The Bite

Such candid emotions
They bite at your skin
Nipping and teasing out the truth
Un-gentle persuasions
So close to true pain
That know the answers before they are given
Shaking out falsities
Like a dog with a bone
Whose teeth will never blunt
And eyes never tire
But the last laugh is yours
As the agony of withdrawal builds
For the simple reality is this
They could’ve just asked


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.

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.

50 Word Stories: What Really Happens at Night

Fifteen cats sat balanced on a fence watching the sunrise. Ten of them meowed for all they were worth, whilst four more only stared. The fifteenth turned his back on the others, instead, watching a cream moon falling with the mice at his feet. He wept for each of them.

You, Me, Him

In the aching deaths between now and then, I ponder
Not for the reevaluation of a broken heart
Nor memories of ruby lips administering condolences
The remembrance of what the wind really feels like
Or how the rain might wash away troubles
As it washed clean the afterbirth of our love
But the hint of when the fracture first appeared
The thing that took our love and twisted it
Made it something wicked and unbearable
Made it like that of others, not ours, not unique
But no matter how hard I try, the extent of my ruminating
I conclude the same razor blade answer each time
But it can’t all have been a dream, can it
We possessed a real love even if for a moment
And that has to be of value to someone, somewhere
Even if it’s not to you, or me, or him

The Line Between


The line between sanity and insanity was a tightrope I walked each day. One misplaced foot should’ve cast me from my desired route without heed for my current wellbeing, nor concern for thereafter. This, we shared.

Revelations come but once in a lifetime for the greater populace; my own came daily. No sooner would I exude the brilliance of one theory than another should steal upon it of even greater magnificence. If my mind should’ve been able to cope with it, I might never have ended up here, but ifs were never factored into my equations.

I spent the first three months writing on the walls, chalk in hand and beard extending, without ever having realised I’d left my studio. I would concentrate on the task at hand, sing to the angels when conquered, then start afresh. This was my routine, the same I’d partaken of for several years. I don’t even recall when she left me, or if she’d been there to start with.

I heard the voices, but never associated faces to them. Disembodied comments echoed around the cavity that was my room with a general reluctance to settle on me. As such, I ignored them, for my work consumed every second of allotted time. I had to know. I had to know for everyone’s sakes.

I lay on a bed of white, in a room of white, in a place of white. How I had got there, or when, was knowledge I did not possess as it had no bearing on my work. If I was to die it would not be before answering that most pertinent of all questions. The shaken heads said different.

I died on September the first, I know not what year. I do know that only as I slipped from this realm to the next and into an all-consuming golden embrace that my theories were proven: we went on. If only I could’ve stradled the line between to confirm it. Sometimes, it is only once you cross the divide that the pointlessness of a truth is revealed.