Regret.

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Photo Credit : Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.

Alone in the silence of the forest he searched for it. Memories of happier times. A memorial made in nature, to remember them forever. The few sounds, the branches and mulch, leaves crunching and melting and giving way under his feet.
After some time searching he came across the memorial nature offered. His mind journeyed to those times, they had all enjoyed here. The laughter and picnics they had shared, at this place. His hand lightly touched and traced the heart shaped indent in the tree, and the names enshrined within. He thought of them both, but not for long, as it was too painful. He lifted the whiskey bottle from where it was now a permanent fixture, forever close by, just inside the shabby coat, that had seen much better years.
It was his way of dealing with what should not have been. The alcohol offered some very brief temporary relief, until he sobered up, and then he would follow on that pointless road, of sorrowful drunkenness, much regret, and yet more alcohol to numb the pain. A never ending crazy pointless circle. But as a method to block all memories, good and bad, there was none better alcohol.

‘I’ve watched you’, the voice startled him. But it was soft, gentle and compassionate.
‘I watched you from afar many times, but sensed you wanted to be alone with your hurt and sadness’.

He turned to see the owner of the voice. She had a softness, a calm strength, and quietness about her. He was embarrassed and ashamed of how he must had looked to her. Unshaven, dirty, with unkempt clothing, and badly in need of a bath. He found it hard to focus, but managed to make out her outline.

‘You must be hungry. We have a cabin, not far from here. Will you join us for some food’.

He had not eaten properly in days. But nourishing sustenance was of little matter to him anymore. Nothing really mattered to him anymore. Living had lost its luster. He did not look at her, but turned away from her, as he held one hand on the heart shaped indent on the tree. How can this person be so trusting of strangers, he asked of himself.

‘No, I don’t want or need anything’, he answered quietly. Preferring his solitude, and freedom to think and come to terms with what had happened, if he ever could.

‘Ok’, but if you do change your mind, we are just over the other side of the big oak tree, on that hill. We’re the only cabin for miles around’.

With that she slowly sauntered away, without looking back. He watched her go. Unsure of what to make of her. But he certainly did like her non neediness, and thankful for her acceptance his wish for privacy, and the desire to be alone.
After she had left him, and when sure he was alone, he spoke quietly to his lost wife and young daughter, and asked then what he should do. Would they question his loyalty. The very idea of some decent food, an opportunity to clean up, while certainly not a priority, would not go amiss either.
The loud sniffling and noise, and the sensation of being watched caught his attention. He was very big when stood on his hind legs. Salvia dripping from it sharpened teeth, bigger that any man he had ever encountered, and the loud growling. The fur was dirty, and ragged, the claws on the feet and paws, frightening. Never had he encountered such an animal at close range, and was surprised at the stench emanating from it. He slowly backed away from the approaching animal. To run was to play to the animals instinct to chase. To climb high, was pointless as bears can climb as higher and faster, that nay man.
He tried vainly to remember what he had ever read, or seen about what to do when confronted by an angry, hungry animal. But his mind was unable to function under such stress. His breathing rapid, his legs shaking, and heart beating strongly in his chest in response to his body’s adrenaline. Any chance of clear thinking was minimal. He did have the fortitude to pick up a large heavy branch of a fallen tree, but guesses success against such an animal, was unlikely.
One fact he wished he did not recall, was how a bear on his hind legs can stand up to seven feet tall and larger, and are capable of tearing a mans head from his shoulders, with a wave of their arm. The bear began to run toward him. He stood his ground, aware that his last moments were soon to be, and in his semi drunken state he welcomed his own demise, so he could soon be with his departed loved ones. He just briefly wished it was not in such a brutal manner. But he briefly prayed to Jesus, and asked for it to be swift.
The perspiration dripped from his forehead, his breathing more rapid than he had ever experienced, he closed his eyes, and awaited the impact.

The shoot that rang out seemed so close, he wondered if he had being hit. The following shoots rang out in rapid succession. The large brown bear stopped, stood up on his hind feet, and growled loudly, before turning on his tail and scampering back into the woods, towards the riverbank. He searched among the trees to find the source of the rifle.
He watched the trees for a few moments before the three figures, dressed in combat uniforms emerged from the forest.

‘What the hell do we got here, eh boy’,

With that the large leader of the group spat some dirty brown chewed tobacco onto the ground. The southern twang, was just like it was in all those movies he had seen over the years. His two sidekicks laughed at the revered leader. He held an automatic rifle under his arm, cradled lovingly, just like a child. The two others, held long barrel shotguns down by their sides.

‘What the hell kind of fool comes out into the woods without a goddamn fire arm. Were going to fight that bear, with a piece of wood. Well were you boy’, and they laughed.

He could sense their aggression, and bad intent.

‘You just gotta be a dumb ass city boy, he just gotto be, dont he Wendell’.
‘Well he sure must, cause he has got the brains of a dumb ass’.

‘Why don’t you just turn round and start running back towards the city, dumb ass, and we’ll see if we can’t shoot you in the rear. Go on boy, run’.

Again the men in combat laughed at the power there weapons gave them, and the predicament the disheveled city man found himself in. The men ducked quickly as a shoot ricocheted of a nearby tree. More shoots rang out in their direction. They searched the trees for the source of the bullets, but could not find it.

The voice was firm, it was strong.

‘Okay boys, you’ve had your fun, now you git along and leave that city boy be, da’ all hear. ‘Go oonn, now scoot, afore I get real mad, and set my dogs on you’.

‘Show yourself, Godamit’, the leader of the men in combat gear demanded.

There was no response from the trees, that hid the unseen shooter. He also took the opportunity to run for cover, and headed in the direction he hooped the shots were coming from. More shoots rang out, pinning down the men in combat gear.

‘Alright Godamit, were going, but don’t you worry Missey, we’ll be back’.

The men stood up, put their hands skyward, and slowly moved back from where they came. They argued loudly among themselves, until the leader angrily kicked and punched his two companions into silence.

‘Are you okay’, he looked at her, from his position low on the forest floor’.
‘I am now. That was some crazy set up’.
‘We get it from time to time, out here in the backwoods. some times survivalists, high on weapons, illicit drugs and alcohol. Sometimes, drug gangs build chemical factories hidden on the woods, and want to keep strangers at bay’.

‘How good dose a hot meal and a nice bath sound like now’.
‘Yeah’, I’ll take it’.

With that, they headed towards her cabin, just behind the large oak tree, just behind the hill, that she had pointed out when they first meet earlier that afternoon, as she was watching him grieve for his loved ones.
With the excitement, the new events that happened that afternoon, he felt a sense of awakening. A sense of being alive. A feeling he had not encountered for quiet some time. A possibility that perhaps there was more to life, than living full of regret and remorse. Maybe this was a new chapter to his life.
They made their way to her cabin, beautiful in its remoteness, and tranquility. As the evening sun began to set, the sky turned from bright blue, into a golden expression of colur. Soothing orange and yellow hues. The crickets croaking the only sounds from the forests. As they made there way onto the wooden porch, the blonde young girl shyly emerged from inside, and ran to and hugged her Mother. Her Mother lowered her rifle to the floor, and picked up and kissed her daughter.

He was quickly sobering up, after such an eventful afternoon.

‘Are you not afraid, living here alone. Is there no man around look after you’.
‘No, we make do. We do fine, don’t we sweetheart’, addressing the young girl. ‘In any case, I’ve got my dogs, and my rifle, and know how to use it’.

‘What of those men, from today. They said they’d be back’.
‘We’ll see. But for now let’s get cleaned up, and lets eat’.

They entered the cosy cabin, lit by wicker oil lamps, and a low kindling fire. She quickly set about preparing a nourishing meal for the three of them, humming happily to herself.
He took a sat by the fire, in the rocking chair and slowly rocked back and forth, enjoying the creaking sound. The young girl studied the stranger intently, as children do, undecided whether she liked or trusted him enough, but given a few moments of serious contemplation, she decided he was safe. She approached him, as he sat by the fire, and handed him her colouring book, and showed him what she had being working on. It was long time since he had being round human company, especially children. It took some moments for his sense of unease to subside, but the young girls wide eyed innocence and open acceptance and trust of him, helped sooth his mind. Soon she was standing close to him, and helpfully showing him previous drawings she had completed.
Her Mother watched from the kitchen, as the stranger began to interact and slowly enjoy the young child’s company. With the meal soon prepared, they ate mainly in silence. Never had a warm nourishing meal being so welcome, and he greedily scoffed the food at speed, and did not refuse a second helping. After dinner she showed her guest where he could clean up, and wash himself, and gave him some male cleaning utensils, used by a previous man.
She set about putting her daughter to bed. In the low light of the bedroom she tucked her child to rest.

‘I like him’
‘I’m glad to hear that honey, now you go to sleep child’.

She bid her daughter goodnight, unsure whether she liked the stranger as much as her daughter. Sitting by the warming embers of the fire, contemplating the earlier interactions she had with the survivalists or drug runners of earlier that afternoon, she considered to herself whether they would return at some stage to cause havoc. She decided to double lock all the doors and windows tonite, and to take an extra box of shells for the rifle, which she was planing to keep in close proximity to her, through the night, should it be needed.

He reentered the lounge area of the cabin. Gone were the ragged clothes. The unkempt hair, washed and trimmed, although not expert, not a bad attempt. The face now clean shaven although still malnourished. The ravages and damage of excess alcohol more than evident. But perhaps she allowed, as she studied him, underneath all that dirt and grime, that maybe there was a fine looking, but certainly troubled man underneath.

‘My, my, my. Why don’t you look just fine.’

He smiled shyly at the compliment, and just briefly caught her eye.

‘Draw up a chair, and join me by the fire’, which is what he did.

They both stared into the burning blue and yellow embers of the fire. The warmth was comforting. He could barely look at her, and especially not catch her eye. For fear she could see into his dark and twisted soul, and the secrets it held. The malicious, cruel and sordid thoughts that he tried hard to keep at bay, but seldom succeeded.
The thoughts that troubled and plagued even more so since he had stopped taking the medication he had being prescribed. It had been some time since he had been in close proximity to a woman. The scent of soft perfume, entrancing. Her gentle feminine energy, soft, palatable. He thought of touching her, and holding her, but he let those thoughts pass. She waited patiently for him to speak, if he choose to. Allowing him the psychological space, to be as he was.
They sat in silence listening to the crackling of the burning firewood, and the occasional howling of a far off wolf in the distance.

‘Well I’m off to bed, you sleep here on the couch. You’ll find some blankets over there’, she pointed to a corner of the room.

With that she left the cosy lounge area, and left him alone with his thoughts. In the quietness his mind started to become agitated, as though some higher power, some demon, some evil part of himself he did not want to listen to or acknowledge, began to call to him. To speak to him. To fill his mind with wild ideas, and suggestions that were too terrible to listen to. He quickly went to the small hallway, where he had left his shabby coat, and retrieved the saviour from one of the deep pockets, and greedily drank from the bottle, wrapped in the brown paper bag. Anything to drown out the voices in his head, which were becoming progressively louder, urging him. screaming at him, to do what he must. Again and again he drank quickly and heavily from the bottle of raw alcohol that burned his insides as he ingested it. But he knew that soon, very soon, his mind would find, if not sleep, at least some form of peace, until he sobberd up. He thought of his departed wife and daughter, and how he loved them, and never ment to hurt them. He had begged for their forgiveness and understanding many times. But they never answered.

The sound of breaking glass, was loud in the quietness of the night. Hushed voices, swearing and foolish laughter, audible. She was half expecting some visitors and was soon out of her bed, rifle by her side, and loaded. She made her quickly towards her childs bedroom, to find her not there. In panic, she lowered her rifle to the floor, and searched frantically under the bed, in the wooden cupboards, for her daughter, and then noticed the open window, that led into the woodland. In the low light of her daughters bedroom, the three figures silhouetted in the darkness blocked the doorway.

Alone in the barn, he layed the sleeping child on some hay, staring at her young innocent face and body. He sat alone fighting the desire. The voices in his head, urging him, willing him. It was Gods wish, it was Gods way, they promised. He despised himself for what he was about to do.
He thought of his Mother, and how he hated her, for her suffocating, overpowering love.
He thought of his father, and how distant he was, never on hand, nor interested enough, or perhaps unable to offer guidance. He recalled the numerous women who had refused, or never encouraged his advances. He blamed them in part for forcing him to find an outlet for his desires elsewhere.
He thought of those in the religious fraternity who abused their power, and secrecy.
He remembered how those in authority paid him little heed. He hated them all. But mostly he hated and despised himself, for what he had become. He blamed everyone and anyone for how he was now, as a man. Blamed everyone but himself. At times he acted in ways which sickened him. His breathing became rapid and loud, the excitement further igniting the already lively adrenalin within his body. She opened her eyes, wide and innocent, and smiled as he hovered over her.

The screams from the cabin pierced his consciousness. Imbued by the alcohol, and wishing to retrieve some semblance of self respect, and self love, he ran like the hero he alway wanted to be toward the cabin, and what lay within. The three intruders laughed as they overpowered and brought her to the cosy lounge area, and shoved nearby furniture out of the way, laying her in front of the dying embers of the fire in the grate, and they like wild animals began to paw at, and ravage her clothing. She screamed again, and the leader of the group kicked her hard in the stomach, which quieted her.
He didn’t stop to think, just came crashing through the porch door, into the darkened lounge, widely thrashing and swinging his fists at anything that was standing. The intruders were caught off guard, and they fell like skittles to the floor. Amid the noise and confusion she quietly slipped away from the melee. They turned on him, and managed to grab hold of him, two holding him upright as the leader of the group, still dressed in the combat gear, of the pseudo solider, began with relish to beat and pummel his face and body. The blood tasted warm in his mouth. His vision was dimming as his  consciousness was near to blackout. Regret loomed large in his mind, for ever even coming back to this place. Still the hateful blows rained onto his face and body. A never ending assault, that would not stop until the leaders anger, and thirst for revenge was satisfied.
The light from the rifle briefly lit up the room, the noise deafening in such a small area. He slumped slowly to the floor, they were unable to hold him upright any longer, as the cartridge entered his body, at chest height. The pain indescribable, the heat, searing. They let him fall and rushed the woman with the rifle, who stood in the door frame of her daughter’s room, and angrily disarmed her. Pulled her down in front of the fire.
Like wild animals, yelping, laughing and screaming they pulled at and ravaged her clothing, and beat her about the head severely, when she used what little physical strength she had to resist. She lay silently on the ground and in the darkness of the room lit only by the crackling wood in the fire. She too began to regret getting involved with a stranger she barely knew.

 

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

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The Dentist.

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Photo Credit :  photo-graphe on Pixabay.
Daily Prompt: Cavity.

‘Lay back’,

Those were the last words she remembered, before she lost consciousness. His tones soothing, comforting. She gently floated off to another world. A bright meadow, where sheep grazed in the mid afternoon sunlight. The crickets croaked by the nearby pond. She ran towards the horses grazing in the fields, and they stopped and slowly moved towards her.

Both white horses slowly approached her, not realizing how shy these large animals were. They were more afraid of her, than she was of them. They bowed the large, muscular  shoulders towards her, so she could stroke the warm manes. Which she did for a few moments. She noted the gentleness in the horse’s eyes, and felt safe, and secure.
The white horses moved towards her again, and she retreated from their advance.

‘No, Go Back’, she said loudly. Never afraid to speak her mind, as young children do. She slapped both horses across their nose’s to teach them a lesson. The horse’s kept coming, pushing her into the large nearby bushes, where she fell to the ground. She watched as the horse’s changed from the gentle white colour, to a malevolent dark black colour. The ir eyes became narrow and angry, and as they raised up on their hind legs above her.

She screamed, they laughed. They began to trample her into the ground, deeper and deeper, until she could no longer breathe. From under the ground she could hear the angry horse’s stamp on the ground above her. She struggled to free herself, but was unable to do so. She began to weep. Scared, alone and afraid.

‘It’s alright’, he said. His words comforting, and soothing. ‘It’s all over now’.

With that, he smiled at her,and helped her from the chair, and called the dental nurse, to guide her towards reception.

Summertime.

Stained Glass Window
Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

via Daily Prompt: Ceremony

They stood together at the altar. Her sense of happiness palatable. If  any from the happy congregation could have seen his face, and austere expression, it would have conveyed much about his thoughts.
He stared straight ahead. Not at her, and especially not at him, although he was aware of the self satisfied smirk. That look that said it all. The look that said, We have a secret. You will never tell, and I will get away with it.
He listened as he continued with the prayers, and the blessings. The hypocritical blessings and prayer’s from one so sullied with sin. It was sickening. In the quietness of the church, the creaking wooden door opened and he watched the priests face turn from arrogant self satisfaction to fear, and anxiety. Perspiration began to trickle down his face. His words became muffled and quiet, so much so, people strained to hear the ceremony.

He so wanted to turn around and see the cause of the priest’s unease. She sensed what he was about to do, and pulled hard on his hand, and briefly glared at him. Her angry eye’s told him all he needed to know. So to keep the peace, he continued to stare straight ahead, and wait for the priest to regain his composure. But that was not forth coming.            The sun shone its warm healing rays through the many stained glass windows, brightening the church interior. There friends and families looked on with joy and happiness. many believing this was a coming together that was ment to be, from a very young age.

The stench of alcohol was pervasive, from he assumed the latest entrant into the church. The priest lamely continued with the ceremony. But his words were still weak. Barely audible, and he continued to perspire, and glance furtively and continually at the congregation. His anxiety plain to see.

Then it started, as expected, and brought with it  a sense of relief. We all could sense something untoward was about to happen, and now the waiting was over.

‘You Bastard’, the words were loud, thunderous, and slurred. The ceremony stopped. Many in the congregation turned to see where the angry words emanated from. Some ignored the angry words, which were heavily laden with many years stored up emotion. Hoping things would quieten, the priest continued the ceremony. The priest rocked back on his heels, nearly knocked over by the force of the anger and venom, that the words were wrapped in.

‘You Bastard’, again the angry words revebatred around the peace and solemnity of the small country church. His anger directly aimed at the priest. There was loud shuffling among the seats, as a few of the others tried to contain, and control the drunken angry man. Tried to plead with him to see sense, and not ruin a young couple’s wedding day.
He broke free of those holding him, energized by his indignation and sense of righteous, and stood in the aisle, before the altar. His voice even louder this time. His face red, and tortured. Reflecting his years of alcohol abuse. His dark suit, shabby.

‘You did this to me’, he screamed at the priest, who again rocked back on his feet, as he absorbed the words directed at him.
‘Had you not taken my innocence as a child to satisfy your perverted sexual desires, I would have never ended up like this. Why do you think I’ve become an alcoholic, a drug user, Why ? he asked accusingly, never once lifting his gaze from the priest. ‘To hide those memories deep within my mind, and soul. To hide that shame, that has haunted me all of my life. That sense of filth and inadequacy I have felt since. Why could you not have let me be, Why ? You caused this, to me and many others, and I’m here today to call you out. To let the members of your congregation, and this small town and community know that you are not that helpful innocent soul, the do godder sent by God, to do his good works. You are a charlatan, a deceptive, sleazy lying manipulator, who in the past has taken the innocence of many young boys, and condemned them to a life of misery, addiction, chaos, abject life failure.’ ‘You’, he continued to point his shaking hand at the priest, ‘used your position and power, and our sense of deep shame, humiliation, and fear to satisfy your lustful desires at our expense. Satisfied in the knowledge that none would speak out and expose you. Well no more. You are, a destroyer of people’s lives ‘.
The congregation listened in silence to the man as he unleashed his vitriolic speech, swaying slightly in the aisles. The priest looked uneasy on the altar. The young couple turned around to see who was this intruder into their peaceful wedding day.

Then it stopped. The shouting, the anger. The loud angry man collapsed on the floor. None moved to help him. Just watched. The young couple at the altar turned round, and after a few moments, Jason, the groom went to the fallen body. The stench of urine, an unwashed body, alcohol and cigarette smoke that emanated from the man, was stomach turning. The long hair was unkempt and matted with dirt, and God’s knows what else. Those in the congregation watched in silence, as did the priest.
He moved closer to the fallen man, and moved the his long filthy hair away from his face, to check his breathing. The mans skin was in even worse condition close up. Pock marked with red sore’s, a few of which were leaching some disgusting poisonous looking liquid. His breathing was short, fitful, and strained. He called for a Doctor, a nurse among the congregation. For an ambulance to be summoned. He searched inside the mans crumpled dirty suit for some ID. In his hand the collasped man held with a tightened grip an object on a broken chain.  Not knowing why, but Jason wrestled with the clenched hand to release the object. Eventually securing it’s release. He studied the object, wiping away the accumulated dirt and filth.

He recognised the silver coin, given to him by the older brother he so much admired. The coin from all those years ago, that held pride of place among his belongings, and which he treasured. A symbol of their togetherness and closeness, a bond which would never be broken.

‘Where did you get this’, he asked the fallen man urgently. His voice loud and urgent.

‘Tell me where, Goddam you. Answer me’. He shook the man’s shoulders hard. But no response.

He had searched over many years for the brother he so loved and admired. Never knowing what had happened to him, was worse than actually knowing. No contact for years. Nothing.

Jason lent over the  older collapsed man, wishing him silently for his consciousness to return.

‘Where the hell is that ambulance’, he called loudly to no one in particular.

The wedding congeration looked on in silence.

The man continued to struggle to breath. His breath’s audibly becoming weaker, and fewer. Unable to fully expand his chest. He moaned quietly. Jason watched his face intently, and was helpless, as the last sign’s of life slowly ebbed from the man. His lips turning slightly blue. The failing weak breath telling its own tale. Jason closed his eyes, began to pray by the man’s his side, and wished him a safe passage to the next life. As he knelt beside the fallen man, with his head bowed in prayer, his hand was gripped in an iron clamp. He looked up and into the now open eye’s of the fallen man, and in that instant he recognized him. That slight smile, that twinkle in his eyes, told what he needed to know.

Then he was gone, life extinguished. In that small church on that bright summer’s day, not a sound was uttered.

The Elevator.

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Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

‘ Come in here, and we’ll take the lift ‘ . His voice gruff and commanding. It was what I expected from someone like him. The red checks, large beer belly, the result of much good living and little exercise. He was tall, and had the complexion of one who spent much time in the outdoors, and lived on a bad diet.
Like many of his age, he always wore a suit. It was just the way of it, for men of that time. The people round us hurried about their business. It was never the happiest of places. Too much human tragedy likely to happen here at any moment a distinct possibility. As was happiness and joy. Well more relief at the outcome, and then the freedom.
At last the lift arrived at the ground floor, the other’s exited it. Watching them it was hard to tell, how it went. Many people are hard to read. He went first then I followed. No one else decided to join us. The dull grey interior of the lift, badly in need of a clean, and spruce up. The ever present scent of disinfectant, that even now takes my mind back to that place. The double doors shut, with a resounding swish like sound. He reached over and pulled the inner gates across and the lift began it’s journey upwards. He never let go of the loosely wrapped plastic package he held under his arm. It looked soft, so I assumed it was clothing .  The lift silently make its way upward. After a few moments, he reached across and pulled the inner gates apart. The lift came to a juddering halt, and we both fell forward towards the grey steel doors. I looked at him, but his expression was plain, non committal.
He reached above my head to the copper colored control panel, that housed the different floor numbers and the open and close switches, an emergency phone, and the interior light, which he flipped to turn the interior to total darkness. I tried but could not see, not even my hand. I called out to him, but he did not answer. Alone in the darkness, I was afraid. Again I called out, but he did not answer.
It was unpleasantly warm to the touch. That rough hand on my bare thigh, as it slowly moved upwards. I silently cursed myself for wearing short trousers, as I cursed God for making the weather for being so warm. Then just as quickly I asked God if he would forgive me, for cursing him.
In the silence and the darkness, his breathing loud, fast and guttural. The scent of the earth, alcohol and cigarette smoke from him, sickening to my young senses. His movements were rough, brutal, and urgent. The soft package slipped from his grip, where he held it tightly, as he fumbled urgently at his clothing, and at mine. I struggled to escape, but in the small space I was trapped. He was stronger than I. The only sounds his moans of excitement, wrapped around quietly spoken swear words. It continued for a few moments. I closed my eyes and thought of the ocean, and the freedom it offered.
When he was satisfied, I tidied myself up in the darkness and the silence, as did he. Reaching across to the control panel, he flipped the switch, and the darkness turned to light. I knew the drill, not to look at him, nor speak. So I just stood facing away from him, and stared into a corner of the lift. He pulled the black wrought iron gates back together and the lift continued its journey upwards. When we reached our floor, we marched down the dull grey corridor towards the general ward.
She was sat upright in bed, reading the newspaper. Looking reasonably healthy, as the sun shone throw the windows. Everybody it seemed was in good form. That’s what the good weather can do. The nurses was smiling. The other visitors gathered round the beds of their relatives were laughing. It seemed like no one was really ill in the sunshine.
I followed behind him, as we approached the bed. She smiled and put down the newspaper, seeing us approach.

‘Welcome’ she said.

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

Memories.

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Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

She stood at the doorway, and looked into the bedroom. It had being many years since she had seen the room. Not something she really wanted to do, yet she just had to. Like watching an accident unfurl before one’s eyes. You know you should look away, but you just can’t.
Images and memories cruelly flashed through her mind. She stood by her side, with her hand gently on her back, offering her strength and support. She bit her quivering lip. She tried the deep breathing, like she had practised. But it was not working now, when she needed it most. Her chest and shoulders began to shake, with her breathing becoming rapid and shallow. Tears and distress not too far away now.
She gently encouraged her, with her persuasive words.

‘You’ve got to face it sometime, love. You cannot keep running away’.
‘You are safe here. You will not come to any harm, while I’m with you. Do you trust me ?’

She looked at the older woman’s, kindly, sincere face. Could she really trust her. She studied the dark uniform, and the official accessories. The walkie talkie. The mobile phone, attached to her stab proof waistcoat. The silver handcuffs secure within the snug compartment of the wide black leather belt. She did not note the missing body cam. Perhaps if she had…..

They needed her to break, to show vulnerability. They could then show her the false kindness and concern, that could be used to confuse and entrap her once again.

‘Why don’t you go and sit on the bed’, the police officer cajoled. ‘It’s only by facing your fears, that you’ll break free of them, once and for all’. Her words, soft, sincere and believable.

She slowly moved towards the bed. Those horrible images, and sounds, hidden for so long from her everyday consciousness, came to life in her mind. That putrid scent, of tobacco, cheap aftershave and alcohol. The loud, crazy fast, thumping music. Their insane maniacal laughter, as they were about to satisfy there perverted lustful desires, on another unwilling innocent, echoed in the recesses of her mind, torturing her, yet again. She began to feel light headed. Her legs weakened and she quickly sat on the bed, before she fell. Her school satchel drooped to the floor. The police officer helped her to lay down, and soothed the childs lightly damp hair, and flushed face.

‘There, there, it will be alright’. She gently carresed the childs pale skin. So soft, and inviting to the touch. The full luscious lips, and wide innocnet brown eyes. Her heart beat faster, and the chemicals in her stomach began to break free. Yet again she was on the verge of intruading on, and stealing yet another innocents childhood. She moved her face towards the young girls lips, who turned her head away, and struggled to move from the bed. The police officer grabbed both her wrists harshley and lay her body on top of her young captive, trapping her.

It crackled into life, the voice was serious and urgent. He spoke fast.

‘Get out now, her Mother is entering the gate, and you know what a mad bitch she is, get out now’.
‘Ok’, she hurridely whispered into the walkie talkie.

‘Ok, so you heard all that’, her face so close to her young captive. ‘Say nothing to anyone, especially your Mother, or I will bring a whole lot of heartache to this family. Do you understand’. The voice, even and full of ugly menace.

She nodded, while the older woman, moved away from her, and stood up by the bed,  readjusted her uniform, and calmed her ardour. They both listened as the key was roughly inserted into the front door, and she entered the house.

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

Woman.

This ain’t love, this shouldn’t be
How dare you, how could you, raise your hands up to me
I ain’t got no money, I’m stuck here with you
What the hell is a man meant to do

You told me, you loved me, but that’s just a lie
You have wasted my time here
Don’t try and deny
Your violent, your angry, Your cruel and unkind
Your mental and crazy, Your out of your mind

I hate you, I hate you, I wish you were dead
These are the thoughts I keep in my head
These are the thoughts that I never said
But I think to myself, you’d be better off dead

I’m glad we are finished, you were never no good
I’ll never see you again, please God, touch wood
I’m moving on now, getting someone new
I wish I’d never met you, it was a big, big mistake
You were no good for nothing, but being on the take
Getting all you could, and never giving back

Holding onto each other, like two souls lost at sea
Out of fear, loneliness and insecurity
Hardly the basis for a long term plan
Best to jump ship, be that man
Our lonely , isolated lives brought us together
But we were doomed to fail
How could it have worked, we so different
We fought tooth and nail
Our different ways of looking at life
Not suprising, there was so much strife

When we first met, I thought it was cool
Like two youngsters making new friends at school
Had I know back then, how mad you could be
I would not have got involved
But would have set myself free

Your so self centred, it’s just untrue
Seldom really asking, ‘Hey Mike, how are you ?’
Well sometimes you do, but you don’t really care
If I am actually there
You like to talk, but you don’t like to listen
You like to make love, but you ain’t very giving
You just lay back, and think of yourself
How about, just one time
Giving thought, to someone else’s pleasure

My God I was crazy getting mixed up with you
But sometimes when you’re so lonely
That’s just what you do
Now that we are over, I am never going back
I’m taking my freedom, ain’t cutting you no slack

Never again will this happen, I swear
This kind of stuff, is too much to bear
Arguments, tears, violence and more
This is how we learned to tally, and keep score
I don’t want this
This ain’t for me
I want peace, joy and tranquility
If I can’t find it here, I’m moving on
I will leave you alone, and I will be gone

You cant cope with life. You’re no good in bed
I ain’t putting up with this,it is not helping my head
You have too many troubles, as long as your arm
All this is doing, is causing me harm
I want us finished, quick as can be
Then I’ll be happy, then I’ll be free

Stop it, Stop it, leave me alone
Your mad carry on, is driving me from home
I’m losing weight now, I’m worried and thin
I look to all appearances, like I’m living from the bin
Stop getting so mad. Stop getting so blue
You can keep all your violence, that’s what you can do
There is no need for violence, to scream and to shout
To rant and to rave, and throw things about
You’ll drive a man out

What part did I play in this mad game
As there’s always more than one to blame
My heart told me from the start, you were wrong
But I choose not to listen to that warning song
I see that you are lonely, unhappy and sad
So am I babe, and its real bad
This relationship is over. It’s finished, it’s done
It’s no ones victory. I have not won

Stop holding on now, let me be free
Stop calling, stop phoning, stop contacting me
Go your own way now, cut your own path
Move on with your life, love, and never look back
Your not as nice, as what I thought
That is why I have decided to walk
Save my skin, save my mind
Save my black and blue behind

Now that we are finished,it’s over, it’s done
I ain’t coming back. You ain’t no fun
Move on with your life, leave me alone
Let me find happiness, all on my own
I’m going , I’m leaving. I ain’t coming back
I’m taking my freedom, I’ll cut you no slack
I miss you, I love you, but we ain’t to be
Maybe you can see, what’s so obvious to me

So there you are sweetheart. I’m wishing you well
But don’t come round here, ringing my bell
We’re over, we’re finished, we’re done and we are through
Move on with your life, and I will do to.

The Postman.

Delivery

She waited by the inner door, of the ramshackle house. Behind the outer sun shade screen door. She watched and waited. Would he bring it today ? Willing him to come today.  In the early morning sunshine he wandered up the garden path. Dressed in the colours of the motorcycle gang, that near enough ruled the dark underbelly of the small town, and its seedy inhabitants. With his leather jacket, and denim waistcoat, festooned with the colours and flags of the gang. He smiled, well rather smirked. Because he knew she was beholding to them. A prisoner of that dark brown powder he had come to deliver.
His clear blue eyes, held a strength and confidence that was undeniable, even though he was only the delivery boy. The result of the power, he and the other gang members had over her.

In the early morning heat, and stickiness of the South Carolina weather, her white vest stuck to her perspiring body. Her jeans blue tight fitting jeans, dirty and oil stained. Her black hair tied back, showing her tanned, and once pretty face. Her once shining eyes, now tired, and dead. She tried smiling, but their was nothing there. Little to smile about. She knew what the cost of the package would be. But she needed it, damn it. Her body crying out for the sustenance that that dark brown powder could, and she knew would bring. If only for a few hours. She needed something to take away the hallucinations, the non stop shaking of her body. The constant perspiring.  The intense nausea. The abdominal cramps, that had her doubled over in pain. Her inability to sit still. The vomitting and the depression, and of course that non stop mental craving for more. Or even just a little of the powder to relieve the symptoms.
He threw the package on the wooden porch. Knowing full well she would have followed the package to the gutter. He enjoyed watching her scramble on all fours, like a meangy dog, as she grabbed at the package like a wild starving animal, that had not eaten for days. He leaned back on the rickety fence that surrounded the wooden porch and watched her. She sat back against the front door and she hurriedly tied a tourniquet around her upper arm, just above the crock of her elbow. Holding it with one hand, and biting the other end of the dirty old cloth with her teeth, to tighten it sufficiently. She then began to slap the veins in the crock of her elbow hard, praying that one would pop up. As one solidary vein popped up, she reached into her pocket and grasped the old tobacco tin, that contained all that she needed. The old syringe, with its slightly rusted needle. The lightweight spoon, and small bottle of water, to dissolve the powder, and the box of matches. She quickly had the powder dissolved and ready to inject, which she did with practiced ease.
As the powder entered her vein, the effects almost immediate. The intense rush of euphoria and pleasure almost indescribable. Her body began to relax, as it fed off the elixir she had just injected. Her physical symptoms disappearing with much ease. Her mind and spirit, once again finding that comfortable, beautiful sense of peace. That feeling that all was right with the world. She watched her young daughter playing alone on the swing. Choosing to ignore her sad and depressed features, she called her to her side. She attempted to hold the child closely, but the youngster retreated from her Mother’s arms.

‘Now you know what Mommy wants you to do. You have to go with this nice man here’, as she gestured towards the man who had delivered the package.
‘But I don’t want to. He is not a nice man. He is a bad man, and so are his friends. They make me do things that are naughty, that hurt, and that I don’t like’, and she began to cry.
‘It’s alright sweetheart, It’ll be alright. Will you do it for Mommy ? ‘

With that the man, took the child roughly by the arm, and headed out the wooden gate. In the bright sunshine, the young girl screamed and wept.
She looked down at her arm, where the old syringe was still sticking out of her vein. Not that it mattered. Her body slowly relaxing into a beautiful, and peaceful state. Never had she felt so relieved and so peaceful, and at rest. With that she gently closed her eyes.