Shack

The path is losing its fight with the wilderness. A few miles back, it was rutted and gashed by tyres. Now it tails off intermittently into brush and grass, the weeds on each side creeping inwards like Tour-de-France spectators eager to see their favoured rider. Soon it becomes indistinguishable with the forest floor.

My feet become my primary concern now. Roots rise from the ground like sun-bleached ribs. Sticky willow snags on my laces. I am so intent on keeping my footing that I don’t notice the ferns dragging their damp fingers over my forearms and across my rucksack as I push through the foliage. Branches reach across the sky above me, shivering against the grey sky. I am close now. Continue reading “Shack”

Tendrilling

How can you still love him, after what he did to your mother? Their eyes say it even if their lips don’t frame it.

How could I not love him? He was my dad. You’re supposed to love your dad, aren’t you?

Besides, he never hurt me. Neither of my parents did. Every care was taken with my upbringing. I was fed well, walked to school every day, bought things that my parents couldn’t really afford, given all of the things that they never had. Even their own vices were kept from me. Mum wouldn’t touch a drop until I was in bed, and dad would never light up in the same room as me – never. During the day he’d go outside when he needed a fag. He’d stand with the back door open, letting the cold air into the kitchen. More often than not I’d go and sit out on the stoop with him. Continue reading “Tendrilling”

Book Review – Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë

Penguin Classics

GBP 4.99

 

‘”By the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine connected him fearfully to her – That, however, which you may suppose the most potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least – for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in every tree – filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day I am surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men, and women – my own features – mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!”’ Continue reading “Book Review – Wuthering Heights”

They

They are well-intentioned. For the most part. They walk into the park in their little groups, merry with lager and rum-and-coke, laden with sleeping bags and thermos flasks and rolled up ground mats. They’ll huddle together with their fellow do-gooders, music and torch shenanigans keeping them amused. They won’t sleep a wink, of course, but that’s not really the point, is it? They’ll have a tale to tell, a shared experience, something to post on their Facebook timeline. They’ll raise some money of course, let’s give them their due. Not that any of it will reach me, huddled on my bench on the less salubrious side of the park.

Continue reading “They”

Alone Amongst the Beasts

It was big enough for a grizzly but not the right shape. Too wide for a deer and not well enough defined to be a cougar. There was no frosting on the mud – whatever had made the tracks was close. Travis blew into his hands and shouldered his shotgun. Only a pale grey glow was left lingering above the treeline, the remnant of a sun long-set. He began to trudge up the forest trail again, breath clouding over his shoulder in the cold air. Continue reading “Alone Amongst the Beasts”