posted on July 20, 2008 at 9:00 pm

and then dad called out
son go and find your sister
i ran calling kathy kathy through the roaring trees
dad was right behind me all the way
he picked me up and we some times flew above the grass
how do you do that dad ? i cried out but he just laughed
where do you think she is ?
he yelled into my ear as the noise of our speed was nearly deafening
kathy kathy i was calling out as we glided in the forests heart
kathy! at the mouth of a gloomy cave
kathy isnt in there son… said dad rising above the hills
look! he said
on a little green knoll studded with quince trees
there she was , fast asleep in some creatures bower
all snuggled up in dreamy feathers and soft aromatic grass
wake up young kathy ! boomed dads voice
and she sat up all smiling and confused
dad lifted her out of the bower
and he brushed away the gossamer webs and spearmint leaves
we’ve got to get going, my girl… said dad
then he popped both of us in a pocket
and he held up his finger
and he whispered something to the wind
whats dad doing now? said kathy
oh shush , you wouldnt understand…. i said
dad was whispering to the wind
and the trees all started to shake and move in a gale
but we stood right in the middle of it all
we were hardly even moving
as things started to shoot by us
trees at first
then houses
and shops
and railway stations
and then we were suddenly home
kathy was sitting up in her bed reading a story
dad was peeling some spuds
and i was under the table playing with my cards
dad was singing as he peeled
and kathy put down her story and joined in
her shrill little voice sounded funny singing along with dads
and i laughed as i was hidden from view
dad hes laughing at my singing… she said
and then dads big face appeared under the table
youre not laughing at her singing are you? he asked
suddenly there was a knock at our door
me and kathy raced to answer it
but dad said
stand back now children…let me see who it is
dad opened our yellow door
there stood a strange man, i must say
all dressed like it was the olden days or something
dad seemed really happy though
dad said
children this is your uncle peter, my brother
uncle peter came in to our house
he smelt dusty and smoky as he wandered in
kathy and i liked him at once
he said hallo children in a musical voice and he bowed everso slightly
we were on his lap in a trice and we chatted for all we were worth:
ohh uncle peter…kathys got a white rabbit called snowboy
hes a hare, isnt he, dad …?
the widow greene has a wishing well….and we…
dad says i can get a drum for my birthday
no dad dont let him have a drum…
can you play a drum uncle peter?
eventually uncle peter set us down
and he and dad talked earnestly
while kathy and i sat still as mice under the table
dad and uncle peter were drinking some black beer
uncle peter smoked a pipe too
and he waved it around illustrating his words
what kathy and i heard frightened us cold
uncle peter was saying
we cant hold them out much longer, theyre too strong
we need some more stout men down our way, john
we heard dad say
i cant come ,peter…who would look after the children..?
at this kathy gave a little cry of alarm
and dad reached under and pulled us both out
dad, we’re scared now ….i said
dad just laughed and sent us to bed
we kissed uncle peter goodnight too
he looked like dad but with sadder eyes
and his beard was not so white
goodnight children he said softly
kathy was whispering under the covers
you know what theyre talking about, dont you
the goblins? i said
yes she whispered
that night i had strange dreams
i saw dad trapped in a hollow tree
and i saw uncle peter with a black arrow in his side
and i saw a strange looking man going into the earth
and i felt something sting me and i felt something try to swallow me
something had happened to our town and i roamed its empty streets
thorny trees grew everywhere and crows sat on the clotheslines
the clouds were black and the sun was lost
winter strode in surrounded by flurries of the whitest snow
the roses all faded
and kathys rabbit ran away forever
i sat at the table waiting and waiting
our little house was so silent
kathy had written a little note for me
stay there…
dont be scared ive gone to find dad …it said
i looked out miserably at the snowy fields
a churchbell tolled distantly
kathy had made me a cup of broth now long gone cold
kathy had left me her good luck charm…one of her babyteeth
she had gone after dad
the snow had me surrounded
the broth was cold
the note was in indian ink

17 Responses to “indian ink”

  1. avatar
    princey | 20 July 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    Wow, you’re an amazing storyteller sk, is there anything you CAN’T do?
    Love Amanda

  2. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 July 2008 at 12:09 am #

    YOU,SK,of the “tap tap tap”,write THE most incredibly beautiful passages of magic.every word,a song.:) “stick int in yer family,al bum!;)

  3. avatar
    kat | 21 July 2008 at 2:40 am #

    why do i think the young sk will not stay put? however, he is surrounded..

    craig i am sorry for the loss of your sister. i can’t imagine my life without my siblings.

  4. avatar
    heather | 21 July 2008 at 3:30 am #


  5. avatar
    chrome3d | 21 July 2008 at 3:49 am #

    I got to go listen some more Kate Bush.

  6. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 21 July 2008 at 7:37 am #

    …to be continued…very vivid, sk, wonderful…
    love always…

  7. avatar
    fantasticandy | 21 July 2008 at 11:36 am #

    hans christian andersen meets c.s lewis……….

  8. avatar
    peter walsh | 21 July 2008 at 12:30 pm #

    …it read: ‘Yadda, yadda, yadda, for fuck’s sake tell us about Heyday.’

  9. avatar
    restaurant mark | 21 July 2008 at 12:48 pm #

    nice one steve…you have bags of extra imagination just hanging around the house don’t ya?

    take care

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 July 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    Shivers down my spine. I had to go warm myself. Kathy come home.

  11. avatar
    verdelay | 21 July 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Ah, the good olde days.

    They got through in the end, didn’t they? Got too strong (on a diet of stolen irony) and we were spread too thinly; like a film on glass we were in the end, a mere tint. Some of us managed to get away, to lose ourselves in…other people’s thoughts. All the rest, well they just winked out. Eyes shut and they were gone.

    But some of us are still here, in other people’s thoughts; humming our tunes, pointing out small wonders, biding our time…


  12. avatar
    Cee | 21 July 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    Perfect to open up my foggy soggy Monday.

  13. avatar
    davem | 21 July 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    I hope Dad’s ok, but whilst he’s away I wouldn’t mind having a wee sup of that black beer of his. And the bloody crow’s are back……….Alice!!!!!

  14. avatar
    Anonymous | 21 July 2008 at 8:04 pm #

    That’s one of the most beautiful ones that you’ve ever written Steve.
    It evoked some wonderful memories of my dad for me.
    Thanks for that.
    I enjoyed this one very much.

    Tampa, Fl

  15. avatar
    Bionaut | 21 July 2008 at 9:16 pm #

    I’ll guess that Uncle Peter is a wizard, and dad the heir to a kingdom. And the other hare, Snowboy, is really their protector against the goblins, transforming at night into goblin-hunting yeti. But he was lured into the widow Greene’s wishing well by the goblins and is now being held by the Goblin King. Dad and Uncle Peter have gone to save him through some long and convoluted mission involving minor expendable characters, a comical dwarf, argumentative plants, carnivorous catholics, and various other creatures wicked and good. Of course, little SK won’t stay still. He will find the magic drum Uncle Peter was going to give him, and by playing it will reveal the map secretly drawn by Kathy on her note in invisible Ninevian ink. He heads out with some warm broth, and finds his sister trapped in a giant crow’s nest. After driving off the crows with his drum he frees her, and together they set out following dad’s tracks in the snow….

  16. avatar
    steve kilbey | 21 July 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    but no cigar

  17. avatar
    CSTCoach | 22 July 2008 at 12:06 am #

    beautifully written, lovely imagery (not your comment, but the actual blog…)

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