Leaving His House

The room was always dead.

Spongy carpet, a cheap mattress.

The mirrored wardrobe that failed

to create space.

Curtains too big that stroked

the never made bed.

But it was his room.

 

Between hitching breaths and deep sniffs

the rain hammered the roof and windows.

Surrounding me, covering me,

weighing me down, empathising.

I looked back but only saw

a door draped in shadow.

Then outside, never to return,

the downpour cooled my face.

Climbing into the car, I prepared

for unwanted conversation,

clutching a bundle of clothing

that felt far too small to be

all that was left.

 

Now his room too was dead.

There was little for me to take

because I was never really there.

In the Dentist’s Chair

My instinct was to bolt.

Every loud noise alarmed me.

The drill brayed and I kicked involuntarily.

‘Woah, there,’ he said softly.

He tried to soothe me

but I knew he wasn’t afraid to hurt me.

He was in control,

and I had no choice but to submit.

 

This piece was published in CityLit’s ‘Between the Lines’ anthology, and printed on the elevator doors.

Boredom

You are standing in a small, mahogany-panelled room, empty except for a simple wooden chair in the corner. You can see that it is overcast outside; the single window throws in little light. A faint odour like musty cloth lingers quietly in the background, bringing images of clothing left in the washing machine for too long or an overused raincoat, but disappearing upon a sharp or questioning inhale. From the next room, you hear a dull thud like a dense ball of soft fabric dropping to the wooden floor, unalarming and gone before you can determine its cause. You can taste the floury, starchy flavour of an unseasoned dough that does nothing to excite the senses but merely provides bulk or sustenance. You do not wish to continue chewing but the thick, wet, bland mass refuses to disintegrate.