Wednesday, 27 February 2019


The seagulls danced around in front of him, fighting, arguing over who would take home the best scraps that he’d just thrown over the sand. Smiling to no-on in particular, walking towards the end of the small wooden walkway which sat atop of the shore, he lent onto the wooden frame. Reflecting, thinking, remembering the many days previous. At his age, with his chosen profession, he had plenty of time to do such things and, if he were honest with himself, they all made him smile.

Throwing the last of the scraps into the water, watching the ripples move in every direction until the tide broke the rhythm, he recalled his favourite memory. He could have easily thought about the day his daughter arrived into the world, or the day he first held the love of his life’s hand, but this memory warmed the very heart that still moved for her. Only her. Always her.

The third date, after many hours of talking, laughing, adventurous flirting, had arrived and they’d decided to simply take a small walk along the beach. Hand in hand, her lips calling to him all along the stretch of beach, they’d walked for such a long time. He could listen to her spoken thoughts for hours, which he did, no matter the subject or moment. She held a wisdom that he’d seldom known, never before held, against him all through the many nights they’d spent together. She understood him and, in return, he loved her in such a fashion that defied the laws of the world. Anything, absolutely anything, would be done for her and, in return, she returned that love with fire as well as strength.

She’d stopped walking, looking out to the vast sea in front of the both of them, taking in the beautifully peaceful view whilst holding his hand tighter. The shore. The world breathing in, then out, the two meeting just like the sea that met the sand upon a random day. She was the one and, being a slight bit cocky, he knew that he was the one for her. It was the small little things that made the difference. Her nose wiggle just after sneezing, her fear of the crawling creepies, as well as her random small little kisses and touches that made him feel alive. Cared for. Loved. He hadn't, at that point, said the magic words but this was that very story.

She looked at the sea, moving over the shoreline, embracing a connection, an understanding, as a small little crab zoomed across the sand only to stop as it clasped its claws around her small toe. She’d jumped. She’d jumped higher than he’d ever seen a person jump. The screams and frantic words escaping as he just laughed, tears escaping from his eyes, as the crab eventually let go. Still laughing, with arms around her, his laughter eventually faded as her bottom lip stuck forward in some kind of silly gesture. The little crab had hurt her small toe to which, of course, he’d carried her off of the beach to the bus stop. The way she looked at him, within those moments, warmed his heart, as he stood alone on this very day.

They’d arrived home, her small toe throbbing, to which he administered aid and care. He was still chuckling to himself as he replayed and described how she looked. They’d started to relax onto the fluffiest sofa possible, his arms again around her, blanket keeping the both of them warm, as he concluded his thoughts. He repeated the words, to himself, firmly recalling the exact feelings from those years previous, “That was the funniest thing I've ever seen. I've never seen someone jump that high before. But what was amazing, is that right then, as you jumped around, I realised that I really, really… love you!”

He’d whispered the last two words into her ear, feeling every single emotion warm her, as his arms held her tighter. He felt her breathing falter, for a brief second, as she turned. Wide eyed, surprised, she’d kissed him like he’d never been kissed before, and then the rest was history.

The happiest moment, or should he say, day, of his life. Years later she’d sailed forward into the seven seas, leaving him behind. His time was nearing, the shore asking him to set sail, to a place where they could both be together again. There was so much love in this place, that the memories would stay with him forever.  Until that day, he’d remember, he’d feel and embrace, the very shore where the magic was created.

Friday, 22 February 2019


The room, mostly empty, vacant, with only one small chair against the far wall, invited her in. She’d received her instructions late the previous night, descriptive, precise, knowing of the things she needed and enjoyed. She played his games, enjoyed all of the words he sent across, despite being the type of woman that she was within her day to day life.

She had secrets, those moments where her desires threatened to rip her controlled life apart, the kind of secrets that she wouldn't tell a soul about. Somehow, along the way, she met someone that could see right through her thinly veiled façade. She’d only spoken to him for a few minutes, those unforgettable seconds, before he engaged her mind. For once, finally, here was someone that wanted to connect with the one place that mattered. Her thoughts. She was a woman. She was many things. But when truly laid bare she was truly the thoughts within her heart and mind.

Closing the door, behind her, she wondered if she’d become obsessed with the moments he brought into her life. Thoughts cascaded, asking questions, only to be pushed aside as no-one would come between her and her desires. Finally, she was free. No obstructions, no idiotic fleeting relationships, filled with the day to day selfish motivations. He connected to her in a way, that way, that she didn't even realise that she needed. He didn't say much, using his eyes to speak volumes, while his fingertips said everything else. If he did speak, with that damn voice of his, his words were often the most seductive connotations imaginable. He knew what she wanted, needed, thought about when the lights were low and the world outside seemed silent.

At times she thought that he could read her mind or, maybe, know exactly what her senses required. The day to day being so very, very boring. The moments filled with tedium, the relaxation being few and far between, until he called. Just the thought of his call. His words. His touch. It filled her with a rise of emotion, her heart beating that little bit faster and her legs pressing together as she denied her thoughts. Those moments, spinning, skin feeling alive, senses enlivened with the very thought of his lips doing the very things she’d hoped he’d do on this very day.

They had talked. For hour upon hour. Describing, learning, exploring, with his ear becoming a place to which her voice drew comfort and found solace. He’d tested her, slowly, enthusiastically, before starting to introduce his way of thinking. He wasn't like the others, the players, the leavers. He wanted something from her, was willing to allow her into his fantasies, while enacting all of the thoughts she never knew she’d enjoy. She felt so alive. At times she could hardly stand with the thought of what he did to her. She’d never known that she had no pleasure limitation, until he found her. A woman, her, finally open to whatever he’d planned.

As a younger woman she’d been told how to act, what to be, to conform, to act like a lady. She complied. She stood in line, obeyed, played the wife of a house, while never quite having her own needs met in so many, many ways. Over the years she’d felt anger, frustration, at such thoughts but that was then. This, however, was now.

She replayed the instructions over, within her mind, whilst smiling the filthiest smile. She couldn't see her smile, but she knew it was there and how it looked. Most men would blush at her thoughts, but it took the right man to allow the right woman, to feel this way. A balance to all things and, right now, she equalled and excelled at all of his little scenarios.

Turning around, back against the wall, she sat onto the small chair while arranging her dress to allow her legs freedom. He adored her legs, had spoken about every single part of her body, at length. He’d stated, at least three times, that no part of her body would be attractive, truly adored, unless her mind believed it to be true. Sexuality, freedom, all permitted by her own thoughts. People would judge her, had judged her, all her life. No matter what she wore, how she presented herself, there would always be one person that commented. Before now, before his words, she’d feel vulnerable in such a place. She’d never even dream of doing any of this and, while she was being honest, no other man would be worth her thoughts. Somehow, at some point, he’d convinced her to actually believe in herself. There were no selfish motivations. No greed, no malice, with his words only allowing positivity into her thoughts.

She opened her legs as much as she could, the dress flowing as it should, knowing that she wore nothing underneath. He liked to see her, look at her, the visual stimulus being something that he enjoyed. He found beauty within so many people, places, words and art. He said that in order to enjoy the world you simply had to see, to experience what you wanted, before taking part with any connection. He knew that she was hungry, that hunger aching within her, left dormant for the longest of times, despite men trying and failing to even rouse a small amount of her inner womanly needs.

Every woman, a potential torrent of fire or ice, depending on how you approached them. She, at this point in her life, felt as if her entire body would burn to ashes and she had but not one care within her world. She lived that life, the boring life, but now she could escape to have her desires met, equalled, increased and sated.

The feast of life, the gorging of her body’s desires, overwhelmed and freely conquered while taking satisfaction from every, single, touch of his tongue. Even the thought of his touch made her body shake. The thought of his lips ensured that her mind stopped. Stopped thinking, stopped questioning, the inner-monologue finally ceasing to undermine her wants within the moments.

She ran her fingers along her legs, her soft touch embracing her bodies command, as she heard the door in front of her open. It was time. Her time. Their time together. After the following moments, she knew that he’d spend time with her, listen to her, whilst holding her closer than she even knew possible. She enjoyed that time but until then, she’d enjoy whatever happened next, even more.

He walked in, as she stared into his piercing eyes. She wanted to laugh, that nervousness rising within, as he stood in front of her. Naked. Natural, sculptured, defined, a physical powerhouse that knew no limits and wouldn't stop until she reached whatever level he desired she reach. She often wondered if he’d somehow been trained and, if she ever met that women, she’d thank her from the bottom of her heart. She’d often wished that he’d start a master class to teach all the others a few things. Women deserved more than the world offered and right now, she would surely deserve all of the man in front of her.

Her eyes wanted to stray, to look, but her mind asked her to stay polite, constrained, controlled. Maybe this was the game, the very aim of each lesson, to fight her restrictions and to take whatever, or whomever, she wanted. She ignored her thoughts and allowed her eyes to move down his body. He often spoke about the body, how it should be taken care of, an issue to remove from our day to day lives. Physical fitness, strong prowess, the ability to ensure satisfaction in many, many ways.

He was a specimen, that example, that you only saw on rare occasions in life. Sure, of course, she’d had a couple of men that allowed themselves time to improve, but she knew and as he said, it wasn't about the body, but all about the mind. That mind, his mind. He could have her all day long with that mind of his. He’d say a few words, look at her in his certain way, then have her as many times as he’d like. She didn't care about obsession, or any unhealthy thoughts, as she was living a new life and that was all that mattered.

She kept her eyes against his as he slowly stepped forward, eventually reaching her, as he fell to his knees. Face to face, finally so close, despite the instructions stating that she was not allowed to touch him. All her senses, her body and mind, would stay exactly where he placed them at this point in time. Confined, controlled, despite every single part of her body currently dancing for joy.

He smiled, and she felt her stomach flutter, he returned her smile with such a knowing look that her breath faltered. She knew that she shouldn't get attached to a man such as this but, when he did and said such things to her body and mind, it would eventually be inevitable. It seemed odd to her that, despite the chance of being emotionally hurt, she simply did not care. She’d cried over so many, despite offering her so little, that she’d rather cry for one more and have so much.

He moved his head slightly to the right, mirroring her, placing himself in the perfect place to kiss her lips. Moving himself closer, with barely an inch between them, she felt his warmth comfort her. He’d held her within his bed, so close, so tight, that her breath cried in vain to never leave her body. He bridged the gap and, barely, touched his lips to hers for the briefest second. A ‘hello’ from him, to her, of sorts. She loved his face, hardly a pretty boy, but with a man’s face, strong, slightly weathered, with hair expertly groomed and tidy. He kept himself in the fashion that a man should. Never excessive, but the neat fashion to which he wore clothes, complimented her. She’d stand beside him no matter the venue and hold his hand as tight as she could.

Her thoughts, once again blathering away, pushed aside and gone as his hands moved. He placed his hands, one just above each ankle, either side of her. Slowly, with reason, his fingertips moved softly over her skin. Her body responded, thoughts racing, her emotions spiking and body doing what came naturally. He reached the sides of her knees and moved his fingertips inwards. As the seconds moved, he slowed his movement, teasing, knowing exactly what he was doing, only to remove his hands as he neared the place she deeply wanted his touch. Needed his touch. She’d spent far too long, alone, in her cold bed thinking the thoughts that he’d placed within her mind. She’d often wake, in the middle of the night, catching her hands, doing what he should be doing for her. The body wanted what the might thought. Even if she denied such things.

She closed her eyes, realising what he was about to do, as he lowered himself. On his hands and knees, placing himself where she wanted him, she felt his longing kiss embrace her. Her senses exploded as he, ever so softly, barely touching, did what he wanted to do. He always felt so damn good and, for her, this was all new as he usually spent so much time touching. She knew that he’d sent the instructions on purpose, knowing, she’d want him the moment she arrived.

As he teased her, listening to every sound moving across her lips, every motion from her body, she knew that he would find her weaknesses and exploit them for her gain, her pleasure. She knew that she played his games, all his games but, if she were truthful to herself, they were also her games and she wanted to play until she reached that indefinable limit of his selection.

After all, in a world such as the one they all lived within, if you didn't feel, if you didn't experience, then any feeling you’d have would be dull and boring. To feel, above all, was all that now mattered to her and she was going to feel every single moment that he offered.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Quarantine: Pulse

The white wall, in front of Samuel, looked plastic, sterile, a man-made construction at every single step. He knew that places like this existed, were even necessary, but what happens next would be completely brand new. Hesitant, maybe even apprehensive, he pressed the button for cubicle twelve.

With a smooth movement the wall, or part of the wall, slid upwards to reveal the inner workings of a cell meant to house one individual. She was twenty-four years old, skin needing sunshine, but still very healthy.  Apparently, once a vibrant child, a healthy child, until the world caught up to her and things changed. Abruptly, devastatingly so, which lead to her being placed within this facility for many, many years. Educated, trained to a certain degree, she understood the mental aspects of why and how all of this happened to her. Mostly.

Samuel knew that no matter how much a person understood the scars, the mental pain, it would still be there the next day. He placed the white plastic chair onto the floor and sat. Taking in the view. Another white, clean, semi-sealed area with an adjacent on-suite toiletry facility. It all sounded quite attractive within his mind, but this was anything but. A large television, a range of books, bedding, all neat and tidy.

He’d read her file, taken in the psychological inflections, imagined her psyche and more. The view, now fully in front of him, the thick glass separating him from her, or, her from him, it seemed quiet stark considering this was her actual home. He smiled as she picked up a chair and, sitting just behind the glass, smiled in return. “Hello,” she said with the smile beaming through her voice, “You’re new!”
“I am brand new,” Samuel replied, knowing that pleasantries, in cases such as these, eventually led to other places, “How are you today?”
“I'm okay, despite being here. How are you?”
“I'm fine, thank you for asking. I have news for you but, before that, I need to understand a few things. Hopefully that’s okay with you?”

“Good news?” her face beaming, the smile overcoming the sterile environment. Samuel noticed her hands, shaking, probably not used to company other than the guard that watched her as she roamed in the small outside section.
“Yes, good news.” he replied with as much warmth as he could find despite the drab view.

Samuel lent forward slightly, about to ask the serious question. Looking at the floor, for a second, wondering how to embrace the topic, he looked up with his eyes and just said what needed to be said, “Tell me what happened, from the start. I know that it’s never easy, but I need to visualise what you went through, feel the emotion.”

She looked bleak, the colour from her skin fading for a brief second, before she re-gained her composure. For once, maybe, she’d probably wished for someone to talk to her, to ask about her, not about what happened. This was her life, her entire life, yet she did want so much more from life than this. This place. A small laugh escaped as a smile appeared, then vanished. An object to be studied. Samuel, quickly, raised his hand for her to stop feeling the way she did and, with a calm voice, assured her, “Just one more time. I promise!”

She heard his voice and, for a second, believed his sincere words. Recalling the events of the past, for anyone, let alone her, was a difficult task. The memories, the moments, the smiles before the tears and anguish.  She inhaled, closed her eyes, exhaled and looked at him with such intensity that he felt the hairs on his arms move.

“I was sitting in my room, playing, when it first happened. I remember being happy, as my father entered the room. I smiled and then it happened. I do remember being able to see his face as I lost control. I started to stand but I don’t remember telling my body to stand, then,” she looked up to the roof, a tear starting to appear as the memories came crashing into her mind. It didn't help that she’d thought about that day, as well as further days, repeatedly, “I actually left the ground. My toes, body. I left the ground and levitated. Then I pulsed. You've read the file. I didn't know how or why!”

He could obviously see the strain, hear it within her voice and, to fill the blanks, he had read her file and watched the recordings. The white jackets called it ‘pulsing’. Her aura, somehow, sent out a pulse. He knew that the aura could be extended but, in this case, not in this fashion. The pulse, as she aged, could extend to nearly half a mile. Normally such aura occurrences were acceptable, affecting the mood of people around the individual, sending the emotions into the void, but her pulse did something else.

Julie rubbed away the tears with her fingers. Reclaiming the calm as best she could, she continued, “Whatever I did fractured my Father’s bones. His arm and leg. Fractured into fifty or more pieces. I can still hear him screaming.”  Julie, looking forlorn, the desolate realisation of her life, once again, appearing within her eyes.

Samuel listened. He really listened and, on some level, knew that he often cared more than he should and right now, he simply wanted to resolve all her issues. He knew that he couldn't. He knew that he shouldn't as, with the nature of things, helping could gradually destroy the helper. He recalled being asked to visit Julie, wondered why, but he was new to all of this so maybe it was a type of initiation. Either way he did have good news.

He stood, removing a card from his suit jacket, as Julie watched his every move. She was still shaking, not aware of her rescue being moments away. Placing the card just next to the button he’d pressed minutes before, the switch turned red. He pressed the button which, in turn, started to raise the protective glass barrier.

“What are you doing?” she asked with fear. Standing, stepping to the side of the chair then moving away from the glass. The fear within, for his safety, rising within her, “You can’t do this I’ll hurt you!”  Samuel smiled,
“I doubt that you could do anything to my bones and, besides, I have this for you!”

Julie stopped stepping backwards, intrigued, her emotions spiking, nerves running away from her, with the hope of something new. She intently watched Samuel as he reached out to her, with his hand, holding a watch. “Take it,” he stated with warmth, “It’ll stop the pulse!” She froze, not understanding the implications of such a thing. Thoughts of freedom, an escape, embraced her. She bravely stepped forward, taking the watch, placing it onto her wrist.

His hand, slowly embracing hers, he motioned for her to follow him. It took a few minutes to walk through the vacant sterile corridors, with not one other person in view, until they reached a door. “Outside is freedom!” he motioned, possibly not fully appreciating what this meant to her. He couldn't as he hadn't lived her life, experienced her thoughts, her utter despair, the feelings of loss, abandonment and the bleak fear of solitary feelings. He twisted the door handle, slowly, then, letting go of her hand, walked outside and turned to face her.

Julie stood still, in the doorway, afraid, completely static looking at the view. There were cars, a field, many fields, with real animals and experiences. She thought that this could be a dream, this educated person that had seen the world through a child’s eyes or through digital means. For another second she truly believed that this was not real. A façade of cruel intentions but then, just then, she witnessed his smile. His eyes seemed to care, to feel, to understand what she had been through or, at least, she truly hoped that he did.

Being brave, for the smallest of seconds, she stepped outside and, as she raised her arms to hold on to Samuel, her body weakened from the trauma of events and they both fell to their knees. The tears, like an almighty flood, consumed her. This was real, this was happening right now. Samuel steadied her, feeling the emotion, taking mental pictures of the moment. This, to him, was beauty beyond bounds. This, he now realised, was why he was asked to visit her. This made everything worthwhile.

“Julie,” he said with comfort, “We've been working for years to understand why this happened to you. We haven’t just let you stay in that cubicle. Do you understand?” Julie nodded, tears still falling.
“I do, I do!”
“You’re out of ‘Quarantine’. But now we have to talk about a few other things. Would that be okay?” Again, Julie nodded. Samuel, placing one arm under her legs and the other around her back, lifting her and, in turn, she placed her arm around his back and the other against his chest. 
“You’ll be okay. I won’t let anything happen to you!”
“Thank you,” she said, feeling, for once, that someone actually cared for her. It had been years, many years, with connections being made with various visitors, who all eventually left after getting what they needed. It was always the information, never about her, never, ever, about her.

Walking back towards the door, he turned, looking out into the world, “It’s beautiful out there,” he said, as he felt Julie relaxing, “But it’s not all beautiful and that’s what we have to talk about.” She understood, as much as she could after being where she’d been for years. Stepping back into the complex, then closing the door behind him, he wondered if he’d done the right thing. He knew what was ahead of him, ahead of all of them, but that was what being part of ‘Quarantine’ was all about. Today, helping free someone trapped by her own body, or climbing the face of a mountain, and then the next day, facing the darkest horror any of them had ever seen.

Monday, 18 February 2019


I can see you, splashing, legs frantically moving, arms flapping around, trying to steady yourself whilst resting above the water of life. You've done well, you've survived, you've tolerated the abuse and behaviour of the world around you, yet, right now, I can see that you’re struggling. 

We can all learn to swim, to gently move with the currents of life, grabbing the vital air when needed. It’s natural to swim, almost the same as walking, with the required effort and understanding a few moments away. Some never swim, never learn, but that’s part of life and that’s what friends and companions are for. We’re not all meant to hold the weight of the world upon our shoulders, especially when in troubled waters. 

Another few seconds move, along with the waves. You’re aware that you’re feeling this way, in trouble. I need to extend my arm, to help, but nothing can happen until you, yourself, also do the same. Sometimes we’re full of pride, pig headed, stubborn, to the point that we’d rather deny the situation than grasp the life jackets all around us. We’re human. This is what we do. 

Me, this person, the one trying to help, has been here before. When in deep water I instantly swim towards the shore. This is built into my senses, my safety response, with 'fight' being the default above 'flight'. There's often no room to fly when you hit the surface of deep water. It pulls you under, tries to grasp every part of your mind, ensuring it takes another victim. Don't let the water infect your lungs. Breath, fight, swim, reach and never, ever, give up.

Slowly, carefully, you reserve your energy as the frantic movements do you no good. You know that the undercurrents can take you away, end you, but what’s far worse involves the sharks in this world. We can bleed, we can suffer, as long as the sharks stay away. There’s manipulation in the world, there’s dark waters just in front of your face, which are best left alone.  For a second, that moment, we know that the anxiety bites at you, gnaws at your soul, wishes to drag you further into the murky depths of your thoughts.  Just like that shark, smelling your thoughts, the blood escaping into the world for all to see. I know how this feels, I've lived the anxiety, for the briefest of times, you versus you and there's little escape. If I can swim to shore, so can you... so will you! We're all the same, all special, which means that whatever accomplishments are within reach for me, will be there for you.

More seconds move, vanish into the waves, as your understanding places you into the realisation that you’re in trouble. There’s dry land, just in front of you, a moment away, but that requires admission of your own doubts, fears, qualms and more. You can do this. I've seen you, all of us, battle far harder challenges. Relax, resolve, define, become something more than the moments that torture your mind and nibble at your toes. 

You can do this. You have this. You’re all over this. It’s you versus you and you only have yourself to fight. Remove the negativity where possible, stop the words moving from your mouth unless they’re positive, deny the thoughts that threaten to push you into oblivion and Just... fight. Damn well fight. There’s virtually no limit to what the human mind can accomplish. Do what’s right for you. 

I know that you could sink, let go, drift away and submerge yourself in the pain and loss of life, but that’s not you. That’s not the person or people that we should be. Just a little further, hold on, think, what do you need to do, how can you get there? Don’t use all of your energy, be clever, don’t let the waves consume you and your effort to survive. This is now, right now. Hold on, reach for me, reach for us, find sanctuary and, above all, never, ever, let go of my hand.

You are your own safety device. Enable your arms the fortune of embracing your heart and soul. Roll to look into the stars above, conserve, relax, take an easier path towards your shore. Imagine soaring above the clouds escaping this moment. Those moments. Believe, truly believe, that someone, somewhere, actually does care and that person, above all, is you. You should care, you must care, as you're the strongest person you know if you'd only believe. Believe that your lungs can strain, your arms ache, your legs buckle, but the will within will never, ever, give way.

Don't drown. Don't drown your life with the thought that you'll never make it through this. You will, I know you will and then, once you've survived, we can all drown ourselves in victory.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Valentine (Nice)

Standing over in the corner, hiding, waiting, he could feel his heart bounce within his chest.  This was real, happening, finally about to come true. He didn't care about the answer, he didn't wonder if she’d accept him, or not, as the only moment he wanted to express was his deepest, honest, intentions. The connection, that second, no matter what happened next.

He knew that this was a special day, a day of secret intentions becoming real, within the ever-moving world as well as day. That one day, the honest day, of his words being written onto a page. He’d listened to his friends, all stating what they would buy, what they would do, all forgetting that this day was for secret moments and words. It wasn't for them, to do with them, as this was the Valentine’s moment, the moment of admitting your secret affection for another.

He could feel his hands, shaking ever so slightly, the nerves getting the better of him while his young heart continued to do what it did. This was the first time he’d done something like this, the innocence obviously written across his young smile, his soft gaze, the lips that had not yet kissed, or been given to another.

For a second, he felt the fear appear within his heart, the words mocking him, complaining, stating that his worth would probably not be appreciated by another. He wanted to believe, he needed to believe, that even for the briefest second, he’d see her smile for the words written from within his soul.

He wasn't a word-smith, he wasn't an angel descending from the heavens with words of beauty and worth, as he was simply… himself. Humble. Solitary. An individual within his own world, with the world, thankfully, letting him keep his nature for as long as it would allow.

Biting his lip, he reminded himself that a chewed lower lip didn't look attractive, so he stopped as soon as he’d started. He glanced across to the lift, as the doors opened. She walked into the room, surrounded by colleagues, as well as a few other people that he didn't know. He moved backwards, banging the back of his head against the wall, cursing his nerves. This was it. The moment had arrived.

He watched as she approached her desk, placing her bag aside as she pressed the button on her computer, only to glance at the items he’d left on her desk. She took a second look, realising what was in front of her. He continued to watch as her beautiful face turned a shade of red. He adored the way she wore her hair, the fact that her colour co-ordination sat at a crazy level, when compared to others, with her voice and the words she spoke being music to his ears.

Above all, when all was said, done, the card opened and read, he simply enjoyed her company and never, ever, wanted to damage that. He only wished for her to feel wanted, liked, appreciated for being her own self. She’d been single for the longest time, due to no fault of her own, with the usual men doing what they did to no avail. He knew that they should really be together but, other than their friends stating as much, he wanted things to happen in their own time. In their own way. Fate, after all, could be a friend of many or ignore all hearts.

She picked up the card, slowly opening the envelope, savouring each moment as she felt her own hands feel the heightened emotion. She’d had a couple of cards, over the years, but none of them quite as nice as the one within her hands. She smiled. She smiled a deep smile that reached inside of her heart as she knew, she damn well knew, who this was from. She’d wanted him to ask her for the longest time and often wondered, in silence and while alone, why she wouldn't actually do the same.

It was obvious. The way they stood together, the small moments of silence as they caught each other’s gaze, the smiles, the looks between them, the way he complimented her at the right times, in the right way. All blatantly obvious, innocent and young.

She opened the card, to read the words within.

I've know you for the longest of times, the shortest of moments,
with each day around you being the richest of treasures.
I would never wish to be without you in my life, around my heart,
as you have the most precious smile.
All I ask, even if it is only for today, is that I solemnly wish for you,
just you, to be my Valentine’s on this very day.
Love, ?

He watched, as she placed a hand over her mouth, the words obviously meaning more than he could ever know. He moved from where he stood, walking across the room, heading in her direction. He mustered a smile, fighting the nerves, with his thoughts holding onto the fact that she wouldn't know that it was from him. The certainty, at least, meant that he could walk instead of falling over into an emotional heap.

After all the years, the moments, he’d finally done what he should have done. He felt a moment of pride, as well as fear, as he neared. She looked up, placing the card onto the desk and held his gaze. He felt his heart bounce as he noticed her looking at him. As he neared, she moved from behind her desk and walked towards him. She knew that it was from him, she just knew. His words, the thought behind the card and present, could only be written by his heart and intentions.

As they stopped, just in front of each other, his lips parted to speak and in that second, that very moment, she leaned forward and kissed him. The people within the room exploded, cheering, clapping, with every single person knowing that they should have been together for the longest time. The emotion, the feeling, all there in that very kiss.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Valentine (Naughty)

The lift doors opened, the ping still echoing into his ears as she appeared, standing there within the lift of his possible destiny. He smiled, politely nodding as, he felt his adrenaline spike ever so slightly. Unexpected, a polite surprise, but welcomed nonetheless. She smiled in return, her eyes seemingly taking all his view into her thoughts.

In the second that escaped from standing in front of the lift, to standing in the lift, his momentary gaze taught him everything he needed to know. She’d let her hair down, straight, the hair that he absolutely adored. Red lips. Her red lips. He’d dreamed about them many, many times, in many ways. Some tame, some smouldering, with some down right naughty. Today she wore a long skirt, a crisp white shirt, with the top buttons left undone just enough to cause his mind to wander.

He stopped his thoughts, in their inevitable tracks, the heat actually rising within those few seconds. He glanced to his side, as she looked at the same time, both providing another smile that didn't remove the tension from the small space. He’d laugh, scream, maybe even scratch the lift doors to escape, but he knew that he was right where he wanted to be. Beside her.

Their hands, ever so close, amongst all of the sordid thoughts within his mind, there sat the simple desire of wanting to hold that very hand. Just for a while, maybe forever, just to see if his hand fitted into hers the way it should do. The way it should feel. Torn, distracted, a man of two separate desires. One longing, one needing, the other of taking, of having, both simply wanting to be sedated.

He smiled to himself, which might have looked odd to her, if she were looking at him. Either way, despite standing perfectly still, as well as silent, he held within his hands a red card and gift. For her. Caught within a web of his own making, the spider unaware of what she could have, he decided to be brave, as well as stupid.  He moved the items to his side, in front of her, daring to speak, “I found these at reception. They have your name on them!”

He watched as her stance changed to one of a person who’s defences lowered, for a second, for the briefest of moments. She knew, he knew, that they both knew, who the items were from. They’d had a moment, a few months previous, which would never be mentioned and since that second, he’d simply not been able to forget her. His thoughts no longer his own. Haunted, beautiful screams within his dreams, seldom wanting to wake from the things they’d do, with each other. His imagination running wild. Her curves, her body, calling him and he really wanted to answer. He’d answer all night, if he could, if allowed.

She held the card in her hand, not removing her eyes from his, “It’s from you, isn't it?” she proclaimed with certainty. He nodded, his head eventually tilting ever so slightly to the side, matching her, mimicking, allowing his entire person to connect with the moment. He couldn't count the amount of times he’d flirted and, thankfully, he wouldn't want her to stop flirting with him.

She smiled, her eyes looking up, adoring his chiselled features, “Why have you waited all this time?” she asked with confusion. The smile vanished from his face, allowing the longing to rise within him. Stepping forward, he placed his hands onto her hips, lifting her against him, as they both moved to the side of the lift. Her back to the wall, her legs around his waist, feeling his body instantly respond to hers, as his lips kissed her deeply. Those lips, her soft tempting lips, pressed against his as their thoughts fell away to the moment. He tasted her, moving his body in a tempting fashion, knowing exactly what he was doing.
As the second escaped the both of them, time slowing to a crawl, bodies giving in to what they both wanted, the lift pinged as her feet touched the lift floor, as he stepped away. Both flustered, overcome, blood racing, hearts pumping, bodies connected, they adjusted their clothes as the door finally opened. He looked across, still smiling with her lipstick across his lips, as her eyes softened and her heart bounced. She held out her hand to which he gladly held within his. The perfect day for such things, the magical moment shared between the both of them, with the balance of two people restored. 

“Yes!” she said with the biggest, softest smile he’d ever seen.
“Yes?” he quizzed.
“Yes, I’ll be your Valentine’s!”

Happy Valentine’s day to the people that should be lovers (and more).

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Quarantine: Light

Harold smiled at the customer, finding her charm so beautiful in a world that seemingly didn’t want to be polite to customer facing people. He’d worked at the bank, this bank, for over 16 years and, in all that time, only met a handful of people that were truly, honestly, polite in every single aspect. This delighted him, yet also often made him feel sad, that people simply didn’t have time to be nice any more.

A few seconds escaped his focus, as the door opened and in walked a man, looking like any other man, although he was wearing a scarf across his face which wasn’t really recommended when entering a bank. Harold, about to say something, felt his eyes suddenly hurt as the man raised his hand, in the middle of the floor, with light appearing everywhere. Every single person in the bank closed their eyes, in pain, some making vocal noises as the shock also hit their nervous system.

Harold, placing a hand over his eyes, struggled for breath as his heart skipped a few beats. He knew it could happen, even dreamed of it happening, but not quite like this. He’d expected guns, masks, shouting and violence. Instead, he sat there, blinded, not actually able to move in case he fell.

“Fill the bag,” said a voice in front of his face, “You can open your eyes a little!”  Harold, hand shaking, feeling his trembling body, heard the words and slowly lowered his hand before carefully opening his eyes. Just a little, at first, as the light was still all around him other than directly in front of his view. He wanted to look, to see how this man was doing what he was doing, but decided against being brave. Instead, as instructed, he started to fill the bags with the bundled money in the desk to his side.

He’d filled two bags, crisp, clean, the task being undertaken with professionalism and purpose despite the situation. He was a professional, when it came to money, the kind of person that could total an immense sum of money in the shortest of time. Mind muscle, fingers that could count at a speed only experienced by a person that lived for their job. Harold was such a person and today, this day, he didn’t want to die. He wanted to live. He needed to live that little bit longer to see his grand children raised the way they should be in this often cold, vacant, hideous world that some people inhabited.

The tray, now empty, he started on the coins. “No need for coins old man, just the bags.” Harold handed over the last bag. Confident that the situation would now end. He’d done his job, acted accordingly, with everything under control. The man in front of him bustled away trying to make sure that he could carry the bags without dropping them, panicking, as Harold felt the pain in his chest. His jaw hurt, his stomach hurt, his breathing struggled, and Harold knew what was happening.  He murmured a few words, felt the pain, then slumped forward while shaking.

The man in front of Harold stopped fumbling with the money bags, for a second, dropping everything onto the floor. “Old man!” he said, fear in his voice, “Old man?” Lowering his arm, the intense light fading from the room, he stepped back a few paces. Shocked, filled with so many feelings, that he fell to his knees. Mouth open, eyes vacant and in dis-belief, he watched as the staff and people within the bank attended to Harold. The guard, finally realising the situation, marched over to the man on his knees, placing him in handcuffs. He didn't want to run, he wouldn't hide, as he’d managed to hurt another person. His hearing heard the words of the guard, failed to listen to any of them, as he was marched away into another room. The old man was gone.

Samuel stood in front of cubicle 7. Waiting. Calm. Wondering how the situation happened. The young man, within the cubicle, was seemingly innocent. No previous incidents, no signs of malice, violence or anything out of the ordinary, yet this had taken place. The local police were at a loss to find any type of light source so assumed that it was destroyed but to Samuel, he knew. He knew that people existed that were different. He was different himself.

Jason sat on the stool. Defiant, toe tapping away, not yet realising that there wouldn't be a way to escape this place. He raised his arm, the light emanating from his palm, engulfing the room. Samuel admired Jason’s attempts to escape, but simple light was not going to break through the cubicle. No matter the heat emitted, it wouldn't have any effect on a room that was made to withstand a near nuclear explosion.

“You can stop now, if you like?” Samuel said with a calm disinterested tone.
“No!” came the moody reply
“Why not?”
“I didn’t mean to…”
“Kill the man?  We know.”
“How do you know?”
“We watched the video. You’re just a kid wanting some money and it didn’t work out. The man would have died within the week judging by his autopsy!”

The light faded as Jason lowered his arm, a few tears falling from his eyes. “I didn’t know. Light isn’t supposed to hurt anyone?” Samuel, placing the plastic chair near the cubicle window, sat down and leaned forward. He’d seen many people get into trouble, break the law, want things, need things, but this was different. He knew that Jason had a sick Mother, the usual situation where the good person tried to help by doing something bad. Taking money from a bank that made interest a trillion times more than Jason would steal, was hardly crime of the month. Yet, when all’s said and done, it was still wrong and this young man had paid a horrendous price for his actions.

“Your Mum will be okay, we’ll see to that.”  Jason heard the words, lifted his solemn head, feeling some hope return to his heart. He placed his hand against the glass.

“Look,” said Jason, as Samuel leant forward, “I have some type of crystalline substance in my palm. It’s always been there.” Samuel did what he always did at times like this, taking a mental picture of the scene, changing it within his mind’s eye, focusing and changing colour temperatures many, many times. Whatever the substance was, unbeknownst to him, it did refract light. Intense light. Enabled by whatever or whenever Jason decided to do so.

Another anomaly, born, created, just like any other living creature on the planet. “What else can you do?” asked Samuel.
“That’s it. Light form my hand!”
Samuel, knowing when the truth is not quite the truth, quizzingly looked at Jason, making it obvious that he didn’t believe him, “What about your other hand?”

Jason fell silent, his face turning a shade of white, not afraid of the question, but most certainly wary of the answer. Samuel smiled, reassuring Jason, who knew that he’d have to answer the question at some point in time. He’d hidden this part of him, despite sometimes showing off with the light, at parties or events, but this side was something that he’d prefer to keep away from any other living soul.

As a child he’d enjoyed the light, reading comics until all hours. His Mother would scream at him to turn the light off yet, of course, the actual light wasn’t on. The other side, on the other hand, wasn’t something he wished to explore. He would tell Samuel, at some point, but the moments were not kind when it came to the darkness. Jason recalled the time where he’d stood in the garden, holding his other arm as high as he could reach, turning the garden to darkness. All light stopped, ceased, faded from view. He could still see everything in front of him. He witnessed every bird in the tree die instantly. He witnessed every single blade of grass fade into nothing as the energy vanished from around him. He’d sworn, on that day, to never do what he’d done again.

Looking at Samuel, he pressed his other hand onto the glass, exposing the black substance in the same pattern as the other hand. One light, one dark, both real and there in front of Samuel. “What does that hand do?” Samuel asked with absolute interest.
“One is darkness, the other light.”
“What does the darkness do?”

Jason paused, knowing that for the first time in his life, he’d have to admit that he also possessed this darkness within him. He felt it, at times, wanting to escape, to be used, yet he always fell to the light side of his being. Maybe now, if he were honest, truly honest, he’d have answers. Real answers. Maybe even a way to escape this once and for all. He didn’t consider what he could do a negative, but being completely normal would be easier on him, “The darkness destroys all. Whatever it touches!”

He felt the weight move itself from his shoulders, the small burden rise away from him, thankful that someone knew what he could truly do. He’d wanted to speak with friends, show them, explain things to them, but he’d seen enough television to realise that he’d eventually be used to their advantage. He didn’t want that. He’d never want that.

Samuel, intrigued by the light and darkness, the balance of all things, leant back onto his chair. “Jason,” asked Samuel considering his next words carefully, “We would like to run a few tests. Nothing brutal, some might be uncomfortable, but if you’d like to know why and how this is happening, we might be able to help. Would you like that?”
Jason nodded a few times, a small smile appearing for a few seconds.

“There’s a darkness on the horizon, Jason, which we’d also like your help with. We don’t know what to expect but when it does arrive, we want to be ready. Would that also be okay?”  Jason, again, nodded a few times as he watched Samuel press the button on the wall to the side of the cubicle. Slowly, steadily, the cubicle opened.

“Welcome to quarantine!”

Friday, 8 February 2019


All at once, within a moment, we felt it and everything changed. Over seven billion people, all desire, hatred, even love, all emotion removed from each and every single one of us. Overnight we became something new, something else, the same but never the same again.

Without emotion, with the driving force between each person destroyed, we faltered, we failed, we simply stopped within the world. No more sonnets, no more beautifully spoken words, no failed expressions or even tears when a life failed to love another. We stopped. Everything stopped.

At first, we all stood still, silent, looking within, trying to understand the change made deep inside. We simply couldn’t understand. We couldn’t comprehend what had happened and yet, beside that, wouldn’t even be able to feel anything due to what had taken place.

We used to live within our emotions. Dive into them, enjoy them, let them destroy us, wreak havoc upon others, while all proclaiming to posses no issues to be spoken of. Or, in another way, our issues would become the knowledge of all the people around us. Anarchy, destruction, the brutality of the unfeeling heart that simply did not wish to be attached. We would run from such moments, embrace them, try to escape them, yet drip pure tears when our selfish bonds broke.

The day to day continued, with silence around each of us. The continued world adapting, overcoming, moving forward with the bleak understanding of an emotionless existence. We would bleed, we would beg, if the desire still existed within any of us. The streets vacant, empty, void of movement after a certain tick of the clock. The essence, the very spirit of the world, stopped all at once.

Sitting there, alone, within a room filled with the empty thoughts and zero feelings, many of us looked through the window into the world outside. We tried to rouse something from within, something quickly forgotten and, mostly not missed at all. Emotion. Feeling. Any sound from within our hearts. Each soul, abandoned, alone, lonely from no longer hearing the tender words spoken by a mind in love, in pain, embraced or held.

We were, each of us, solitary beings within a planet of many. We were, finally, alone. The greatest fear of every single person within this world. Alone and forgotten. We would beg, truly bend our will if we could, to hold our hands to the sky asking for a reprieve. It was too late. The destruction bestowed upon each of us, by others, by ourselves, the crimes finally answered, and the sentence committed. We were, forever, thrown into the den of inequity. Each word spoken in hatred, in angst, in the selfish nature of a child hidden within an adult made from learning, answered for.

The people of science, working throughout the day, as well as night, could find no solution, no sanctuary, for such things. We were, from that day forward, an emotionless race of beings with no purpose or fallacy. We were exactly, from then until the end, the sum of our thoughts. Nothing more. The holding of a hand, the kisses upon our lips, meaning nothing to not a soul.

Abandoned by the universe, forgotten by the stars, the rainbow no longer bringing a feeling of any nature, we were set adrift. My own heart, my own emotions, taking a lifetime to endure, taken from me within an instant. Sitting here, sitting there, the view no longer holding any worth or benefit to my life, I decided to search within the darkest corners of the world for answers. Emotion would not be found with science, or math, or within the face of the most beautiful lips. Emotion would always escape us, overwhelm each of us, if allowed to remain selfish.

For a second, for that single solitary moment, I realised the secret to the world and understood the complexity of moments. Each kiss, precious. Each embrace, magical. Each heart, a blessing. I closed my eyes, feeling my heart beat and for a second… I felt my heart skip a beat. I felt something. I felt alive, as I understood, I finally realised, that a life without care and attention meant nothing. Nothing at all. After all, even though we’ve had the most precious moments stolen from us, life would be nothing, nothing at all, without emotion.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019


I can hear you, feel you, even understand the thoughts that you’re sending into the world from so far, far away. I can even, at times, when I'm about to fall asleep, feel those kisses of yours that I've longed to feel for the longest of times.

We’re apart, for now, for these moments, until our longing hearts bring us together again. I know that you’re all around me, your emotion, your heart, trying to reach me. It’s okay, it’s all been written a thousand times, but I know that your rhythm is out there for all to see.

I can hear you, feel you, only wishing to embrace you and everything you meant to me. That heart, the tapping of a drum, the sound that warmed my nights, held me so close that I wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't ever have wished to escape. That rhythm. Your rhythm. The way you were, the way you are, one day to be explored again.

I used to watch you, for hours, alone, the two of us, with you just dancing the way that you did. You felt the world, whispered the words into the air, as your body expressed itself in such a beautiful manner. You flowed, you felt, you embraced yourself with the music and then, just then, you’d leave that moment to embrace me with your lips. We’d smile, we’d connect, then you’d return to the dance. 

You've changed, over the years, becoming more than you once were. The lips that kissed, the heart that held, the hands that bind. I've never, ever, forgotten you. I never will. We were young, far too young, all those years previous. We've grown, developed, explored and have lived the first part of our lives in such fire that I'm amazed that we've made it this far. Apart. Separated. Abandoned. Left to discover other hearts within this frail, delicate world.

There are motions, within emotions, with their own distinctive sounds. We always talk about the heart, like it's the most precious object within our solitary frozen worlds, but I believe that every single emotion is precious. Within reason, within that rhyme, as long as the moments are of a pious nature. Pure. Unspoken, maybe never ever woken, placed into the world with the tears of feelings.

For many years, over cold days and frigid nights, I've asked the universe for you, to be near you again.  I know, I know, no person should change the rhythm once it’s started. It’s the passion of the world, the energy of things, all around each and every single one of us. Dare I ask for more, placing my hands upon the table of life, laying my cards face forward, daring to bare all for everyone to see.

I dare, I ask, I need and want. My song is silent without you. I hear the words, I have the melody within my heart, ready to sing and to roar as loud as I can muster. Please, to the world, to the very lips I possess, I only wish to feel that rhythm again. I can still hear you, softly, a whisper, in the corner of my soul and heart.

Maybe it’s the madness talking, maybe the words wrapped around my body have faded into the distance, with time. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, I still wish for your rhythm to wash over me. I can feel you, still see your rainbow in the sky, lighting my life after the rain pours down. No matter how bleak the world seems, no matter the downpour, I know that you’re still out there, smiling. 

I can sense you, notice you, even appreciate the thoughts that you’re sending towards my life. You were so far, far away. I can now, once again, feel your kisses that I've longed to feel for the longest of times. You’re here, once again, grown, explored, a new you with a new me. You returned, a chance meeting, a moment of rhythm, filled with your rhyme, our words twisting together to form something new, a melody, a moment, filled with smiles and more. There’s no longer silence, the drums have started to beat again, firing our hearts into a new place, a beautiful place, created by our rhythm.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Quarantine: Falling

Reaching, his entire arm stretched, fingers feeling as his right side pressed against the rock, Samuel found a small crevice and jammed his fingers into the area. With a slight hip twist he reached with his left hand and found the obvious perch, then lifted himself that little bit further. The sun beamed heat across his entire frame and, if he could, he’d surely prefer to be anywhere but here. Climbing a mountain wasn't really his thing but, despite already knowing far too much about almost everything, the quick course and training soaked into him just as easily as all of the other information that came his way over the years.

Being specialised, with an almost perfect photographic memory, he was often given the tasks that didn't quite sit right with the other professionals within the organisation. Grumbling to himself, lifting his left leg to a preferred vantage point, he lifted his body that bit further up the mountain. So far, despite the heat, he’d managed to spend four hours climbing the damn face of the mountain. He would have preferred an easier route but, as he knew, information and detail meant that this would be the most beneficial location.

Although physically capable, more than most, his fingertips were feeling the strain, dry, but still willing. He knew that climbing was a skill, a delicate art of weight distribution, placement, guile and maybe even a small amount of luck. None of that helped. Only a few more metres to go, before he’d reach a sensible ledge to rest, according to the map that he’d located and committed to memory.

As a child, while others around him struggled with the usual pain of learning and education, he obviously found that his mind worked a little different than others. Details, the ever-present details, were of the utmost importance. He would sit and study a painting for hours until, one day, he realised that he could hold the details, to a certain point, within his mind. He’d take a mental picture then, after a couple of seconds, he would close his eyes and view the entire scene. The detail spoke to him, his mind, more or less, allowing an optical zoom to many scenes. It had limits, like most things in life, but this allowed him to experience, to appreciate, life in a very specific fashion.

There were drawbacks, moments of great pain, with that second residing within his mind again and again. A normal person could mentally torture themselves time and time again, with time eventually allowing the view to become blurred, out of sync, even forgotten if you were lucky enough. But, for Samuel, this was not the case. He could relive moments again and again. Over and over. Thankfully he’d eventually found a way to come to terms with this aspect of his life. He turned to learning more specialised skills, filing away the moments of pain, to overcome his emotions. It didn't mean that he couldn't feel as, of course, this was heavily controlled, it just meant that he’d rather think instead of feel.

At this moment he would rather be somewhere else. With one last small movement his fingers caught hold of the ledge and, with ease, he lifted his body until his knee could move onto the ledge. Another moment of exertion and he sat perched on the small overhang, looking out into the valley. Lush green hit his eyes, the lake around a mile away shone with blue bliss, the entire location being an absolute paradise compared to some of the places he’d been. For a second he moved his head until the optimum picture expressed itself and he instantly grabbed the scene. Closing his eyes he brought the image forward as if it were a dream, zoomed around, smiled, then opened his eyes again. This was one for the memory banks.

Exhaling slowly through his mouth, then inhaling through his nose, he felt his heart start to calm itself. He wished that he could do the same for his weary fingers, legs and arms, but no matter what happened, he was actually, for once, enjoying himself. Slowly lifting his weary frame, he turned and, for a second, lost concentration. His right foot hit the back of his left boot, forcing his balance to shift, which resulted with him falling off of the ledge.

A quick, sharp, shocked scream, a moment of expression, escaped from his mouth as he realised his mistake. It would, more than likely, be fatal. This moment, however, was all part of the process. He twisted slightly, bringing his chest to face towards the ground, extending his arms and legs to free fall. If this were any other moment, any other setting, he’d enjoy the view and air whistling past as he freely fell. Increasing speed, reaching the point where a parachute would provide no rescue, he felt a sudden pain around his back as his body lurched downwards. It made no sense as he was, of course, falling.

Many things didn't make sense to him, especially those younger years when his friends and even, at times, family members laughed at him. It didn't bother him as, instead, they learned to respect his skill after he recalled specific words, or even instances, that helped each of them overcome a situation or obstacle in their lives. Wise before his youth ended, this was the world he knew, which eventually grew into something far, far bigger.

His mind jogged back to the present as the pain increased and, reaching to where the he felt the pain, he pressed his fingers to the area. He was no longer falling, instead gliding sideways, looking at his hand that was now covered in blood from the area filled with pain. Arching his upper body, while turning his head, he could see wings flapping, large dark wings as well as a humanoid figure.

Confused, starting to feel the effects of the blood escaping his body, he started to black out. Realising the situation at hand, quickly, he reached into a small pocket, one of many, that held smelling salts. As his head started to flail, his last remaining strength raised his hand to press the ammonia laced capsule against his nose. He sniffed as hard as he could, in his present state, which resulted in a quick, sharp, shock as his eyes widened and body responded.

Whatever had him, whatever this thing was, obviously responded to his movements. Squeezing him, to which Samuel relaxed, and let his body hang in mid-air. He wasn't going anywhere else, wouldn't survive the fall if dropped, which resulted in the only option being a passenger. His mind, firing questions and thoughts as they neared the side of a mountain across from the one he was climbing, demanded action. Fight of flight, with the only actual option being flight. He’d laugh at that thought, if he didn't have blood dripping from his side and the pain of some kind of talons gripping him.

The assignment had appeared just before meeting with Julie, the woman that could break bones with her aura, so he’d had plenty of time to reflect on what may, or may not, have caused the disappearance of young adults within the local area. One a month, for years, around this very location. Details were, as usual, difficult to find but just malicious enough to provoke a few red flags.

He’d asked around, spoken to grieving parents and partners, but nothing seemed to indicate anything other than the standard predator being at work. Normally he’d have dismissed the situation other than the one article, the singular article, describing a traveller finding a larger than normal feather alongside a highway stop. That and that alone, after seeing the picture, meant that he would have to consider something else at work within this area of the world.

Still hanging, carried along like a fish in the claws of an eagle, he watched as they neared the side of a cliff face. As he focused he could see a small opening, a cave, with the entrance rapidly approaching. He rolled himself into a ball as he felt the grip loosen, launching him into the cave at speed. Barrel rolling along the dirt he hit the back of the cave with some considerable force, knocking the wind out of him, as well as probably adding a whole new range of bruises.

Taking a second, closing his eyes, breathing through the pain, he glanced towards the cave entrance as his eyes grew accustomed to the light. Focussing, while raising his upper body slowly, he watched as the humanoid figure landed, wings folding behind its back. Definitely male, a strong upper body and taut legs, it didn't strike him as being friendly. The distance between them closed as Samuel noticed the bones and clothes strewn around the back of the cave. He wasn't about to become dinner.

Reaching behind him, grabbing the Sig Sauer P320 handgun from the holster, Samuel fired one round into its shoulder. It stopped, for a few seconds, feeling the pain, as Samuel watched the bullet hole heal. In a few seconds he knew that the claws would rip him apart. Looking to the ground, thinking as fast as he could for a solution, he noticed a small animal skull.

Samuel launched himself onto his back, raising his legs, as the thing landed onto his raised knees. Placing the P320 against its head he fired all remaining 20 rounds. The blood, covering the top of the cave, as well as Samuel, flew everywhere. The silence, after his ears stopped ringing, appeared around him as he watched the things brain start to heal. He’d be horrified if it were not for the training embedded within him. Reaching to his side, grabbing the skull of the small animal, he jammed it into the open space where its brain had been a few seconds previous. Still wondering if this would work, he ejected the magazine and replaced it with a fresh mag.

Being careful he slowly moved his knees, placing the creature onto the floor while paying careful attention to where the skull sat. The moments escaped and the things head healed other than the lump caused by the skull. He sat against the cave wall, breathing, taking control of his adrenaline, as the creature jerked and moved erratically. Taking a good look, he noticed that it was identical to a normal human male, yet the feet, hands and of course the wings, were seemingly interwoven perfectly to the rest of the body. Born, or created, he simply did not know but by the looks of the cave, it had been here for a very long time.

Opening a pocket on his trousers, he grabbed his phone, taking a few pictures, before dialling the only sensible number. The voice answered and Samuel spoke, “Quarantine. Samuel. Pick-up for two!” The person on the other end confirmed the instruction and Samuel ended the call. Resting again, gun pointed towards the humanoid, he truly did not understand why and where so many of these things came from. He’d studied human evolution, the natural order of things, yet so many small details seemed misleading, even odd, with creations such as the one moving in front of him, existing.

Either way, no matter what happened, something was coming and he wanted to believe that they could manage whatever situation arose. Time would tell. Time would also heal the puncture wounds in his side but, until then, he just had to ignore the bodily convulsions taking place to the side of him. It was times like this that he might have preferred a simple job, an easy life, but he also knew that there’d be no fun in that. “So much fun!” he said, sarcastically to himself, with a half-hearted smile upon his lips.