‘They’ fed him sedatives to stave off mania yet the delusions continued unabated. Even now, in his cramped garret, by lone candlelight he sits perched on his unmade bed and worries. Worrying has come to be of second nature lately. A worrying born of a heart that had never contemplated a sleeve. Regardless, and in hope it would not cause more misgivings, he feels compelled to read the book the deranged mademoiselle of eventide had handed him in exchange for a plastic cup of hot chocolate, a croissant and a trivial kiss.

The Rough Guide to Life by authors unknown, edited at Constantine’s behest spoke of little that held any interest, little that failed to bore this isolated one, certainly nothing to confirm that any answer was ‘blowing in the wind’, no matter what the maestro himself had alluded to in song. Mild fascination as to the transformation of mortal to divine sparked a thought or two, thoughts swiftly dismissed as erratic, impossible even. Life, he concludes, is a simple thing when one can digest the obvious, the proven and leave upon a side plate the contrived.

The benevolent, yet hardly infallible Angels, would seek to trump one another to further their careers, after all they began their eternal quest as mere messengers twixt all things ethereal and terra firma, quite the drabbest of legends.  As for ‘miracles’ he read, ‘stroke of luck’, nothing more.

Turning the last page, he groans, shakes his head, then, defacing the tome, pens the words, ‘We live; we die within the flawed universe of all things, that is all’, then places the book atop dust laden chronicles upon the highest, rarely visited shelf.

His attempts to settle down for the night thwarted as ever by the tedium of inconsequential train of thought. A mental note to self, ‘Must swap twilight and candles for an electric lamp’. Come morning he knows this plan, as with most others will be forgotten until the next time.

What had the crazed girl who had given him the book whispered in his ear? Yes, that was it, ‘Au moment où que vous arrivez à la fin, vous comprendrez qu’un orgasme records une épiphanie n’importe quel jour de la semaine’ roughly translated, ‘By the time you get to the end you’ll understand that an orgasm bests an epiphany any day of the week’ insofar as his dismal understanding of the French language could fathom. He wonders what that has to do with the price of eggs.

3AM, finally dropping off, he hears first the burning thump of footsteps on the rickety stairs, then the ‘life and death’ ceaseless fist pummelling upon his door. A nightshirt pulled over his head in haste, holds the door ajar just a little; fears for his being just a little also. Catches a glimpse of ‘book gift’ girl from before looking more akin to a soaked to the skin celestial treasure than Pigalle whore now.

‘You followed me? Waited outside in the pissing rain until you couldn’t wait any longer?’  She nods the affirmative nod, smiles a hesitant smile. ‘Suppose you better come in.’

He hands her his shameless soiled bath towel. Blasé, she undresses, wipes the rain away. Looks for somewhere to dry her wet clothes, the back of a tired wooden chair with arms is all there is. There is no impudence in her taking to his bed of her own accord. His introspective eyes glued to her all the way, he says not a word; a short lived reticence then squeezes in beside her.  The bed is only really big enough for one.  Under her breath, a low, deliciously accented voice murmurs a soft lullaby she has contrived in his mother tongue.

From the scorched ashes of a fire in the belly, no passion, no yearning, no first cause

His get up and go selfless lover, she dances for him yet requires not his applause

Counterfeit the presents she gifts him, counterfeit her claim of love, a love misplaced

To the click of her fingers he surrenders, then two bodies as one now interlaced

Come daybreak she was never there.



72 thoughts on “COME DAYBREAK

  1. Love this story full of surreal and yet astute observations which ring a bell for those of us like me who are still trying to make sense of life. Knowing me, however late the ungodly hour, and disregarding the weather, once I opened the door in the dead of night, after the furious knocking it would see the landlord and hear him saying “You are late with the rent again. Walk forth into the rain and find a cheaper destiny!”

      1. The little Scottish flag on Scottish food products is the way forward…odd sentence, I know. Won’t bore you with the tale behind it…yet it is remarkably true nonetheless.

      1. Actually the soft fruit season here is good. We live quite near the producing heart of it. You will ken next year. To get back to the mug, seriously Fintry was a somewhat difficult area shall we say. They actually renamed streets there and not cos these were sunny climes….. You have no idea the snottiness one encountered in Dundee when one said where one lived.

      2. I hate snobs…probably why I’m a leftie, grew up poor in ‘posh’ Richmond where the then named yuppies hold court, so I know what you mean. Your raspberries are sublime, missed the season this year for some reason…still it was also sublime Scots mackerel that accompanied my salad this night/evening. I’ve got over the eating something with a face issue, although only with fish, I shall never eat meat again clearly. If you have veggie offspring do warn then that B17 (only available from meat/fish sources) deficiency is a killer when the decade long body store of said vitamin finally leaves the body…I left it 16 years as a glorified vegan! Thank you Scottish fish, although my guilt at eating you will never fade.

      1. The Cloud is a bugger for that! This happens to me a lot as I can’t remember how my shoes work half the time. Good luck!
        – esme behind him all the way upon the outrageous Cloud

      1. Some people say excitedly that they are ‘so, so mad’ then laugh. On the other hand there are those, me included, who genuinely worry that they are ‘mad’ in the dictionary sense of the word…at least I’m happy…wanders off laughing manically at a buzzing fretful blowfly he’s about to let escape rather than murder!

      2. Laughter is the same in every language. Wrote that the other day.

        Who cares how mad you are, as long as you do good, or mean well- everything is fine. You have a good heart.

        I’ve got one of those in my house, currently. A big fat blowfly which I knew was a robot from the get go! Lucky I like robots

      1. Class rises to the surface of something or other; meanderings are enjoyed yet swiftly forgotten. You shall win out in the end, kind dissection of subject matter be it fact or fiction always (rightly so) wins the day. The thing is, I am pleased that that is so. Keep the faith; keep writing; you have the gift.

  2. Wow… This was a truly amazing work of art. I hope your work in progress is similar? I can’t wait to read that, too, when the time comes. I’ve missed you and Shirl so much! ❤ xo

  3. Mike; your writing makes me long for home…Bangor Northern Ireland. Your writing style feels like home. I miss Ulster breakfast and pasties something awful, along with drama most Americans would never understand. Cheers! Stephen.

    1. I had a full Irish breakfast once…trying to remember what made it different from the English version? Was it a form of black pudding? That was a long time ago though…possibly my memory is incomplete on account of having several hangovers during my stay!

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