Welcome to Issue Four of LossLit Magazine.
The story of how he got into prison was complicated, but Kerry would always blame the X-Factor. A kid had been shot outside the Southern Cemetery. Nothing to do with Kerry Withell, but when this lad wasn’t running coke he was a budding vocalist, and had got to the X-Factor semis with a cover of Brian Wilson’s ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’. This meant that the shooting generated more media interest than might otherwise have been the case.
Eleven giant daisies lie neatly on the lawn, each one perfect. Collateral damage. I accidently cut the stalks that held them when trying to chop out the ones that had died. I am careless today.
It must be the tiredness. They ‘made you comfortable’. You are ‘at rest now’. I am uncomfortable and restless and cannot sleep.
Or maybe it is the term deadheading that is making me clumsy. I keep tripping over the word dead. The sound of it jangles in my brain, like keys for a house you can no longer visit.
sometime later – March? – slush splashing hem of pant, not good pants, sneakers already soaked, sun shining slant or obscured, morrow coming soon, cold above or below freezing remitting unremitting, gloved hand holding top of coat closed, knee aching in anticipation, wind rising falling steady unsteady, no chestnuts here, not much jostling, just enough, throat dry not sore, stomach less said, head even less said, nose running, I wiped it with my scarf, alone or nearly alone again, in the midst of, uncertain feeling, why not just leave, prelude to
A once reasonably successful ice hockey player and a highly respected tradesman for most of his life, Vania realised one morning that neither had earned him nearly as much praise as the way he coped with his imminent death.
Every night she dreams of those other nights: sheets all crisp and starched, like at her gran’s or in a B&B on those family holidays; or the peony-decorated sheets in her own bed – all rumpled and disturbed by the sliding, pert buttocks of lovers. But that was before. A bed: frame, mattress, and collection of assorted coverings for duvet and pillows. A bed: a place to rest a weary body – bones and muscles relaxing, unfurling into the cotton; to lay the weather-beaten, leaden weight of her skull there – just for a moment – and to feel that sensation of falling into the feathery softness. A bed: that would be heaven.
The light was so bright that the birds thought it was sunrise and began to sing. There was ash in the air and a small girl called Kristie stood on the grass and watched as the house burned.
Neighbours had run from their front doors and watched. Two men held the small girl’s mother. One stood behind her holding her hips, the other to her side, pulling her arms as she tried to twist away and run towards the house. After a few minutes she began to scream and her legs bent beneath her as she fell to the floor. Both men thought of just-born baby cows stumbling on shaking legs and for a second they looked away as she lay on the grass. The flames were high above the house now and the sky was orange. The birds were right, it looked like sunrise.
I sold the Bechstein for a third of what it was worth. Some might say I was ripped off, but it was no loss for me. I burned his letters along with all his sheet music the day the men from Mozart’s Wine Bar took away the piano.
Unable to be still and live,
I emptied rooms, scoured
and sanded, repainted walls,
laid floors, changed gravity
with new objects. Nothing’s
left that was familiar; you
would not feel welcome here.
crow-light heaton and daemon-yu squatting t.v. aerial opposite, summon(s)ing. life-long republicans, we loathe streets called after king, such un-earned naming turn us berserker. ugly-love calls us station, ends platform two, northbound outta newcastle. that glint yr eye, pale-lights still. awaiting our edinburgh change, yu delight over pastie scraps. at perths platform seven, change again for highlands, and yu crap over pitted stone ov no roof. pick us up again outside inverness, in easy pace, all along heron-hunched beauly firth.