Tranquility.

Forest

Photo by Lukas Neasi on Unsplash

Forest

He watched her through the trees. Unseen and unmoving. He camouflaged himself so well, to be near enough invisible to the human eye. She sat in the clearing, as the large oak, and conifers in their magnificence stood so tall so proud.
In times of crisis and lack of life direction, she always graduated towards the peacefulness and the sense of security she enjoyed among the trees. The quietness, the silence. Nothing moving. She had to release and let go. From the depths of her wounded soul she let loose with such a ferocity, she physically fell backwards, surprised and shocked at herself, with her gutteral, demon like screams, expunged from her body with such momentous force and venom, she was embarrassed. Again, and again she screamed. Screams of anger, of human hurt and distress. Screams of betrayal and deceit. Screams of mistrust. Screams of a once blossoming, truthful love, now lost, never to be reopened. Crude, nasty words she knew existed, and which sickened, to her very core, which she never, or only very seldom used, now loomed large in her vocabulary, and spewed from her with an evil venom. She did not, could not recognize this voice emanating from her. A voice barely human, full of evil intent.
Fearful, she ran deep into the forest to escape whatever had possessed her. Her heart beating faster than ever it had before. Her legs jelly like. Her light summer dress wet from her clammy body. Her perfect long hair, now damp, and unkempt. As fast as she ran, the spirit followed her.

He also followed her, but with the practiced expertise of a hunter, from a distance, and well hidden. When she could run no more, she fell to the ground physically exhausted, and breathing hard. Leaned back against a supportive tree, and slowly her breathing returned to some semblance of normal. But not her fear. The malevolent spirit slowly made its way through the trees towards her. She watched from the corner of her eye, hoping she was not really seeing what was approaching her. More than anything it was the physical coldness, and its energy that, foreshadowed the spirit, that frightened her the most. She just about managed to retain the sickly contents of her stomach.

‘You called us, and we have come. You have asked for change, and that is what we will bring into your life, and those around you. When you called on the spirit world for help, be advised many evil, malevolent spirits live in that world. A chance to escape that eternal world and be reborn into human form, will be jumped on, by those of us who are quick to recognize, a pure innocent soul reaching out for help. I will take your soul, your spirit, your physical body, and reek untold havoc onto your loved ones, for evermore. It has already begun’.

He  slowly raised the rifle, enjoying the sense of power and security as it rested comfortably in his shoulder, and quietly cocked the trigger back in anticipation of the shot. It was brutal, and swift, but he had to be sure. The cartridge was well on its way, before the sound echoed around the quietness of the trees. It entered the head with much force, just above the temple. The cartridge exploded upon impact, and slowed down ensuring a much larger wound, and confirmed kill. What was left of her head ricocheted off the tree she was resting at. Her body slumped forward. He watched the black putrid energy leave her body at speed and with a non human scream, enter the forest floor and return to the depths of hell, from whence it came.
Satisfied the spirit hunter lowered his rifle, and for now, peace was once again restored.

 

Advertisements

Glamorous.

maxime-lelievre-137793-unsplash

Photo by Maxime Lelièvre on Unsplash

Captivating

She was a stunner. No doubt. Men’s heads turned as she passed, and watched as she sashayed down the street. Other women, wanted to kill, well maybe at least injure her. For they too could see her beauty. The flawless skin. The near perfect pearlescent teeth. That oh so confident walk. Husbands, boyfriends at a loss to explain their partners sudden unexplained anger, as she passed. Envy and jealousy is ugly, and hard to deal with, even more so when it is seemingly unexplained.

To add to her beauty, she had a down to earth , warm and engaging personality. Was that not yet another good reason to hate her. A wish to destroy and take her down, from her elated position. But beyond the beauty that was bestowed upon her, not that she had even asked for it. Just the luck of the draw. In the quietness of the night, where she lay alone, and yearned for deep and meaningful warmth and friendship from others. Be they men or women. No one sought to see beyond her beauty and assumed she had the perfect life. So many other’s took for granted her fabulous  lifestyle. Their envy was misplaced. Not for her the glamorous lifestyle many had perceived. She was just just like them, but much better looking with the same issues as they had. The financial worries. The career stress. That inability to get along with other’s at times. The fear of dying, that we all share.

The fear of being alone. Of never finding true love. Of going through this life alone, when she so very much, yearned to share her loving ways, it on a deep level, with someone she felt in harmony with . A true soul mate. Someone she understood, on a deep level, and someone who understood her, in return.

Those who looked at her as she walked down the street and made many mainly negative assumptions about her fabulous life were so very wrong. Concocted imaging of  Hollywood type life style, were so far from the true reality. How could they. What gave them the right to after a brief envious glance assume they knew her life story. Little did they know or care, about her never ending  empty and lonely nights. Those nights where she had seriously contemplated ending her life, out of despair. The pointlessness she saw ahead of a future, she dared not even like to contemplate. If only they knew.

She tried to be understanding and compassionate of others ways. Even if at times, they left much to be desired. Other’s looked at her outer appearance, and judged. But few knew of her inner tortured life. Even fewer cared when she left this life alone. Few bothered to investigate the reasons why. The emptiness, despair and pointlessness of her life, was not something they could connect with her unnecessary passing in such a manner. They, the ignorant, low on self esteem and non-compassionate people saw it a blessing. One less competitor to deal with it. No more than she deserved, was the general consensus, of the ignorant and ill informed. But what did they really know, if they knew anything at all.

Experiment.

alexander-andrews-520156-unsplash
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Astral

‘Is it safe ?’, that’s all she wanted to know.
‘Of course it’s safe,’

His voice, calm and reassuring. He looked into her eye’s, and held her gaze. She gazed into his grey eye’s, and believed what he said. But he like many other’s was only guessing. He did not know. He himself had never tried it. This was an experiment they were to try together.
He grasped her hand, and they entered the new age shop together, just as the last customers were leaving. The always strange, and it seemed damaged people who frequented such places. Similar to crafts and antique fairs, and health shops. Staff and customers alike. As odd and peculiar as two left feet.
They were ushered upstairs by the strange looking woman behind the counter, who was decked out in a necklace made of quartz crystals, and strange leather wrist bands with feathers. This situation was many miles away from her corporate job at the International bank. She was only actually here to please him. He was soo different from any other man she had met previously. He had a way of speaking, and looking at her that roused emotions in her, that made her feel alive. As if, he fully understood her.
He spoke to her of her dreams and passions. Of travels enjoyed. Of laughter, and friendship. Of happiness from the most simple aspects of life. From siting in silence, to watching the sky, to listening to birdsong in the early morning, as he held her closely.

To her he was soo much more interesting than the usual men she met, who liked to boast of their achievements in the corporate world. The successful financial deals they had been involved with. The new properties recently purchased. The newly upgraded car. The foreign holidays. These men spoke of their achievements in an attempt to impress her, so she would like them, and hopefully become their partner, at least for a time. Or until they at least got her into bed, and unleashed their lust.
But she felt very little for men such as these. Men who used women for their own gain, and pleasure. Until they moved onto to their next conquest. A never ending journey, of  empty short term relationships and one night stands. Boring repeative conversations. All these men seemed like clones of each other. Just with different faces.  They looked the same, dressed similar. Same attitudes. Same blah….!

But he was different. With the long flowing locks of black hair. The confident eye’s. The forever wide open shirt. The beaded necklace. The ever present waistcoat. He quiet easily could have being mistaken for a modern day poet. He certainly had a way with words. She watched as he spoke and many women were enthralled by him. His way of speaking. How he was able to ignite their dreams, their passions, and imaginations. Women were drawn to him easily, and he had a choice of many. But he had chosen her, and for that she was ever grateful. But she was less that enthralled by the prospect of this evenings adventure.
As she looked around the darkened room, and the small audience slowly gathering. As weird and peculiar as to be expected. Beads, waistcoats, feathers, moccasins. Night people. Rarely seen during daylight hours. Drums and rattle stick being played in the background. In the candle lit room, some of the participant’s were moved enough by the music to spontaneously  begin to move, in some type of strange rhyme to the hypnotic drumbeat, and the rattle sticks.
In the her business suit, she felt very much out of place. He sensed her unease, held her hand and smiled at her. They sat and waited for the leader, and in the hushed silence he entered. A white bearded man, with a calming presence and aura. The drumming stopped as did the others dancing.
His energy was certainly fully in the present moment. In the here and now. In the silence and darkness he turned to the small audience.

‘Tonite is a great night. Now is the time we can release our souls, and travel to the outer reaches of the universe. Explore new worlds’,
‘Is this beginning to sound like an episode of Star Treck ?’ he smiled, and the assembled group laughed.

‘It is more than that. Tonite we have the opportunity to get in touch with the great spirit’s that rule our world. To meet with them. Ask for and receive guidance. To get in touch with the greatest of universal powers. To be nourished on a very deep spiritual and emotional level, like nothing you have ever experienced before’.

‘Let us begin’.

The drumming and the rattles slowly started again, in the darkness. Some people began to move spontaneously to the rhytme. He began to move. The white bearded man called the group forward, to from a circle around him. He began to speak in a language she had never heard. Perhaps he was speaking in tounges, she guessed. The group began to sway together as one, and she joined in. The atmosphere one of warmth, excitement and adventure. The drums and rattles became louder, peole moved faster to the hypnotic sounds, in a europhic trance like state. She too was drawn into the trance like state. He directed their eye’s to the orange and red oracle that lay by his feet, and began to chant. The group answered his chant, repetitively, over and over. The tone starting softly and growing louder and louder. The drums and rattles increasing in strength, to help guide the group to ecstasy. People swayed together. The speed and tempo of the group increased. The leaders chanting became louder and louder, as did the response of the group. Many danced feverishly, moved by the drums  and rattles. The bearded one lifted the oracle above his head and smashed it on the ground. The drums and rattles stopped. In the candle lit darkness she watched as his soul lift from his body and travelled upward and outward, and skyward. She glanced round the darkened room, and watched other’s souls raise from their phyisical bodies and travel outwards and skywards. She glanced down and saw her own body on the floor, as she travelled upward and outword into the dark sky with the other souls.  Never had she felt so free. So unencumbered. So at peace.

Be Here Now.

peter-hershey-112797-unsplash (1)
Photo by 
Peter Hershey on Unsplash

Present

Be here now, that’s what they say
These people in the know
Eckhart Tolle. Deepak ‘Bloody’ Chopra
That Eckhart Tolle fella, lived on a bench for thirteen years
Until one day he awoke vibrating with happiness, or was that with the cold
Are you going take advice from someone like that
But anyways, your problems will disappear, they maintain
You’ll be happy beyond belief. This is so.

Well I don’t agree. I’ve tried it
Don’t work, see
Try being in the present, when your standing in the rain
Waiting for that bus, that you saw once, but may never see again
When your standing face to face, with that angry commuter
Whom you see every morning, and have come to hate
As you all struggle on overcrowded, dirty trains
Rushing to jobs many despise, just to avoid looking at clear skies at night
So as to keep that roof over there heads
When your queueing in the takeaway, after a night out on the town
With the last vestiges of society, spilling their guts, and fighting all around
Drunken women screaming, husbands and boyfriends pleading
‘There was no affair, I never even kissed her, I swear, I swear, I swear’
The last place you’d want to be is here

Try being present in the unemployment line
See how that helps your mind
Or as you attend the funeral of someone you love, so very dear
Or maybe as you lay in bed at night, and yearn for a love partner to hold tight
See if being present there, helps your head, your soul, and happiness
Try as you might, I doubt it
It’s at times like these, we would want to set our minds free
To be anywhere but here. Let your imagination take flight
Even if not true, most probably make you feel alright

Imagine that loving partner, bank account looking right
Visualize that select restaurant, where you take your partner for the night
Picture a better life, if you’re in the unemployment line
Don’t that make you feel better, maybe help remove that frown
I think what Eckhart and Deepak ment to say was to
It’s easy to be present in the moment, when you’re having a hell of a day
In other situations not to your taste, visualize, imagine and picture
How you’d like to see it be. If nothing else it should keep your mind on an even keel
Who knows, one day if life works in your favor. That’s just how it might be.

Really ? (Part 1)

scott-webb-26271

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Simplify

‘ Do you really need it ? Is one not enough. There are so many televisions you can watch. So many cars you can drive at any one time. Only so many clothes and shoes you can actually wear, at any one time ‘.
It was the beginnings of yet another shouting match. She was just about adept at understanding the accent. Another draining, exhausting,  no win all out argument. Just one more reason to hate and detest her. Just one more reason to run as far away as was humanly possible. She knew it was pointless to argue. For no matter what she said, it would as usual be twisted, and turned, into words and meanings that were not true, or even uttered, in the slightest.

‘ You do know of course, your Grand Father will never stand for it. I will certainly tell him. He will ground you for at least two weeks. I’m sure of it. I’ll make damn sure he does ‘.
She marched off at speed, the high heels clattering, throughout the glass and marbled temple, that was masquerading as a shopping mall. Glamorous handbag, gripped tightly under her arm.

She had no choice but to follow. Her head low. Staring at the floor. Wishing by some miracle it would swallow her up. Hoping against hope, that none of her school friends had witnessed yet another of the skirmishes she had with her new step mother. People nearby had noticed. Stopped and stared. Slightly shaken by the loud, overly loud foreign voice. Discretion not one of her traits. Being center of attention. Now that she enjoyed. She was hard to miss. An incredibly elegant walk. Striking blond hair. Clear, yet perfect skin. Light grey, clear, healthy eys. Cat like. A proud posture, made her stand out wherever she went. It’s how they were brought up in the Ukraine. To be a proud people. Whether they were rich or poor. Even if it was very embarrassing for her step daughter. She didn’t care. Didn’t even like her. She was only an impossible encumbrance. Taking her newly found husbands attention, and funds away from her.
She needed those funds. Her overly large family and various relatives back home, in the mainly poverty stricken streets of that small village in the Ukraine, badly needed her assistance. She was glamorous beyond a doubt. As many women from that part of the world are. Tall, slim, and very pretty. High cheekbones. Knowing how to dress to impress the foolish Western men who came looking for Russian brides. They may not have being considered wealthy men by Western European standards. But to the improvised females in the Ukraine, they were, in comparison, millionaires of great stature. The competition to capture one of these men was intense. Bitchiness ruled among the contending women. It did not reached the stage of hair pulling and female wrestling. But came more than close of more than a few occasions. Only for the intervention of the interpreters and tour reps, the assembled group of women would have looked quiet differently, when they meet the coachload of possible husbands, at the nightclub, that early Saturday evening.

He of course was too old, by far. Wrinkled forehead and skin. A tanned and leathery face, and not just because of all those days outside in the Californian sunshine. He dressed way too young for his age. All in black. Large gold cross dangling from his chicken like neck on a chain. Like an older, but more tanned version of Johnny Cash, the country singer, who could not really sing at all. He quiet possibly would have being a cause of much mirth and laughter, back home. But here in the Ukraine, he was out to impress. To capture a striking woman’s heart, and take her back to America, and make her his wife. He had the funds. The big house. The successful business. The only slight barrier, may be his grand daughter, whom he was forced, well coerced to look after. It was written into her will before she died. If he wanted ownership of the vineyard, which he did. He had to agree to look after his grand daughter, until she was twenty one years old, and to set her up financially for life. He knew that had he reneged on that signed agreement. That her Rottweiler of a lawyer would see to it, he would loses the vineyard, and all the wealth associated with it.  The vineyard that had being in her family for generations, since her grandparents arrived from Italy all those years ago, now. It was too healthy a business to let go.
Had any back home known he was here in the Ukraine on a wife hunting mission. How they would have laughed. Well perhaps behind his back. Why Ukraine, why now. He had tired of American, Western women, and there insatiable never ending demands. Outspoken, career driven women. Women with attitudes and strong views, he could well do without. What he wanted was a poverty stricken, desperate, stunning woman, to become his wife. Quiet and submissive. An easy life into his old age. That’s what he came searching for. He stood out from the other misfits, or should I say travelers. Appearing halfway normal. Confident, and well travelled.
By and large the rest of the group were sad and comical in the extreme. Socially inadequate and awkward.  The tour guides and interpreters happy to take their money. Secretly laughing at their desperation. Their failure to meet a woman by normal means. Rather meeting there possible prospective wives at what amounted to cattle calls in the local nightclubs of the towns and villages they visited. As they perused the females paraded in front of them. As if viewing possible purchases at an animal market in the west. It was excruciating, embarrassing, and cringe making for the women. Not so much for the men. For they could not see it for what it was.

It was eight months since she had arrived in America, and settled into her position at the ranch. She attended to her wifely duties, with obvious distaste, with the wretched elderly man she called her husband. A price she was willing to pay, for a short time. She slipped easily into the position of the wealthy wife. Something she believed she was born for. The shopping sprees. The lavish dinners. The constant sunshine. The new found friends. Such a lifetime, a world away from her previous life. America was turning out just as she had always dreamed and wished for, aside that is from, that annoying young grand daughter.
She was not of course in love with him. It was for both a marriage of convenience. Both got what they wanted.

He wasn’t really fond of his grand daughter, Chloe. She was his ticket to a comfortable life. All he had to do was look after her and see she was financially set. When they did speak, which was not that often, he struggled to be civil. She was an unwanted, but necessary milestone around his neck. He encouraged her to study at a University far away. She had expressed an interest in the law, and he encouraged her interest. Anything to get her away from the ranch. He did not need an interfering family member getting any idea of what he was planning.
Chloe had often watched them from afar as they walked together, arm in arm, examining the vine in the comfortable heat. She in that light colored dress she worn to please him. He dressed as usual in the slightly worn cream colored shirt and khaki and light grey sunhat. She never took to her, from the day she arrived. An interloper, an outsider. A damn foreigner, from a country she did not even know.
As they walked around the vineyard. Tatiana  had plans for the future. Which did not include her aging mealticket, well husband. But her husband also had plans. Being fickle. His tastes and desires changed fairly quickly. He had fulfilled his desire for a pretty eastern European wife, but had now began to tire of her. Her lavish spending, which was a price he was willing to pay initially. His inability to hold a intellectual conversation with a woman who could not be bothered to improve her language skills. That was frustrating in the extreme. Tatiana preferring the social company of others, similar to her. Some would call them foreign gold diggers. Out for a better, more abundant life in America. Those who spoke her own language, when they met, and laughed at the foolishness of the American men who believed they had purchased a foreign wife, like one purchases a commodity.
The physical manifestations of her violent anger, that he had seen and come to dread, when he refused one of her many ongoing requests. She was turning into a liability, and an expensive one at that. Her increasing vitriolic demands that he sponsor and pay for some of her aging relatives to America. Of course looking back he should have listened to his lawyer, who cautioned against rushing into marriage. Especially without the benefit of a pre nuptial agreement. But in his fear, lust and excitement, Alex ran headlong into a marriage he believed would last through to the end of his days. Of course he should have invested her background more thoroughly. Learned more about her, and her sleazy relatives. Had he known…..

He had come to resent her withholding sexual affection, well any affection whatsoever. To compound it all, he had employed that quiet, brooding Mexican, as a ranch hand, at Tatina’s request, and cajoling. He was the complete opposite of Alex. Young, muscular, dark skinned. Black slicked back hair. Alex referred to him, as a slime ball in his own mind. He had the aura of un-trustworthiness, and dis-honesty about him. Not to mention, a seething violence surrounding him. Unspoken, but tangible, palatable. He was beginning to be suspicious of a burgeoning affair between the Mexican ranch hand and his Russian wife. His life was slowly becoming a war zone. Aside from the now infrequent times when he and his wife got along. She of course only being nice to him, to gain whatever happened to be her wishes at the time. A brief interlude, from there ongoing increasingly bitter war. She was beginning to turn out as predicted by the few friends he had told, about how they had met. A self seeking, selfish, manipulative woman. Temperamental, and abusive in the extreme, and untrustworthy. Using her beauty to manipulate and use other’s for her own ends.

He was trapped like an animal. A possible looming expensive divorce on the horizon. Possibly the loss of the ranch. He knew she would never file for divorce, but could see her plan. To make their marriage and his life intolerable, so eventually he would file for divorce, and she would reap the financial rewards. With a smart lawyer to portray her as the simple, innocent victim, from a foreign land. Easy,… right.
Sickened by all unpleasantness, he went to the ranch stable, in the early morning sunshine and ordered the young Spanish boy working their to saddle up his horse. It was one of the few pleasures he now enjoyed. Where he could ride in freedom. Clear his mind. The young boy helped the old man onto the horse, and led him out of the stables. The slime ball Mexican smiled as he watched, from the darkness of the stables. The horse carried Alex away. He gently took the horse out among the fields, and from then into the sparely wooded area, by the lake. It was his favorite place. The lake. Quiet, peaceful and reflective. He sat by the lake for approx an hour, listening to the silence. Finding some peace of mind, before he prepared to return to the war zone, as he now referred to his marriage.
He untied his horse from the tree, and led it to some nearby rocks, so as to mount it. Grabbing the saddle with one hand, he put in boot the strippup and pulled himself up. At the same time he fell backwards as the leather saddle came loose from the horse. The crunching sound as his head hit the moss covered rocks, ricocheted around the empty woodland.

( Part 2 ).
At the ranch, Tataina was becoming increasingly impatient. She marched up and down the outside patio, in the late morning sunshine. Her high heals clanking loudly on the Italian tiles. Deeply inhaling on her cigarette. Her face twisted in a demented scowl. No more the pretty woman. She needed him to show up now. She did not have time to waste.

At last. She exhaled strongly.

‘Well, did you do it, is it done ?’
‘No, I did not do, and yes it is done’.
‘What do you mean ?’, the irritation evident in her harsh voice.

She did not have time to play games. This was business. This was freedom.

‘I followed him this morning when he went to the stables, and was looking for an opportunity, any opportunity. Slight perspiration formed on his forehead. He too inhaled deeply on the newly lit cigarette. ‘As I waited, she came in’. He glanced at the framed photo that hung on the wall. Her eye’s followed his to the photo,’ and cut through one of the saddle straps almost completely. Enough to ensure it would soon fail with some heavy riding. She then slipped away’.

She smiled. Now she had a hold over her. A way to blackmail her, or report her. In any case, she now had a method to either get rid of her, or keep her quiet for evermore. To add to her joy, they watched as his horse sauntered through the ranch gates, minus the saddle. The stable boy ran to the perspiring horse and patted its nose and shoulders, glanced at the couple on the patio and smiled. He led the horse back to the stable, and patted the $100 in his pocket, he had been given to look the other way.
Chloe lay on her bed in her room, and waited for news. Any news. Preferably bad. She knew it would not take that long for him to be missed and searched for. Hopefully she had done enough. If not she would certainly try again. He had, and was going to pay. Maybe his wealth and connections had allowed him to escape justice in the past. But she would see to it, he would be made to pay the price.
The loud knock on the door startled her. She quickly opened the door to be met by a surprisingly smiling Tatina.

‘Well, well well, ain’t you full of surprises’. The voice strong, triumphant and victorious.
‘What do you mean’.
‘What I mean is that you were seen this morning in the stables, shall we say ‘adjusting’ your grandfathers saddle. Now he’s nowhere to be seen. Possibly laying injured, or dying out there somewhere’, gesturing towards the thousands of acres of land they owned.
‘I don’t know what you are talking about. I’ve been in here all morning’.
‘You were seen. We know what you did, and I have yet to decide what to do with that knowledge. But whatever I choose to do. You are now mine. I control your future. Whether that be in prison, or elsewhere. It’s whatever I decide to do with you’.

With that she slammed the door, and glided downstairs triumphantly.

Chloe layed back onto her bed. Her initial fantasizing oh him meeting his maker, now perhaps not the best result she could hope for. Her body drained of energy, she lay on the bed, and considered her future. If she now had a future to speak of.  Whatever that would now be.

Tantanina was on the porch, defilty playing the dramatically traumatized wife.

‘ We must send out a search party. We must ‘. Played with enough gusto to persuade the watching ranch hands, and her kitchen staff, that she was indeed, the caring, worried , and loving wife. A search party, consisting of men on horseback and some in pickups, heading out the ranch gate at speed, to the different corners of the vast expanse of land the ranch covered. Those on horseback headed towards the lake, knowing his favoured spot. It did not take long for him to be found. Still unconscious and by now straing to breath. A pick was summoned and he was quickly taken aboard, and back to the ranch.

Tataina tried her best to portray her happiness and joy at her husband been found alive, and called for an ambulance. which duly arrived and transported the still unconscious husband to hospital.
( to be continued..)

The Patrolman.

dean-faulkner-513157

Photo by DEAN FAULKNER on Unsplash

Permit

He lent in through the open window, using the license, the power of his position.

‘ You show me what you got, little lady ‘.

He was reasonably young, strongly tanned, and a well developed but slim body. He looked powerful, and had that walk of authority, that walk of power. Thats what the job gave him. She so wished he would take of his dark sunglasses. To see his eyes, to gauge his intentions. Were his eyes soft and kind, or hard and mean. It was always one of the first indicators she used when interacting with someone new. She glanced at the large cream coloured motorcycle, with the helmet unsteadily perched on handle bars. His black uniform, adding to his seriousness and sense of power. The leather polished boots, and accruments of his position.

She was unsure, but hoped it was just a look at her license he was after and nothing more. The last thing she wanted was another confrontation. There was only so many she could take in a day.
She was going to leave him, that’s what she had decided. No more nonsense, no more being the scapegoat. No more fear, no more violence. It was the wrong relationship from the start, and she knew it. But out of loneliness, and her anxiety about her rapidly passing fertile years, it was a last grasp at Motherhood, and the children she yearned for. But not with him. Not now. The long drive on the open road, an opportunity to clear her head.

The crashing of metal upon metal, grating on her nerves. The Patrolman rolled forward at speed, at the impact. She took a sudden intake of breath and watched as his head hit the hot asphalt, and blood began to drain from his ear. He did not move. She glanced in the rear view to see the cause. The drivers face was sickingly familiar. Red faced and perspiring, He stumbled from the car, and raced towards hers, and quickly jumped in the seat beside her.

‘ You think you can run out on me, bitch’, his voice loud and menacing. Full of anger and violent intent.

The backhanded strike caught her full in the face. His knuckles crunching her nose, which immediately reddened at the impact. Blood flowed for the wound. He reached around the back of her head, grabbed her hair, forcefully and at speed, roughly pushed it forward, and smirked at her head bounced off the hardened steering wheel. Her vision was disappearing, as she fought against unconsciousness. Noting the same red and blue dirty checked shirt, and dirty jeans he had been wearing for the last week. Both badly in need of a wash, as he was. She watched as he took some of them from his shirt pocket, and ingested the white pills. They gave him what he had become accustomed to, welcomed and relished. That sense of instant, intense, physical and mental power and supreme confidence. That feeling of absolute invincibility. That he could take on anything thing, and everyone, with no negative repercussions whatsoever. It did not take long for them to enter his blood stream, and the resultant hyper energy, become evident. He screamed and howled like a demented animal, and hit the interior of the car roof, with his clenched fist, in rapid succession as the rush of the chemicals flooded his brain. His once permanently confirued hair, wild, and damp with perspiration. His once permanently clean shaven face, now rough, and unshaven. This was true living in his mind. Happiness unlimited.

As she fought unconsciousness, her mind reminisced about when they first met. How they were at one time truly, but very briefly in love. They spoke of the children they would raise together. The schools they would send them to. They pondered the future names, of their children to be, both female and male.
She watched through her barely opened eyes, as the Patrolman slowly struggled to force himself from the hot asphalt. His once tidy, neat black uniform, now soiled, torn and shabby. His chin grazed raw. His eyes no longer the powerful, confident eyes of only moments previously. The blazing heat, forcing vapours to raise from the highway, shimmering in the distance.

She sniffled, in an attempt to stem the blood from her nose, as it trickled down her chin. Her head thumping from her interaction with the steering wheel. Through her diminishing vision, she looked at the man she once loved, and tried to remember where it all went so wrong. Was she to blame. Could she have done anything differently. Was she the loving partner, that she always promised herself she would be, when she found ‘the one’.

He had never come to terms with it, and it haunted him forever. He never really spoke about. Perhaps once or twice, in a drunken haze. But then only very briefly. A small reference to the never ending guilt, and self hatred he felt. The remorse, and  regret. The non stop self torture. His mind never affording him much peace. She had listened to his tortured dreams, in his intermittent restless sleep. Where he begged for the opportunity to be given a second chance. To live those moments over. It was at times like that, which were many, he would quickly sit upright in the dishevelled bed, screaming loudly, and his uncovered body perspiring heavily. It was then she held him closely, and soothed and comforted him like a child, until he fell asleep.

He too watched the Patrolman slowly raise himself of the asphalt, and stagger slowly towards the car.

‘How do you like living ‘ his voice soft and gentle, while still watching the approaching Patrolman.

‘ Get out the damn car, bitch’.

The sudden change in his voice from gentleness, reminiscent of how he once was, to the loud, menacing voice that emanated from him now. Like a man possessed by an evil force, was enough to rouse her from near unconsciousness, and she took the opportunity and exited the vehicle. Laying on the hot sticky asphalt, through now barely open eyes, she watched as he revved the car engine, and aimed it at the staggering, approaching Patrol officer. A wild maniacal smile on his once handsome face.

Her consciousness sank into the welcoming darkness.

The Funeral.

madison-grooms-412674

Photo by Madison Grooms on Unsplash

Sympathize

They gathered in numbers. Slowly at first. Most dressed in all their finery. A mark of respect. Was that justified, who’s to know. But eventually the church was reasonably full. A surprisingly good turn out, considering.
Throughout his life he was a lover of music, and an accomplished musician himself. The lilting soft tones of his favourite piano pieces, echoed around the church walls, as played by the lady at the piano, on behalf of the church. The gentle soft, loving music, so out of sync with the church, with the life the man had led.

The crowd gathered, and shook the hands of the remaining living relatives, offering their commiserations, there shared sadness and reminiscences. Wheather it was true sadness, and grief, was quiet easy to see. Many, if not all, grateful that it was not them, nor one of their own who had been taken from this life. Glad they had escaped been clawed, dragged from this life.
His now grown children, with mixed emotions read from the lectern, remembering the few happy times they shared together. But I wont forget, the restraining  order issued by the courts, to protect his wife and children from his madness and violence, as they waited in fear, awaiting his return to the family home, that he was likely at any time to unleash upon them. The  finances used to indulge his selfish life style.
The affairs outside of the marriage, conducted in full view of the small town Ireland where he lived. The fleeing to England, with his latest flossy. The continual non payment of child and wife maintenance, rightfully due, but never paid. These are my memories of that man.
Others may have praised him, but it’s what many do, at a funeral. But what did they know of his family life, nothing. Perhaps they knew, but chose to ignore. But for those of us close to what was happening, he will be forever remembered, for the bastard what he was, and good riddance to him. I refused to go to the wake, a well known Irish tradition. To drink to drunkenness, and praise the departed and weep for their loss. I refused to indulge in such false sentiment. I’m sure, and trust the Devil has a warm welcome for him. The world is better off today.