Growling at Butterflies

Some kid is chinned out of his shoes in the local Kwik Save for giving someone a dirty look. Twelve hours later, another is stabbed up the arse outside Argos after a night out on the tiles. A group of feral kids set upon him for some reason or other, and as they howled and grunted like monkeys, kicking his head around like a football, he eventually crawled away and bled to death in the entrance of a pawn shop. They found him in the early hours of the morning. There was a big song and dance. People placed flowers and wailed as they would never do for me. His guts were hanging out of his belly when they found him, like sausages swimming in a red wine sauce. Pissing against a tree down an alley near my old childhood home, the thought warps my mind before receding into the leaves of the trees watching from above. A lane or two away resides the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. In the darkness, it calls to me, all of those who were once here, but aren’t anymore, wishing to still be. Well, they are still here, but not in the sense that I am. They were made of the same stuff as me, once. Bones, flesh and a pocketful of fanciful dreams. Now, their lack of existence haunts my days and nights, turning the soft flesh of my face into petrified wood. In my drunken haze, I dream of the leaves and the way the dirt beneath my fingernails tastes like the freedom of childhood. Swaying with no way of knowing if I’ll stay on my feet, I see the old garden, and there I am, again, on my hands and knees, growling at butterflies while giddy on the fumes of burning chicken bones. At times like these, there’s no divide, only an inability to walk the right path.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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