Chris R-0828

The litter strewn here has faded. I kick through it, the sweet wrappers and crushed cans. At the end of the street the trash has gathered in the entrance way to an abandoned shop. I step under the glass canopy and, crouching down, I start to sift through it.
I pick at the paper and cardboard, old crisp bags and cigarette packets and lots of little shiny sheaves that once contained chocolate bars. I recognise the names on the wrappers of course, although they haven’t been on my radar in a while. But now I remember all sorts of sweets, things I had forgotten; mints and chews and sugary pills.
Moving in a half crouch, I search through the rubbish at my feet for the packaging from these remembered confections and miraculously some of them are here.
I kick aside a newspaper and unearth a tiny cardboard tube. I pick it up. I had forgotten these particular sweets but now I remember. I peer into the cylinder but of course it is empty. I press it against my nose and inhale and I am almost sure I can smell them, that something remains, a residue. I poke my tongue to taste but I still can’t be certain.
If I can find the lid I can make use of this cylinder – stuff it with tobacco. And I begin to search for the little plastic stopper but it isn’t here.

Image by Christine Renney


11 thoughts on “GHOST LETTER 24

  1. john flanagan April 2, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    i like your style, Mark – spare, focused and highly articulate.

    Best to You


    • markrenney2 April 3, 2016 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you John. It really does mean a lot.

  2. chrisnelson61 April 2, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Of course I totally agree with John here. I like the way in which you have almost forced a memory upon the reader without being too specific. Ahh, the lure of black jacks!

    • markrenney2 April 3, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      Thank you Chris. Ah yes black jacks .

  3. Tony Single April 4, 2016 / 12:14 am

    I imagined this as a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie, but an art house one where it’s not the zombies or action that matter but the experiences of the people living through it. Love this, Mark.

    • markrenney2 April 4, 2016 / 6:31 pm

      Wow Tony. That’s definitely a film I would want to see. Thank you so much.

      • Tony Single April 4, 2016 / 8:07 pm

        I’d definitely want to see that film too! 😉

  4. Jana H. White April 4, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    I agree with Chris’s comment. There is something intimately uncanny happening while reading your stories, Mark….a loosening of boundaries or something. Wonderfully eerie read.

    • markrenney2 April 4, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      That’s a real compliment Jana. Thank you so much.

  5. clinock April 6, 2016 / 3:11 am

    I adore the photograph by Christine, it’s right there as the character gleans the debris. I’m reminded of the power of addictions, watching men and women picking butts from the street, hoping to find enough tobacco to roll one cigarette. We are all addicted to something…

    • markrenney2 April 7, 2016 / 6:22 pm

      Of course you are right, John. I was definitely thinking about addiction when I wrote this, and other pieces in the series. I really should use it as a tag. Thank you for such an insightful comment. Regards Mark.

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