Let the Rain Fall

Rain

He wiped the pale skin of her cheeks and the grimy brown hair that swept over them. He laid her to sleep in a bed of water and rock. She was at least clean where he was dirt red. He turned and let the rain wash the sins off his coat and flesh.

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The Bi-Advantage: You Get to Ask Twice

Bi Flag

“Um, Lance?”
He looked up from where he’d been pretending to do some actual work.
“Hannah, erm…” she was standing awkwardly in the doorway to the classroom, her top dragged down slightly showing more cleavage than she probably wanted. He swiftly turned his gaze back to her face and resettled the glasses on his nose, “come in please.”
“Thanks,” she said shutting the door behind her.
She clapped her hands together once as she approached his desk.
“Lance, I need a favour. I’m supposed to be covering Bethany’s Spanish afterschool class but-” He already didn’t like where this was going.
He was the go to guy if someone needed a lesson covering. Having spent his teenage years horribly wimpy, preferring the company of orcs and elves to actual people, he’d grown up to become a rather meek thirty year old, just a doormat.
But Hannah was usually nice enough. She seemed to like him and one day he might even pluck up the courage to ask her out.
“-I’ve got this date-” or maybe not, “-he can’t do tomorrow now so it would be great if you could-”
“I’ll cover it Hannah, it’s fine.”
She smiled. It was a nice smile, but a nice smile thinking about someone else.
“Thanks, I’ll make it up to you.”

***

“So what if she has a date? She’s not seeing him is she?”
Lance drank the rest of his wine and offered the glass back to Andrew to refill.
“Don’t know, probably. She wouldn’t be interested in me anyway.”
Andrew handed him back a full glass and he began to drink again.
“Nah fuck that mate, sometimes you just have to…” Andrew balled up his fist in a display of manliness that Lance could never pull off, “you know?”
He didn’t. Andrew and him had been in the same boat of awkward teens until Andrew had found a second home at the gym, his first being the flat they shared together. Overnight the chubby cheeks and double chin had gone, leaving him looking more like the kind of boys who would call him piggy when he walked home from school. Lance thought that was why he did it, some sort of revenge to just say: I can be just as good looking as you and still have room left over for a personality.
And he did look good, he had had a strong chin under all that fat which now had brown stubble growing around his smirking lips and across his stronger jawline and down-Lance was staring and quickly became very interested in his red wine, readjusting his glasses.
“Sometimes you just have to ask a girl if you wanna have sex.”
Lance scoffed, drinking the rest of his wine…again.
“I don’t think we’re allowed to anymore.”
“Well ask nicely like…oh I don’t know…”
“Do you think we could have sex sometime?”
Andrew snorted, “yeah that does sound stupid doesn’t it?”
Lance knew he could back down now, just laugh it off like some joke. He should have. But he was drunk and frustrated. And sometimes you just have to ask a guy if he wanted to have sex. So he kept looking straight at Andrew until he noticed.
“What?” Andrew said finally, his eyes flickering down to Lance’s lips.
‘This is a bad idea.’
“I said,” he started slowly, “do you think we could have sex sometime? Tonight-if you’re free?”
Andrew laughed breathily, “mate you better not be using me as a replacement for this girl.”
That wasn’t a no. Lance smiled and took off his glasses.
“I think it’s the other way around.”

Only Speaking for the Dead

Morgue

“No.”
He’d said the word of denial so much in the past two days, it had lost meaning. Yet he’d forgotten what other words sounded like. He’d didn’t want to speak again as to speak was to imply that everything was right with the world, that something as normal as conversation could occur.
“Please, this is important to our inquiry.”
His hands shook on the metal table. It was ice cold, his fingers numbing as he clenched down. He nodded and the sheet was removed. He didn’t want to look and yet his eyes were not his to control anymore. He looked over her, so small and vulnerable where she was laid.
Words did not want to come to him again. Breathing seemed too wrong to do now where she couldn’t.
He nodded again.
“Sir, for the tape please.”
“Yes,” he heard someone say (it had to be him didn’t it?) “that’s my daughter…she’s dead.”

The Dog Went to the Farm

Corgi

“So…Skye had to go away to a farm.”
“You can’t tell her that, she’ll see right through it.”
“Skye…found her real parents?”
“She’s nine not two.”
“Fine! She ran away because we were terrible owners!”
“You said it not me.”
“Well what can I tell her? I can’t tell her we ran over our own dog!”
“What!?”
“…”
“Oh shit.”

The Train Ride from Work

Train

There’s two boys looking over concert tickets, another is squished against the train window hurriedly speaking in another language into his phone. A little girl stomps up and down the aisle in red shoes while her mother half-heartedly tries to make her sit back down.

Everyone minds themselves, tucked away in their own little lives in their train seats. But everyone is going somewhere, everyone has a reason to be travelling this rail.

And I think that’s exciting…just a little bit.

Isn’t that the Thing with Siblings?

Siblings

She was always the pretty one. Isn’t that the thing with siblings: one is the pretty one while the other is the smart one. But see, she was both.

She got the uni place, I got minimum wage. She got the friends, I got the bullies, she got the husband, I got the therapist.

I laugh standing on the edge of the stool. But she can’t get everything. Isn’t that the thing with sibling: the dead one always has to be the favourite.

I jump letting the rope around my neck pull taught.

The Rats in the Canal

Trolley in Canal

There’s a trolley in the canal that has joined the antique collection of dead pests and drowning shopping bags. The canal can be smelt before it’s seen. People scrunch up their noses and walk faster round here. No one wants to fix the problem. I used to hate that. Everyone complains but no one wants to help. Now I have to pray they never do. I hope they never drag up what lies at its bottom making the water foul. But he’s where he belongs now, with the rest of the rats.

Truth is What We Make it

Court

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

“I swear.”

I mean what would happen if I didn’t. Come on, seriously, who doesn’t swear, whether they are telling the truth or not.

“Where were you on the night in question?”

“I was at home…alone.”

I was standing over a dead man’s body in the middle of some dimly lit street.

“And can anyone testify to that?”

“Only God as my witness.”

He gave up on me a long time ago.

“Did you know the victim?”

“No, never met him.”

Well at least that is true.

“And so, you do not know of any reason why you would attack this man?”

“No sir.”

Simple, I wanted to know what it would feel like.

Family Curse

Plague

Jack died first. He was three and the youngest of the four siblings. Of course, they’d mourned, no one, not even the doctors knew what had happened. It was horrible, of course and so painful.

Then Sam had died. He was the oldest, twenty and a rugby player. How could he have fallen so ill, his skin turning blue within hours, sweat steaming from his forehead?

It’s a terrible thing, to feel so helpless as a parent, to lose two children. But they still cooked dinner with them, helped their two remaining children with their homework and kissed them goodnight. But in the night while staring into the darkness they knew, deep down, their suffering wasn’t over.

When Tom caught a fever, they knew what was to come. They held their breath because the doctors had said again and again, it was just a coincidence. He couldn’t die. They’d taken him to the hospital, the best doctors with round the clock care if anything went wrong

They buried their third son the following week.

Ben seemed to know what was coming, he was the last one left and even if he was only eight he cried and sobbed all day and night. Three torturous days past. But Ben was wrong.

His father died first. They had both been stressed and traumatised with the ordeal, he had been allowed to feel under the weather. So, his wife had woken, hugging a cold and stiff body.

When Ben finally fell ill, they didn’t call the doctors, instead his mother had curled around him in her bed and the two stayed together, defeated by this curse until Ben went limp in her arms. She realised she no longer had tears to cry for her last child, putting him in the bed as she grew numb. The end would come for her soon as well. She took comfort in that.

But after a week she realised, her own curse was to live.

For Family

She was dead, though more than that her body was almost unrecognisable. A pity, Sara had once been pretty. Pretty dim. Pretty low ranking. But pretty beautiful as well, he supposed. Edward brushed his thumb over her cheek. It was dripping with thick blood, coming from what had been her mouth, now was a gaping hole. He let his thumb slip in. They’d removed her tongue. Interesting. When he removed it, it was black with blood. He sucked it clean as he looked over the scene happening behind him.

The traitor (he had forgotten his name, it was hardly important now) was on the floor, his left knee broken, the white bone visible through his cloth slacks and he was cowering in front of Jon. Though Edward could see why, his towering brother was fury and thunder alight in a single body and sword, quaking with anger. It was disappointing Sara was dead. Not much made his meek brother this blood thirsty.

“Please,” the traitor begged, “my King, my Lord,” Edward flinched at that, a lowly title to have succumbed to, “have mercy, I surrender.”

Jon moved back but an inch, fury still in his eyes. Edward decided to help his brother slightly.

“You know…we’re the only ones in here.”

“And?” he said through gritted teeth.

“Well…I didn’t hear him say he surrendered. He fought to the bitter end…on one leg as well.”

“No, please no, I surrendered!”

Jon was no longer listening to the traitor instead watching Edward intently. He raised his eyebrows and stroked Sara’s blood matted hair. Disappointingly, it didn’t help stoke the burning anger, instead seemed to put it out. Jon‘s shoulders slumped, and he sheathed his sword.

“I accept your surrender. You will be tried in my court for treason. You will pay for what you did to her.”

He came to the bed, Edward moving for Jon to pick up the corpse, the pool of blood on the bed a lot larger than it appeared Jon was expecting. He inhaled sharply, and Edward came to his side.

“I’ll take care of him,” he said gently, squeezing his brother’s arm, “you just get her away from this horrible place, it’s the least we can do for her.”

Sorrow had seemingly overtaken his brother as he didn’t even question Edward’s motive.

He practically skipped to the traitor once they were alone. He reached out a hand as if Edward would help him to his feet but instead Edward unsheathed his sword and impaled his right shoulder. The scream was music to his ears, but he hoped the best was to come. This was mostly pain and shock, but the most beautiful sound was when they realised their doom.

“I surrendered,” he spat.

“Yes, yes,” Edward dismissed with a flick, taking out a dagger, “but you only need to be alive to be tried and executed. I might as well enjoy a little revenge before then.”

“What did she mean to you!? Didn’t you murder your queen?”

“Yes,” he said, bringing the dagger to his chin as if thinking, “she was annoying and that one was…worse,” he gestured to the bed. Slowly he knelt, grinning, “but this isn’t about them. This is because you made my brother cry.”
King and Throne