Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

via Daily Prompt: Irrelevant

‘Your irrelevant, you don’t matter now, you never did  and you never will’.
The scream was deafening. He looked at the mother who had born him, not so many years long ago, and asked, how could she hate him. What is it, he had done. All he had done, was to actually be born. Certainly, not a crime of his making.

‘I hate you, I wish to Christ you’d never being born’. So it continued. Although young, he could still tell when to leave others alone and walk away. Which is what he did. He left her with the ever present half empty bottle of red wine on the kitchen counter, and she near slumped over it. Her hair, a mess. Uncombed, and dirty. Black mascara following the trails of her self pitying  tears that flowed down her face. She was more than willing to attack and blame whoever came into her orbit. But it was usually just him. He went back to his bedroom, and began to play with his toys. Hoping and praying that she would fall asleep, and not come into his room. To physically slap and beat him, as she had done many times before.

‘Don’t worry Mark, it will be okay. There is no need to be afraid. We will be together soon’.

He had not heard that voice, in quite some time, but recognised it instantly.
He had spoken to her almost nightly since she went to heaven, although she never answered him. He wept many times, as he missed their play time together, and cried even more when he saw her in the hospital getting more sick, and weak as every day passed. So wishing he could help, but not knowing how.
He looked round the room for the source of the voice. Laying his toy action man figures on the floor. Outside the window, in the dark evening, he saw his sister shimmering outside the window , and smiling. She looked so happy, healthy and content.

‘We’ll be together soon, don’t worry, it will be okay’.

With that her image from outside the window disappeared. Mark, felt safe, secure and happy. More so then he had done in a long time, and clambered into bed, after carefully locking the door, not someting he usually did.

After she had finished the remained of the bottle of wine in the kitchen, his Mother was her usual angry self. Inhaling deeply of the cigarette, as she stumbled upstairs. Swearing loudly, her voice raising. As he was the only other occupant in the house, she went towards his room to vent, to off load her venom. Finding the door locked, she screamed and kicked loudly at it. But the door held firm. Her screaming and kicking of the door, had awoken Mark, and he snuggled down under the covers, his body shaking slightly, and his breathing rapid. The butterflies breaking free in his stomach. He waited expectedly for the door to break open, and his Mothers assault to begin.
Again she attacked the locked door, screamed and swore. Quietness, followed by a heavy series of thuds, akin to trees being felled. As her head hit the final step, at the bottom of the steps, she fell backwards, unconsciousness and the cigarette rolled out of her hand, and under the nearby curtain. It did not take long for the curtain to fully catch ablaze. Starting slowly, then gathering momentum and speed. The yellow and blue flames easily setting the wall alight and reaching up to the ceiling. The cracking sound, and burning stench, quickly engulfing the lower ground floor. The carpet around the fallen drunken Mother, soon alit too, burning all in its path.

‘Come Mark, it’s time to go. She gently touched Mark to wake him’, and roused him from his bed.

She took his hand as they exited the room together, through the calm night, out into the fresh cooling air, and skyward. Past the dark night sky. Past the glistening stars, and on into a beautiful, tranquil and peaceful garden. Where to his delight he ran into the open welcomong arms of his beloved Grandfather, and Grandmother, who embraced him warmly, and that favourite labrador dog, he believed was gone forever.

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Substandard.

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

The work he completed was below par. Not up to what it should have being. He knew it. They knew it. Everybody on the site knew. But nobody really cared. It was after all, more money for all of them. Even when the lowly paid government inspectors came to check out the work, many were open to the large brown envelopes which everyone knew would help smooth the way of the project. Help to avoid any awkward questions or very close inspections of the work completed.
‘Get it done, and get it done fast, and get it done cheap’. That was the order from the top. Another rushed job, another contract completed at speed. Everybody making money, everybody happy. In the Arabian peninsula, the heat sapping, draining weather was always the same. No let up. Life was good here in these foreign lands, with good money to be made in quick time. The only few drawbacks as he saw it were the the lack of available alcohol, unless smuggled in surreptitiously, and the lack of a pretty woman to catch a man’s eye.
The Arabs, as determined by their governments, were forbidden to drink alcohol, which to him seemed a nonsensical and cruel law. Secondly the women were forced to cover up everything except for their eyes. Another crazy law in his view. He had being in the country for close to six months , and was looking forward to his return to normality, back to America. Looking forward to seeing his wife and newly born child whom he had yet to meet.
He didn’t want to leave them, but with the lack of employment in ‘The States’, and the subsequent continual arguments that the lack of money, and boredom were causing with his long term sweetheart, and now wife. It just seemed like the best solution to a bad situation, at the time.
In Arabia, it was good to be working once again. His happiness and joy for the occupation, replacing the depression, that had dogged him for many months, in the past. The feelings of worthlessness and failure he felt as a man. Unable to provide for his wife, and family. The thoughts of ending it all. How different it was now. Those bad times behind him, a happily distant memory. But money making was very high on his agenda, after so many, many months of being without. He had a lot of catching up to do, financially, and he was determined to catch up, in whichever way he could. Regardless of the consequences.
The management back home in America, were well impressed how he was able to move the job along with such speed. While keeping costs way down. Congratulating themselves on choosing some a competent man to oversee the work. It was of course his decision to purchases supplies and materials from the unlisted, unlicensed companies. His choice not to question the low cost of such purchases. Again his choice to pay the immigrant workers just slightly above the national rate they were paid. An incentive to work harder, and faster, which they happily adhered to. Of course, the wage they received, a pittance, in comparison to the wage paid to the workers from the west.

He didn’t like him, when he first met him. Something about him. That upright posture, and purposeful stride. The dark business suit. The tanned face, and the neatly trimmed black hair. He exuded an inner strength, an inner belief in his own abilities, in his own worth, for such a young man. No more than early thirties, Jim guessed. A man not easily pushed around, or persuaded. Jim tried the friendly route first. When that was having little impact. He went for the brutish, loud, angry path. But the schools building inspector, remained quietly solid, strong and unmoved. He demanded to see the schedule of work. Demanded to know how the work was progressing at such speed. He further demanded free access to inspect any of the materials used, and see the records and details of the current suppliers to the school building project. Of course he could not be allowed to have his demands met. So as the young inspector was leaving the building project, Jim approached him.
As he was stepping into his shiny black cadillac, he placed a hand on the inspectors arm. The inspector looked down at the hand, and then at Jim , with a look of disdain.

‘Here, take this package. You’ll enjoy it. Will make life easier ‘, offering him the stout envelope.
‘My life is fine, I don’t need nor want anything from you’, and he pushed the envelope away.

Early the following morning just as the sun broke the horizon, and work began again on the construction project, the young inspector returned accompanied by two further car loads, of similarly diligent civil servants. They enforced an immediate cessation of the work, and went about examining the materials used, and the contracts signed. It did not take them long to come across anomalies. Materials not up to standards, and regulations. Works completed in a haphazard and unsafe manner. It was enough evidence to enforce immediate cessation of the project.
Jim watched from the portacabin office, where he liked to oversee the progress on the site. With his favourite coffee cup in hand, he watched the young inspector accompanied by two policemen approach his office.

Bursting through the door in the blazing mid day heat, disturbing the dust and paperwork in the office.

‘ I am closing down this project’, with immediate effect’. He spoke slowly, with much assurance and calm authority. ‘You, as the project co-ordinator here, bearing full responsibility for all that goes on in this project, are to be prosecuted for using substandard and dangerous materials, and engaging in unsafe  and haphazard working practices. Endangering the lives the the employees currently working here, and the further employees and children who would have attended this school in the future. Also you are further to be prosecuted for attempting to bribe a government official’.

With that the two policeman stood either side of Jim, and escorted him down from his office. The next few weeks passed quickly, and before he knew it, he was enduring the sweltering heat and blazing sunshine from the confines of an overcrowded Arabian prison cell. He was slowly coming to terms with the violent prison guards, who delighted in tormenting and torturing their prisoners, especially foreign prisoners. Coming to terms with his violent prison cell mates, none of whom he could dare to trust. Forced to stand for up to twelve hours a day, it was an impossible torture. The stench of urine, of continual perspiration. The sense of claustrophobia, of being unable to move freely, of being trapped, with no space of his own. With unfriendly people he did not know, using a language he could not understand. The continual pushing and shoving. The sense of violence waiting to explode at any moment. His very real fear of homosexual rape. The lack of sleep, his anxiety. Wishing now, had he being given his time over, perhaps he may have being a more honourable, honest man. Not racing headlong chasing money and wealth at any cost.

His only contact with another english speaker, was the weekly visit from the middle aged man from the American council. His job to keep Jim informed of the likely date of his court case. It could take years, he had being informed. Arabia was in no rush to release the inmates of their prisons. Jim in a strange way looked forward to these weekly visits. At least it was some human contact, without the fear of violence. A short sense of freedom. A brief thirty minutes out of the stinking , overcrowded cell, that had being his home for the last three months. With someone he felt he could trust.
He walked into the light grey plastered room, with the open windows, accompanied as ever by two severe looking prison guards. He noted the brightly colored  bird sitting on the tree branch outside the window, chirping away  happily. Jim looked at the bird, and smiled, envied his freedom. The ability to do what he wanted, when he wanted. To have his own space. To fly away and be free, anytime he choose. The man from the American council entered the room. Jim immediately noted his more than usual serious demeanor. His grey and  drawn face. The deadness in his eyes. He sat at the table, slowly, and opened his black briefcase. Hids movements were slow, as was his speech.
Quietly he began. ‘Jim, I have some news from home, and I’ll come straight to it. I’m very sorry, but there has being a fire  back home, and their have been fatalities. Jim held his breath, and began to perspire slightly. The veins tightened in his arms and shoulders, and he clenched his fists. ‘It’s your wife’, then he stopped, to steady himself,and catch his breath, and after a moment, ‘and your newborn child. I’m so sorry’. Jim listened, but didn’t really hear, and asked for him to repeat what he had said. He sat back in the soft chair trying to comprehend what had being said, his body feeling weak. ‘ The initial outcome of the investigation are, the fire was the result of the substandard materials been used, when the house was first built’. ‘If there’s anything I can do’, his voice trailed off.
Jim sat back in the chair, and quietly muttered to himself, ‘Substandard materials, substandard materials’, over and over. Precisely when the thirty minutes were up, the two prion severe, angry prison guards , roughy lifted Jim from the chair. Pulled and dragged him back towards the overcrowded, sweltering, stinking, violent prison cell. The man from The American council watched for a moment, as he stood underneath the ceiling fan, enjoying its cooling air, before taking his briefcase, and making his way towards the exit.

Tea.

via Daily Prompt: Tea

‘You’ll have had your tea’ ,  her broad strong Scottish accent breaking the silence. She sat
opposite him. His smile visible the other side of the large candelabra that stood on the centre of the large table.
She reached over and placed the cooked dinner before him. It was of course a waste of time. She began to eat her own dinner, savouring its taste, while continuing the conversation. Whatever she said, his expression never changed from that smile. The effects of the concoction she had laced his earlier meal now fully enshrined within his body. His features, his muscles frozen, and paralyzed. Only his eyes, breathing and hearing were now functioning.

‘Would you like some desert ? ‘, ‘What’s that you say’, taking his part of the conversation, ‘Ok then dear, nothing it is’. The dinner plate in front of him remained untouched.
His eyes searched hers for something, anything. Some reason, any reason. some explanation for this cruel imprisonment of his mind and soul within a immovable physical body.
She stopped eating for a brief moment and saw the questioning, and pleading in his eyes.
‘I can see you have questions, dear’, studying his eyes, which were wild, angry and fearful all at once.
‘A little explanation, no doubt is what you’d like’. His grotesque, continual smiling face, absurd in the obscene, and quiet comical at the same time, bearing in mind his predicament. She stifled a smile of her own, at the vision that sat before her.

‘Well if you must know, dear. Its men like you who use women like me, to satisfy there own selfish desires, with scant regard for their wives, or long term loving partners. It’s men like you who sicken me to the core, and the truth be told dear, I’ve had enough of it. I’ve had enough of the lot of you. The men who lie, deceive, cheat on their wives and love partners. I’m sick of the dirty, sleezy men I’ve had to deal with over the years, pretending like I am actually enjoy the physical act. Pretending that I enjoy their company. Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m finished with the game, I’m getting out,’ she continued. ‘This will be my my final swan song’. With that she treated herself to another morsel of food, followed by a well deserved sip of red wine.
She reached into her handbag, that lay by her feet, and retrieved a small silver antique bottle, and placed it on the table a few centimetres from his hand.
‘In this bottle, is the antidote, that will unlock your body. All you have to do, is reach forward and drink it, and all will be well. She smiled as she looked into his fearful eyes.
‘From when I leave this table you will have twenty minutes before the leaking gas will be ignited, and then, well……’ With that she got up from the table, and left the room, stopping at the door, to glance one more time, at his fearful, pleading eyes, and listen to his increasingly frantic breathing. She noted the beads of perspiration of his forehead.

She moved upstairs to another of her gentleman callers, who she last left lying on the large double bed, under the silk eiderdown. His face contorted in anger. Again she explained the situation, as she had to her gentleman caller in the dining area. She reached into her handbag a second time, and retrieved another small silver antique bottle, explaining it was the antidote that would unfreeze his body, and placed tantalizingly well within his reach. She further explained the impending explosion and fireball possibly likely to follow within the next twenty minutes. Again, his expression remained unchanged. She paused just briefly at the door, to glance at his angry, hate filled eyes.
Finally she returned to the basement dungeon. It’s dark, wet red and black walls, and red candles contributing to a very foreboding atmosphere. The various implements that lined the cold brick walls, the tools of her trade. She approached him, where he hung on the cross. His face, his eyes, expressionless. No pleading, no fear, no anger. Just nothing. Rather a submissive acceptance of his fate. Again she explained, reached into her handbag and placed another silver antique  bottle containing the antidote, just within reach of his hand. She stopped at the arched doorway of the cellar, and took one last glance at him, and looked to the bench where he undressed, and had laid his black suit and clerical collar, and rosary beads.
Her work concluded, she left the house for the final time and drove into the windswept, wet night and to freedom.

Jangle

Jangle

It was the jangle of the keys that brought me to my knees
I said I could take no more, the torture, the unbearable pain
It’s enough to drive you insane, why don’t you listen to what it is, I am saying
My Mother laughed at my pitiful cries, as did my Father too

They slammed the cellar door shut, and locked it tight
In the darkness alone, I sat, and I moaned, in quiet some fright
Felt as sorry for myself as I could be, but determined that one day I would be free
I would have my revenge on these people who tortured me
I would send them to hell where they belonged to be

One more night of drunken fighting, to some that may seem exciting
One more night of sticking the knife in, metaphorically, of course
With the cellar door unlocked, what’s more
The box of matches, the firestarter, that’s what did it for me
The couch aflame as they sat and felt the pain, as I laughed at their pitiful cries and moans
No more the jangle of the keys would bring me to my knees
I was free as I was ever going to be
The flames grew higher as I added other materials to the pyre
I watched without much fuss, as the two of them combust
Laughter and joy, emanating from me

Now as a grown man I am what I am
Doing what I can to torture these children in front of me
The fear in their eyes makes me come alive
As I jangle the keys, as was done in front of me
They not knowing which one of them will be thrown, behind that dark cellar door
Where their screams will remain unheard, until, and if they learn
That the life you lead, depends a lot on how you please
The others who may be in control of you

The jangle of the keys still brings me to my knees, but now with laughter and joy
Because of the power I wield over these vulnerable children in need
These children of mine, will I make their lives shine
I don’t think so, Inflict cruelty and pain, enough to drive them insane
Add a fair measure of fear too
Will I let them live, will I destroy their souls
These are the thoughts I contemplate, as I jangle the keys around my wrist.

Written in response to : Daily Prompt,  Jangle.
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Change….

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

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

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

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

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

Daily Prompt: Passenger

via Daily Prompt: Passenger

She so wished now she never stopped for him. A big mistake for sure looking back. But then life’s always easier looking back. How we would have done it all so differently had we know back then, what we know now. But stop she did, and what woman would have passed him by ?
With the long brown curly hair, his flowing locks. The healthy looking youngish face, half covered by a beard and moustache. But mainly it was that cheeky smirk and twinkle in his eye that drew her in, and the way he looked at her. Of her long drive of escape, to freedom, as she had explained to her girlfriends the night before her departure. Her plan was to give up her comfortable lifestyle in Manhattan, the glamorous job in advertising, the fancy apartment. Give it all up, that’s what she had decided to do. Her girlfriend’s and others had of course told her she was mad to throw it all away. But she had enough and was adamant, freedom and the open road was what she wanted. New adventures, new people, a new life.
She had tired of the corporate world, the lavish parties, the at times,vacuous and insincere people. The selfish and the vain. The people who cared little for others outside their comfortable world, outside their comfortable circle. It was with excitement and some slight apprehension she headed out of New York city and had a vague plan to head in the direction of California. The state of never-ending sunshine. She had grown tired of the less than pleasant weather Manhattan could throw at its residents come wintertime, and she longed for better, a more comfortable and pleasing climate.
Throwing some belongings into a small suitcase, she popped it in the front of her blue Volkswagen convertible and headed for the most barren, quiet and secluded route she could find. She needed time to think, to stretch and open  her mind. She had driven for what seemed like hours in the blazing heat, on the mainly empty road that stretched into the distance for miles. Driving through semi desert, with mountains far off in the distance. It was there she found him, like some lost cowboy who had mislaid his horse, or more likely his motorcycle. He stood by the roadside in the blazing mid day sun, with the saddle bags slung over his shoulder. The white shirt open, exposing his tanned chest, large gold chain and cross, the blue faded jeans. A white cowboy hat shielding him from the midday sun.

He was able to offer her what she wanted most, a fun filled, no strings attached relationship, mainly physical. That was how it started, as she stopped and invited him into her car, and into her life. She wasn’t too interested in his past, nor he in hers. As he was a man who wished to live life in the moment, in the present. Forget the past, and let the future take care of itself. She loved the sense of freedom he gave her, unlike previous suitors who wanted to capture, suffocate and imprison her soul and spirit. Integrate themselves fully into her mind, body and spirit, and become as one. Not what she wanted. But now just like the others he was changing. He was falling deeply in love with her. He spoke lovingly of their future together, of the children they would have and bring up together. He was becoming a soppy lapdog, a puppy. Willing to do anything, say anything just to please her. She wanted a man, not a damn weak pushover. His sense of freedom was disappearing. His uniqueness was being swallowed up by his feelings of love. She was willing to give him a small chance to see if he could get back on track. But as the days and weeks went by, it was worse he was getting.
It was with some small regret she wrote a brief note, explaining that she
wanted her freedom, and how she felt suffocated and trapped with him. She knew he would be devastated, but life is life. In the early dawn sunrise she loaded up her blue Volkswagen converabile and headed off down the empty highway to see what new adventures awaited, breaking free of the chains that he was attempting to hold her with.

Illusion….

Illusion

It was all just an illusion. An untrue bloody facade. Not one word of it true. Those declarations of love, empty and meaningless words. Those declarations of loyalty and desire, equally empty, shallow and meaningless.
He had grown to hate the lies, the untruths and deceptions. The dishonesty, disloyalty and deceit. He had grown to hate her. He sat by her bedside, watching her sleep. She seemed so innocent, pure, angelic even. The long blonde hair flowing gently on the pillow. The pleasantly ample bosom, rising and falling slowly and gracefully. Scenes and images at one time which would have excited and thrilled him, now meant nothing. A cruel reminder of times wasted. Love proffered but not returned.
Kidding himself it was true love, when it was nothing of the sort. More a case of two lonely people using each other for company, until someone better or more suitable came along. She had wasted enough of his time, enough of his life. He looked out of the bedroom window towards the dull grey sky, and once more at her resting body. Gripping the heavy blue pillow tightly between his hands, he laid it across her face, and leaned his full body weight onto it. His breathing calm and measured.  She struggled as he had expected and was prepared for. Her legs kicked out viciously. Her deceptive hands pulled at the heavy pillow. Her chest rose and fell rapidly now, as the fear, panic and struggle to breath engulfed and overcame her. Perspiration formed on his forehead, his weight and strength more than a match for hers.
After a few moments it was done. The struggle subsided. He released his grip on the heavy pillow and removed it from her face, allowing it to fall from his hands and gently to the floor. Believing he should weep, or at least feel some emotion. Instead he felt nothing. Perhaps a some little relief, and happiness. maybe a sense at last of some freedom. Tears and sadness absent. He sat back in the wooden chair and watched her. She seemed so peaceful and at rest, as he was……