Blank Space.

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Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

He awoke, finally. Another uncomfortable, barley slept night. A thirst, that no amount of water could ever quench. In the darkness he lay on the bed, listening to the silence. Slowly his mind began to clear a little. Images of the previous few days passed through his mind.

Acquaintances, strangers. Alcohol, pubs. Airplanes, city lights. Heavy traffic. Laughter. Dancing, darkened nightclubs, Thumping music. A mishmash of images and recollections, fading in and out of his memory. Brief and unclear. His head was heavy. Stomach empty and aching for food.

Never again, he promised himself. It’s just not worth it. Never was. Foolish, inane,  conversations, with forgettable, ridiculous people he hardly knew or cared for. False camaraderie and human closeness. A brief interlude from an empty life. The paranoia as usual was ever present, greatly exaggerated by the copious amounts of alcohol.

His memory was patchy of the previous few days. Unsure how long it had being this time. One evening, a few days, or maybe a week or two. He knew the gaps in his memory would eventually be filed. He made his way to the bathroom, unsteady on his feet, tripping over en route. The bloodstained light coloured carpet, of little surprise to him. His bloodied hands, unexpected. Through bloodshot eyes, he glanced at his face in the low lit bathroom mirror. Sickened, and angry at his own inability to control his addiction. He quickly looked away. Dried blood on the newly scratched scars on his face and neck. He slapped himself hard about the face, encouraging this dream to end. He threw water on his face, to awaken his consciousness.

He again checked himself in the bathroom mirror. Still the bloodied facial scars. He looked at his hands. His body was tense, and tightly held. His fists clenched. Swollen veins protruding through his muscular arms. His once lean and trim torso now beginning to show the signs of alcohol abuse. The unsightly swollen area covering his liver. His stomach losing its muscular definition. He watched himself, through narrow, piercing, angry eyes, the veins throbbing either side of his head in the bathroom mirror. How had his life come to this, he asked himself.

Snippets’ of angry words, surfaced in his memory. Screaming, tearful, hysterical and  pleading. Thoughts and a determination to avenge her disrespect. She would be made to pay. He would see her weep, and be distraught, and only then would he be at peace. He would take from her, what she had taken from him. He swaggered from the bathroom like the wealthy, powerful successful man he was. He had not finished with her yet.

‘Come here’, he demanded. ‘I want to speak to you’. His loud voice vibrating around the house.

He roughly opened the bedroom closest to him, and slammed it closed loudly when he found it empty. In his disoriented hung over state he found it hard to navigate his own home. Doors appearing where they did not belong. Rooms not where they should be.
Like a savage beast intent of finding sustenance, he marauded around the first floor of the house. Again he tripped over it, on the way back to his room. This time switching on the landing light. He looked down at the bare leg protruding from the door, and followed its shape as he pushed open the door to the room. The cream coloured silken nightgown that covered the body, was torn, ripped. Drifting in and out of consciousness, she moaned softly. The bloodied nose, bruised ayes, matted hair, she lay at an awkward, unattractive angle.
He did not recognize her at all. Cursed himself quietly for drinking so much. He searched his mind for recollections, which were not forthcoming. The light from the landing illuminating the scene before him. The upturned chairs, clothes scattered untidily on the floor. The overturned, broken child’s cot. The non moving, non breathing form on the floor. He moved towards the child’s form on the floor, noting the blood matted hair on the back its head. Turned it over, and recoiled from the slightly tinged small blue face, and obviously broken bones in its jaw line. Congealed blood visible under the innocent skin. Thankful it was not his child, but also fearful and afraid.
His breathing now rapid, heartbeat thumping hard in his chest. Perspiration forming on his forehead, back and above his lip. Images of police officers. Court cases, vile newspaper headlines. Prison, for ever.
Standing up, now energized with the adrenaline pumping through his body, his legs shaking. His mind screaming and begging for it not to be so.
He quickly returned to the bedroom from where he came, slipped on his crumpled jeans, and a white t-sheet. Searched underneath the bed for his shoes, and ran down the stairs and out of the house at speed, leaving the front door open. Into the still dark early morning, he ran. Along, somewhat now familiar streets. The shock helping to clear his mind. He ran as fast as he could, as far as he could. Pass the other detached houses. Down the tree lined streets, with the expensive cars outside. In the early morning, birdsong echoed softly.
He could not find his way out of the large, select cul-de sac, passing the same properties, again and again. He stopped outside a detached house, exhausted after his intense running, breathing hard. That dark Mercedes looked quiet familiar, with the sticker from the French holiday campsite on the trunk. He moved closer toward the car in the driveway, the gravel crunching under his feet. Peered into the backseat, at the two property magazines laying there. Further examined the the front passenger seat, and the child seat, with the recognizable rag doll toy, resting on it. The security light from the house, activated by his movement, illuminated the area.

She opened the front door quietly, and peered out. Recognizing his, rather disheveled appearance, she marched out in anger. In the cold morning air, her breath was visible, as she moved closer to him. Her baby daughter on her hip, crying loudly. He continued to peer into the front seat of the car, leaning on the car roof for support. Breathing hard, and gently weeping. Thankful some memory was returning.
She moved closer to where he was leaning on the car, and glared and him, taking him in fully.

‘What have you done’, she snapped at him. More an accusation, then a question.

Her face contorted into an ugly combination of anger, disgust and fear, so close to his. Her screams were loud, piercing, in the quietness of the early morning.

‘What have you done’, again, she screamed.

‘Look at your hands, look at your hands. They are covered in blood’.

 

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Written in response to writing prompt : ‘Trying to make sense of the events of last night’.

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Freedom.

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Photo by Nicolae Rosu on Unsplash

‘Go on, if you can dream it, you can do it.’
‘Don’t be so ridiculous, is that a quote from  your latest self help book.’

‘I’m only trying to be supportive on your endeavors and ambitions.’
‘Well that may be so, but save your silly positive incantations for someone who may actually be damn well interested in them’.

Another nail in her heart. Another tearing down of the relationship that was once warm and loving, but now was nothing of the sort.
She was just too nice, too pleasant. Too gentle. He had grown quiet tired of her ceaseless positivity, never ending support. The way she looked. The way she dressed. Her attitudes. Her character. Just totally sick and tired of her. A change was badly needed. Fresh blood, a new interaction. An energetic shift.

‘I’m going out for a while, no need to wait up.’

She sat alone in the darkened living room, watching but not really seeing the images flickering on the TV screen. She began to question in her mind, just what in Gods name she had to do, to make this relationship work. What she wanted most in life was a peaceful, tranquil, loving relationship. To be happy. To be in love, and be loved in return. But this was not happening for sure. She was very giving of her support, her love, her physicality, her warmth, her everything. Yet it now never seemed enough to satisfy him. She really did not want to leave him, but the never ending nastiness, caustic, cutting remarks about her weight, her looks, her abilities, her aspirations, her career. Were just becoming too much. Thoughts of suicide crossed her mind from time to time, but she had resisted up to now. Although he had encouraged her in that regard, reminding her, many times, helpfully, that no one really liked her. That she had no friends, and that she would not be missed if she decided upon that avenue. Her life, her relationship was causing her way too much unhappiness and despair. How soon would it be before his anger turned to physical violence, and would she accept that also. All in her search for the loving relationship she was seeking. She tried to understand why she was afraid to leave him. Was it, that after soo many years of verbal jibes, the cutting, destructive remarks, she no longer had the psychological strength to believe she could ever be attractive, or a worthwhile partner to any other man. He had told her on many occasions, that no other man would ever want her. After hearing such words over and ever again, she had come to believe them. To say he was a toxic individual, would be an understatement. In her occasional lighter moments she laughed silently as she concluded how he could keep psycharisitics busy for years. But those moments were few and far between.

Even those still close to her had seen, and some had commented on the change. Her family had asked her many times, how things were with him. Fine she lied. But they could see her spirit was being drained, and she was a shadow of her former self. The few girlfriends she meet secretly, so as not to anger him, could see and sense her unhappiness. But she denied it all, even to herself. Her self esteem lowered, to nearly none existent levels. Her once high self assurance disappearing bit by bit. Every day, she died a little. Day by day, under the, if not daily, but fairly regular verbal assaults. Words uttered under the guise of humour, banter, and sarcasm. But words that had a deeper, more nasty intent. Designed to hurt and destroy. To undermine and tear down. Ever fearful of another day living with him. She had tried speaking to him, but he just quickly cut her down any such communication. At this stage she was no more than a nobody. Someone who provided him with sexual release. Now an empty a pointless experience for her, which she dreaded. Devoid of love, warmth and compassion. She was more than happy when it was over, glad when he no longer touched her body,

She did not want to go back to them, but now it seemed like her only option. She wanted to move away from that lifestyle. She wanted to play life on a level playing field, with no extra advantage, and succeed by her own means, without help from them.
The cat, sensing her despair, moved from its resting place in the corner of the room, and jumped up onto her lap. The animal moved its body closer to her face, as if she wanted to embrace and comfort her. She lamely smiled and put the cat in her lap, and stroked it nonchalantly. She slowly drifted off to sleep, as the animal keep her company.

In the noisy atmosphere of the pub, the discordant music thumped loudly from the speakers. The heaving crowd moved as one to the music. Strangers bodies entangled like long term lovers. This to him was more like it. Action and energy with people not so full of love. Glad to be out of the damn house. People with a rough edge. These were the people he wanted to be around. He held the glass of beer in front of him, as he too moved to the music. Watching from the sidelines. The tight leather jackets. Some dressed in Pvc clothing. Sexual in nature.
She came and stood beside him, and brazenly asked him for a cigarette. Dark black hair, dark, black clothing, and heavy boots. With light white make up, and heavy dark eye shadow, and red lipstick, that covered her full lips. She smiled, revealing her perfectly set teeth. He took note of her body, thankful for her revealing, tight fitting clothing. He approved of her look, and offered her a cigarette.
She took the cigarette, letting her hand linger on his, and smiled. It was clear she was as attracted to him, as he was to her. He looked into her wide eyes, and she held his gaze. Just something about her confidence, made her even more attractive. He studied her lips, and moved closer. His confidence boosted by the alcohol, with no words, he moved his lips to hers. She responded. Her lips were as soft and tasteful as he had imagined. He moved his hips to hers. They stood together as one, while the music thumped loudly, they began to gyrate to the beat.

After a short time, after they both ingested more alcohol, which was effecting his vision and stability, unusual for him.
‘Come, lets go from this place’, she demanded.
‘Where to ?’
‘Come with me’. Her voice was loud, and commanding.

In the cold evening night, as other revellers noisily made their way from one drinking establishment to another, she hailed a black cab. She quietly gave the address to the driver, and helped him into the back seat. In the rain sodden night, the cab mad its way to the suburbs. He sat close to her and breathed in her scent. His imagination firing up, about the night to follow. He smiled in anticipation. Somewhat troubled by increasing sense of disorientation. But he comforted himself by expecting it to clear up once out in the fresh air.

The others began to gather in the dilapidated church. Quiet, muted murmurings barely hiding the building excitement. To any outsider, they looked so ordinary, dressed in their day to day clothing. Housewives, elderly people. Doctors, Businessmen, Consultants. But as they donned their dark robes, and began to decorate the large black altar, with the pentagram, chalice, the elements of the earth, wind, ocean and fire, and the unlit candles. The horned skeletal head. Representing the demons worshiped. An opening to that gateway. They no longer seemed innocent. Now, way more sinister.
It had being some time. But she was a good hunter, and the high priestess always knew she could be relied upon to do what was required. The black cab dropped them outside the padlocked gates of the dilapidated and run down church. The city lights, of the vast metropolis looked so inviting, from the elevated area overlooking it. She took his drunken head in her hands and gently kissed her lips. Pressing her taunt body again his, encouraging his speculation. Taking his hand, she guided him towards the church.

‘Come’, she said softy, enticing him.

He smiled foolishly, and followed her through the rusted gates, she opened with ease. From the outside, the church was covered in brambles and leaves, much of the stone work was broken and cracked. The church was darkened within. Up the gravel path they went together, she linking his arms, as he struggled to steady himself. Slightly irritated he was unable to clear his head. Agin he glanced at her well defined body, and his excitement grew. She pushed at the large oak door, that gave way easily enough. Slowly it opened, creaking as it did so. The church was empty. Dark and cold. She took his hand and lead him into the foyer cold stone paving and dark wood panelled interior, empty. They moved through a second door, into the confines of the church.

The door behind him, shut rapidly, loudly and with some force. Once inside, she broke contact with his hand, and moved to stand by the high priestess. Tall and also dressed in black. They embraced each other, and kissed each other softly on the lips. He stood, dumbfounded and watched the scene unfold before him. Rapidly coming to his senses. His disorientation now replaced by a thumping heart, shaking legs and a real sense of dread. The large number of participants busily going about what they were doing, dressed in dark robes. The dim interior, lit by large candle’s. The palatable sense of excitement, of the robed congregation. He watched in some disbelief, as bramble and broken trees were piled high, in front of the black altar. He turned away and towards the door he had entered.
The high priestess laughed as she raised her hand, and pulled him back energetically from his possible escape. She weaved her hand, as she manipulated the energy that existed between them, to forbid his escape. He danced like a pupet in response to her manipulations. She pointed her hand towards the floor, and he sank immediately to his knees, as her forceful evil energy controlled his. To ensure compliance, she formed her hand into a v shape, between thumb and index finger, held it out in front of her, and brought the fingers closely together. He grasped at his throat, trying to release the energetic pressure that was crushing his windpipe, and smothering him. She released her energy, as he fell to the floor, holding his throat. Again she laughed.

At last they had finished building the pyre, and took their seats. The chanting began. Low, monotone, but hypnotic in its flow. He was brought, struggling to stand in front of the pyre. The High Priestess stood beside him, and began to recite in Latin. Her voice took on a deep, almost manly, demonic tone. Rasping and frightening in its intensity.  She then turned to him, and spoke again in latin. The attractive woman he had met in the music pub hours earlier, translated for him.

‘Our sister has called out to the heavens, in her hour of need. She may not have wanted this, but she is one of us, and will always be. It is our belief that you must make reparations for your cruelty. We offer you as a live sacrifice to feed the demons who rule our lives, as we bow down before them, and worship them’.

The chanting became louder, rasing in volume. Reaching towards a crescendo. The perspiration began to stream down his forehead, and his back. His heart palpitating at an enormous speed. His breathing, fitful, and hard to catch. Roughly he was taken to the stretcher that lay on top of the pyre, and tied to it, with old ragged, but strong rope. He struggled as the briars and brambles beneath him were set alight. Quickly the blue and yellow flames rose up the wooden pyramid temple that held him.
She awoke many hours later, the cat having long left her lap. Now securely resting in its basket on the other side f the living room. The shone shone brightly through the light curtains, that covered the living room window. Something was different, she could sense it, or perhaps it was just the result of a good nights sleep.
But she felt clearer and more energized than she had in a long time. More light and free. With all this good energy running round her, she could not stay still and had to dissipate it some how. She set about cleaning the house from top to bottom. Not something she had done for queit some time. Happily she began to prepare dinner for her she and her partner, hoping for a better day. She knocked on the bedroom door, when the food was ready.

Written in response to a photo prompt seen here : https://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/

Go Now.

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Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

Another night of drunken fighting
Can we not let some light in
Accusations and castigation’s
That don’t amount to much

Why can’t we be at peace
Why can’t all this fighting and upset cease
Will it be like this for ever more

Do you remember what you said last night
It hurt, I’m wounded, its still rumbling round inside my head
Do you even remember, can you even recall
Beating my bloodied head against the bathroom wall

I hate you now, you damn fool
I ain’t in no mood to forgive and forget
Take your belongings and get out of my head, my life
Go, cease and desist, you’ll be little missed

I curse you, never forgive you, with all of my might.

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Written in response to a writing prompt, from my newly enrolled creative writing group. The prompt being : ‘trying to piece together the night’s events’.

 

 

Gambling Losses.

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Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/en/las-vegas-night-time-neon-lights-599840/

Gambling losses, making me right cross
I won a stack of cash the other week, thinking my luck was in
I kept upping the stake I was using, hoping for a bigger win
It did not take long for that same sorry song to appear
I watched in despair as my bank went all the way down to zero

I could not help myself, it was like I was possessed
I could not put that cash back in fast enough
Now I am stuck and skint
In a city I don’t want to be, cant even afford a writing class
A swim in the pool, not available with my financial agenda
Sports classes or nothing, this what life is like currently
Human contact and interaction is missing, and that’s bloody hard

But I’m glad it happened, cause psychological pain such as this
Is hard
Because the riches I was expecting have gone amiss
Events such as this are really teaching me a lesson here
That the riches I desire and seek, are not going to emanate from the casinos
I visit week after week

I have said to myself, that’s the finish of it now
That’s a line I will no longer cross
This kind of nonsense has just got to stop
This is a period of time I will not forget
The futility and pointlessness of believing gambling
Will sort you out, once and for all
Financial stresses diminished
Wealth and riches by your door, don’t you believe it, mate
You’ll soon get to know the score

The only people making money from gambling are the people running such ventures
In my view they are nothing more than criminals, who prey on lonely, unhappy people
They who are seeking some respite, and hoping for a better life
But the odds are so tilted in there favour, those of us drawn in, have little chance of a win
As the owners swan around in there fancy cars, and live it up in hotels with five stars
While we the fools, who play by the rules, believing we have even a chance of a win
Are only adding to their wealth

For those others, afflicted with this addiction, I hope you too, soon see the light
Hit your rock bottom with all of your might
Then you perhaps you too can see the futility of gambling
That it will never lead you to where you think it will be
It only leads down that road of anger and despair
That will be familiar to the many who gamble to excess
Hopefully the pain of gambling and continually losing, will soon put you right.