Tales Hidden in Bottles by Annalise Spurr
I found an eye in my new coat pocket, 2016
I bought an emerald green woollen coat from a local charity shop,
it needed a good wash but it did have potential.
I did not check the pockets when I was trying it on,
but when I got it home my fumbling hands, to their disgust, pulled out an eye that had been nesting in the depths of the left pocket.
At first I thought it was made of glass or of marble as it exuded a delicate sheen. And although it did feel rather cold and moist, I assumed the dampness of the shop left a residue.
So placing it on top of my mantelpiece, I sat and gazed at it, bemused by the realistic qualities it possessed. The iris was an oak brown, rich in pattern, and entwined in a kaleidoscope of delicate rose rivulets that spun around its peculiar white sphere.
The strange thing was that whenever I went in the house, I felt as if the eye followed me. And although I probably should have thrown it away, something seemed to keep me from doing so and therefore I kept it.
It was not until I witnessed it rolling off the mantel piece and heading towards me one time, that I felt really uncomfortable. It could have been outside vibrations that had knocked it onto the floor, but how could I explain the way it stopped moving when I stopped and then moved again when I moved. I could not dispose of it, it would not let me, don’t ask me why, I really don’t know...
So, one day, I locked it in the cabinet.
When I woke up the next day, the eye sat on the other pillow looking in my direction. Its intrusive pupil dilated with every strike of my heart. That is when I realised that the eye was living and for some reason it wanted me.
There was nothing I could have done, for every part of me was paralysed apart from my left hand. I was cocooned in terror. In that state, the eye instructed me to dig out my left eye and place the new one in my socket, and so I did.
Now that the world is half mine and half someone else’s, I spend most of my days sitting at home by the window wearing my emerald coat, and keeping one eye on the future and one eye on the past, while humming tunes that I don’t recall ever hearing. But that is the way my life is these days...
Corn at a Ball, 2016
What if the river -
A dance of dragonfly's
in time to bowing willows,
they bleach in the yellow kings
What if the sea -
Its bream dreaming scales
breath out chants
which crusty waves,
tinsel and dive through
What if the field -
A mouth of corn at a ball
its music ripens the mice
chewing on glory
What if the graveyard -
stony dew in moons rapture
calling friends to the fire,
floral thunder dawns passing
into the smoke then travel, onto the
another surface –
What if every morning -
my head melted into the pillow,
a waxy mask of cotton and old nightmares,
as if snow were shovelled through a funnel -
red icy clots then
Two nothings must mean something,
one would be insignificant -
The Seat, 2016
Once I saw a man who liked to stare at the flowers
In the park.
One day I asked him what he was looking for,
‘for the answer,’
‘an answer to what,’ I replied
and he said
‘just the answer.’
He would go to the same spot every day,
sit on the same bench,
leave for ten minutes and then go to a nearby vender,
he would always come back with a coffee,
white with two,
eat his sandwich at exactly 1PM,
go for another ten minutes and come back with a cup of tea,
white with three.
He stayed there until 5PM,
and then went home,
This happened every day,
for about forty years,
and then he died.
I laid some of his flowers on the grave,
nobody else came,
and there weren’t any birds around.
On his grave marked the words,
Here lies William
He Found The Answer
1934 – 2016
I sat on his seat and watched the same flowers,
I noticed someone was watching me.
This happened every day,
for about thirty years.
and the person who watched me for all that time
lay my flowers on the grave.
Two people came,
although I didn’t know them
and 100 crows perched on the stone
gossiping about how
I now knew the answer.
The person sat on my seat,
ate the flowers
and the person that watched him.
The Rug, 2016
I carried you to the river,
wrapped in the rug
you bought me from Egypt.
Your hair matted up in the tassels,
each strand felt alive
as the moon ran over you.
A fox pushed past us
and stopped on the other side.
It sniffed the dead air,
spiced textile putrid,
market bustle torment,
barter batter her,
side street covert,
mystic red spiked eyes,
stale fly stung hung meat.
You rolled out of my arms,
into the grey skin
past the secrets the other people keep
to your bed,
where the dead glide
amongst the trolleys,
ice cream signs.
Tales from the Village Newsletter, 2016
I knew a lady who had a cat
and it would foul in a neighbours garden.
It liked to dig up the rose beds and defecate.
This happened every morning without fail,
the neighbour use to get so angry and throw objects at the cat
to frighten it away.
It got to the point where the neighbour had had enough and decided to grab a spade and sliced its head off clean. She put the head in a box with an angry note in it, saying why she had done what she had done and posted it through the cat owner’s letterbox, (she lived two doors away).
The owner sobbed her heart out and couldn’t believe what her neighbour had done to her beloved cat.
As it happens the cats faeces was so rich and lustrous, due to a good diet,
that the neighbour’s roses grew to be extremely strong and thick and they completely took over the house.
The neighbour couldn’t get out, and due to the nature of the roses and their powerful compressing stems, pungent petals and machete thorns,
Annalise is a writer and singer from the magic lands of Somerset. She is currently in a band called Strange folk and writes lyrics and melodies for their gothic folk rock style of music. Annalise also works for the RSPCA and graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2015, after completing an MA in Creative Writing.