Every third Friday of the month the Writers on the Heath group meet to discuss their writing, talk about issues that they are experiencing and take part in writing exercises to help them grow.

The below is a selection of writing from the group.

David Chubb on ‘Sahara ice’

The Great Pharaoh’s Pyramidal Treat

Rameses II was in a reflective mood.  The most powerful, the most venerated man-god in the known world, and possessor of all that could be possessed, was bored. He summoned his high priest Atatep. “We desire something cool, get us something cool.”

“Sire”, said Atatep, “you will be the god of cool, such as no god before you.” At that he left Rameses to contemplate his greatness.

The High Priest gave orders for a thousand camels and five hundred of the finest men of Egypt to assemble before the magnificent House of Rameses.

Within two rises of Aten (days) the camel train was ready for its journey. The camels were equipped with goat-skin panniers lined with straw. Ten rises of Aten took it across the shifting ocean of sand, the mighty wilderness, the Sahara. Their destination, the Mountains of Shu (Atlas Mountains), lay but a thousand-camel’s length before them.

The High Priest possessed great wisdom. He had instructed the goat skins to be filled with the white ice to be found on those peaks. After ten rises of Aten the camel train returned. The white ice remained perfectly protected from Aten’s heat.

The white ice was mixed with milk and honey, it was coloured with essence of lotus flower and perfumed with rose water and myrrh. The blend was thereafter fashioned into a pyramidal form, and presented to him upon a dish of burnished gold. The man-god savoured the very first ice cream.

Rameses ordered that, henceforth, his cartouche should carry added hieroglyphs, for ice, milk of goat and honey, thereby symbolising his cool.

David enjoys writing ‘magical realism’ short stories as a new found hobby. He is a retired professional used only to writing client reports, investment e-bulletins and the occasional newspaper article; David is now free to learn new writing skills and to have some fun.  ‘Magical realism’ is only the beginning he anticipates, stroking his rabbit’s foot as the long-case clock chimes midnight.

By Giles Darling.
“I’m going to speak to the union.” a pea turns to its neighbour. “We didn’t sign up for this.”
“Yeah.” the neighbour joins in. “One minute we were photosynthesizing in our pods. Next without warning we were plucked from our bush, stripped from our homes, and tipped into boiling water.”
“Bobbing to the surface,” the first pea shivers, “for a gasp of air.”
“You should count yourselves lucky.” a carrot interrupts. “I was surrounded by snug, warm soil when I was ripped out of the ground, washed, cut up, cooked.” It sighs. “Look at me. How I’ll survive this, I don’t know.”
The peas admire the neat row of stacked orange slices.
“You think you had it bad?” a deep voice booms from a rugged pile of mashed potato. “I was skinned alive, brought to the boil, and then pulverised into this mush.”
“That’s bad.” the others nod.
“Watch out!” the carrot screams as four parallel metals bar descend from above and sweep the peas up into the air.
“Look!” the first pea whispers as they’re tipped into a black tunnel. “There’s a way out beyond this wet, pink rug.”
They roll along furtively and dive down a black mineshaft.

Giles Darling on Writers on the Heath

Giles was initially a civil engineer but he changed career in 2013 and he now runs a local shop in a Sussex village. Here he has an excellent opportunity to observe a wide range of people and, in between serving customers, he can plan and write his next project. Giles was also involved in local politics for a number of years and draws on this experience to create the less likeable characters in his stories.