The Mountain

I sit there looking up, it’s immense dark brooding, I shiver, the only path I see heading straight up, from here it looks vertical, impossible. I get up and tentatively walk to it’s base. I look up, it looks even steeper from here. I start up, still looking up I lose site of the top. I stop in despair. I turn back it is too much. as I reach the bottom again. a man comes jogging up, thinly clothed in vest and shorts sweat band round his forehead and water bottle in hand. He nods to me then looks up at the mountain takes a deep breath and with a burst of speed attacks the path up the mountain scrabbling using hands as well as feet clawing his way up that steep slop. I watch him go, not sure whether to cheer him on or wish him to fail. He keeps on going, becoming smaller in my view eventually disappearing.

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The Keep

The Keep

It’s not big as Keeps go, four stories high, twenty foot square but it is solid. Dull grey granite blocks with narrow windows sparsely scattered round the walls let in feeble rays of light. The door solid oak and heavily barred, within is safety. Continue reading


My heart sinks as I reach key in hand for my front door, I insert the key and unlock and as I turn the handle and enter a small void opens up in my stomach, not large and all consuming but just a small sense of emptiness. I enter the silent house, the only sounds mine the opening and closing of doors of cupboards as I reach for a cup. I stand in the kitchen listening as the kettle starts to wine and hiss and eventually boil. I look without seeing, pondering, why do I feel like this? What’s changed, I smile wryly to myself. Today has been a good day, a great day. Continue reading

The Visit

The phones ringing, I know who it will be, Mum. Not spoken for about a week, she likes to keep in touch, I dread it. I wait, the answer phone kicks in and I hear “Hi Steve! Bright cheerful, “obviously not in at the moment, hope your enjoying the lovely weather, we’ve had a lovely sunny day, been out in the garden tidying the boarders and dad’s mowed the lawn”, I look out the window at my back garden grass knee high interlaced with weeds, I flush, shiver. Mum continues “we’re looking forward coming up to visit, we’ll come up Friday during the day, and let ourselves in” The heat burns and pricks of sweat bead on my forehead, “anyway I’ll catch you later, bye!” She ring off. I breath a shaky breath, the tension reverberates through my body, the knot in my stomach tight. I sit in the one empty space on the settee, the stack of plates beside my shift and clink. I survey the room and I despair. Continue reading