Meetings. From The Story of Eve…

The stories that sit behind people are often surprising. The story of how Mother met Peter was one such tale. Mother had been one of the founders of the Citadel. A woman helping to set up a place where future generations would exclude all but surrogate mothers who were little more than hired help –... Continue Reading →

Almost Everything…

I think about flying again…

Read After Burnout

I had never thought about flying. I had thought about the goshawk which could fly, and catch, and rip, and devour, but I had never thought about flying. Flying meant power and control. Flying was to be like the goshawk, looking down on a world that was defenceless to your scrutiny, and willing to give up parts of its bounty if they were demanded. I thought about the goshawk and it thought about me. And there was Sandham, sleeping in the earliest of early mornings, frost laying on the grounds as if it was a sugary decoration.

I could have stayed up there forever. Nothing could touch me and the thermals obeyed my wishes. Sandham was a toy castle and the surrounding vegetation had taken it upon itself to surround, overgrow and suffocate. From the outside, from the ground, there would have been no suggestion of Sandham having existed. The…

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Why AWOL?

My youngets daughter read it and she things it’s better than Divergent…

Read After Burnout

The library was nothing like how we had left it. After inching our way through the tunnels that led to it, we waited and watched. Beyond the odd scavenging rodent, nothing else moved. Eventually, Peter indicated that a group of five should move in accompanied by himself. I held back with the others. It must have been over half an hour before they returned.

“They’ve trashed it. They had a number of bonfires for the books. Almost all of them are beyond repair.”

He put his hand in a leather pouch he must have picked up and brought out a book.

“This, I think, is one that you were reading isn’t it, Adam?”

He put the book into my open palms and smiled.

I stared in amazement at it. It was the Diary of Ann Frank and it had escaped the burning.

“How?” I tried to say, but my throat…

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Not Out…

Monotony is Everything…

Read After Burnout

Monotony settles like a sheet across the waking hours of the ward. It’s a long day with patients being prodded awake with offers of tea and coffee. After that, it’s cereals or toast. I accepted tea, strong with only a little milk, but did not partake of any solids; my wife had provided me with a bag of chocolate biscuits. Each offer and refusal seemed to be recorded on a ledger concerning my awkwardness. And so it became apparent that some of the staff had decided that I was not playing the expected role of grateful patient and this, with the eyeball rolling and sighs of discontent, would plague my stay. As an outcast, I decided to keep myself to myself. No cheery chats or enquiries as to how their days were progressing. I was here for one purpose and that was to make a very speedy recovery then get…

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From The Story of Eve…

We separated and hugged the darkness that clung to the buildings. The young hunters were so deeply involved in their initiations that they did not notice us. We were next to invisible and completely silent. My companions were covering the other side of the clearing and I had to strain to see them. Musa, the... Continue Reading →

Before the audition…

I think they call it the Green Room. It’s a place in television production where actors or performers prepare themselves for the show that is to come. The room in which I was asked to wait was green. I was one of many acts to present themselves before the staff on that day. There were... Continue Reading →

The Piper 54

And once more…

Read After Burnout

images-655The key was turning in the lock and the group watched the downward movement of the handle.

Laura had armed herself with her largest pan, Michael and Nick held knives. If they were to be found, they would fight. The Piper had reminded them of things they had not thought they knew. They were aware that this had happened before, that they had stood side by side in grim determination not to give in. In the unlit kitchen, they could have been anybody from any time. They were the hunted who had reached the end of their run. This would be the time they would stand and fight.

The door was unlocked and was moving silently on its arc. Two figures were entering. The defenders tensed themselves for combat. Laura was the first to move. She pushed all of her anger into a swing that was intended to take the…

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The Piper 16

And again…

Read After Burnout

images-655She was loaded down with bags, with Pete, and one of the broadest grins they had seen on her for years. It was only when she saw the bruise that had begun to appear on Chris’s cheek, one lucky punch, that she lost her newly found demeanour.

“What happened?” she enquired with a concern that took her back to the bad days.

She hoped, prayed, that it had not followed them here. The bullying had been one of the worst things that had come from it. She had accepted her part, had accepted the isolation, the ostracism that had come with the label of having a child-killing drink-drive husband, but she could not accept the malevolence that had been visited upon her sons by their peers. This had scarred the family in a fashion that ran much deeper than the cut of a blade.

Chris was going to use the…

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The Chinese, Tea and Milk…

And again…

Read After Burnout

On that fourth day, Mother and I found ourselves seated at one of the long benches in the underground. A number of Laura’s group were off scouting outside. Some ripple of information had worked its way amongst them and they had organised themselves into small scouting parties. Maddie, the little girl who had twice come to my attention, was foremost amongst the scouts. Whilst the others organised, she was off. One moment she was there and the next she was not. I had brought this to the attention of Laura and she just smiled and said that that was how Maddie worked. She may have been the youngest of the scouts but she was the best.

They had been gone for some time before Mother began to talk to me about the things of the past. Firstly, she spoke about tea. She told me that tea was something that originally came…

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The Chinese, Tea and Milk…

On that fourth day, Mother and I found ourselves seated at one of the long benches in the underground. A number of Laura’s group were off scouting outside. Some ripple of information had worked its way amongst them and they had organised themselves into small scouting parties. Maddie, the little girl who had twice come to... Continue Reading →

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