Tag Archives: #LiskeardWritersGroup

“The Perpetual Calendar”

LWG 22/01/2019 prompt: “The Perpetual Calendar”

‘A very simple perpetual calendar consists of two cubes in a holder. One cube carries the numbers zero to five. The other bears the numbers 0, 1, 2, 6 (or 9 if inverted), 7 and 8. This is perpetual because only one and two may appear twice in a date and they are on both cubes.’

Having explained all that, let us move on to our little story.

Data Cat was unsure whether it was a Tuesday or not. It could have been. Or it quite easily have been one of the other numerous days available; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Yesterday, Today, Someotherday and so on.

Data Cat knew exactly the date, and the month, but not the day, and not the year – never the year.

Actually, Data Cat was often a day or, occasionally, a month behind, because he relied on the human to change the numbers and the words of Data Cat’s Perpetual Calendar.

And sometimes the human forgot.

Humans often forget, and elephants, who never forget, are simply unable to change the date due to their thumbs being slightly too large for the job.

Data Cat considered an idea that he had just thought of: what if there could be made a Perpetual Calendar that just told the day and the year?

An ideal companion for a date and month Perpetual Calendar!

Truth be known, Data Cat was a little lonely for one of his own kind; a Perpetual Calendar mate?

True, he did have Sergeant Salt and ‘Boxy’ to keep him company; but, they were not PC (in so many ways) and could not be the soul mate that Data Cat yearned for.

Another day passed.

Data Cat was a watchful cat – and that doesn’t mean that he was a cat full of watches, that would be silly.

He kept his eyes wide open as life continued to proceed before him.

Nothing escaped his attention.

There was another cat that shared his life, Rosie Cat; but, she never noticed him.

This also made Data Cat a little sad.

The days passed. The months changed in order. Life went on.

One Day – if could have been a Thursday – there was a knock upon the door: ‘Knock!’ but, nobody was around to answer that knock.

Then the doorbell rang: ‘Ring!’but, there was nobody around to answer that ring.

Then there was the sound of smashing glass: ‘Smash!’ and, as before, nobody was around to hear that sound.

Somebody had smashed the window in order to break into the house where Data Cat lived.

This was actually very silly, and a lot of wasted effort – never mind the damage caused – as the door wasn’t locked in the first place.

Data Cat stood silently and awaited the forthcoming events.

No days passed.

It was a matter of seconds.

The Burglar moved into the house, passing Data Cat, and into the lounge.

Data Cat noticed that the Burglar was dressed in a black and white striped shirt, black trousers, soft-soled shoes and had a black mask covering his eyes.

Data Cat didn’t notice the black beret that the burglar was wearing as the burglar wasn’t wearing one.

Luckily, Sergeant Salt was taking notes.

The burglar turned the place upside down – everything fell down on to the ceiling – and then the burglar decided that he wasn’t the sort of person that would tidy up after he had made a mess.

There was nothing of value to be found. Data Cat (now laying at a strange angle from where he could see up to the floor) whispered to Sergeant Salt: “He’s a messy tyke!”

To which comment Sergeant Salt heartily agreed: “He could do with a good stiff talking to.” was his reply. “If only I was six foot tall like my father.” Sergeant Salt, being only three inches tall, was in no position to apprehend the naughty burglar.

Data Cat noticed that all the numbers and months that he treasured so proudly had fallen to the ceiling and were now proclaiming that it was August, May or February the 91st – although whether it was a Thutsday or not was still unknown.

The burglar, a little miffed at finding nothing of any worth in the house, stole away.

Part of a day passed; midnight came and went; but Data Cat’s date didn’t change – as things stood, it wasn’t likely that that would happen for a while yet.

Data Cat, Boxy and Sergeant Salt just lay there on the ceiling, looking up at the floor, patiently awaiting the return of the Humans.

As to whether Data Cat found a Day and Year Perpetual Calendar to share his time… well, that is for another story


Prompt: Abacus #LWG

Prompt: Abacus #LWG – 10 Minute Writing Exercise

10-minute Exercise #2 – 04/12/2018

“So, if I push one along here that makes five. Then I have to push one of these along here to signify the five that I have, and push these five back here to the beginning.?”

“Yes. That is correct. You now have the basis for a far-reaching knowledge of Mathematics. When you become the 13th Emperor of the Ting Dynasty you shall be able to add to your wisdom and to the happiness of your subjects through being able to add, subtract, divide and multiply numbers.”

“Is this all that I need? A knowledge of numbers?”

“You will also need to know how to treat your subjects. Be a benefactor and not a tyrant – bring prosperity to all and not just some.”

“And these people here who perform the part of a human abacus… are they not worthy too?”

“They are the subjects of our enemies – they have been treated kindly and given jobs. Some are Abacusians like these, others man the human table-football games; and yet others are models for our Terracota army.”

“Have we a need for an army?”

“It is a Terracotta one. It’s hardly going to be much use in a battle.”

“True. So what is the point of it?”

“We do have rather a lot of Terracotta that we didn’t know what to do with.”


“Indeed. So, let us get back to our sums, Little Master. We move one across here and that makes…?”

Prompt: Magnet #LWG 10-Minute Exercise 04/12/2018

Prompt: Magnet for 10-Minute Exercise #LWG

I felt a strange attraction pulling me towards the horse – even though I was not a horsey person. I needed to feed a handful of hay to the grey mare. And, there, was some hay just right for purpose.

The horse seemed to appreciate the hay and ate as much as I could offer.

There appeared a saddle, stirrups, a bit, reigns and bridle – in fact, all the things needed to allow one to ride a horse.

I, on the other hand, was now appropriately dressed in a pair of riding boots, jodhpurs, riding hat and jacket – well, bless my soul and calm me The Lone Ranger.

“Away!” I called and off we went.

Past 100-Acre Wood, all along, down along, our along Leigh, past the Old Jockey and Horse public house and off to the moor.

We seemed to Canter, Gallop and trot as if we were one being.

That was when I noticed that we had become a Centaur. All the paraphernalia of horse-riding had gone and there were just the four legs and upper torso of the previous incarnation.

Oops! Did this thing really happen?

I tapped one metal-clad hoof twice for ‘Yes!.

It’s not often that I am lost for words – but, hey!

I cantered on, now searching for a lady Centaur with whom I could share my horsey life.

Positive or negative, there was no way back now – the elemental forces of Nature were set on pulling me forward.

‘Twas the meeting before Christmas! #LWG

‘Twas the meeting before Christmas!

LWG for 04/12/2018

Prompt: Christmas

‘‘twas the meeting before Christmas,

in old Stuart House,

and all the brave writers

were unaware of a mouse,

who was chewing on paper

whose fine words were at risk,

for they, the bold writers of Lisk,

had been careless as to where they stored their stories, kept their tales of seas and sails.

The mouse was oblivious

as to the worth of the words;

the adjectives sublime;

some similes quite fine,

and one compelling metaphor,

never heard before.

“Nibble, nibble!” nibbled the mouse. his stomach filling with verbs, as he happily chewed.

“When I grow up I want to be a writer!” He exclaimed. On and on he chewed.

“I’ve devoured many epics, some longer than need be;

short stories and poems-

the writers don’t heed me-

and I quite liked the comedy writings of some;

although they cause a funny

feeling when they got to my tum.

Nibble, nibble!” nibbled the mouse.

“And now for our homework!” was announced to the room. “Our prompt was ‘Christmas’. to brighten the gloom

of a dark December’s day;

who shall go first, start off reading today?”

They ‘ummmmed’ and they ‘ahhhhed’ and then one did speak:

“I’ve written a story about a Christmassy Week.”

The story told, the response quite pleasing, a circular route to read was now teasing. But, clockwise or widdershins? Which way would it go? It always varied, so no one did know.

“I’ll go next!” from the clockwise direction. The rest now relaxed by this natural selection.

“My story is about the state of the National Elf at Christmas!” We did laugh. And this was followed by many a fine sentence and adroit paragraph. Until the story had been told with sufficient aplomb. “That was most uplifting!” a voice spake from the room.

SO, clockwise we travelled, the stories well told; one about Christmas Trees, and one of The Old, Old Christmases before rationing ended; when an orange was thrilling, and a broken stick mended.

Then it came to my turn.

What should I say?

What had I written Upon Christmas, for today?

I took a deep breath…

prepared all my words…

and began:

‘‘‘twas the meeting before Christmas

in Old Stuart House…”

“Nibble, nibble, nibble!” nibbled on the mouse.

Liskeard Writers Group Prompt ‘Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

LWG – 07/08/2018 – Prompt: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” William Shakespeare, The Tempest A1Sc2


Silence. An eerie blankness of silence, silence like you get when… well, never.

Never had there been a silence like this one. And in such a place.

A place where there was supposed to be so much noise, and so much heat…

but, the furnaces were cold, the pits were ashen, the treadmills slumbered wantonly, without a single murmur.

There was a note. Pinned to a door. The words written hurriedly in fiery red letters, were:

‘All the devils are temporarily absent; there is a performance of Will.I.Am’s version of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and we all have to be there for the Shipwreck Scene, as reported later in the performance by the aerie faerie Ariel. So sorry for the inconvenience. We’ll be right back after we have done our bit for the theatre.’

The note was signed ‘Baz, Head Devil.

I moved soundlessly amongst the mounds of earth, the sharp tools of encouragement, and the pits of oppressive oppression. It was my chance to observe up close how the other half live – after they die.

All in all, it was rather well organised. A place for everything cruel – and everything cruel in its place. Rows and columns of deep trenches and high ridges, ready for various strenuous tasks, spread out as far as the Divine eye could see; areas for communal activities; and spots for quiet contemplation. No, no, not the last one – except for today. Today, when there were plenty of points in my self-guided tour where I could perch and consider the normal workings of such a place as this; and, when I say self-guided, I could possibly have said ’mis-guided’.

Someone had left the door unlocked when they’d left – even though there was a large orange sign on the inside saying: ’Will the last devil or daemon to leave the office please ensure that the door is locked behind them. Thank you.’ It was signed ‘The Management’.

But, who reads signs these days? Nobody round here, obviously.

Anyway, back to the tour.

On a point of decor, it could have done with some flower beds to lighten the mood; and not just a garden of Red-Hot Pokers – of which there were many; but, not the flower type – which, pokers, incidentally, were cold to the touch just now –

Some Begonias, Chrysanthemums, or a Herb Garden would have been nice.

Nice, but a little incongruous, perhaps.

Maybe a stream running through. Well, one with water in it, anyway.

Here is probably as good a point as any, to explain to you who I am, and what I am doing in this most evil of places – not that it seems particularly bad at the moment – they obviously had a bit of a tidy up before they left.

My name is Ged. The Bible-writers were close; but, no cigars for them – for cigars were not to be invented for another millennium and a half, or so.

Anyway, Ged, with a capital G, is my name, and I am the Creator (with a capital C) of all that there is, or was, or will be. Which is quite funny when you look at how little I actually do on a day-to-day basis.

Well, believe all that hype if you want, I am just a simple man with simple tastes and have variable features depending on how people think I should look. Which is awkward for some when they do meet me and I look nothing like what they were expecting.

I should really stick to the long flowing, silvery-white hair and beard, but it’s so scratchy in the Summer, and it takes ages to wash and keep in good condition. My skin colour is also variable – and not through tanning.

It has been proposed that I do not exist at all – if some theories are to be believed I am a figment, as is my pigment – a little Ged joke there for you – you’re welcome.

But, that’s a discussion for a very rainy day.

“Why am I here?”

Well, I’m visiting the realm of Hades, also called Hell; but not Helvetia – which is another name for Switzerland – so, unless you are apt to be tormented by Toblerones or Cuckoo Clocks…

Unusually for Me, I had a few days available on My calendar, nobody was bugging me for a visit, the relatives were both off visiting Shangri-La-La Land, and so I looked at my Bucket List. Not that it’s a real ‘50-things-to-do-before-I-die’ sort of Bucket List – I’m immortal – but, with my quirky sense of humour I had written a few things upon a celestial bucket, and so…

… this visit was at the top.

Well, quite near the top.

And circumstances were… shall We say, opportune.

Back to the present.

I know that the staff here will be back sometime soon, and so I’ll make My tour of the lower realm a somewhat superficial one – it never pays to look too deeply into the ethical workings of such a place, or you may find a few ‘skeletons’ loitering dejectedly in their closets.

‘Take only pictures, leave only footprints’ they say – which phrase, I would have liked to have popped in as another commandment – as if that would have made a difference.

Well, seeing as I walk at a height of three inches above the ground and own neither camera nor a phone with a photographic capacity, I shall just record this visit in my expansive memory – which happens to be a curse, and a blessing – and send out a memo to the angelic fraternity when I get back, that Hell’s description on TripAdvisor is largely inaccurate and that they would be better off following Lonely Planet’s advice to ‘Steer well clear of this place if you can – much too hot for an intrepid, thrill-seeking traveller’s liking – average 1 star rating – no ATMs, poor laundry facilities’.

I must agree with the Angel Gabriel on some points about Hell or Hades – even though I’ve seen it on a ‘quiet’ day – and they are relating to it’s work ethos – they certainly incentivise the workforce (although the rewards system is somewhat lacking) and there is a very high percentage of attendance by those employed here.

It all seems a bit too dreamy in Heaven – and I have a deep and worrying feeling that harpists are becoming outnumbered by believers in the Eukarist as in players of the ‘Uke’ also known as the ukulele; and, if I hear ‘When I’m cleaning windows’ being played badly one more time…

… well, the wrath of Ged may soon be lowered upon the strummers of the four strings.

I may even have to reinstate the transference of bodies from Upstairs to Downstairs – or, their Ukuleles at the very least.

Oh, well, My time is up (for My visit here, anyway) and I must get back up top. I think there is a bingo tournament planned for this afternoon – and I wouldn’t want to miss that now, would I?

‘Top of the shop – Ged the Creator!’