James stood in the bedroom and slipped off his jeans, underpants and shirt, glad he’d finished working night shift at the factory. He tripped on something and his wife, Marissa, stirred. He picked up a glass and smelt it. Gin. He shook Marissa awake. Their baby cried in the adjoining bedroom.

‘Marissa, what the fuck are you doing?’

She didn’t answer him.

‘Where’s the bottle?’

He turned the light on.

She sat up in bed with her head in her hands.

‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘Leave me alone, I’m tired.’

‘You’re nursing. You said you wouldn’t do this anymore.’

‘Tell me where you put the bottle or I’ll find it.’

‘Be my guest,’ she said. ‘I don’t have to explain myself to you.’

The baby cried louder and James went to pick him up.

Marissa got out of bed and put her tracksuit on and laced up her runners and walked to the front door.

‘What are you doing? Marissa, wait up.’

She ran her fingers through her hair.

‘I’ve go to get out of here. I can’t stand this anymore.’





Related image

Sitting on the rock

Where we last kissed

I come here each night

Imagining you with me

Talking about our future life

You seemed happy

Wanting me to be your wife

Giving no sign

You were in any pain

I still can’t believe you committed suicide




The sun was nearly down like a curtain in the last act though his story was just starting to unfold. An evening fog had set in making it hard for him to see where he was going. He took refuge in a lane way feeling cold from the damp night air he hugged his shirt to his body wishing he’d worn something different.

In his dreams she was with him. They were eating dinner, not having to talk, happy in each other’s company. Why had things changed? Why had it led to this?

The accident

Jim bent over the coffin and stared at his wife.  Last week she told him she’d found someone else and he hit her in a drunken rage. She fell backwards onto the kitchen floor and blood made a halo around her head on the white tiles giving her a saintly appearance. He rang an ambulance and said they’d been an accident, gave them the address and then fled.

He stood up straight and left the funeral home. Outside, a light rain fell and mist rose from the pavement around his feet.  He drew a deep breath and decided to head for the bus station.