Monday, 26 March 2018


“You see,” said Yuri, while pointing to a cabinet over to the side of the warm room, “there is a price to pay here in Mother Russia for doing what you have done.” As the words stopped, the hate and sneering face literally inches away from Samuel, Yuri returned to the chair that was placed directly in front of Samuel.

Face to face, the room deathly quiet, Samuel could see that his time might just be limited to the next few seconds. To his side a man, dressed in a smart suit, returned with a small biscuit tin. In total he’d noticed six other people in the room so, no matter what happened, he wasn’t just walking out of here without permission from Yuri.

Samuel reminded himself of the man that he was dealing with, a ruthless, sadistic, nasty Russian that did not take kindly to anyone crossing him. He’d actually say something, if he could, but instead he just sat there with shaking hands. Yuri placed the small tin onto his lap, opening the lid with care, “This, Samuel, has been in my family for generations. It is priceless and this… ,” continued Yuri as he reached inside the tin to lift the gun, “…is a Nagant M1895 revolver. Seven glorious rounds!” Samuel’s eyes must have opened that bit wider but he didn’t notice as all he could hear was the thick Russian accent and his own heart beating against his chest.

“They were made in Belgium, until Russia bought in 1898.” Samuel watched as Yuri lifted a small lever, next to the gun barrel, to which he then lifted one single bullet, placing it into a chamber. “Would you like to play a game, Samuel?” Asked Yuri. Samuel said nothing, resisting the urge to finally say what he’d wanted to say for the longest time. While smiling, Yuri placed his hand onto the barrel, turned the gun slightly upside down, to the left, spinning the chamber with a quick flick of his fingers. He then returned the lever to its original place, handing the tin to the man still standing beside him. “We will play game, you and I, until we know where we are Samuel,” exclaimed Yuri with a finality that Samuel had not heard before.

Samuel’s mind started to gather control, accepting the situation, thinking of ways to escape. He knew what Yuri was capable of, which led to his disbelief of still being alive. Nothing he could say, as far as he could see, would change the circumstances he now found himself. Nothing. ‘The truth  then,’ thought Samuel, as that would probably be the best way forward.

“Tell me why I should let you walk out of here?” asked Yuri, with a calm and collective ease that didn’t betray any thoughts at all. As he watched the barrel move he blurted out his answer,
“You should let me walk out of here because I can give her a better life, a good life, away from all this!” 


As the room filled with silence Yuri calmed himself from literally rising a few millimetres from the chair. He was still here, no holes, no blood, but wanting to leave the room. “A good answer,” said Yuri, “but what is to say that you can leave the Bratva? I have given you food, shelter, warmth and this is how you repay me?”
“I meant no disrespect Brother Yuri, I could not help my heart do the things that they have done!”
Yuri, still contemplating his next decision, moved quickly forward from his chair, placing the gun’s barrel against Samuel’s head, as he gently squeezed the trigger, “Promise me something young Yuri, promise me and you can leave…” asked Yuri as he watched Samuel close his eyes, “Promise me that you will look after my Daughter, keep her safe and warm as I have done for you!”


Yuri, sitting back onto his chair, listened to the reply, “I promise, as a Bratva general, that I will honour my duties as I would to you!”

Yuri, finally convinced of Samuel’s resolve, ushered to one of the guards to open the door as another handed him a suitcase. As the casino noise echoed into the room, Yuri motioned to Samuel, “Take this, take all of this, it is the money you have earned over the years.”  Samuel, not expecting such a generous gift, stood from his chair, taking the case and walked towards the door. Before leaving he stopped, turning his head towards Yuri to say one last thing, “Thank you Yuri. Thank you!” Yuri, wondering if this was the right decision, pointed the gun in the air, pulling the trigger, sending a bullet into the ceiling. With the loud bang sending Samuel quickly out of the room.

Yuri, walking over to the various decanters, selected his favourite drink and poured a small amount into a glass while murmuring words, “You give them so much, they take even more, then one of them runs away with your daughter. Is a funny world. In Soviet Russia roulette spins you!” Taking a sip, feeling the warmth, Yuri finally smiled and nodded knowing that, for once, he had done a good thing.

Monday, 19 March 2018


Deaglan, still playing with his hands, nervous energy evident in all of his actions, waited for the quick nod. It had been, probably, over 4 years since his last confession. Since that time he’d experienced a lot, changed job a few times, met a lot of new people, seen small parts of the world but still yearned for his Irish roots. Settling back into his home life he’d managed to establish something worth living for but, no matter what he’d seen, done, or planned to do, he still knew that there were important things to in life.

He heard the knock and opened the confessional booth door. The cold dark wood, probably older than him, creaked ever so slightly as the small room welcomed him. Sitting on his hands, still nervous, he said the words that he hadn't heard for the longest time, while making the sign of the cross, “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been four years since my last confession!”  Deaglan felt the shame but, with the way of things, that shame wasn't as strong as it used to be. He knew that times had changed, but no matter what, he believed and that was all that counted. He heard Father Patrick clear his throat before speaking, “Tell me Son, tell me your thoughts!”

Deaglan, not one to gossip, or to follow the general thinking of today, decided to be honest despite his thoughts torturing him. If he’d told friends, or colleagues, he knew that he would be laughed at so now was the time, the place, to be brave and honest. “Father,” he paused, selecting his words carefully, “There is a woman that I like.”  He could see Father Patrick move ever so slightly, which didn't calm his nerves.

“Tell me Son,” Father Patrick asked, “what is troubling you? It is perfectly fine for such things.”
Deaglan looked down, taking in the view of the carpet, quickly snapping back to his thoughts, 
“It’s just that she’s been chasing me Father. My thoughts are not as pure as they should be.”  As the words moved from his lips, with each second, a small weight lifted from his mind. He didn't follow the normal convention of things, trying to stay as pure a possible which, in today’s age, seemed to be getting harder and harder.

A few seconds arrived and left as Father Patrick mused the situation. Eventually, slowly, he moved closer to ensure that Deaglan heard his words, “Son… Do you think that Adam, as well as Eve, committed a sin by being with each other?  It is okay for a woman to chase a man, as much as it is acceptable for a man to court a woman. There is no venial or mortal sin, even when we are in our natural naked state.  It is normal. It is natural.”  Deaglan, floored by the answer, could barely find any words to reply but, due to his silence, Father Patrick continued, “Eve did not tempt Adam with her body, not once, as we desire, as beings of love and passion, it was by an outside snake that she unwittingly eat the forbidden fruit and, in doing so, offered the sin to Adam.”

As Deaglan relaxed that little bit more he asked the serious question that had been playing on his mind, “Should I ask her out for a meal Father?”
“Of course you should Son, as soon as possible. I gather that your intentions are just?”
“They are Father, they are, despite her words being on the rude side!”  
Father Patrick laughed, “Son, words are words. Intentions lead to actions and if you become man and wife, the words will all be worthwhile. Embrace the chance you have. Now, do you have anything else you would like to say?” Deaglan shook his head before confirming that he didn’t.
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,” said Father Patrick to which Deaglan replied,
“For His mercy endures forever!”

Deaglan stood and exited the booth, knowing that he’d say penance as soon as he could. He couldn't believe the reply, wondering what he would now do. Walking from the Church, onto the path outside, he looked at his phone, opening the chat application, to which he started writing a text that made his intentions clear. He had a pure heart, a good heart, a heart that always made his Mother proud and he intended to keep it.

As the message flew into the world of electronic communication, he smiled, finally knowing that his growing feelings weren’t something to be ashamed of. Sometimes, at least on this very day, confessing his supposed sin cleared the way to a new world. Looking back, towards the church, a bigger smile appeared across his lips and he knew that today, his confessional day, was truly a day of days.

Saturday, 17 March 2018


Exhaling hard, lungs on fire, she stopped and closed her eyes. Trying to regulate the breathing mess that she’d managed to get herself into, listening to her heart, beating, battering against her chest and thoughts. She knew that it wasn't going to be easy but, many things worth doing, never were.

Opening her eyes, looking upwards, she embraced the view in front of her. The mountain, that mountain, that she’d wanted to climb for the longest time had finally knocked on her door and invited her to roam. She’d accepted the challenge, risen from her daily mundane life and taken that day off. For once, just this once, she’d decided to fall away from the routine of things.

With each step her body asked her to turn, to slowly descend back to the bottom, but that wasn't going to happen. Other than her body feeling agitated, she wasn't in any danger, so she scorned her mind and told herself to shut up. It was, after all, only a mountain and the path were laid out directly in front of her. Sure, the twists and turns were there, with many plainly in view, but it wasn't anything that difficult.

Images roamed into her thoughts as she advanced, of her state of mind, her current situation, as well as a few distant choice moments that she’d wished not to be reminded of. But this was her mind, her life, hardly a mess, but a jumble of ideals, thoughts and inner fights. She knew that she had confidence issues, those nagging doubts that seemingly pushed at her heart strings. She was an expert at self defeat, but not all the time, just in the occasional circumstances that mattered.

Her earlier life seemed to be full of moments, those moments, where you just wanted to run away and hide. Sure, of course, she smiled a little as she remembered that she’d actually achieved far more than she’d failed at, yet her mind did seek any opportunity to interject choice words of negative fate. She could do this, yet because of that, she didn't place that foot forward. Shame, a tragic affair, but the same for many, many people and moments.

Nearing the top, or at least the top that she could see, she’d managed to get her breathing under control, that second breath of energy. Sometimes, she reminded herself, stopping didn't mean failing. It simply meant that she was stopping to catch a breath, to strategise, or to simply scream into the face that looked at her in the mirror. This was life, this was her life, so she, above all, controlled every single little aspect.

She knew that she’d been facing a small inner crisis, for the shortest time, or was it the longest time? She didn't know, probably didn't care at this point, due to the new climbing boots biting into her ankles. The pain, sure to follow, wouldn't matter as she was a woman and women knew pain all too well. Mental, physical, with her soul sometimes cracking in the process.

She took one mighty step forward and reached the top of the mountain, looking into the valley ahead of her, smiling as she sat down on the cold concrete bench. Hardly a challenge to be proud of, as she’d been here a few times before, but this visit being for something different. Brushing her hair aside, bundling it into a hair clip, she embraced the situation and stood. Proud, full of energy, wishing for someone, somewhere to hear her and, most of all, to hear herself. She clenched her fists and screamed at the top of her voice. Every single bit of energy, she had left, she let loose as she fell to her knees. Her adrenaline spiked, her face started to turn red, as she continued to scream.

A tear appeared, followed by a few more, as she stopped screaming. The echo. She heard her own scream, a few times, until it vanished. Although she felt a bit embarrassed, with just the thought of saying such things, she shouted out the words that appeared in her mind, “I believe in you,” pausing to hear her own voice echoing, smiling as she heard her own voice tell her what she needed to hear, “I believe that you’re worthwhile. I'm here for you!”

Many words, many echoes, were spoken. Returning to the seat she felt a small weight lift from her mind. So many people, so many times, everyone told her, informed her, that she was worthwhile, that she could accomplish anything she set her mind and heart to. It didn't matter. The damage, the years of damage, had been done. So many words of negativity, so many moments that made her heart crack into small pieces where, finally, she had to hear her say the very words that she wanted to believe. Within her, her mind, but most of all her heart, hearing herself finally admit that she could lift her tired arms, that she could truly put her heart into any adventure, made that small bit of difference to her.

For far too long she’d heard the echoes of past lovers, past failures, past demons, that hearing the echo of positivity was something that she had to do for herself. Standing once again, drying her eyes, she nodded at the valley, expressing thanks, then turned to walk back down the mountain.

Saturday, 10 March 2018


At the start, we know, we knew, that we had a chance to make things work. The adventure of a lifetime, filled with kisses, affection and more. A lasting roller-coaster of emotion that could see us into the later years. I knew, we know, that we had to hold what we had with careful hands, like a new born, but instead we lambasted everything into oblivion.

It’s a shame, it’s a sacrifice, it’s sacrilege to reminisce all the things that we said and didn't do. If I cast my net back to the past I can also see that some of the things that we did do, were just plainly unjustified and possibly cruel. A heart can be loved but, in the same breath, it can be crushed alive and kicked to the side quicker than the words, “I love you,” stop echoing from the halls of romance.

Previously I mentioned a roller-coaster, the ups and downs, not just in the bedroom where we should all experience the making of love, but in the negative sense. We feed, we throw around words designing to manipulate, to sever, to inflict pain, that are so seamless from normal life that it becomes the norm. When did it become practical to hold the hand of your loved one while, in the very next breath, state such negative threatening behaviour that you can see the heart struggle. It’s crippling, its depth knows all of the anger in the world, today, tomorrow and the next day.

It’s done, it’s gone, it has left our world, ready to be replaced with a kinder view, a hand that holds instead of brandishing words ready to scold.

At the start there’s smiles, there’s tenderness, as we listen to the stories of old. Some filled with laughter, some spoken of sadness, but mainly that chance to form something new. Personally, when I'm here thinking of such things, I’d rather keep the past where it’s passed from view. It’s done, gone, over, left behind and no longer of use. I’d rather not speak of such things, the loves of old, instead moving with a view of creating a new set of memories with someone new. Why embrace the failed nature of things? We've lived there, been there, survived and moved forward. Do we need to embrace a new heart with stories of something broken?

Of course we do. It’s nature, it’s how things have been defined. Create a connection via shared failings, broken hearts, wishing and escalating the very chance to find something that’ll fix us, define us, move us forward. Two hearts can beat as one yet, as we've found, one heart need not stifle the other. It happens, it’s happening now, a person’s opinion being silenced in the vain effort to always be correct. No-one, never, should ever, dismiss someone’s thoughts when they don’t correlate to theirs. That isn't love, this isn't the way of understanding, as it’s cruel and demanding. Childish even.

Let love speak, let it breath, let it escape into the hearts of every single person we meet on a daily basis. Heck, we can manage to be ever so pleasant to strangers yet vile and disgusting to the ones that hold our very hand. Where can this possibly come from? Where does it hide?

At the start, we realise, we experience, the very chance to make something magical. It’s an adventure waiting to happen, filled with wide open eyes and kissing lips. A lasting rise of emotion that should see us into our later years. I realise, we experience, holding a new hand, with wishes of something amazing but, instead, we sometimes destroy the very thing that we really, really need.


Written last month but not finished until today.

Monday, 5 March 2018


There will always been very difficult moments in our lives, more than might be necessary, but we have little choice or say for those matters. There will be the few seconds where you just want to be somewhere else, to be someone else, or to simply stop existing as you cover your ears and close your eyes.

I considered myself lucky, so far in this life, as I’d only had to deal with the odd heartbreak which, looking back, was actually nothing at all. As long as our previous partners are alive, doing okay, still smiling, then we have nothing to really cry or be upset about. Love isn't supposed to be selfish, love shouldn't hold another back and love, above all, is what we really should want for whomever we do or do not know.  That’s life, the way of things, but still easier to write than actually do.

A few years ago, within one of those moments, I held my mother’s hand as she felt her heart break into small pieces. She’d just lost her Mother, my Grandmother, to life and circumstance. She looked into my eyes and asked me, “How am I supposed to carry on?” to which I replied with any number of words that simply wouldn't ease her mind, soul or heart. Truly, honestly, there’s nothing that can be said at those moments. Me, being me, carried on being positive as that’s what I do. I smile, I don’t break, I keep on going as that’s what people need in this world. There has to be strong people and I believe that we can all be strong.

In that moment I witnessed my Mother reaching a place that I’d never seen her reach before. She cried, she broke, but only for a few moments. Mothers aren't supposed to show weakness to their children, is what I believe to be her thinking, which is beautiful and truly brave. I know that, when alone, my mother probably cried so much, again and again, but she kept on going as that’s what we do. We carry on.

I can, hand on heart, honestly state that I didn't really appreciate how my mother felt, on that day. We don’t. We can try to place ourselves into another’s shoes but it’s still not the same. There’s a lifetime of events within a soul. There’s love, anger, pain, loss, sorrow, happiness, laughter and much, much more. I’m not sure that anyone can ever truly appreciate that kind of bond when it’s taken from a person.

Then, on this day one year ago, my own Mother left this existence.  I type with clarity yet, at this moment, I can barely see the keys as all I can see is tears. I knew that the anniversary was coming, with a reminder this morning from an Instagram post, but it still didn't prepare me. Nothing can. Nothing will.

You see, to most people, they see me as the happy one, the funny one, the person that’s always optimistic, always jumping around and doing silly things. That’s who I am, of course, but there will always be the deeper person within. You see this from what and how I write. There’s an old soul within my body, I don’t know how or why, or even if I believe in such things, but it’s there. But old soul or not, I know that something happened last year, which I denied for a while, but I eventually noticed that I'm broken. I know that I am. I accept that I am. Something changed just as it changed within my Mother.

Like my Mother I also have a lifetime of events within my heart, the thousands of times my Mother held my hand while walking to school. The hundreds of times she brushed away the scratched knee, the cuts and scratches, the time that she pressed her hand against the life support machine praying that I’d live and more. Mother is always there. Mothers always care. I know that it’s not the same for everyone but I'm the luckiest Boy in the world to have had a mother like mine.

I find that, when falling asleep at night, I will recall so many things and I’ll allow myself to cry. When driving I can reach a place that makes me literally scream at the world. Tears and more tears. I will never, ever, be the same again. Life will never be the same again. But that, of course, is the desperate mind at work that simply wishes for things to return to the way they were. I could say that I've accepted the circumstances of life, but that would be a lie and, honestly, I really do not like lies. I could wish to give away my remaining years, in a vain selfish effort to see her again, but that would mean throwing away the gift that my Mother gave me… life. I’ll heal, as much as a person can, as that’s what Mother would have wanted.

Our worlds are built upon glass houses and the strange thing is that the house didn't break, but the foundation, the foundation that’s always been there, is no longer. If a freight train hit head on, breaking every single bone in my body, I’d somehow find the strength to heal and carry on. That would be a mission, something to work towards, but this just made so many people feel helpless. There’s no solution, there’s no recovery, only loss.

Whenever I do cry, allowing myself those brief moments, I can feel the cracks within myself, the straining of my heart, keeping my mind together but it is difficult. I knew, from an early age, that the day would come but, as I've stated, nothing prepares you for the day, that day.  One year, to this day, the person that gave me my blood, my soul, my very heart, left all of us. My Step Father, my Sister, my entire family near and far, will never forget as my Irish Mother was beautiful in every single little way.

I love you Mum. Always.

Friday, 2 March 2018


I'm barely breathing, only just existing, knowing that I'm so close to you. I know that touching skin, with the smoothest of fingertips, the most tender touch, can be invigorating, but feeling your body pressed against mine is making my entire person fall into some type of abyss.  I know the word abyss sounds daunting, even ominous, but it’s the kind of abyss that you’d never, ever, want to escape from.

I met you, only the other month, while out walking. It was raining, on that day of days, when you appeared from the other direction, crying. Normally I’d just carry on walking, wondering why you looked so forlorn, but I couldn't do that on this occasion and I still don’t know why. I didn't see your actual tears, because of the rain, until you stopped but I could see the pain etched across your face.

I asked if you were okay, with the kind intent in my voice, my persona exemplifying the care that I was feeling, to which you replied. You stated that you were, fine, perfectly okay, while crying that little bit more as the emotion escaped into the world. The rain didn't make it any better, with the chill drilling into your shoulders, so I did something else that I’d not normally do and that’s how we ended up in the coffee shop.

That coffee shop. We had some fancy coffee concoction and I'm not even sure if it contained any coffee. Whipped cream, chocolate, a truthful conversation, smiles, laughs, levels reached and boundaries be damned. You proclaimed that you’d been more honest with me, in those hours, than you’d been with any lover, Brother, Sister or Mother, in your life. Each word a connection, a moment, a place that exists in both our minds that made us smile. You admitted everything, your fears as a woman in this world, what lovers had failed to provide, what you didn't mind and, of course, what you most desired in this existence. You wanted love, to make love, the house, the family and, above all, to make those babies that were promised to you over and over again.

Then, from nowhere, you returned to that very place. We mentally explored the things said to each other, recalled each other over the following days, until one of us was brave enough to send that bubble of text. Reaching out, reaching forward, extending the chance to create another selection of moments. I enjoyed the honesty, I endeared your smile into my soul. Silly, stupidity at the highest point, but we both had dreams, had those hopes that something… existed. It’s a horrible thing, it’s a turn of fate, when the years vanish before us and we’re left with limited choices and chances. Fate, on the other hand, does work in mysterious ways and never, ever, plays by the rules you want.

We met, again, then again, exclaiming the values, the wants, the desires, that we’d wished that we’d have been brave enough to mention in past lives. We looked at each other in the way that the lovers were meant to view. Passion, desire, that wanton feeling, the bodies getting closer and closer as the minds connect. There was also some soul involved but there would be time for that at a later date. Right then, in those precious seconds of frail bonding, we had our hearts, minds and bodies to think about. Soul mates be damned as brain and bed mates had to make an appearance first.

Then, like that magic created each day within this very world, with the same said rain pounding down onto the roof of a small little room, we did what came natural. No music, all sounds banned, just emotion. Every single little motion that had been burning within, hidden away for year upon year, exploded over the both of us as we finally let go. Free, no bounds, yet, holding us back. We simply couldn't understand why we’d never held another in the fashion that we did on that night, over the days, the months, the years and seconds.

The natural order evolved into our lives. We held hands, we often escaped to new places, exploring, still realising that we had a lifetime of memories to exchange, to explore and enjoy. We created a life, the two of us. Then another. The two became four. The years flew away with ease, the many laughs sometimes arriving to tears, but that was life. We stayed strong as we’d bonded strong and, above all things no matter the storm or danger, we carried on holding hands. I never raised a hand to you, you never raised your voice to mine, which kept that respect forever.

I'm here now, beside you, nearing the end, the journey of our lives and loves. You were, you are, will always be, the love of my entire life. I never wanted to escape you. We never left each other alone. Now, as I've said, we've reached the later years of life. I love and adore you. I need and miss you often. I cannot let go, will never let go.

Thank you, from the bottom of my very heart, for being you. For being there, on that day, when the rain fell into our lives and our hearts fell into each other. You are and will always be, my everything.