The Skull On The Step




That skull outside is looking at me with a grin on its bony face. Sat perched on the edge of a step in the garden, it silently mocks me as a dog barks somewhere in the distance. Above it, the crescent moon is faintly visible in the blue sky. It calls to me, like a mother calling to her child who has wondered off at sea. My insides hurt, but the day is fine nonetheless. These days, they go on forever. Endless lethargy, and a cool breeze that takes the edge off the heat. Heat, like the scent of a lover, tickling the back of your throat. Heat, like the kind that burns the base of your spine in the throes of passionate climax. Last night, I bought a six pack of beer from my local store. Sat on the bed in the evening with the intention of doing some late night writing, I drank two of the beers before realising they were non-alcoholic. The pain was horrendous. The magic, destroyed. Devastated, I went to bed close to tears and drifted into troublesome dreams.

In these early moments of summer, I’m afraid by the lack of spiders. This time last year, they were everywhere. Scuttling beneath the door into my room, they would constantly attack me. Relentlessly charging, night after night, they would scare me into a frenzy. But, so far, only one or two have been seen. My fear of spiders hasn’t quelled with age. I thought when I was a kid that by the age of thirty, I’d be okay with them. But alas, they still get under my skin. As soon as my eyes seek them out, my heart skips a beat. A barrage of foul language follows, and I flee the scene as quickly as I can. Lovers have been sacrificed for my fear of spiders. I’ve thrown them before me so that I could have some kind of protection. I’ve left them screaming for help whilst I’ve been scrambling out the door shaking and slapping myself for fear that one has crawled onto me. Spiders, the bane of my life. And how many I’ve killed! All those arachnid lives so tragically wasted, squashed without dignity into the carpet. I’m sorry guys, but it’s either me or you. Thought you would’ve learnt that by now.

Since I’ve been writing more, a sense of calm has befallen me. I’m no longer as pent up, or as agitated. Laying here on a blanket on the living room floor, my mind is focused, yet relaxed. I’m eager to work on the novel, but it can wait til later. The evening works best for me. A little music, and the promise of beer, will both open the floodgates to this universe of mine. The magic is stronger at night. During the day, I walk through fields of corn and admire the beauty of nature. Away from the chaos of human activity, everything is in its right place when I’m amongst the trees and animals. Today, I saw a fox chasing a rabbit, and then three magpies fighting over the remains of field mouse. There’s no pretension with nature. There’s a serene stillness that makes all your problems dissolve within minutes of stepping foot into its habitat. Modern life is rubbish. Give me simplicity. Give me wonder!

Some might say that laying here without a care in the world is being lazy and unproductive. I call it enjoying the simple pleasures in life. All free and there for you in abundance. If they don’t make you happy, then you won’t be happy at all.

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