Discarded Ending I Presume…

Long sleep the end… The bottom line was that I was trapped. I was in a place of safety, secure in the knowledge that I would never be exposed to the forces that threatened me, those forces that lived on the outside. The problem was that when places were this safe, they didn’t tend let... Continue Reading →

Bound To Be…

It was bound to be…

Read After Burnout

It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought.

‘Nothing,’ he said aloud. ‘I went out too far.’

Ernest Hemingway   The Old Man and The Sea

I first read this book when I was about fourteen years of age. Not a prodigious reader which was something that came out of the fact that I was a struggling reader – a dyslexic. With school then becoming a place of false hope, a victim of insidious bullying that threatened to break my young resolve, I visited the school library like one who would visit Lourdes. Somehow, just the act of pilgrimage could do it. I browsed the bookshelves in the hope of divine intervention. My normal choice was a history or geography book that gave me facts, packages of knowledge, small chunks that could be digested easily. I was not…

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Bound To Be…

It is easy when you are beaten, he thought. I never knew how easy it was. And what beat you, he thought. ‘Nothing,’ he said aloud. ‘I went out too far.’ Ernest Hemingway   The Old Man and The Sea I first read this book when I was about fourteen years of age. Not a prodigious reader... Continue Reading →

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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