Three Paragraphs on the Art of Loving Ghosts

When loving ghosts, one must make allowances, for their intangible nature prohibits touch, physical warmth, passion. They mire in sadness regardless of kind words, a warming sun, a lover’s wistful look. To struggle is in their make-up, their very essence. Like drifters on a highway, they patrol the ley lines you may not tread. Not yet, anyway. Not until the blue fades from your lips, too.

This insipid cold, if you will, does not make them cruel, nor inconsiderate just unable to yield to the pleasures of flesh and blood. Though they would if they could. They remember them, distant though they may be. They recall them, as the echoes of memories lost. Like violin strings plucked in a dream, they would hear this music called life once more.

So, how should one treat them? How should one appreciate these gentle spirits of the night? How does one love a ghost? Simple, my friend. Remember them. Remember them all. But most of all, and here I beg, remember me.

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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.

Ageless Angel

She was that age, that ageless something

Between rose petal cheeks and silver waves of fascination

Where the foundations moved but the plans never changed

Where her eyes only ever shone brighter, more acutely than before

Piercing like twin stars set in her own personal heaven

A girl with a woman’s knowing, woman with a girl’s innocence

The sort of carefree soul who bought coral rings just to remember other people’s dreams

It was easier for her living through the dreams of others, I think

As she had no time to waste on her own

I’ve forgotten what they called her because her name never really mattered

Not to those who shared her timeline, her space, her place

A name, as with the asking her age, was pointless

For whoever took the time to speak to the wind

When the only thing that mattered was feeling it rustling their hair

No, her name was only sought by those determined to tame her

To mould and conform her; they might as well have bottled an ocean

Elemental, unbridled, let loose on us all

An ageless angel without a prayer of surviving, she couldn’t have cared any less

And when I was with her, neither could I

Yet, now, I wished I’d known it

Guessed or made up something to define her soul

To capture the uncapturable even if but for a day

I suppose I will until my own spark fades

And all those dreams with it of her body pressed to mine

Seen

I saw her as though a mist descending

Without definition, she wavered

Though I knew it she

The footprint on my heart remembered so

And I waited, expectant, uncertain

For the dead are ever fickle

Though I prayed them not

Like the thinnest veil uplifted

Revealing a lesser gauze beneath

She looked upon me eyes weeping

An uncertain rain

She could not reach out, did not

For her solidity forbade it

But mine did not

I cast myself upon her, through her

When I looked back, she’d gone

And though I’d viewed her

Almost felt her, imagined her warmth

I wished I’d never seen her at all

50 Word Stories: Loss

50 Word Stories: Loss

There were reasons for our languor, our permanent malaise. We discussed them like all good parents would but never found a satisfactory answer. If there was one? Sat on our porch, we even cuddled one tangerine sunrise whilst watching the yard; it lit her twisted bike like a burnt memory. 

In Any Other World

In any other world, we would have been lovers

Plucked from the same ripening tree.

If obstructed, we’d have twined our vines about them, 

Throttled those who’d deny us our destiny,

Leapt towards the light unrestrained.

Nothing would have prevented the inevitable,

For life itself would have driven us on;

It had to, you see.

In any other world, any other time,

Any other realm but this, we would,

But it isn’t and we aren’t,

And regrets won’t make it so.

Loved To Death

I found her innocence stifling, her undiluted love too much to take. Wherever I was, she was there too. Whenever I sought the attentions of the bottle, she was there to prevent it, to coax the drink from my hand. She smiled when she did so. She always smiled. What I required, however, was a sneer or a slap. She just wouldn’t do.

I remember gazing down at her grief-stricken figure, a black veil across her face, a tissue in her hand. Her slender form looked like it might snap under the gale and the howling rain. A man in a dog-collar consoled her, though, in truth, he wasted his time and the other single mourner’s too; she was inconsolable. Standing over a large hole in the ground, she threw something I recognised as my favourite shot glass; it smashed to a tinkling tune. Only then did I realise I’d left her. Only then did I know I was dead.

The Hurricane and the Wind


We left as lovers lost in a storm of unkempt emotions. Such was the way with the hurricane and the wind. We blew across the world elemental in our excesses. We didn’t care; we were free. Like bottled cyclones, we span around in translucent circles, the world at our feet and the sky out of reach. We tried though. We tried.When the tears came like a storm of all our losses, from us both, yes, us both, I faltered. You smashed against the barriers like the tempest you were, whilst I blew out. Not a breath had I left by the end, not a one. Home was my last gasp. Infinity were your gusts. We were incompatible really; I know that now. The hurricane and the wind, two that were one, they called us. We just never knew it until we’d both blown away.