Category Archives: Short Stories

Short Story – Phil’s Reality

Phil looked at Sylvester, a tear glistening in his. He was thankful to whatever gods who watched over the earth that he was able to keep his son with him at least, he had lost his wife Sylvia during his son Sylvester’s birth he never blamed him, Phil believed in fate so he saw him as a great blessing.

Phil often wondered what his life would be like if his small toddler had not be around to keep him company; surely he would have lost his mind at this rate, he thought to himself. To keep Sylvester and himself company, he had bought a dog and taken in tenants to fill his large 6-bedroom Victorian house; the only place he had kept private was his loft, for Phil was an Artist and an Art Teacher and couldn’t bear the idea of not having a space to escape to in his house, couldn’t bare the idea of not being able to express himself.

 

One fine evening, Phil’s friends had come over for their regular visits. These had begun ever since Sylvia had died 7 years ago, an unspoken pact between Susan, Jabir and Matthew to meet every Friday, ever since they had witnessed the trauma Phil attempted to keep under wraps. Fridays were perfect, that’s when Phil came more into his own reality after playing a gimmick as a harsh and critical Art Teacher – he was able to get closer to who he really was.

 

So there they were, Phil, Sylvester, bon-bon (the dog), Susan, Jabir and Matthew were drinking tea in the large white studio in the loft and talking about Phil’s latest project, which didn’t seem all that fascinating but as usual was encouraged because it was good to see Phil lively.

“I just don’t see it.” said Matthew. Being an accountant didn’t make Matthew all the artistically inclined, instead it made him quite abrasive which didn’t always help the situation.

Susan glared at Matthew before turning and saying “I think it’s great Phil. A real body of work. Shows all the artistic expression of a true Monet or Van Gogh”; Susan was a primary school teacher and was prone to expressing moments of extreme sweetness that could have provided one with a toothache. Matthew scoffed and Jabir looked sympathetically at Phil, which hurt Phil more than Susan’s faux praise and Matthew’s obvious slating.

“Keep working on it mate. I’m sure it’ll get to where you want it to be” said Jabir, the ever encouraging dentist.

Phil sighed. He felt so misunderstood at times. “Can’t you see the artistic expression!?” he asked, flaying his arms with all the fanaticism of a street preacher. His friends, son and dog looked at the 3 strokes of blue paint, all in different shades, on the white canvas. Susan cocked her head to the side, Matthew rolled his and Jabir kept calm as if he knew a secret. Sylv and bonbon were used to this sudden surge of passion that consumed Phil every few days, so sat down on the upper landing on the loft and waited ’til Phil gathered himself.

“Anyway Phil, how’s Sylv and bonbon. I hope they’re doing well with the new tenants around?” Susan asked with a pinched but concerned face.

“Well they’re right in front of you Susan! Why do you like to be sensitive about everything!” Phil said as he fell into his armchair. Susan was hurt but knew to keep her concern under wraps.

“I think Susan was just trying to be sweet Phil, no one’s judging your parenting or owner skills” Jabir added helpfully, smiling at Susan, his University crush.

“Well I’ve had enough of The Arts for one day old fellow, I think I’m going to see how me wife and the kids are doing. And also attend to my massive stack of paper work… I guess one thing I do envy about you Phil is the type of work you do and the life it gives you.”

On that comment, Phil’s friends slowly trickled out the room giving their regular goodbyes and excuses.

 

Sylv looked at his father whilst playing with bonbon’s ears. He felt sorry for him. More developed than Phil noticed he was, Sylv would often sit silently when his father’s friends were around so he could have peace of mind, though as soon as they left he would watch his father fall back into the pit of depression that consumed him when he thought no one was looking. So Sylv did his usual. “Dad! Why don’t we go and pick berries in the garden! You promised we could do it this Friday after you came back from work.” he said excitedly. Phil looked up and smiled at his son; life is always brighter when he’s here, Phil thought to himself. “Of course my son! Let’s be on our way. Come bonbon, you small tyke… God you really are small aren’t you”

 

In jovial spirits, the three went to the garden to pick fruit and marvel at God’s creation (which of course was Phil’s artistic influence), when they overheard a conversation from the new tenants Phil had let his home to. It was the foster kids.

A few years ago, Phil had met Ms Bramley, a 54-year-old divorcee, who was making a living out of caring for disadvantaged kids via fostering but she had lost her house due to her divorce – her lone income wasn’t enough to carry the mortgage any longer. It was from there that her and Phil had agreed to have a temporary foster home for no more than 3 to 4 kids at a time. And so Phil wasn’t surprised to see Michael and Sadiq outside, he was however surprised at their conversation involving their new foster-brother, Sam.

“Yea, I heard he’s a fag mate” said Michael vehemently spitting on the ground.

“Ugh! No way do we have a fag living with us. It’s bad enough we have that fucking Psycho and his shit to deal with” chimed in Sadiq, always desperately to please Phil thought, rolling his eyes.

“Yea well, we’ll see tonight. Might always be that pretty boy, Derek, he brings to the house. Let’s sneak up on them tonight. I hate all that gay shit!”

 

Sylv’s heart dropped when he heard how Sadiq spoke about his father… Well his metaphorical heart.

 

Phil, perturbed by what he had just heard, headed back into his house and headed somewhere he hadn’t been to in a while – the bedroom shared between himself and Sylvia.

As he ran his hand over the rosewood bed stand with its gothic engravings, a favourite of Sylvia’s, his mind flashed back to the day he lost Sylvia and his 3 kids. The fateful car crash that destroyed his mind and created Sylvester and bonbon. Phil knew his friends came by every Friday to monitor is sanity and to see if he had let go of the myth of Sylvester. But still, just because he knew, that did not mean he could stop it or even help it – Sylv needed him and he needed Sylv.

 

Suddenly there were shouts and loud bangs coming from Sam’s room, which was just further down the corridor. Suddenly Phil realised what Michael meant about giving Sam and his friend a visit and dashed out into the corridor, only to be met with Sadiq and Michael holding Sam and Derek by their shirts which had somehow become bloodied.

As if all the years of anger and resentment had hit him at once, Phil laid into Michael and Sadiq, who were simply teenagers and couldn’t take on the brunt of a 34-year-old 6″3 scottish man.

Punching and grappling them with all the zeal of an undergound street fighter, Phil was overwhelmed with the pain of feeling like a victim in his own life and refused to have anyone feeling like that in his own household; to have anyone threaten the safety of Sylv and bonbon, to have anyone destroy his reality.

 

As his fists became covered with blood, Phil failed to notice Ms Bramley devastated and on her knees crying and begging for him to stop.

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Modern Magdalene

She holds herself
Rocking back and forth in the cold of the night

She sits overlooking the balcony
The garden chair more eloquent than anything she had seen on this land in a while

The laughter from inside reaches her
She flinches at the onslaught on her ears.
Reminiscent of her innocence lost to her, a constant in her life, despite all her tears

She turns her face to the moon
And prays that the weight of her emotions will not kill her
For they seem to dictate her personality and disturb her rationality

Her handsome lover stumbles outside
Drunk on his own splendour and beauty
A vanity known only to Lucifer – His behaviour was pure heresy

She smiles blandly at him
Trying to prove to herself her emotions cannot crush her, that this brute’s callousness cannot break her

He gives her a mocking sideways smile
And pulls at the fabric she uses to cover her naked body, reminding her of her vulnerability

He turns abruptly and reminds her to come back in
And not to leave the guests waiting

But all she heard, was that she had not finished entertaining.

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Laughter Lines/Wrinkles

The flashing lights of your youth causes you epilepsy now

Speeding down the road in a life that you rented

 

At night

The demons and the devil’s vices find you

 

You throw your head back in laughter now

Masking the pain that overwhelms you

And the loss of your young years, to bright lights in the dark and soft thighs in your car

The sweet spreading pillars (of salt) now closed to you

 

Even if you manage to get it back again

You can’t keep up with it now

 

But what about You that chose not to live their youth at all?

Now old and alone

Seeking atonement through being a prayer mat for everyone’s ego

 

Instead of lights, you recoiled into the darkness

Ashamed of your wants and needs

But do you not know angels are servants and not saints?

Even the air you breathe is for everyone’s needs

 

Now your youth is gone , you realise love doesn’t need purity of mind

But now you are scared to revolt, lest you grow horns and go from a fake saint to the Devil incarnate.

 

Youth is always fleeting

Regret is the poison of growth

 

Flourish as you want, as you can – As much as the disabilities you would allow

 

Life did not stop at your youth

It was simply experienced.

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My Secret Fire

Sometimes I lament how cold I have become

I try to cry

But I laugh instead, as bitterness wraps itself around my spine.

 

They think I don’t feel

When the problem is, I have felt too much

 

The pain of suffering from the words of a loved one

The shame of loving someone who only sees me as a bit of fun

Or a crutch for their numerous fucking problems

 

A plain canvas that they paint as they wish

No care for who exists behind

A washed out model for a controlling designer

 

So I grew cold as their callous ways doused my fire

Slightly bitter as my light flickered

 

Growing repulsed by their presence

I sought to put myself out

 

But I couldn’t fully achieve it

As their breeze would painfully rekindle my ashes

 

A small flame would burn,

hidden behind a secret bush I had planted

 

So they did not see the flame that burnt

But instead, they would assume

They would only see the forest in the night and feel the cold breeze pinching upon their shoulders

The cold gave them a fright

They would run far into the night

Not realising that I always had light

They just didn’t have the right eyes to pass.

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Modern Ms Baker II

Dance dance dance

You can be like these carefree black girls on tv too

You can break out of the highrises and blocks that suffocate you too

 

You just gotta dance and prove you’re worth it too

And remember

Don’t complain.

Because if you complain Modern Ms Baker, they’ll say you’re clinically insane and act mundane to your pain

 

So don’t complain.

 

Not even when these men fondle your small breasts

Or make asinine requests

Or when they forget to pay you

And shame you for your success

 

You dance dance dance

Half naked, brazen and for their entertainment

Unashamed and so amazing

Alluring and captivating

The very best

They love to hate you.

They ask “Ms Baker, do you not have any respect”

 

People at home will shun you

For you are no more different in their eyes from a common sket

 

But remember to dance, dance, dance

My Modern Ms Baker

 

Your bed has been made and kept

A grave made by your struggles and success.

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Haven in the Dirt

I crave your addictive touch

Who would have thought weaning myself off of you would have proved so rough

My back arches in readiness when I think of your name

Imagining what it would be like to call out your name

Yet it’s more than just the touch…

It’s the journey I should be writing of

The journey of the unloved and forgotten that found a haven in somewhere derilect and non forgiving

We are not too familiar in our touch but that’s because our senses are heightened

Over affection is an unnecessary token

For when it comes to it, our passion can smother

Any repression or aggression that the world may reap

It’s always with solace our parts meet

The secret smiles and the little squeezes

Soon become virile and passion ridden bodies, ready to explode with evidence of the true nature of our freak

These feelings, this freak.

Unbeknown before you met me.

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Sorceress

Bursts of vivid colour

But only a grey cloud remains

Representing unnecessary sentimentality

A rejection of my emotions

A negative view of all I feel around me

Enlarging with the contact from more negative energy

Gaining momentum, power

Being filled till the point of collapse

I relapse and fall into the time old tradition of The Sky

Thunder never seemed so calm in the wake of my powerful storm

The type of anger that simultaneously destroys and helpfully clears, all remainders of an Evil so severe

It created towns and towers built off of living with Babylon’s fear

So I layed siege to it

And tore apart all the evils of men

Clearing homes, markets and schools with my destruction

So you may be able to live new, eat fresh

And to never make do with different types of communication misinforming you

Oh,

I will bring down Jericho

My winds will cause a fire to burn down Babylon

Like the heretics of Egypt

Your Uncle Toms will oppress no more

Your fear shall never be the first or last resort

I shall set fear and trembling in these men’s hearts so they will never mess with my children again

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Fingertips

Sticks and stones may break my heart

But I have the power to keep going

Because my soul will last

On this day of judgment, that began to approach so fast

So I’ve come to break your fast

No religious aptitude here

No, your love is guided by your fear.

An all-consuming mind you hear, so you run. Lest love should come near

The fickle gather and gloat

The learned understand all that’s keeping This afloat

So much they choke,

At all the mistakes made as life grows

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Warm Milo

The joy.

Early morning warm milk

 

The pain.

Early morning walk to work

 

Yum.

Life is so tasty

Who knew cocoa could make me this happy?

 

Ugh.

How bittersweet

If only they knew this cocoa was my egg-timer.

 

Time for school… Let me finish this drink

 

Time for work… Let me find my machete

 

How I wish my life were simpler.

Like the seasons that make the cocoa bean

Like the cow that produces the milk.

 

A little like…

… A farmer.

 

A little like…

… A schoolboy.

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The Deception

Sands of all kinds of gold

The laughter of children and the smoking of chiefs

 

Elders gather to talk philosophy

Men fight in want of thee

The Champions.

 

Women of illustrious beauty

full lips and hair to match

 

Loud booming voices

bosoms blossoming with wisdom and love.

 

Oh my place.

 

A scornful look upon his reflection

She is inadequate, not worth fighting for

 

Flowing locks as straight as the lips of their conquers,

when they were conquered, they still did not fill

 

Toil in a foreign land

hard ground

Cold Ground.

 

The warriors now war against one another

Preferring to serve the ideas of another

 

The gold has left them

And the grey has overwhelmed and become them.

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