by Bill West
darkness my fingers stroke you for the last time.
All I can think of is the bitterness of endless
tomorrows without you. You have been a part of my
life these twenty five years, but it all has to
cheerless rays peep in at the window, a warning
that time has run out. Sick at heart I make my
It is done.
Fear churns my stomach. The sharp steel blade
clatters to the floor where you lie curled at my
feet. Stooping, I staunch a trickle of blood,
lift the crimson bead to my lips--the blood sharp
in my mouth.
My wife never
accepted you, why would she? Other lovers
accommodated you in their own way but from the
moment I married her your days were numbered. She
gave her ultimatum, and she won, as I knew she
I gather you
up, and carry you downstairs into the hall.
Outside I hear
the squeal of the garden gate and the clip, clop
of shoes on flagstones. The bell jangles and I
open the door.
stands in the porch, staring at me, his greeting
smile dissolves into a look of bewilderment and
disgust. A nervous impulse causes him to raise a
warding hand to his magnificent mutton-chop
what have you done, you silly bugger?
weakly at the plastic bags, as if this answers
all. He shakes his head in growing anger and
disbelief. The open top bus is waiting,
he spits. The mayor and the press are all
on board for our sponsorship campaign.
Spittle flies from his lips, We're hardly
going to get money promises for charity when the
man with the biggest whiskers in Wem has already
shaved the bloody things off!