YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENED

It wasn’t so much that the dark frightened him, the shadows suited him well; casting a cloak for his deeds in the middle of the night. It was just that, the darkness heightened what he already felt inside, desertion and loneliness.

The small town nestled at the bottom of the valley, cupped neatly in the hand of the dark hills that surrounded the collection of houses and farmsteads. The hills were high and the weather was dreary, casting a perpetual gloom over the small town. The lights burned away from inside the cottages, flickering eyes in the darkened face of a place mostly ignored from the rest of the world. The occasional dog would be heard barking out into the night, disturbed by the nocturnal animals which snuffled around the market place looking for vegetables and food cast aside from the day.

Andrew usually waited until around ten o’clock to leave his house. The locals were mostly tucked up inside their own homes by then, and he found he could prowl the streets with ease. Tonight, he hadn’t heard any dogs barking. Not a leaf rustled or car rolled past. Even the full moon, which burned brightly above him, could stir up the restless of the townsfolk or awaken the crazies. All aside Andrew, a fact that was lost on him as he unlatched the gate of Yew tree cottage and slithered up the path, keeping in the shadows.

He’d been here before of course, he’d been to nearly most of the houses in the village after dark. But he liked Yew tree, he was always guaranteed what he wanted when he came. He felt tonight would be no different. His stomach fluttered thinking about it as his found his way around the side of the house where the rubbish bins were kept. He hoisted himself up onto one of them, the one marked specifically for garden waste, a few stray twigs reaching out of the lid like fingers. His trainers squeaked slightly as the slipped on the plastic and he held his breathe in an effort to quieten himself.

They were both there when he looked up. He didn’t have to crane his neck at all, his raised view let him gaze easily into the top window of the small cottage which seemed to lean over to one side. They were usually in bed, Mr and Mrs Sampson. The elderly pair would usually turn in around nine o’clock, sat up reading books as the night-time swirled outside their single glazed window. Andrew couldn’t make out the title that Mr Sampson was reading, he sat further away and the words were too small, but he could see Mrs Sampson was enjoying ‘The Pale Horse’ by Agatha Christie.

The room looked cosy, the lights on the night stands they each had cast a comforting glow around them which seemed to hug their old bodies. Andrew watched as Mrs Sampson nestled closer to her husband, riding down a bit lower in the bed. Turning the page of her novel.

Usually Andrew would watch a bit longer, observe them closely as they hung in his eye line like creatures in a zoo. But tonight something within him stirred strong and he was eager to start. He pulled across the bag he’d been carrying, and pushed aside the hair which had fallen over his eyes as he turned. His keys inside jostled noisily, and he silenced them quickly, reaching in to retrieve the smaller clear bags. Two tonight. It was always two at Yew Tree.

Inside each bag was a small baby white rabbit, each beginning to stir now as the effects of the ketamine were wearing off. The bags had holes in them, allowing the small creatures to breathe but as he handled them carefully out of the bags, they felt limp and lifeless in his hands like small softs bags of bones. He stroked one of the small rabbits with his chin, lifting the tiny creature up to his face. He could smell the warm musky smell of the hutch he had his garden. He closed his eyes for a moment and pictured the other bunnies, nested under their mother. Warm, safe and content.  The one in his other hand jerked suddenly and Andrew nearly let go of it. The muscles beginning to spasm back to life.
He must be quick.

He placed his phone carefully down by his feet as he crouched now on the bin, the two rabbits in each hand. He had their number of course, it wasn’t his first time. He hit the button of his phone which glared alarming out in the inky dullness of the night. The line connected. He heard the ring through his phone, and then moments later her head the returning sound coming from the Sampson’s house. He watched Mrs. Sampson look across alarmed to the phone. Her old fashioned sensibility on edge as she knew no good news came at such hours.

Andrew watched her reach across and lift the receiver, the copy of the Pale horse nestled now on the bedsheet between her and her husband who craned over to hear who the caller might be. This is when he had to be quick, this is when Andrew had to be focused. He held the two bunnies in his hand and waited, waited for the sound through the line in his phone and echoing above him through the window disappearing off into the night.

“Hello…’’ came the timid voice of Mrs Sampson, and that is when he began to squeeze. The more lively rabbit jerked frantically, but Andrew drew his thumb up into its neck and pressed harder. He could hear the old woman now, repeating her answer and he watched as her husband leaned over to listen down the line as if expecting his involvement could produce a response. Andrew stayed silent, slowly squeezing the life out of the animals he held in his grip like hands on a railing. His body shivered, a sense of connection travelling up and down his muscles as they tingled with every feeling of disappearance he craved.

And then suddenly, it was all over. He watched as Mr Sampson reached over and hang up the phone. Speaking hurriedly to his wife who seemed alarmed and confused by the intrusion to their evening. Andrew came back to where he was, the tunnel disappearing and the mist evaporating. He placed one of the creatures back into his bag, wrapped carefully in the small plastic baggy. He then hopped off of the dustbin and walked a few steps to the side door of the cottage. He lay the other dead animal on the mat by the door, it’s head flopping first to the floor as it’s small eyes gleamed up like a dolls. It had been the more restless of the two and Andrew stepped back and admired it there on the mat, forging it in his mind for the moment just as it started to rain. He then turned and left quickly, but just as silently as arriving, getting back at his house in less than ten minutes. He hurried quickly to bed, not changing out of his clothes, brushing his teeth or washing his hands; anxious to get to sleep. He did have school in the morning after all.

YOUR EYES WILL BE BURNED

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A break with reason

Let our eyes see, peek behind the blindfold.
Your well-worn heart heaves to a different beat.
The bones of the world hold heavy in your hands.
Try to understand.
The harm was meant for someone else.
Someone I’ve never met.
Not to shine that light on anyone I love.
The ones around me when I die.
As I try not to cry.
This two hearted monster that runs to naivety.
Boiling my brain into shadows.
Burning my blood.
Breaking my smiles down to nothing but prayers.
To only be afraid of the end.
Building myself an Allah. Building up to Jesus.
Crying and creeping out of this cradle in my mind.
There is nothing but sugar in my bones.
And desperation in these bombs.
Exploding into nothing.

ADIEU

Shuffling off this mortal coil.
After years of strife and toil.
Turns my sight towards the sky.
And spit in Satan’s salty eye.
For though I’m old and known to break.
With bones of chalk that tend to ache.
I know the spin of a moral compass.
And what is true within each one of us.
For Satan tried to grab my soul one day.
When I was down on my knees to pray.
And promised heaven and all the earth.
If I would part with what I’ve had since birth.
But I knew that cunning devil.
Was not true, or on the level.
And would leave me lost and doomed.
When the horsemen rode to their apocalyptic tune.
So though he lured and tried to test.
Reach within and corrupt the best.
I fall into the unknown whole.
With my heart intact, and with my soul.

Temporarily Demolished

The dark hand hovers, swoops in to snatch the light.
Bathing me in shadows and crashing the sun into the moon.
Shaking the tectonic plates of my life.
Shaking out a fountain of tears.
Breeding the germ of loss, which spreads around my heart,
and eats away at my bones.
Questions and corrections, always too late and never answered.
We come full circle, back to home.
Returning to where the memories swim.
Tugging me in every direction.
The drop of hatred swells, oiling my blood until a rage torrents.
Darkening the world further.
But there are eyes watching, and hearts beating.
And tears that need drying that aren’t my own.
Though I cannot see the dawn,
and it’s colder now than I’ve ever known.
Inside, the candle will always burn.
Keeping me warm.

Holocaust

This city of bones, filled now with incoherence.
Runs through this heart like haemoglobin.
You banish the hope, all latent strains of co-dependence.
Killing the love within, sparing all but the ghosts.
Who open the holes in these veins.
And sing in your cabaret of departure.
‘’Les morts ne pleurent plus.’’

Miss Mary Allen

In Eighteen hundred and ninety three.
Old Mary Allen, came to tea.
Which in itself was not surprising.
T’was how she left, which was most alarming.
For though she departed, much like she came.
Like a ray of light through heavy rain.
She left a shadow, dark and unpleasant.
There in number 55 Crescent.
Yet those who know Miss Allen well.
Would not believe within could dwell.
The evil doings or witchy ways.
That came upon that house that day.
For as she scoffed the cakes and tea.
And poured on life’s intricacies.
That her hosts did laugh and query too.
They did consume her witches brew.
For into their tea her hand did place.
A nasty poison devoid of taste.
Which would eventually corrode their innards.
That seeped with blood out of their gizzards.
And snatched their lives so painful and quick.
And stubbed them out like a candle wick.
So while their bodies lay about the room.
And so befell a horrid gloom.
Miss Mary Allen laughed and smiled.
And danced about, all crazed and wild.
Until she came to depart the house.
Which she fled, quiet as a mouse.
And disappeared off into the city.
With smiles and roses, all innocently pretty.
Now please don’t think too bad of Mary.
Of her murderous ways that seem so scary.
As she is really the victim here.
And if I must, make it crystal clear;
for she had visited the family who,
for months and years had nastily knew.
That she was slowly being poisoned.
By the leaking valves at her employment.
The torrid factory where she and others.
Worked long and hard for the Wilson Brothers
Who had invited her suddenly to tea.
All for show and sympathy.
For she had come across their deep deception.
And plotted revenge at that lunch reception
So please feel happy, for the circumstance.
Of the middle class and happenstance.
And don’t judge Mary and her brazen gall.
An eye for an eye, after all.

Conflict(ed)

The ticking clock moves my bones.
Vibrating to a new chorus.
Such fear and bravery dogfight within.
Triggering the gunfire in my heart.
Bringing other humans to their knees, and staining my soul.
Cast out of Eden
Ordered here, directed there by badges that shimmered in the sorrow;
and a broken moral compass, scratched by time.
Left stranded out to sea.
Struck by the passing grief of that tide.
The one that washed over me.
Seeing death in the eyes of those all around.
Feeling hope strangled, feeling fear take hold.
Who really wins the fight, when we lose ourselves in the struggle?
Stretched and stricken, sunk by the force of your hate.
Every tear here brings the ocean higher.
With every cry, a family welcomes in a stranger.
A void, the blackness. The stories to tell a generation.
Of the great fight, that felt so wrong.

Consume

A burning white heat from above.
Did nothing to change your direction.
The day you came to tip the world over.
Feasting on the fragments of my life.
The little memories that get caught in your teeth.
Pick and poke through the gristle of my dreams.
What is here for you to digest?
Which part of me comes upon your silver platter?
I watch as the blood drools from your mouth so sweet.
Fresh from a kiss that left me breathless.
I held my tongue.
Which bled into my heart.
Feeling your fingers on my spine which pulled out each vertebrae.
Held aloft to see the spineless state I am in.
Heaped onto the floor in gesture of subservient decay.
So now pop me in formaldehyde, and watch me distantly up on the shelf.
Just glass and meat.
Eat raw parts of my heart that now struggle to beat.
Sweet delicious demise.

Digested by God (love tasted)

Called down by the black crows.
The end unravelling from the start.
But there is no need to fear.
All these pieces of such a life, twinkling like a magpie prize.
Caught in the claws and clutches of another.
Keep an eye on the rising waters that swallow your bones.
Fusing the soul back to the heavens.
Late again for your own funeral, but god forgives you.
The retreat back into the mind, the swirling birds that will meet you by the devil’s eye.
Does it ever equal all the pain you’ve gone through?
What happens when the anger and love show?
Collected and dispensed like feathers on the wind.
A bird in the hand.
The ache in the bush, twisting in the fingers of fate.
Soaking wet, and restless. Flying south for the eternal winter.
Six feet of soil and sadness.
Buried like treasure and the troubled heart.
But you don’t get to go yet.

Circles in the oil

The dark sky sways, undulating in that oily void.
Threatening storms, and to swallow me.
We move in motion, dancing across the dangerous divide.
Hoping not to fall. Hoping instead to fly.
Yet the golden dreams crumble to ash, and the sulphur seeps into our bones.
Laid waste across the terrain like cooling magma.
Did you prick your finger upon the wonderment?
Did you breathe in a new world design?
The lungs now get heavy with the tar of life.
Weighing down your soul until you shake into nothingness.
Black. All turns black as the sky shifts and salutes a new day of redundantment.
Our bones turn to chalk, and we write are names on the tombstones of tomorrow.
Erase. Re-write. Turn back the time to let in the light.
We all want our lonely little world.
To swim away from the one that’s drowning.
Let the pin prick breach and gape.
On a raft of a thousand reasons.
Allow the blood to cover a new imagination.
And suck the seed of dreams, to save yourself.

These Dreams

 

Where do the dreams go to die?
The great throes of a beast whose being shines with an energy of a lifetime.
The elephant graveyard of hopes, where the bones crumble and crack in the burning sun of reality.
Do they die at all, or hibernate under the covers of life.
Forgotten about until the final hour, to flash across our eyes like signs on a road never taken.
These dreams wither; they fold and float away on the winds of existence.
Spirited away like the seasons of youth.
Like leaves from a tree they decay.
Never watered, chopped down before the seed ever even germinates.
These dreams, forever in my mind yet always out of reach.

Dissolve

In the moment we fade, into shadows and dust.
Corroded and broken, like heartache and rust.
For time is motion, both forward and back.
And into the darkness, our minds birth the lack.
Of knowing limitations, of body and mind.
That we all fade away, over spread golden time.
Once oh so pretty, that the angels despaired.
How a dream would unfold, how souls ceased to care.
And the ghosts swirled around in a sad misty dance.
Where the passage of fate, and time took their chance.
To rob them of hope, to turn night out of day.
Where love and of beauty, will dissolve away.

Run

These leaves, they cover and smother me as my mind claws and scrapes at the end.
Called down to the lake, past the rotting trees.
No one came looking for me.
Broken bones and a honeycomb heart that heaves to an old tune.
Tasting tears, and welcoming fears to consume and throttle me.
Adrift along that quiet sea of loneliness.
Watching the lighthouse of hope slip beneath the sky.

Still running away

The rain had come as soon as she left the main path. She heard it now pattering on the leaves in the canopy above her. The sheltering forest where all was unsure and forbidden. She never saw it this way, this was always how it was put to her, and this is always how it was made to be. She ran along further, carving her own way through existence. The sun had yet to set, but the rain clouds had smothered the earth in that part of her little kingdom, and the forest now gleamed with a wet twilight.

She had caught herself only a couple of times, hesitant to step deeper within and away from all of what she knew and all that she resisted. Her feet sloshed now in the puddles that had formed on the forest floor. Bits of moss and time made her slip and stumble, but on she flew. Running away, running beyond. Looking for herself again.

She had left the hills and the ruins behind her, blinked them away in a heartbeat as her skin touched the dense air of the woodland and the smell of freshness. A return, a renewal of sorts; though she knew it was not to begin anything again. The sanctuary lay beyond this world now for her. She had seen the darkness, and tasted the decay of life. She had thought about her death time and again. Stored it away in small pockets of her world, only to find it ever present on her horizon. Popping out of the days and the jars she kept in her kitchen cupboards. No one knew of course, she had shuttled from each thought to another in the dizzying malaise of the worn down and woe-begotten. Left to sit and turn in the sun like an unloved pot plant on a window ledge. Her death had come each time in many colours, brilliant reds and blues that would drip down from the sky and swallow her. There was never any pain; that was how it was supposed to be. The ashen taste in her mouth told her it was coming, and all would be done. Pushing through the thicket now, she came to where she was meant to be.

Making her way into the clearing she, the forest heaved and silenced itself, as if waiting for the show to begin. The leaves parting like the curtains of a stage. She stepped out, like tiptoeing onto a dream, making her way to the clump in the middle of the clearing. Her eyes were thick now with water, her eyelashes shaking off the dew of a realisation. Cracking and tearing her way from the chrysalis. Tiny eyes shone out from the trees, the beasts joining her in to taste the end.

The small knife gleamed in the grey light which danced around the clearing, little sparks and souls prancing lyrically on the blade. The ash had begun to fill he mouth as the black sky above had begun to open. Her world was beginning to drown as she felt the skin prickle and the cool metal throb to the vein.

And then she stopped.

At her feet she saw the body, the clumped skin that lay before her like a rug at the end of a bed. She stood frozen, the rain trickling down her face as the sky now heaved and lightened the vista. The dream was begin to rumble, the humming underneath building like a train rumbling underground. She knew what it was before she touched that place, that skin and hair before her which had to be known. She knew already, but she was scared to see. Scared to reach in and feel her way through a thousand lives and know the truth.

Bending down she rolled the body over, the eyes shining back like she knew they world. Reflecting mirrors that caught that dancing light and shone back to her like the waves of the ocean. Her time flowed through her in an instant, a tidal spray of understanding washing over her. She stared at her own body, laying on that cold forest floor. Discovered only by herself and the eyes of the animals now which fidgeted and rustled around her. The blood had dried over her throat, the deep slash made a lifetime ago, yet the crimson stained her skin like a smashed cherry, licking at her neck. Her death had come a gone, many times before.

This was a moment she was discovering now, but it happened all the same each day. Every time she took that knife from the drawer. Each time she turned off her phone and closed the world away. Those moments at work when she wished to be away from everyone. Feeling alone in a crowd while they burned holes into her. Those were the times she died, when she came here to that forest clearing where the sky above swallowed her. These were the moments when her soul cried, and dripped down into that forest on the edge of her life, taking her further and further from god. Further from the light. Blurring her memory into a stain on the window of time.

Into stars

Bury us where we fall.
Let the pillars of salt tumble, washed away in the monsoon rains.
Stain our souls with an oil of an age.
Squeezed from the ruby fruit swallowed by God.
Bones break and winds change.
Breathing a new time and vision to assemble.
Unpack the dreams that were lost to us.
Glow them out like phosphorus diamonds in our minds.
Let us turn and change in the weather.
Weathered too many storms and cracked by too many winters.
Lay down into the ivy and close the eyes of the young.
Speak tender words of softened touches and understanding.
Leave us to fade into time, our sorrow to crumble like stone.
Speak our names as we finally disappear.
And turn back to stardust

Six degrees of disintegration

Paper soul dancing by life’s flame.
Burn again. Born again.
Over and over like a universe collapsing.
Coming to bleed out the dark.
A dangerous dialysis of oil and tar.
Coming here to disappear.
Smearing your soul across the world for all the birds to see.
Nothing could bring you closer.
Shooting at phantoms.
Nothing would bring you down.
Dreaming those dreams in which to lose yourself.
Powered chalk on other’s fingertips.
Dirtying up your memories.
Falling to climb but never finding your wings.
Reconciled the misery with a loss of innocence.
That sweet little heart.
You gathered your bones up to say goodbye.
Breaking at your most beautiful.
And crawling out of your skin.
Leave, hoping for them to take you.
The vanishing calling.

Who let the rain in?

Underneath that crystal water, of crushed stars and dreams.
Dwelling like a memory that won’t die.
Lies a soul.
Frayed and tattered.
Filled with thoughts of eucalyptus leaves and saffron.
Tide up in heartstrings and self-made knots.
Tackling the torrents soundlessly.
To drown silently in a rising tide.
Was their gift to you.
Keeping the truth and the pain out of your eyes.
Packing soot and coal into the sockets.
Trembling inside and still, like a sewn up teddy bear.
All glass eyed reflective and placid.
Who let that rain in, to wash the hope away?
Deluged in dopamine and on the brink of decay.
Each drop inched closer, under the door and down their spine.
Exploding the sky with a grey that blocked out heaven.
God made the rain, the floods the tide.
To wash away the sinners, the soulless and already sunken.
Yet she was always destined to float.
Catching stars in pockets and wiping the salvation across your mouth.
But the rain came in.
Straw ladened and camel shaking. Soaked in misery and shame.
And now she is lost under the surface. Ripped away in the undertow.
Growing gills and thicker skin.
Crashing on someone else’s shore.

Kiss me like a stranger

How long had she been driving? The sky above her was threatening the night, while bullet lights of passing cars pierced her eyes. She had left that morning, surprised by so many things that were happening, but no longer surprised by being surprised.

She had packed up things so quickly. Everything swept away with such ease she felt she could be erased from life in a blink of an eye and no-one would notice, no one would care. A part of her doubted she would even go through with it. But down the highway heading out away from town she smiled to herself, a scared secret smile that she was doing the right thing. Not the best thing, this would not make her instantly happy or even make the pain stop. But it was the right thing to do.

She yawned theatrically, and pushed her hair back catching her nail in some of the strands. She opened the car window for the cool air to wake her up a little. Her phone had been switched off since she’d left, she knew there would be endless calls and texts until she was located; talked around and called back. She was happy to silence that. The radio rang out, lifting her spirits as the night closed in on that highway which was getting more isolated. The lights in the distance were getting further apart and she knew she was hitting the ‘Quietlands’, the stretch of road that coursed through a mini desert with nothing of interest on either side of her.

She was getting tired, and she was hot still, even as the day’s heat descended. She felt grubby and sweaty, her back sticking to the seat of the car as she zoomed away from her past. She knew her destination. She had had it planned and etched I her mind for years now. She knew which road to take and how long it would be until she got there, and she planned to drive through the night to make it.  Her eyes were getting heavy though. The lids dropping like a shutter to a store closing for the night.

She took a right turn down a road she knew was wrong almost instantly. The silent highway tarmac gave way to a rough dirt track which snaked around the cactus and mounds of earth. She stopped suddenly, releasing she had gone wrong and put the car in reverse when he spotted some dim lights up ahead. They weren’t moving, and she guessed they were pulled to the side of the road. What a shitty place to break down she thought and put the car into gear and drove slowly up to where the other one was parked.

She pulled alongside the car, which she noticed too was the same model as her own. At least she might be able to help fix it, her own car had given her quite a few problems over the years, and she always carried a spare of everything. The sun had disappeared over the horizon now with the slither of light hanging on to the blue black sky. Though the lights were on, she couldn’t see anyone at first.

“Hello?” She called out, though the open window of her car.

It was then she appeared.

She floated as if on a sea of crimson, her red dress puncturing the sandy track like blood slashed across flesh. She came from the bushes, her hair immaculate with a faraway look in her eye. Jessie was a little taken aback, but she called out again; assuming she had not heard her as she had not replied.

“Hello, do you need some help.”

The woman smiled and carried on over to her car where she knelt on the wound down window.

“Hey. What’s up?” She said, as if meeting on old friend.

Jessie looked at her through the dying light of the day, framed in her car’s window pain. She was everything she had wanted to be once. She looked immaculate, like she was stepping out onto the town. She wore a confidence that married her friendliness well, the two playing out for the audience of anyone.

“Do you need help, is your car broken down?” Jessie asked, smiling encouragingly.

“That piece of shit? It’s old, but it’s working.” The woman replied, giving Jessie the once over.
“Oh, I thought you might be in some sort of trouble?” Jessie asked, making it a question.

“Trouble?” the woman asked curiously, and laughed a little. And with that she turned around and walked back to her car.

Jessie watched her, momentarily unsure of what to do. She then suddenly felt the urge to get out of her own car. She unbuckled her seatbelt and climbed out of her dusty machine which whirled and deflated after the long hot day.

“What’s your name?” The woman asked her, as if beckoning her over. Jessie made her way over to the car, the same colour as her own yet caked in dirt as if it had emerged up out of the sand.

“Jessie, how about you?” She replied. The woman had jumped up onto the bonnet now, sitting upon it like a kid.

“Where you heading?” she replied, avoiding the question. Though Jessie didn’t feel any danger, she didn’t want to tell anyone where she was headed. She knew once the world knew, it would throw up things to pull her back. Back to the life she never had wanted to live from the start.

“A long way away. Listen, if you do need any help, I’m happy to assist.” Jessie said, listening to the desert around them open to the twilight.

“You running away?” She asked suddenly.

“No.” Jessie replied defiantly. She saw something then flash in front of the woman’s eyes. The same defiance that twisted and churned in her own belly. “No. I’m making some changes for the better is all.” She added.

“What’s so bad that you’re leaving behind?” She asked.

“Urm…listen, if you don’t mind. I need to get going. So if you do need any help, please say.” Jessie said, politely but firmly. She was always one to go along with what people said and wanted, but she was indeed trying to make some changes in her life and now was a good time as any.

The woman cast her eyes down to the ground, while she toyed with the sunglasses she had in hand. As if finding what she was looking for there, she looked up at Jessie.

“Is it Jack?” The woman asked suddenly. Flaring her eyes. Jessie glared at her, not sure of what was happening.

“What?” she asked, a slither of understanding falling down from the sky.

“Or is it slowly seeing the dream you dreamt back when you were only twelve, wither and die like everything out here. Cooked and charred in the sun until it blows away into time?” She said.

Jessie stared at her, sensing something familiar. She looked at the car, the licence plate covered up in dust and dirt. She looked quickly into the passenger seat, spotting a duffle bag and vanity case.

Suddenly the woman jumped off of the bonnet and came towards her, grabbing her face and kissing her quickly on the mouth. Jessie couldn’t help it, but she closed her eyes; tasting the watermelon lips and feeling the hazy intensity. She pulled her in close, cocooning her away from the world in a moment where all made sense to her. Her mind flashed back to her old house, the smell of takeaways and the cheap cologne.

They parted as suddenly as they begun, Jessie knew then what she needed to do. She dropped to the floor and grabbed the largest stone she could find. Picking it up, she launched it over and over again into the woman’s skull, battering her down into a scarlet pulp that matched the inappropriate dress she was wearing. She threw the rock off into the buses near to where the other car was parked and then returned to her own. Her hands were shaking, and blood smeared onto the steering wheel as she turned it around and sped off back towards the main road. As she glanced in her rear-view mirror, she noticed the headlights of the other car had faded, snubbed out like the life of the woman who now lay in the dirt, beaten and crumpled and gone from this world.

When Jessie got to the main road, she turned right, accelerating hard into the direction she had been heading before.

After a few miles, the blood on the steering wheel had faded away and her breathing had now returned to normal. She reached over to her own small bag she had on the front seat and took out her lipstick. She smeared the scarlet shade across her lips, puckering in the mirror as she sped off into the night. Determined more than ever to get away, and to get to the place she had planned to in her dreams for years. Not looking back once.

Her own universe

Tuesdays were always difficult. A problem day. A nothing day. All the things wrong in her life seemed to have occurred on that second day of the week. Second for her at least, some people she knew classed Sunday as the first day. What did they know she always thought? She could always gauge how one Tuesday was to unfold anyway, the motivation of Monday dripped away by the evening, making way for another mediocre book-end of days that collected on the shelf of her life. But this Tuesday was different. Different in a similar sort of way, like driving down a road that you’ve never been down before, yet knowing there will be a dead end.
The rain had done it’s best to encourage her to stay at home that day, the wind whipping up a sizeable storm outside her windowpane to keep her safely tucked inside watching the world come to a watery end. The promise of a good book by her small cosy fire was not enough of a lure it seemed, to keep her from going over to see her mother. She lived on the other side of town, which in itself was not a large body of houses, you could cross to the other side in about ten minutes by car. However, Jackie didn’t own a car and she didn’t drive. She was much too anxious to be let loose in a world where maniacs were given licenses to speed along invisible racetracks.

So that day, the Tuesday day; she braved the weather and made her way to her mother’s house. She was prepared for the storm, and had dispensed on the cumbersome umbrella that would no doubt pick her up and whisk her away to Oz. Instead, she was bundled up so tight and so well she looked like a yeti wading through the small streets, caring not to the cars that splashed by her on their own personal adventures.

She’d had the ominous feeling since breakfast, that something was out of sync that day. The weather was the first warning, the second being her hands which had been shaking since she had tried to spoon the cornflakes into her mouth for breakfast. The tiny pieces of cereal had fallen all around her bowl like tiny bits of cardboard on a craft mat. She’d taken a pill and all had seemed fine, though she couldn’t shake the feeling. It stuck to her like the film of milk left on an emptied glass.

She thought more of it now, watching a black cat dart out from under someone’s parked car on the side of the street. Unaccustomed to being out in the wet weather, it glared at her as it made its way to the safety of a porch of the house she passed. The feeling was itching away at her insides now, and she quickened the pace towards her mother’s house.

“Mum, it’s me” She called into the small little cottage. Her mother never locked her doors, refusing to believe she was living in the 21st century, still half expecting friendly neighbours to pop in to see how she was doing and borrow sugar. She closed the door and locked it firmly behind. “Mum?”. But there was no reply. The house wasn’t quiet though. It groaned and shunted in the storm, and in the rooms away some pipes gurgled into their own orchestral concert. She took off her jacket, hanging it up on the coat hook by the front door. She passed by the picture of her father, nestled into a neatly polished silver frame, greeting anyone who entered her mother’s kingdom with a smile and a look of knowing.

At her feet she felt Apollo brush past her, gliding through the hallway like a streak of fur. Her mother had had her since she was a kitten, given to her by one of the ladies she played bingo with down at the village hall. She’d always said she was more of dog person, but she secretly, Jackie suspected, adored that cat; who took great pride of place throughout her mother’s well organised life. Apollo meowed noisily and scuttled off towards the conservatory.

“Mum, you about?” she called out again. Holding back the alarm now that had convened on her feeling of ill and dreed since the morning. She followed the cat to the back of the house, the rain thundering hard down onto the conservatory roof, tining and thundering through the back room.

There she saw her mother, slumped on the side of her high backed chair. A stranger would have guessed she was sleeping, but Jackie knew her better than that, and though she couldn’t help it, she hung back for a moment, bracing her emotions for the tidal of grieve that was to come.

There was a slow rumble of thunder coming from outside, the ferociousness of the storm was waiting in the wings still, about to set forth it’s lasered dance of lightning and noise. She brushed the loose hair that had fallen over her mother’s face, the greying sight of age that hung loose and lifeless. Her eyes were closed she noticed, and a huge part of her was relieved to think that she had felt no pain.

She was sat in the centre of the conservatory just by her huge astromic telescope that she had bought herself a few years ago. Anyone who came to the house always thought it was decorative. The type of thing high end department stores sell for obscure aesthetics to those with more taste than knowledgeable inclination. One look around to spot the kitschy frog ornaments and dusty fake flowers would be enough to tell you it wasn’t one of those. This was an actual telescope, and her mother simply adored star gazing. She would sit out here, and sometimes in the garden on the warmer nights, and gaze up into the heavens. She knew all of the constellations of course, and would set Jackie’s niece Angela on her lap when she came over and try to find the planets for her, even in the day.

Her mother sat there now, an empty shell in that high back chair, her hand on her notepad with some scribblings of her night’s recent gazing. Apollo jumped up and sat on her lap, wafting the smell of her perfume up into Jackie’s nostrils, flaring up memories and loss. She cried there then, for about twenty minutes, her hand in her mother’s as she said her goodbyes. She wondered what to do after, going over to her mother’s phone in the kitchen to ring her brother to tell him what had happened. Seeing in her mind’s eye the next 24hrs unfolding in a terrible depressive snapshot of time.

She put the phone back in its cradle and instead went to the kettle and made herself a cup of tea. She sat with her mother for the rest of the day, until the sun slipped out of the sky and darkness descended. The storm had long ago blown itself into oblivion, making way for the tranquil stillness that comes after a hurricane. Jackie had done the same, allowing the moments and thoughts of despair to be swept away in the stormy waters.

She looked up through the telescope to see the stars dancing above in their diamond beauty, and then she got to work.

She reached up through the telescope and grabbed the black duvet of space. Some stardust sprinkled her hands like glitter off a birthday card. She heaved and pulled and dragged the galaxy down to earth where she and her mother sat in that conservatory on that infamous Tuesday. She tugged and dragged, scaring poor Apollo with her grunts and sighs, who dived behind her mother’s cardigan which she had wrapped around her body, stiffening slowly as she slipped into rigor mortis. When she had what she needed, she drew it around her mother, blanketing her in the sea of stars. The ones she had longed for all her life. Wrapping her tightly like a swaddled child, in a stars and space. Keeping her safe forever in the place she loved.

Oh Deer

She lived her life in seclusion.
Away from the world beyond.
Lost in a forestry delusion.
In a time that’s long since gone.
With a wounded heart and stolen child.
She fed and ran with her kind.
Hunted for her meat so mild.
Life and death so intertwined.
Despite it all, she raised her young.
On her own and with no other.
Help from a male, and though it stung.
She did her best to be a good mother.
A quiet creature, rarely seen.
Yet magical to the eye.
Fur so soft, and eyes of green.
T’was a shame she had to die.
On that snowy day, when the men with guns.
Were hunting, and being hunted.
And other beasts were forced to run.
Two worlds collide, and then were shunted.
For a wolf you see is not so aware.
Or prone to live in fear.
And this is why, she fell and died.
Trampled to death by the startled deer.

The Ends of her world

She tried to save him on that day.
That day, when the coffee stained sky folded.
She reached out in her own way.
Only for her hands to turn to stone.
And her mind to dust.
A cruel trick of fate positioned her.
To watch his demise from such a vantage point of safety.
Silenced in an eternal knowing.
While a tempest raged in her eyes and mind.
So she threw it all back in time.
Crouched under her bed until the voices left her.
The thuds on the door and within her heart.
While the vines creeped up around her veins,
she erased all that she knew.
At least she tried to.
And she disappeared into the rains that came after.
Leaving no trail in her wake.
Chasing dragons by the flooded lagoon.

Wreckage – Adjustment 1.5

You lost her, a time and a heartache ago.
Spirited into the heavens on a cloud of confusion.
Murdering the future with the finality of death.
To see her now, to touch her face.
To slip inside the soul for a minute and see the life that could’ve been led.
A cosmic re-shuffling.
A kiss from heaven.
Leaves turning brown in an instant.
Evaporated away to leave only space and tears.
That fall from your eyes in a time she never knew.
From a person she no longer knows.
Sweet bitterness, loving and leaving the things that hurt.
Yet offer more love than an ocean of time.
Et vous tombez loin de mes épaules dans l’ombre et la poussière.