The Notes

She never thought she’d understand the notes; cried for months before trying. He’d bequeathed the apartment, funds, (even land), but 21 notes (handwrapped) remained unexplained. He’d loved her, she knew that. But here came emptiness. Years passed before she heard Vera Lynn sing the inimitable. And those notes rang out.

Consequences

Mario tampered with Paulo’s brakes. But Paulo had sold the van.

Bogden skidded downhill, smashing into a restaurant, killing five.

The restaurateur, depressed, drifted into the abyss. He leapt from a motorway bridge, landing on the windscreen of a moving car.

Mario swerved, broke, and exploded onto the central reservation.

The Hill

Jack and Jill divorced, blaming each other for the accident. No counsellor could persuade them otherwise. Jill remarried (unsuccessfully) and Jack died alone, thick-bearded, following trauma induced schizophrenic episodes that made the local papers. Jill had him interred at the top of the hill, and vowed never to fall again.

The Binding Of Isaac

He pinned Isaac to the cold floor, restraining him with wax-coated ropes, the boy’s mouth gagged with an old t-shirt to stop the screaming. He raised his sharpened peeling knife and prayed he’d forget that look in his boy’s horrified eyes.  But God didn’t stop him – and he never forgot.

Albatross

They called him ‘Albatross’ because he brought bad luck. “You’re  a stately sea-bird,” they lied. He didn’t know any better. One weekend, traveling to a match, the team bus crashed into a ravine. Albatross was the only survivor.  As they pulled him from the wreckage, nobody noticed his chilling smile.

And the Lonely Would Fall

The world’s first skyscraper was the 10-storey Chicago Home Insurance Building, 1885. A marvel of height and scale. The tallest building in the goddam world. The first man to jump off was Walt Lawrence, an insurance clerk. His future was untenable. Then skyscrapers sprang up everywhere; and the lonely would fall.

Ever I Saw Your Face

The last time I ever saw her, she was wrapped in a torn leather jacket, shivering as the ambulance took her. I didn’t know it was the last time.

They dredged our crumpled Dodge from the dark riverbed and found my powder white body inside.

I hope she loves again.

META METAMORPHOSIS

As Greg Jones awoke one morning from nightmares, he found himself transformed into Franz Kafka. Greg the quantity surveyor now had an artist’s sensibility. Trapped and riddled with pains, boils and crippling anxiety, he died that night understanding for the first time, the simultaneous beauty and horror of life.

The Nightmare

He awoke, relieved to realise it was just a dream. Blood, knife and tears in horrific clarity. He got up cautiously, still reeling from the experience. In the dream, the man had smashed through the kitchen window and escaped. But no, his wife’s lover’s head remained safely in the freezer.

…Never Did Run Smooth

“Please kill me,” he pleads. She can’t look at him. Slowly, she retreats. Her final words are: “You’ll never walk out on me again.”

*****

The police find him. He has lost seven pints of blood and it has taken two days for him to die.

*****

They never find his legs.