an old instrument with rusty strings

he sits alone in the
darkness

on a wooden chair

The walls surrounding him
have no
mirrors and
the windows are covered
by the thickest blinds

He doesn’t want to see his
old age

and the decay that already
started consuming
his body

In his mind he’s still
young, still
in his early twenties

still dreaming

He’s listening to music

He’s playing the music
and it exhausts him

The music comes from
within

An instrument with strings

His growling guts

He lubricates them with more
beer

Saint Bernards are big, heavy dogs

he opened another beer 
and sat on
the couch
but turned off the TV

He watched the kid

The kid was on his knees
before the coffee table
busy with
an orange pencil and a
piece of paper 

Tongue poked
to one side and held
firmly between
the lips,
he was writing letters to
the pet dog
he’ll never see
again

And he did that
all day long

Dad sipped at his beer. The
years of action
were far beyond him now
but by all the gods
he swore
tonight will be the
night
he sneaks into his ex-wife’s
home and kidnaps
the dog

He even rented
a van
for it

feeling the train

A pretty thick 
slice 
of hell 

That was life 
so far 

But today things 
will change 

Today he was six 
years 
old and that meant old 
enough to 
guide his blind father 
on the streets 

The old man was only 
blind for 
a year after some work 
related accident involving acid 

And there was a mother 
somewhere too. She left 
shortly after 
father’s accident 

Today father held on 
to his son’s shirt 
at the shoulder and told him 
to walk towards the 
railway 

“I want to listen to 
the train,” said father 

but it turned out he 
wanted much 
more than that. He wanted to 
feel the train. Against 
his face 

So he stood on the rails 
and told the kid 
to go back home 
and return after an hour or so 

“Okay,” said the kid. But 
he didn’t leave. He watched 
from a safe distance 

Didn’t even find 
the 
event particularly disturbing 

Then he went back home 
and had some 
fruit loops with milk 
and his first taste of 
beer 

He had become a 
man 

cat shaking the paw

She could say it if
she wanted
to but
the words would
carry no
weight behind them

like a cat shaking
the paw with
you
and not understanding
the real meaning
behind
the gesture

so was her
every
“I love you.”

Enough to make an
old boy cry
but he
preferred suicide

Needless to say
her response
was
“Meh.”

no country for romantic men

and the few survivors who couldn’t
fight 
were lined up
along with the civilians
and shot
or killed in ways to entertain the soldiers
And dogs were trained to
tear them to shreds 
and the ground became black with
their soaked blood
and over the next few days a carpet of
butterflies gathered on top of it

“It’s beautiful,” he said

She didn’t pay attention. Was too busy
removing golden teeth
from a severed head 
she held in her lap. “Dammit, whoever made these
implants did too good a job. I’ve
to take ‘em with gums, alright. Look, my
knife keeps slipping.” 

“Stab his eyes please,” he said

“What? Why?”

“Because he’s looking at us. I can’t 
stand it.”

“Jeez, you’re such a pussy.” She quickly
stabbed the blade into
the head’s eyes one after the other. “Better?” 

“Whatever,” he said. “Just hurry up 
and pull those teeth.” 

“I’m trying. If I had better tools though…”

He was silent for 
a long time and then
he cleared his throat and said, “Hey, so… now that this
shitty war is over… like, what are you
gonna do with your life?” 

“I don’t know,” she said. “Get myself a few
gold teeth as extra spoils and
go back home. My mom wants
me to marry this
fat guy from the neighboring village. I probably
will then I’ll shit him out a few
kids and… well, grow old and die, I guess.” 

“What? Is that it? That’s all?”

She looked at him with
a grin. “Hey, don’t worry, you’re still
getting some. Just wait until
tonight, okay?” 

“Dammit, that’s not what the heck
I meant. I meant… you know, there’s gotta be
more to life than just… just 
getting married, making kids, and dying.” 

“Really? Well, what are you
gonna do then?”

“I’m… gonna write. About it all. The war
and… everything.” 

“Write? Like, a book? A story?” 

“Yeah. It’s been my dream
since before the war started. Now I’ve the
experience to write about.”

“Bullshit experience,” she said. “Who in the fuck
d’you think will wanna read that? 
What’s the story gonna say? How you 
killed the enemy? Poisoned their wells? Raped
their women and enslaved their children? 
Stuck twigs down the dick holes of
prisoners and broke them inside for fun?”

“Hey, I never did any of that.” 

“But you were there when the
others did it. And did nothing to stop them.
It counts as--”

“Fuck! Okay, you’re right. Writing a book
about this would be
a terrible idea. Thanks.”

“Shit, look, I got one. This is solid gold. 
Two more to go.” 

He sighed. “Listen…”

“Yeah?”

“About that marriage of yours…”

“Yeah? What about it?”

“Well, let’s just say… I mean, you know…”

“Fuckin’ spit it out already!”

“Don’t marry that fat guy from
the neighboring village! Fuck, I said it.”

“Oh? And marry you instead?” 

“Well…”

“Y’know, the fat guy from the neighboring village
is the son of a fairly rich butcher. Family
business. And you… Your father’s the
drunk who hung himself to avoid paying 
back his debts. You see the conflict here, I hope.” 

“So all you care about is money?”

“Why wouldn’t I care about money? I want to
live good, thank you very much. This is 
the real world, not some
romantic story. Wake up. I gotta make the
rational decision.” 

“I thought we had… something.” 

“Yeah, we fucked a few times cuz’ there
was nothing better to do. And we’ll
fuck again tonight, sure. But 
that don’t mean we’re lovers now. Look, you’re
a nice guy. I’m sure you’ll find
love back at home. You don’t need a bitch
like me. I mean, if you think I’m not
gonna screw other guys
behind my husband’s back, you’re seriously trippin, boy. 
So think about it, that could’ve been you. Would
you want that?”

“No, I suppose not.” 

“Good. Well then, let’s get these teeth
and go have some ale. It’s on me.”

She stood and with her hand
soiled with blood
she reached out and pinched his cheek
and stretched it to force 
a smile on his face. “C’mon, cheer up, damn you!
We still have a life ahead of us. Let’s
fuckin’ live it.” 

“Yeah… let’s.” 

Hey, if you enjoyed this lovely love story and would not be bothered to see more, please consider subscribing by typing your e-mail address below. I swear there’ll be no spam. Just more heartwarming stories (^_^)
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songless bird

a songless bird

that would be the nicest
name she’d been
called

the others,
far more common,
being
that little wench
your bastard kid
the little rat
useless piece of shit that came outta you
and others

She liked the term
songless bird
It was a title worthy of her in
all the good and the
bad ways

The songless bird stands
locked in her room
and knocks and waves in
the window
for she has no voice to sing

She gives silent cries to the
neighbors and
the passersby when the noises
from the other side of
her door
get too violent

or when it smells
of smoke

Which happens
every now
and then

hope she’s okay wherever she is

she kept saying how much she
hated her tattoos

and kept showing them
to us

"Got 'em when I was young and
dumb and now I
jus' wanna rip my skin off."

She pulled her skirt up
to show one on her inner thigh. "Ugh, look at 
this one. It's supposed to
be a bottle of Jack but looks
like a wrinkly dick that's about to
get in. Shit, and this one… This one
looks more like a cunt than
an eye, really." She kept pulling her
skirt up farther and farther
until it became very
clear that she
had no underwear

"You wanna touch it? she'd ask
from time to time

It was funny cuz she was in her late
twenties and we
were kids. I was twelve if I remember right

She probably got a kick
out of making young boys horny 

It validated her
and we had not a damn thing to object

Good times

a woman named Cactus

high school dropout

out of a job

out of options

soon to be out of the
rented studio
apartment

he went to the local bar
and drank himself
to the point he had to vomit
to make room for more
and next thing
he knew
he was dating a woman
named Cactus

Life can get pretty
weird when
you don’t live it
consciously

I knew the guy and heard
he moved in
with his lover
and started a new life

I really, really hope the
headline
“LOCAL ALCOHOLIC DEVELOPS SCHIZOPHRENIA,
DISMEMBERS GIRLFRIEND
PLANTS HER LIMBS IN FLOWERPOTS,
STICKS NEEDLES IN THEM”
is not about him

spend the quarantine at your girlfriend’s house, they said

the atmosphere in the living room
felt classic

He kept asking what was
wrong
and she kept saying
nothing was wrong
when clearly there was something
very wrong

He counted
and it took precisely
74 questions, true
detective’s work, to make her
say it

“Well perhaps I am a little mad,” she
said

“Jesus Christ,” he said, “why?”

And she asked, “Do I have my
panties on or not?”

“What? What the…? How do
you want me to know?”

“Exactly,” she said. “You can’t possibly
know because you didn’t
check. You think I’m wearing
a skirt because I
wanna look trendy while staying
indoors? Why must
you be so blind, man?”

“Well shit, I don’t know,” he snapped,
“perhaps it
has something to do with
the fact that your
nine-year-old kid is around and I’m
trying to be a decent
human being. Have you considered
that?”

“Oh, so you’re saying you’ve
got no skills?” she said

“Skills?” he raised his voice
higher. “Oh, so reaching
under a woman’s skirt without her
kid noticing is a skill now? Is that
how you view the perfect man, darling?”

“Hey, lower your
volume. He’ll think we’re fighting.”

He threw his
hands up. “And we aren’t?”

She rolled her eyes.

The quarantine lockdown
had just begun

peace was never an option

there have been
too many fights lately
 
she was a
musician
and she put it as,
“Darling, we need to change
the tune.”
 
He was a
writer
and he shot her
 
and then himself

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