Tag: Tragedy

Echoed Back by Keely O’Shaughnessy

“They met on the toilet bowl when he was locked up.”

My sister’s high and giggling as she tells me this.

“Heads down their echoey, metal toilets they yelled to each other.”

“How’d you know?”

“Hammer told me. It’s a thing they do in prison.”

An Exoskeleton of Fear by Catherine O’Brien

That night I shed an exoskeleton of fear. It happened as a sweet pulsation overlooking the river. My body crackled with suspense as, like an exhausted sprinter, I was overlapped by a clear and gracious winner. There was no creaking or moaning as it wrenched itself free. It left quietly and with all its dignity. 

I’d been gifted an excuse, a chance to reclaim my wilderness and that’s the end of my story.

Lemonade for Sale by Wendy Garrett

My stomach hurt for a week after my cat Boots died. She arrived as a gift on my first birthday, and ten years later, she was gone. A year after that, we had more death to cope with. But unlike with Boots’s death, we rarely talked about what happened next door at the Moores’. Whenever we spoke of that summer of 1979, what we discussed was the lemonade stand, not the murder-suicide that triggered the estate sale where my sister and I made a fortune.

Julie (my sister) and I sat at the kitchen table eating cereal while my mother whistled Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay” as she unpacked her brown leather tote bag from the weekend retreat, from where she and my father had returned the night before. She has always been one of the best whistlers I know. She can draw her fingers to her lips and let out a whistle that can be heard blocks away. On this day, she was casually whistling with just her lips, not typical, but it sounded nice. She pulled a candle from her bag and placed it on the dining table next to a silver bowl I’d never seen her use. The candle was in a tall glass votive decorated with two overlapping yellow circles above which, inside a red heart, were the words “Marriage Encounter.” She lit the candle and walked back to her bag to finish emptying it. Julie and I slowly ate our cereal, weary from the long weekend with our “fun” babysitter. I couldn’t remember going anywhere, which meant we had been home the entire weekend.

Found Footage by Lee Ashworth

Glyn Evans: A Life on the Edge
Stooky16
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“You’re always an outsider on an island like this.” We see a close up of a metal halide bulb reflect in the mirrors of a powerful lantern. As the camera zooms out, the tower of a lighthouse is revealed, the white surf lashing against sharp black rocks. A ferocious wind rips through the air. We hear the voice again, shouting to be heard over the elements: “There is no interior!” The profile of a man’s face in shadow comes into view, the lighthouse receding into the background. “Only what’s in here!” he blasts, staring out across the channel between the headland and the lighthouse, tapping his temple. The lantern is glowing against the darkening sky. The light is fading. The picture is grainy. Another voice speaks, clearer, closer to the microphone. A voice of sudden concern: “I said, you want to step back from the edge?” The camera refocuses, blurring in and out, grappling with the last of the light as the man turns slightly toward the lens, buffeted by the gale, transfixed by the view out to sea. The man behind the camera raises his voice: “You don’t need to be quite so close to the edge…” He does not reply. There is only the sound of the wind. We fade to black and a caption fills the screen: Glyn Evans: A Life on the Edge.

Small Sounds Ricochet Through the Darkness by F.C. Malby

In memory of Sarah

Don’t walk home alone, not at this time of night, my friends say, waving at me from a table of empty cocktail glasses, flapping like a gaggle of geese. I’ll be fine, I say, I’ll text you when I’m home. Are you sure? they ask, but it’s more a way of allaying their own fears. Yes, I’ll be fine.

I walk out of the bar, keys in hand, each one pushed between my fingers — a miniature Edward Scissorhands — EarPods in, mobile phone clutched in the other hand. I wore flats, because that’s what you do when you might need to run. It’s normal, except that it’s not. Normal is wearing what you like, not thinking about when you might need to run or who you would need to call, it’s not turning the music down in case there’s a Come over here, Love. Oi. You. I’m talking to you.

Under the Gooseberry Bush by Michael Bloor

April 8th, 1974. I’m setting this down on paper and placing it in a tin that I’ll be burying under one of the gooseberry bushes. If things don’t work out, I’d like there to be a proper record of what happened…

Strangely, the root cause of the fatality can be traced back to the fact that, back in the 1950s, there were two Rodger Ackroyds in Chapel Street Primary School. There was me, generally known as ‘Rodge.’ And there was him, generally known as ‘Big Ackie,’ a nasty piece of work, even when he was an eight year-old. Ackroyd isn’t an uncommon a name in the town – I remember another Rodger Ackroyd used to be the Clydesdale Bank manager in Sadlergate. But the teachers used to make lame, irritating jokes about us, and I expect that’s why Big Ackie took a particular dislike to me. All kids hate being singled (doubled in this case) out for attention, and Ackie mysteriously decided it was all my fault.

How to Curate the Perfect Life by Kate M Tyte

When I was little, I lived in the big tank, an enormous empty space with hundreds of other fish. The girls told me how to attract the customers. ‘Make yourself look pretty,’ they said. ‘You want to be chosen.’ I groomed my scales and fluffed up my tail. I perfected the art of flitting this way and that to show how streamlined I was. There was a particular place about halfway along the tank, where a spotlight hit it. That’s where I turned. I folded gracefully over myself, let my tail fan out and trail behind me, paused for a moment, gave a quick, shimmering pulse and darted away. I practised that move again and again. It worked. I was hired by a modelling agency. It was the happiest day of my life.