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.

The Arrangement

She kept a bowl of flowers on the sideboard I never once saw wilt. Regardless of the time of year, weather, or the close attentions of her ginger cat named — unsurprisingly — Ginger, the flowers thrived. They were pink, pretty even, but never worth more than a cursory glance.

I passed those flowers every day for the three years we lived together. Not once did I water or maintain them, and to my knowledge, neither did she. I prayed they’d keel over just to prove they weren’t plastic, or, at least, not as false as me. Once, I even tugged their petals, but we’ll keep that to ourselves. Obstinate flowers still didn’t fall.

The day I left, I paused at the door. “At least tell me their bloody name, I’ve looked at them all this time and still have no idea what they’re called!”

“Same name as me,” she replied, her eyes wet and weeping.

So, I still don’t know.

50 Word Stories – Shattered Unseen

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50 Word Stories: Shattered Unseen

We both had terrible eyesight; it was the only way we could stand each other. So when she smashed my glasses in a fit of hormonal rage, I wasn’t that bothered. When she ran away and fell over our garden wall, I was less so. She’d smashed the wrong ones.

50 Word Stories – Closed

50 Word Stories – Closed

We loved each other, you and I. Days stood completed not when dusk dispersed in merging shadows, but when we commanded. Time had no meaning. The outside world had no place. When you opened your eyes life mattered. Only then. So why now are they closed?

NEVER QUITE THE SAME

We climbed the same hill we had on our first date. Our friends had said it weird to spend our first few hours together sweating our way up a mountain, our little knapsacks bobbing up and down like ducks on our backs. We didn’t care, we were already in love.

I remembered the stile offset at a peculiar angle as though it was yesterday. I had to twist my hips, never a good thing for a man who’d played way too much sport, whereas Caroline took it without even slowing. She was always limber.

The trail grew steeper as if to punish those who’d dared make it this far. I huffed. Caroline puffed. We made it though. We always made it, one way or another.

It was so quiet near the summit I thought the world had fallen asleep. Not a bird in the sky to ruin the mood. Even the trickling streams seemed to have dried for the day. We crested the last rise to a vista of all-encompassing beauty. Nature rolled out before us like an unmade duvet exuding the same comforting patches of warmth. I breathed deep. We both did. Caroline turned and smiled. I returned her gesture with all the kindness I could muster. It wasn’t enough, but at least we’d tried.

We returned to our separate cars in the same silence we’d left them, shook hands and drove away. Such was our life together, polite and purposeless. It’d never be quite the same though. Good.

The End.

Lessening

We move in ever-decreasing circles, you and I. A world without boundaries has contracted with us trapped somewhere at its centre waiting for the fences to fail. Still, not so long ago, we’d have thought to fly, to flee, to never look back and sparkle regardless. Those times are distant memories now. I miss them. I miss you. 

Lessening, that’s how I see it. We lessen in our capacity to love; it diminishes us. Love is the one thing we should never lose for it is the first to form. I remember how others’ eyes glared, but yours shone. How others’ mouths snarled, whilst your lips puckered. I often wonder if you remember it this way, but never think to ask. If you’re still here to ask, that is? One forgets the simple things when one’s happy and ignores them when one’s not. Only when the tide turns to drag our smiles away, only then do we realise the importance of the little things, the special things.

I’m lessening. I can’t deny it. I am not the man I once was as you are not the same woman. Life has changed us. I’m lessening. What’s worse, I don’t care. 

PS. If you should happen upon this note… 

…forget it, it doesn’t matter. I’m gone.