Something to stay awake for

Eiko Tanaka sits on her porch sipping her tea. The wind is low and it gently ruffles the shrubs and the hanging golden ash trees that line the boundaries of her little property. So little it seems, barely much room for anyone. Yet hers is a seemingly amble garden on a street so squashed and encroached by looming tower blocks. She is proud of her garden, knowing it blooms brightly in the grey field of city.

She is waiting patiently, as she does most days. She is waiting for her granddaughter to visit after school is finished. She comes by every day. She comes to help her. Eiko doesn’t need help in the usual sense, she has gotten around perfectly fine for years. She adapted well after the incident, but people worry. They care and worry, as her Nanoko tells her. Her granddaughter, only fourteen; yet knowing the many twisted ways of the world. And she is right, there is care mixed with the worry; she can tell. As her own bones are getting more tired and her body is struggling, simple things are not always so simple. Being blind now is only half the battle. The people who visit her always note on her living by herself, always quick to offer some horrendous situation where she’ll meet her end. All because she can no longer see.

It hadn’t always been that way of course. She had lived for years alone in that little house with no problem. Just her and her dog Aio. Then it happened, and though she wished she could erase the memory of that terrible day, she had gotten through the worst of it. The insomnia came later, wreaking such havoc over her little life, disturbing her soul.

Nanoko had been a blessing. Eiko hadn’t wanted any fuss herself, but her granddaughter had done what she could to help her. Eventually she confided in her that she could no longer sleep, she spared her what she saw in her mind when she tried to calm it and be still. So Nanoko had started a blog for her, telling her story to the world, hoping to get some advice and see if anyone else was going through anything similar. She wanted to help her grandmother, she wanted her to be happy after the trauma.

What happened next surprised both of them. Along with similar stories and messages of support, people had responded to Eiko’s problematic sleeping and began to send in short stories for her; something to entertain her through the vast sea of struggle. The first had come with instructions for Nanoko to read out the story to Eiko, seeing as she had lost her sight and was there to help her. This led to Nanoko recording her stories for her grandmother to play back time and again, as she never bored of listening to tales. More people began to send them in, each one fanciful or romantic, scary or thrilling. They would both have fun as Nanoko would act out the story, and she would also post them on the blog for others to enjoy also. It brought them closer, and brought an extra bit of light into Eiko’s darkened world.


My name is Eiko Tanaka and I am 74 years old. I live with my dog Aio, who is always getting into such mischief, despite his age. We are both ageing cheekily and gracefully. I am blind, but not as a result of the shifting clock of time which is unrelenting. I was blinded in an incident which changed my life forever. My granddaughter Nanoko is the light in my darkness. She is there to steady my soul when it wobbles and falls. I love to hear stories and fables, and as such; I thought I best if you read mine, courtesy of my granddaughter.

My story is much like anyone’s….

Click to continue…..


 

A Funeral of thoughts

An earthy taste in your mouth.
The soil that slips from your lunar lips.
Is a burying of the old.
Broken thoughts grown frail and forgotten.
They’d rambled in your mind like an aged pensioner.
One that no-one bothered to check on.
Whose milk bottles of intent built up on their doorstep.
These thoughts tried to slip away in the night.
Silently and painless in the light of a new day.
In the light you bring.
Those thoughts that are the shadows of self.
From the dark side of the moon of the mind.
Fearful of the sun, that shines from your eyes.
Dirt, on my pillow when I wake.
Burying the thoughts in dreams masked as nightmares.
Finally, dead and buried.

Intimate horror

At the door there comes a rapping.
On hallowed ground you hear a tapping.
The pumpkin trail that led them there.
To trick or treat, and scream and scare.
Hobgoblins and witches together in groups.
Angels and a devils, leading the troops.
To smile and laugh at the seasonal tricks.
Grabbing candy and lollipop for furious licks.
So do not wonder what Jesus would do.
Or Mohammed, Buddhist or secular Jews.
For of this season we can take much notice.
Of sharing light or the sacred lotus.
For though they take, of that we give.
It’s Halloween that’s all inclusive.

Fright night

(from the vault)

All year round he kept to himself.
Quiet and content, like a book on a shelf.
It was Halloween when the tables turned.
And in his head, those thoughts had churned.
To live it up, go mad and wild.
To put on costumes, like any other child.
He loved that night when he fitted in.
And wasn’t shamed or drenched in sin.
He could go out, and talk to others.
His friends, his mum and all his brothers;
accepted him and played for ages.
Some souls to flick through his dusty pages.
It was Halloween he loved and longed for.
The candy, the skulls; the dismembered gore.
That was the time he loved the most.
For poor Charlie was such a lonely ghost.

Oxford’s Eeriest Ghosts

“For heartbroken Sarah, it was clearly too much, and she hung herself from the couple’s four-poster bed. Today it’s claimed that if you see her – and you surely will – but ignore her too, she will either scream and shriek like a Banshee or hang limp and lifeless from the bed.”

A Magazine piece available online Co-produced my with friend and amazing human being Shaunna Latchman.

Click below for the article’s main page:http://oxhc.co.uk/Oxfords-Eeriest-Ghosts.asp

Little Black Horn

 

Little black horn, weathered and worn; wondering about what to do.
He split the world and climbed inside, and out of hell he peaked on through.  

Little Black Horn: A Collection of Short Horror Stories:-

‘A woman struggles to hide the truth from a creature she believes to be her lover; a man journeys to Southern Italy in search of a witch; a child makes a pact with a voice he hears at the bottom of his garden.

From adult fairy-tales to suburban horror; dark intentions seep through this collection of tales from the imagination of Harley Holland.’

Buy the work in paperback or on kindle here: Little Black Horn

Check out Harley Holland also

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