The lava crept closer at 14 foot per hour. They insisted we evacuate our beloved homes. In 4 days they would be ash. I lie in bed non-compliant, unrepentant. 3 days, 2 days, one. I waver, I wonder. No one tells me to leave. Tells me to live.
“Essentially trying to hone what might be 100,000 word novels into 50 word epigrams, trying different genres, playing with form , conceit, experimenting with…are we connecting here?…you seem to have glazed over somewhat.”
“I’m afraid, if you haven’t found a genuine job within a fortnight we’re suspending your benefits.”
“I don’t like you…” he says and she is pummeled and pricked by honesty, rolling one hundred miles an hour back through their last year, re-evaluating every touch, every flicker of attraction, wondering how the hell she could have misinterpreted her instincts so badly and almost flees, “…I love you.”
I knew he’d grown up when the questions stopped. He knew what all the words meant, where the dead went, why mummy left.
Then he left home too. No tears, just farewell.
So, I sit by the window asking myself – where did they both go? My family and the years.
Turn back! The doors are bolted and boarded up. Stay away! Smeared, filth-encrusted rotten windows are half-disguised by tea-brown moth-gnarled net curtains. Don’t approach! The pathway is jagged. That’s not an anguished wan child’s face at the attic window. No! Turn back. Help us. Run away! There’s no story here.
“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’ ”.
“But there’s a ‘me’, ” I pointed out.
“You’re on thin ice,” he barked.
“If the ice is indeed thin, then this company is seriously breaching health and safety regulations.”
He fired me. Shards of metaphorical ice splintered beneath my non-metaphorical brogues. And it felt beautiful.
Hector heard God. When least expected… but most needed. The unmistakable voice dripping intravenously into his brainspace, booming, “Stop! Don’t end your life!”
Hector stepped back, flabbergasted, dizzy with adrenaline and rapturous bafflement as the unexpected unbalancing cocked him over the edge of CityPoint. He fell; weeping, laughing, screaming, praying.
Forced into spirals of my own undoing, I rented a room and waited. They arrived, with no intention of leaving empty-handed. I played hard to get for, like, minutes, then handed it over. When they said I had to die, I muttered, “Sure. You too.” I trip the switch…. KABOOOOOOOM.
Paddy lived by the sword. He had a girl in every airport and six kids from four chicks. His best friends were his enemies’ enemies. Paddy would never negotiate. His face was thunder, his body was lightning but there was no eye of the storm.
Paddy died by the sword.