Just A Feeling

Just A Feeling

It’s just a feeling, a tingling in the toes. I pull them back and wriggle them around but the tingling remains. Very odd?
I decide to go for a walk marching around the neighbourhood like a demented crow all stiff-legged, feet pointing.
After a mile, I think my strange sensations gone. They haven’t. In a sneaky turn of events, the tingling has travelled up my shins, thighs and settled somewhere else. I wriggle like a bustling chicken. A woman crosses the road.
I walk faster now bordering on a run. If I can just shake it off. I stop dead. I’m turning into Taylor Swift! No, that can’t be right? Sprint.
I hurtle down the main street, turn into the alleyway that runs across the back of our terraces and in through the back gate. I’m knackered. The tingling has gone.
When I say gone, I am in fact lying in the hope it’s my brain carrying out a mentality check because I’m actually tingling all over. Every Richard atom is buzzing like an electrified fence, a hectic rush hour of life.
Life. That’s it. It’s just a feeling. A feeling that it’s good to be alive. I don’t want to run it off, to sprint away into the distance. I want to savour every second and tingle as long as I can.
Yes, it’s just a feeling. But I’m damn glad I’ve got it.

The New Shoes (5)


I hear them giggle. I feel them wiggle. I smell an unknown scent. My wife is with another man and a rage I have suppressed for a decade surfaces.
Why I carry a knife I do not know, but I do and it feels good in my palm. I act before they stir.
I stab and thrust and slice and cut and power my way through the virgin white duvet cover that shimmers in the moonlight. The fact Helen has bought a new cover, replacing the green one I chose, only increases my rage. For five long minutes, I finally show her who’s boss.
When done, I am tired but glad. I reach for the light switch which slips into my wet fingers as it should. A swift flick and we have illumination.
The bed is red. The room is red. Everything, everywhere is a liquid crimson. I look down. My new shoes are splattered beyond repair. This is the final straw. I storm out of our bedroom, down the creaking stairs and out onto the crunching gravel and scream a scream to wake God himself.
There is a click from the adjacent house and an upstairs window opens.
“What are you doing, love?” says a woman who looks just like Helen.
“Just breaking in my new shoes,” I reply, as I wipe the knife on my trousers.
The End.

The New Shoes (4)

img-alternative-textThe landing has a familiar air that the other rooms have not. I know there’s a picture of Helen and myself looking right at me even if I can’t see it. The picture is yet another bane; it is of our wedding day, a constant reminder of my shackles.
I sneak towards our bedroom: first door on the left. At last, the moon has deigned to show its face and shines a weak light under the door, the first to be closed in the way I expect. This angers me as what’s the good of closing a bedroom door if every other is wide open? A riddle for when I’ve slept.
I open said door in silence. The hinges I regularly oil are as quiet as I wish the stairs had been. I shut it behind me with a slight click that sounds more like an explosion in the midnight morgue.
Our bedroom curtains are thin, although tonight they seem thinner than usual, the moon pouring in from a newly unveiled night. I hate thin curtains! They stop me sleeping. I am and always have been a terrible sleeper. I might as well not bother. The absence of darkness only furthers this issue and again I curse my wife. Everything I do is for her, nothing is for me. I grow angry as I trip on a pair of large, male shoes. I am wearing my only shoes?

To Be Continued…

The New Shoes (3)

img-alternative-textI bumble my way across the dining room to the foot of the stairs. Here, I pause. I know full well the first three steps creak from shoddy workmanship. Even though our house is still new in the timespan of such things, the stairs are a constant noisy annoyance. I step to the right which negates said creaking, but creak it does and I curse again. I blame my new shoes. It must be them.
If I wake Helen, she’ll get cross. But if there’s someone here, an intruder, as I suspect there is, then time is of the essence. What to do? What to do?
In my usual way, I compromise. I’m a man who always compromises. From the house we live in to the shoes on my feet, I have made compromises. I moved here for Helen to be close to her mother, an ailing chicken of a woman who hates me. The shoes I wear are brogues; I hate brogues. I bought them because Helen liked them and now their stupid, unforgiving leather is slowing my climb to save a woman who, in turn, is a compromise. Hey-ho, what’s a man to do? I climb. I ascend.

To Be Continued…

The New Shoes (2)

img-alternative-textI run my fingertips across our new kitchen doors; they seem less polished, more ragged than the lacquered finish that cost me a holiday and a year of moaning. I don’t know why this is because I bought them for Helen, or so I convince my obsequious self each new day that I fawn upon them. One… two… three doors to the left and I reach back to the light switch. The switch has gone!
More alarmed now, I manoeuvre myself into the open-plan dining room banging my foot on a chair that usually resides pressed back to the wall. My new shoes are going to hate me, they’ll be ruined before the day is through.
It is a relief to grab the patio curtains and fling them aside, but I’ve forgotten there’s no moon tonight and it’s still as dark as ever. I curse under my breath. Cursing is a frequent pastime.
I want to shout out, to hail my wife and receive an answer. I don’t though. Whether it’s because it’s close to midnight, or whether I fear the reply, instead, I shuffle to the stairs.
Where are you Helen? Where are you?

To Be continued…

Drifting on a Dream

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Grandma was old, ancient, in fact. With skin like Norwegian fjords, one could trace her beginnings through history right back to the day she was born. I often wondered what she was like as a child: carefree; headstrong; determined. The one I would never have credited her with was lost. Not as lost as she’d become, anyway.

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Gran, I called her, though she preferred Grandma. She would take a desperate swipe at my head whenever I lost her suffix, then grin when I dared meet her eyes again. They sparkled then, her brilliant, blue eyes, not grey like a fogged over meadow. I always thought she possessed the kindest, most intelligent eyes of anyone I’d ever known and wished for mine to be the same. They are the same now, which saddens me.

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Grandma went into hospital on a Thursday. It was easy to remember because I was putting my wheelie bin out when I received the phone call. I rushed to ward six and there she lay all alone. From that moment on the pragmatist was gone, the fixer of frayed clothes and recycler of everything, the spendthrift and creator of newborn’s bank accounts.
I sat at her side for three days, smiled whenever she opened her eyes and hushed her when she forgot where she was. I lost her the moment she entered that sterile box of a place, but found the real her again just before she left. She opened her eyes and smiled, placing her translucent hand in my own. Her lips pursed together as I leaned in close and she whispered…

Drifting on a dream. I’m drifting on a dream. I remember you from somewhere, but I’m drifting on a dream

Maybe she was more of a dreamer than I’d given her credit for, maybe even more so than me? She’d be able to tell me one day. I’d look forward to it.

In London Fogs Are Empires Built.

Through the London fogs I stagger, lost in a drunken haze of misfortune and bad decisions. Some call it life, but I prefer bad luck.
Time is lost in this place, this grey cityscape of unaccountable moments. No bat nor bird fly here, both confused, as are all. Like limbo, my London remains neutral waiting for someone to tip the scales. Someone like me.
This fogged forever is a place for chance encounters, for the daring and brave, the bad. It awaits a King, someone to grasp the mantle of leadership and wipe away the smear of grease that covers it. My London begs for an empire to be built around it. I can taste the saline licking of its lips.
I sneer at a lantern and kick at the cobbles. This city is mine, it just doesn’t know it yet. Not quite yet. But it will. It will.


I noticed the line curling around the bottom of my index finger in fine red script one bitter winter’s morning. I recall how I surveyed it thinking it a mark; it wasn’t there yesterday, though. The harsh reality, it was something altogether more sinister.

I followed the filament across my palm, then up my arm to my right shoulder, where it then detoured twice around my neck before heading back down toward my chest. My finger traced that thin, red line to my heart where it whorled around in concentric circles until a tight spec.

It’s my lifeline, I thought, as the pain started, a paralysing crunch beneath my ribs. The hurt grew in incremental agony to the slow dawning of what occured. As the inevitability of the situation struck, my eyes widening to those of an owl, I died steeped in regret.

Yes, I died right there and then as the line you’d left in red lipstick smudged beneath my fingers.