Freedom.

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Photo credit : https://unsplash.com/@victorduenas

‘You are free’, she whispered, and gently blew the ashes into the wind, that quickly swept them away, towards the ocean. Her favourite place, when she was alive. The place where she sought solace. Where she often walked alone by the ocean and  gained some peace, and strength, when life and the people in it, became unbearable.

Now she could have permanent peace. Away from them. Away from the others. Away from everybody, who strove to be cruel, to betray, to lie and deceive. People she felt and believed she could trust to the ends of the earth. Proved they were not the infallible humans she perceived them to be. Relationships she believed to be rock solid, were not, as it turned out, all that they seemed. Vulnerabilities shared, and now misused, as cruel, thoughtless weapons. Wounded taken aback by how quickly some people she thought she knew inside out, and trusted to the absolute up most degree, could turn for no apparent reason. To leave others reeling from the ferocity of their venom filled words. Trust shattered and now broken, forever. Would they care now ? Perhaps for a few brief moments, and then life as ever would move on quickly.
Was it a misunderstanding. A mis-communication. Not that it mattered now. She was gone, and would not be coming back. It was one way, the only way out  it seemed to her. A cowards way out to some. But who are they to judge. They didn’t have her life. A person trapped in impossible, never-ending situations she did not want, with people she’d rather not be with.

Perhaps life is better there, wherever there is, who knows. Is there even anything out there, again who knows. Her sister blew the ashes  of her troubled older sibling she knew only fleetingly, into the wind, and wished her love and contentment on her final journey to the hereafter.

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

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Thomas.

Thomas.

He wouldn’t have being the first, and rather doubtful he’ll be the last. Many had chosen this hiding place. It was a respectable hiding place, At least in the view of the older people. The true believers. Yeah,those ones with the blinds pulled firmly down in front of there eyes. It wasn’t like it was a prison sentence, although to some it wasn’t far from it. No women. Not much alcohol. A false front, of caring, compassion, and interest in others. But what happens behind the doors of a religious order, never has to reach the knowledge of the outsiders.

    As he lay in front of the Bishop, on the altar. He and the three other victims, or should I say cowards. Well he and the other men running away and hiding from life. From themselves. Their friends and families in the Church looked on with pride. What an honour to have  a family member in the priesthood. Surely that would ease the passage of all associated with the new religious entrant into heaven. Hardly going to work against them.
               As Thomas lay on the altar, while the bishop conducted the very long, drawn out ceremony. Thomas with his arms outstretched to his sides, and his face down in the red carpet. Striving to cope with the current discomfort. The coldness of the Church. The hardness of the ground he was laying on. He reflected on what had brought him to this situation. To this choice. Was it really the only choice he had. Could he yet run from the scene before  it was too late. Before he was inducted into the priesthood.

That certainly would be unheard of, and a total unforgivable scandal in 1930’s Ireland. His mind turned to her. She was never far his mind now. The forbidden love. She was older, A lot more mature than her fourteen years. In looks, manner, and outlook. But it could never be. Not now, not ever, He told himself, many many times, as he twisted and turned alone in his bed at night.
                                 But the deep feelings of love, or was it just lust, he wondered, were impossible to hide from himself. True yes she was the first female to show any real feelings of warmth towards him. But he had heard of how many young school girls fall in love with there Teachers, but very seldom would they fall in love with a guard. Solid,Upstanding,Member Of The Community. This Was One Secret He Knew He Could Never Let See The Light Of Day.
                His Mind Travelled Back, How On That Sunny Day, As They Walked Along The Clifftop, Alone And Out Of Sight Of Others. That’s The Way It Had To Be. She Spoke Of Her Wishes For The Future. How Happy She Was, The Prospect Of A Family With Him, A Long Life Ahead Of Them.
           She Reached For His Hand. He Hesitated, And Suggested Instead, She Loop Her Arm Through His.

’It Will Look More Innocent’,

She Smiled And Laughed In Response. As They Continued To Walk Along The Cliff Top In The Warm Sunshine. Valuing Their Time Alone Together. He Teased And Chided Her For Missing Out On School To Spend Time With Him. She Laughed At His Mock Teasing, And Ran When He Chased Her In Jest. Catching Up To Her, She Turned And Softly Put Her Arms Around His Neck And Kissed Him Gently On The Lips.
              He Turned Back Towards The Clifftop Path. Feeling He Was Being Watched, And To His Utter Disbelief He Saw, The One And Only, Mrs Delia Murphy. Who Was Better Known As The Local Town Gossip. Standing And Watching Them. With Her Long Three Quarter Way Coat, And Large Handbag, Dangling From Her  Arm. A Small Hat Upon Her Head. She Had Never Married, And Had Taken Her Bitterness About That Situation Out On The World, On The Village By Spreading Scandal And Rumour. Overly Exaggerating Half Truths , About Anyone She Chose Too In The Village.
                                She Very Much Fitted The Image Of A Bitter, Aging Spinster. With A Large Physical Frame, Hair Always Tied Tightly In A Bun, In An Angry Manner. A Plain, Always Stern Face, And Less Than Pleasant Demeanour. She Eyed The Scene Of  Thomas And The Young Girl, And Her Mouth Dropped Open In Shock, Consternation, And Some Envy. But She Also Smiled, Because She Certainly Had Some Scandal To Spread In The Village Now. She Hurried Along The Clifftop Walk Towards The Village.

‘Mrs Murphy’, Thomas Called After Her, Releasing Sinead’s Arms From Around His Neck, As He Followed In The Footsteps Of Mrs Murphy’s.
‘i It’s Not What It Looks Like’, He Pleaded.

She Have Turned To Face Him,

‘Get Away From Me Guard Thomas Brennan, I Know What I Saw, And Soon Everybody Else Will Too…..’

Her Face A Picture Of Triumph, Joy, But Also Envy, As She Again Hurried Along The Path Towards The Village, With Her Self Righteous, Indigent Walk. He Knew It Was Pointless To Reason And Argue With Her. He Returned To Sinead Where She Stood By The Cliff Top Edge.

‘Now Do You See What You’ve Done’, He Voice Raised, And Face Reddened. ’You Know We Have To Hide Away From People. You Know Who That Was ?’

.‘Yes, I Know’. What Can We Do ?’

‘I Don’t Know What We Can Do, But We Have To Stop Seeing Each Other, For One. You Will Just Have To Find Someone Your Own Age, We Cannot Carry Any More’.

With That Sinead’s Face Reddened, And She Hung Her Head. Thomas Reached Out To Touch Her Hand, But She Pulled Away. He Reached Out Again, Again She Pulled Away And Ran. Her Tears Blinding Her View.

‘Wait’,

The More He Moved After Her, The Faster She Ran, In A Disoriented Manner. He Watched, As If In Slow Motion, As She Got To The Cliff Top Edge. He Looked At The Clear Blue Sky, And Asked God For Help. God Didn’t Answer. He Watched Her Eyes Widen, And Her Lips Parted To Scream, But No Sound Came Out. He watched in the silence, As She Moved Forward Into The Clear Blue Sky. He Ran To The Cliff Top Edge, But It Was Too Late. He Didn’t Want To Look, But Forced Himself. A Quick Glance At Her Broken Body, Lying Bent And Misshapen On The Rocks Below.

       As He Lay Prostrate On The Floor In Front Of The Bishop, Again He Thought Of Her. She Would It Seems Never Ever Be Far From His Mind And Soul……

 

 

 

The Beach.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gone Forever.

Photo credit : Hector Martinez / Unsplash.com

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She lit the candle and placed it by the shrine, but knew it was pointless. He was gone now, and would not be coming back. What she would give now for there silly pointless arguments, that they had so many times. How she at  times hated and despised him, and wished he was dead. What she would give now, to make it not so.
Did his classmates care ? hardly. He always stood apart from the others. There would be others just like him, who were  just that slightly way different. Those that were perceived to be a little strange. His love of poetry, his lack of female companionship, or interest in any females, at least not in that way. Those who stood apart from the rest of the group. The peace and tranquility in the home were now gone and shattered. Her Father had gone quiet and began to drink very heavily. She heard his cries of despair as she passed his room late at night. Her Mother, who was a cold, uptight woman, always found it hard to show much emotion, choose to ignore what had happened. For the most part she just played the piano incessantly, and busied herself with reading. Everyone dealing with the loss in their own ways.
Just one of the group came to the shrine. Dressed in the uniform of the culture. The black leather jacket, black trousers, and obligatory permanent snarl. She wanted to scream, and ask of him , why ? Did they really need to torture him mentally and psychologically every day. Why could they not have left him in peace and let him be. Why did they have to be that way, to be so cruel, why ?

She stared at him across the gravel courtyard of the shrine, willing him silently, to look at her. But he refused, and keep his head bowed low. Having enough of this nonsense she marched across the courtyard to confront him. The gravel crunching under her feet. Her heart pumping fast, her legs shaking somewhat, with the release of the chemical concoction in her body. She stopped, as she watched him kneel down and take some matches from his jacket, and light a candle, enshrined in its small glass container, and place it at the foot of the wall. She watched as he began to pray, and just for a brief moment his mask slipped, as he wiped away a solitary tear. She continued to watch him, as he lit a second candle, enshrined in it’s glass container, and placed it against the foot of the wall, and again say a brief prayer.

He stood up and put back on the mask and swagger of the uncaring youth, that he pretended to be. Had she known, she would of course have stopped him, and begged him not to do it. Not to waste another young life, by his own hand. A few weeks later , after reading about it in the local newspaper, she again returned to the shrine, and lit another candle, but this time for him.

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He is gone now, he ain’t coming back
What I wish I said, but it’s no use now, cause he is dead
Would I have said I loved you more, just so that you’d know the score
Would I have argued less, rather than trying to get inside, and upset your head
What’s the point of large regret, for all those words left unsaid
What’s the point of tears to shed, cause now you’re dead, you ain’t no more

You know the big secret now, of what’s beyond the sky
It’s where were all headed, on that day we die
Why did you do it, take your life like that
Why could not be strong like a lion, in the face of such abuse
Can’t you see the pain were in, as you look down from above
I’m praying to Jeasus your sending us, tons and tons of love

Dear brother I love you lots, even though you’re far away
I ache for us to meet again, so I can have my say
Tell you that I love you, just the way you are
For in my mind you was ,and forever will be, that bright, everlasting star
I wish you could have been stronger, back here on planet earth
Why could you not have been a fighter, a man who stood his ground

Why could you not have tougher, not the weakling you were perceived to be
But then dear brother, you can of course only be, what you can be
Had you been different with your love of poetry, and all the rest
Maybe I would not have considered you one of the very best
Don’t you worry, kiddo I knew just what you were, my intuition put me straight on that
Not that it matters, it was just the way you were
But to me , you will always and forever be that bright, everlasting star.

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

Was she floating or dreaming……

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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