The Blackbird Sings

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

I wake. I weep. My blackbird alarm clock chirps all the louder, only adding to this hell. 

I dress. I fall. The belt I wrap twice about me fails to secure. Will I ever learn!

I eat. I drink. The race to the toilet is a mismatch, and I’m the loser. 

I dress… partly. For once, I use my head and don’t bother with pants. Take that fate! Yeah, take that.

I mow. I rake. Several women and a few giggling schoolgirls shout or point or scream or jeer.

I work. I slave. There’s always a distraction, but never a distraction enough. 

I avoid. I blur. My beat-up Volvo hovers on the periphery, catching the light in concave shadows and rusting browns. 

I vacate. I climb. The shower beckons a sweat-stealing pleasure. But I don’t deserve pleasure, so head to my room, instead. 

I undress. I collapse. My eyes close like shutters this evening, midnight filling the void. 

I dream. I scream. They are here, as always, unblemished by blood or glass or broken bones, or my drunken incompetence. 

I hope. I pray. Perhaps this time that blackbird named Death will let me die in peace. 

Chirrup! Chirrup! No release today. 


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

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Anonymous

Photo by Filipe Almeida on Unsplash

She had no status, no place in this world. She barely had a life. Then again, neither did I. 

#

We met one Easter morning and had married by tea in an unorthodox ceremony involving a stray cat who fussed our feet like catnip. It then peed on the floor. We laughed like hyenas. The pastor didn’t. The next day became our anniversary, and the next, and the next. Not a great legacy but something. We all must have something.   

We left the city for the coast on an empty bus, a move in direct opposition to the latest trends, and got off at the last stop because the driver made us. He smiled as he did so like a man in the know. 

We found a tiny house with a bed, a toilet, a door, and a view. This was all we required. This and each other. 

It began soon after.

#

She forgot my name by Halloween and my face by Christmas. My voice went last. Perhaps it reassured her? A somnambulist by day, worse still by night, she wandered. I wandered with her when I could. It was only a matter of time. 

#

New Year’s Day. I found her mangled body upon the rocky shore. She’d stepped from the cliffs as though them our lawn, whilst the sea fret tickled her eyelids and vindictive gulls egged her on. I was sad, but not inconsolable.  

I buried her deeper than I ought, marking her grave with a simple cross of two bound sticks. There, I scratched the message: To My beloved Wife.

Later, when malicious gossip made the pastor aware of my situation, he visited one gloomy afternoon. 

“It’s untitled, anonymous!” he exclaimed.

“What is?” I replied. 

“Her grave, man. Her grave!”

“As was she.”

“Because she had no name?” he ventured, calming at my obvious heartbreak. 

“Because I never needed it.” 

#

The End


Thank you for reading

Richard