Happy Birthday

I wasn’t ready.
How could I be?
Yet you came into my life
and changed it irrecoverably.

I held you first.
Are you for me?
This warm, fragile parcel
totally dependent on me.

When your eyes could focus,
What could you see?
I saw the one person
that changed all life’s goals for me.

You learned to speak.
What did you say to me?
Hearing you say “I love you dad”
Filled the very heart of me.

You went off to school.
What could you be?
The whole world is your oyster,
you’ll be a better man than me.

Another year older.
How can that be?
But you’re still my baby boy,
and you mean the world to me.

Flash Fiction : Picture This

You’re stuck in a traffic jam on a motorway.
You’d been driving back, alone, from your family’s Christmas reunion. It’s a day before New Years Eve. It’s late in the afternoon, so the sun is just setting, and around you cars have their headlights already lit.
As you look to your left and right, you see people in their own metal bubble of warmth and familiar scent.

Your minds eye lifts up and above you, and you see yourself trapped in an unending stream of metal, like a tin of anchovies stuck on a broken down conveyor belt. As far as your minds eye can see there is nothing but boxes of humanity, from every possible walk of life all brought together in this shared experience of inactivity and frustration.

Looking out through the windscreen of your car, all you can see stretching away is red tail lights, and the mismatch of letters and numbers that make up the multitude of registration plates. You idly try and make words out of the number plates you can see, wondering what your scrabble score would be for “LA55 BAT”.

You feel alone, sat with only the softly playing radio for company, but you’re not lonely. The fact that the traffic has ground to such a final halt has given you a little bit of time to relax, away from the stress of battling the inconsiderate, dangerous, incompetent, and sometimes just naive other drivers.

With your eyes closed, and your head resting back against the headrest, you can feel the engine of your car gently throbbing beneath and around you, and are very conscious of your own heartbeat and slow, relaxed breathing.
You become extremely aware of yourself physically – the feel of your trousers against the skin of your hands, the weight of your jacket enclosing your arms and shoulders.

The flash, when it comes, is like a million paparazzi camera bulbs all going off at once. You instinctively squeeze your eyes shut until the blinding light fades from outside your eyelids. As you carefully open your eyes and gaze out of the windscreen, on the horizon you see a mushroom cloud. It’s like the mushroom clouds you’ve seen from the 1940’s black & white films, epic in it’s size, dark oranges and yellows funneling up into a thick, black fist of smoke and dust. You become aware of a deep, throbbing vibration coming up through the floor of the car, and as you sit you are shaken in place, like the last match in an empty match box.

As your vision begins to blur with the vibration of your skull, you see cars up ahead being flung up and away violently, as though they were toy cars being kicked across the playroom of an angry toddler. The last sensation you feel is that of immense heat, as the windscreen in front of you gives way, showering you in broken diamonds of safety glass. Your last thoughts are of how this shouldn’t be happening to you, the protagonist, the hero of your own narrative.
As your broken body is melted into the interior of your now madly hurtling car, your last shred of consciousness disappears like a dream upon waking.

Friday Flash Fiction : Generosity

The train station was as busy as ever on this cool November morning. Commuters rushing to make their habitual seat on their train to work, others arriving into town ready to attack the day anew and survive another day at the grindstone of employment.
Mixed in with these station regulars were the people travelling for other reasons – some good, some bad. The woman on her way to meet her lover, the guilt etched in her face as she thought of her husband driving home from the station with a smile on his face, not knowing the truth of his situation.
The young man and woman off to the airport for their first holiday together as a couple, he only thinking of the sex he can’t wait to have, her thinking of only of how close they will be after spending a whole two weeks together.
The older man, dignified and almost military in his bearing, travelling to the funeral of a friend, finally taken by the weak heart that had plagued him for years.

Into this cauldron of humanity walks a smiling man, with a large tray suspended round his neck in the manner of ice-cream sellers in the cinema. Contained in the tray, displayed in rows like jewelry on velvet cushions, were an assortment of pastries. Pain au chocolat, croissants, danish pastries, cinnamon swirls, all glistening with sweetness.
As this man walked toward the center of the concourse, the intoxicating smell dancing among the people around him, eyes began to follow his progress as interest was piqued. He stopped, and in a voice tinged with mirth loudly announced,
“Ladies and gentleman. Greetings to you all on this fine morning. As a token of kindness and to help you on your journey today, I have here some fine pastries. Please, avail yourself of them, free of charge of course! I only ask that later today when you think back to this moment, you maybe think about how a small gesture of generosity and kindness can bring a smile to even the gloomiest of mornings”.

Several people began to congregate around him, looking into his tray to select a pastry for themselves. Once the first person took one (an account manager for a plumbing supplies firm, on his way to meet a potential new client), other people took it as a signal to pickup their own selection. They were pastries that are dreamed of. Warm to the touch, plump, the filled ones heavy with sweet chocolate or syrup, the croissants light and buttery. As each person bit into their own pastry they could not help but smile, and offer small noises of satisfaction and enjoyment.

After twenty minutes or so, the tray was empty. Those people lucky enough to get a pastry were left feeling a tiny bit happier than they had been before this smiling man had arrived.

The man himself stood with a satisfied grin. He had come to the station this morning in the hope of brightening peoples day. As these people set off on their commute, or their walk from the station to their offices, they would begin to feel more than happy, more than satisfied after eating these gorgeous treats. You see, within each pastry he had put a small dose of LSD. With no taste other than the rich, dark chocolate or the sweet sugary cinnamon, it had been consumed completely unawares and now, for the rest of the day, some of these people would experience a rather more interesting time than they first thought they would when they got up this morning. “Yes” he though to himself, “it’s good to give”.

Jingle Bells….?

Dashing through the snow,
get the fuck out of my way,
O’er fields I go,
Elves and deer to slay,
Face a murderous grin,
Children filled with fright,
What fun it is to flay the skin,
Of Santa Claus tonight,

OH!

Straight to hell,straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Oh what fun it is to chase,
the fairy folk a-way,
Straight to hell, straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Slaughtering the cutesy folk,
really makes my day.

Drunk on scotch and gin,
I thought I’d take a ride,
And soon the devil’s son
was seated by my side,
The car built like a tank,
we worried not a jot,
We opened up the armory
and everyone got shot

OH!

Straight to hell,straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Oh what fun it is to chase,
the fairy folk a-way,
Straight to hell, straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Slaughtering the cutesy folk,
really makes my day.

OH!

Straight to hell,straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Oh what fun it is to chase,
the fairy folk a-way,
Straight to hell, straight to hell,
That’s the only way,
Slaughtering the cutesy folk,
really makes my day.

Flash Fiction: Interesting Times

The road was one barely traveled. Tucked away deep in the south west of the U.K, it was a link road between ‘here’ and ‘over there’. The only distinguishing feature was the petrol station. At night, with no street lights on this small and unimportant road, it was an isolated beacon of light in the darkness.

Barry was sat behind the counter, as he was every night. He was the night shift, from ten at night until six in the morning. He honestly had no idea why the owner kept the petrol station open twenty four hours, but it paid Barry enough money to keep him in cigarettes and lager, so he wasn’t complaining. And when it was quiet like this (as it was nearly every night) it gave him the chance to catch up on his reading.

He had a good view out of the window toward the road. At times like this it was almost as if he existed in a vacuum of blackness. The glow from the petrol station lights only stretched so far along either side of the road before fading. The merging of the light and dark actually made the area immediately outside the electric light darker and deeper than it normally would, and in idle moments Barry could imagine nobody else alive on the planet apart from him.

At this moment, he wasn’t concentrating on the outside world, but on the book in his hands. It was the latest one from his favorite author and he was completely engrossed. The only sounds were the slight buzzing of the fluorescent lights that lit up the interior of the building, and the dry rustle of each turning page.

As Barry was getting to a particularly good bit, (this was probably one of the best yet and his mind was completely focused on the narrative), he registered a new noise in his subconscious. A slow, dragging sound followed by a wet slap. ssshhhhhh – slap. ssshhhhh – slap.
He placed his finger in the book at the page he was on, and looked up and out of the window. Slowly moving into the glow from the petrol station forecourt lights, from his right hand side, was a figure. It was indistinct for a few seconds, until it moved further into the brightness. It was a man, quite tall, dressed in a dark suit. And he was limping. The dragging sound was this person pulling his left leg along behind him – the slapping noise was his right foot hitting the floor. He realized the sound made was a ‘slap’ and not a ‘click’ because the man had bare feet.
As the figure moved in line with the big window out of which Barry curiously watched, he was no more than thirty feet away. And then he stopped.

Slowly, as though struggling with balance, the figure turned toward the lighted window. His head was at a curious angle, like a dog giving its master a questioning look. And as the figure faced fully toward the window, Barry saw something that froze the blood in his veins.
The man was missing his lower jaw. The whole bottom of his face was gone, and blood and gore covered his chest. His tongue lolled and flopped around like a dead fish caught on a hook. As Barry’s eyes locked onto this obscene man’s own bloodshot orbs, he felt his bladder let go and a warm cascade of urine filled his underwear.
Barry’s breath locked in his throat. He couldn’t move. He was hoping he had locked the door as was the procedure when alone on the night shift.

After what seemed like hours, but could have only been seconds, the figure lurched around and started to limp down the road, toward the darkness and toward the nearby town. Barry released his pent up breath in a rush. He felt cold, clammy, but his heart was hammering like a playing card caught in the spokes of a bicycle.

Something was happening. And the next few days of his life were going to be very interesting.

The Strength Of A Woman

The loaded silence
before she screamed.
The recognition
of shattered dreams.

The stirring breeze
of fate’s cruel wings,
come to claim
all precious things.

Could time be held
in breathless pause,
so bleeding heart
would hurt no more?

Could life be saved,
blind faith restored?
Life made whole
as once before?

All that’s taken,
once held dear,
replaced with pain
and oppressive fear.

But heart is strong,
soul robust,
learn to live
again she must.

To carry on,
rejoin the fight,
hold back the tears
with all her might.

With each new pain
the heart heavier grows,
but renewed strength
and fortitude shows.

She’ll start again,
hope newly vowed,
for this woman’s strength
will not be bowed.

The Devil Appeared

His heart was broken,
filled with regret,
of lessons not learned,
and things to forget.

The tears in his eyes,
gave a watered down look,
the guilt in his mind,
snagged like a hook.

He’d reached the far end,
on the road of his life,
decided to leave,
all the trouble and strife.

The last drink was taken,
the pills all prepared,
but with no expectation,
the devil appeared.

“I can give you relief”,
the horned one explained,
“from all of your agony,
and exquisite pain”.

“Just grant me your soul,
from this moment on,
and all of your troubles,
will forever be gone”.

The eyes of the devil,
he looked into with fear,
and wondered what magic,
had made him appear.

The tempting salvation,
offered here on a plate,
could not help this person,
it had come far too late.

“My soul is not mine”,
the man did reply,
“So save your entreaties,
oh Lord of the Flies”.

“It’s given already,
to the one that I love,
and she’s taken it with her,
to heaven above”.

The devil took pause,
looked into the man,
and saw with frustration,
he was truly damned.

“The pain that you caused,
to this love of your life,
has turned your poor heart,
to naught but black ice”.

“So take your last drink,
and swallow those pills,
but down in my kingdom,
I’ll wait for you still”.

“The punishment owed,
for hurt you did give,
will take an eternity,
through which you must live”.

The man did respond,
with an accepting sigh,
“That seems oh so fitting,
now I’m ready to die”.

“For the love that I took,
and then spurned out of hand,
I deserve nothing less than,
to be eternally damned”.

With a final slow nod,
and an expectant leer,
the devil grew smokey,
and then disappeared.

The man closed his eyes,
and swallowed his drugs,
and thought one last time,
of his neglected love.