My Words, My World

First drafts – A few pages in the large wilderness of the world of writing

Archive for the tag “shame”

In the dark

I woke up and Donald Trump was in his chair and Kim Jong-un was in his and it got out of hand.  I don’t trust either of the bastards with their hand over the button…

In my bed, I slept
as half a world wept
at its sins and punishments.
In the dark bombs fell
a dictator laughed
and split the night, open.

Half a world sat motionless
arms raised in surrender;
to no avail.
In the dark machine guns rattled
an army laughed
and tore the night, open.

In the shower I stood, thankful
as water washed over me like tears
and half a world looked for water.
In the dark a mushroom cloud
a despot laughed
and lit the night, forever.

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The Snowball Effect

I’m sat next to my brief.  My shirt’s the same one I had on yesterday but I’m sure no-one notices.  I have the same, now well-rumpled suit I’ve been wearing throughout my trial; well, they’re not exactly going to let me out shopping at Armani for the day are they?  My shoes are pretty clean though, which is more than I can say for my defence.

The jury has retired for verdict.  My heart is pumping blood at a normal rate around my body.  I’m calm.  What else can I be?  I just look ahead.  I don’t want to see anyone.

They think I killed them all.  Sometimes I think I killed them all.  Sometimes however I believe I only actually killed just one person that day.  For his death they just need to decide whether it was premeditated.  How do you define premeditated?  How long does an action have to be considered and thought-out before becoming premeditated?  5 minutes? An hour?  A day?  I know I didn’t leave the house that morning to walk the dog through the woods, which are separated by a noisy motorway, with the intention to kill someone.  By the time I came home however I was a guilty man.

The prosecution have made a meal out of the fact that I’ve shown no remorse.  I’m not an actor; I can’t show what I don’t have.  Anyway, what came after was an accident, with no intention whatsoever.  However, they don’t see it like that.  They don’t seem to understand the metaphorical snowball effect and all that.  If I hadn’t have rolled that little snowball from the top of the mountain, there wouldn’t have been an avalanche in the valley below, so to speak.  I can sort of see their point, the trouble is they can’t see mine.

Memory can be a bastard.  Why can’t I remember someone’s name from one day to the next yet the filing cabinet of the mind throws out memories from years ago without warning and just at the wrong moment, like when I saw the kid on the bridge.  Some of you might remember this.  I do.  I was a teenager during the miner’s strike back in ‘84 but I still clearly remember how shocked I was when some miners dropped a kerbstone from a bridge at a passing taxi taking a scab to work.  It left me cold then and leaves me cold now.  What a horrible way to die.

So when I saw that kid hoist up to his waist a broken lump of wall, I flipped.  He was so intent on choosing his target that he didn’t see me come down the footpath, pick up a fist-sized flint and step on the bridge.  The block was resting on the handrail of the bridge, against his stomach while he chose his victim. Then I saw what he was waiting for; an Esso petrol tanker was making its way down the slow lane.   I had to stop him.  I threw the stone.

I guess the truck driver saw the kid’s intention as I heard the air horn blare below me.  Too late.  The stone hit the lad in the head.  The lad’s legs gave way as blood poured from his temple.  The brickwork tipped forward with the momentum, his grip didn’t loosen.  Both concrete and kid were gone in a second.  I heard the truck’s brakes howl.  Have you ever noticed how a car’s brakes will squeal in an emergency stop?  A 38 tonne truck’s howl and what a God-awful noise it is, I can still hear it in the long nights in my cell, when sleep evades me.

I felt, rather than saw, the movement of the jack-knifed trailer as it separated from the cab and passed at speed under the bridge, swatting cars like summer flies.  It then hit the central reservation, flip on its end and over, and explode into the oncoming traffic.  The force of the blast rocked the bridge and knocked me to the ground.  The dog came off worse.  She scarpered into the trees from where we’d come from but when I finally found her she was dead.  Internal injuries I suppose.  I cried then.  I showed emotion then.  The families of the 14 that never made it back home that night wouldn’t give a toss about that but then again, why would they?

The jury’s back.  You 9 men and 3 women: penny for your thoughts?  Why am I asking?  It’s the judge that wants to know if they’ve reached a verdict.  They have.  He nods his head slowly.  Putting on his small, wireframe glasses he tells me to stand.

My lifetime freedom for an accident.  I guess the 3 seconds it took me to pick up that stone counts as premeditated.

Empty

I’m not a poet, and I rarely rhyme but today is different.

______________________________________________

 

A harsh word slipped and fell today

Between two friends

No further words exchanged this day

No way to make amends

I hoped to catch a glance or maybe

The return of a friendly smile

Instead my day empty remained

My evening too, defiled

An Unfriendly Alien

I wanted to get away, run or even be put under, anything to get away from this jolting, numbing pain running through me. I didn’t know how long I’d been here, time became irrelevant. As I looked up I saw only a shape, fuzzy round the edges, not clear, just a silhouette. Alien. I could think only of the Cybermen on Dr. Who, way back when I was a kid. It was alien anyway, as was the hurt. It was less traumatic to break a bone in the body, I thought vaguely between white flashes of agony, the nerves in my face were standing on end, screaming at me, waving angry red flags at me. Half a second then another bolt of pain. I closed my eyes and my body went stiff, I felt my hands, back and legs soaked in sweat, I hadn’t even been laid out almost horizontal for more than a few minutes but the pain was becoming unbearable. I tried to move my head but to no avail, foolishly I thought it help me. My hands crossed themselves, twisting, sweating and entwining as the pain continued. Minutes passed.

A respite. I was unsure whether this pain had subsided or whether I was gradually getting used to it. However it had started to lessen, the flags went from red to orange, I had hoped for green but I guess that was asking too much. My face went from fingernail-on-blackboard nerve shredding torture to uncomfortably numb. My hands were sweating less and they stopped writhing like mating eels in a bucket. My shirt however was still soaked. I was breathing normally at least. Fearful the pain would start again I slowly opened my eyes once more.

A hand went up, the Cyberman’s head switched off and my dentist clapped me on the shoulder. “Smile”, he said, “you’re free to go.”

Ice

Tamara felt the ice beneath her.  It took her.  She was moving too fast to think of stopping, she gave in to the slide, unsure where she would end up.

She saw the wall grow rapidly in her sight, there was no way she was going to avoid it.  Realising her options were decreasing with every passing second she attempted a turn to the left, away from the looming barrier, to at least minimalise the impact with the encircling obstruction.  She was now regretting going all out, hell for leather.  The ice has wrested all hope of control from her.

The lights played across the ice, danced in her vision.  She started to spin.

Tamara dug her heels in and fell to the floor in a heap.  Legs splayed, she merely sat, skirt around her thighs, feeling the ice sting her skin.  Getting up gingerly, she placed a hand on her backside.  That’ll be bruised later, she thought.  She kept her head down, avoiding the watching people around the perimeter wall and headed for the exit as she counted the years since she’d last been ice-skating.

 

Jump!

Danny edged himself closer to the edge, on his hands and knees.  He’d been thinking about this moment for a while now; thinking that at the end it would be easy but here, now, it was so different.

It seemed he could hear the water far below him, calling to him.  He knew that it was too late to turn back; how could he face the shame?  Inching himself backwards, away from the edge he stood up, his liquid knees barely keeping him upright, his heart beating a military march.  The palms of his hands were wet with sweat and he shivered as nerves took hold of his stomach and knotted it.

He decided he didn’t want to look down again, the only thing to do would just be to run and jump, eyes closed.  He took a few deep breaths, his eyes fixed upon the horizon.  This is it; he thought to himself, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for.  He ran.

Young Danny, 6 years old, entered the water with a splash.  When he surfaced he looked up at the high-board, raised his fist in the air, and swam to the side of the swimming pool.

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