Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash


‘ Try it again’,  the anger and panic  more than perceptible  than ever.
‘ Some one has got to be out there listening ‘.

‘ Their is no response Sir’.
‘ Goddamn, they ain’t gonna leave up here, and not care ‘.

‘ I don’t know Sir ‘.

As the space capsule traveled into infinity, and the vast mystery of the universe
he gripped the balcony rail very tightly. At least no one could see his physical tension.
When this happened in ‘ Star Trek ‘ and similar TV programs, of his youth, it was a fantasy, everybody knew that. But this was real.

‘ Try it again’,  he so wanted to swear, to express his anger and frustration. His fear and panic. But he was after all the Captain of the mission. The person in charge. He had a certain standing to uphold. A certain dignity. A sense of control. Were he to show his fear and panic, what was the likelihood of the young inexperienced crew remaining calm and measured. Very little, and he knew that. If ever he needed his acting capabilities, it was now. If ever he needed to put on a show, it was now.

‘ Okay, let us set a course for Planet Interstellar no.9. I believe the food and entertainment is pretty good there’, trying to interject some humour, and a sense of being on control, and to ease the palatable tension on the cockpit. A few of the others laughed. He glanced round the cockpit, and noted the wide eyed fear of the young crew. Fear is hard to hide. Anything to break the obvious tension and fear. What was that fear ? The very real fear, that perhaps they, and he would never, ever see there loved one’s again. Many believing rightly, that they were too young to die. Out here, in outer space.

‘ I’m gonna to retire to my cabin for some shut eye. Give me a call half an hour before we arrive ‘.

‘ Okay, will do’, the second in command replied.

In the privacy of his cabin, he knelt down beside his bunk, and called on God, or who ever is ruling the world and the universe.

‘ Please Lord, or whoever, help me now. I feel afraid, and don’t know what to do. Please show me the way. Shower me with your guidance an wisdom’. He demanded of the unseen Higher power, that seemingly rules the word, and our lives He waited for insight, for some type of revelation. Perhaps not the flashing lights, or the appearance of etheric figures, angels or whatever. But just some sign, that out there, in the whole, wide universe, that some God, some deity, some whatever, was listening. was willing to help. To offer assistance, to guide.

He was roused from the semi darkness of  his cabin, by the intercom, from the forward cockpit.

‘ Captain, we’ve had contact from base, and it’s not good. They maintain there is nothing they can do. That it’s out of their control. The President is due to contact us, within the next hour’.

‘ I don’t want to hear from the damn President, I want to hear from the people who can actually solve this issue, this catastrophe ‘. Finding it hard to control his loud voice and anger.. The reasons for their perdictemnet lay not with the crew around him, but with the people at the space agency on earth. It was of course a rhetorical question. Of course the crew, around him, had no answers.

As the space caspual speed towards the outer reaches of the universe and beyond. The Captain returned to the darkened cockpit, and assumed his position of command. The stars, the darkness zooming by the large fronted viewing platform. The silence of the nuclear powered engines, hiding their power and speed.

‘ You should have know better, than to take us on this course. You Knew it was untested, and unsafe’. The voice angry, bitter, and caustic. He did not need to guess who it belonged to. As it was well familiar to him.
He chose to ignore, and not respond to the verbal attack.

He reached for the ship wide intercom, and made his speech. A consoling, soothing helpful speech. At least in his view. He did reminded all of the crew, that it was their choice, initially to volunteer for the mission, and that they had been made well aware of the possibilities of failure, and disaster, and should they wish to go forward for the mission, it was totally their choice. Regardless of the consequences. It was what they had signed up for. He remained them, that they were pioneers, on their failed journey to Saturn, and the many that would follow in the coming years, would look back and thank them for the sacrifice they had made, and the knowledge that had imparted for their failed journey, and how much those that followed had learnt from their failure.

He further continued, they should be proud of what they had achieved, and what they had left behind, for other’s to follow. How proud, and sad, their loved one’s, and families would be of them. In the silence of the darkened cockpit, the young crew listened. Many sobbed, and wept.

‘ I don’t want to die, I’m too young. I have too much to achieve , too much of the world to see. To much to live for’. He searched the darkened cockpit, for a face to fit the lone frightened voice, and saw her young, pretty, but frightened face.

‘ Well it seem’s like, that it is not gonna be. We all are on this ship, heading towards God knows where. We have no control. Those at the base have no control, or, and perhaps don’t seem to really care. We are after all, expendable. That’s what we all signed up for. We all knew the risks.’

‘ I ask you now, to join me in prayer, or offer up to whatever God, or whatever you believe in, to look after you and keep you safe, on whats happen in the very near future, and to make your peace’.

In the darkness of the cockpit, the assembled  crew bowed their heads. Many sobbed, and prayed aloud, to the various different Gods and entities they believed in, and followed. Many were stoic, and silent.

As the space capsule, traveled at speed towards the darkness, and never-ending infinity of the outer reaches of the universe, it shook, and rocked, and vibrated strongly. Many of the crew held hands, smiled, wept and laughed. Mind, a hollow, empty laughter.

On earth, at the launch base, the operator tried again.

‘ I can only get static Sir’, he replied.


The Fool ?

Photo Credit :  Hunters Race on Unsplash

via Daily Prompt: Entertain

‘Well your the clown, and the fool. Why don’t you just go ahead and make me laugh, go on then, lets see what you can do’.
He looked out from the stage, but it was pointless. The blazing lights, blinding his view. He could feel his confidence physically draining from him, as the seconds ticked by. The loud aggressive voice, physically startled and unsettled him. His legs shock a little. His heart beat a touch louder and faster. His breathing became slightly more loud. The audience waited for his response, if he had one. Or could even think of one. Wishing now he had never taken on the challenge. Public speaking was bad enough, but trying to make people laugh. Drunken people, from all sorts of backgrounds and education levels. this was a whole other level of hell.
He looked to the side of the stage for some support, she raised her arms in bewilderment and submission. She had no answer either. This was unexpected and unwanted. A lone aggressive, caustic voice, somewhere out there in the darkness, determined to drag him down and make him look foolish.
But could this be yet another part of the test. The interview for this job was the most strange and bizarre he had yet come across. Hike’s and march’ s in the freezing  wilderness. Sharing of one’s most private moments in darkened forests, late into the night, with people he barely knew, nor wished to know.
A systematic tearing down of one’s ego, and sense of self, to be rebuilt into some type of cyborg, company man. Was this the game. Was all this really worth it. He knew it was quiet hard to get into the company. Many had tried, and few had succeeded, but the financial rewards and especially the prestige were what dragged him on. It had been three weeks since that first interview, in those swanky offices, downtown. Followed by a further two interviews, and then the evening out with possible future colleagues, to see if he was actually a company fit.
Nothing in his previous life had prepared him for this. Not all those practise interviews at university. That acting group he had joined, that had helped him become somewhat more confident and outgoing, and also where he had met her.
The more he interacted with his future colleagues, especially those in charge of these preliminarily training nights and events, the more he came to dislike them. Their arrogance, and self importance and, undeserved exaggerated self satisfaction. Everyone it seemed at that company, had ego’s the size of the moon, even the newly employed. All this for being involved in a profession that added little of real value to the world, and the people in it. With little care for the environment, for the animals. How their obsession and overwhelming desire for personal wealth and prestige, regardless of the consequences and negative impact on other’s. How they wanted to mold their future employees to be clones of each other, with no individuality whatsoever.
They spoke of President Trump, as the greatest man who ever lived. A true visionary. To them, he was a hero, nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps he had one or two psychological issues, that may have needed to be addressed. But that aside, he was a Godsend, at least to them.
The silence in the theatre was unbearable. He again looked to the side of the stage, and smiled at her, which she returned. He knew it could be the biggest mistake of his life, but he was clear. He put the microphone back onto the stand, and addressed the darkened auditorium.

‘ You know, I just can’t be bothered with all this rubbish. I don’t want a career, if you can call it that, in this profession. You contribute little of consequence, nor achieve much of any standing on the world stage. Your mostly self satisfied, egotistical nonentitie’s, and I want no part of it. You can take your imagined prestige, and fat salary, and put it you know where.’

The audience were silent, very few had reached this far of the interview stage to drop out. Assured they had another soul to mold, in any way they choose.

With that, he left the stage.

Not True.


Photo Credit : Hannah Wei on Unsplash


‘Did she really do it, I cannot believe it’.

In the dimly lit coffee shop, I strained to tune in to the interesting snippet of conversation, emanating from a nearby table, as I pretended to work hard on the laptop. The thesis I had being working on, had long since bored me. I had long since lost interest in. If I was bored with it, and I the author, it certainly was not going to win any awards, or be much interest to others, especially my stern and easy to  dislike english professor.
What I often wondered had even drawn him into academia, and the world of teaching, as it was more than obivious, he disliked his job with a vengeance. He disliked the students, even more. As for his work colleagues, he never had a good word to say about any of them. To himself, to his overburdened and worn out wife, who was many times, a forced reticent sounding board for all that was wrong with his life.
All his frustrations, irritations and annoyances. He may well have been an esteemed professor, praised and lauded for his outstanding work, and contributions to society. The recipient of many awards from the great and the good. From prestigious universities and organisations. His views and opinions sought by many, from media outlets to illustrious societies. But on a personnel level, he was nothing more than an immature, envious, and petty human being. Unhappy and dis-satisfied to the core. But he managed to hide it well from all but those who were closest to him.
Outwardly the surface level persona he projected was that of a well rounded individual, generous, scintillating conversationalist, gregarious, great fun. The way he interacted with others on the social circuit, those who only met him briefly, was very, very different from those who were forced to endure his less than pleasant personality on a regular basis. How any of the previous student of his managed to gain reasonable grades in their exams, with his continual sneering, critical comments of their work, was a complete mystery to me, and many others in my year. How he continued to actually be employed by University, was also a mystery. Well maybe not so, after all his small amount of fame, and very public pronouncements and media appearances, did bring a lot of good publicity to the University. Which in turn led to more student enrolments, and enquiries from pushy parents, and more money into the universities already full bank account.

The rattle of the cutlery, the noisy clacking of the cups and dishes, and the non stop gurgling and sloshing of the coffee maker, were making it quiet difficult to tune to the interesting conversation, of the nearby table. The background melodic jazz music, not helping my eavesdropping. As the conversation continued, I moved myself towards the edge of my table, along with my laptop, surreptitiously, and un-noticed hopefully, to get within earshot, of the increasingly interesting conversation. In any case it was a mild distraction from the dull and uninteresting thesis I was writing.
I briefly glanced at the two conversationalists. Slighty glamorous women, in their early forties. Bedecked with expensive discreet gold jewellery. Well cut, designer smart, expensive clothing. Make up applied with practised expertise. Healthy, large hair, recently washed, and a certain way of sitting, of moving, of watching others, that indicated a lavish lifestyle. A confidence and self assurance that only financial wealth, weather inherited or provided can produce.

‘Yes’, the blonde voluptuous lady continued, ‘it’s all over the news now, who ever would have believed, she was capable’.

‘That dowdy put upon woman’, the equally glamourous brunette replied. ‘ Ain’t life full of surprises’, and they both laughed. Their cheap hollow, cackling laughter, offering outsiders a brief glimpse into their cheap, empty personalities, that they usually managed to keep hidden from public view.

‘My husband knew him, you know. Said he was one of the nicest men he had ever met. A very interesting man. A scintillating conversationalist. Such a shame,’

‘Yes’, the other nodded in agreement, ‘Such a shame’.

A Star.



Photo Credit : Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

That’s what he was, for sure. At least in his own mind. But was it really true. Did his school mates, like him, or fear him. He had the physical capability to deal with anyone, as he was one of the, lucky ones, to have grown tall and broad. He had those lucky genes.
He was not by any stretch of the imagination, a woman magnet. But he attracted enough girls to keep him busy, and the envy of some of the less successful boys in his year. His position as the captain of the high school football team, only enhanced his self esteem, and his popularity among most of his class mates. His keen mind and bestowed intelligence allowing an easy passage through school . The same lessons, that had many of the less intellectually gifted, struggling, frustrated and depressed. Imagining future lives of minimum wage employment, or no employment. Perhaps a life of crime. Who knows.

Beneath the square jaw, the broad shoulders, easy smile and the piercing grey eyes, was a fearful human. He had not shared with another soul, that he was afraid of leaving high school, and going to university. Afraid to leave the small town, he had come to love. Where he knew so many others, and they knew him. Could he cope with a new city, a competitive university. Boy’s, bigger than him. Stronger than him. Better looking than he was. Perhaps more intelligent than he ever would be. He knew his parents had plans for his future. To follow in his Fathers footsteps. Work his way through medical school, travel and build up extensive medical experience and after a time, return to the small town, and become the local Doctor. As his Father before him had been.
That is what his parents wanted for him. But was that really what he wanted for himself. How could he tell them, especially his Father, to whom appearances and to be seen to be successful were of the utmost importance. How could he turn round and tell them, that he did not want to be a Doctor, nor attend university, not now, nor anytime in the future.

‘ What I want is important, not what you want. It’s my needs and my desires for once. Stop living your lives through me. I don’t want to be a Doctor, and anything like that, I want to write, to draw and paint, to be artistic and creative. That is where my passion lies. That is what I want to do. I want to design. I want to play and compose music. I don’t give a damn if their’s no money in it. Or if I’m no good at it. I just don’t care. I just want to be happy’. That’s what he wanted to say. He really did.

Of course he never said it. After he excelled at his final exams, as expected. With great unhappiness, on that final day, he packed his bags, slowly and morosely. He tried to tell his parents, he really did. He uttered a few words of doubt, and fear. But they cut him short, and assured him, it was to be expected, and would soon pass. Stepping out from his comfort zone. That is what he was doing, they explained to him. They would hear none of his further objections and small protests. He did not say much else. As they were his parents, and had by and large being good to him, and expected the best from him, and he did not want to disappoint. They waved him farewell from the front porch. With his head held low, his body language no longer that of the popular high school, football team captain. More that of a sad, disappointed child, fulling the wishes of others, not his own. Under silent protest, he trundled towards the empty highway pickup point for the city bus.
In the warm sunshine a few of the boys from the football team, meet and accompanied him of his trek towards the bus pick up point.

‘ You know, I never really wanted to leave this town, this place, and you guys. ‘

Would any of them understand. Could anybody ever understand, and give him a way out. They too assured him, it would be a good move. For his carer, financially, for his family. The small group waited by the highway, for the bus. He bid them farewell, and as he sat alone on the bus, surrounded by strangers. The bus traveled into the setting sun, it seemed like nobody would ever understand.

Too Much.


Photo Credit : Jim DiGritz on Unsplash


That’s all he ever did ,ever. Just like the large greedy pig, that others had come to describe him as. Selfish, greedy, self obsessed, could one even say narcissistic, perhaps. As long as his needs, which of course were many, and so very important were fulfilled, then everything was alright, at least for now.
He sat at that kitchen table, three times every day, like a larger and more grotesque version of King Henry V111 when he was at his worst. The speed at which he gobbled everything in sight. The grasping hands, so quick and agile for such a large man. His slobbering eating habits, like some mad rabid, demented dog, left those that witnessed them shocked and sickened. He even sat at the head of that table, like the Royal King. Well he did after all pay for it, as he was fond of reminding the family seated round the table. He liked to remind them at the top of his voice, and at times pounding the dark oak table. How he had paid for the food, the table he ate it off, the house they were sitting in. Everything in fact. They knew the drill by now. Only, when he had the choice of the best of the food layed out on the table, and had done with it. Only then were they allowed to take what ever was left over. Not that their was ever much. They sat quietly watching and listening to him eat, a unpleasant experience. The knifes and forks, patiently waiting beside their clean empty white plates. The only sounds, the cackling of the wood burning int he open fire, and his loud incessant chewing, and gulping down of the finest of wine, he indulged himself in.
She slaved away, cooking what he demanded, and it better be right, she knew that by now. She had the body language of a hounded, and harangued woman, who toiled to keep some semblance of peace and tranquility in the house. If that were even possible. In the darkened room, lit by the fire, and the few large candles, he continued about his daily ritual, as the family did.
Tonight it was the same, he eating quickly, noisily and grabbing everything in sight. They sat round the table, watching and listening. He coughed, they eyed the mountains of juicy succulent mixture of food layed upon the table. The scent, and imagined taste of it so real, the texture most be so soft, and mouth-watering tasty, they too began to salivate at the very thought of tasting it. Were that to be allowed.

It was agony, pure and simple. To watch, to be so near, to hear, to breathe in the luscious aroma of what lay near to them. He must surely have been aware of what it was like for them, to sit, watch and wait. Or perhaps not. Maybe he was so wrapped up in himself, it never crossed his mind.
He coughed again, a bit more loudly, and cleared his throat. Continued to eat, and had some more of the red wine, poured from the expensive decanter, in to the rather finely decorated glass he used. The cackling of the fire, the delightful red hue it produced, the warmth it afforded the darkened dining area. It could have easily been mistaken for an intimate, welcoming setting. He coughed again, more forcefully this time, and slowly lowered his knife and fork. He began to perspire more than normally. His forehead becoming damp, his face flushed red, his large protruding lips, taking on a slight bluish tinge. He stood up rapidly and kicked the chair hard behind him. Put both his hands on either side of his large jowls, and staggered forward. They watched from around the table, as he tried to breath, but there was nothing but quietness, aside from the cackling of the wood burning in the large open fireplace.
His frame fell heavily on top of the open fire, smothering it. The arid smoke filled the darkened, candlelit kitchen. She watched transfixed, from the stove. They watched silently from where they were seated round the large oak table. His overly large unattractive body, didn’t move. No sound, nor movement from it.
Gingerly and tentatively she approached the table, and viewed the mountains of succulent food on it. Picked up an empty plate, and put a few tasty looking morsels on the plate. She placed a few into her mouth. She had always suspected they would taste as good as they looked, and she was right. Her wide smile, and a satisfying ‘aah’ signified that. She had another mouthful, and then another. Her smile growing larger. Her eyes  looming wide with delight. She threw a cursory glance towards the fire place, and his unmoving figure, as they did.
They watched. She smiled, and nodded. One by one they lifted up their empty plates and began to fill them with the luscious, succulent food that lay before them. In the darkened room, they began to feast.



Photo Credit :


As we age, do we become more of a sage, or just the same irritating person, but older
Do we mature, or still try to even scores, from times gone by in millennia
Are we consumed with hate, tales of revenge, when, if ever is all this gonna end
Are we full of regret for the words that we said, or even words we never dare utter

Are you afraid of dying, not sure what lies ahead, wondering have you wasted your life
Do you ask will you get a second chance, to do it all over again
Do you stare in the mirror, then turn away with despair
As you notice yet another grey hair, and the wrinkles that are coming out of nowhere

Are you bitter and mean, act in ways that are at times rude and obscene
Do you regret your life looking back at what you could have being
But have to accept what you actually became
Do you take that anger out on those close to you

Do you like getting old, how come you feel so cold
As your circulation begins to slow down
Is your eyesight not so keen, do you shake at the knees
Is your walk less upright than it once was
Is your bladder now a cause for real concern
As you forever yearn to be close to a toilet

Have you still got your own teeth, to bite into that meat
Or do you have to be so careful what you chomp on
Are you still operational in bed, or will that just have to be in your head
The very idea, leads to a tear, and the very real fear, of perhaps hurting your rear

Are you envious of and angry with the young , they have so much life ahead
Are bored beyond belief, perhaps so lonely, that you secretly weep, every night
Would you have taken more chances, given an other go
Maybe grasped, or at least tried those opportunities, rather than say no

Or have you come to terms with how your life has being
Even if it didnt turn out to be that glourious techniclour dream
Are you pleasent and keen, a joy to be around with, and be seen
Full of good cheer, laughter and all

Do you lift people up, rather than try make them look small
Will people miss you when you go
Say they were one of the best, and we were surely blessed
To be part of their life for a time

Life, old age is coming to us all
There is little we can do to make it stall
No mirror, mirror on the wall
What lies ahead when we’re all dead, God alone knows.



Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash


One brief look, at the first few line of a letter left open on the old oak table. That’s all it took.
She hurried from the shadowed kitchen upon hearing the footsteps. The words imprinted deeply in her mind. Not knowing what to do with herself, she went out into the garden, in the early evening sunshine. Unhappy and disturbed there, she ran to her bedroom. Unable to rest there, she decided to go for a run.
She had to do something to bring her body and mind back to some sense of equilibrium. Quickly gathering her running gear,the grey tight fitting t-shirt, and slim fitting leggings. She set off at high-speed down the empty roads of the rural area, overlooking the wheat fields in full bloom. She ran as fast as she was able, and as long as she was able, to the point of near exhaustion. Perspiration building on her forehead, her neck and back. Her breathing loud and hard. It always worked when her mind was unsettled. Her mind and feelings of confusion, anger, sadness and mainly betrayal, slowly began to come into some type of balance.
They had lied. They held back the truth for so long. Exhausted after her long hard run. When her breathing eased she sat against the stone wall, that surrounded the green blossoming field. She usually found peace and solace in the stillness of the isolated rural area, broken only by the soft sounds of the birds chirping. But not this evening. What she had believed for so long, what she had based herself, her life on, was no longer true.

That sense of inner strength and sense of belonging she had gotten from her parents now no longer seemed true. If she could not trust them to be true and honest over such a matter, could she ever trust anyone anymore, ever ? As she sat by that wall, in the quiet summers evening, she could physically feel all her inner strenght and self esteem drain from her, there and then .
It was a very different girl who slowly picked herself up off the ground. The slumped posture, the head held low, the dragging of her feet, told anyone watching all they needed to know. If her real Mother did not want her all those years ago, did this mean she was no good. Unwanted, an encumbrance and waste of space. She slowly and unwillingly made her way back to the house of lies, she had for so long believed was her true home.