The Beach.

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Photo Credit : https://unsplash.com/@venegas?photo=OhIfU2AczOg

She had threatened long enough, although no one had believed her. Just a call for attention. Nothing more, nothing less. they had decided. An old womans empty, and at times, humorous threats.
But obviously beneath the humour, there was hurt, and distress. No one had bothered to investigate. Everyone busy with their own lives. There careers, children, and business. Had someone actually taken the damn time to sit down with her, and sincerely ask her, what life was like for her. Had they show  more consideration and kindness, and maybe spent more time with an old lonely woman, life would have turned out differently. Perhaps many would have spent more time with her, aside from the one solidary visit a week, for the Sunday lunch. Nobody considering how the rest of the week was for her.
It was of course, too late now. The chance had disappeared. She lived for the weekends, and the once weekly visit from her children, and newly born grandchildren. Laughter and energy and happy voices once filled her household, just as it had been, when her own children were grown up. But there were always strains between her and her grown up, and now adult children. Did they really like each other , as people. Would they actually want to spend time in each other’s company, were they not related.

Some had taken sides, when the separation from her husband was first enacted, and then the divorce. Allegations and counter allegations flew between the two parties, and none of it pretty. Lies, distrust, and anger followed. Made up stories of abuse, and cruelty that may, or may not have had a grain of truth in them. Loyalty and kindness to her children, soon forgotten and dismissed by them, as they took the side of her husband.

The final straw for her, was the cessation of contact with her children, who were convinced by her husband, that she was the villain in all of this. That and the denial of access to her grandchildren, that she had helped care for, soon after they were born. No viable reasons given. All the love, kindness, and generosity she had shown them, and their Mother, her daughter, throughout the years. Amounted to nothing, it seemed. Kindness granted, soon forgotten.

It was that dull overcast November afternoon, that she headed to the isolated beach alone. With the tablets to hand, and a last small bottle of whiskey to encourage her bravery, she laid her reading glasses in the sand, and headed towards the ocean, and into the cold, uninviting waves. The mixture of the tablets and whiskey having the desired effect. As she stumbled and swayed, as she walked toward the sea. Her vision blurred slightly, and  feeling quiet light-headed. As a non swimmer she struggled and panicked at first, as the powerful waves, did with her as they wished. The whiskey and tablets helped to quell her rising fears, somewhat. The waves, and weight of her own clothing soon pulled her out and down, to the ocean bed, where she waited for God to take her.
In the cold, dark church, the priest stood at the lectern, gazing upon the congregation of mourners. Having conducted most of the formal ceremony, he could no longer hold himself back. Behind him the magnificent altar, towering upward. To him, they were nothing but hypocrites. He was well aware of the family history, having had been closely and connected to them for years. From births to marriages, to baptisms and confessions. He had heard and seen it all. They were here in this place of worship now to mourn her, with their crocodile tears, and false sadness.

The priest gripped both ends of the lectern tightly. His face thunder red, and perspiring. ‘What does it mean, to mourn someone when they have died. It means very little when you showed them little kindness or understanding when they were alive”. He spoke slowly and loudly. The anger and frustration plainly obvious in his tone. Her children shifted uncomfortably in their seats, as did her former husband. One or two loosening their shirts collars. The females fanning themselves with whatever was to hand. One or two members of her family gazed quietly at the floor.
‘I have very little time for hypocrites like you people, I want you to leave this church now. Get out of my sight. I am sick of the lot of you. Go, and may God have mercy on your black souls. Get out, go’, his voice rising to a crescendo. His booming voice reverberating throughout the silent church. The congregation left the church as directed, for the most part, with their heads held low. In the sacristy as the priest changed from the formal clothing of the funeral mass, he gazed out onto the cold uninviting waves of the ocean, under the dull grey November sky.

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

The Message.

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Photo by Milos Tonchevski on Unsplash

It was the loneliness that drove her to join them. She never was one for joining groups, but had tired of being alone, always on her own. Since they had split. It was hard. When he was by her side, it was the two of them versus the world. But not now.
The world seemed a colder place, a less friendly place, and harder to deal with, when alone. No one to share with, no one to offer comfort, when life got hard, as it does for everyone. They offered comfort, companionship and a sense of belonging. She was told and understood there would be tests and initiation ceremonies, if she wanted to become one of them. But she was not expecting this. Silly teenage dares, she would welcome. Childish pranks, yes. Teasing would be boyfriends, okay. But these tests were becoming more and more bizarre and serious.

She had been driving for hours as instructed, and eventually pulled of the road to a secluded area, where she could at last open the tome and read the latest message in absolute privacy. She switched off the car engine. In the warm late evening sunshine, with only the sounds of the departing birds in the distance,she faced east, as per the ritual,and picked up a small twig. Drew a pentagram in the dry earth. She lit two black candles and placed them either side of the pentagram, and stood back. Reciting the mantra she had learned she let her voice vibrate from the depths of her body, through her throat and outward into the universe, sounding like some possessed evil spirit. She asked the Goddess to come into her life and bestow her wisdom and knowledge. She asked Lucifer, the most evil of all to come into her life and help her carry out what she was instructed to do.
Again she read the instructions, more carefully this time. She did not wish to dwell too deeply on the possible consequences. Best just do it, and let what will be, will be, she decided. Sitting in front of the pentagram she began to chant softly at first, feeling quiet inhibited. But she forced herself to chant the latin words written in the message louder and louder, and she stared at the pentagram and at the burning black candles, willing them to conjure up an image, a sense of a presence, a change in the atmosphere, a coldness perhaps. Anything to convince her, the ritual, the summoning of the evil spirits was working. But nothing. But she was told, at times during such rituals she may not feel or sense anything out of the ordinary. But to have faith that once these spirits were called, they were come to do her bidding. With the ritual complete, she put away the candles, and pushed some dry earth over the image of the pentagram.
She began her journey, guessing it would take her approx two hours to get their. Plenty of time to think, to back out, and change her mind. But then she thought of the consequences. Of the possibility of being expelled from the group, and back into an empty lonely lifestyle. The prospect of such did not appeal. Who wants to be all alone during the summer months when everyone is out and about enjoying themselves. Add to that the less than pleasant possibility of being haunted by the evil spirits she knew the group could send into her life, if they so desired.
Her phone jangled with an incoming message. She reached down, having an idea who it was from, and flipped on the screen. He just stood there staring, why did he not move. The black eyes glaring at her,unblinking. The head slightly bent stubbornly. The horns sharpened like spears. She looked up from the phone to the angry, contorted face in front of the car, and screamed. Her heart beating very fast. The butterflies in her stomach flying like crazy. Her legs began to shake uncontrollably , as the adrenaline surged through her body. She hit the brakes as hard as she could, but he just stood there, refusing to move. Why would he not move. His hooves digging at the earth in defiance. She struggled with the steering wheel, and managed to turn away, but too late. The horns broke through her side window. The sound of smashing glass. The impact throwing her across the front seats.

In the silence,she tasted the blood running from her mouth, and felt the cold hardness of the gear stick protruding slightly through her ribs. Looking through the windscreen, she watched a black raven standing on the car bonnet watching her. After a few moments, satisfied. The black raven flew into the night sky, and away……

Written in response to a photo prompt seen her ;  (http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/

Change….

‘ Why oh why cant you be the way I want you to be. Why cant you be different. You are not what I want in a woman, in a love partner ‘. That was it, he had said it out. All those thoughts that for weeks on end had been going round and round his head. She sat back on the couch devastated. He couldn’t look at her now. They both stared at the Television replaying some old black and white gangster movie from the ’50’s. Watching but not really seeing.

She began to weep, as he had expected. But reminded himself to stay strong, as he had seen it all before. The free flowing tears would soon subside, to be replaced, he guessed by silence, then anger. Possibly the begging and pleading would follow. Asking for another chance, an opportunity to change. To turn into the woman he wanted her to be. But enough was enough, he had decided. Never again would he get caught up with an unsuitable, incompatible partner. Next time, were their a next time, he would listen to what his intuition was screaming at him, ‘She’s the wrong choice’, was the message that was coming through loud and clear,but it was the message,out of loneliness and isolation
that he choose to ignore.
He had enough of the arguments, the disagreements. The throwing of dishes, the screaming, shouting and tears. The beginnings of her increasing physical violence towards him. Borne out of her frustration with a relationship between two incompatible people. The mis-matched sexual appetites, and attitudes. The different views of what was important and what mattered in a relationship.

‘ Enough is enough, and I want out, and that’s what’s happening here, I’m gone ‘.

Her tears, and wailing increased. Then the anger and accusations of using her just for sex. Untrue of course. He reached down and picked up the few belongings he had thrown into the small travel bag, took one last glance at the TV and at her weeping on the couch, and made his break for freedom, determined never to step back into such a wasteful relationship again.

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

The Festival.

Festival

https://unsplash.com/@jplenio?photo=nfXO_z_a8E

The  dirty and disheveled yellow VW camper van made its way toward the inviting, orange and blue horizon. It had seen better days for sure. But it had served them well, with many years of trusted service. This was to be their last festival, they could not be hippies forever. Time had come to pack it all in.
                        Even their grandchildren were getting embarrassed and ashamed by them. What about if they had meet their own grandparents, horror of horrors, attending the same music festival. Livid just about covered her feelings. The jutting jaw, her back turned against him. Thankfully the shouting had stopped,the huffed loud breathing, also at a much lower volume now. Like a child, she must had exhausted herself, he concluded. They hadn’t spoken for hours. He silently driving the van, still wearing that silly white straw hat, nearly as old as he was, covering his longish white hair. The black waistcoat, the cheese cloth shirt, and the grandfather glasses, no other words for them. The old denim jeans. Add to that the beads, a permanent fixture around his neck. Fitting perfectly the image of an aging hippy.
           She steadfastly refusing to even look at him. Instead she choose to look out the passenger window, out onto the wide open green fields. The wide evening sky so warm, so inviting. The few large trees decorating the open landscape. She wrapped herself in her favorite red Indian blanket. Took the moccasins off her feet, and held her knees close to her chest.
   Not Buddhism nor meditation, massage, reiki you name it, nothing was working to cool her ardour. How dare he suggest to her, that their time on the road was to come to an and. All the wonderful cities, countries they had visited. The friends they made. All that was to come to an end. Their time as travellers was to come to an end. That the time had come to conform, to settle down. To her this was the deepest form of betrayal. Treachery of the highest order, from her soul mate. She didn’t even want to contemplate how much she had sacrificed for him throughout the years. Give it all up, to live an ordinary life. This to her was a normal life. This to her was proper living. She held her knees tightly against her chest, wishing hard for sleep. At least that would offer some form of escape from this situation. But sleep was not forthcoming. She knew from many years experience, that once he made his mind up, over an issue. That was it. There would be no changing it.

Her mind wandered back to when they first met all those years ago. At her first ever festival, how she was so taken with the tall, slim long haired man, with the denim waistcoat, and mischievous grin, who had offered her shelter in the rain. How she so happy to have found a genuine soul mate, to travel through this life together. But now….her body held tight, the anger like a fire, running round her body looking for an escape. She had always found it hard to express her feelings to others. Preferring instead to let the feelings build up, and fester within her body and soul. It was the way she had learned as a child, that what she felt amounted to little or no interest to others. Because nobody cared. The seething angry energy, having now reached its zenith, searched for an escape. Propelled by the  red hot energy racing around her body, screaming, she kicked at the passenger window, in a vain attempt to break the glass. But her small feet just bounced off the toughened surface. She quickly turned to the dashboard, where he had left his pipe, tobacco and old small broken rusty knife. He saw her plan, and took one hand from the steering wheel, and wrestled her for the knife. But her two hands, and anger were stronger than he. Grabbing the knife, she ran it along the inside of her left arm, from the fold of her wrist towards the crock of the elbow, and pushed it hard into her soft skin. It took much pressure to break her skin. Her face red, and perspiring slightly, her mouth open showing her clenched perfectly formed teeth, her breathing heavy and fast. At last the skin broke and the rusty knife entered. The veins, and cartilage easily giving way to the pressure. She ran the knife repeatedly along the same track.
                     As the knife ran, deep and hard, along her soft tissues, the blood flowed. Her breathing became soft. Her jaw loosened. Her shoulders eased and released the tension they held. It was always the way for her, the buildup of anger and frustration,the self harm, then the physical release of the tension. A way to sooth her soul,and ease her mind. Always worked. Sleep coming to her easily now, as she released her grip on the rusty knife which fell to the floor.
     He watched her. Slowly bringing the camper van to a stop. It was the noise first, the crashing of metal upon metal, then the shattered glass. The steering wheel being pushed hard against his chest, making it difficult to breathe. The sensation of going backwards at speed as the large truck struggled to stop. With the dirty yellow VW camper van, now a tangled mess of metal, and on it’s side. Through the shattered glass, she looked again at the orange and blue sky. In the silence, it was so warm, and inviting……

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

The Watcher….

Coffe shop

He watched them through the coffee shop window. Envy and anger carousing through his veins. Not even trying to hide his anger. It was more than evident through his piercing hate filled eyes,the tightly held hands. Perhaps he should not have followed,but he had to know. For his own satisfaction.
                          The passing traffic all a blur,as he watched them intently. The more they laughed together the more the chemical concoction in his stomach began to engage. The butterflies released,the rapid,gruff shallow breathing. The heartbeat growing quicker,harder,louder in his chest. The more they moved physically closer together,the more he wanted to run from his viewing position,and attack them violently. His jaw beginning to clench tightly. The waitress behind the counter eyed him with fear,from her position. She knew from experience when to steer clear of customers and when to approach. She decided to wait until he was gone,to clear tables in that area of the shop.

                           He glanced down at the most recent tattoo on his forearm,what a waste was his conclusion. ’Together Forever’,there two names enshrined inside a heart,shot through with an arrow. I don’t think so.Perhaps another tattoo may appear soon,how about ,’Dead Soon’,or ‘Betrayed and Devastated’,and an open coffin,and a knife dripping with blood. Yeah,that would seem so much more suitable,and honest. The piped music of the coffee shop,barely breaking his consciousness today. The banging and clanking of other customers cups,and plates,there inane chatter,hardly irritating him today,as they usually would have done. His mind was in a calculating revengeful mode. Inflicting human pain on another was where his mind was at. Psychological,physical pain. The desire to scar,to burn,to injure another. The way he was burning,and scared,wounded from the betrayal,and treachery unfolding before him.

                         Loyalty,honesty,being open. How they had spoken,and agreed of the importance of these characteristics in a lover. He was so happy to have found another who shared his beliefs and values. This was his first time being with another man. He had tried long and hard to hide  his true sexuality from himself,with alcohol,illicit drugs,one night stands with willing,drunken loose women. But they meant little to him,although he had become fond of some of these women,but deep down,he knew what he was.
               He had given his heart,his soul,and it was taken greedily by that older and much more experienced man,he of the religious order. The man he had turned to for spiritual guidance to sooth his troubled mind. Trying to understand his thoughts,feelings,the strange sexual desires he had fantasied about,in the privacy of his own mind. In the darkness of the night,which had at times sickened and disgusted him. He had turned to the Church,where else would a good Catholic boy turn to. Suicide was off the agenda. He wanted revenge,to hurt,to destroy another. He briefly considered embarking on an affair of his own,but concluded that his partner,now soon to be ex partner,seemed too hardened and callous to be affected to much degree by such an action.

                                                           He considered reporting the priest to the religious hierarchy,or to the Police. He was,after all still considered a child in the eyes of the law. Or to the newspapers. But events such as these were no longer the scandalous incidents they once were. He was aware at times how dismissive,and disbelieving the Police were of such events. How uncaring,and disinterested that God’s,so called representatives on earth could be.
      He reached into his pocket searching for them. Relieved to find he still had them,he rubbed the plastic packet containing the small white tablets between his fingers. So glad now he had not disposed of them. At least they would not be wasted. He would watch with pleasure and interest as they took effect on his partner later that evening. That non smoking,teetotaler,that fitness freak.
                       When his mind and body had being overtaken by the effects of the illicit tablets,well he was  anybody’s really.  To do with as they wished……….

 

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

Was she floating or dreaming……

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https://unsplash.com/@chrisjoelcampbell?photo=Cp-LUHPRpWM

Was she floating or dreaming.Sinking or swimming. Whatever it was it felt good.The freedom,the weightlessness,the silence.The aloneness and isolation.So good to be free.Away from him.The very idea of going back,or ever seeing his face again.Too much to even contemplate.As her body slowly made its way to the murky bottom of the lake,all she could think of was the freedom she had gained.She could hear the faint sounds of people calling her name above her,as her friends and family and others searched in vain.

                      Wondering what it was like to die,and where she was headed. Those were the questions that now filled her mind.She was afraid,but also curious.Sad to have left her children to fend for themselves,or at the hands of the state.But satisfied that at least she had set him on his way to the next world.She suspected and hoped he would find a warm welcome in the fires of hell.His cruelty so devastating to her and her children.But now they would all be free of the tyrant.
                        She could not face the years of incarceration that would being her future had she lived.Trapped behind bars forever.But here in the murky waters of the lake,she was at last free.
                   To take her final journey to wherever that would be……….

Is it done,am I free
Am I dead,with so much left unsaid
I love my children,but I have set them free
So they can be,what they will be
No more will he abuse,knock them down,and call them fools
No more will they be fearful,of his cruel and callous ways
How he blackmailed us with his financial prowess on oh so many days
I’m glad that he is gone,for we are safe now,no more tears to shed
My children can safely lie in there beds,with no more fear or dread

Although I am not with you now,nor ever will be again
Be certain I will always watch over you in whichever way I can
I don’t know where I’m going,or what will lie ahead
But this is what happens to a person when they are dead
I am afraid I tell no lie,but I’m also curious
But I’m hopeful your life will work out,the way you’d like it too
I could not face that prison term,trapped for evermore
Behind some solitary iron clad,steel and solid door

I did him in,maybe it is a sin,but maybe God will understand
This was not a nice,decent man,showing his family an honest hand
He was cruel,he was mean,he was nasty and unclean
He was brutal,a buffoon,a demon who was underhand
He was not in any way,qualified to be a family man
He should not have lived,it’s best he is dead
So that his cruelty and meanness is better left unsaid

I ask your forgiveness my children for what it is I have done,
I have taken away someones brother,some mothers son
But I have set you free my children to live a better life
Be not like your father,but be a better man
Don’t be that snake in the grass,don’t be so underhand
Lift people up with the kindness of your words,and be an honest man
Please understand I could take no more,of his cruel,brutal ways
Don’t be angry with me,the way I left this life.Cant you see I’m happy now
I’m free,maybe one day you will understand
Be free my children and live a happy life
As I will watch over,and love you,each and every night.

This was written in response to a photo prompt seen here :
http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/

Never Settle…..

Never Settle

Never settle,you can do better,anybody can tell you that
He ain’t no good,she could be better looking
How can they even say that
But what do they know of my life,as it is
These people offering such sage wisdom and advice

What gives them the right to interfere in my life
As they do so night after night
I don’t want your damn advice,so keep it wrapped up real tight
In that small little mind of yours,I’d really,really love to clamp in a vice
My God you drive me insane,and your such a drain

I mean for goodness sake,I’m just saying
Go mind you own,and live your own life
Not be so interfering,causing other people such strife
I gotta get away from you,and others of your ilk
Those who pontificate,and castigate,I’d love to wrap up in silk
Post them off to outer space,so I can have some peace

I don’t cast my views on people and the lives they are living
I don’t want that foolish advise,that your determined to keep on giving
Go away and leave me be,so I can find peace of mind
Get a life of your own,and leave me alone
Or one of these days,you may find you don’t exist no more
Done and dusted,with a little help and out the door

So you take care now,but don’t you people dare now
Come offering unwanted advice,at all times of the day and night
Regarding what you believe is right for my life
And what it is that I should settle for.

This poem is a response to a photo prompt seen here : http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/