Love’s Dead

My wife always that I work too late. She wants me in bed with her every night, but you know duty calls. I am at the morgue for hours every day, slaving away. It’s a small place, they don’t need many staff. A text from her now- when will you be home? To be honest I don’t know.

I can work very late into the night. I don’t want to go to sleep, or roll around the bed with her in my arms. She says I’m frigid, like the corpses I work with five days a week. She wants to reignite the passion in our marriage. I don’t feel it anymore. These cadavers here are better lovers than she is. Love is dead, dear.

 

Originally published on Seakay’s Guide to Storytelling before the magazine passed away. (RIP)

 

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Agony

Bang. Throbbing surges through my body. In agony, I let out the most bloodcurdling scream until I run out of air. People crowd around me as I lie on the floor. Maybe one of them will put me out of my misery! I am not usually one to ask for help, but now I know I need it. I am ready to die. I’ve banged my bloody toe against the door!

Down With The Sickness

The sun shone through an open window. I could hear birds singing, people laughing and talking, ELO’s Mr Blue Sky playing. I was sitting on the toilet, holding a basin, wishing I would just throw up already. Today, I was sick. And not in the cool, hip-hop way either.

In fact, by this point, I’ve been ill for two weeks. This was the second round of antibiotics, as the first one Amoxicillin was just too mild-mannered to fight off this chest infection. The flem clung to my throat and ribcage like stubborn cobwebs, or like a weepy, creepy ex. My sinuses were clogged, making my head heavy in aching pain.

I had to watch from afar- or in other words my Facebook newsfeed- all the nights out, dinners out, days out and other people having an all-out great time. I had to cancel shifts with my Easter holiday work- all of them over two weeks; Burnsfest, Easter Sunday with my family, Easter Sunday with my boyfriend’s family and god knows what else.

Why? I was housebound with it. As in the Disturbed song, I was well and truly down with the sickness. It was like the poltergeist that just wouldn’t go away. It was named The Cough.

I could barely move without coughing violently. I could barely think without coughing violently. All I did for the next five or so weeks was cough. Sometimes, I coughed for so hard and so long I made myself throw up.

I tried everything to exorcise this demon that haunted my body.

At first I thought: it’ll only last three days at most. I’ll stay positive, guzzle as many vitamins as possible, rest up and maybe if I ignore it for long enough, it’ll go away. Right? And for three days, I was led to believe this.

But on the fourth day? Nope! The Cough decided to stay, and it decided to exhaust me. For the next three days after that, I was bedridden. Then for the next two weeks, I would be couch-ridden. The Cough took up all my energy. I could barely play video games, let alone write meaningful content.

My Easter holidays evaporated and any shred of positivity had gone along with it. The Cough’s hold upon me had weakened, but I couldn’t bring myself to do everything I could do before. Still zero energy.

Another four days and I dragged myself back to work. If I didn’t go back now, The Cough would win. So I went back. I’ve been back at work for a week or so now and I’m still fighting it. Just about.

It’s not just a bad excuse for not producing new content. I really have been so ill I’ve not been able to write. I’ve been so used to going at a hundred miles an hour every day, but this past month I’ve been barely moving at a snail’s pace. Maybe if I hadn’t been going so fast, The Cough wouldn’t have had such an ample target.

I’ve decided to pace myself as best I can. I have an unbearable urge to say yes to every new project that appears but I doubt that’s a sustainable practice. This little blog post is one small baby step into creating new, fresh content for the website. Be patient though: I’m still locked in mortal combat with The Cough and it’s still breathing.

Thanks to my wonderful boyfriend for helping with the editing process. I’m still pretty new to blogging and wanted to make this one worth your while! x

Do you have any illness horror stories? Have you also been a victim of The Cough? Send me your stories in the comments! It’ll give me some goddamn perspective! 😀

Rapunzel

My wicked stepmother keeps me in this tower, day after day. It gets lonely. The only company I keep is her, whenever she brings me food or the odd critter. But they never stick around long. I’m so bored here, I’m almost brain dead! All I do is sing to myself and brush my ridiculously long hair.

Then I hear a voice from the bottom of the tower, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your hair!”

It’s a young man! I humph my ridiculously long hair out the window, and he uses it to climb up. I could do with a nice chat. Stepmother hasn’t seen me since breakfast and that seems like hours ago.

After a lot of tugging, and some strands of hair inconveniently pulled out, he finally reaches the top. His face has fallen, become pale for some reason. “Dear God! W-What are you?” he asks, shakily.

What does he mean, what am I? “I’m a princess, silly!” I laugh, but it just comes out as grunts. I walk towards him. He looks so good. He screams no. He’s rooted to the spot. All of this screaming is making me hungry. I bite a chunk out of his arm. He really is tasty! He has blacked out, and just as I’m almost finished his arm, I hear a blood curdling scream. I’m startled! It’s my stepmother!

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? YOU HAVE EATEN THE PRINCE REGENT!” she screams.

I look down at my meal. Oh. So that’s why he’s dressed like that. I look back up at my stepmother, who’s looking down at me with horror and disgust. Oops!

Sermon

You’d think that sound usually radiates in a church, booming and echoing along the walls and rising to the roof like hot air. But this morning, the orchestra mumbled hymns and the brass band choked a low rendition of Jingle Bells and Feliz Navidad.

I’m not an atheist, but I swear if that priest keeps boring on about the baby effing Jesus, I’ll sock him! He’s got the right amount of general fluff talk for radio. He could go on TalkSport for how much he bores on about the most mundane things. I really thought I could handle it. I sit at the end of my row applying yet another coat of grape lip-balm. I could run out if I wanted to.

But I can’t. I couldn’t do that to the kids at their Christmas concert!

Mugged

The Christmas Works Night Out. Obviously the only reason anyone would still working for Coffee Society. One night to take our minds off our dire economic circumstances and get wasted. But first, the dreaded Secret Santa. Nobody really wants to buy colleagues a present for just short of an hour’s wage, but our manager insists that it will boost morale.

We pass around a red basket and I pull out mine. It is in a little faux-designer gift bag.  Inside, a mug says, “I Am Batman.”

A voice asks, “Do you like your present? I knew you liked superheroes.”

Oh God, it was her. All Burberry, Prada, yada yada. We all know it’s from the Barras. Isn’t this a secret Santa, anyway?

I muster the most grateful voice and smile I can, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE it! Thank you SO MUCH!” I reach across the table to hug her.

I hate Batman. He shouldn’t count as a superhero. He’s a wooden bastard who’s only really considered a superhero because he’s rich.

During the meal, I quietly try and think of a way to dispose of it without being overly rude. Maybe my cousin will like it. But does he like Batman? Who cares.

After getting royally pie-eyed, I take the short cut home. I’ve spent the taxi money on a fishbowl, and it’s not far. It should have been perfectly safe.

But then a mad-looking man in a black hoodie materialises.

“Geez the bag!” he coughs.

He glares at me, his eyes manically wide. He’s right up in my face. I thrust my handbag in his hands.

But this only antagonises them further. “NO THAT BAG THE OTHER WAN!”

The other one? The gift bag with the mug? I hold it up, “What this on-?”

Before I can finish, it is snatched out of my hands, and he scurries away down the street.

That was Cucci not Gucci you idiot! I smirk to myself. If I ever get a present like that again next year, remind me to walk home!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words (Flash Fiction)

In this world, your words is all you have. And if you don’t have the paper? You just don’t get what you want. And by God I wanted that painting more than anything in the world. A portrait, painted of my mother by my cousin and local artist-celebrity, Duaz Romandsu. It was painted in his school years, yet he insists on charging me 1,000 big ones for it! I told him I could produce that by the end of the month. I am a writer, my novel A Book Holds A House of Gold series made a bit of dough. So of course I’d put in for it (though really he should have given me it for free the robbing so-and-so).

So the big moment arrived. I put the pages down at that opportunistic little weasel’s desk. An essay on why he wanted the painting so badly. I’d spent the best part of two months on it! He lifted it up and leafed through briefly before remarking, “Hmm yes, this’ll do. Help yourself”. As I went to lift the canvas with my beautiful mother on it, he continued on with some monstrosity of a modern art piece.

Lancelot (Flash Fiction)

“Hey beautiful” I hear his soothing  voice, half asleep

My eyelids flutter open to behold him. He’s like a marble warrior- svelte, handsome, manly… His blonde curls have a dashing, windswept look. I can’t quite believe my luck. We met at a bar last night, where we talked about our work and family. He’s a fireman. He told me about a time he saved a cat from a burning building. I swooned. Then, we danced the night away.

“Hey.” I whisper, nuzzling closer into his broad chest.

He takes me into his arms and kisses me. “Last night was pretty good, huh?”

My mind flashes back to when he came back to mines. The passionately barbaric lovemaking that went on until early morning. How he took control! He’s so strong, well-endowed… “Yeah, it was pretty good.”

He asks if he can use the loo. I nod. He throws the covers off of him, shoves on some boxers and walks to my bathroom. I lie down, still not quite believing my luck. How can a girl like me pull an Adonis like him?

Then I hear a bloodcurdling screech coming from my bathroom. I rush out, forgetting to put on my clothes. I pound on the door. I hear unintelligible crying from behind the door. “Sean let me in!”

The door unbolts. I swing it open and I see him cowering, staring fearfully at the bathtub. I peer into the tub and see a small spider resembling an inkblot.

“Kill it Gwen! Quick! Kill it!” he sobs.

I look at it for a moment, wearily. It looks totally confused. I look back at Sean, who is curled in the fetal position in the furthest corner of the bathroom.

“It’s probably more scared of you that you are of it…” I suggest.

“IT’S GIVING ME THE EVILS! IT’S GOING TO KILL ME!” he squeals. “SAVE ME!”

I sigh. “I’ll put it out the window…”