Ready to pounce, in
The background, watching for one
False move. One wrong step.
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Ready to pounce, in
Wind biting, nipping
At exposed skin, weaving
Through cracks in the clothes.
Flames from the keyboard
As panicked fingers flutter
Racing against time.
He swore it would be different with you. Yes, he’d behaved like a wanker in the past, but that was because he just wasn’t with the right girl. You. Now he was, he would be so different. He just knew it.
Except now, you don’t know where he is and he isn’t answering the phone. At first you were pissed off, but now you’re scared. What if this time, you’re sitting there fuming and he’s crashed the car. The practical side says that’s bullshit. This has happened before, it will happen again. You know that. If only you could get the image of him bleeding on the concrete out of your head.
Coming home to you
Is the one thing that truly
Makes leaving worthwhile.
It’s not quite as bad as I expected. All day on the news, and all last night too for that matter, the storm, the storm, it’s coming, it’s dangerous. This morning, it was just a little wind really. It looks a bit stronger now, but nothing to go nuts over. I do wish I had my lunch with me, if only because it looks a little strong, but wishing won’t make a sandwich appear. The wind really isn’t that bad. A little gusty, certainly, but like I said, nothing to go nuts over.
I turn the corner, and just like that, it is upon me. I feel it most around the top of my boots; somehow it has got in and is dragging me along, by my boots. Unseen hands shove me in the small of the back, forcing me to break into a small run. I am bundled across the road, the air tumbling around me.
At the far corner, where I have to go, there is a crowd of people clutching on to the hand rail. I blink, and then suddenly it has switched directions. It is in front of me now, shoving me backwards. It is at the side, snatching at my bag. It is everywhere and it is at this moment that I think of tornados.
I turn hurriedly. I cannot fight this weather.
I look at you, my big bear man, and I feel a love so deep that I almost cry. It isn’t the passion of youth and first meeting, but a deep comfort. I can imagine better sex, or more romance, with another man, but I cannot imagine a more perfect companionship. After all, nothing is perfect. With all the things I could tweak in our relationship, I still cannot imagine anything better with anyone else.
Your head flops backwards and great snorting snores shoot forth. It is unbearably sweet. I guide it back onto my chest, stroking your hair. You snuggle in in your sleep, muttering. You look so very vulnerable and I feel fierce, although there is no danger, for you are mine and I stand between you and everything. You are mine.
At first when he approached me, I was flattered. He was older, kind of sexy, and when he invited me back to his, I thought, why the hell not.
When we were back at his though, sitting on the lumpy couch, it felt weird. There were three other guys, and the air was thick with sweat. One of them handed me a drink. I drank, and swallowed hard. It was oily with cheap vodka and I struggled to keep it down. The man next to me leaned over to nuzzle my neck and I felt a wave of revulsion at the scratch of his beard and the overwhelming smell of his skin.
‘Shall we go upstairs,’ he murmured, his accent thick. I muttered something about being fine, but his hand continued to creep across my waist.
I leapt to my feet.
‘I have to go!’
I hurried to the door. A hand brushed against my wrist but I shook it away and grabbed the handle. Voices grew louder behind me and for a moment I thought they would stop me, but then the door gave and I was in the fresh grey street, shoes clacking anxiously on the pavement.
I’d got to the park, right to the middle, and was just starting to breathe again when I saw them.
They were circling the park in a banged up fiesta, four of them crammed in, scouring the land. I ducked behind the nearest tree, watching them cruise slowly around the edge. It wasn’t until I was sure they had to be that I dared to come out.
The shovel makes a crisp noise as it slides into the earth. It is brisk, no kindness, cut off as soon as the blade halts, no lingering or wistfulness. Of all implements, this is one knows it’s function and doesn’t weep for something nicer, or more romantic. It is a businesslike end. No more.
The corpses stand to one side, watching with varying degrees of fear and resignation. Life has become increasingly tough in recent years, and it is interesting to separate those who look dully, bordering on relief that are least it will soon end, from those whose eyes are still alert, darting from tree to tree in search of an escape.
Of course, that does not preclude courage. Most will still go where they are told, obediently if not willing. That’s the trouble with the religious. They’re always waiting for God to save them.
Cold fear, sickly, lurking in the pit of his stomach.
He tries to push it away, gathering thoughts of happiness and comfort, but it is pernicious, sending tendrils creeping through the cracks. The panic rises, gripping him by the throat until his breath is wheezing through a tight keyhole.
He crumples into the tiniest ball where no-one can see him and remains, panting, waiting for the fever to break.