The Calm of Boxing Day Morning

Holding hands in fresh gloves
we walk the Winter woods;
it’s quiet on Boxing Day morning;
probably too many bad heads sleeping it off.

The essence of Chris is still hanging in the air,
from the tall pine sentries lining our route,
watching us in the scarves wrapped around our faces;
the same scarves muffling our voices,
and the words we get wrong,
singing the Christmas songs everyone knows.

We ask each other to name their favourite part of Christmas so far;
I say spending time with you;
I know I say the same thing every year but it’s the truth;
and you say the same.

I’m lost in your hazelnut eyes when snow begins to fall;
I wonder what it would be like to be frozen in time;
right here, right now, in this very moment;
but when the soft snowflake hits my cheek;
I wake up from my festive fog,
and we walk on
– destination unknown.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Festive Good Fortune,

Paul

Stolen Voices

The worst kind of thief there is,
is the one who steals another’s words
then speaks them silver-lipped
and serpent-tongued
or writes them with crooked finger
and poisoned pen
without appreciating their weight
or realising their value
only seeing inked shapes on paper
not the skill it took in crafting those shapes
so when you’re caught
and our expressions of love,hope,pain & hurt
are reclaimed by us
the ones who have enough courage
to share our story with the world
I hope you are wordless, you are voiceless
a blank piece of paper blowing in the wind.

This poem was written following an issue where a few people were being plagiarised. The last straw was when war poetry was stolen from the pens of others , their name displayed as the original.

This is my feeling towards people who steal the words of others and say they are their own.

Take It Easy

Paul

Operation: Snow Leopard

The air was ice-dry under the coal-black Siberian sky; his ears were blistered from his snow-mask . He glanced at his watch, illuminated by the bright winter moon, only five seconds until an amber glow fell over his camp. The camouflage had worked well so far. He wasn’t worried. He was a professional. He clicked a button in his right hand. The lens on his scope snapped shut. He knelt in a prone position looking down waiting for the security light to wash over him. 

He waited thirty minutes in his camp, set behind two rocks jutting out the earth like death-grey battlements. He took the time to check his tactical backpack and weaponry, it was a habit. A habit that had saved him several times before. Once he was happy he had everything he’d need he took one last look at the map of the compound. He decided on going through the front gate. It didn’t have to be complicated. 

There was a slight wind carrying drifting snow. Right on schedule the lamp went out. The clink of heavy boots on metal, it took the guard between two and three minutes to walk through the wrought iron archway and into the warmth of the safehouse. He’d spent three nights doing recon. He was going to wait another couple of days before the assault but a call came through from Deputy Director Gorschev. It had to be done tonight. 

He remembered the mission briefing back in the mouldy room they had designated Operational Command. A nondescript base used by the GRU to train their agents. It was the closest to Ali bin Yadeen’s Snow Leopard’s compound. The Snow Leopard, a beautiful creature now tainted with the association to the jihadi terrorist he had been tasked with killing. He is responsible for the death of over fifty Russians and is a recruiter and trainer of deep-cover terror cells. He fled Afghanistan and has been running ever since from Russian and the US.

At the sound of a slamming door, he crouched and made a dash to the perimeter wall, then sticking close to it, followed it four hundred metres to the wrought iron gate that was never closed. Arrogance was a great instiller about false senses of security. And there was nothing more arrogant than a terrorist leader who’d managed successful attacks against the Motherland, he thought.

He walked through the iron gate. There were no guards on duty at this time. He still clung to the wall, keeping his trigger-finger ready on his rifle. The compound to the left consisted of two single-storey, opposing L-shaped buildings, one lit and filled with noise (which was closest), the other still and silent black. To the right was a large metal barn, which was also night-dark. He approached carefully, there was no front covering but he saw several vehicles including a tractor, bullet-proofed 4×4 and a couple of snowmobiles. Only the 4×4 and one of the snowmobiles were open with keys; he cut the fuel lines on everything else. He had planned on the 4×4 when he saw it pulling onto the  Returning to the rear of the 4×4, he unzipped and climbed out of his arctic camouflage ghillie suit then pulled up the tactical backpack on to the back seat. Leaving the mask on he laid out his kit. A block of C4 with some blast caps and receivers were ready to go. His SR-3 rifle was in good order, he no longer needed the scope. The GSH -18 pistol slid into its holster with ease. Quickly, he fastened his ammo pouches to his body, picked up his rifle hanging it over his shoulder and held the C4 and blast caps in his hand. He took one final item from the bag and placed it in his pocket. 

He crouched and left the barn, heading for the safety of the wall at the far end. He stood upright and made his way around the perimeter until he was at the wall closest to the front of the compound and started laying C4, blast caps and receivers. He set two on the wall, crept around the corner, placed one adjacent to the door frame and another further along under a shuttered window. He heard singing in a language he didn’t understand but one he’d heard years ago in the Bora Bora mountains. The scent of mutton, spices, hashish and cigar smoke was permeating through the bottom of the door. He thought they probably never reckoned they’d be found especially out here. But, their time had come. 

He heard the distinct rattle of the door, quickly he darted up and around a corner, staying out of sight. A man in robes was beating his chest, walking to the darkened building. He watched as the bearded man slid the door open, entered and left with two girls, both shrieking, gutturally in two different languages; Russian and German. He spat at them as he dragged them violently by the shackles on their arms. They cried and cried, the look of impending threat and dread etched into their hollow faces. This complicated things. He couldn’t kill these girls along with the jihadis. 

He ran back to the 4×4 and took two pepper bombs and two concussion grenades from the tactical backpack. He heard violent voices in the building. He ran back to the shuttered window and tapped on it five times and ducked. No response. Then another three taps and he heard metal scrape against wood he ducked quickly and watched as more light escaped out into the world. He pulled the pins from the pepper bombs and concussion grenades, stood up quickly then shot out the window watching as splinters of glass painted the face of the man looking back at him. He threw in the grenades and ran to the wall next to the door. 

He held his rifle level to his body. The way he’d trained near Averyeko. It was muscle memory. His finger was twitching on the trigger. He heard the door heave open and two men ran out in single file, covering their eyes and choking. They took bullets through their necklines. Their scarlet spilled out, staining the purity of the fresh snow. Then another man this time using the door for cover, ran out again. His eyes were covered by one of his hands but he held a revolver in his other hand. As the man twisted his arm to take the shot, a bullet plunged through his elbow, the power of the subsonic round mangling the tendons. He fired another bullet through the man’s cheekbone. Another one down. By his count he only had another five to get rid of. Nobody was coming out of the front door for a while but as he approached, his boot made a crunch in the snow alerting the terrorists to his proximity. 

He heard the footsteps from two men get closer to the door. One fired a couple of tracer shots out into open air warning him their guns were ready. Their training camps must be poor these days, he thought as they jumped out back-to-back their AK 47’s, trained at chest level. The terrorist facing him looked full of spite and hatred, then had the blank look of death in his eyes as a bullet went through his forehead. The other man spun around and fired a shot that he felt nip the outside of his knee, then nothing. He thought he was being toyed with for a second then realised this next victim’s AK was jammed. He let a glint of a smile wash over his face as he approached the man shot out his legs then his head. There was only the leader and his bodyguards left. They never left his side. He heard shouts in different languages until he heard a shout in Russian saying they would pay him to go away. He can also have the girls. They are willing girls. He heard the Russian girl tell him he was dead; then, he heard a slap.

The two bodyguards walked out with the slight young girls who looked even worse close-up. He spoke to them in both their languages asking what had happened to them as his main target stepped out with a holdall. It was grim listening. Kept as slaves. They had been physically and sexually abused. He said he would get them help immediately and asked for their trust. He stepped back a few feet, telling the terrorist to release the girls saying his vehicle was hidden behind the compound walls. His gun was aimed straight at the main target. He knew they’d release the girls. These men were cowards; they were in hiding. Being a martyr for Allah didn’t appeal. He stepped back further, waited a minute then the girls stumbled past him. He asked in English what was in the holdall. The target replied with ‘five million dollars US, give or take ‘. He started moving his body to his left, the bodyguards and the bin Yadeen followed suit, keeping the space between them. He watched smiles cross their faces as they realised they were close enough to retreat into the house and if he stormed it again they’d easily take him out. He asked for the holdall and as Bin Yadeen threw it, slim bricks of paper money slipped out. He didn’t attempt to catch it, that gave them another advantage. The three men were speaking in the language he couldn’t understand. Not glancing at the cash, he screamed at them to go back inside the lodge. They retreated, back and inside. The last bodyguard heaved the door shut. It was almost silent. They had a perfect sniper position from the window. He heard the instruction to take it up. Then an explosion. A big explosion. 

The snow was disturbed by chunks of wood, burning money, bricks and concrete. There was a fire in the middle of the freeze. He heard wailing and moaning from three voices. He saw limbs detached from bodies. He approached the debris, a mental map of the interior in his mind. He found the body of bin Yadeen tangled in brickwork. Saw the tears streaking through the dirt on his face. Heard the gurgle come from his throat. Then heard the bullet from his SR-3 shatter his skull as it travelled through his head from the optic nerve. 

He moved all of his kit into the front of the 4×4. You could never be too certain of your safety. It started immediately, the engine purring as he pulled out of the compound onto the gravel track. The two young girls were shivering with shock and cold next to the wall. He slit open his gilly suit to make a blanket as best he could, then turned the heating up as much as possible. He had a couple of protein bars and the remains of a bottle of vodka which he gave them. He heard them devour the food and within ten minutes of being on the road, heard the girls sleeping.

He drove back to Operational Command, the 4×4 handled the snowy conditions well and it had a good top speed. The journey was quiet, apart from the restlessness of his passengers in their sleep. He had to take them back to Command. They’d be questioned about anything they’d heard. He knew they’d never be able to give anything of value. But you never knew, especially with trauma. They would, at the very least, be reunited with their families and be given a medal by the state. And some money. The Politburo would use it as a positive story between Russia and Germany. His name would be kept out of it at the very least. 

Artyom Garin, the Snow Leopard killer.

Thanks for reading the first story in the Artyom Garin series. I hope you liked it.

Take it Easy

Paul

Autumn & I

I welcome Autumn
as she drapes me
in a blanket of bronze and straw-gold
whispering seductive sweet promises of
late lavender sunrises
and delicious red sunsets
she mentions velvet night-skies flecked with tiny diamonds
and an occasional silent symphony by the Northern Lights
even the rain softens under her presence
guiding acorns to ground
while winged sycamores float safely down
and when the wind wraps itself around her
it whistles happily
carrying her scent of blackberry and pear
feeding my nostalgia of years gone by
everything about Autumn is chaos
everything about Autumn is just so
I long for her and her embrace to return
by the time Winter shakes my hand
with his icy fingers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem , I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave any comments you may like.

Take It Easy,

Paul

BIG NEWS!!!

Hi everyone, I would like to share some big news.

A few weeks ago, I was asked by the amazingly talented poet Damien B. Donnelly, who also runs Eat the Storms poetry podcast to join him to read some of my poems on his show.
Finally, I was able to free up some time and join him on the podcast (making my podcast debut, no less!) and the episode came out on Saturday October 9th at 5pm GMT. (I have just finished listening to the podcast thats why this is coming out at just after 6pm!)

The episode is Season 3, ep 14 and there are some incredible poets reading some outstanding work. You can listen on Spotify and most other podcast platforms. Why not get stuck into all the previous episodes as well?!

The Eat The Storms website can be found here: https://eatthestorms.com/

A direct link to the episode featuring me is here: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mOECCAcx0kMXg25S0aywi

Thanks for reading and hopefully listening,

Paul 🙂

Reincarnate

The last of the dahlias
were picked last week
ruby red, imperial, majestic
they ruled the garden
so to let them drown
in the relentless October rain
would have been sacrilege
instead, we slipped them into a glass-vase coma
keeping them alive
until scarlet turned to rust
and petals slipped away
and we were ready to say our farewells

softened stems were carried
and placed among the compost pile
so memories of their life
can grow a new family of flora
and their majesty return.

———

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem. Please feel free to have a look around my site for more of my work.

Take It Easy

Paul

Ricard’s Fall

His midnight-blue suit was sharp and shoes were polished. He flipped his lucky coin. Heads. He felt good. To the casino it was.

He walked outside into the winter air, blowing rings resembling sleeping dragons. The higher they floated, the more they grew.

The car pulled up. Tonight he was using the Silver Phantom, his favourite, his driver’s favourite. He won it last year in a game of cards. His driver was dumbstruck when he’d handed him the keys.  Ricard, the previous owner, still wasn’t happy about it. Especially as he’d rigged the game and still lost.

The Phantom pulled up to the casino. This wasn’t what he expected tonight. He just wanted to play some dice and speak to some interesting people. Out of the darkened windows Ricard and his crew were standing outside, guns visible and a hungry look in their eyes. He knew the guns were for show only. Ricard and his crew didn’t need weapons to kill. He flipped his lucky coin and caught it on the back of his hand. After three taps it sunk into his skin. He opened a compartment in the armrest, pulled out a silver sabre and silver rope, got out and slapped the car to leave. 

He breathed three rings out into the cold air touching each one. They floated higher, changing colour in the reflection of the casino lights, then disappeared. He smiled and said “I don’t want any trouble. Why don’t you and your pals just put your weapons down. It’s the only way you’re gonna live”.

“You against us? You don’t even know what we’re capable of”. Ricard replied, baring his teeth and long reptilian tongue.

“Oh I know exactly what you and your followers are. A bunch of cheats and sore losers. Look, let’s be as civilised as possible. I’ll count to three. After that I’ll have to draw my sword. I really don’t want to ruin my suit and shoes. One,” he said.

“Brave words for one man against twelve of us.” Ricard loved an audience.

“Do you want to call more men, I still fancy my odds. Let’s make it interesting? You can have a hundred if you want, that’s two by the way,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Who the fuck do you think you are. Nobody threatens me. I’m gonna have fun killing you. Maybe I won’t kill you, maybe I’ll keep you as a slave.” Ricard snarled, he hated losing face.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you. That’s three!

He drew the sabre and whispered something in a dead language. Two of Ricard’s guys rushed him, teeth bared, fists clenched, salivating. He sliced through the air. Their bodies were no more, disintegrating immediately into the ether. He took his handkerchief from the suit and wiped the sabre. 

Five more stood on the casino steps in a crescent formation. They leapt. The rope in his right hand slackened. He raised his arms, cutting the air like a circular saw, every circle expanding. He watched four of the five explode when the moonlit-silver rope made contact. He smiled to himself. Ricard was shaking with rage.

The earth gave a tiny ripple as the fifth of the pack landed behind him. He let him approach. Clenching his fist, he pirouetted and threw a right hand, catching Ricard’s footsoldier clean on the jaw so he dropped to his knees. Lightning fast, he followed through with the sabre again and took his head clean off. There was no blood because they were already dead. His suit was still sharp but there was a scuff on his shoe. He cleaned  it with the handkerchief in the breast pocket.

“Ricard. Let’s stop this. You can leave. Take your minions with you.” he said calmly. A few people were watching them now. He gave them all a wave and a smile. They turned away walking inside the casino.  Ricard was mouthing instructions to the last of his men and stepped forward. In an instant they vanished from the steps and he found himself surrounded.

“Your luck’s eventually run out. Who even are you? I could make good use of your skills. Join us. I’ll give you eternal life. I’ll give you this casino. I’ll give you all my casinos.” Ricard still seemed confident. Replying evenly to Ricard and the last of the group around him, he said,“You must be scared or stupid or both to be trying to bargain with me.”

“Not scared, just intrigued. I think I’ll enslave you after all”, Ricard smirked.

Just as Ricard had said that, there was a change in the air. Warmth just above them. Five dragons the colour of the night, the colour of dazzling neon lights,  the colour of the moon, swooped down like mist on the wind grabbing Ricard’s gang, tearing them apart, then engulfing them in flames. 

He watched Ricard’s face. Saw his mind racing.  He felt the back of his palm again. Pulled out the coin and flipped it. Heads. A little smile. He saw Ricard’s expression change to panic, because he didn’t understand what it meant. He knelt down placing the sabre and rope in front of him. Ricard flinched and anger flashed behind his dark eyes.

“How long have you been around Ricard?” he asked.

“Long enough to know I’m not going to die. You’re too weak to take me on” Ricard replied.

“But you’re already dead aren’t you. Why don’t you show your real form Ricard? It’ll probably make you a little stronger, won’t it?” he asked.

Ricard smirked. “I’m dead, yes. As for my form, this is my real form now. I made a deal a long time ago to make sure I’d always be the strongest I can be in this form.”

“So you’re at full strength? Tell me then how long you’ve been wandering the world, building wealth? Were you a greedy man when you were alive Ricard? Is Ricard your real name?

“Yes, I’m at full strength, don’t you believe me? My name, I forgot my birth name a couple of centuries ago. I’ve been here since the English came to the Americas. I sailed on the first ship. My ship. They were all my ships back then. All the people belonged to me as well. Then freedom happened.” Ricard spat the words out.  

“The thing you made the deal with, what did it take in return? For you to keep your wealth, make more and make sure people would always belong to you or serve you?” he asked. “You’re very knowledgeable about my history. I suspect you’re the same as me. A creature of darkness, yes? All I had to do was kill a pagan on each full moon. In pitch black. It was easy.” Ricard was arrogant again. When Ricard had tried to cheat him out of the Phantom, he had the same tone.

“You will pay for your crimes.” His voice was getting louder.

“Not today I won’t.” Ricard hissed then vanished, appearing for a split second, dust rising from the earth, a couple of specks hitting his dinner jacket. He’d stolen the sabre. A scream echoed through the wind and Ricard reappeared, on his knees, his hands on fire.

He picked up his rope, it was shifting between glimmer and shine. He straightened it through his palms, transforming it into a spear. He struck it in the ground then removed his jacket and waistcoat and hung them on it. He did the same with his shirt and tie. His eyes were fixed on Ricard. He put his hands in his pockets. “Ricard, it’s time”. The wind carried his whisper, extinguishing the flames that were once Ricard’s hands. 

Pulling out the coin, he flipped it and let it fall to the floor. A great light enveloped them. Horns grew from his head and down his back ending at his waist. Black and white wings expanded from his body. Finally, his hair grew down his back, a shimmering haunting silver. He held a giant glowing longsword. “Ricard, you asked if I was a creature of the dark? I am so much more. The darkness cannot truly exist because of me. Some know me as Tsukoyomi, others as Khonsu or even Máni. I am the Moon God. STAND UP AND FACE ME!” His voice boomed inside the light, it was everywhere at once, in every language, known and forgotten. He watched Ricard stand up, his eyes were hollow with jet black smoke snaking through each one. He spoke the dead language again. “For the slaves, for your greed, for the suffering you have caused, and for all those you have cheated of life, I JUDGE YOU UNWORTHY OF EXISTING ANYWHERE UNDER THE SEVEN SACRED SKIES AGAIN. With one quick nudge of his arm he, the sword sliced through Rickard top to bottom and he was gone. A black cloud expanded trying to escape the light from the sword’s blade. Khonsu released a sliver of silver and sapphire lightning. It covered the smoke, swallowing it up. Nothing remained of Ricard, but Khonsu wondered which God provoked him.

Returning to human form, he flipped the coin again. Heads. He walked into the casino. He wanted to listen to some stories and throw a couple of dice. 


Thanks for taking the time to read this short story. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know in the comments. Khonsu will return…

Take It Easy

Paul

Welcoming Back The Wild Things

I stopped watching the news
after the third week of decimating death
and morbid press briefings
it had become statistically gratuitous

instead, I watched
the playing fields
opposite the front door
start to overgrow
welcoming back the wild things –

discarded council lawns
no longer littered by
kids from the secondary school
and couples walking their dogs –

I observed the radiant whimsy
in a family of deer
frivolous in the pre-dawn haze
dancing among the tall grass
rose-gold fur in soft focus

impressive were the foxes
drifting around the wildflower verges
almost hidden in the dusky milk-light
gorging on the rodents
next-doors cat couldn’t catch

I chuckled at
lopping chestnut-hares darting
among the hedgerow
scaring the bullfinches
from the
rosehips and brambles

until now
I never really appreciated
the nurturing noises of nature
notably the cresting and chirruping birdsong
against the percussive branches
of council-planted beech trees

ever since opening the door
to the nurture of nature

– life feels gratuitous.

Thanks for taking the time to read this poem, written about something positive that happened during the peak of Corona in the UK. I hope you enjoyed. As always,feel free to leave a comment I love reading and replying.

Have A Great Day,

Paul

The Stranger

The New York night was bleak, cold and solemn. Even the moon concealed itself in the comfort of clouds so it would not bear witness of what was to come. Tonight, death felt inevitable.

Carter Samson’s stomach rumbled as he got out of the elevator at basement level. His senses took ten seconds  to adjust as he stepped out of the soft lighting and droning muzac into the pitch darkness of the subterranean garage. Clumsily, he pulled out his keys and used the mini torch on his keychain to light the path to his car, clicking the remote central locking. He climbed in, started the engine, then felt the firm crush of steel on the back of his shaved scalp. He checked his mirror and stared into the eyes of a face he didn’t recognise. 

‘Where did you hide the bodies Carter?’ the Stranger asked calmly, in a thick Russian accent.

‘W-w-w-what do you mean? I think you have me mixed up with someone else’ he snivelled.

‘Carter Samson, or should I say Cesar Samsonivich you’re not going to get away with murder any more, I know who you are and what you’ve done. This is the last time I ask, where did you hide the bodies?’

The worry on Carter’s transformed to a wide grin, a gold tooth glinting in the mirror’s reflection. ‘I didn’t hide the bodies, Comrade, I feasted on most of them and fed some to my wolves back in Saint Petersburg, well my Russian delicacies anyway. I am the embodiment of the demon, Bauk and tonight I will feast on you. It has been a while since I’ve tasted a Russian eyeball and heart. and I am hungry’

‘Oh, tonight you will only be tasting justice for the lives you’ve taken, zasranec. Turn off the engine. Now’, the Stranger replied angrily.

‘You can’t kill me here, there is security all around, you will never get away. Mmm, I  can smell the doubt on you now. A pity. It sometimes gives flesh a sour note. Maybe your blood will be sweet, though, we’ll see’ Cesar said matter-of-factly.

‘You talk of security, Comrade, but I got in here unnoticed. Very easily. I have no doubt I will be ending you tonight. So tell me, how many have you killed in total? I know of forty-seven in the Motherland and thirty-five in Finland, and for the last time turn the fucking engine off, ’ the Stranger demanded.

‘You are quite the investigator, aren’t you. Okay I’ll play along. You’re right about Russia and Finland, very tasty morsels there. Especially that young couple from Lieksa, they were pure, saving themselves for marriage. I gave them a taste of each other before they died, it seemed fair but they didn’t want to taste each other so maybe their marriage would have failed. There were only ten in England, I wasn’t there long. Then two here in America. The Americans taste of processed foods. My palate is more  refined, I can keep you alive while I gorge on you and tell you how you taste if you wish?’ Cesar replied with a maniacal look in his eyes, his lips being soaked by his meaty tongue.

Seeing the disgust in the Stranger’s eyes, Cesar used this as a distraction and pressed his foot down hard on the accelerator then braked. He no longer felt the gun on him. He turned his head, hoping to see the Stranger crumpled and disoriented in the back seat but his hope immediately turned to horror. The gun’s chamber met his eye and he felt the faintest glimmer of heat on his eyeball a millisecond before the bullet killed him.

The Stranger climbed through to the passenger seat and turned off the engine. He pulled a small axe from the back seat. It had nearly ripped him open when Cesar had tried to knock him off balance but now he was meticulously hacking through flesh, sinew and bone. He started with the head, it always took the longest time and the Stranger wanted to get this done as quickly as possible. Once the head was detached, the hands, feet, arms and legs quickly followed. It was a tight space to cut up a dead body and somewhat impractical but the Stranger had worked in tighter spaces before this. He knew once the remains were bagged up, there would be much more space. 

The Stranger drove Cesar Samsonivich’s car to the Russian embassy. He wasn’t worried about being caught; the tech team knew how to get the Motherland’s preferred candidate into The White House, so making a car disappear from traffic cameras would be easy. When he pulled into the gates, a man he recognised as Ilya took the keys and drove it to the hidden workshops where there was a team ready to change the car’s silver colour to something darker and remove the New York State license plates. The Stranger knew the plan; the car would be sent to Russia by plane tomorrow with the bags of Carter’s body laid out on the leather interior and be used in a propaganda campaign to arrest some foreign nationals the FSB had identified as terror cells. Some information would be leaked. The State media always needed fed and dead bodies and terror cells always kept them full for a few days. 

The night felt cold and pure as he walked through the embassy gardens toward the rear door. The guards on duty saw him approach and waved. The youngest asked him for his identification even though they had sat together at the breakfast table earlier that day. He appreciated the normality after killing that piece of scum. The Stranger looked up watching the breath escape his mouth. He caught a glimpse of the moon peering out from behind a cloud seemingly happy at what was going on underneath it as it grew brighter. He opened the embassy door and let the rest of the night swallow him up.

Thanks for taking the time to read this short story about The Stranger. I may do a crossover with the main character in this and Killing Time in NYC. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Take it Easy,

Paul

The Shows

We called the travelling funfair
“The Shows”
the same way our parents did
when they arrived in The Wick
late summer excitement
that smelled of hot sugared doughnuts, flowing diesel and damp trampled grass
the air was always a kaleidoscope
of flickering lightbulbs and brightly painted plywood
shrill screams of exhiliration could be heard over a mile away
layered over a techno soundtrack
thumping with the pulses of waltzer-spun teens
and kids riding the ghost train anticipating the supersoaker squirt on exit
sometimes I liked to play the bandits
tuppence to ten-pence a go
so nothing to lose really
the games were good to –
one night I hooked six banana-yellow ducks
and walked home with six goldfish
struggling to hold the punch balloon and pink-pillow candy floss in my other hand
it was a great time to be alive
amongst crowded smiles and double denim
spending my paper round and pocket money like fun was going out of fashion
and just the other day
I saw an internet flyer
“The Shows” are back this year
travelling up and down the coast
and although I’ll not see them
I can taste the air –

the flavour of excitement.

Thanks for taking the time to read my poem and feel free to check out some of my other writing.

Take It Easy,

Paul