Archive for August, 2013


As time closed in on each day, what was supposed to be summertime was coming to an end. The calendar had it printed in black and white and the distant smell of charcoal briquettes, created by the brave, had died.

Despite a coolness dragging through our morbid sky, I was shrouded by an anxious heat. I felt nervous, as though I was about to sit an exam. An exam I hadn’t prepared for but needed to pass.

In all honesty, there was no real reason to be nervous, I just couldn’t convince myself of that.

In my eyes, this was it. Just like it had been all the other times before.

Waiting was hard. Despite the other fifty-one weeks of knowing, this last week had felt like fifty-one of not.

The week passed and my nervous disposition turned. I thought it would only be a week of waiting. I’d agreed that with myself.
Doubt was all I could muster. It plagued each mundane task. I could find myself adjusting the cushions and suddenly be engulfed in sweat that poured from my palms.

After the second week had trudged by, dragging its cold absence, confusion was my main state. I would rehearse a series of possible events in my mind. Over in a matter seconds and then instant panic would shoot from the depths of my skull and smack me between the backs of my eyes.

I knew. Inside.

There were loads of glaring signs in reality. I had simply chosen to ignore them. No bins out. No curtain movement. No windows open. No visitors.

Nerves + doubt + confusion + hope + ignorance + realisation = despair or relief.

This formula could be applied to many of life’s dramas, with different outcomes. In this case, it resulted in despair.

Even in despair, with two elements from the formula – ignorance and hope, unspoken, I could cling to this person for as long as my heart needed.

Words: 320

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We scattered like rats racing for the nearest drain. But there were too many people and there was nowhere to run.

We were near the front, clutching our seat reservations, when the panic began. We turned as one of them ripped a hole through the roof, showering glass and metal onto the concourse below. The crowd surged towards the train.

I was the last to stumble into the carriage. Doors close thirty seconds before departure.

Sometimes, I still see you, pale and white, tight against the window as the crowd forced you forward. Your neck was at a strange angle and your eyes had lost their colour. Maybe you were already dead; you didn’t react when the silver threads began to snake across your face, covering your nose and mouth as they wrapped around your head.

The train pulled away from the platform as you were yanked into the air, up through the gash in the ceiling. The crowd behind you collapsed and bodies tumbled against the metal carriage, vanishing below the window.

There were six of us at first, watching as they plucked indiscriminately from the crowd; a maze of thin vines which scooped up the screams while the crowd crashed up against metal barriers and glass partitions.

They stumbled, tripped and chased us down the platform. An old man holding a briefcase tried to flag us down.

We travelled through the night, staring across the fields of burning orange, silently picking the flesh from the bones of the buffet cart. We spoke in cities. Reading, Coventry, Birmingham; the glowing reds beyond the horizon. The driver only spoke to us once. After York. It was an apology, but we understood. There would be no refugees waiting on the tracks down the freight line, he said.

Hours later, we silently stepped off the train. The dawn air was cool and northern. You would have found it quaint; a tiny sandstone building on an old, worn platform. I looked down. I was still holding our tickets.

Words 330

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