**Extract may contain sensitive material** (more…)
Love hangs in the balance,
of an everlasting truce.
She heard the screams before she realised: it was her own throat producing them. Instead her mind was firmly fixed on the heat, and the rope, and the searing pain behind her eyeballs as her flesh melted into the hemp. Closing her eyes tightly to block out the acrid smoke, she tried to gather her last bit of energy in a struggle to get free. The flames licking at her heels were no longer the biggest threat, if she couldn’t get her wrists free from the knots, she knew it was game over. She had always been a fighter but failure seemed inevitable.
He knew this as he threw the lighter into the carefully prepared bonfire, she had set his heart aflame and then torn away any hope he had for the future. He said he would return the favour as he said his goodbyes.
Her bare feet slapped against the hard concrete as she ran down the stairs of her building, she hadn’t even bothered to lock the door, but she didn’t really think anyone would want anything from her place anyhow, unless they were collecting empty bottles and self pity.
Reaching the bottom door and swinging it wide open, she was greeted with the early morning chorus from the family of starlings awaiting the first rays of light. She stepped out into the clammy air and ignored the wet gravel beneath her feet.
I watch from my window, as you prepare to leave me. The streetlight
illuminates you in a hazy orange gloom, as you banish frost from your windscreen
My window, smirched from warm breath saves me from seeing that look you wear
Fumbling with your keys whilst you wrestle with your overnight bag
Your Caribbean blue charger snorts impatiently at the charade.
I press my hand against the cold glass; you wave goodbye.
Fifteen minutes, this is the countdown: how are you supposed to say everything you want to say in just fifteen minutes? Unprepared too! Sum it all up they said, you have 15 minutes that’s enough to point out the highlights, throw in some messages to loved ones and let them know you were thinking about them when the moment happened. But it’s not enough I said, fifteen minutes is just not enough time to express everything, I can’t press my life down into a nutshell and hope that people will be OK with the way things have turned out. I mean, what if I forget to mention someone? What if this is the most important fifteen minutes of my life and then I forget someone dear to me because of the pressure? How would you feel knowing that you have devoted yourself to helping someone and then in those last final moments you were not on their most important list? What if you were that person?
Look, you get fifteen minutes, same as everyone else!
No, fifteen minutes! He was adamant. So there I was with my rushed list trying desperately to count people’s names on my fingers and run through words in my head desperate to just say the right thing: it was too important to mess up. This was it. My last chance to show the world, to say what I really wanted to say before everything turned black. Just fifteen minutes to say all those things that had held me back through life, to tell people that I loved them or hated them (no I wouldn’t do this, still), but to just imprint a part of me into the hearts of people that I cared for: before the memory of me was lost in entirety, enveloped in the ether. Yes I had fifteen minutes to make an impact and not give way to fear. I had to hold my nerve and speak out, show true courage and then impress them, maybe I could change their minds. Perhaps I could get them to allow me a longer existence, beg them to keep my name on the list longer, help me stay alive. Yet now the end was nearing I couldn’t help but give way to the frog residing in my throat. I reached out for the mike but I could feel my throat squeezing the life from my words.
It wasn’t the scent of his cologne that had sent her pulse racing, it was him. Pure, unadulterated, essence of him. (more…)
A real writer bleeds onto the page.
That’s what they said.
A real writer forces jagged fingernails into their chest and tears out their bloody heart still beating so the page can be splattered in crimson glory. To take that ugly bleeding heart and smear it across the pristine sheet until words are formed from the blotting patches of blood. Swirling in the mind of the fevered artist and covered thick with their lifeblood.. their entire soul .
Only when you have given yourself over to the desire, to the need, to the pain can you fully understand the expectations of one so wretched. Hoping that one day these smears and blotches will mean something. Wishing that one day someone will come along with eyes filled with wonder, lift the piece and exclaim in awe. To gush at the richness of the imagery, gasp at the raw emotion on show and most of all understand how hard it is for one so private to allow a heart out of its cage, enough to scar a notepad with such force.
Only then shall I feel like a writer.
Step one – Assess the patient
If still and quiet,
tucked up in bed
Kneel beside him
Feel his forehead
If snuffling and sneezing
Shivering with sweat
Prepare for the evening
In your kitchenette
Make the soup
But if you come home
Find your man on the couch
Snuggled in blankets
Being a grouch
When you ask how he feels
He tells you he’s dying
Whimpering and wailing
Wants Vicks rub applying
Now for the decision
This is really Manflu
Are you wanting to cook
Or consider step two
Step two – Assemble miracle cure
Take two black stockings
Stretched up to thighs
One khol black liner
Apply to eyes
Paint your lips
To ruby red
Balance a nurse cap
On your head
Your push up bra
Slip on high heels
It’s not that far
Dab self with scent
Pull on lace thong
Zip up nurse dress
You can’t go wrong
Then over patient
You must lean
To show him how
Things could have been
If he were well
Then out the blue
You find he doesn’t
He reached over and gently pressed his forefinger to her lips, his other hand curling softly around the back of her neck. Taken aback with the gesture she playfully bit his fingertip and watched as his mouth broke into a grin.
This was the moment…
The sound of the waves crashing against the pebbles, the salty taste in the moonlit air, the cool breeze whipping at their clothes. This was the moment she had chosen to change the conversation, to try and cover over that awkward moment. Yet with one gesture he had changed all of that and now they stood, just two people, locked in the moment before downfall or rapture.
Looking up at him she decided he was worth the gamble and she took that moment to lightly kiss his finger still held close to her lips. He pulled back slightly yet she took his fingertip into her mouth all the same. Licking the tip and circling it with her tongue tasting the sea air as she did so. He stood unsure and hesitant but let his other hand move softly into her hair, allowing her to suck his fingertips one by one. Her mouth was warm and moist, a contrast for his skin against the cool air. Her tongue traced the outline of his hand and made him tingle as she pressed her lips against his palm. Then taking his thumb into her mouth, her teeth softly grazing him, he felt himself respond.
His thumb and forefinger lightly clasped her bottom jaw and tilted her head up to look at him. Then leaning towards her, he moved his hand to her cheek and planted a firm dry kiss on her lips. Smiling she kissed him back, a gentle peck and then ran the tip of her tongue over his chapped lips.
He tasted of salt and sweetness, the sea air had seen to that. Yet his kiss was the perfect blend of hesitation and desire, that mix of chemistry usually reserved for teenage trysts. She pulled him closer and kissed him again, both trying to pin point a rhythm to relax into.
She loved the fact that he used his hands to smooth her unruly hair away from her face. He held her face tilted between his hands and kissed her, allowing himself to press tightly against her body. Wrapping her arms around his torso she was glad of the warmth. The chill air had started to get through and she could feel her nipples shifting against her underwear, although she wasn’t sure how much the weather was really to blame. He felt her shiver against him.
“would you like to turn back”
He gestured to the building with its warm glowing lights and creature comforts calling but she shook her head.
‘I’m happy here if you are’
He didn’t reply yet slid his arms around her and pulled her tight into him. His body was warm to the touch and she smiled and let out a contented murmur. They stood locked for a short while, until her body responded to his heat, then she snaked her hands over him. Tracing the curve of his back and then smoothing over his chest and stomach. His breathing changed in its pace, his heart quickened as her hands brushed over his hardened nipples and he felt himself grow under her touch.
Pressing against him she could feel the outline of his erection and brushed her hand against him. He flinched back surprised at first, then regained confidence and allowed her to stroke him lightly. Her touch followed the grain of his jeans which were proving to be a snug fit with his thickening cock. She looked up to see if he would stop her, as she slipped her hand down into the top of his jeans. His eyes were narrowed and his body proved accepting as she did so. His growing erection lurched forward under her touch and her fingertips brushed the tip of his head. Her cold hands might have been a shock to him, yet he didn’t pull away. Allowing himself to be unzipped and letting her slip a hand inside his jeans. Stroking the thin material, she moved the flat palm of her hand over him. His hard cock straining against his shorts, as she opened the buttons and placed her hand inside. He was warm to the touch and shrank back slightly against the intrusion of her cold fingers.
He kissed her again, his mouth hard on hers, her nipples now visible through the outline of her clothes. Using the back of his hand he glided over her skin, from face to neck, over her exposed cleavage and landing firm upon her breast. A gentle squeeze caused her to let out a low murmur and she responded by curling tighter around his erection.
He allowed her to caress him, trying to negate the worry of being in public against the enjoyment of her touch. She was trouble yet he was having a hard time resisting. He felt her hips press against him, her breast pushing against his palm and he gave way.
The two of them crumpled to a heap on the damp pebbles, he held her tight as they kissed. She savoured the taste of his tongue, darting passionately between her dry lips, inviting her own tongue to tango. And for a time they were lost in each other’s embrace, clawing at each other’s clothes, licking salt tinged skin, kissing until their lips were raw in the cool air. All the while neither of them noticing the soft trickle of sea water creeping through the stones, the slow fading away of the stars. Their blanket of night sky finally uncovering the cold facts of day.
“we should go back”
He could see she was shivering in her damped clothes.
“But sunrise is the best time of the day”
She nuzzled close into his chest waiting for the rebuttal, yet instead he placed his arms around her.
They watched in contented silence as the salmon pink sky devoured the morning.