short short story


He’d always wanted to be a boss of something – just never quite got the hang of rubbing people up the right way.

Maybe now he had a better chance, now he’d remembered the whys and wherefores of all the painful mental sores which had eaten away little by little at the heart and soul he’d gone and rolled up in his fairly ill-fated life to that date, as if tied up with string and brown paper of rigour; no alacrity for him; no creativity to recover.

Yet now he was looking elsewhere really quite strange.  And although imaginings still made him think weirdly on occasions, he was finding himself far more grounded in reality: and the difference was simply the reality he was becoming grounded in was pleasurable and loving in its own very self.

This, for him, was oh so very strange.  And he remained a little cautious, and he remained a little wary, and he felt a little like an animal who was out of hibernating burrow – and still a little scared of what might be over the brow of the hill; what might be waiting still to be discovered.

But the fear, at least for now, had a very different flavour.

It tasted of life, not survival.


T[error]? / L[over]? / Fa[i]th!!!

Moments when terror bites just like a charming snake

of cobra-like proportions: I’ve never seen a cobra,

you see, so how could I possibly know what that terror meant,

or might look like to me?

Bent out of shape as I’ve been all these years,

that cobra snakes around me sinuously as I suppose

snakes tend to do (I’ve never seen a snake either, except in the

zoo near home; or at least the home

I currently am able to occupy …).

And that is my terror, when reversal in my mind takes over

the hindsight that bulldozes my senses

into flattened and unseemly defences which

crop, like Photoshop, the images of life I see and perceive.

Love should conquer all, and for me it’s everything

that ever kept my fears at bay: but what when

love is over – and you have no defences (neither air-to-air

nor sea-based ones) (a question of daftish analogy,

it’s true) – what then

might you do?  What then could you do?

And is faith all that’s left when bereft of the attachment that

virtual life eventually detaches you



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.

short short story

Falling out with love

“It’s a weird sensation,” she said all of a sudden, as she tried to get comfortable – her back squirming and squealing slightly on the leather couch.

“What is?” he asked, in his theatrically psychiatric voice.

“Well.  Ever since we’ve begun to talk again, both of us we’ve gone and fallen out with love.”

“How do you mean?”  His voice expressed real interest.

“I dunno.  I mean I’m not sure about him, he never was one for love in the round – but certainly in my case it’s pretty much something I no longer think about.  We’re becoming like sister and brother, if you know what I mean.”

“Hmm.  Go on.”  He was clearly paying attention now, in ways he often obviously would not.

“As I said, it’s really strange.  I just don’t miss it.  It’s as if, after struggling so hard and long to get what I thought I needed, really after all this time there seems no point in struggling any more.  Almost like a kind of trance I’ve fallen into.  Almost as if Zen was my motorbike.”

He smiled.  He frequently did.  She had a turn of phrase that quite regularly made him think he should be paying her.

“So do you feel there’s any downside to this … peace?” he asked.

“Well.”  She thought for a moment.  “I guess so.  I mean I used to have tons of ideas in my head, and wanted to conquer the world and be someone different.”

“And now?”

“No ideas, any more.  They just don’t flow.  So no desire to conquer either.  And being different?  We’re all different and then again none of us are: and since all of us are, or not, I guess that makes us all the same, right?”

He smiled again.  “I suppose yes, you’re right.  So what now?  What do you plan to do?”

“Nothing.  Be sister to his brother, and wait for life to muddle through.  What do you suggest?”

The buzzer buzzed gently.

He paused for a few moments; waved his hand slightly.  She was already up from the couch.  She knew what the buzzer meant.

“Here’s the bill,” he said gently.  “You can pay on the way out today … the machine’s been sorted.”