Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lost Sparkle

It wouldn't have happened if Marjory hadn't left the Christmas party early. If Frank hadn't employed his wife in the same office as him and Gemma, it may have happened earlier.

Marjory was no fool, she'd seen the way Frank looked at Gemma. She would have stayed to keep an eye, but she had caught the winter bug that had gone through the office.

The low turn-out due to illness meant the party was over early. Frank stayed on to tidy the office. Gemma, with a sparkle in her eye to match the glittery make-up on her cheek, stayed to help.

On his return home, Frank left his clothes in a crumpled heap near the laundry bin and washed at the bathroom basin, taking care to wash the glittery make-up off his face. Then went to bed. 

In the morning, Frank had some sobering up to do. 

Marjory had recovered enough to get her house in order,
'You bastard, Frank.'
She was holding up his trousers. Frank had never been in this much trouble before, for failing to put them in the laundry bin. Then he saw that either side of the zipper were shimmering patches of glitter. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

All Over the Newspaper

Marjory grasped that day's paper, shaking with rage and frustration, 
 'Frank, you bloody idiot!'
Her son, Peter, upset at the fate of his step dad, but ever pragmatic, reasoned with her,
 'He must have known the risks.'
 'Typical of him.  Always a gambler. Only ever saw the gains; never the losses.'
 'At least the fee was paid to you; we won't lose the house now.'
 'The house wouldn't have been at risk in the first place if it wasn't for the gambling.'
 'But he tried to make good, by signing up for the experiment.'
 'Being a guinea pig is not a normal way to head a family.'
 'Yes, but it's provided for us: The fee for a start, then all the media attention and the film rights.'
 'How can you talk of money, when my husband is, is that?'
Frank looked back at Marjory, dumbly, and flared his nostrils a few times.
 'Mum, there's still a chance the effects could be reversible.'
 'A chance? A chance! You're beginning to sound like him now.  Just don't say any 
more.  And feed Frank some of that Kale.'
Marjory topped up Frank's water bottle, re attached it to the cage, and wept.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Last Orders

Last orders called, swiftly followed by the obligatory loud signal sounding out. Time for the lads to get the rounds in. A big surge forwards. Have to be quick. No one wants to be late. Get the shots in. All lads together. One lad: down in one. Then another. And another. And another. Your turn: nearly down in one, you stumble, you fall, and now you're down. You didn't even get a shot in. You're late. Over sixteen million are late. A hundred years on, the memory of the dead lives on.


In the darkness, Jim loaded his gun; he was fiercely protective of his girls. Not that he didn't take advantage of them himself; he did subjugate them and had in his mind a rough kind of plan to do away with them when they were no longer of use of him, but he still objected to him sniffing around, trying to get a piece. Jim smiled to himself as his quarry was unaware of the cross-hairs aptly about to crucify the little bastard. The gentle squeeze of the trigger, violently squeezed life from the pursuer of Jim's girls. He relaxed as the muscles of the dead body relaxed.  Soon after, looking forward to a good night's sleep and his breakfast the next morning, Jim slung the fox in a ditch.

First and Last

'Well, Monty, you've lead a prosperous life, with every luxury that money can buy.'
'Have I?'
'Yes! Look at this house of yours; walls boasting fine art beyond the scope of the common man.'
'I hardly give the paintings a glance.'
'And the house is full of bespoke furniture and technology.'
'It's empty.'
'Twenty bedrooms, individually decorated, with no expense spared.'
'All spare rooms.'
'And what a career to look back on: The successful businesses with all those staff from whom you commanded respect.'
'Can't you see that you have, and have had, what most people can only dream of?'
'You're not happy?'
'You know I'm not.'
'But you've lead a full li-'
'As empty as this house! A life void of life, of love, of friendship. What good was it, amassing the millions, acquiring the objects, the things, the stuff, this inanimate stuff? It's all nothing. Who have I shared it with? Who have I, to pass it on to, now I'm at the end of this worthless life, facing the void ahead of me with a void behind me? A sad old man, alone in an empty house, talking to himself.'