This Scream Called Us (Rated 15)

They say a scream is a scream is a scream. Hurt is hurt. Pain is pain. That both subside with every unfulfilled second. They say many things. But what do they know? What do they really know?

The mind is a curious container, delicate even. If the mind were glass, one might shatter it with a scream, which I suppose you did.

Wordless moments, memories birth from open mouths. Memories! Too loud. Too raw. Reflections of moments past until wiped clean by sound. Until…

My everything you were and ever shall remain. My heart cannot beat without you. These romanticised lines of obvious affection. This sentimental twaddle. I wish to silence this scream called us. I wish to close these lips and sleep.

After tonight, maybe I will. Once I tear the secret you’ve kept from your overworked larynx.

I still have the key I copied. I have many such copies. You can never be too careful where safety’s concerned.

The latch lifts with a click like a match struck on once love. We did love, I think.

I’m in. Nothing’s changed. The same lavender stink to cover the cat litter. It assails my olfactory senses and I almost gag. Almost. Ginger, said cat, stops purring the moment I enter. He always hated me. I lurch forward but the cat’s quicker. He leaves without a handful of hair, whilst I’m left with a sergeant’s stripes across my skin. If only I’d closed the door! So, I do.

I let the light rest. I know the way. Darkness is good, it hides a multitude of sins. The mirror in the hallway remains empty. The photo on the telephone desk goes unseen. And I wonder, is it still there?

A sudden urge to sit on the sofa, turn on the tv and watch football, open the fridge and steal a beer. It’s fleeting but there.

I shake my head so hard my eyes rattle.

The first step creaks so I seek the second. Silence. I want to shout COME ON! I don’t, but I want to.

Stopping halfway, I take a seat. One last memory I think. A sigh. An aimless three-sixty. The darkness deprives as the lavender stink prods. I’m back on my feet and climbing before I realise I’ve sat.

Everest climbed, I have a desire to pee. The bathroom door stands open, so I do.

I take a certain devilish pleasure in peeing on the toilet seat, in the sink, bath. Small victories and all that. She’ll never see it but her mother might.

Once relieved, I’m back on the case. First door, second, third… I stop.

There’s a lump in this once-home made a prison. There’s a someone, a certain someone I know. Not for long.

The rage rises.

Her former rebukes, my dismissal, return like a needle shoved into my eyes. And I strike. And I strike. And I strike.

Everything she made me leave behind, the untold secret and more besides, stick like a lump in my throat. But I’ve got her. At last, I’ve got her.

“What have you done!”

A voice.

Her voice?

Her voice!

The landing light flicks on behind me.

I see my crimson creation and turn away retching out my innards.

She comes at me like Ginger on a bad day. She screams and screams and screams. But this is my dream and she can’t hurt me.

Only when she stops do I hear her. Only when she stops and crumples in a heap whispering the same words over and over again, do I understand what I’ve done.

“Our daughter. She was our daughter.”

And the cold steel I’ve spent seven years polishing finds a nice warm home in my chest. I smile.

My ex-wife screams again. This time, it’s not for us.

The End.

50 Word Stories: The Catch

We always said we'd be there to catch each other. You do when you're young and in love. We were so convinced, so sure of our commitment that when we fell, it came as a genuine shock. Well, maybe less so for me. I had my hands behind my back.

In Disbelief 

In Disbelief
Acerbic tongues sting this flesh 

like a million tiny bee stings;

the barbs embedded in my skin.

I shake and quake with hidden fury,

so very English, so polite,

and rankle, and rile, and bite

at the unforgiving pain of it all.

Disbelief, I tell myself.

It’s utter disbelief.

But the cold hard truth,

these clients of the devil

market and peddle through unsanitary smiles,

who push and prod the badness under my entrails;

they know, they know it’s not.

They seek to conceal 

and I want to believe the lesser of two evils:

it all stinks:

accept it.

I’m beyond acceptance

beyond their views of this world

and all we should stand for.

Instead, I mire in disbelief.

I would have it no other way,

for my universal fury waits to spill over

to those other ninety-nine percent

who agree.

At least, I hope so.

God, I hope so!


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.

Glass Hearts / Blue Lipstick

“I have a glass heart,” she said. “It’s fragile.”

Of course, I thought she spoke figuratively, who wouldn’t? But it didn’t matter, I was a good man, an honest man. But aren’t we all until proven wrong.

I heard the crack as of dropped crystal before I even stepped on the porch. When I opened the door in a panic, she sat on the bottom step awaiting me. 

“Is it cold?” she asked, her dark hair an oil slick in the candlelight.

“No,” I replied.

All she did was touch her lips. That’s all.

The second crack came the moment my head slipped to my chest. I jolted back upright like a startled rabbit. She looked shattered, her hand clutched to her breast.

“What’s wrong?” 

I didn’t know what else to say, my head whirled with deception and broken dreams.

“I told you,” she said. “I warned you all those years ago.”

She tapped her chest to a clink-clink.

My face said more than words ever could, as I dropped to my knees at her side.

“I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”

“Too late,” she whispered, peeling open her blouse.

I didn’t want to look. I didn’t want to see. But some truths are unavoidable and I leant in close.

I felt nothing as the shard of glass she’d concealed sliced through my jugular. I heard nothing as that piece of heart dropped to the carpet at my side. She just stood and walked away. 

She thought her glass heart killed me, but the shame of the blue lipstick got there first.