Somewhere there is a memorial bench with my name on it. Has to be with a common name like mine. My research finds several, and so I pick the nearest, where I sit and pretend to be a ghost. I wait all day for people to come and ask, waiting to surprise them with my big reveal. But no-one asks, no-one comes to the stranger on the bench, who may as well be dead already.
This 75-word story first appeared on Paragraph Planet.
My story ‘Here Come The Gulls’ is published over at Spelk today. Hope you enjoy.
We spend our days playing in the closet.
In our imagination it is a spaceship, a doorway to other worlds, a portal that can travel through time. In the darkness we act out our fantasies, constructing the characters of our narrative. We play with the treasures that surround us – costumes in boxes, paperwork on shelves, trinkets that remind us of our parents.
We play all day in the closet, waiting for the door to be unlocked once more.
The music almost kills me today.
It is a childhood memory. The song that would play as my father hunted and brought local wildlife to the garage. It would play as I cried for my mother, begging her not to go to work. Terrified of spending time with this hulk of a man.
Today the song comes on the radio again. I can smell that garage. Hear those birds.
My subsequent tears almost cause an accident on the motorway. When I pull over onto the hard shoulder I sit for twenty minutes, thinking about my mother.
He reaches the bridge at midnight, the bolt cutters heavy in his hands. Five hundred padlocks are to be removed, an unpopular decision taken by the council. His instruction is to work in secret, throughout the night and paid at double time.
Many of the padlocks represent young love, a history of the town documented in metal. He instinctively finds his own padlock, now rusting and unfamiliar, a painful memento of a world less cynical.
Using a key from his pocket he snaps the padlock open, and holding it tightly to his chest he begins to climb over the railings.
This story was originally published on The Drabble