two words

These are short stories based on putting two words randomly together from two random lists. I then wrote a sentence containing the two words. Then I made a page-long (A6) story out of it. They were mostly written during meetings

ham–claw
The old farmer hid his gold down a well. He fed the beasts alone and wrote sad sonnets. His hands were like hams and could only write slowly and claw the air. His cows seemed to milk themselves. A man came round every day for the churns and bringing butter, and he dreamed of the future and drew old scars in the air with his claw hands. The sea ran down his window every six hours, curling the seaweed out of the gutters and he wrote on, of lonelier and darker men in smaller and washier cottages all alone.

crone–cabin
I have lived in the cabin for a few weeks now, hiding from the summer crowds. I used to live in the town and sell ice-cream but the children screamed louder than the gulls and I wanted to finish this set of poems while the feeling was still hot. The cabin is well-heated and furnished and has enough food for a week, and the only sound is the wind through the tall grass. I thought it was a good idea to work in the sound of the wind. The sky sends me salt and weed from the furthest ends of the sea. If I stay in this cabin, finishing these, here, here in the salt, I will bend like a crone and be no use to anyone any more.

phone–crushed
It all looked old enough. There was a peculiar smell in the air, both clean and sewery. The clothes of the people around them were wide-loomed and patchily-dyed.
“What year is this?” asked Cai like an idiot.
The locals blinked at them and tightened the grip on their pitchforks. And hoes and sort of flaming items on long hooks.
“It worked! The machine!” said Cai to Derbin.
Derbin nodded carefully while she still had a head. They had appeared in the middle of a sort of village meeting and attracted a lot of attention. Then the phone rang and all the extras burst out laughing.

blue–understand
“I think I understand why you’re so strange. You ate a blue painting. I’d not been sure about the hair food or the little shoes, but that was just odd.”
“The colour fed me. It was so ultramarine that it bent the world around it. Now it bends around me”.
“But what is the paint made of? It’s not made of blueness but animals or stones crushed up. You’re just eating stones.”
“Well, you may be right and there may be some scientific point to that. But my poo is such a lovely shade.”

whistle–snake
So insouciant was the shepherd that he whistled songs on seeing a snake. He cared for nothing but his flock, his cheese and his stone hut. The hut was hung with woven wool cloth and long necklaces of polished rocks on hooks. He had a wood-burning pizza oven and a tiny crystal radio, buzzing like an insect with the songs he liked to simplify and hum. His ankle was green and orange from snake-bites (he was immune) and he whistled reworked dubstep to hurry them away. The alt-garage had only encouraged them.

take–china plate
He was vile, she said. He’d done nothing right, not even accidentally, since she first met him, she said. He was welcome to it all; the house, the other house, the cottage, the boat, the farm and the biscuit factory. She would take nothing, not a rag or china plate. All she wanted was her writing-book, somewhere in the first house under a pile of old cloth and Meissen in possibly the attic, probably under the stairs or maybe by the sink. He’d taken her will to write, she said, and now she was taking it back. That’s what she told the police when they caught her breaking in.

how–snow
I knew you were only a person. I knew your faint smell of books and your blotchy face. You always walked on the heavy snow crust, not knowing how to float. And you tried not to be seen noticing that I didn’t. I took you from the sleeping ring because your eyelids were pretty and there were bones under your face in odd angles. I took him away under the hill until he forgot his name and worked for me. And he turned into you and your eyes were better open. But after a while you have to throw them back, so they can tell the others and not be believed.

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