Glasgow 09.02.2017

The real Glasgow is in the side streets, hidden paths and desolate buildings waiting to be uncovered. It is away from the bustle of Sauchiehall and Argyle Street. It is where old and new collide, where art is around every corner, on every wall in every street. It is stark and industrial and a little but dystopian and it’s absolutely full of potential. It is constantly shifting and renewing and re-inventing. It is what we make it.

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Where Is My Mind?

Gasping in the dark
the night is closing in
we lose our sense of self
and feed each other’s sin.

Alone I am a danger
I see the world crack
it splits and opens and pulls me through
my mind is lost in strange taboo.

My chaos is defiant
I revel in the shame
I’m more at home in darkness
and reborn in the pain.

I make my home, I make my bed
I hope I won’t go back
but every time the light breaks in
and I’m under attack.

The day is new but I am old
as old as my mistakes
my nightmare dwells in sunlight
but my chaotic nightworld waits.

Feigned Absolution

ʎsdoʇ ʎʌɹnʇ ǝpısdn uʍop
That
sinking
feeling all around
A collage of colours lead me astray from
The orange beacons guiding my way

On top of the world I was looking
down
Free, indestructible, life of the show
Now all

alone

and the cold’s creeping in
Drowning in truth
Dreading reality.

I’ve been here before, I know what’s to come
To savour the numbness my only relief
Constricted, destroyed I will remain
My only way to extinguish the pain.

Essential Reading

I recently downloaded an ebook by Chuck Wendig called “Confessions of a Freelance Penmonkey” and I have to say it is one of the best writing books I have read. It contains everything you need to know about becoming a writer-it’s brutaly honest and completely hilarious. Wendig tells it like it is and it makes for great reading. Any aspiring writer should read this book!

Chuck Wendig posts daily writing information at his site http://terribleminds.com/ramble/   and his book is available to download on amazon. Seriously-GO GET IT!

Remains

She struggled to open her eyes, feeling groggy it took her a few minutes to realise where she was. As she struggled to stand up she watched the desolate horizon as the sun went down.

Shit!

She couldn’t believe she had slept through the day-how had she been so foolish?

Her heart raced as she tried to think of the nearest shelter, if she didn’t get undercover soon she would be toast. Quickly she gathered her worn down backpack and small but precious water bottle. She ran.

She ran towards the cliffs and she did not stop. So many times she had seen this happen to others, watched from afar wishing she could help but knowing there was nothing she could do. She wondered if there was someone near,watching her and wishing they could help. It didn’t matter now.

As she reached the bottom of the cliffs she heard the familiar screech that made her flinch as it echoed around the valley. She had never left it this late before,never been this close to death. Her whole body shook with terror as she took her first steps onto the rock, desperately climbing and hoping to find somewhere to hide. She noticed her hands were bleeding from the sharp stone but she did not let that stop her, she was so terrified she didn’t even feel the pain.

She was lucky.

There was a small indent in the rock about a quarter of the way up. She had managed to find it and to squeeze herself in. She turned herself around to watch the valley as the last light died.

There they were; black, deformed figures flying towards the rocks. Their screams were painful to the ear and their eyes burned red in the darkness. All Emily could do was pray, pray they wouldn’t find her because she knew that there was no worse way to die-the reapers enjoyed pain, the reapers had no mercy.

Pray…

Consequences

Trapped in a prison of words. I don’t remember light or air, the dark is where I dwell.

I forget how I got here- When did I get here? Who put me here?

The cage is so familiar, the words are all I know.

Have I been forgotten?

ALONE.PAIN.BROKEN.COLD.HEARTLESS.

These words haunt me, these words consume me, I cannot escape these words. They bind my heart and trap my mind. They are cold and sharp and piercing. Each time they tighten their grip another piece of me is taken-never to return.

Why am I here?

Then it hits like a shard of glass perforating my heart. The thing that I could never be allowed to remember.

I built this prison.

A Solitary Life

The laughter and liveliness
drown in the silence
as the people and parties
are consumed by darkness.

At first it was lonely
I missed the sight of day
but I came to realise
darkness was okay.

This would not be life of a singer,
This would not be the life of a doctor
This would not be the life of an engineer
This must be the life of a writer.

A solitary life of shadows and pain
it’s not good for the heart
but it’s good for the pen.

Empty Walls

1
For the third time in half an hour she stared at the flowers with a sense of childish wonder.
“Are they mine?” she asked, her eyes fixed on the vase by the window. She didn’t wait for a reply before remarking;
“They’re pretty.”
She turned form the flowers to the cabinet by the door and took a sip of her orange juice. Her mind had already wandered, briefly forgotten the flowers, and was now focused on her purse. It was a stubborn purse, ancient, it should have been thrown out years ago but refused. Her hands shook as she clutched the worn leather and opened it to reveal a twenty pence coin. She was not shocked that there was so little in the purse and without thinking about it put forward her bony hands offering the coin to the girl sitting on the bed.
“No thanks.” the girl said trying to seem grateful for the offering.
The hand retreated and with a slight look of disappointment she turned around and placed the purse back on it’s cabinet. There was a moment of silence as she scanned the room, her face was like a blank canvas absorbing everything she saw. The girl was used to it, it was the same every week. They would have a brief conversation, light topics, before repeating it several times. It didn’t matter, it was being there that counted, at least that’s what she told herself. This was the time to make up for the past and start fresh but of course it could never be the same, never be truly mended.
Her eyes had wandered back to the flowers, she moved to them and stroked their withering petals.
“Are they mine?”
“Yes Gran, they’re yours.”

2
The last few years had been tough on Steph, she was only seventeen but had already witnessed death, depression, cancer and now dementia try to tear her family apart. Dementia. The disease that had claimed her Gran two years ago was at it’s worst. Steph had watched as her Gran was consumed and overthrown by the disease and now on her weekly visits she could not help but feel she was visiting a shell; a hollowed out, diluted version of her Gran, not the strong, at times infuriating woman she remembered.
While emptying her Grandmother’s house Steph had found a box of old photographs, a box bursting with memories. The first photo she pulled from the box was Steph as a child, maybe five or six years old. She was at the local park just round the corner from her Gran’s house. This picture brought back one of Steph’s most vivid memories: It was the summer holidays and Steph had been stuck in the house with her Grandparents all day, she was sick of watching the old movies on TV and waiting on her mother to come home so when her friend knocked on the door and asked her to go out she jumped at the chance to escape. She couldn’t remember why but her Papa had not wanted her to go, he gave her half an hour and if she wasn’t back by then he was going to go out and find her. Of course half an hour had passed and Steph had no intention of leaving her friends, she decided to test the limits. As she pushed herself forward on the swing she glanced at the street opposite the play park and saw her Papa striding towards her, she turned her head and pretended not to see him. Ten minutes later she began to wonder why her Papa had not reached her and forced her back home. She took another glance at the street but he was nowhere to be seen. She had a bad feeling and was scared she was in  trouble so left her friends and made her way back to the house. As she gingerly opened the door to her Gran’s house she heard a ruckus coming from the living room. When she entered she saw her Papa stretched out on the sofa, blood pouring from his nose, he had fallen at the park. The two strangers who had helped him home swiftly left and Steph was left with her stern Grandmother. She was ushered to the kitchen and received a powerful telling off by her statue of a Gran. She never tested the limits again.
This was the Gran that Steph had grown up with, struggled with and fought with. This was the Gran she loved.
The next picture that Steph grasped in the box was an old one, it was worn and in black and white and showed children wearing old fashioned clothes playing in a field. This reminded Steph of the stories her Gran would tell on the long afternoons after her Papa died and her Mum began working late. She would tell Steph the stories of her childhood, what it was like growing up in the steelworks, witnessing the end of the war and the mischief she would cause at school. The tears of laughter would gather in the lines of her face, her joy was infectious and glowing. She had never seen her Gran so happy.
After this came the darker days and there were no pictures to describe those.
The day her Gran had been told of her brother’s death Steph saw for the first time true sadness and grief exude from her usually cold Grandmother. The tears did not gather on her face, they poured down it like a flood destroying everything in it’s path. They were tainted with the anguish and regret of a broken and distant relationship. Steph had never seen her Grandmother so exposed, so raw and she never would again.
Even on the day she discovered her cancer she did not flinch, she merely wheeled into the living room and sternly announced it to a shocked daughter and granddaughter. She wore that solemn, stern attitude throughout her treatment and recovery. Steph had never known such a figure of strength. It was a quality she admired and hoped she would gain someday.
As she pulled a portrait of her Gran as a young woman from the box Steph thought of the last memory she held. The days when things began to unravel.
Her mother had left in a rush at four o’clock one morning and Steph did not find out until the next day that her Gran had suffered a bad fall and that she was not recovering as quickly as usual. When she visited with her mother a day later she could immediately see the change in the old woman. Her face was blank, eyes wide and mouth gaping. Her hands shook when she attempted to drink her tea and she was timid, afraid of her own house and unsure of herself. This was the point when Steph realised that her Gran was slipping away. A month later she was moved into permanent care.

3

They had been emptying the house for two weeks, slowly stripping it of it’s heart and soul, reducing it to a shell. An echo of their past. Her mother was exhausted, the years of stress had taken their toll, but seeing the house empty a look of calm washed over her. She didn’t have to worry anymore. As Steph closed the door on the house that had seen so much she could not help but feel something was left behind; The strength and dignity of her Grandmother, the memories of a happy family and the frozen imprint of a fractured relationship.