Bluebirds

When John Harris saw the swastika, his hand clenched until the knuckles turned white. He imagined some jumped-up little gobshite coming here in the dead of night, giggling while he drew this monstrosity. The sheer disrespect made his teeth grate. Salford Lads Club used to be a place of hope. Windows were now cracked or faded and the brick work was rotting. The painted roses that once hung proudly above the door were chipped away. The Dangerous Building sign completed a tarnished picture of childhood memories. A place of gymnasiums in the evening and choirs in the morning. Knitted scarves and free meals at Christmas. Eighty years of breaking his back and he’d returned to a miscreant paradise. John gripped the railings, took a breath and turned away. Continue reading “Bluebirds”

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Toy Soldiers

The ceiling rumbles, weary with the weight of desperate men. Their hatred is powerful, focused with such ferocity I wonder if it alone will be enough to tear through the roof of the bunker. They serve a Meshugener’s dream. This war has taught me it’s become harder to separate the mad from the wise. I should be terrified, but how much death can be faced before even the scent of burnt carcasses leaves behind nothing but jadedness? All the terror I’ve left to spare is for my people, huddling in the bunker, relying on me to see them through until the morning. But we will find freedom, we’ll never surrender to the likes of men who would turn us into animals.

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Witnesses

Gaudy spires tore at the sky, tore at creation until the air splintered. They drained the colour from the sky till it was little more than an ashen pall. The buildings, monuments to man’s ingenuity offend the sky. They offended Saul as he ran. He gazed upon the cosmos as the rain hammered down. The rain flayed him as punishment for his crimes. Saul knew he wasn’t the only victim. The rain punished all who were caught.

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Gilead

Waves lapped at the shore while rain fell from a slate grey sky. Half of Brighton was still asleep. Niamh found she preferred the quiet. She wandered down the beach, hands in the pockets of her grey satin overcoat, her shoulders hunched against the cold. The salt spray in her face was a bitter reminder of days long past. She owed it to herself to make the walk, to hold on to the good it would do. Wind swept through her chestnut hair as she strolled along the shore, pebbles crunching beneath her feet.

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Men Of Valour

The crowd was large, but it didn’t stop me getting to the front. (The thing I’ve noticed about this generation is your obligation to step aside for anyone who looks over the age of 60. We’re not all three steps away from a heart-attack I’m pleased to inform you) I shuffled in between a young lady with spiky blonde hair and a man holding a little girl high on his shoulders.

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And Overnight A Forest Grew

The artist begins his life like the rest of society; that is to say he begins it with an aspiration he does not yet understand. The desire to create is there, but the seeds of consciousness are waiting to be sown. He starts off in an uncommon home to a middle class couple who want their child to excel.

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When Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth

Erik Haines clenched the shovel and heard the soft crunch as it churned up the sand. Wind buffeted the back of his head and he planted his feet, listened to the rhythm of the tide, the harsh, sobering cries of gulls rocked in updraughts. Drizzle pelted him but Erik didn’t look up. The shovel scraped against a slab of red stone with shell swirls engraved in the surface. He dug the stone out and added it to the cavalcade of forgotten treasures behind him: A half chewed bone, an old wellington boot and a soup can, home to a colony of small crabs. Continue reading “When Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth”