Short Story: The Weekend

Whenever I hang out with Andy I feel like my blood pressure is going to explode. Sometimes I wonder why I do it to myself but when you are friends with someone and they are the brother of someone it takes a lot to say no. You can’t always be washing your hair after all. But as an open-minded pansexual man it takes a lot of strength to go for the weekend to see my bestie Jim’s bigoted brother who has a bigotry against anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual cisgender man. The fact that I’m slightly in love with Jim is the reason I’m sitting in the passenger seat of Jim’s car on a lovely sunny Friday afternoon making the hellish journey to see the bigot who doesn’t like to be called or thought of as a bigot. What a surprise! Most bigots don’t like to after all. It’s apparently his religion or whatever the latest excuse he can dig up is. Jim has 98FM on as we continue along.
“Andy’s new wife Alma will be there. She’s nice.”, Jim informs me.
“Cool.”, I reply although I’m secretly wondering if Alma is as evil as her new husband.
Jim seems to sense this.
“They have their beliefs …”
“Did I say they didn’t?”
“No but when Andy says things you get into it with him. He’s entitled to think what he wants. It’s freedom of speech.”
“Those old chestnuts. I’m entitled to think what I want too and last time I looked I had freedom of speech too. So if Jim wants to say something and I say something back to him, what’s the problem exactly?”
“But you could let it go.”
“Jim, I’m pansexual and normal-thinking. I couldn’t let it go. Anyway why are you trying to shut me up? Isn’t your brother 36? Don’t let Andy face any consequences sounds like he’s 2 and in a playschool.”
“He doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t understand.”
“As I said, is he 2? Of course he understands. Look I adore you Jim but you haven’t got some sympathising eejit in this car with you. I have no problem with him been heterosexual …”
“But that’s different.”
“How is it different?”
“Because … because it just is.”
“What a great answer? It just is.”
“Heterosexuality was thought of as the one true norm …”
“Well it no longer is. The sacred cow has been dismantled. Look I’m not going to have a row out of nowhere with him but if he says something I’m not going to baby him. I’m not in the habit of doing that with men ten years older than me.”
“But it’s his religion.”
“And it’s my sexuality. At the very least mine exists.”
“Oh my god Ryan.”
“Oh my god what exactly Jim? Does he know you kissed me twice?”
“They were once-offs.”
“I’m aware. And I’m fine with that. But he’s not more important than me.”
“I didn’t say he was.”
“Yeah, you kind of did.”
“How?”
“Well he can say what he wants but if I challenge him then I’m a troublemaker. I would have thought when he unleashes his poison first that would mean he was the troublemaker.”
“Can’t you two just get along?”
“Not while you and him and Alma now are treating me like a second-class citizen?”
“We aren’t.”
“What are you all treating me as then?”
“Ryan, you are been too much about this.”
“My point proven.”
“What do you mean?”
“If I’m been too much standing up to someone having a problem with my sexuality who I have no problem with their sexuality then what exactly would you be saying? Jim, you want me to make compromises to him. What else would you be thinking?”
“Don’t be pulling the sexuality card. You know I love you man.”
“The sexuality card? There’s another old chestnut. Should be a fun weekend.”

When we arrive Alma has tea and buns on the table for us. Andy comes in and gives each of us a hug. I can see in his eyes that he doesn’t see me as Ryan. He sees as pansexual Ryan. So for the hell of it in my head I see him as heterosexual Andy. By 6pm when the tea is over, Andy is talking to me about the Bible. He’s quoting things about homosexuality been a sin, women should be submissive and protests are wrong. He asks me what I think? almost with eyes that say he wants to help.
I don’t need your help thanks very much mate. But I think you need a lot of help.
“I think it’s all shit Andy.”
He looks hurt.
“But this is the Bible. Came from God …”
“But did it really? I mean I’m more thinking somebody who was rejected for sex or something by someone in a minority group went home and ranted and raved.”
“You need to bring God into your heart …”
“I used to be Catholic. I always believed God didn’t write it anyway because a good person wouldn’t. Now that I’ve looked into Science more I’m seriously worried what type of yolk wrote it.”
Well he wanted to know what I thought.
“God can save you …”
“I don’t want to be saved.”
“This is what God taught …”
“I don’t want to be saved by a bigot … non-earthly or earthly.”
“That is blasphemy! God is your saviour!”
His veins are bulging out of his neck.
“He ain’t mine.”
You want to save someone pal, go and save some endangered animals. Send petitions with me on the web or something. Stop trying to save people who don’t need to be saved.
He forces himself to relax. He goes back to the good Christian act.
“You might end up in hell.”, he says with a serious face.
Out of politeness I don’t laugh.
“I don’t believe in it. Or heaven or purgatory. I think they are just things to try and rule how people live.”
“So you have a problem with Catholics?”
“Dude I haven’t a problem with anyone of any religion or lack of religion. I have a problem with people who are prejudiced of any religion or lack of religion. My ex boyfriend Carl was a Catholic. Not him or his family who were also Catholic had any problem with anyone. It’s funny how some people who are Catholic do and some people don’t, ain’t it? Same with older people. Some do, some don’t. It’s sad really how everyone sometimes is tarnished with been prejudiced when they may not be because so many put up shields.”
“I’m not prejudiced. It’s the sin, not the sinner.”
“Do you want my opinion?”
“I’ll listen.”
“With prejudice the sin shows you who the sinner is. But do I think they go to hell? No, there’s no justice. We all end up the same. Bones and grains of dust. A group of insects nibbling at our clothes if we are buried. All there is is now.”
And you won’t take my now away from me.
“Are you in love with my brother?”
An unexpected question. He’s left God and rejoined the earthly world.
“He’s a good friend …”
“Have you been corrupting him?”
Corrupting? Is he serious?
“I haven’t fucked him if that’s what your asking.”
I’d remember that! By god I would!
“He’s a good young man …”
“And if he was with me he wouldn’t be?”
“He needs to be led to the right path.”
For five seconds I stare. The right path? For another five seconds I wonder if I’m in the presence of an evil man or a man who is very unwell. I decide he’s both.
“There’s no such thing. Everything’s the right path.”
“In these modern times things have gone all wrong …”
“You’ve lost your power to decide peoples’ lives, is it?”
“Since our parents died, little Jim is all I have.”
“Little Jim is a man of 25 well capable of making his own decisions. Is that what scares you?”
“He has confessed to having strong immoral feelings for you.”
Halle-fucking-lujah! I’m so on a shocked high that the old bigot’s words are barely audible.
“Well they ain’t immoral but does he?”
“You have been changing my brother. He used to be a wholesome man …”
“Andy, people fall in love, people like sex. He didn’t stand in the way of you and Alma, why are you trying to stop his happiness? I will make him happy if he wants me.”
And I fucking love him too. That’s why I’m sitting here with you you plonker!
“It wouldn’t be right. You both need to learn the right way …”
“No, you need to learn the right way. Educate yourself. Learn that there is people different than you and that’s ok. Stop hiding behind that goddamn book and destroying your brother’s life in addition. He loves you. He wants you to be a proper older brother, a proper fucking adult but you can’t bring yourself to be. Everytime you have a problem you blame God. Heck, I have more respect for God than you and I don’t even believe in him. I am going to ask Jim to marry me. Maybe he’ll refuse out of loyalty to you but I’ll ask him.”
A voice came from behind the wall.
“I wouldn’t refuse.”
I looked up to see Jim looking from behind the wall of the room. He looked terrified.
“That’s why you wanted us to get along?”, I found myself saying.
I turned to Andy.
“If you could find it in your heart to try and accept …”
“No, stop. Ryan you don’t need to do that for me. Andy, I’m bisexual and I am in love with Ryan. It would be nice if you were alright with it. But you don’t need to be. I have hiding who I am, denying it to myself because you told me it was wrong. But I can’t do it anymore.”
“He made you this way …”
“He didn’t make me anything. He just made me realise who I am. You and Alma aren’t more right than us. Or anyone of any sexuality. Just different sexualities. If you think yous’ are that’s problems yous’ need to deal with. In the meantime I’m marrying my boy if he’ll still have me after pulling him down here so often.”
I’d have you no matter what.
“Ah I suppose I’ll still have you.”, I said casually and Jim laughed.
He pulled me into his arms and kissed me. While Andy was still trying to pull the tired old Christian act of keeping us up in the house despite what he called the “immorality” of it all, we left before the night was out to start our future together. Ah maybe it was a good weekend after all.

My New Novel Love Is A Battlefield Is Now Available On Amazon!

 

My new novel Love Is A Battlefield is now available to purchase on Amazon. The story synopsis goes as follows:

Dan Fielding is the newest rising star in the horse racing world. Everyone is excited about his bright future – all except for the animal rights activists who regularly hold demonstrations at the racetracks. Things become complicated when he falls in love with animal rights activist Luke Murphy.

I loved writing it. Their love and their conflict. 🙂

To purchase the book go to:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N6AGKL4

Or to purchase my other novels go to:

Blood

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01E4U2U54

The Night Train

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EQLLPPW

Or to purchase my childrens’ book go to:

Princess Roberta

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01G68FZ4K

Or finally to purchase my poetry collection go to:

Hearts: Pansexual Poetry Collection

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01F88D5OG

Thanks in advance if you purchase any of my work. And I hope if you do, you enjoy it. 🙂

Short Story: Ruby Shines

In celebration of Animal Day today, here is a short story I wrote called Ruby Shines. Hope you all like it. 🙂

 

 

The sun shone brightly down on Ruby’s fur. The Toy Fox Terrier rolled over in the grass as her owner Laura and Laura’s girlfriend Kelly appeared in the garden to join her. Laura was holding a packet of ham in her hand.
“Ruby can dance. I’m telling you Kelly she can.”
“This I’ve got to see!”, Kelly replied, playful sarcasm in her voice.
Laura rolled her eyes and took some ham from the packet. She handed the packet to Kelly and walked over to Ruby.
“Should I get some Popcorn?”
“You’ll be laughing the other side of your face! This little baby is the next Anna Pavlova! She’ll walk competitions!”
“Right.”, Kelly said, raising an eyebrow.
“We’re practicing the spin at the moment.”, Laura explained.
She showed Ruby the piece of ham and moved it around in a circle which Ruby followed.
“Laura babe, you can’t bring a packet of ham on the stage at competitions.”
“I know that! But this is how it’s done at the beginning. She’ll get used to the idea and she’ll spin when she sees the hand movement without the treat.”
“Are you sure?”
“That’s how Susan from the up the road’s Chihuahua done it. She makes a heap of money with that dog dancing school of hers. And anything Susan’s little Perry can do, this little one can do better!”
“Nothing like a bit of friendly community competition.”
“Who said it was friendly?”, Laura smiled.
“Why do you want to train her to dance? Is now the idea of a pet old-fashioned?”
“Because I need money for … well for something. Rubsy is my only option. I can’t sing, I can’t dance but because the dog can I’ll go a long way. Besides look at her, she’s cute when she spins. The winner of the dog dance competition each year wins 2,000.”
“Can she do anything else?”
“How did I know the mention of money would make you interested?! I’m working on getting her up on her hind legs to dance.”
Laura lifted another piece of ham over Ruby’s head. Ruby looked up at it. Kelly struggled to keep in laughter. Life with Laura was never dull at least, she thought.
“That trick might take slightly longer.”, Laura sighed.

The competition was drawing nearer. Laura, Kelly and Ruby went out to the park to see Ruby’s progress.
“She no longer needs the ham or the clicker to stand on her hind legs. She just follows the motion of my hand now. Watch.”
Laura raised her hands high over Ruby’s head. Ruby stood up on her hind legs and began to move around.
“She’s dancing.”
“It’s two weeks to the competition. I should hope she is.”
Laura and Ruby did their routine consisting of Ruby dancing on her hind legs, pushing her legs off Laura, spinning, jumping through Laura’s arms while she was on her hunkers and going around Laura’s legs.
“We’re dancing to Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid. I’m going to have her come out of a plastic shell at the beginning. Saved up for that. Ariel, eat your heart out, eh Rubsy?”

The day of the local dog dancing competition arrived. The judges were in place. Animated chatter rang around the venue. Kelly took her seat in the crowd. It was worse she thought to be the girlfriend of the performer than to be the performer. Laura had worked so hard with Ruby. She couldn’t bear for it to go wrong.
Soon it was time for Laura and Ruby to take to the stage. Kelly smiled down a comforting smile to Laura before she began. Once they got over the first tentative steps, everything else flowed together brilliantly. There was a standing ovation, thoughts of winning. That was before Susan and Perry came on to perform and when Perry jumped over Susan the dream was over. Still second was a good result.
“1,000 I never had.”, Laura smiled,
“At least now I can get an engagement ring.”
“A what?”, Kelly replied, in shock.
“You heard me. Will you marry me?”
“Yes. Of course I will.”
As they kissed, Ruby jumped up on their legs.
“I think in her own way she’s excited by the news.”, Kelly smiled.
“Something tells me when we become parents she won’t be! She’ll miss been spoiled by her Mammies!”
Kelly picked Ruby up.
“Well you’re our only little child for now petal.”, Kelly said, kissing her head as they walked from the venue.

Short Story: The Pen

Shit, I thought. I really should have got one of those cheap set of earphones from the Euro shop instead of trying to save the two Euros. Well now I’ll just have to stand and stare awkwardly at people while I stand at the bus stop.
Two old women shuffle into the enclosure. They look like they are in their eighties and one lady has a trolley which her friend is helping her pull.
“Oh her grandson said he was some poly-something or other. Honestly these new things the young come up with. Ridiculous, isn’t it Maeve?”
“Oh indeed Maureen. You wouldn’t get any of that nonsense in our day.”
Double shit, two bigots at the bus shelter. Now I really wish I’d purchased those earphones. I have a screaming desire to say the word you are looking for is polysexual but I don’t.
“I mean what would God say? It’s in the Bible Maeve. Someone needs to teach the young the right way.”
“Adam didn’t go with Steve after all.”
Animated chuckles follow.
True Adam didn’t go with Steve but maybe he’d have enjoyed it, I think.
The bus looms in the distance and I feel a gentle sigh of relief exit from my mouth. I decide to go upstairs as the two old women take a seat downstairs. Next they’ll be onto pansexuality and as a pansexual man I ain’t interested in their negativity.

When my stop came I made my way downstairs. I could hear the two women had continued their sexuality-based chat.
“Really Maeve all these new ridiculous terms are just a posh, fashionable way of sleeping around. I mean they couldn’t get married. They wouldn’t be committed to anyone. You couldn’t trust them.”
“Oh god no Maureen. How could you? They’d be picking up all sorts anywhere. They’d sleep with anyone!”
I roll my eyes and step off the bus thinking I’m a pansexual man going to meet his bisexual best friend and we sure as hell are not planning on sleeping with each other!

When I arrive at Matt’s flat I am ready to have a rant about M & M but I soon realise that’s not to happen. He is super excited about something and doesn’t even offer me a beer.
“Sit down Jay. I’ll be back soon.”
Confused I slump myself down on the sofa. I hear him shuffling around in his bedroom.
“Man, are you … ok?”
What I really mean is: is he feeling alright? Has something strange come over him?
“Matt, you haven’t started believing in aliens again, have you?”
He laughs.
“Dude, that was two weeks in secondary school! I was going through a phase! In any case Dylan was into that shit …”
Dylan’s his ex boyfriend. Emo teenager turned banker adult. The world is full of surprises.
“Oh yeah Dylan, how is he these days?”
“Who cares?! Boring! Strait-laced! Up his fucking arse!”
Dylan dumped Matt.
“Yeah, here it is. Got to be careful with this or someone will snatch it. If they knew I had this they’d beat me up for it.”
My alien theory is coming back into my head.
He comes out holding a pen and wearing a cheesy grin on his face.
“Who’s they?”, I ask, trying to hold in the concern for him in my voice.
“Oh everyone mate. This here is gold. It’s the bridging of worlds.”
“Matt, it’s a pen!”
“Oh this ain’t no ordinary pen.”
“It looks pretty ordinary to me.”
“Well it isn’t. This pen can transport someone back in time. To the 1920s.”
“Seriously man you’re pulling my leg …”
“No, I was there last night.”
“What?! You don’t seriously believe that.”
“I know it! I experienced it with my own two eyes! I was just innocently sitting having my coffee while watching Game of Thrones and I was clicking the pen and suddenly I was there!”
Now I’m worried what was in his coffee.
“Man, it was fantastic. The consumerism, the fashion, the jazz. I meant this fantastic-looking chick Dorothy in one of the jazz clubs. She was there with her friend Joseph. You’d like him. He’s proper your type. You know the quiet, gentle, deep type. Dorothy on the other hand she is wild, proper party girl. Does the Charlston into the early hours.”
“Matt, you’ve been lonely lately I get that. Since you and Dylan broke up …”
“Oh I’m long over him! Look I know this sounds mad but it’s true. Come on, let’s go for a trip buddy.”
I decide that I better humour him. Maybe when it doesn’t work we can talk sensibly. So we end up both holding the pen and clicking down on it together.

Soon I find myself in the middle of a street. Two girls are flying by me in flapper dresses and there’s an advertisement at a cinema for The Thief of Bagdad. As a film buff who constantly watches old movies on YouTube I’m now freaking out. I turn around to find a wide-eyed Matt. He smiles at the surprise on my face.
“Told you.”, he simply says.
Either we are both off our rockers or this is actually 1924.
“Come on, let’s go find Dor. She said she’d meet us at The Velvet Cat.”
“She knows I’m coming?”
“Oh yeah, just one thing. I never said how I got here. Just pretend you are from this time. Saves a lot of explanations.”
“Matt, how the hell are you taking this in your stride? We’ve just time-travelled!”
“It’s a little unusual I admit …”
“A little unusual. Who gave you that pen?!”
“The old man with glasses in the bookies …”
“What old man with glasses in the bookies?!”
“Dicer … well Phillip Dice but we call him Dicer. Picks a good few winners …”
“I don’t care about his gambling expertise!”
“I was doing a bet, the pen wouldn’t write. He gave me a lend but when I turned around he wasn’t there. Hasn’t been since. Anyway who cares? This is amazing. We are living. Loosen up. You are never going to get Joseph’s trousers off if you are going to be this uptight.”
“I’m not trying to get his trousers off! We need to get back to 2016 and find this Dicer fella …”
“You’re forgetting one thing.”, Matt says, starting to move away from me a bit.
“Oh and what’s that?”
“I have the pen.”, he stays and starts to run off.
“Dude, this is childish! Get back here!”, I shout, rushing after him with visions of been stuck in the 1920s in my head.

I follow him into The Velvet Cat. He joins a woman and a man who I presume are the wild Dorothy and the quiet Joseph whose trousers I’m supposed to be trying to get off. Matt is kissing Dorothy and Joseph is sitting across from them with his back to me. I reluctantly approach the table with one focus in mind: getting that pen.
“Jayden mate, pull up a chair.”, Matt calls out and I involuntarily roll my eyes.
Joseph gets up to let me get past to the free chair and that’s when I almost choke.
Oh my god, he’s beautiful. Maybe I would like to sleep with him.
And then he smiles. You know that incredibly endearing warm smile that introverts do when even hello is hard to get out of their mouth. I’m swept away with dizziness and before I know it I’m sitting down. Joseph offers me a cigarette and I forget and ask him where the smoking area is. He looks puzzled.
“The smoking area?”
Matt intervenes.
“Jay’s got this mad idea that there should be smoking areas in bars and clubs. Health of non-smokers and all that.”
“You don’t believe that surely darling? That’d take away all the fun!”, Dorothy purrs.
“Well …”, I begin.
“He believes what he believes.”, Joseph smiles.
“Surely Joseph sweetie you don’t think that we should be forced out to another area with our fags like some sort of bar outcasts?”
“I didn’t say I did Dor. But it’s an interesting take on it.”, he says beginning to light up his cigarette.
He stops and turns to me.
“This doesn’t offend you, does it? Because I don’t want to.”
“No, no, of course not.”
He lights his cigarette.
“It’s just I have this friend Sue and she’s a vegetarian. It upsets her when someone eats meat in front of her.”
“Sue’s a drama queen! She saves insects from been stood on!”, Dorothy whined, wrapping herself around Matt.
“She likes animals Dor.”
“Well I’ll agree on that Joesph. After all she was with Wilson and he was a beast. I should know! But that was before I met my little Matty boy!”
They begin a full on kissing session while I think this is the 1920s! I’m not the most traditional or a prude but weren’t things took a little slower back then? Back now? Oh I’m confused.
“So Joseph, what do you do?”
“I’m a railroad worker. Oh and I write poetry on the side.”
“Anything published?”
“Not as of yet. What about you?”
“I’m a barman.”
“Where?”
“A long way from here.”
“Must be. I haven’t seen you around before. And I’d remember if I did.”
Our eyes meet. It’s a few seconds. It feels like an eternity. A wonderful eternity. His hand is holding his drink. I reach across to place my hand on top of his and he pulls it away instantly. There is terror on his face and he gets up.
“I have to go Dor. Splendid night.”
He rushes out and I rush after him. When I catch up with him I begin talking very fast.
“I was told you were into guys. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”
“Will you keep your voice down?! What are you trying to do?! Get us killed?!”
“I’m sorry. I forgot.”
“Yeah, well you wouldn’t want to forget too often, would you?!”
“No, I guess not.”
His voice softens.
“I’m sorry. It’s just … it isn’t right, is it? But it’s the way it is. And it’s never gong to change. So I suppose you just got to get on with things. I’m gay and I’m completely happy been but other people will never come around to just seeing people as human beings and not putting people in boxes in a quest for power.”
“Things will change. There’ll come a time when people will say they are gay and people will say so what? Well the majority will anyway.”
“You’re very positive for a gay man in the 1920s.”
“Well technically I’m not gay but I know what you mean.”
“You’re not? I’m confused.”
“I’m pansexual. I can fall for men, women or non-binary people.”
“Non-binary?”
“Someone who is both genders or neither.”
“I have a friend Charlie who feels like that. But I’ve never heard the word.”
“Well you know, as time moves on people, if they feel they want to, do find words to describe what they feel.”
“It’s like you know all this stuff I don’t.”
“Likewise. Like don’t put your hand on a guy’s hand when homosexuality isn’t legal. I forget sometimes.”
Joseph took Jayden’s hand and brought him behind the wall. He cupped Jayden’s face in his hand and began to kiss him.
“Isn’t this dangerous?”
“Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of danger. Besides we’re hidden. I don’t usually kiss someone this quick.”
“Neither do I.”
They began kissing again.

After the night, Jayden and Matt returned to their time.
“He’s a great kisser.”
“Now, you’re happy you made the trip.”, Matt smiled.
“It’s such a pity it can’t last.”
“Why not? We can go back as much as we like.”
“There’s a reason why that guy gave you that pen though.”
“I know but who cares?”
“Joseph’s life was back then. Mine’s now.”
“Would you stay in the 1920s for him?”
“Yeah.”
“Ah would you? How fucking soppy! It’s like the real life gay version of Romeo & Juliet.”
“You’ve never even read Romeo & Juliet … look think, when this guy gave you the pen did he say anything?”
“He just gave me a docket with the words The Velvet Cat on it. And tomorrow’s date only in the 1920s. 8pm.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that before?”
“Because you’d get all serious and then it would have been no fun. Besides it’s tomorrow or tonight now but it wasn’t last night’s date.”
Jayden sighed.
“Ok, tonight we go back.”

The Velvet Cat was quiet when Jayden and Matt entered. Two men and a woman sat at the bar. The barman was an older man with glasses. A violent dispute broke out between the two men for the woman’s affections. One man suddenly took out a knife and stabbed the other man. The woman rushed out. A newspaper cutting fell in front of Jayden and Matt. It read:

Man Killed In Bar. No Reliable Witnesses

Robert Mitchell (28) was killed in a stabbing incident in a bar. However his death has been deemed unsolved at an inquest today. Mr. Mitchell was having a drink in The Velvet Cat Bar at 8pm last Saturday with the only witness present been the barman Jimmy Dice (72). Mr. Dice identified a young man in his 30s as been the person who stabbed Mr. Mitchell. The man can not be named for legal reasons. At the inquest it was deemed that Mr. Dice could not be certain of his identification due to poor eyesight. According to police the case is now closed.

“This is ridiculous. They’ll think it’s us Jay!”
“What have we got to lose? We just click the pen if things go wrong.”
When the police arrived, Jayden and Matt backed up Jimmy’s story. And Jimmy said they had been sitting over the other side of the bar. They agreed to make it to the inquest.

After the inquest, a trial followed where William Nolan was found guilty of murder. Matt went to say his goodbyes to Dorothy and Jayden went over to Joseph.
“Now we can live happily ever after.”, Joseph beamed.
“I really wish you didn’t say that. Look this is going to sound nuts but I should have told you this from the start. I’m from the year 2016 …”
“What?!”
“Just hear me out. Matt and me came to right a wrong. Well at first we weren’t sure why we were here. But it became apparent. The pen time travels.”
“Look if you want to break up with me you don’t have to make up some stupid elaborate story. Just be a man about it.”
“I love you. But you have your life. I have mine. This is coincidence. This isn’t what’s meant to be.”
Jayden kissed Joseph passionately.
“The world’s really in 2016 …”
“Yeah and I hope I meet someone as wonderful as you in the present day.”
“So I’ve already died?”
“I don’t want to think of that but I’d imagine so.”
“Well I hope I met someone as wonderful as you before I popped off.”
Jayden kissed Joseph again before walking over to Matt. They clicked the pen one last time and returned to the present day.

Back in 2016, Jayden felt something in his pocket. He took it out. It was a rolled-up piece of paper.
“What’s that?”, Matt asked.
“A poem.”
“From Joseph?”, Matt smiled,
“I’ll go get us two beers in the kitchen. Give you some privacy to read it.”
Jayden began to read the poem:

There is something about you,
I can’t put my finger on it.
You are caring,
Understanding,
Real.
Before I met you love was fiction,
It was in books,
It was what I wrote
But never felt.
You are filled with strength Jay,
Filled with love,
Bursting with it.
That’s what makes you everything,
Everything to me.
Don’t ever lose that,
Don’t lose that beauty inside.

Short Story: Waves

Watch the waves gush over and over. Life in slow motion. Isn’t it strange how they never stop going back and forth, back and forth? It would be safe to just look at them and stay out of the danger of ruin. Breathe in the final moments. Watch the air exhale and make a mist. That’s life. It’s so beautiful even in it’s ugliness that tears form in my eyes. The future has transformed from wonderful to bleak like a sunny day when the sky starts to get dark. The onslaught of gloomy weather and rain. If only we could erase one day from our lives? If I could then maybe the waves wouldn’t mean much to me on this calm evening that feels dark in my eye line.

Of course they wouldn’t matter. Like six weeks ago as he held me in his arms and tickled me in my sides gently because I had stupidly let him in on the fact that it was my ticklish spot. I laughed carefreely as the wind swept through my hair. It was just another day. Just another trip to the beach with ’99s and sun tan lotion. But then in the blink of an eye, in the blink of five tides of waves, everything changed.

It was like any other day. My best friend from childhood Rick came along to join us on the beach. We were having our weekly drinking session on the beach. Yes, I knew Carl was jealous of Rick but I couldn’t just cut Rick callously out of my life. He had been in it long before I had met Carl. In a way I thought the situation was awkward but harmless. But as the drink flowed things got dangerous. Angry words were exchanged between the two men in my life. Forgive me for I thought in an naive fashion that it would not go beyond mere words. Instead it escalated. Punches were thrown and it was only then that I realised the seriousness of the situation I was in. Before I knew it Carl picked up a bottle and hit Rick over the head. When I knelt down to feel his pulse he was gone.

Before the night was out we had buried Rick in a nearby forest. My insides ached with guilt as I thought of the day I was an introvert young girl in playschool and this larger than life young boy had made me feel less lonely. But since then I had grown up and met the man I loved. And when push came to shove I chose to save him instead of allow justice for Rick and his family. And although I felt guilt it was nothing compared to the fear which I felt for us. I was prepared to let it lie until Rick’s body was found.

That was when I slipped the poison into Carl’s coffee to save him this morning. Then I came back to this beach where this hell all began. Watched the waves one last time. Told myself that this was the last few seconds, the last few waves, of my life. Victoria Morgan would be no more. I stand up, take a few steps towards the ocean towards my destiny.

Short Story: Father’s Day Remembrance

It is Father’s Day today so I have decided to write a short story entitled Father’s Day Remembrance. Hope you like it.

Happy Father’s Day to my own Dad up in heaven. Love you Dad. And happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers out there. 🙂

 

Kerry sat on the sofa. She looked upwards and began to talk to her father.

“Dad, so Father’s Day has rolled around again. Did you see the flowers and card we brought up to your grave?”

She was talking about the flowers and card she, her mother and her sister had brought up to his grave when they had been down to visit his grave. They now lived in a different town but regularly went down to see him.

“How’s heaven today? Any characters? We’re good. We’re watching the football and Big Brother later. I’m sure if there’s a telly up there you’re watching the former and won’t be watching the latter. Although one of your fellow Dubs Hughie is in it so I’m sure you’d like him in it.”

She remembered the times they had together, how he loved when their dog brought the lead over in his mouth for him to bring him for a walk, how his mother never got her father’s jokes, how he had always been so encouraging of she and her sister’s futures, how he always loved Italy in the football tournaments and supported Wolves. She remembered him watching the Elvis Presley comeback concert and how she knew it annoyed him that her favourite Elvis track was his cover of Peggy Lee’s Fever as opposed to an original Elvis track. And how he also loved the Rolling Stones. How he loved to sing David Essex’s A Winter’s Tale and had a really good voice.

“Love you Dad. Happy Father’s Day. Talk to you soon.”, she said and blew a kiss up to him.

 

 

Short Story: Shakespeare

I’m currently doing a Futurelearn course Learning Online: Reflecting And Sharing with the University of Leeds. As part of the course we have to produce a script related to information online about William Shakesphere. Here is my short story based on my findings. Hope you all like it! 🙂

Our Creative Writing lecture ended for the day and we left the college.
“He is the master of the writing craft. If you can get to his heights you’ve made it.”, my girlfriend Lucy waffled on.
“I prefer a bit of Oscar meself.”, I replied,
“At least I’m sure he wrote his works.”
“No Karen, there is more to suggest William Shakesphere did then that he didn’t. Scholars say that all came from snobbish attitudes.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, because he was the son of a glovemaker, some people didn’t want to believe he had created some of the best and most lasting texts ever created.”
Suddenly been a working-class girl I was on Shakesphere’s side.
“That isn’t right. Why couldn’t someone from our background achieve all that?”
“Well maybe me, not you.”, Lucy laughed.
I tipped her in the arm gently.
“Get out of it you … Romeo & Juliet’s quite good I have to admit.”
“Bit obvious though.”
Oh yes, I forgot Lucy is of the abstract thinking. If it’s popular it surely can’t be good!
“I suppose.”
“Now The Tempest. That is brilliant. It goes deep beneath the surface of human behaviour and emotions.”
I just about stop myself from rolling my eyes. We’ve just come out of a class where Professor Murphy went on about the psychology of characters and my head is spinning.
“That’s the one on the island, right?”
“Yeah.”
“I read a childrens’ version of that once.”
“Well I read the actual one.”
That doesn’t surprise me.
“It’s the 400th anniversary of his death this year. The Royal Shakespeare Company is doing a tour of Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation.”
“I heard there’s a lot going on Luce.”
“Yeah, the BBC adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is coming up too. Russell T Davis adapted the play for the screen.”
Doctor Who and Queer As Folk, now I was more interested.
“Cool. I must take a look at that. Get a takeaway and a few tinnys in.”
I see Lucy smile as she rolls her eyes. I know what she’s thinking: too common for a Shakesphere adaptation. But she’s missing the point. Shakesphere is for all, not just the elite and the abstract. Of course I don’t say this. She wouldn’t listen to me anyway. So instead we go to catch our bus home while talking about Macbeth and debate whether there is a justification for Lady MacBeth’s actions. In short I don’t think there is but Lucy thinks there is “underlying factors” to consider. Jeez, she is complex but that’s why I love her. And I think she loves me too because I amn’t complex.