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Home » Photo Stories

PHOTO STORIES – Blinks Transport People by Adam Marek

Submitted by admin on October 25, 2009 – 9:39 amNo Comment

Part of the Photo Stories series co-edited by Clare Wigfall. Authors work from a photograph to produce a story of about 1000 words.

Blinks transport people pic-2See Ellen just dripping all over this guy. This guy who seems to light up the street with the brightness of his trainers, who leaves the sweat on his forehead while he talks to her, hands on his hips. If I was there, she wouldn’t let one leg dangle like that. She wouldn’t twirl her hair so.

Their heads are four storeys above the boys. Our boys. Luka and Cam.

Down at street level, see Luka’s battered Ben 10 shoe make puffs of dust as it stamps on the toes of Cam’s welly. His smelly wellies we call them because he hates to wear socks.

Hear Cam screaming, and Luka’s delighted chuckle. Ellen descends to ground level and grabs both of their arms.

She speaks with her teeth together, quiet, so him upstairs can’t hear. We are close enough to the pavement to smell chewing gum.

If I have to stop you two one more time there’ll be no Spongebob when we get home and no milky jelly after dinner. Do you understand me?

Cam tries to counter with, But mum, but she silences him with a raised finger and a pneumatic hiss, her own signature sound. A sound with power.

This man she knows from somewhere else bends down and grins at Luka. From this angle, the blackheads with which his nose is seasoned are obvious. No one is perfect from this close.

What’s with the goggles? The guy asks.

Luka has powers, Ellen says, don’t you Luka?

Luka wrinkles his nose and scrunches his eyes up. Where does all this anger come from?

Ellen and the guy move back to their positions in the sky. The little interjection from the boys has somehow brought them closer together, close enough for the wind to whistle as it passes between them.

Far below, unseen by either of them, Cam pouts as he reaches across and pinches Luka’s belly. Luka shrieks. Ellen’s hands land atop both of their heads. Luka’s rage makes his head vibrate. Something powerful is knotting the muscles in his arms, making them assume tense, sculptural shapes. See him preparing to strike. Ellen’s hand is still on his head while she talks up in the clouds, and somehow this holds him back.

A bus grumbles past. Pigeons are amazed on the rooftops. Ellen dips into her handbag for a pen and an old envelope. And then Cam kicks Luka in the shins. Shin-kicks from Cam’s smelly wellies hurt like hell. I’ve had plenty.

See Luka skip into the air and land with the characteristic sideways flick of his head. A little growl.

That’s it, he says.

I have been here before. I would stop it if I could.

His hands begin, swirling around each other so fast his teeth bite together with the effort of it. His fingers work the air like the pistons of an engine, and then he thrusts his head at Cam, arms stretched back, the mole on his neck almost popping off with the strain, and he blinks. Luka’s blinks are rapid-fire. He makes a noise, like a cuttlefish out of water, the sound of air percussing the space between his tongue and the back of his teeth.

Up above, clear of the static and the strange smell of ozone that follows one of Luka’s episodes, Ellen tells the guy how good it was to see him again, and he tells her that she must e-mail him sometime. And then, when his earphones are back on his head, when he looks round at Ellen one more time and waves as he pounds up the street, only then does she notice that the scene has changed. Only then does the discharged electricity make all her hairs stand on end.

Where is Cam? She says. Luka, where is your brother?

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