Number 2-0795-3

I have become so adept at it, the getting close and yet retaining a space, a divide. It is flat here, a desperate patch without a roof and no walls apart from the one I have built and that is sturdy enough and tall. But there is the slightest of cracks and I can see through and if I press my ear against it and concentrate I can hear.

They tend to the old woman, bringing her food but mostly drink. Cans of “Super Strength” lager. One of them opens a can and places it in her hand. If she would allow it, he would help her to drink from it, steadying and guiding her hand in order to limit the spillage. But she won’t be helped and motions for him to back away, which he now does and, at a safe distance, he sits and watches her. He watches the can. She is gripping it but her hold is weak and it is cold and the can is slick. Bundled in her dirty woollens and, unsupported on the hard ground, her movements are jerky. The can slips between her fingers and the lager, sloshing, froths at the rim. But somehow, tilting and tipping, she manages to hold on.

I think about those old arcade games, the ones with the claw attached to a tiny winch and I remember standing and staring through the glass, frantically turning the little wheel and trying desperately to grab one of the fluffy toys.

Image by Christine Renney


10 thoughts on “GHOST LETTER 22

  1. chrisnelson61 January 27, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    I like the analogy you have chosen here, Mark – it brings an innocence to what is a desperate scene. As ever, a very well observed piece.

    • markrenney1 January 28, 2016 / 5:04 pm

      Thanks Chris. Really pleased that you feel it works.

  2. j.h. white January 27, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    I love of these fragments of stories Mark. For me… they represent.

    • markrenney1 January 28, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Thanks Jana. I hope to keep these going for a little longer.

      • j.h. white January 28, 2016 / 5:14 pm

        They way they appear here, Mark, wandering through your writing, so lost and so like a ghost. They’ve become favorites.

  3. Tony Single January 27, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    Beautifully observed as always, Mark. I’m so glad you’ve continued this series. 🙂

    • markrenney1 January 28, 2016 / 5:12 pm

      Thanks Tony. I’m trying to take a bit more of an observational approach with the Ghost Letters.

    • markrenney1 January 31, 2016 / 10:47 am

      Thank you so much Tosha.

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