Sunday 7 July 2024

Sunday Serial: 240 x 70 24 Old Bones 12 January, old wine


This collection is a collection of seventy stories, each 240 words. They were inspired by the first picture seen on my Twitter feed on a given day.


It came to us all. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust etc.  Amazing though. You could see where the eyes would have been. This one still had all his teeth. He assumed it was a man's skull, though he couldn't say why. There was a hole where the nose would have been.

He remembered seeing other remains without life.  All of those old graves in old churchyards the Republic of Ireland. You could look right into them and see the skeletons.  They hadn't used coffins. Then there were those curious underground tunnels in Vienna where the air had preserved flesh as well. Dried out bodies but still bodies. Odd that in some places they'd put all of the skulls together, all of the thigh bones and all of the pelvic bones etc. Why had they done that?

He shuddered as he remembered seeing his mother in her coffin.  His father had insisted. "We've got to make sure they've get the right body in there?" Did they have to? Did it really matter? 

He touched the skull again. It felt solid but he thought it might be brittle. It was really odd how normally everything else rotted but the bones remained.

"Nice to meet you," he mumbled as he put it back down. 

He was inside his head. Who was he, really? Whoever he was inside this body and it suddenly felt decidedly odd to him having a physical body. He shivered. Better get out of here.

The sun was bright outside and he had to screw his eyes up against it. He couldn't shake the feeling, though, that he was really from somewhere else, that he didn't really belong here.        

About the author  

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown.  

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She teaches Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.

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