Category Archives: Stories

The view from the back of a lecture.



I am sat two chairs in on the back row. I see the backs of heads staring desperately day-dreaming, unwillingly trying to shrug the hangover from the previous nights alcohol consumption – sweltering among body heat, broken radiators and insulation – heat only comparable to a scene from the puzzling pig-masking, murder mystery thriller Saw.

Rustling handouts, proceeded to interupt the lecturer spreading yet more ephemeral words to non-concentrate recipients, sporting a vibrant discombobulation half golf and half hiking attire – from top to bottom. Unrelenting waves of yawns, creaks and sighs flooded the room erupting like volcanoes and dampening the already disinterested crowd, followed by whispers from a rowdy bunch near the front row – not so very quietly telling others of the blast she’d had with her gal-pals – it sounded like suffocating, scrambling for air as you panic, wish and hope but in your last moments think of doubt, fear and somewhat acceptance.

Students scattered in twos and three clinging like pack animals; I was alone. On my right the incessant tapping of mac books distract me from the task at hand; concentration. My eyes drift and land on a helping hand, the co-managing lecturer, of the subject, sits beside the entrance. Her hair mangled and untamed, like a student, broken and unappreciated she smirks chortling merrily compressing the disfigured wrinkly-skin hanging from her chin.

My mind drifts pacing slowly towards the window, there is a gap that only appears every so often from an inadequate breeze slowly creeping in pushing the blackened blind from its purpose. There is a fence towering above a puddle. Sometimes a bird will sit in it, often it doesn’t, but sometimes it stands perplexed holding its chest out looking nonchalant in a stationary manner. With no pen and paper I sat trying to must some sort of aspiration to maintain my attention.

The fact the slides were in widescreen mode wasn’t aiding my cause, an apology had been issued but technical appliances can only absorb so much incompetence from human users. His words sail awkwardly across the room, comfortably piercing our auditory receptors.

Purple, pink and blue, rest aggressively asserting in the corner of my eye. I turn facing this multi-coloured monster. Slabbed, draped and inconclusively strawberry short-cake splattered clown look-a-like wearing fake-glasses the size of the moon. She sits slumped chewing her necklace, when her phone vibrates. She instantly picks up, unlocks and replies to her “lover” ending the message in the more X’s than Simpson Halloween specials!

The time finally runs out, and coming to the end of something unbearably uninteresting could never have felt better, only afterwards realizing that I just paid £103 to not pay an ounce of attention.

On top of a table.


Upon the table stood a thirty-two inch Alba perching against the east facing wall which stared precariously over the condiments that were mangled, overlapping and oddly placed. A green translucent jug, sticky and overturned, lie between empty bottles of beer and cracked glass. Plates, scattered and covered in scraps of uneaten food. Post-stick notes together and separate, ripped and untouched stuck to deodorant cans and caps of bottle drunk. Tobacco pouches strewed and tawny orange stains littered the laminate wood, that it rested on. The pitter-patter of mouse clicks, keyboard keys, and Xbox buttons hung like wasted decibels only outweighed by the bellowing screams of a kettle. Disks, cards and sunglasses accompanied the collaborative mess almost pushing the boundaries close to falling off the edge. The remnants of takeaways past chewed, spewed and splattered with sauces of red, brown and white in a rustling grease paper box. A consumed peach schnapps bottle held its structural dominance standing triumphant among the scuttling rubbish surrounding it. Pointless receipts and stubby coloured glasses, designed for shots, held up a half full packet of JB like ants couriering their food to their queen. Carved keys, and wallets encapsulated the unending growth of the taxing environment that sustained all walks of life, from ants to moths. The smell of poultry, ash and regret licked effervescently above and beyond the table dissipating further into it’s surrounding. Cigarettes burnt and stubbed into, lids of plastic, tin and yoghurt pots still with foil half covering the only accessible point.  Green and continually bending plastic garden chairs tucked under, pushed out and somewhere in between allowed the makers of this wasteland to continue, essentially enabling the tables demise. Once friends they now feared one another, as the scratches and screeches of the chairs moving position startled the compressed fibers that made up the four legs of the table; striking fear, angst and disappointment within an old friend. It had long been since the table held nothing but it’s own weight, it wondered if it ever would.




I drift away, my mood coinciding with the dust on the ground. No movement or sound is heard, every drag bringing me closer to that moment. I Move towards the light. I see clarity. My body enthralled, shaking from side to side. Feet restless, conscious non-existence. My eyes close and my final breath fills me with thoughts of youth and beauty as I stare openly. Memories turn from black to gold. Then back again. Finally the darkness takes hold of me. Its hands cold, ominous and liberating. Sore vile nails pierce my skin. I screech. I am propelled through the floor boards. Cracking, banging and clanging into an endless chasm. Fear chasing me. It’s breath tormenting and unforgiving. When an unearthly entity slows my decent, pausing instantaneously before we touch the asphalt ground. I am confronted by two doors. The option toys with me. If I choose left, who knows. If I choose right, who knows. Curiosity bends my soul. My perspective unfocused. Eyes blotched. I choose. The door swings open; almost breaking the hinges. Smoke curls across the floor, crawling towards me. It surrounds me. No sight. No direction. No sound. No air. Nothing. Complete. Pure. Time stops.

Disparaged love.


57172Her name Claire, seeping like sap through a willow tree. It’s branches kissing the ground as they sifted the golden leaves around in the wind. That is where he met her. Her face white as snow, lips soft and her eyes shone green with beautiful dimples on the cheeks. Her blonde hair flowed down and the tips touched the lower region of her back.

He was non-the-wiser to the willow tree swaying and eerily creeping back and fourth. His hair was black. Fingernails dirty. Untamed eyebrows lived upon the upper half of his face. The nose that was betwixt the left and right side of his face was a solid example of his gene pool. His father, had the same nose and his father before that, and every ancestor of his was known to have his nose. It was one to be proud of; being ashamed of it was nothing to be proud of. His eyes, lit up whenever he saw anyone with a smile. He began walking.

His shirt was rustling in the wind as he made his move towards her. Her eyes squinted, trying to work out who it was. A boy she had never seen before, his face somehow familiar. Her thoughts scattered. He approached and startled her, as her brain was trying to complete a thought process.
He asked if she would take a walk with him?
She replied in a way that allowed him to see through her pretentious exterior. Err, I don’t often walk with strangers, but I guess this once won’t hurt.

A spark of excitement coursed through Johns body. His hands restless and his breathing had led her to believe he was something different. He wasn’t like the rest of them, he happened to be kind and grateful. They spent hours making conversation whilst staring into the sky comparing shapes and sizes of clouds. There was one sheep, two faces and too many cloud that were too shapeless to give a label too. Their young hearts were filled to the brim with compliments of love and beauty; after a while of conversing, a shout was heard from across the field.

“JOHN COME INSIDE NOW. YOU KNOW YOUR NOT MEANT TO… COME NOW!” It was to be presumed that it was his mother. Before Claire could ask he had scuttled back across the field, through the park and back into the house. His mother scowling at her. She felt uneasy and unwelcome. Her heart in her mouth, she wondered if she would ever see him again. But before she knew it, two years had passed.

It was December, the trees without leaves and the thought of snow fall was on everybody’s mind. It had rained the night before so the chances of snow were very slim. During that day Claire, had been to school. On her way home she saw, what at first seemed to be a stranger, but someone who felt so familiar. She dropped her bag and ran, not ran sprinted towards the figure of John. As she got closer she was perplexed to see it was him. After two years of wondering, wishing and contemplating eventualities, he was here. He was there in front of her. His face matured, his hair short and sharp. Before she could open her mouth he said “Good afternoon, miss. Would you like to go for a walk?”

She neither replied or denied John. She simply grabbed his hand and they ran past the willow that had once intertwined them and towards the forest, that was located beyond the field. So deep into the forest they had found themselves lost A compass without labels.

The light in the sky was a combination of red and orange, evening was fast approaching. Neither Claire or John would leave each others company. Their hands clasped and his eyes focused on her pure untouched body. He kissed her neck just once, her hands grabbed the back of his shirt holding him tighter and tighter. He continued up her neck until he kissed her lips. The forest surrounding them displayed their affection and innocence. A moment of pure passion. One hand on her hip and the other holding her neck in his hand. He said its time.

Just as she was about to take his jeans off. A lightning bolt hit the ground a couple of miles away. The thunder deafening. Nothing would stop them. Their love exerted in sweat and noise. The tree surrounding them were tall and empathetic. Rain poured over their naked bodies, John held her tighter covering her from the rain and they continued making love until the rain stopped beating on John’s back. Cold and wet. Dark and erie.

John dressed Claire and they returned to the village they had just earlier that day ran from. He smiled and looked at Claire and said “we will, we are and will always show them our love is as strong as we want it. We decide our fate. And our destiny and no one can stop us. Never forget.”

Claire, was in love. Her mind compelled. Her heart strung. She was now a woman of strong status.

Many years had passed, happily ever after they thought. John however was not. He had grown tired and ill tempered. The spark she had once seen had sizzled out and she felt trapped. As though stuck in a nightmare which was once exciting and new but had now become tedious and Mundane. They had been lovers for years now. She wondered what had changed and blamed herself for a while until she built up the courage to confront her, once beautiful, lover. She said my love, your hair has become lifeless, was it me that has done this to you or is it the lack of order in your priorities. In the eyes of John, she had become cynical, and even more pretentious than she had once been. Their love had faded and anxious apprehension had replaced the intimacy they had.
After work on a Tuesday. She would spend all afternoon cleaning their certainly middle-class home – they used to call it home. John would go to a club he had been a member of for years. Whilst she was cleaning the bedroom floor, she found something. A small object by nature but it grew increasingly suspicious in her mind.

When her husband, had returned she questioned him. His answer only being that he had left it there for her to find in order to add a little spice to their failing relationship. She was dumbstruck. She said nothing and so the week passed the same as any other.
So the next week, when her husband left, she followed him. Her mind hollow and her seatbelt fastened. She managed to keep a few cars distance at all times. She had never been to this part of town. Unfamiliar and strange. Shivers tickling her already nervous fingertips. His car stopped outside a house. The door was made of oak, windows translucent and the Door-mat outside read welcome home. He entered the house and she stayed in the car for a while. Just long enough that he wouldn’t notice her leaving the car and going round the back. As a youngster she had always made a good climber, sitting in trees for hours and letting the world roll by.

In the garden there were flowers across all three sides with a bird pond in the middle. The grass was perfectly cut and the smell of June hung sweetly in the air. She peered into the window. Nobody was there. Again in the kitchen. She decided to climb on top of the conservatory, which she immediately hated because it was a horrible cream colour. It reminded her of an argument John and her had, years ago. He wanted it and she didn’t. Their conflicting views made her miss the intimacy in their relationship, it was the last time she could remember when they had actually spoken.

On top of the conservatory, she peered through another window. The hallway was dark and she couldn’t see much.
One window left. She assumed that it would be where her husband was. Thoughts raced through her mind of what he was doing? Why was he there? What sort of club was this?

She froze, her feet stolen from her. Her jaw had dropped and nothing but anger filled her body. She took a while to process what she had seen. She composed herself and took off home. Awaiting the arrival of her ‘lover’. The door opened. For years she had been stuck wondering what it was that was missing from their empty loveless life. The fact the door creaked upon entering infuriated her on a good day; it was this time that it really drove her mad.

As soon as John saw the tears in her eyes, his throat closed up and his voice gained an empathetic quality which was almost subsided by the ring of a telephone. The phone was left to voice-mail. Claire spoke few words that night. All that was said was she thought their love was different from all over loves, a binding promise, betrothed to each other. All he had to say was he wasn’t sorry for doing it but sorry she found out. The night was bleak and as Claire looked into the sky she saw black. Nothing but black space. Everywhere. A thought arose that could just walk into the night and escape her life, her husband and escape from herself. Nevertheless, she stayed.

Needless to say that the house was quiet for some time. It was two weeks before either of them had spoken to one another.
John was in the kitchen. He heard nothing. He spoke nothing. He simply was. After a minute of listening to the sound of silence he decided to make it up to Claire. All his broken promises, the mistrust and every lie he had told.
The stairs, cream. The banister was carved by their old friend jack-the-black-carpenter. His name is slightly misleading considering he was was pale, short and stubby however great with his hands.

He stood at the bottom of the stairs looking aimlessly at the top, where a vase usually sat. The plant had died some time ago, it had become wilted and brown. Every step he took, the more anxious he felt. His palms sweating and beads of sweat dripped down his forehead. He approached the door. The scratched golden handle was hard to turn. It took a few turns to get it right. Once he’d opened it. He pushed it wide open. Turned the corner. There she was. Claire in all her beauty. In front of her. She lay. Peacefully.

On closer inspection she held a bottle in her hand. He unclasped her hand from the bottle. It read rat poison. He fell to his knees. His head lie in shame. He ran to the bathroom. He looked blankly into the mirror. His face grey and wrinkled. With his fist clenched he put his fist through the mirror. Shards of mirror lay in the sink and on the floor. There was blood where the mirror was, in the sink and on the floor.

He took the shards of glass that were scattered across the room. He ran it gently over his wrist. Imagining the pain that could be caused. The damage. He smiled. Clenching the glass he stabbed it into his wrist once, twice, three times. Blood squirted everywhere; whilst a pool of blood spread across the floor. Claire’s plan had succeeded.

All the commotion from the bathroom had woken Claire from a deep sleep. She had come to the conclusion that it must have worked. His body crashed to the floor with a thud so loud it shook the foundations of the house. She picked herself up, placed the pot on the side. She drifted around the corner and stood above her poor husbands bloody broken body and whispered, I gave you everything, I was yours, you took my life so now ill have yours. He neared the end, blood loss was his main concern, with a breathe he replied. Bu..b..but t..he poi…son. She said in a tone of voice which he had hard before, pretentious and softly she said I’ve had problem sleeping for a while. As she walked outside the room she turned to him and spoke “never forget”.