27th September 2012
On impulse we ran into the sea. Afterwards, shivering, hauling sweaters over naked breasts, we winced at the saggy fright we looked. “OK for you,” she mocked, “So flat-chested nobody will notice.” Stung, I forced a laugh then let it go. Years later, breasts gone, cancer ravaging lungs and bone, she lost the fight. That’s when I remembered; careless words drifting seawards on a Welsh wind. And I have more respect for karma these days.
18th August 2012
It was a dandelion summer when you left. The sun blazed in a cloudless sky, the verges and fields were carpeted in yellow gold. Have you ever looked closely at a dandelion? Studied those perfect whorls of delicately scented petals? If dandelions weren’t so common they’d be treasured. But humans don’t value the everyday things. In our quest for exotic perfection we never notice the beauty growing between the cracks. And that was our tragedy.
12th July 2012
The first peculiar thing he noticed was that Patricia appeared to be sunbathing without a hat. The second peculiar thing he noticed was the large number of flies buzzing manically around her head. Patricia hated flies: she should be wafting them away. The third peculiar thing he noticed, his shaky, sweaty fingers frantically punching out the nines on his phone, was that it was possible to feel both appalled and elated at the same time.
14th June 2012
It was a terrible winter to be born in: snow piled high against the cottage walls, icicles crouching like sharpened stalactites beneath the eaves. No wonder she screamed, her first breath a relentless banshee wail. When the icicle fell, killing the pig in the sty beneath, she quietened down. Folk reckoned that heat from the fire had made the icicle drop. But I was holding her. And I knew that pig was her first victim.
17th April 2012
Peonies. Blowsy, vibrant, crimson blossoms filled her arms. “Take them,” she said. “I go on holiday tomorrow. They’ll flower and nobody will see. I know you love them, you might as well have the pleasure.” I recalled a childhood morning: red buds piercing tangled grass, flowering peonies heralding a change to cooler, wetter days. I placed her blood red gift in a vase. Dead now. Gone in a week, gone forever, just like my friend.
14th March 2012
Greyscale - grey hair, grey complexion, grey blankets. She’s dying probably, the rattling, wheezing infection in her lungs finding no escape. She was beautiful once, intelligent, creative - virtues unacknowledged lest the major sin of pride break out and overwhelm her (many) lesser sins. Old photos lie scattered across the bed - monochrome ghosts; evidence of those youthful attributes. The breathing becomes a wheeze, a deepening whine: the howl of a beautiful soul eager to break free.