It wasn’t black.
But yellows, violets and peacock blue.
Adorning an eye staring at me. Was this snappy-suited commuter, the aggressor or innocent party? I peg him for a mugging victim and ooze pity. Then I notice frenzied scabs across every knuckle and make sure we alight at different exits.
Goldilocks dyed her locks cherry red. She sensed daddy bear closing in. Daddy had a hunch she was holed out in a bar near Eastleigh. He found her binge scoffing on porridge in bed. He shut the door. “I won’t be too rough…or too gentle, kiddo. I’ll be just right.”
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.
I didn’t ask about the scar at first. She was clearly self-conscious. Didn’t mention it at all as we grew closer and intimate.
One night, post-coital, I stroked it gently.
“Battle scar,” she said breaking ‘the silence’.
“What battle?” I asked.
“Love is a war.”
She curled into my arms.
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.
– He’s dying. We should…
– No. Leave him.
– It’s horrible.
– It happens. You can plan for it but….
– I’ve never seen him so vulnerable, so pale.
– He wants to run but he can’t. It’s a mauling.
– I can’t look. Let’s go. Please, let’s just go.
– Well, that’s stand-up baby, that’s stand-up.
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.
Shakespeare lifted his quill and pondered. A poem, a drama? He wasn’t certain. What would Mary like most?
He began tentatively, nervously eking out the inky words onto empty grey parchment.
Days later, finally content, he handed it in.
“Bravo, Wills”, said the schoolmaster, “You’re getting much better at this.”
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.