhale. I see black. I picture an ideal Sasha; she looks like Beyoncé’s alter ego Sasha Fierce. Slim with sun-kissed skin, big bright eyes, long slender legs, tiny waist only twenty inches. Sasha Fierce is sexy, every man wants her, and every woman is compelled to compliment her. I open my eyes and exhale. I see my big brown, dull eyes, my curves minutely visible through my black sweat-pants.

     ‘But you’re an average weight? Are you sure? What is that hanging from your waistline? Maybe that’s puppy-fat? Yes, you’re a fat bitch, just like mother keeps telling you.’

Slowly I remove my fat hiding, black, protecting clothing, tossing them to the side of my mirror. Unclasping my bra, my eyes record a mental image of the imprints left behind. Years of denial weaving its way into my shoulders, underwire impressions over-lapping impressions upon both breasts. Finally, I remove my knickers, a very cosy size 18. Here I stand in my rarely ever seen form, crying at the Sasha staring back.

     Mariah Carey continues to sing, oblivious to my imminent need for food in my life. I tip-toe and reach up, just above my stained oak wardrobe clutching onto Stanley. I resume my position facing myself. A clear shapely over-eater stares back, craving some of mother’s beautifully prepared Sunday roast. I close my eyes; inhale breathing in that succulent seductive scent of roast chicken. I see myself as Sasha Fierce. Exhale reopening them with Stanley clenched tightly within my right hand, I’m ready I can do this. Tensing my body, I examine my shameful exposed appearance from head to toe.

     ‘Go on Fatso, mimic Bernini, chisel yourself into a baroque sculpture then go and stand in the middle of Fontana Dei Quattro Fumi, and admire the world standing in awe at your beauty.’

     At first, I don’t feel the initial kiss of the blade against my skin or the marriage between old flesh and Stanley. I feel excited at the exhilarating thought that in a short time I’ll be brand new. I carve the fat off better than Bill with his minuscule portions of kebab every Saturday night. Starting with my right thigh, eagerly tending to the left, I start singing along with Mariah, which makes it easier to ignore my pain.

Late at night like a little child, exploring life at home, in my refined form with stilettos on, walking around so tall…

I bring Stanley up to my face, his shimmer of afternoon sunshine glowing from the tip as a gift to my double chin. Highlighting imperfection and with thoughts of perfection in mind, I slice away my double chin, dice off my chubby-cheeks, and with ease scale back my meaty neck that holds all of this fat upright. I stare down as crimson oozes out of both thighs. I look at the pounds of fat now divorced from my body, at rest by my feet, pure satisfaction. I pinch the over-hang of my waist with my left hand, and edge round my excess swiftly with Stanley. ‘Late at night…’ Pain shoots through my lower abdomen. I glance at my fat-free reflection, but before I could complete my new wash-board mid-section, I collapse right over the heap of freshly trimmed wholesome kebab.

May Sasha Rest in Peace

There she is peacefully at rest…

     ‘Inhale Think of that long winding path at the end, you arrive at your personal peaceful place. Life is too short to live regretfully. Relax you’re safe there, no one can harm you, release negative chi skyward.’

     ‘…Three, two, and one Sasha exhale and rise.’

I open up my eyes, a house sparrow sings right over me. ‘Bow your head, and Inhale Sasha.’ I caress the grass that surrounds me. ‘Look up, and exhale Sasha.’ Taking my time, I sit up. Outside is so beautiful, Kibbles my neighbours’ kitten purrs up beside my feet, I feel his little heartbeat.

     ‘Thank you, you were great today Sasha. You’ll reach your target weight in no time. Shall we say Saturday at 8am?’

     ‘Yes, thanks, Mark.’

My new personal trainer Mark Lincoln compliments me further, places my diet plan for the week on the garden table, then leaves. For a while, I take in my surroundings, staring up at the sky, baby-blue with mild hints of cyan complimenting the life that lives beneath it. Life goes on with or without Sasha…

Fierce and Flammable

5 O’clock naturally, I wake up. The scent of Mothers bacon attempts to lure me down. But no, I don’t need that. I climb out of bed and open both windows. I admire the vixen and her cubs scanning the garden before venturing out further, in search of breakfast. A squirrel races across our washing-line, hurrying to retrieve a tiny morsel of dog food that it dropped seconds ago. I turn facing my oak bookcase, pulling out all the diet books; Janet Thompson, Think More Eat less; Kimberly Willis, The little book of diet help; Robert Ashton, The life plan. Gathering my over-priced collection of diet magazines too, ranging from Weight Watchers, Women’s Health, and Slimming World. (I have issues dating back to January 2012). Finally, from the very top of my almost junk-free bookcase, I remove a large container of acai-berry weight-loss pills. Seven purse-friendly boxes of Senokot tablets, and the thirteen takeaway menus, that I placed here so that my mother wouldn’t notice. I throw them all into my wash-basket. Picking up my remote I select repeat, play increasing the volume Cry-baby starts to soothe me once more. I grab my overused black Pauls Boutique shopper bag, and empty my wardrobe of everything that’s black, excessively loose, and surely anything that suggests I like to hide my curves. ‘On my tippy-toes, so that Mother won’t know that I’m delighted with my bootyful body.’ I smile, and toss the bag into the wash-basket, and head downstairs, outside into the garden. No sign of the vixen, her cubs are now silent. A wood pigeon perches on the plum tree, awaiting my next move.

     I empty the contents of my wash-basket into the incinerator, pulling it down the path to a better position. I remove the box of matches that I grabbed on my way out. Setting alight eight years of stubborn fat, my history. Tears escape my eyes. I’m hot, so I remove my sweatpants, ill-fitting black sweater, and cosy Bridget Jones styled knickers throwing them into the flames. My vision is blurred drowning in relief; I sing in loving memory of the old Sasha Walking around alone, on my tippy-toes…nothing ever has to be perfect.

Here I stand for the world to see, I am Sasha.

Enter Sasha

It’s a warm Sunday afternoon in March. Mother has prepared roast lamb, roast potatoes and a selection of seasonal vegetables. Oh and gravy, I love gravy.

She then places two equal-sized plates on the kitchen counter, and serves up dinner; two slices of lamb; two small roast potatoes; two sticks of asparagus; three slices of carrot; and one large floret of broccoli.

     ‘May I have a bit more lamb please, Mother?’

     ‘Well, I suppose one more piece won’t do any harm.’

She begins to carve again. Slicing off the smallest piece of lamb, I’m guessing 2 inches long and 2 millimetres thick. Smiling, she places her generosity on my plate motioning towards the gravy-boat, she pours a faint drizzle over dinner. Then with a sarcastic remark, she says.

     ‘You’ve now got enough to feed a zoo.’

Closing that sentence with a little laugh, mother hands me my plate and picks hers up then heads to the dining-room. I follow her taking a seat directly opposite her. I bite into this succulent, tongue tantalising nit-bit of roast lamb, and glance up.

     ‘Thank you, Mother.’

     ‘No need to thank me, dear, I’m your mother and mothers always know best.’

I glance down at my reflection on my knife. I see my big bright brown eyes, high model type cheekbones, my long slim neckline, and I see my beautiful lips…my beautiful smiling lips. I make a mental note about how sexy my body feels in the new red fitted size 12 peplum dress that mother bought for me from Topshop last week.

I’m happy. Welcome back, Sasha.

One Year

This time last year I was being lied to. I trusted this person and they lied to me. For months…at the final hour, they departed my life.

 Piano Sonata No.14 Beethoven plays as I type.

They then tried to keep hold of aspects. It was a challenging moment, but I managed to free myself from all detrimental scenario(s.)

They tried to keep hold of what they lacked without my presence. 

This time last year I felt these negative vibes – I ignored them in exchange for temporary details.

     Burning red flags presented themselves at every turn. I fanned them away, in favour of something amazing? Like I said, this person had my trust!

This time last year, I danced with deception and flirted with fakery. 

The impact

  • They’ve permanently lost my confidence in their ability, to be honest, and show integrity.
  • I can’t comprehend why I ignored the inferno that roared inches from my body.
  • Our universe will raise them up and at their pinnacle moment of self-actualisation cracks will deepen into graves for their bounty of happiness.
  • I’ll pay my respects with a single hemp seed.

Update

  • private & confidential.
  • My circles are trustworthy.
  • My life is abundant in love.
  • All red flags are acknowledged.

Future Scope

  • We will never see one another again.
  • We will never correspond in any way, shape or form.
  • When the last petal falls and they burn away the facade, I won’t hear the formation of a river from painful tears.

  Legacy

  • They ignited this insatiable thirst. I drink deeply, daily!
  • I’m grateful for the double-edged sword they used to slit gaps in my circulation. I can’t stop the bleed – vampires wait to be fed. They present lies in exchange for life.
  • Private and confidential.

Crow: The Bake Off

I had been submerged into an acai-berry infused salt bath, that kissed my brown skin with extra sweetness. Cherry scented candles glowing upon my windowsill and blending delights through the air when I heard the smoke alarm going off.

I enter the kitchen and I’m smothered by a plume of smoke – Crow has the oven door open.

     ‘Unique, I thought I would treat you to some cake, but I became too engrossed watching Money Heist on Netflix.’

     ‘Sweetie, this does not smell like a treat!’ I stretch over his little head and open all four windows. I heave and push my head out of one. ‘Crow, what on earth have you been doing?’

     ‘Baking a banana loaf! It’s all the range during lockdown.’

     ‘I can’t smell bananas.’

     ‘Because I added my own special touches to your recipe, look.’ He pointed a claw to the recipe book on the table.

                3 Very ripe bananas

                110g soft light brown sugar

                2 large eggs

                120ml sunflower oil

                225g plain flour

                1tsp bicarbonate of baking soda

                75g of chopped walnuts

That was what was printed originally – ‘You like my additions?’ Crow cheered as I looked closer at the page.

                3 Very ripe bananas 7 bananas (any kind)

                110g soft light brown sugar

                2 large eggs

                120ml sunflower oil Oil from Leslies liver

                225g plain flour 225g of Mr Bakers charred skin

                1tsp bicarbonate of baking soda

                75g of chopped walnuts 75g of chopped nuts from selfish men

I put on the oven mitts and waved away some of the smoke. I picked up the cake tin and carefully placed it onto the glass worktop saver.

As the smoke clears, I see a bubbling ball of? Well, I don’t know what it is. It looks disgusting.

Crow flies over and lands on my right shoulder and says, ‘ladies first.’

I turned to the sink and threw up.

Thoughts On: A Married Mans Story – K. Mansfield

“Tell me – do you think physical beauty is sp very important? I don’t like to think about how often she rehearsed that question. And do you know what I answered? At that moment, as if at my command, there came a gush of hard bright sound from the band. And I managed to shout above it – cheerfully – ‘I didn’t hear what you said.’ Devilish wasn’t it? Perhaps not wholly. She looked like the poor patient who hears the surgeon say, ‘It will certainly be necessary to perform the operation – but not now!’ pg. 7

This short story by Katherine Mansfield reminds me of the way many of us approach our relationships. We act! A lot of the time; surprised, shocked, sad, happy, pleasured. That list could go on and on and on.

     Rather than just be ourselves and express our natural reaction to something – many of us plot away scenarios. We dream of the outcomes, which more often than not are visuals that everything works in our favour.

     Only, in reality, we have no control over the actions of others – Yes! We can influence people, close by and those that you’ll never meet or even know of their existence. But you have no control over their reactions/actions/behaviours.

This story resonates with me quite a lot: the need to please your partner, the desires for validity without explicitly asking for reassurances. The weird intrigue, trying to understand the way your partner thinks? I chuckled to myself, as both characters reminded me of the past and my random approaches to things within a relationship.

     I’ve learnt a lot throughout life and I don’t doubt it will be useful in my future. I know deep down I’ll keep in mind the times I chose stupidity over normalcy. I’m sure my love life will grow rich with knowledge and bare fruits of gratitude, for the power of love.

Inside

You never know what people are going through behind the scenes.

Sometimes your thoughts take you down blind roads. You feel warm but you’re scared.

You try reaching out to people you once deemed as trustworthy but they’re focused on their lives – you no longer meet their requirements.

Confidence is broken.

They’ve moved on.

You’re abandoned, you feel your heart beating and you want it to stop!

You want to lay there in bed and understand what you did wrong?

You feel alone.

They’ve gone.

Your fragile heart is broken and your mind full.

Ignored because you’re faulty.

Like drugs, you consume more and fuck up your perspective.

You make comparisons and you conduct a study.

You don’t comprehend the results, because everything points toward your favour.

Only you see red.

You imagine your absence to be peaceful.

Cold Nation

📸 Unsplash

Cold Nation

Walk by the beggars that beg; maybe it’s for drugs? Maybe it’s for alcohol?

We can’t hear them.

News: The government say they have put aside millions of pounds to house the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

Viewers – Aww, that’s brilliant.

Walk by beggars who ask you to spare some change. They’re probably spending it on drugs and my money isn’t going to a crackhead.

Let’s get in the queue for McDonald’s, we haven’t had Maccys in weeks! We deserve a treat.

‘Spare some change please Luv?’

Sorry, I only have my card on me.

‘God bless you.’