Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village, though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

 

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

 

Robert Frost

Green

07-08-2012

“A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.”

-Elbert Hubbard-

To quote a personal hero: “I don’t understand people who have one drink. I don’t understand people who leave half a glass of wine on the table. I don’t understand people who say they’ve had enough. How can you have enough of feeling like this? How can you not want to feel like this longer? My brain works differently.”

My very best friend in the world is a man I greatly admire, that man was once a boy. But even then he was my greatest source of inspiration. That man is no longer with us because of one stupid mistake; one flaw in his being that ruined everything.

I was only twelve years old and jumping up and down on a big bed. As a terribly sleazy song came to a close the adults in the room started applauding. They all sat on little stools and desk chairs, laughing out loud as they clapped.

Next to me was my best friend. His hazel curls dancing around his face as he danced. That was the moment he taught me what it is like to be admired and I never forgot. We belted out the final words to the song as our parents clapped even louder. Afterwards we all went downstairs and received a small amount of champagne in an incredibly tall glass; as that is what superstars drink according to my friend’s parents.

My best friend tapped me on the shoulder and gestured to the kitchen. I followed him without a word or our parents noticing. The dark green bottle with the golden label stood on the counter just within our grasp. He put his glass to his lips and poured the remainder of the golden liquid down his throat. Then he nodded at me, as if he gave me permission to do the same. The bitter taste made my throat tingle and my eyes water.

There we sat, on a rusty park bench. His long curls cropped short, my short hair grown down to my shoulders. Our parents, as they were in that kitchen years ago, were absent. He seemed unable to look at me as I recounted our wild adventures. I spoke of his brilliant plans and my complete trust, my oblivion, his guilt and our absolute devotion.

This was going to be the day of days, his seventeenth birthday! We would go out and paint the town as it has never been painted before. There we were, a club full of dancing people. His laugh took my nerves away. He walked to the bar and ordered us some vodka and coke. After we devoured these, in record time, he almost sprinted back to the bar for more. Widely smiling he handed me another drink, “Refill,” he said with a wink.

The evening ended as those kinds of evenings should: Drunk, singing at the top of our lungs on one stolen bicycle.

There we sat again, together, on that same rusty park bench outside the centre. For the same stupid reason in the same hot sun; parents still absent. Only this time we sat in complete silence. He broke the silence without looking at me as he mumbled: “sorry.” Grinning slightly I looked at him and said: “Making amends, that’s one of the steps, right? A break-through!” He grinned despite of himself and said under his breath: “We should celebrate.” I raised my hand and pretended to call a waiter over as I yelled: “Champagne!”

And, as if we were twelve years old again, we laughed ourselves to tears.

 

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Snap

 

21-07-2013

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists primarily in dealing with men.”

-Joseph Conrad-

Why are women in hoodies so fucking depressing?

I’m not talking about sweats; those things are awesome! Just as long as they don’t have anything written across the backside. Things scribbled across lovely asses like ‘juicy’ or ‘tasty’, make me feel physically ill. But sweats in general: fantastic! Hoodies on the other hand make beautiful creatures look like slobs or lovers of the meth of crystal. What saddens me even more than the fact that they make the most beautiful specimens of our species look like cheap hussies, is the fact that it always makes me feel a little strange. Not just because women always (!) look sad when they wear hoodies, but because of a thing that happened to me in a bar. Every time I see a hoodie clad female walk by, my knuckles ache. Don’t worry, I am not the kind of guy that smacks women around, completely the opposite. And that is why my hands tingle.

The story is very simple and never as epic as one would like these sort of stories to be. This one is extremely simple actually: Girls is sad, girl dates a dick, dick acts ‘dickish’ (as they so often do), dick hurts girl, friend of girl breaks his hand on dicks’ face. Simple, right? Or maybe not so much…

The plan for that day was the same as it was any other day: Go to class, meet some people after and see where the night may take us. In this case the ‘night’ was Tuesday afternoon, but who gives a damn? We’re students.

The afternoon lectures were canceled and instead of sensibly going to the library and study for a few hours, I decided to drag my friends down to ‘our’ bar; or ‘pub’ as they call it on the island. As I led the way in the bartender smiled widely at us just before his face turned apologetic. “Sorry mate,” he said as I reached the bar, “We usually don’t serve alcohol before one o’clock.” I looked at him in mock horror which made him laugh out loud before pouring my drink. “And give me five pints, please.” I said. He raised one eyebrow at me and asked: “Are you getting drinks for them again?” I shrugged before he added: “You know, people always say British folks are border-line alcoholics. But I think you bring it out in them.” I smiled dryly before answering: “It’s a dirty rotten job but someone has to do it.”

I took the drinks over to our regular table and looked around the pub. There were a few other students sitting a few tables away from us. At the other end of the bar sat a few work-men (proper fucking geezers) having their lunch-time pint. In between there just sat a few ‘normal people’ having lunch. As I sat down, a rough looking girl looked at me and gestured at the pool-table in the corner.

“Let me just have a smoke first,” I said getting to my feet. “Aren’t you joining me?” She rolled her eyes before rolling a ‘fag’. As we walked passed the bar towards the garden/smoking area (stupid puritanical smoking laws and all) the bartender mumbled: “Again with the bad influences.” I grinned before giving him a look that told him to bite me.

Once we had both finished our cigarette we moved back inside and the girl did not even take her coat off. She moved directly to the pool-table and inserted the right amount of change. As the ball rolled out onto the table she looked at me with a slight glint in her eyes. That told me she was feeling lucky and up to trying to beat me again, so I walked over to the bar to get another drink before we began playing.

When my friends and me play pool it’s not like how other people do it. The game works the same and has the same rules; it is the surrounding area that turns into war-zone of words. Turning pool into a much more exciting spectators-sport. As the first game drew to a close the verbal carnage was making half of our group piss themselves laughing. The other half was looking around hoping the other patrons would not mind us swearing like drunken (albeit well-educated) sailors. We doubled-up for the next game as some of the other group members made for the jukebox.

Outside, the sun had already set as we started our umpteenth game (and drink). We were being as loud as ever but no one seemed to mind, as the volume of the music easily matched ours. As I came back from the outside smoking area I noticed something that no one else seemed to have: A small girl dressed in grey slipped past the doormen inconspicuously. She was wearing a grey sweats and a hoodie with the hood up. A thin strand of blond hair looked out of place against all the dark grey of her ensemble. I smiled to myself before reaching the pool-table, where the observation about the grey-girl completely left my mind again.

A few minutes later I felt someone tapping me on my arm and as I turned to see who it was it turned out to be the ‘grey girl’. To my astonishment she turned out to be one of our friends: Beth. She is usually one of the ones out of our group to be the first to join me in the pub so we had already wondered where she was. Smiling widely I said: “There you are! We already wondered why you weren’t in class today.” She just shrugged without looking up at me.

I was about to turn around to announce her arrival to the rest of the group when she yanked my sleeve to stop me. Looking back down at her it dawned on me that she had not said a single word yet, which was unusual for her. She had not even looked up at me yet.

I stooped down a little to try and see under her hood and as I did my stomach recoiled. The entire left side of her face and lower lip were swollen and bruised. Her right eye was red and puffy, clearly caused by a lot of crying. “What the…” But the words got lost on the way to my mouth as her shoulder gave the slightest of shakes. She started crying silently and I saw that some of the people around us noticed there was something wrong. As I imagined she did not want to be bombarded with questions from all of her friends, I took her by the shoulders and steered her towards the door into the garden.

It was completely silent for a minute as we made our way to a bench in the corner of the garden. We sat down and she took a deep breath as if preparing herself for the cannonade of questions that were about to be unleashed upon her. Then she looked up and stared me full in the face. Up until that moment I had not fully freaked out, but the orange light of the heat-lamps showed her injuries in a sharper relief.

“Beth, What the fuck happened to your face?” Was all I seemed able to utter. She almost smiled as she said: “is that seriously the most original way of asking you to come up with?” I told her it wasn’t funny before asking her again what the hell happened to her. She just shrugged again and looked away from me. I had to grab her by the shoulders again and turned her face me. “Fell down the stairs.” She murmured under her breath.

As the penny dropped I felt the color drain out of my face. “Beth, where is Marcus?” I asked in a cold voice. She shrugged again. This time I grabbed her wrists but let go quickly as she winced. Before she could pull her arms out of my reach, I yanked her sleeves up and saw that there were bruises there too. Before I had consciously made the decision I had gotten my feet. “No.” She just uttered and I turned around to face her again. “It’s nothing.” She said, hanging her head and pulling her sleeves down. “Nothing?” I almost yelled at her. “Nothing? Oh, let me guess: the face was because you fell down some stairs and the wrists are just a weird sex-thing gone a bit overboard?” Her shoulders started to shake again and this would’ve usually calmed me back down, but it infuriated me even more. Through the silence saw she mumbled: “We were both angry and we lost control a bit.” “A bit?!?!” I yelled again. She sank into a deeper slouch and sobbed a little louder. “You should yell at me,” she muttered between sobs. “I yelled at him just like last time and he…” “Last time?” I asked as I sat back down next to her. She shook her head as I realized something else. Grabbing her arm again, this time gently, I rolled her sleeve back up her arm. As I looked at the bruises more closely I noticed that they seem to vary in color. “He has done this before, hasn’t he” I asked in a hollow voice. She nodded just once. That little not seem to take all the anger out of me and I wrapped my arm around her. “Tell me what happened.” I just whispered in her ear.

“We got up this morning, and all was well. He made coffee as I had a little bit of a lay-in.  He was so sweet; he brought me coffee and some toast and reminded me of my early lecture. I only just remembered and jumped out of bed. But as I did I also spilled the coffee all over the sheets. They were brand-new; his mother had just bought them for us. Then,” she hesitated at this point. “Then he just got a little angry.”

I sighed. “Darling, a little angry is when they cancel my favorite TV-show. This was not a little angry this was…” “I know what this was.” She said interrupting me. “I’m not sure you do.” I said looking her full in the face. That hatred welled back up as I saw the bruises again. “I left him.” She mumbled. “This afternoon. He did not agree…” Her voice trailed off as I can only imagine what he had done to express that disagreement.

I wanted to put my arm around her again but just before I could do so, she jumped up and said: “So it’s over now. Buy a girl a drink, would you? I seem to have forgotten my wallet.” “Over?”  I uttered.  But before I could go on she had already moved back to the door and opened it. I just signed and followed her.

As we walked back into the bar my mind was still buzzing with hatred and therefore I was completely unprepared for what was about to happen. All I heard was a sharp intake of breath from the small bundle of gray beside me. When I looked up I understood why she had just made that frightful little noise. Standing in the doorway was a wild looking young man. His eyes searching the entire room for something, or someone. My mind still buzzing I could only react naturally and looked down at the girl besides me. As I stared into her battered face something sparked within me. Something I had never felt or understood before: I snapped.

I ran across the room bumping into people on my way, but I did not care. All I wanted to do was get to this man as fast as possible and hurt him as much as possible. He looked surprised as he saw me coming towards him. He opened his mouth to ask me something but before he could, my hand flew up and I felt the sweet sensation of knuckle sinking through that thin layer of flesh before connecting hard with the cheek-bone.

My mental blur seemed not to impede my accuracy as I hit him again and again. His face, his midriff, his shoulder and his face again. As this last blow struck home he raised his arms to try and defend himself but was knocked off his feet. I tried to jump forward to land on him. But before I could bend my knees I felt two sets of arms grabbing me.

Jimmy, the scruffy boy from our group would always had a crush on Beth and one of the door-men tried to restrain me. “What the hell are you doing?” Jimmy shouted in my ear, slightly out of breath with the effort of restraining me. I did not answer for a moment as I was still trying to get at that loathsome little fuck lying on the floor. Then I stopped struggling but the two men did not released their hold on me. “Look at Beth.” I growled and thrusted my head in her direction. I could feel both men turning their heads, freezing for a moment and then releasing me. But before my brain had registered the freedom my eyes noticed the flash of brown hair besides me. It was Jimmy, diving for Marcus. The door-man and I just stood there and we watched how this scruffy man-child lunged for his prey. Jimmy grabbed the front of Marcus’s jacket and attempted to punch him in the face. But Marcus, who seemed ready this time, defended himself by kicking Jimmy in the unmentionables and throwing his attacker off. Struggling to get to his feet he was unprepared for my right foot flying towards him. As it made contact with his face he moaned and fell back.

The blur of punches and kicks that followed have been suppressed from my memory but apparently the 2 door-men stepped in when Jimmy and I were only punching a limp sack of flesh and broken bones.

The bar emptied, except for the people in our group. Some of the girls had taken seats next to Beth. She seemed to have gone into complete shock. She just sat on a stool resting her hands on the bar, staring at Jimmy and me with a mixture of amazement and disgust. The door-men had helped the ambulance personnel load Marcus into the ambulance and were now talking to the three police officers. I was trying to light a cigarette with one hand as the other was currently resting in a bucket of ice. Pete, the bartender, walked over and said: “you know it’s still not allowed to smoke in here, right?” Then he took the lighter from me and lit my cigarette. I nodded my head in thanks before I asked him: “Could you get me a drink?” He pulled a face and said: “Are you sure you want that? The police are going to want to talk to you.” I grinned before replying: “I know, and I also know I don’t want to be the only one in their cell tonight that is sober.” He grinned and poured a fair amount of amber liquid into a glass.

“You boys should have warned me in advance.” He said as he slid the drink over. I just gave him a questioning look as he leaned in and replied: “I could have loaned you my emergency cricket bat, then we wouldn’t have had to deal with the ambulance.” I just grinned at him before he continued: “I suppose I should thank you guys,” he got another questioning look from me. “This town thought this pub was going a bit soft with all the students coming here.” I actually chuckled at that but quickly stopped as the police officers walked in. The one in front looked a few years older than the others and he seemed he out-rank them too, as he was the one that spoke to me.

“You the two boys that caused all this, then?” he asked in a stern voice. “No officer.” I responded before Jimmy could even look up. “My friend here was just trying to hold me back.” The policeman just nodded and then said: “That’s an American accent. Are you a Yank?” “No sir.” “But you aren’t British, are you?” I almost smiled before responding: “No sir.” He nodded again and walked down the bar towards Beth. “Excuse me, young lady,” he said to her in a much gentler tone than he had used with me. “I am led to believe that you were involved in all this somehow.” Beth seemed to come out of a revelry and turned to face the officer. As she did, her hood slid down and we could all see the bruises on her face. The officer’s eyes narrowed slightly before Beth had the time to nod. The officer rummaged in his pockets and took out the little white card. “If you want to press any charges or if anything like this was to happen again…” He handed her the car and walked back to me. Without looking at them he clearly addressed his two fellow officers. “You know the problem with these damn foreigners?  Their passports are so bloody confusing I never know what to write down. Every time I want to get back to them, say when: a potential victim wants to have them arrested.  I always seem to have written down the wrong number or name. Therefore I can never find them again. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?”  He looked me full in the face as he said the last few words and I saw his two colleagues nodding in understanding. I could’ve also sworn I saw the officer winking at me. Then he turned on his heel and said to the room at large: “Your kids stay out of trouble now. And have a drink, on me, to calm the nerves.” Then he turned once more to look at me and said: “You know, the bartender was right, it is still illegal to smoke in here. You wouldn’t want me to give you a ticket now, would you?”

 

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United in Diversity

06-02-2013

[Two weeks ago] British Prime Minister David Cameron held a speech about Britain’s future in relation to the European Union. As did most of his predecessors, most notably: Winston Churchill who spoke about the “United States of Europe”(May 7 1948).

Mister Cameron however seems to think (wrongly) that the first and most important task of the European Union is peace. As the forerunner of the EU was actually the European Union for Coal and Steel(1951), an economic union before anything else, Mister Cameron’s presumption that the Union is made up of hippies, is completely mistaken.

The speech was highly anticipated by all political parties in the United Kingdom as well as in the rest of Europe . Mister Cameron also spoke about a possible referendum in the UK on the membership of the European Union. As the effect of this issue, and the other issues he spoke of, could be felt by more people than just those who get a vote in the possible referendum I decided to take a closer look at the speech and the intentions behind it.

 

In order to help paint a picture of what the possible ramifications will be of the speech and the motives behind it, I have spoken to Dr. Felix Roesch, senior lecturer of political science at Coventry University and his teacher’s assistant Brett Sanders. I asked them what they felt the reasons were for Mister Cameron to give this speech.

They feel that the two main reasons for the speech are the economic recession and the unease within the UK about its (supposed) loss of sovereignty to the EU. The economic recession forces all of Europe to look at the Union and to wonder if its financial plans are actually helping.  Dr. Roesch does feel that this is a very positive outcome of the recession: “The recession has stopped people taking certain things for granted and might facilitate reform within the EU.” As the crisis does not only affect the countries currently receiving money, but all the member states, all people in all countries within the EU should get a clear picture of what the EU does. But as Brett Sanders said: “All people within the EU should realise that the EU does not work as an entity unless all the member states agree.”

The greatest problem people in the UK seem to have with the EU is not the economic decisions they make but the apparent  lack of democracy within the Union and the feeling that the Union is doing things to them instead of for them. Dr. Roesch reminds us of the ‘light bulb’ decision: “The decision to pass the European law covering light bulbs was made by a committee and never even passed the European parliament. The committee was not only comprised of politicians but of people from the industry itself. And as all of them have a viable vested? interest in selling the more expensive (TYPE) bulb this could and should have been a more democratic process, especially now that the new light bulbs have proven to be a lot less safe then expected.”

The British think this example, of laws being struck down/effected over all of Europe without everyone having a say, is typical of the dangers of the EU. Most people feel that laws like these endanger a member state’s ability to make their own decisions and enforce their own laws democratically.

“This is the deeper problem facing the United Kingdom”, according to David Cameron, Dr. Roesch and Mr. Sanders. The loss of sovereignty is seen as a greater problem in Britain because, as Mr. Sanders said: “Britain has always been a nation with only one foot in the EU.” And Dr. Roesch  pointed out an interesting fact about Mr. Cameron’s attitude towards the EU: “If you looked at the writing on the wall behind Mr. Cameron you saw the slogan: “UK and the EU, not UK in the EU.”

Some might argue that this relation makes it hypocritical for Mr. Cameron to demand reform. Then again: one foot or two, we are all member states together, and must therefore respect all opinions even if these opinions are voiced by a man who has no intention of changing the EU but is simply scared of other political parties within his own country. In his speech Mr. Cameron said that that he is constantly cautioned by ‘voices’ telling him: “Not to ask difficult questions.” Most EU leaders have argued that this is untrue. They all seem to be in agreement with Dr. Roesch’s statement that now, during the economic crisis, it is a good thing to look at how the Union must proceed.

Another of Mr. Cameron’s statements  also said, on more than one occasion , that the UK has very strong ties with countries outside the European Union, although this does not seem to be felt so strongly in those countries anymore. The American President Obama  even issued a direct challenge to David Cameron over Europe, when he warned of the dangers of holding a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. After this, the senior United States assistant secretary for European Union affairs Philip Gordon, went even further by saying: “We welcome an outward-looking European Union with Britain in it. We benefit when the EU is unified, speaking with a single voice, and focused on our shared interests around the world and in Europe.”

It seems that Mr. Cameron is losing support around the world for the idea of a referendum. The statements made by the Obama administration even came before the Prime Minister had even delivered the speech.  Why would he promise a referendum if he is losing support for it? The answer seems very simple: British politics. The hardliners within Mr. Cameron’s own party have expressed a great interest in a referendum not only because of their personal views on the EU but also because of the growing support for a new party: UKIP. The conservatives seem convinced that they can remain in power if they seem to be working closer to the views of the independent party, ergo: the referendum. Many people both within and outside of the European Union have, however, warned Mr. Cameron: “referendums have often turned countries inwards”.

If the British people do decide to look inward they might not like what they see. The notion that Britain is still one of the greatest players on an international stage has been seen as arrogant for many years, but especially now during the economic crisis, Britain has perhaps even less to say then it thought. Therefore Britain would do very will to look inward, not via the referendum on the EU but by just doing so. The strong connection Europe had with foreign nations is dwindling fast because of the upcoming markets in China and the rest of the far east. Therefore it would seen only right that Britain, as well as other states within the EU looked at their position in the world and ask themselves not only the question Mr. Cameron has posed: “How can we move on together?” but also the more important question: “Who are we in this modern world, and where would we like to go?”

If, however, Mr. Cameron refuses to listen to any of his friends or allies and continues with the referendum there might be another problem he has to circumvent: Scotland. As both Mr. Sanders and Dr. Roesch emphasized: “The referendum on the EU in the UK is going to be dwarfed by the referendum promised to Scotland. And when Scotland does choose to leave the United Kingdom, will they join the European Union?” Perhaps Britain would do well to look at its own identity, as Scotland is about to do, before trying to look at its place within the EU.

Within the EU most people have, however, praised Mr. Cameron’s bravery. He stood up and challenged all of us to take a look at the way we are governed, which is not only our right, but also our duty in a democracy. The referendum might not be the right way to go, but taking a look at how the European Union affects daily life and work is on of the best ideas this Prime Minister has ever had. As the president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy reminded: “Britain is a highly appreciated, highly valued and very important member of the EU. I believe it is in British interests to stay, not only a member of the EU but a very active and full member, a leading nation in the EU. Of course it is for the British people to decide on their future.”

And if it comes to a referendum I can only urge the British public to remember how much stronger we are if united, and how no one would ever dare to take away their sovereignty. Then I would ask the average Joe on the street to name me more then 5 EU members before allowing them to vote, but that’s just my opinion: Understand something before you criticize it.

 

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Introduction week

04-12-2012

“A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.”

-Mario Puzo-

The rain pounded the tin roof as if a marching band was rehearsing. His nostrils flared and the smell of rotting paper and diesel hit his nose. His ears detected the downpour outside as it made its assault on the roof. The hairs on his neck stood up, and not just because of the light gust of wind; he heard voices. They seemed to come from a different room. Jonathan opened his eyes.

He had only seconds to look around the warehouse before a door opened and seven men came walking out. They all looked too well dressed. Only now Jonathan felt the thin plastic bonds tied around his writs and ankles. He squirmed around in the chair as the men advanced. Jonathan recognized some of them and sighed. It wasn’t a sigh of relief.

A man stopped a few feet from him and spoke: “Little Johnny, how nice of you to drop in.” Jonathan hesitated, looked at him with a polite smile and answered: “Vasili, a warehouse? Could you be any more of a fucking cliché?” The man rushed forward and punched Jonathan’s face. The thump reverberated through the room and before the echo died, Jonathan had already looked back up. The large man straightened himself before muttering to the others: “All that university seems to have taught him is to be even more of a smarmy bastard.” Some chuckled but some seemed shocked by the sudden outburst of violence. Jonathan flexed his muscles, making the little plastic bonds creak. “The single light bulb is a nice touch,” he said with a smile. “Maybe it should be swaying.” Then he spat blood. “Continue?” the older men asked. “You think we are here to torture you?” He seemed genuinely offended. “Oh no, off course not, Don Ricardo,” Jonathan smiled at him. “I forgot: the rules of etiquette clearly state that one must tie one’s guests to a chair and beat them.” All the men turned towards the large man called Vasili. He smiled at Jonathan’s remark. “They do in my country.” He murmured. Then he walked around Jonathan’s chair and pulled it around.

Just out of the light sat five young people. The big man smiled. “We just thought it would be a good idea for your little friends to find out what you are,” he took a deep breath before he put his knuckles to Jonathans jaw again while screaming: “A rat!”

The other men walked towards the hostages and took the gags out of their mouth. They looked battered. One of the girls had her hair covering her face. The boy next to her had a black eye and bruises. The other two looked even worse. “Do you kids even know what your friend is?” Vasili asked them. The friendly boy looked at Jonathan before looking at the other four. Then all of them cringed as a blood-curdling scream split the dusty silence. Vasili had plunged a knife into the boy’s knee. The blade sunk in deep and all that remained visible was the grip. Vasili laughed out loud as Jonathan lurched so far forward that his chair toppled over. He rolled onto his back and yelled: “Go ahead Vasili, tell them how my dad was the gangster that brought you all together, how I’m running the family now and suppressing you for years! They already know. And you, Don Ricardo, how can you stand for this?” The older man shifted his walking stick and walked over to Jonathan. “Untie me now, and I will let you walk away with your life.” Jonathan growled under his breath. The old man did not look down at him but just stared at Vasili before he snapped his fingers. In a flurry of movement two men pulled Jonathans chair up and cut his bonds. The old man’s voice cracked as he spoke: “We never agreed on the torture of kids.” Vasili’s face lost the little color it had left before his eyes bulged in horror as the old man helped Jonathan to his feet and handed him something. Vasili scrambled back as he yanked the knife out of the boys knee and pressed it against the kind face. “One more step and this boy loses an eye!” he yelled in horror. Jonathan gave him a piercing look and raised the gun. Vasili looked frightened now, dropping the knife and backing away from the boy, into the shadows, where he sunk to his knees and started pleading. “Please Johnny, I just longed for the old days. I wanted a bit more money, you know how it is.”

Jonathan advanced on the fat Russian, who was now sobbing. “Go now, and take Tom to hospital,” he barked at his friends. “You guys don’t have to see this.” They left but none of them failed to hear the loud bang.

They all gasped as Jonathan joined them, out in the rain. He removed his suit jacket, now splattered with blood and handed it to the old man. “What’s done is done,” he said without any emotion. Jonathan lit a cigarette, smiled at his classmates and apologized before saying: “See you in class on Monday.”

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G.E. Piano

Inspired by George Elliot’s Piano in The Herbert Gallery, Coventry.

 

Sitting at a grand piano

At a loss for words

When tones are what you write with

All you have are cords

 

Fingers fluttering over faded keys

Silently thanking the sons of John

A soft tinkling instead of the harsh click

Made by me and descendants of Remington

 

As music has been kept from me

I’ll strike a different key

Maybe making paper sing

Is all I’ll ever need

 

Perhaps there is a middle march

Just do both, I know some can

Writing notes and words alike

Just like dear Mary Anne

 

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Shooting US-CT

27 people 18 of them not even ready

unready is a word describing all of them

even those who understood the mind

or those who ruled unruly kids

would not be safe

those who lost their lives will be

for ever and ever safe

with us

and those who could not fight a cold

would fight this appalling  act

those who understand the wrong

are always few

but all of us should know

this is something no one, should even be allowed to do.

 

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Butterfly

Dressed in butterflies never alone

But always fluttering

Colors everywhere and offers more

A flowers heart

 

Seeming frozen but never stays

Forever uncatchable

Loving sunlight while dancing

As moonlight caresses

 

Stars spangled in her glittering eyes

With eyes on her wings

But as her dress; just touch her once

Forever grounded.

 

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