Within the Rose

Petals folded, clasped tight
No perfume escapes
Here, protected from life’s thorns and barbs
Cocooned isolationists sleep
Dreaming in false colours
Of Edens closed and gated
Ones milked in moonlight
And bathed in ebony shades
Shame!
If only someone had told them
Within the rose all worlds are possible
Once we cease to scream


Thank you for reading

Richard

Bullet

Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash
Photo by Marek Studzinski on Unsplash

You know when your time’s up by the slowing of your breaths. A blink takes a century, a smile forever, the world around you stalls. Teardrops catch mid-cheek like dewdrops in a web. The blood in your veins turns sluggish and turgid. Your every organ closes down with a malfunctioning sigh. That’s what they say, but that’s not what happened to me.
I hung in the moment as Hell opened and Heaven slammed closed its gates, straining, determined to breathe, convinced of putting words to my madness. Battles raged all around as though I wasn’t there, smiles flitting across faces, scowls more, love, honour, all instants in time. More was lost in those seconds of non-redemption than eternity could hold. Infinity wrapped in a watch face, I crumbled.
That’s what you did to me, when you stole my heart. You killed me with a bullet not shot from a gun. You attacked with a weapon called love, then walked away and left me to die. Kindness, that’s what you murdered me with. I never stood a chance.
I never will.


Thanks for reading 
Richard

50 Word Stories: Unfortunate Times

Image courtesy Zoe Holling on Unsplash.com

It was an unfortunate situation, she and I, an overlong affair. We had our good times, or hours, or first moments, which were longer than most. I should have counted myself lucky, really. Honestly, I should. But I didn’t, and neither did she. Shame! After all, she was my mother.


Thank you for reading

Richard

Serpentine

Image courtesy David Clode Unsplash.com

Invasive creature
Slithering through unctuous blood
Poisoning my system
With indigestible venom
Blocking arteries
Licking nerves
Curling into spaces
Where no spaces were
Like cholesterol
This snake at my core
Lingers.

The first slice hurts
The second less so
The third is a pleasure
Exposing innards
Revealing truths
But the snake, this viper
Remains untroubled
Sliding elsewhere
Gliding within
Leaving only scales of injustice
Behind.

Acceptance is the key
Acknowledgment of this other
Welcoming the pain
Desiring what poisons
Not expunging
So I sit, run, sleep
With my significant friend
Saying good morning
Bidding good night
Until my serpentine deconstruction
Ends
.


Thank you for reading

Richard

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

This Dark Tide

image courtesy of Lester Salmins on Unsplash.com

This Dark Tide

I concentrate, close tired eyes, breathe

Feel the air enter sinuses all of a rush

Surge down my throat like the North Wind a gorge

Pool in otherwise forgotten lungs like stagnant water

The accompanying rise and fall lifts a grumbling gut

Expands a chest with pigeonesque pomposity

It’s all fake, but proves I’m alive until sliding away

A moment. A dream. A thought. An almost.

This dark tide has infiltrated troubled shores

Revealed only by a spotlight moon, an inner eye, and sent scurrying

The clouds soon regather and it begins anew

This is the way, the looping thrum of existence

And I wonder: Is this really life

Unsavoury Games

Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash

Unsavoury Games

The Look

There was something unsavoury about her smile, an unavoidable diagnosis of disgust. Whilst she revelled in self-centred superiority, the world might’ve burned. The others played on.

The Feel

She felt wrong. The whole thing felt wrong. As if having swallowed a live worm when expecting a jellied one, she wriggled within. I’d have wretched, but she was watching.

The Fact

She’d done nothing other than sit there politely minding her own business. I hadn’t sought her, nor looked upon her by any other reason than an accident. She happened upon me. This was the simple truth.

The Result

Evasion proved the smarter side of valour. I slipped away to another table like a furtive rat, eager for some space and a place to breathe. She followed. Why the hell had I chosen this casino?

The Game

She sat and asked the time. I made a point of looking at her watch, but she ignored it. I gave her the correct hour but added twenty minutes. She laughed a crescendo.

The Cost

I woke to an empty bed and an emptier wallet. She was long gone. I wasn’t annoyed, though. I blamed myself. She enjoyed her games, always had. I savoured them, too, once, but less so after we married.

THE END

Thank you for reading

Richard