Wednesday, 15 September 2021





                                                                      Father: You don't know me. 

                                                                      Mother: I

                                                                      Father: You don't.




Monday, 23 August 2021




Both feet tread mid-air above the stepladder below as she sits upon the attic’s edge, her every breath drawn upon its facsimile of actual air, an itchy invisibility alive with loose fibres each of which seemingly afloat upon its own unique pre-ordained vector.
A yellow v-neck t-shirt and patterned summer dress: the actual clothes little more than her concession to the prerequisite of their wearing and so much less than her any sense of self-presentation, welcomed back as she finds herself in trauma and believing that with the house now emptied her maternal obligation has been fulfilled.
Today she has returned with the now damn near empty bottle of hair tonic in one hand, and a box of matches she had to bite between her teeth climbing back up the ladder, summoned by her compulsion to visit with those wasps she knew to be nesting there, barely audible with the wooden panel cover fitted in its place, yet still drawn back and again by the frequency of their relentless malignant drone.
Mother (watching them hover and shift in the bare bulb glare): Don’t think I won’t you little bastards.
Mother: Don’t you think I won’t.
From where it has been hidden in a thin fold of the disintegrating fibreglass insulation she extracts the secreted box at such an angle the little blue Sellotape tin accidentally spills from inside to the landing carpet below, in its wake a cascade of fluttering paper tabloid nipples.
She carelessly splashes a deal of the remnant bay rum tonic into the already damp cardboard box, its sweet and spicy fragrance that much more intense in the enclosed space. In after she drops a just-struck match still in the inextinguishable process of its ignition, the resultant burst of flame visible only as a pale blue ripple in the air, then lies back fully prepared for her subsequent immolation, sacrificing herself, her wasps, and, consciously or not, the attic’s hidden other, finally ready to bring down around herself the absolute last everything of it all.
Waiting, her back to the rough wooden beams, the irritant chafe of fibreglass itching her skin, even in such discomfort she somehow falls asleep.
Her eventual return to what might be construed consciousness is tainted by a guilty relief at the fire having failed to take hold, its any generated heat already dissipated but the smell lingering, the high toxic stink of burnt plastic: his Lone Ranger doll now an amorphous puddle of melted limbs and torched cloth, the wooden upright against which she comes to a scorched and glossy black.
Later still, returned to her actual bed, she will sleep unaware of those wasps as hover silently only inches above her face, maintaining their vigil for hours and in seeming shifts, each sustained by the rising moist exhalation of her own souring breath.



Saturday, 31 July 2021

Tuesday, 13 July 2021



cog: Nobody knows, nobody here knows. I mean, you ca-, we can hope that she just, that she had the baby and just went back to Canada.
cog: You have to hope.
cog: And what, you think maybe that’s why she was here?
cog: I, she wasn’t pregnant when she arrived, she got pregnant when she was here.
cog: Yeah, but, it’s... I mean, she was young, right, like really young. It just...
cog: It just?
cog: No there was a problem, or she she she um she went into labour upstairs and Shelley said she called her an ambulance and that came and took her to hospital, well, we think it took her to the hospital, I mean it might, it might, but that was, that was the last we saw of her.
cog: And then the day after that they came and collected her stuff.
cog: Who came?
cog (shrugs): No idea. It was weird because we were asked to go to the staffroom, and when we came back the room had been emptied.
cog: And she means emptied, we could have let people in as is. As was.
cog: And no-one thought to ask how she was, or
cog: We didn’t even see them. We were asked to go to the staffroom, and that, it was literally ten minutes.
cog: If that, even.
cog (remembering): What about her E.T. doll?
cog: Shelley said she took that with her when the ambulance came.
cog: So...
cog: So?
cog: So that’s that?
cog: That’s, well yup, it would certainly appear so.
cog: Maybe we’ll get a thank you card and some news about the baby.
cog: Maybe.
cog: I wouldn’t hold your breath.
cog: Oh wait no, that was the thing, did you hear Sue got her written warning?
cog: Seriously?