short short story

The voice-male (NOT a choir)

The number may have been write or rong – he was unclear.  What’s absolutely certain is whoever the number did belong to, it didn’t have a voicemail.

And so the mad pursuit finally ended as it always would: with an appropriately damp whimper, not a joyous bang of … whatever bangs should reasonably consist of.

As it had always been likely to end, he now felt.

No fences to mend; no love to chew over; no neighbourly thoughts on the past.

And it was all for the best, in the end he considered.  For whilst the beautiful photo he’d stumbled across today of the beautiful woman he’d stumbled across over a decade ago had captured a beauty he assumed was still out there, his own sorry reality would attract absolutely no one.

His beauty had once figured so clearly.

Now it was time to say goodbye to the illusion of love, that was true.  Amongst the photos were photos of him.  And truly he was a man of some merit.  That was then.  This was now.

In love he was no more: he would proceed, it was clear, to die on his feet, as he clambered across the cadavers of his hopes and years.

trails of thought


One of the things I’ve discovered recently – discovered in the emotional sense, not intellectual – is that when, right at the start, you begin to blur the lines between what happened and what could have happened, and then again what might happen in the future – you discover a supremely powerful tool.  And like all powerful extensions of the human psyche, its power can overwhelm and terrify.

Lately (well, these past few days!), I’ve realised that whilst the job of the writer is to make absolutely credible everything they say, absolutely truthful even we might add, it’s not quite the same to go and do the latter as to be totally factual.

And the terror and horrifying nature of writing is when we immerse ourselves in the world of the author, sometimes quite despite ourselves, sometimes despite our better natures, and actually begin to believe and relate to actions we’d never – in our real lives – consider.

Now if this is possible for a reader to feel, imagine how the creator – wrapped up in the creative process for hours, weeks, months, maybe longer – gets to experience the realities slowly honed up into the credible truths I mentioned earlier (where not factualities).

So although I’ve been writing for most of my 53 years, I’m a very recent convert to the right of a writer to explore almost everything – without then feeling obliged to put it all into practice.

That is the dividing line which I always knew intellectually existed – but emotionally is only something which now I am beginning to properly appreciate.


Sad / Bad / Mad / Glad

So was sad being bad?  Or was bad being sad?

Was she evil – or even mad – for thinking the bad ways she did?

Did she think the ways she thought

‘cos she was evil or more?

Or had she simply forgotten what goodness meant?

Or had goodness forgotten to stop at her door-

step – and touch her

fondly nose to nose, as they so used to

wangle breathless

for each other in those days

of curiously breathless wangling free-



Or maybe she’s thinking there’s an easy way out – and, in

truth, there’s no way but sin-

gling and tingling her way to adult idiocy.

Only, then again, she once used to believe so dearly

in love – and its ability to tri-

umph noisily over

everything t-

here was.

And nothing, in those days, would ever

stand in the ways

of a love that

was made in heave-






moments of exhila-

ration: nothing portioned nor shared

with wisdom or caution, but rather madcap pur-

suit of rose-attached beauty.


us lives;


able letters;


us sweets of adult joy sucked glorio-




purely toys of childlike

games … these were days she clearly


Days she’d used to measure the rest of the

days she treasured fleetingly

from then.