Childhood.

Childhood
Photo Credit : Greyerbaby on Pixelbay

Daily Prompt: Restart

‘No that’s not how it’s going to be. We will not be doing that. Sit back in your seat, and be quiet, and don’t annoy your Father while he is driving.’

Another boring Sunday afternoon drive among the nature trails that she had seen soo many times before. Same old, same old. Repetitive nice conversations. It was the same scene every few weeks, after he had stopped drinking, at least for a time. Or to be truthful until the next time, and there would for sure, be a next time.
It was their joint attempt at reconciliation, after the wasted money been spent. After the hurtful words and accusations spewed at each other, with seething venom, that is when they were actually speaking. It was predictable. The alcoholic bender. The broken promises. The threats. The screaming and shouting, slamming of doors, and kitchen delf. The accusations of infidelity. The children finding their own ways to avoid, and hide from the craziness. Finding their own adventures, or trouble. Living their lives through reading, their friends and films. Anyway to keep the madness from their minds. The indulgent hedonistic lifestyle coming to a halt after a period of a month or so.
Followed by sadness, much regret, and false promises of positive change, that all knew would come to nothing eventually. The glorious and pleasant making up, until the next time. It was sickening. Truly it was.

 

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Empty

Emptiness
Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash

Empty inside, is this what its like to die
A waking death, nothing more needs to be said
Barren life. Ain’t no strife, ain’t nothing going on
Aching for human company, please someone speak to me
I just can’t go on, this barren path no more
It never changes, this. Such a struggle to be alone
Always it seems on my own
Is their something wrong with me, or just a lack of opportunity
To meet with and interact with others
Could always try volunteer work, although most of those people ain’t right in the head
There seems to be a lot misaligned with them as far as I can see
Lover’s in short supply
Who knows, maybe life will seem better tomorrow
No sounds, no voices, my world is silent
People close by, but they may as well be on a different planet
As they seem so remote to me
Sorrow and self indulgent, perhaps so. But that’s what’s happening here
Of course many people are just not worth the bother
With their idiosyncrasies, and character not to my taste
But in moments of weakness, when the silence becomes unbearable
Is when my standards may lower temporarily
To allow such people in

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 Faces of the Invisible.

MyWorldView721.Wordpess.Com

The Faces of The Invisible.

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Photo by Joe Keating on Unsplash

He was invisible to them. Nobody noticed him, or at least pretended not to notice him. He sat like the rest of us, in the railway station waiting room, seeking refuge from the bitter cold outside. At least it was warm. We sat with our luggage, and warming tea and recently purchased, quiet expensive sandwiches.
He sat huddled with dirty track bottoms, and dirty shoes. A black anorak, with a hood covering his head, and slim frame. He had no hot tea, or sandwich. His arms folded over covering himself. Never once did he raise his head, to see what was going on around him. Never once did he ask of any of us in that waiting room for a few quid to help him out. He just sat with his eyes closed, head pointed down towards the ground, the whole time I watched him. He was no more than nineteen years old I guess.
I studied him, and the people around him, and wondered did the other travellers not even see him. Did he not exist in their minds. Was he a non entity ? Could they not see another human being obviously suffering and down on his luck. People nearby read there newspapers. Played with their expensive mobile phones. One or two of the more obnoxious travellers conducted business deals, excited, smug and self satisfied with another deal successful concluded. Oblivious to this young guy, within ten feet of them. The middle aged ladies discussing their travel plans, and the relatives they would be visiting. Some played games, caught up with emails on their tablets. Other studied the screen as it displayed and reloaded the upcoming train times. reorganising their plans. I wondered where would he go, when he would inevitably be asked to leave the shelter of the warm waiting room, and what would he do tomorrow and the next day, and the next. How had life brought him to this.
As I watched the other temporary inhabitants of that waiting room, I silently questioned their humanity. I also questioned my own, as I left the warmth of the waiting room, to catch my train without stopping to offer him help, of some description. Was it embarrassment, fear of his reaction, or did want to draw any attention to myself. What ever it was, I never figured it. Would I act differently in a similar situation again. That I could not say. I would like to think I would be more humane, but who knows.

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Justice.

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Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash.

This was torture. This was cruel. Tantalizing, and teasing. She’s in the forest. That was all the message said. They along with the detectives looking after them rushed to the scene, to be greeted by this.

They searched among the trees, with the cruel question marks. They searched by the lakeside, but to little avail. The birds in the trees above giving the forest a semblance of peacefulness. Again they wept. She could take no more, and turned to her husband for sustenance and support. But he too was hurting, and incapable of helping her.
The police officers who accompanied them, offered what physical and mental sustenance that they could, grateful that it was not their own child who had been taken. Intent of holding their own children tight, and loving them that bit more when they returned home later that evening.

He watched smiling from afar. This was revenge pure and simple. Some say revenge is a forlorn and pointless exercise to indulge in. But can they not understand the joy and pleasure it affords one. To watch the perpetrators of unsavory deeds and acts get whats due to them, it’s only right. He was undecided how long he would keep her in the cabin or if he would ever let her go. His main concern was which was the best way to inflict as much human pain and suffering onto her loving parents. To continue with this teasing and tantalizing method, raising their hopes and then dashing their hopes. Or perhaps to dispose of the child once and for all.

But he too was a reluctant victim of an unjust world. Of a corrupt society, and a fraudulent  legal system. Where favours and deals were conducted out of sight, among the well to do of the old boy network.
Where was the justice for his loss. Where was the care and compassion for his sadness. Why were the police so lackluster in their investigations. These and other questions ran through his mind. Enough justification for his actions.
He along with many others, would always remember her for her diligence and tenacity. Her absolute determination, to see right be done. She like many others could see the injustice of the International Co-operations refusing to play fair. Making billions of profits in sales, and paying little if any tax on it. Hiding their profits in tax havens, guided by highly paid knowledgeable financial professionals. While at the same time, these duplicitous co-operations claiming their innocence and honesty. Blatantly lying to the public, trying to deceive the masses.  Do they take us for fool’s. While normal people suffered, and struggled to pay the tax they were forced to pay, by their governments, or face possible imprisonment and large fines.

Outraged by such injustice she used the power’s of her office to work her way through these large deceitful co-operations, one by one, and with other’s intent on bringing them to justice, and making them pay financially. He remembered her, with her paper’s spread out over the kitchen table. The scent of her fragrance so alluring. With forthright indignation. He watched her stern face and body held tight with anger, as she explained to him what had being going on, and what she was going to do about it. Her frustration at her colleagues in the seats of power in the Government,  of her own country, and other countries. In an attempt to calm public outrage, the swiftly convened government committees  and public inquiries that quizzed the executives of the deceitful, dishonorable co-operations. Before the government ministers and officials, in front of the TV cameras, again the executives lied. Bewildered and disillusioned by politics and it’s dishonesty. Many of her colleagues had called for reparations and promised changes in the law. But what had it come to, nothing. Promises made but soon forgotten. With the public temporarily calmed, and philosophical about political ineptitude, once again big business had won out. She slammed the kitchen table hard, in frustration. Public services so badly in need of funds were to be denied once again. Overcrowded hospitals lacking equipment. Overworked Doctors, exhausted. Children playgroups disbanded. Psychological counselling services for the disturbed, curtailed. Had her government colleagues succumbed to the backhanded gifts of luxurious holidays, share options, mortgages quietly forgotten and much else besides. He watched and silently admired the power of her outrage, the disillusionment and unleashed anger that drove her. He loved her the more for it. Here was a woman, he would never leave. Where was the justice, she asked quietly. Who was to blame. She explained to him how they would be made to pay for it, in financial terms, and public humiliation. Justice for the people.

Neither realized just how powerful and to what lengths these business would go to. Hard to believe in this day and age. This was not a fast paced thriller movie. This was real life. In the quiet street, he watched as her hand was roughly torn away from his, and her lifeless sweet body was launched into the darkness of the wet night. He barely glimpsed  or noticed the speeding Mercedes, as he stood transfixed. Taken in by the sickening sounds of bones being crushed by the fast moving metal and glass weapon. Of human flesh and cartilage being ripped apart, never to be repaired. Watching in slow motion, the surreal, impossible event unfolding before him. His consciousness vacated his body, as he watched. A moment later, it returned to his physical body. His frame shook, as he wept quietly as he held her in his arms. She moaned gently in distress. Her breathing labored, and growing weaker with each inhalation. Her eyes turning grey, and her once luscious lips, a light bluish shade. Her precious blood covering her clear skin, and expensive clothing, she took such care with. His stomach swirled at the vision, and the rising contents of his intestines, were expunged from his body, with great force, onto the empty street. He longed to hold her gently, and make it not so. To chastise her, and tell her to let the corrupt and deceitful go. What does it matter. There would always be others of the same ilk. He cried aloud to God when her spirit left her body, but God did not answer.
He sat in austere courtroom. A place devoid of much emotion. Functional, that’s what it was. He watched the proceddings with disbelief and gripped the bench, to steady himself. As he watched and listebed, his face became red, and perspiring. His breathing rapid, and short. The veins in his arms, his neck, were held so tightly, to bursting point. His legs started to shake with the surge of adrenaline moving through his rigid body. He stood and repeatedly swore loudly at the judge, using language he did not realize he had at his disposal. The violence and venom in his loud raging voice, filled the courtroom, and suprized himself. The judge released the culprit with nothing more, than a meaningless and ineffectual slap on the wrist. An empty punishment. More evidence, if any was needed, of the hidden corruption, that affords freedom, to those in the know, with helpful connections.

The Judge and his family would be the first of the many who would feel the wrath of his revenge. He had much work to do.

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

Have I ?

ozan-safak-476758

Photo by Ozan Safak on Unsplash

He sat on the chair, the entrance gateway behind him, so close, but yet so far. In the semi darkness, he could not make out their faces, but could sense their power. Their non human spiritual power. They sat in judgement of him now. The three with the power. The ability to save, or condemn him. Had he known in advance, how sudden he would be called, of course he would have made amends. Of course he would have been more honest, in his dealings with others. He never would have interfered with those young, at times, very ill, innocent children. They with no choices. He reasoned to himself at least, that they were all sexual beings and most probably enjoyed the experience. The fact that nobody knew about, and nobody ever would, what did it matter. It hardly mattered to anybody. That’s what he reasoned.
The cruelty he inflicted on others, why, that would never have happened. If only his life had been different, had being more fulling, more full of abundance. If only life had been more fair to him, he in turn would have been more kind and generous to others.
His fearful, pleading, explaining eyes, begging for a second chance. Funny how it was the very same look on the face of his victims, and those on the receiving end of his cruelty, and dishonesty. God listened to his pleas, and his fear.

‘I have watched your life, and how you used your time. On many occasions I sent you guidance and messages, in the form of co-incidental events, idea’s planted in your mind, and people who crossed your path’, the Lord spoke slowly.
‘ You chose to ignore the messages, that became increasingly stronger, as you veered off the path of righteous. The Devil has your soul, and that’s where you must go’.

It didn’t take long for the anger to surface. The sudden leap from the chair. The futile attempt at running at and attacking those who sat in judgement on him. The swearing. He reached for the weapon, that was usually hidden in his waistband, to find it, not there.

‘Well, had you given me a fairer life, none of this would have happened’, the anger and volume in his voice, so loud and bitter.

‘None of it, Do you hear me.’ The venom and anger coming from the very depths of his body and soul. Guttural ,and full of violent, murderous intent His face near purple with rage. Perspiration appearing on his forehead, cheeks and seeping through to dampen his dark t-shirt. His body shook as he screamed, exhausted and spent of energy.
‘ You watched, as those I trusted, took that trust and used my innocence for their own desires. Men of your own cloth among them. You must have seen. Why did you let that happen, why Lord. Why did you sit back and let that happen ? Why did you take my family from my life, at such a young age ? ‘
‘Why did you take my loving wife from my life, in that brutal way ? ‘
‘Why did you make my children turn away from me ?’

God listened but did not answer.

‘To hell with you’, again from the very depths of his soul, and body. Now physically and mentally drained.

‘No’, the Lord countered, ‘to hell with you’.

‘I took those who borne you away, to make you stronger. To give you the strength, and tools, if you choose to use them. I sent you these and other tests, to make you stronger in this life, to prepare you for the next, and as punishment for the lives you have led in your previous incarnations. I made your children turn away, because I could see your soul could not be saved. I turned them away, to save them from you. Those who used you for their own desires, will pay the price, for the chances they were given, and the bad choices they made and the lessons never learned.’ The voice of the Lord, loud, thunderous, and angry. ‘ Not the God of love, that was preached to him from his school days of so long ago.
‘ All of you must, and will pay the price for the lives you have lived, in this life, and your past incarnations. Until and unless you learn your life lessons. Their is no escape, from how you have lived. Judgement comes to all’.

‘You will now find a warm welcome at the gates of hell, for that is where you belong, my child’.

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

The Cat.

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Photo by Darkness on Unsplash

Agile

He didnt’ like that title, that had being bestowed on him, by the obsessive followers and fans. That was his nickname. A childish, foolish, name. But an indication of his skill, and ease of movement on the ball. In the games that mattered. To a man they thought the highest of him.

He had to grateful to him, he was told, by his family, wife, and team management. Without them, he was nothing. As the windscreen wipers cleared away the belting rain,on the bleak darkened road, he began to question, if he really needed them. These fans. These people who never gave him any peace. Always having to be polite and civil. Forcing smiles, when all he wanted to do was get away from them, from the noise, the adoration. Silence was what he craved the most. That’s what brought him to this place, these long solitary drives, in the middle of the night. An opportunity to think, to consider and reflect.
Did he even want….. the impact was sudden. A brief sight of something, bouncing off the windscreen, and then the sudden struggling with the wheel, to regain control. He brought the car to a juddering halt. The only sound, his heavy, rapid breathing, and the rain, heavy and noisy against the car. He checked himself, and calmed his mind slightly. His heart beating fast, and that familiar sickly chemical concoction in his stomach, that he felt every time he had to deal with the overbearing fans. He exited the vehicle to search for whatever had come into contact with it. The pouring rain, quickly soaking his clothing. The wind wild and raging. He brought his collar up, on his expensive leather coat, to protect himself, as much as he could. Most probably some type of animal, he assumed. Perhaps a scampering dear, or fox, or maybe a badger, as he did glance some colour, on whatever hit his car.
Too cold, and wet to be hanging about. With no sign of any animal, he assumed they too, would be shaken, but not stirred. Laughing to himself, at his humours aside to agent 007. He returned to the car, and in the darkness he headed along the empty highway. Unsure why he glanced in the mirror, he just felt, maybe sensed a cool breeze, a presence. A sense of unease. A un-nerving feeling of being watched. His body ran cold. Goosebumps appearing rapidly on his body. The figure of the small young girl, with her once pretty face, battered with bloodstained scars, briefly glanced at him, from the rear seat. He hit the brakes hard, and for the second time, in a short time, the car same to a standstill. He turned around rapidly in his seat, to see what he thought he saw. To his relief, there was nothing but an empty rear seat, of his 70’s mustang car. A collectors car now. Rare and highly valued. A favourite of the movie stars of the 70’s. Steve McQueen, and of course,  Starkey and Hutch. He checked the floor of the dark interior, cursing himself, for neglecting to fix the interior lighting, but promising himself to get it done as soon as possible.
Again his breathing was rapid, heart beating fast. The only sound that of the wild raging wind, and the heavy rain. He cursed himself a second time, for neglecting to fix the radio. In the darkness, he pushed his foot hard to the floor, and the black car skidded and swerved,as it responded to the powerful engine. With a screech of the tires, he was on his way. Of course there was nothing in the car with him, how could there be ? But he still felt quiet nervous, and longed to be back in the city, and it’s busyness. Even back among his overbearing fans, and increasingly irritating wife.

‘ Why ? ‘, the question came out of nowhere. Softly at first. As he drove at increasing speed down the dark empty road, the bends illuminated by the strong headlights. Again he checked the rear view, there she was again, this bloodstained and battered face of the young girl, holding a small teddy bear. The temperature of in the car, became very cold.
‘ Why did you do it , look at me now ‘, the voice become stronger, a low brutal growl, demonic like.
He drove faster, and faster. Screeching round the bends. The sound of the rain, and howling wind, overpowering. The back seat interior of the car, lit up in dark red flames,. The little girl sat among them, peacefully watching him. Then she was gone. He double checked the rear view. There was no more dark flames. The rain eased, and the wind became more subdued. His body was shaking, perspiration dripping from his forehead. The interior temperature of the car returned to normal. The sudden music sounds from the once dead radio, made him jump.
He slowed the car down, and relaxed his tight grip on the steering wheel, as the lights of the city, came into view. That evenings drive had given him quiet a lot to think about, on his drive back into the city. It was well after midnight when he hit the empty city streets, aside from the usual night people. The drunks, prostitutes, and the others up to no good. He stopped outside the precinct and slowly entered and approached the counter.
The rough looking desk Sargent, eyed him up slowly.

‘ I have a confession to make…..’