Other Adult Fiction

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111 articles in category Other Adult Fiction / Subscribe

Ii felt it snap as it left my hand. A little tingle as the horseshoe flew away, and I knew that for the next few hours I would be popping Advil like a six-year-old with a bag of M&M’s. That little jolt of pain also showed me that the summer of my discontent was about to begin.

To the best of my knowledge the game of horseshoes has rarely been associated with any major kind of sports injury. That is, unless you observe the many backyard and beach competitions that take place during the summer months. These are usually associated with a lot of yelling and horseplay and unflattering speculation about where this horseshoe landed, or why a certain relative or friend has never experienced a “ringer”.

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Iimust be getting good at looking pathetic. I was sitting at a very old variety store in Exeter, New Hampshire waiting for the “Downeaster” to arrive to take me into Boston. You see this was the first time I had ever been on a train.

I mean a real train. I have been on subways but never on a train. A train to me was something out of “The Orient Express” where spies and trade merchants came and left without anyone wanting to know why they were there or where they were going. A train to me was filled with people carting chickens or geese to market. In other words, I was a bit scared.

I guess I should explain how I got here. In my real life as a teacher I am asked to go to various places to meet with various people about various topics that I am supposed to be an expert in. On this particular occasion I was asked to go to Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island in New York for a biotechnology seminar series. Normally I would take a plane but on this particular trip I was asked by my colleagues to take the train.

In other words, I was the guinea pig to see if this means of transportation was feasible. So there I sat, sipping on one of the best cups of coffee I have had in a long time, listening to a friendly waitress explain to me how and where to board on the train to take me to North Station in Boston. I, of course, waited at the wrong part of the station but a young lady of, I assume, ten helped me out and I made it on the train.

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Aa scrap of bread fell onto the red pavement where Enodin sat hugging his knees, beneath the steel shadows of the towering high rises. The passerby who had dropped the crumbs wore an ankle-length black coat and his face was shrouded beneath a broad-rimmed hat.

Gold flashed in the hazy morning sun. “The ring!” Enodin gasped. “He’s got my ring.”
Tired beyond words, hungry beyond notice, the youth pushed himself to his feet and followed. Hover cars rushed past the surging crowd. Enodin reached into his pocket as he maneuvered through the throng.”

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Oout on the Nevada ranges he would run. He would steal mares from neighboring ranchers and fight for other stallion’s mares. If you saw him, you would think it was remarkable that he did not have more scars on his beautiful body from fighting. Even in the winter his coat would shine reflecting the brightness of the snow.

George made his way out West the hard way. He had many jobs along the way; he had been a lawman, a wrangler, even an outlaw. He married and settled down on a ranch in Nevada; it wasn’t much but it was his. George and Mable scratched a living on that ranch, until their fingers bled. There was growing and harvesting hay for the animals and growing and canning food for the winter.

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Tthe car rocked back and forth with steamed-up windows until finally Shaun managed to zip-up his trousers. Every morning he unfolded his body from the squashed position he’d slept in; he used his jumper as a pillow and his coat as a duvet.

“Ridiculous! A 40yr old man reduced to sleeping rough in his own car,” he would say to himself.
It was 6am, and like every day for the last 2 months, he started up his old Citroen Dolly and drove to Princes’ Quay shopping centre to use the public toilets, which of recent time had become his bathroom. Most days, after he washed, he’d walk around town searching for work. However, today he was going to see his children; it seemed so long since he’d had a family life, a job, and a home.

When Lisa and Shaun divorced, Shaun’s money problems had started. Maintenance payments left him skint. He didn’t have the qualifications or the skills for a better job, and found work where he could, sometimes distributing leaflets though peoples letter boxes or cleaning or gardening for the “well-to-do”, such as the Moore family at Bilton House. Things really started going downhill for Shaun after Christmas. He had spent far too much buying lots of presents for his two children. “I’ll soon pay it off,” he had thought, but he had been made redundant from his latest job, and odd jobs had dried up.

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Tthe sun has long been set behind the tall, forest trees and the stars are in quilted abundance above. It is dark inside too. My hand feels along the wall until I find the switch to the porch light.

I open the door as quietly as possible and the light streams in from outside. A swarm of night-time bugs has gathered, in the short time that the light has been on. I make my way off the porch and into the yard.

The cool grass feels good on my bare feet compared to the humid summer air as I make my way over to the wooden fence that separates our two yards. The house on the other side of the fence has been vacant a while. I am by now out of the small circle of light from the front porch as I feel my way along the fence. It is a short time until I am at the end. I have reached the hill at the end of our property and run down, feeling like a kid again. Countless times I have run down this same hill. When I reach the bottom, away from the houses, I pull out the flashlight from my pocket, and it stretches to the trees that mark the beginning of a small wood.

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Jjeb  lived with Ben and Lindell and two grown-up people called Mum and Dad. He had bright eyes and a shiny black nose. He was a small brown dog with a funny black patch on the tip of his left ear.

One  day Jeb curled up in Mum’s chair and went fast asleep. He began to dream. In his dream he found a delicious bone but just as he was about to start chewing on it he heard a shout. It sounded like Mum’s voice. It was Mum. Jeb was wide awake now.
“Jeb! OUT! Shoo!”

Mum clipped him with the newspaper and chased Jeb out the door. Jeb id in a bush until Mum went back inside. Then he looked about himself. He was in the garden. It felt warm and damp. Here was a good place to dig for another bone – a real one! Jeb set to work. He dug quickly letting the dirt fly up behind him. This was fun. Soon he had dug quite a deep hole. Jeb was about to put his nose into the hole to sniff out a bone when he heard a yell. It sounded like Dad’s voice. It was Dad.
“Jeb! OUT! Shoo!”

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Ssaturday afternoon and not much going on. Dismal weather too. Time to visit a Garden Centre; to take an amble amidst the horticultural blooms and the gardening accessories, followed by coffee and cake in a nearby café. Why not? A grand idea!

Now, there’s a Garden Superstore a mile or so out of town, at the retail park. Not been there for a while, I mused, so this would suffice.

I could do some food shopping at the same time, buy a CD from the music shop (‘Bruce MacGregor’ or ‘Blazing Fiddles’), a bag of chewy dog bones from the pet shop and maybe – just maybe – substitute my earlier notion of coffee and cake for a burger and chips from one of the fast-food outlets instead. Handy, aren’t they, these retail parks? Very convenient. Everything on tap, all in the same place.

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Tthe wind howled past the tatty, sodden boots. A soft splatting could be heard as the early-morning rain pelted the sheet of dirty cardboard at the end of the long, thin legs. It could have been a grotesque imitation of a ‘Guy’ – it was early November.

The cardboard jolted, as if pulled by a cord from above. A grubby, broken-nailed hand pulled the cardboard down. Francis M Donnelly, affectionately known as Percy (or Pompous Percy to complete the title) looked out sadly from a filthy, unshaven face, fronted by a broken nose, and highlighted by decaying stubs in a down-turned, pathetic mouth.

As Percy rose unsteadily, a crisp morning sun peeked momentarily through a break in the clouds and pierced his emaciation cruelly. There was no quarter given to a vagrant, (or street-philosopher, as Percy liked to call himself), in Dublin, his home for ten years. He felt like – well, a down-and-out should feel, cold and miserable.
Come on. He wandered, along the side street from the dingy hotel: his ‘home’ and set off, head bowed against the cold and drizzle along the southern reaches of Upper Leeson St.

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‘Suicide is not difficult, or at least not as difficult as they say.’
This thought sprang to his mind while standing almost a hundred feet above the ground, on the roof of the tallest building in the city. He was looking down at the people in the street, busy in their daily grind, with their thoughtfully drooping heads and bowed shoulders.

He had been thinking long about committing suicide but, until now, had not felt compelled enough for the idea to materialize into action. Today, finally, he had made up his mind, come out of his home, and climbed the stairs of this high building. He knew its height was sufficient enough, not to allow any possibility of failure in his plan. His firm steps and confident posture revealed his solid determination.

He threw a final glance at the city, stretching beneath, and all around him. It was the same city where he was born, thirty years ago. The same heartless and cruel city responsible for all his sufferings, which, at last, had culminated to the point of no return: where he had to avail himself of the final option, the ultimate option of ending one’s own life, the real remedy to all suffering and misery.

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