Cherrylocks (and the one bear)

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.”

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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 Scar

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.

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.

Buster’s Last Stand

– 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.

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.

The Masters

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.”

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.

F-Wing

I had no plans. Just knew I had to get out. Told the boys I knew a way.

Cornered in F-Wing, guards closing in, we were only three doors from freedom. East or West? A maze of corridors. I was clever but had made one mistake. I had no plans.