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Picture stories SOFAR 54-55
Picturestory SOFAR 54-55 comp
Bodies? lots of bodies in town.
Jinny glances round. ‘For a split second I thought I saw a ghost. Step, step, step, is this the way the living do it?’ How does a body feel? ‘There’s still so much of Death in me I could fly.’
‘Jinny please don’t fly, its best to do the stepping when you’re in the living.’
‘Thief? Don’t you have a name?’
‘Theo If.’
‘Okay Thief it is. So Thief why did you bust me out of gaol? Well it wasn’t me was it, it was Jinny Moon you were wanting to free, are you disappointed you’ve ended up with this?’
‘There is no, “This.” You are Jinny Moon. Jinny with no memories is still Jinny.’
‘Sure.’ Should he tell her of their history? ‘Jinny I am a thief, I take things, Death took you, I’m stealing you back, friends help each other.’
Jinny is thinking there’s more to this than the Thief is saying. She suddenly stumbles and clutches herself, even with no body she has the sense the air has acquired a bitter chill.
Picture stories SOFAR 52-53
Picture stories SOFAR 52-53 comp
The Thief is fearing the nearing of Death. ‘Jinny you look like a fancy, its better for us if you go around in a manner that may be seen. In the living people prefer to know who is there, otherwise they get a scare and they don’t welcome you in.’
Jinny feels to be in a dream. ‘Is there a place that sells them, can you get them free?’
‘Maybe,’ says the Thief, ‘let’s go to the cemetery.’
If you see she then you know she’s as pale as the lightest flower bloom. If she’s not quietly ghosty she’s doing a fair mockery.
The Thief digs up Jinny’s body.
‘Is this all there is of me? Its rotten muck, maggots got the best I think, there’s no sewing this up. I don’t believe any surgery will help.’
The Thief throws down the spade. ‘You could say its over ripe, past its sell by date, let’s put it away it smells of decay. Well there’s no way you’re wearing that, let’s find another.’
Picture stories SOFAR 50-51
Picture stories SOFAR 50-51 Comp
She is mad, he’s just bad, they get along quite nicely. Whilst its not a case of singing songs here, both are keeping step to go.
The Thief is boasting. ‘Aint I the bestest thief in the world. I’m stealing you free from death-land, so that bloody old git can play a sad tune on the bone of his heart.’
Jinny maybe having doubts, its a far, far, step for her. Good to go is going gone, every leaving is a grieving kind of thing. she is thinking. ‘I pause, I pay my sums, its a torn in half I’m bleeding. Can I go, no, no, no, but I am. I’m begging, leaning towards the promised land, life is a tingle I have a vague feeling of relief.’
The Thief is pulling at her. She’s a crazy sort now memory gone and tugging like she wants to go back there. ‘Jinny stop your pulling if we don’t get went then an army will be sent; hate to think what of.’
Picture story SOFAR 48-49 comp
Picture story SOFAR 48-49 comp
The Thief appears in Death. ‘Its me.’
Jinny bends over to see. ‘Hello Me.’
‘Jinny, its me the Thief.’ He climbs a little higher.
Jinny smiles. ‘Its nice to see a friendly face. Are you new here?’
‘Jinny Moon, I’m stealing you home.’
‘Stealing me home? Are you sure its me you’re meaning, I mean its easy to forget a face I do it all the time.’ Slightly frowns.
The Thief learnt early that in any robbery you must getting the timing right, but the right time to leave has been and gone. ‘You should be with the living Jinny Moon.’
Jinny is finding this conversation very uncomfortable. ‘This Jinny Moon is she nice?’
‘Jinny, if you don’t leave now you never will.
Jinny turns her back. ‘No thank you Mr Thief, but its been very nice talking to you.’
The Thief grabs hold of Jinny and hauls her down the ladder. ‘Now just tip toe through the back door delivering or collecting, good as it gets, bad as it wants to be.’
Picture story SOFAR 46-47 comp
Picture story SOFAR 46-47 comp
Now so we are, I is here, is it, aint it clear to you, me neither. Kind of fuzzy miresome, nothing that you could write home and say your playing with, no say, no play, all gone here. Something else maybe like a possibility if you were certain enough to make it. Kind of sweet, kind of sour too, all decked up like frozen bars of sweets covering up the flaws here. Are there any floors, I don’t feel them, I wouldn’t say I float around but in fact I do. All is gone and so am I, just a thing that is bobbing around here. Awful shit and hell I hate it, take me home please; what is that, I had one once I think but that has burned away. Blurry mind can’t get a grip here, nothing to stick to, a place forever, or perhaps and maybe not. Thank you and goodnight, if you have one, we don’t seem to. Rain a stain that’s wet here, dry a place that’s falling and if its blue to you, think of me, think of how I’m feeling.
Picture story SOFAR 44-45 comp
Picture story SOFAR 44-45 comp
So we see this is me. Its such a lonesome road here, bleak and dark and very likely haunted (that’s a joke – ho, ho.) Some things come, then some things go and I am falling free now. Bits fall off, at what cost am I paying here. The road here its a charge of sorts, to get to there from here requires a burning bits of you that you thought were vital, vanish without saying, like your name your sense of history, memory of course, all little things no longer needed. To fit in you have to learn the language and it seems that mine is raw and awfully coarse I must learn to say another way. Be brave my dear its for the best, just another fucking test, they have them here as well or is that hell I’m not quite sure, but I’m not overheating. I’ve forgotten that and this has gone, now what was it I said I don’t remember. Well here goes, shows what you can do with no expectations, did I say they were one of the first. Its all a pleasant dive, no pain, no hurt, no distance, here I am free of all, just have to be some newer me. I hope she’s nice I will have to live with her.
Picture story SOFAR 42-43 comp
Picture story SOFAR 42-43 comp
They arrive at a warehouse. Inside there is nothing much, some cans of paint, broken chairs, playing cards scattered. Above is an absence, a darkness that streams like a river.
Death is locking the door. There is no way back, Jinny must go forward. ‘Here is the end of the road. There is the start of another. You want to know the answers. Okay then fly try their tastes.’
‘It might seem a sin but I’ve got to ask it, forgive and forget right?’ Now she is here Jinny is having second thoughts.
Death’s lack of empathy has been hard won, a lack due to necessity. ‘I don’t have your soul, do you think I’m a demon?’
Jinny has gathered the cards, trying to divine her future. ‘Okay then, so I have my soul but I still feel like me, when are you going to kill me?
‘You are unique Jinny Moon, you are in Death but you will never die, you are my personal guest. You will not die but some things will fade from you. Death is in another place, with different properties, you will alter so you may be there.’
Why is she unique? Jinny thinks to ask the question but then in apprehension decides she would rather not know. ‘Death this, Death that, but how do I know that you are the right death for me, for my beliefs?’
Death does something strange with his mouth, he smiles. ‘Death is not the end its just the beginning, its a holding place, a waiting room. The gone from Earth gather there. They change they move, where they go I never ask.’
‘I would ask, I would have to know.’
‘No Jinny, you will have to ask, you will have to know. There is no past in Death.’
Jinny is thinking maybe she can buy post cards, “Having a lovely time.”
Picture story Sofar 40-41
picture story Sofar 40-41 comp
Desires, regrets, all that hasn’t happened yet, Jinny feels its too soon to leave but she made a deal. She’s not fading she could run away, escape from Death to some place he never goes, somewhere like Sumaria, ho, ho, ho. Some lover to miss might be a consolation but where will he be now, causing havoc over an unsuspecting place, or maybe he’s changed again, she hopes he has. The Thief might mind, he seems to have an unsuspected kindness hidden deep. She is hoping this ghost will get on with it, if she’s going she would rather get it over quick. Maybe she could compose a valedictory ode;
She was here,
she went,
a new frontier,
no lament.
Picture story Sofar 38-39
Picture story SOFAR 38-39 comp
A waiting place, Death is used to this. Waiting for the weight to stay, the never seen to move away, can you weigh a parting.
Jinny is babbling with uncertainty, she is scared to death if truth be told. ‘If its here we are do you wish to pray? Is this a place of yours? Are we nearer? Will it take long?’
‘I have a call to make. Collect something due, well past its sell by date.’ Death was too long in the job for lament, is there a remembrance of tears, nothing moist to flow now? ‘Some come easy, some come low but all come to me eventually. I’m not judging, to tell the truth I don’t really care.’
Jinny’s thoughts were flashing to horrors, to hell, to hades, to heaven. Panic and imagined pains shot through her. ‘When will I be dead, I feel alive still. Will you kill me with a gun, chop off my head or what?’
‘Some chance, some win, some lose, you change. Everything changes, well so will you.’ Same old planet, same old day, same old night. But now a chance to experience something new, another you in a never known.
‘That’s something said I’ve heard before, it seems that every move gets worse.’ Death seemed to be getting darker, a lack of warmth, a lack of light, at the end of the road would it be no more at all?
‘The answers there but its up to you learn its lesson, every experience has a value.’
‘Did you get that from a Christmas cracker?
Picture story Sofar 36-37
Picture story SOFAR 36-37 comp
The Thief was right the temperature is growing colder. A stranger is approaching, bringing chills from ancient places, an icy blast from the past or will this be our future. A whispering, a murmur low, a creeping crow or maybe.
Jinny takes on the role of the gate, defending all her work. ‘Yes sir may I help, are you lost, are you grieving? Do you wish to see a loved one?’
The stranger moves with confidence, he is used to the view that refuses to think of him, until the last, but Jinny can see him clearly. ‘How sweet you are, may an old man rest his arm? You are doing well, there is lot to tell here, many stories all around trying to make sense of these brutal sudden changes. Life is such a fragile thing don’t you think, no permanence at all. It is a shame because pass the gate there is a state of certainty, no lying and no business just sweet serenity.’
It wasn’t cold as such, it was more a lack of warmth. Jinny was trying to edge away but the stranger’s arm held her close. ‘I think I get a feeling now sir, you are a passer of the green and of all that lies unseen. Have you come to collect, or is this just a visit to peruse?’
‘With no movement there is no love. With no love there is no more pain. I will make a deal with you, would you like that?’ The stranger is feeding on Jinny’s vitality, such life, he simply could not let her go. He tightens his grip.
‘You’re playing games too fast for me. Are we playing cards? Have you marked the deck?’ Jinny was thinking that while Death can pay a visit, Living never strolls around at all.’
‘There is no chance, there is only loss. Would you prefer if I would finish up your work here?’
‘Now you are playing with me. What is this deal you speak of?’
Death was sad that his presence never cheered, perhaps he should learn some jokes, “Have you heard the one about the Little Match Girl, it will slay you.” ‘Quite simply I take you. You I find quite interesting.’
Death is making a box and Jinny is to be nailed tight in it.
Picture story Sofar 34-35
Picture story SOFAR 34-35 Comp
With a bag full of chinking, the Thief was thinking to move on but she was full of stubborn and glued here. 'Interesting, this is not the only game to play. D'yu wanna know my mind, I think you're getting ill. Give it a rest, for the best you're not gonna save them all.'
The Thief was hovering too close she felt cramped by his presence sticking his nosey nose in her business. 'I aint leaving till I see the last one done. Its a curse I've been given by someone shittier than you.'
The Thief was thinking of angels. 'I wrote you a letter once but I never sent it. It said, “Please save me,” but it had a fine stamp so I stole it. Can I steal you please, there's room in my sack I think?'
'You're joking, you're not. Not today please Thief I'm busy.' The dead bought the flies, Jinny told lies to her patients.
The Thief shoulders his sack. 'There's a cold wind coming Jinny but you're just too stupid to feel it. Get out of the way or it will mow you down.'
Picture story Sofar 32-33
Picture story SOFAR 32-33 comp
In the town Jinny screws up courage to deal with the hurt. The Thief moves around scavenging value from the dead.
Its a veritable candy store, the Thief is almost dancing. ‘Easy pickings this, they don’t struggle much and anyway the dead can’t count their pennies now can they?’
‘Obscene, wipe your hands away from me. Its a wealth took by stealth and its wrong.’
‘So now you get particular. I’m not the one who made this, so point your bloody finger somewhere else.’ Faces fall free from the wallet the Thief is lifting.
‘Do you know the prayers for the dead? I’ve forgotten. ’Cos there are some that are moving but most of them aint.’ Cause and reaction, there’s no satisfaction in thinking of the Dragon now.
‘Whatever their beliefs I’m thinking they’re flowing to the same place. Just pray for a good journey and a welcome home.’
‘Most times you’re such a shit but then just sometimes you aint.’ She wants a rest, its bad and getting worse.
Picture story Sofar 30-31
Picture story SOFAR 30-31 comp
Once into the light the changes happen quick, the Dragon turns into a Storm, a whirling maelstrom of wind, wrecking a town.
The Storm tries to calm down but she's feeding his temper and he's roaring. 'If its being your seeing well then look to your own. I place my head on the block for you. But know at the first that storms do what storms will do and now that's just my nature.'
Some changes are for the better, some changes herald worse but the change that Jinny is trying to resist is tearing her heart to pieces. 'So your lorded up now, high and mighty stratum. Hurt is still hell for those that are receiving.'
'Silly billy iffy thing. Might makes me strong but its up to you to make a finish. Love changes everything, now you try that out on them.' The Storm lies too low and starts to rain, Jinny is soaking, battered by the wind. The Storm moves over Jinny so she stands in the quiet of his eye. 'Its of your stand, its of your hand now. I told you all is change, well this is yours, you love me now you must change things for the best.'
Once into the light the changes happen quick, the Dragon turns into a Storm, a whirling maelstrom of wind, wrecking a town.
The Storm tries to calm down but she's feeding his temper and he's roaring. 'If its being your seeing well then look to your own. I place my head on the block for you. But know at the first that storms do what storms will do and now that's just my nature.'
Some changes are for the better, some changes herald worse but the change that Jinny is trying to resist is tearing her heart to pieces. 'So your lorded up now, high and mighty stratum. Hurt is still hell for those that are receiving.'
'Silly billy iffy thing. Might makes me strong but its up to you to make a finish. Love changes everything, now you try that out on them.' The Storm lies too low and starts to rain, Jinny is soaking, battered by the wind. The Storm moves over Jinny so she stands in the quiet of his eye. 'Its of your stand, its of your hand now. I told you all is change, well this is yours, you love me now you must change things for the best.'
Picture story Sofar 28-29
Picture story SOFAR 28-29 COMP
The music is slowing, its near come to a stop. Jinny feels the change in the tempo. ‘Where are we now?’
‘Its the last dance.’
She feels a pang in her heart. ‘How sad that joy must end.’
‘Its just changes. The dance will begin again in another place,’ The Dragon arches in a roll heading for the future.
‘If your wanting a rest from me I’d let you take ten but why is it time for the ending?’ Dots of tears appear.
He would wipe the tears away but knows they would reappear. ‘You’re all so wrong here, the last dance holds the key, another door is opening. We must be brave and move on, the changes we find maybe pleasing or not but they are our lot to play with.’
‘If there’s an attack, a rush at my back, what if I don’t want to move?’ A sulky rack to Jinny’s voice.
The Dragon stops, the music stops, Jinny is thrown into space, he catches her on his snout. The Dragon looks at Jinny his voice is from some crueller place than Jinny had heard before. ‘Sometimes in the night we awaken with fright and we reach for the light. Well this place will turn bad if you stay here. You don’t belong and the beings that do will suck all the light from the walls, and when you are quivering from fear they will hear and draw near, and it wont be a dance they are wanting.’
‘So say, okay where’s the door?’
‘Straight ahead, mind your eyes its bright outside. I may change to play the part of a breeze, I may play the part of a storm.’
‘And me, do I change too?
Picture story Sofar 26-27
Picture story SOFAR 26-27 comp
‘Could you conceive a dream like me,’ she says, ‘I’m floating, I trust you, I feel so pretty.’
‘Just colour and light my dear, I don’t exist but here I am. My lies build castles in the air, walk on them who really cares.’ hisses the Dragon, threading words through the rhythm of the music.
The dance reaches its second breath and all are drunk on revel and rollick.
The Dragon slides in and gives Jinny a playful bump. ‘Am I nice now? The music is in me, I flash and turn. I whisper light, beware my guile, my crooked tongue, I might send out lies that you love believing.’
‘As it was, am I here?’ Jinny leans back and shivers with pleasure. ‘Seems so familiar to me. Yet I dance by chance revolving, moving with the heavenly spheres, a liquid flow, a pace a hop, a giddy glide, lets not stop for ever.’
Liquid light, the Dragon, a sinuous stream, sweeping over and under Jinny. ‘Trust me always, trust me never, I am changeable and varied, like the notes that takes us to a place of ecstasy here.’
‘You by my side a hideous beast.’ Jinny raps her nails along his teeth. ‘I know you by your moving, refined and rarefied in this place. You partner me with grace that matches every move I make.’
‘I command you to stay, will you please? I’m a beggar at your door, my plate is empty may I ask for more?’ If the Dragon had knees he would be on them.
‘Yes darling you’re the best for me, lets dance through day to night.’
Picture story Sofar 24-25
Picture story SOFAR 24-5comp
The people take lots and Jinny wins the prize to be the Dragon’s gift. She sits on his golden hoard bravely waiting her fate.
The Dragon flies home to find the pleasant surprise of his guest. ‘Hello, are you lunch, am I slimming?’
‘If you refer to me, be it known I dine on poison fishes and am riddled with the most disgusting sickness.’
‘Let me have a lick.’ The Dragon kisses Jinny. ‘You taste of milk and sea, you don’t seem that ill to me.’
‘Toast me then, just let them know I die with a defiant look in my eye’
The Dragon circles around Jinny. ‘What’s your name? Do you move with grace? A lick of paint might help your face.’
Jinny wriggles to find a more comfortable seat. ‘Most peculiar, do you desire all your meals have names? Well mine is Jinny. I am known for my flowing movement, my terpsichorean stepping. And as to my face, I would dare to say sir, that is the pot calling the kettle black.’
The Dragon is amused. ‘Then my delight by name of Jinny, I would ask if you would give me the honour of being my partner at the dance.’
Picture story Sofar 22-23
Picture story SOFAR 22-23 comp
‘We don’t need a King we need a Dragon killer.’
The Thief smiles. ‘Believe it or not, I’m in the business of providing for the peoples needs. Leave it all to me. A fair Princess is required to bait a trap, any volunteers?’
Picture story Sofar 20-21
Picture story SOFAR 20-21 phone
The Moon pulls the waters and the tide goes out. People come to the beach. The Thief stands on the rock and proclaims. ‘Stand tall be not afraid of me. I am your King, a saviour come to steal this land and make it more than better. I will be a just and fair ruler, you do the work and I will not shirk in my duties of taxing you. That’s a fair exchange thank you much for listening.’
There are murmurs in the crowd.
‘Its better for us on the back of the bus cooking up places to go now. Could be quite pleasant when along comes this peasant saying he’s King. Well ruling cuts both ways.’
‘Well if he’s doing the ruling he ought to fix the downstairs loo.’
‘And the cockroach infest should be sorted as well.’
‘Its not a doddle just saying twaddle with out dirtying your hand to fix things.’
‘If this is your place then get of your arse and do the job that’s waiting for you.’
She was thinking of an outrageous cloud, wondering if it would be good enough to set before a Queen.
Picture story Sofar 18-19
sofar 18-119
‘Land ho.’ They reach a rocky outcrop just as the last of the stage sinks beneath the waves. The Thief grips the rock tight, Jinny waits for the Moon to pull the sea away.
‘This is my Land,’ says the Thief. ‘This is my Land and we shall build a paradise on earth here, where all will be equal, all will be free, where no woman or man need bow down to another, except of course myself for I will be King.’
Jinny turns from her book. ‘Stranger things have happened, but remember I am nobodies servant, find another wedding.’
Picture story Sofar 16-17
Picture Story Sofar16-17 Comp
The stage was nearly sunk and the Thief is disappearing under the waves.
‘Happenstance and horror, will there be tomorrow?’ Jinny holds out a hand for him. ‘Get a good grip on to me but let go of that sack its pulling you down.’
‘Glug glug. Its all very well shouting to hell and back but my little sack is my lif be line toing a man, to being seen of any worth at all.’
‘Do you want to be the richest man in the cemeetery?’
The Thief gets a foot on to the floating wood. ‘I would like to be nice thank you very much but its hard.’
Jinny is pulling at his jacket. ‘Remind me why am I holding on to you?’
‘Because I’m beautiful.’
‘Oh yes, I had forgotten that.’
Picture story Sofar 14-15
Picture story SOFAR 14-15  comp
The Thief is humming, something's up but its not the raft, its sinking. The mad man claws, fingers grasp ripping up the stage.
Jinny is aghast, she leaps across to stop him. 'What are you doing!'
'I'm stealing this floor,' says the Thief.
'Are you mad, we're sinking.'
'Pennies in my eyes, don't listen to your lies, this wood will sell real well.'
Every act has a consequence and the Thief's sinks them down the briny, alas tasting salt is not Jinny's favourite recipe.
Picture story Sofar 12-13
Picture story SOFAR 12-13 comp
The more it rains, it rains some more, drippity drip, drip drop. It rains so much the stage begins to float away. They rig the curtain for a sail, then they are out at sea.
The Thief says, ‘Its stopped,’ with a sigh of relief.
‘Can’t you take all this water away,’ she asks him.
‘That’s a specialist job, takes a heavy mob, not my cup of tea to be stealing all this sea.’
Picture story Sofar 10-11
Picture story SOFAR 10-11  comp
She feels a lean towards him, he is nicer than she thinks. She suppose he goes but then he never did. ‘I thought you’d gone.’
‘No there’s a wetness drowning this town. I fear to soak, I’m less already, I don’t want to be shrunk as well.’
Picture story Sofar 8-9
Picture story SOFAR 8-9 comp.jpg
Jinny falls asleep but in the night she awakes to the steps of another visitor.
Stepping on tip toes the man is softly singing. ‘Stealth for wealth, that’s a fair exchange, I think so. Lovely me I will be as rich as Croesus easy.'
Jinny turns. ‘ Can you keep the noise down I’m trying to sleep.’
‘Schh!’ Says the man loading the paintings into his sack.
‘Are you a thief?
‘Just making sure everything is secure. I’ll just take these to keep them safe.’
‘You are a thief, well those pictures aint worth a penny.’
‘Look you little liar I know there’s money here I can smell it.’
‘That’s just the bank across the road.’
‘Nice to meet you but got to dash turn these beauties into cash.’
‘Shall I say who called?’
‘Why certainly, tell them it was me.’
Jinny, settles down again. She is not one to find a fault, she owns too many of her own.
Picture story Sofar 6-7
Picture story Sofar 6-7 comp
Jinny is tired of waiting. 'It is not a long time but it is too much, I long to touch and feel inside, do the curtains hide, or are they a forbidden place? Let me in.'
She pulls the curtains wide to see a show of pictures, some are hung some are waiting to be placed.
Jinny smiles and catch herself thinking of the owner. 'Sad to see he's not here, doubtless he will make appear sometime. I will observe and wait for him to come.
Picture story Sofar 4-5
Picture story SOFAR 5-6 comp
She is waiting for the show, the curtains coloured red must be hiding something special.
‘Some kind of plan above and beyond here. Some seeing believing I wish for. Is it me or is the time to see come and gone? I’ll open the pages and see for myself, if its wrong then they should have said so.’
Sofar pages 2-3
Picture story SOFAR 3-4 FLAT comp
Sofar cover
sofar cover