False hugs and latent promises, a precursor to love? Maybe hate? She could never decide.  Yet here, in this glorified candlelit pigpen, immune from sirens, horns and streetwise revelry, the old guard are at play.

Leaning on the bar, dressed to the gaudy nines (dressed to the gaudy nines to blend in, no other reason) she watches the smiling priest engage in Russian Roulette.  That his opponent is a dextrous devil may care Cross River gorilla in a top hat, an irrelevance to both parties. After the big bang she notes blood and gore obviously, more interesting though, that the dead as dead can be, in foetal position upon the sawdust, corpse that was once a priest still maintains that smile, as the now smug grin gorilla blows away the smoke from the revolver’s firing chamber. It seems that he may have cheated.  Still, with no bouncers, no medics, the carcass remains in situ for the duration. Duration of what? Matters not.

In the far corner, by the armless, harmless statue of a very naked Aphrodite, alpha males play poker, they belch frequently, punch their fists upon the card table, take a piss in the shadows and pinch the bottoms of the waitresses as fancy and/or a surfeit of vodka on the rocks takes.

She has never seen these thing previous, never been to this allegedly notorious place before. Just heard of it on the grapevine. Thought she would take a look for herself.  Curiosity, yes; ideal location certainly.


“A cormorant drying its wings tells no lies,” so says the one-eyed, bald barman in the patchwork suit.

“Pardon?” she is more than a little confused.

“My gift for the evening. A parable, ‘A cormorant drying its wings tells no lies’…think about it.”

“Cormorants can’t speak, so they can never tell lies…haven’t a clue what you’re on about.” 


She ceases to lean on the counter, alights the bar stool with apt modesty, walks over to a makeshift stage. Fours tea chests covered with a large sheet of worn at the edges plywood upon which an anorexic woman of indeterminate age, her virtue preserved by just well-placed peacock feathers, not quite manages to play the off-key accordion.

“Will you accompany me? I need a singer.”

“I can’t sing, sorry. I only came over here to hear you play.”

“That’s what they all say.”


Shortly before the explosion that ripped the place, as well as the planet apart, she had tapped the barman on the shoulder, “Press this button if you’d be so kind.”

“Certainly Ma’am…there, job done…what is the button for by the way?”

“A detonator, nothing more…thanks, must rush.” 

Above ground and outside, smothered in blackest soot and rainbow snowflakes a rather pleased with herself fallen angel thanks circumstance that she, the last of her kind alive, indeed the last of all ‘kinds’ had cancelled that appointment to be sterilized.




      1. That, plus an ill thought out ‘revenge’ for what they perceive ‘we’ (maybe Bush and Blair have a price to pay) have done to innocents there. Absolutely no excuse for such vile, heart breaking crimes though. This ‘eye for an eye’ thing should never have been penned I reckon.

    1. Nothing like being under the weather and having a restless nightmare ridden half sleep, hence penned around 3am! Still not sure about it. Do you the odd thing. One gets ill; goes to the quack; quack gets concerned and sets up a galaxy of ‘tests’ (one of which is an indignity I shall no doubt write of along the way, once I see the funny side); then to exit the surgery to find all symptoms have disappeared into the ether yet that doc still says best to attend for the tests. What fun next week will be!

      1. Well one is aye dying till one gets to the waiting room, then one comes tae life and all symptoms disappear. Me? I never go near these places…….

      2. My wife tells me if I do not attend the benefits of marriage will be denied me. My how I suffer for the cause…just can’t remember what the cause was given her threat. If I get a ‘next life’ a mayfly I will be.

      1. It’s been so hot here I haven’t been able to go out that much…evenings are better in these temperatures. Do trust your mood improves…the curse of feeling low is indeed a curse.

      2. 20 is about the right temp for me…in the suntrap corner of the garden the thermometer read 41 all Tuesday afternoon…didn’t even get to read the sports page before going indoors!

      3. Well it was the far corner, protected from breeze with sun on it all day. Thankfully a cloud cover has at last arrived. Hope you got some good photo’s this day.

      4. No photography this week except the photo session in the woods where I got two microscopic ticks, bloody suckers, now I just hope there is no serious infection 😦

      5. Who would blame me. My model got one too, but she spotted it before it attached itself to her skin. I was not that lucky 😦 Do you have them where you live?

      6. We had two Briards when living in tick central Devon. Shirley spent hours with scissors and tweasers picking them off. Don’t recall having come across them in these parts though. Sounds awful…a swift recovery for you I hope.

      1. Thanks…I am well, back to 12k a day. Seems my veggie diet of many, many years forgot B17 vitamin although my dear wife still insists I do not cancel the horrible tests the doctor has set up for me on pain of sanctions far worse than we have applied to Putin. Women are so much tougher than men when the chips are down!

      2. That’s great news. I ‘m s big sissy. If I get sick everyone heads for the hills. 🙂

      1. I always loved his humorous/cynical take on the question of the button. Made a great foil for comparison with other war poets. And certainly beats Lily the Pink (although I can’t help singing along when I hear it!)

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