Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Christmas Wish

Frost was glistening like jewels shining as though it was worth a million pounds. The

wind was whistling like a naughty child intermittently. Figures of people hustled

around to gather Christmas presents last minute. Their faces were full joy like sunshine

because of the air of Christmas was approaching. Kids unable to sleep, counting

the hours and pacing within houses. Chestnuts were roasting on the open fires, turkeys

defrosting and stockings being laid out in anticipation for Santa’s arrival.
   Christina was inside near the warmth of the fire which glowed red and arose like a

phoenix from the ashes as it burned warming her up. She was eagerly waiting for

Peter’s call. The phone rang like the jingle of bells and her heart started to beat faster.

“Hello I miss you” he expressed.

“So do I. Been waiting for your call all day, are you going to come back for Christmas

Day?” she asked.

“I hope so... Works been crazy”. He sounded tired.

“Been missing you and I love you” her voice cracked as she put the telephone down.

   The song All I Want For Christmas Is You played on the television set, and Christina’s

thought turned to Peter her husband. He had been working in America for nearly six

months. His company had asked him to go abroad and work on a deal, but Christina

hadn't wanted him to go.

“It’s six months why did you say yes?’ she said angrily.

“My boss feels I am the person to do it, as I know America so well”. He told her.

‘I know you lived there for years before we met, but can't they choose someone else?

She remarked annoyed at him, they had only been married for a year and he was

going off to work abroad.

“I'm sorry pumpkin but…’ he expressed.

Christina didn’t listen instead she had cut him off and stormed off upstairs and slammed

the door shut and cried. The tears had fallen like confetti onto the bed. The next day he

left early in the morning with a kiss onto her head. Later that day she felt remorse over

being angry with him for going.

  The Christmas Tree was decorated in the corner with baubles, tinsel and a star on the

top that shone bright like a bulb. There were presents that were wrapped under the tree

with coloured paper and bows. Peter’s present had been wrapped up awaiting him, a

surprise that she hadn’t told him about over the telephone.

After he had left for his journey to America, Christina had been feeling giddy and

nauseous. The pregnancy test lay on the toilet seat showing a positive test result, the

crumpled piece of paper of the receipt on the floor.  Christina sat on the edge of the toilet

seat staring at the result like a statue unable to move. She could not believe the joy that

had entered into their lives as soon as Peter had left to go to America. She had hid the

news from him.

   The present  she had brought him was wrapped up under the tree, was a mug saying

‘Best Dad’ in the world, her belly was bulging like a balloon as she waddled around the

house. She had wanted to tell him the news but the words could not come out over the

telephone. She didn’t want to put his job into jeopardy with him rushing back, while he

didn’t have the nerve to say no to his boss because it was a new job.

   In the evening she had wished onto the star on the tree for him to come through the

door as she sat on the sofa and dozed off rocking herself to sleep, her eyes felt heavy as

she slept and dreamt.

‘Mum I want to open my presents’. She demanded.

‘It's not Christmas Day yet, you have to wait Andrea’.

‘But Mum…. Dad can I open one present?’ she asked.

‘Andrea… come on go to sleep now Christmas Day will be here soon’.

‘Peter I can’t believe where time has gone, she has grown up so fast’. She looked

down at her bulging belly.

   Rattle rattle the door went as Christina recovering from her strange dream and tossed

and turned from the sofa slowly she walked towards the door.

It was Christmas Day. She opened the door and could see snow falling from the

heavens above, they were like drops of joy that were falling onto the face of Peter as he

stood there with a suitcase in his hand.

‘Merry Christmas hun..’ he beamed looking into her eyes. His eyes shone of love

and excitement. Christina could not speak as she embraced him a the door holding him

as close with the bump between them.

‘I was wishing for you to come home to me, I was so silly for being angry at you’. She

expressed with joy.

‘I should not have left you for the job, you are important to me… hang on a minute have

you put on weight or something’ he remarked looking down at the belly.

He held her in his arms close as she stared into his eyes and put his hand onto her

belly as he felt a kick against his hand as his hand bounced off.

‘Oh my God.. you should have told me…. Wow I am so happy..’ he said elated.

They both embraced as the snow fell onto them, as they cried of joy and the future

that awaited them. Christina’s Christmas Wish that had come true.


No One at Christmas

No One at Christmas

Yellow, blue, green, white various colours of the rainbow flashing in rhythmic patterns to the jingle; We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Frost on the open ground glistening; people outside wrapped up warm, while frantically carrying bags of presents. Christmas decorations; trees, wreaths, mistletoe being displayed on the streets. Carolers visiting houses to get donations arrived at number 32 Granston Road, where Robert Stevenson lived.

Robert held his cane in his hand as he rocked to get up towards the door hobbling towards it, whilst opening it with the keychain leaving a small gap.

‘We are carolers from the local Salvation Army’. They remarked with a upbeat cheer. There was a
group of about five people ranging from different ages dressed as elves.

‘Hello nice to meet you, I don’t get visitors much’ he said.

‘Would you like for us to sing to you?’ they asked.

‘I used to sing to my wife you know, this was a while back. She was into Frank Sinatra’s song
Love Is A Many Splendored Thing and I would sing this to her, she would blush. Her name was Beryl’ he reminisced.

‘Yes I see..hmm are you going to donate sir towards the fund?’ they asked with annoyance.

‘I am afraid I do not have much money you see’. He said solemnly. They tutted and left him at the door before he could say another word, he closed it and was alone again.

  Inside his house there was photo’s of Beryl and Robert wedding pictures, grandchildren, a picture of the East End where Robert grew up. There was a bird cage in the corner of the room with two finches that fluttered inside. They were yellow like daffodils and nustling each other, while the television was on in the background with The Chase Christmas special. Robert had not been watching, it was for company as Beryl had died over a year ago. He wandered around the house like
the finches within his own cage; he hunched down to his armchair slowly as his legs wobbling as he
sat down. He picked up the photograph of Beryl on the side and looked at it. He remembered the
Christmas last year.

  Beryl had decorated the house with tinsel and allsorted decorations such as stars and even
mistletoe; she was a child in her nature and unsteady around the house putting up tape and the decorations.

‘Beryl be careful there don’t fall down’.

‘Oh Robert be a dear and stop your babbling and hand me that mistletoe…. Now you
going to kiss me or not?’

Robert kissed her like a teenager under the mistletoe as she tiptoed to reach him and they both
felt that they were youths again. She looked into his eyes and could see him young  when
he had brown hair and wore glasses and he had chatted her up in the library, over the pretence of borrowing her book.

‘Beryl you are so beautiful’.

‘Robert I feel we are lucky to have each other, even if the kids have all moved abroad, it's me and you together’.

 Robert dropped the photograph of Beryl onto the floor, the house was now empty, no
decorations or tree as she had insisted on putting in the corner every year. There was just remnants of tape stuck into places. He could hear the laughter of the neighbours shouting next door; watching The Chase after they had exchanged presents. The finches squawked in their cage for food but Robert didn’t know where he had left it last, Beryl had been the one to organise where things were kept. He had forgotten their names so called them birdies, Beryl had named them when she had brought them to keep for company.

Silent Night could be heard next door it was nearly three in the afternoon, Roberts stomach
was rumbling he hadn’t eaten but could not recall for how long that had been. He felt light headed and tired and laid back onto the chair looking at the ceiling as he could hear laughing and giggling next door and the exchange of presents. He remembered when Beryl had brought him the finches for Christmas last year.

   ‘Oh Robert aren't they adorable I shall name them Frederick and Amy after our two children; look at them chirping away, they will keep us company’. She looked frail and heaved while they walked off home as Beryl wiped the sweat from her brow. Robert had brought her a cactus plant and had wrapped it up for her with gold paper and a bow. He had hid it under the pile of clothes in the linen closet and was planning to surprise her on Christmas day. Beryl had woken up early, she had put the Turkey in the oven on a slow gas as the smell arose within the home. She felt dizzy but ignored it and bent down towards the oven and fell back onto the tiled kitchen floor: ‘Robert’ she shrieked that had been her last words.

   Robert had forgotten about the plant as it was now rotten under the sheets in the linen closet and could hear the bellow of ‘Robert’ in his head as he lay there looking at the ceiling.
He could see her face: it was when she was younger in the library picking up the books looking at Shakespeare and he had casually walked up to her to say hello. She had blond hair and curls and wore a green dress with flowers on it. He could hear a ringing sound in the distance ‘beep beep’, beep beep’. He realised it was the telephone and edged forward from the chair and tried to get up as his legs felt like a bouncy castle as he shifted towards the phone in the corner of the corridor. He picked it up, but felt pain in his chest it was like a knife cutting into him as he shouted ‘Help me’ into the empty house. He fell into the floor like rubble on the ground and lay there fidgeting while his body went still.  ‘Hello’ ‘Hello’ the voice said annoyingly and ended the call.
‘Knock Knock Mr Stevenson are you there?’ the police officer rattled onto the door, there
was a smell coming from inside rancid, like rotten fruit wafting from the door. He could see the shape of something laying onto the floor it looked like sack a of potatoes. He pushed and shoved against the door rampaging against it and got inside. He held his handkerchief up against his nose. He walked towards the ghouley structure, to discover it was the dead body of Robert Stevenson solitary in his house on New Year’s Eve deserted.

Thursday, 25 October 2018

walking through the forest

Squelch squelch as my shoes rubbed against the leaves on the ground as I zig zagged
disorientated through the forest. I was never good at directions or navigating. I had engrossed myself with tracing a leaf onto a paper which I had now gone astray.
It was the request of our teacher Mr Bailey to collect things from the forest so I had decided to get a leaf printed onto paper. I was never much of a naturist hardly Bear Grylls and the thought of collecting either tadpoles or insects brought a chill down me.

I had no idea where I was, all the trees were green and tall, facing upwards shielding
me from the outside world. I could feel the sweat trickling down my back
sticking to my school shirt, it was dirty with mud and green stains. I had slipped and grazed my arm which was red, had a sore throat from shouting ‘help’ several times and ripped
my trousers with a hole. There was no one to hear me or see me in the forest
but the trees, birds and insects. I just kept on going forwards I had no idea where to go, my chest was beating hard against my skin, my breath heavy. I had only my own thoughts of company surely someone would know I had not returned I thought.

On reflection on that I was the unpopular kid, the one who stood out, I wore
glasses for one thing and had braces, plus I was smart and contrary to the
Big Bang Theory show it still wasn’t cool to be clever. I didn’t have a girlfriend either,
but girls were not what I preferred, though I kept that secret.  I always felt lost , now I had
literally gone off track into the forest.

I didn’t know which way to go or to find myself through the wilderness,
the sun was beating through the trees onto my head. I felt light headed, the water that was in my rucksack was nearly finished as I sipped the last remains of it into my dry mouth. I shouted ‘help’ again as one last desperation cry as my voice echoed into the surrounds beating off the trees and water disappearing into the distance. I felt warmness of water against my cheeks as the tears rolled down from my eyes, and wiped the snot from my nose as it dribbled down my face. I thought of my mum at home and Mr Bailey informing her that her son had disappeared and her wailing at the prospects of her only son not being able to give her grandchildren in the future. I had meant to tell her about my sexuality but I was Asian and that information could hardly be blurted out over tea and samosa. But I knew that I had to tell her the truth.

The sun was starting to go down it was going to be dark soon
and my Iphone battery was only up to around ten percent I had tried to ring it but it had no credit on it.
As I sat down onto the wet log which soaked into my underwear. I could hear a
voice in the distance cry out ‘Asleen’ ‘Asleen’ thank god I thought it was Mr Bailey’s voice in the distance.

Patrick vs David

‘I can see the water underneath me. Whoops, ha ha, Patrick you are useless,’ said


‘Shut up! David, leave me alone,’ said Patrick, ‘stop talking, it is a continuous

buzzing,’ he screams internally within himself.

   David was always there, like a wasp stinging into his brain, the constant ‘chatter’ was

there. He wanted to switch it off but he could not.

‘Have you tried mindfulness?’ asked Professor Lofney, with his glasses that he wore at

end the of his long nose that looked like a twig. He crossed his legs and sat in the chair.

He looked like a regal King and had a touch of superiority with his tone that was

pretentious. Patrick winced at the word mindfulness, he had tried that but it never

Worked. It was the new craze that applied around a method to sit down, breathe,

concentrate on the here and now.

   David would not let him sit still, he would regularly interrupt him take him away from

the moment. David was mischievous like a naughty child, distracting and making Patrick

feel afraid that something bad was going to happen.  Patrick could not still and the

mindfulness apps like ‘Headspace’ and ‘Insight timer’ did not work for him. He was

frustrated with being told to apply different methods which did not work on settling

David down. David didn’t care about that, he wanted to play, divert attention towards

the darkness:  fear, death and anxiety. Patrick as a result would feel sweaty, his heart

racing, pounding in his chest like a beating drum. Sleep was unable to come and

Patrick would lie away as David would colour his attention like a blackness of thick fog

which engulfed him as though it was a snake eating him.

‘Hmmm here are some more pills, take these instead’ said the Professor as he scribbled

away in his pad, admiring it as though it was a lover.

Pills thought Patrick, that’s all he was given, medication that he didn’t want nor did it

help David to settle down.

  Patrick left the Professor’s office and threw the pills in the wastebasket, the corridor

was white, no colours or distractions just a blandness. Patrick would meet the Professor

every week, but Patrick never felt better, as David could not be controlled.

    It was the same time this week, that he would have to meet the Professor. The

professor made Patrick feel the same, that David was never going to go away. The

Professor enjoyed David, as he made him feel important, that the Professor had a

‘special case’. Patrick had seen his reports by mistake. It was written ‘special case

Patrick’ in big red letters.

David had been there as usual all week, Patrick has felt agitated, difficulty in

concentrating and withdrew at work.

‘Hello Patrick’ she said. It wasn’t Professor Lofny. My name is Susan. Patrick looked at

her, she didn’t wear a white coat or had a notepad. But was wearing jeans and sat with

her legs crossed wearing trainers.

‘I can see how you look bothered, your face looks worn out and tired’ she said.

Patrick felt that was true, he hadn’t been sleeping for days, as David kept him awake.

‘What is troubling you?’ she said. Patrick didn’t understand, hadn’t she looked at his

notes he thought.

‘My notes….…’ stammered Patrick.

‘Oh those… I chucked them in the bin’. Your Professor if you may know was called

Chunk. Chunk, was his real name. Patrick could hear David inside him laughing.

‘So I am here for you if you want to share, or if you don’t then that is OK. Oh yes and you

don’t need to call me Professor’ she said smiling.

She was grinning the Professor never looked happy, only when he was writing with his

pen into the pad.

‘I…. feel….. worried all the time, flustered… and nauseous…’

‘I must be difficult to cope with’

‘Yes it is….David distracts me all the time….. He blurted out. Damn it, he thought he

had said the name accidently.

‘Who is David?’

Patrick didn’t say anything, he just sat there in shock. David laughed inside so loud, he

could hear him.

‘That’s right your palms feel sweaty now, she thinks you are loony’ said David inside his


‘What do you mean David, it’s only me and you in the room Susan’.

‘Patrick… be honest as least with yourself, I know that you can hear David inside your

head, but he isn’t real Patrick, he died along time ago do you remember?’

Patrick sat there and could hear David laughing inside his head ‘STOP LAUGHING’

he screamed.

‘It was an accident Patrick, David slipped and fell off the bridge, you tried to save him.’

Patrick could see David’s body like a sack of potatoes floating on the river Thames,

there had been flashes of blue light, people screaming and Patrick had tried to grab

his hand but couldn’t reach it in time. David had been messing around on the Millennium

Bridge he was only eleven years old, he wasn’t thinking about what he was doing.

‘Let the guilt go, you are now thirty years old, its the past and David has gone, let him

go. Why do you keep blaming yourself for his death’?

‘He was my best friend, my only friend.’ Patrick started to cry. ‘He had so much in

common with me. We grew up together. He was always there for me. He still is.’

Patrick wiped his tears away ‘I didn’t man to let go off his hand I was trying to save him’.

‘I know Patrick, I know you did try but it wasn’t your fault. This is the first step you have

made towards the road to recovery’.

Patrick walked out of the room rubbing his eyes, he could no longer hear David inside

his head, he felt the loss and grief of his friend going from his life, he was now truly

alone but onto mending from the trauma that he had kept hidden from everyone for so

many years.


Christmas Wish

Frost was glistening like jewels shining as though it was worth a million pounds. The wind was whistling like a naughty child intermi...