Endless Possibilities

The endless drawl of planes above, mathematically guided to their destinations

Bound in an endless loop cleaving the sky in transitory bliss

A hiss of engines, a whine of wind

How long will we glide to far off lands searching for something that’s inside us

We mistakenly forgot that the power lies with us

That can lead to beautiful moments of endless tranquilities

 

We create screaming demons and baneful angels

Silhouetting as unknown shadows in the deep recesses of our minds

Occasionally masquerading as devilish nightmares and delicate fantasies

Invading our thoughts complicating our beautiful psychologies

Distorting and intrinsically fragmenting into echoes of the servile self

Crescendoing cacophonies of emotion spill seamlessly

Our identities pervade it, losing out on all sensibility.

 

We are kings, we are queens, we are saints and sinners

The realist and the surrealist, the good and the bad, the clever and the naïve

The compassionate and the jealous, the ambitious and the competitive

The sensitive and the hurtful, the part and the whole

Yourself and ourselves, simultaneously.

 

 

 

Somerton Chapter II

 

The Evidence Suggests

The bedroom had that before dawn stillness to it, the sky was light but the moon hadn’t gone yet. The net curtains stirred slightly, moved by the minutest of breezes, even though the windows were wide open. Peter’s wife slept on next to him, unaware that her husband was awake. They slept naked, on account of the summer heat, and only kept a sheet over them for warmth.

Peter watched his wife’s chest rhythmically rise and fall, her soft red locks strewn all over her white pillow. He savoured these moments, waking early before anyone else, everything felt still and fresh, undisturbed. It was his own little momentary world where he was king.

He padded quietly out of the room and relieved his bladder. He then began his daily routine, methodically washing his face and hands in the wash basin. He always washed his hands three times, out of superstition, slowly and carefully, every morning. Wetting his hair, he slicked it back with his comb and liberally added Brylcreem so it stayed where it was. Putting on a pair of trousers, he padded into the kitchen.

The house was a modest affair, your typical Colonial Australian home, built on stilts out of painted timber with a corrugated iron roof, where the possums lived. He stoked the stove and put water on for his tea and grabbed some ham from the larder. While the water boiled he stepped outside for his first smoke. He drew in the first puff with relish and relief.

Leaning over the veranda railings he looked up and down the street, Bungey Lane. He spied his neighbour, Patrick, walking his Rottweiler down the road. The old man didn’t need to put his dog on a lead, as the animal was always at his side, nearly as old as his master and loyal to the end. The lane had seven houses, three on one side, four the other. All the same colonial style, fit with picket fence and endless blue sky.

Today marked the day that the reopened case would be reviewed, and all prior evidence examined again. He sighed and rubbed his temples, his cigarette nearly gone. The bloke was poisoned, by one that couldn’t be identified. So where the bloody hell did he get that from then, or who killed him with it, as murder had to now be taken into consideration.

It was a mind boggler and make no mistake, where to goddamn start he thought. Hearing his wife getting up and about, he made his way inside to eat his breakfast, boiled eggs and cold ham with a slice of buttery bread. Lost in his thoughts as he bit down on the warm food, his wife crept up behind him, her nighty loosely hung open revealing her nakedness underneath. She placed her hands over his eyes and started to kiss his neck.

‘Ah, love, I gotta get to the station, there’s that case I need to review this morning, it’s the potential murder one and I better get going.’ He said as he turned and embraced his wife.

‘Lighten up Tim, I just wanted to steal a quick kiss and maybe have a fumble in the kitchen, jeez, case hasn’t even started and you’re as tight as fly’s arse,’ She stared him right in the eye with a knowing look on her face, making sure she hid her nipples in an act of symbolic resignation.

‘Sorry Mary, please don’t start, this one feels different, we don’t have many possible murders in Somerton and this one is the first of its kind,’ He stroked her hair and kissed her forehead.

‘Go and get dressed and I will make your lunch, even though you don’t deserve it, copper’ she teased.

He laughed and went to put his shirt and shorts on, summer uniform, no sane man would wear thick woollen trousers during the summer in South Australia. Walking into the bedroom that still smelt of sleep and timber, the first drum tattoo of the crickets could be heard from the amphitheatre of the bushes.

The throb of their beat was constant as he made his way down the front steps, brown paper sandwich bag in hand and hat on head. Walking underneath his house where ancient cobwebs, broken tools and red backs lived, he got his dark green Healing bicycle and tied his lunch to the back.

Walking the polished bike to the street, he looked up at the sky and momentarily got lost in the blue. The day was already hot and the heat was unforgiving. He swung a tanned leg over his saddle, revealing paler thighs and pushed off, wheels spinning over warm bitumen.

He rode through the streets with polite hellos and nods to those who greeted him. Somerton had the sleepy dream like quality of a country town, streets lined with Banksias and Acacias standing opposite each other on wide streets. A few schools kids were playing a couple of overs of cricket at the local oval before the school day began. He smiled at the scene, twenty years ago he would’ve been doing the same, maybe even skipping the whole school day to go swimming and fishing up by Patawalonga Creek.

Nostalgia took him all the way up to front gate of the police station, its red brick almost sweating under the onslaught of the sun. Above the front door read in white stone Police Station 1902. Locking his bike up to railings of the steps he made his way inside, passing Sergeant Alessandro at the front desk with a curt nod.

He stowed his sandwich in his desk and made his way into the boss’ office as the ceiling fans whirled overhead.

‘Just in time, Tim, we were about to go through the list of evidence taken from the unknown man,’ welcomed Detective Inspector Williams.

‘Glad I could join you.’ Quipped back Tim.

He joined Williams and the other detective working on the case, Larry Patterson and began the briefing.

‘Well I think you both are well aware of the deceased gentlemen’s circumstances and how he was found etcetera so we will move on to the more substantial stuff now….’ Started up the good inspector.

A fly buzzed in circles above his head, distracting Tim from the words coming out of William’s mouth, who was still droning on about how they should move on a look at the evidence. He imagined the insect flying down the throat catching the Detective Inspector mid-sentence and him coughing a gutful.

However this didn’t happen and the evidence was listed.

‘Let’s begin, the man was wearing an expensive suit, so we can assume he was somewhat prosperous,’ Williams coughed at this point, making Tim think the fly had done its work, but alas, no.

‘The deceased also had a classy British cigarette behind his ear and another half smoked nestled between his cheek and collar, he had a whole packet of smokes on him, but interestingly a different brand altogether to the one he was smoking, another thing to note is that they don’t sell these Brit smokes here in Australia, so he had made it look like he was smoking cheaper, local cigarettes.’ He looked up at his two detectives and both were now listening intently, so he carried on, sweating beading in his grey moustache.

‘Now not as interesting, was found a box of matches, a used bus ticket to Glenelg and an unused train ticket to Henley Beach, which he may or may have not bought on the day of death.’ Sweat trickled down the speakers back.

‘So the man’s stats are: 5’11 with green eyes and redish blonde hair. He was a very athletic man but had no signs of labouring, such as callouses on his hands, so he may have been a runner or a ballet dancer.’ Concluded a quickly becoming hot and bothered police officer.

Tim turned to his partner and whispered,

‘Maybe we got a love triangle between rival dancers!’

Larry snorted quietly but their boss had seen and raised his voice,

‘The evidence suggests…’ Inspector Rhys Williams continued.

 

 

You Left

I once knew a girl whose eyes were as bright as the world

I know her still, in my dreams and remnants of memories

I told her I loved her on the banks of the Thames

She told me with fervour that “I love you so sir”

 

Then we waltzed through the arches of London Bridge

To the shouts of the street pedlars

And the wind blowing the falling brown leaves of autumn

All the way to the palace, where we kissed under the gaze of the Queen 

 

Our bellies were full of wine

But we didn’t mind

The night was full of beguile

And I’d wished known what was about to transpire

 

Kilburn was foggy the night that you left

The lampposts were lonely

And my heart breaking in its chest

I drowned my sorrows in a barrel of whiskey till the dawn rose 

 

You said I was handsome you said I was yours

But my heads in tatters and you caught the coffin ship from Liverpool

To dance with chance in the land of the lady of liberty 

And me in cold blighty alone with my dreams of you 

 

I once knew a girl whose eyes were as bright as the world

I know her still, in my dreams and remnants of memories

I told her I loved her on the banks of the Thames

She told me with fervour that “I love you so sir”

 

 

Death Under The Bridge

Down beneath the stone bridge he sat, his head bowed against his chest. Mist rose from the water to lap at his boots in lazy curls. Three alcoves the bridge had underneath it, and he sat in the middle one, on a patch of dirt, just above the water line propped alongside the damp, mossy wall, for now the tide was low and he was safe but when the high tide came he would be washed away by the currents.

Either alive or dead. For how long he had sat there he did not know, his body was bruised and broken. A great pain in his ribs made it difficult to breath and bubbles came out his mouth when he did. His knee was broken, he could tell that much and his right arm didn’t want to move, laying limp by his side. He watched the dark river water lap at his fingertips but he couldn’t feel it, his whole arm was numb, it felt strange, like he wasn’t his self and must’ve had an awful lot to drink, however he couldn’t remember doing anything of the sort.

 

A panic rose from his gut but its adrenalin couldn’t help, he lifted his left hand and with it, inspected his head. A lump the size of an egg grew out of the back of his bald noggin, covered in congealed blood. Lamenting at his situation as the acquiescence of death set in, an image of his wife appeared in his mind, he tried to cry but had forgotten how. He hadn’t cried for over fifteen years, not since his first day as a carpenter’s apprentice, when he hit a nail straight through his thumb, so he screwed up his face and wailed, silently. The pain in his chest soon stopped the wailing, fear gripped him like it never had before, and he could not compare it to anything he had feared before. This fear came from within, from somewhere deep down, from somewhere primal and animalistic, it was the fright of death.

 

Shock was beginning to set in, and mortality was not far behind. A man’s whistle cut clean through the mist, and suddenly someone jumped down into the alcove from the bridge.

 

“My my, what do we have here then, a right mess by the looks of it, they touched you up good and proper, my little pinchpenny” the stranger declared.

 

The dying man looked up groggily and tried to focus his eyes on the man who just jumped down, to join him by the water. Hope rose in his punctured chest, he was saved!

 

The stranger bent down, and with his hands went through the bewildered man’s pockets, which is not what our bridge dweller presumed, and not too kindly either. Pain shot everywhere. The stranger grabbed him by the collar and pulled him close, so close he was inside the brim of the stranger’s hat. He could see the man’s unkempt facial hair and rotting teeth, acidic breath filled his nostrils.

 

 

“What did you tell them?” The stranger shook him roughly.

 

 

 

The dying carpenter moaned in reply.

 

 

 

A gloved hand slapped his cheek, hard.

 

“What did you tell them?”

 

 

 

Another moan.

 

 

 

“You useless sack of shit, you can barely hear me I’m guessing, pain must be bad” The accoster sighed and continued

 

 

 

“It’s not your fault, mind, I’ve arrived too late, to get what I need from you” he said as he shook his head.

 

 

 

“Bastards, probably didn’t think I would find you, either way, you’re fucked, and I need to take my leave” and with that, the hatted man took himself off, climbing back up to the bridge.

 

  

 

The water was rising, tide was coming in and within a matter of hours the tide would take him, his body food for the fishes. The only place that he would still live would be in his wife’s memory.

 

A Dream of the Creators

Seven sultry sirens slice the surface of the setting sun

Their screams silent in the solar sonnet softly screeching soulless sentiments

Swiftly swept sunwards on beams of blue shadow

Carelessly caressing their divine designs diligently dissecting dead demons

Devoid of emitting emotion emerging endlessly eroding eruption

Moving mountains of molten memories

Manipulating minds managing markets maliciously making us all

Adding artificial addictive additions

Actively animating alienation of the nations

Narrowly negatively nuking natives powering profit

Perpetually maintaining Roman rights and rituals

 

My Soul

I stand in an open field with the sun on my face

 

My arms are outstretched towards the sky

 

The wind moves lazily about my knees, stirring the long grass

 

A single white rose grows at my feet

 

It encompasses all my dreams and fears

 

Gary Beggs & The Year of 1823: Chapter One

Be Still Little Lamb

The floor boards creaked and the rats scurried. A coughing in the next room woke him up. Sunlight was already streaming in through the filthy windows, their soot stained edges not totally blocking out the light, as the street outside woke or finally went to bed. He turned over and shut his eyes, the pounding between his temples wouldn’t abate. The hilt of his knife dug into his hip and he grunted accordingly. He was having trouble collecting his wayward thoughts back together after the effects of last night, it felt like he’d drunk a barrel or more of gin.

Somewhere in the near distance a cock crowed with the rising of the sun. Probably up to its arse in muck and passed out drunks, trying to find a worm in some poor bastard’s yard he thought. St. Giles was ever growing, from Great Russell Street up to Seven Dials, the alleys and courtyards filled up with all sorts. Why even the other day he had walked past an eight bedroom house that was bursting at the seams, must’ve been a hundred or more living there. Cramp and squalid the neighbourhood was becoming, not that it wasn’t before, and the inhabitants had thought it couldn’t get any worse, much to their bewilderment.

He should really get up he pondered, but he was lazy and had a dry mouth that still stunk of gin. He could sense Peter shuffling around the room, mumbling inaudible thoughts to himself. His friend had managed to acquire a top hat from somewhere and it instantly made him feel more respected, even if it was only imaginary. Gary chuckled quietly to himself and watched his old mate.

Peter, thoroughly absorbed in his top hat fantasy was walking pompously around the room, giving mock bows to unseen greeters, a smarmy grin plastered on his face. With a hatful of how do you dos and rolls of the hand, he walked through furniture covered in manky sheets, piles of candle holders, ancient cobwebs and half the jewellery of the city under the floor boards. He stepped right on the deck of cards left from the night before, its game only half way through before being abandoned.

His hungover friend watched him from his dirty mattress in the corner, he was beginning to enjoy being the witness of such a personal moment, oblivious as our day dreaming performer was. Gary was fully awake now, his amusement had banished his ill feelings, for that morning at least. He sat up and cried

‘Hark now tis the Duke of St Albans hisself in my abode, how the day’s break has brought me good fortune!’

Peter stopped in his tracks, his grinning face frozen in shock.

‘I thought you was still asleep Gary, it weren’t my intention to wake ye so’

‘Well I didn’t suppose I would be having guests so early on a Tuesday, I ran out of me eggs yesterday so I did’ confessed the hungover man, keeping on with the joke.

Peter’s performance, however, crumbled and a steam of mumbled apologies filled the dusty room.

‘I shan’t be having no eggs for my breakfast sir, I wasn’t meaning to cause such a disturbance, I was merely passing the time till you got up, you see, mate,’ Peter’s greens eye implored his friends grey ones.

Gary couldn’t contain himself any longer and threw back his head and laughed and hooted until the voice of an angry Slack Jack could be heard from the next room.

‘Oi you bastards, keep it down, have ye no respect for those asleep, I’ll come in there and bash your heads together, so I will’ threatened the sleepy Irishman.

‘Be quiet, Paddy, you’re still drunk, keep those eyes of yours closed and dreamin’ o’ teats’ Gary replied.

‘Ha if only I could dream of teats, all I get in my dreams are big black dogs.’ Shouted Jack.

‘Well ain’t that telling you something’ Gary rose from his straw mattress in the corner.

‘Enough of this talk, what is it you got up too last night after our unfinished card game and I’d like to know where in the hell is it you managed to lay your hands on a very expensive looking bust of Napoleon The First!?’

‘Well that is a particularly hazy memory so to speak, funny as it weren’t so long ago I got my hands around Boney’s noggin’ admitted the huge man, still clutching the highly identifiable bust in his arms. He had sloshed his way home in the wee hours, just as Gary was making his way to bed, who hadn’t thought twice of the bust until now, as if he was only just registering it.

‘Jesus Christ Almighty Jack, don’t you be getting smart with me, all I am concerned with is who is going to be looking for this and what kind of lead they have’ Gary shook his head at Pete and put two fingers up to the wall, of which Slack Jack was the other side.

‘Would ye please calm yourself down man, you know me, I always is safe and make sure no one can follow the trail of my feet.’

The giant man now appeared in the room’s doorway, looking groggy and ready to defend himself, verbally rather than physically, there weren’t many men that would take on a man as big as the Irishman. Plus they were friends and weren’t prone to throwing fists at once another.

A pretty whistle could be heard outside as the two continued to argue inside, the silently forlorn figure of Peter stood awkwardly between them, top hat still in hand. The sing song notes of the whistle got louder and suddenly stopped, followed by a smart rap of knuckles on the door. Their voices ceased and Gary raised an eyebrow at his companions, fearing that someone who shouldn’t be had come a calling.

‘Pete go to the attic, take the bust and anything else that’s worth hiding away, now!’ The gang’s leader hissed.

Peter scuttled off up the rickety stairs with his arms full. He looked over at Jack, who was readying himself for a confrontation, hiding daggers in belts and putting on heavy boots. Another knock at the door and both men tensed.

Gary went through to the front room, its curtains still closed and Slack Jacks belongings strewn across the floor. The smell of stale tobacco smoke filled his nostrils as he took a steadying breath and found his hand on the door handle, which he pulled open, trying to make his face as innocent as possible.

‘Oh for god sakes Tom, for one minute could you stop with your larking about, you had us all sheets to the wind in there!’ Gary grabbed the handsome lad Tom by his collar and pulled him through the door.

‘What, I was only joking, I knew you lot would be shitting your britches, all I had to do was knock posh, like!’ Tom’s mouth split in a smile to reveal soft dimples and eyes full of mirth.

‘Aye, you’re right Tom, you had us scared in there, should’ve seen the way Pete scampered up to the attic and Jack hid his blades!’ Smiled Gary

‘Pa-ha, until next time then lads, maybe I will get to finally fight ol’Slacky Jacky and finish the brute off fer good,’ the young man jested.

The big man scoffed and whacked Tom’s head, tenderly. The two older men had a soft spot for their younger comrade, feeling protective of him but also knowing that Tom was no mug.

‘Come on lads I am hungry, get to the yard Jack, and get a few eggs for us, I still has some bread from yesterday, I will boil us up a treat.’ He clapped his hands together and rubbed them.

Tom went to the back room and bent down and lifted up the loose board by the fireplace and stashed what takings he had from this morning under the floor. He took off his great coat, found a chair, and started prodding round the fireplace trying to get the old thing roaring again.

The room was cold and full of random bits and bobs, more so than a pawn shop. Gary had gone upstairs to get Peter and Tom was alone with the room. Just then the front door banged open with a mighty crash which shook half the house. He was on his feet at once as Jack ran in the room, hands full of eggs.

The pounding of feet sounded from above as the other two made their way downstairs, ready for a brawl. As one the four men converged on the front room, with door wide open. They all sighed collectively as one for what they say made them laugh.

Mary Mullins stood in the doorway, laughter all over her pink face at the sight of the four men, confused and humoured. By her side she held a lamb upside down, occasionally bleating nervously.

‘Well that was fun and make no mistake, I don’t think I will ever forget the four faces I just saw as long as I live, you lot are meant to be murderous thieves and bandits, not frightened mice!’ Her laughter filled the room.

‘Oh it’s you, we should’ve known, why the bleeding hell do you have a lamb?’ Asked Jack

‘Ungrateful so and so’s, I brought this lamb for us and all you can do is ask why,’ mocked a shocked Mary.

Everyone laughed at the exchange and the door was shut, the new member of the gang was introduced to everyone and passed around in greeting, Tom even shook the little fellas hoof.

‘So how’s about some lamb stew for dinner,’ thought Peter out loud.

‘You must be joking, Pete, I am going to fatten this one up till he can’t walk no more and we can have a Christmas feast worthy of the nobility!’ mused the lamb catcher.

‘So where did you come by this lamb of ours, Mary?’ questioned Jack.

‘Wouldn’t you like to know Galway Bhalla man, I, however am taking this little man outside to make him a home so he can get fat and plump and juicy juicy for us all!’

As if sensing her, the lamb wriggled and tussled at her grip with all its little might.

‘Be still little lamb, for you have nothing to fear, yet……’ Mullins cackled.

Carrying the lamb into the back yard she began singing old Gaelic songs as the rest of the gang gathered by the fire place to talk of the recent tidings. Tom stoked the fire, Peter fumbled with eggs and Gary was pleading with Jack to tell them how he had managed to procure Napoleon’s bust without so much as a whisper of a memory. The lambs bleats could still be heard coming from the backyard.


© Jack Nugent

Limitations

Humble our origins yet limitless our potential

Sometimes I think we’re oh so primitive

Learning everything is essential

Our identities are purely derivative

Love is merely sequential

Everything is relative

But let’s not be existential

For we are too speculative

 

© Jack Nugent

The Hound of Moulsecoomb (A Short Story)

All he could see out of the window was the reflection of himself and the empty carriage he sat in. Unflattering lights above made his reflection look drawn out and old. His eyes strained to see things in the gloom. Faint silhouettes of leafless trees and house lights. Thinking of warm homes and central heating made him feel far away.

Tiredness spread over his body. Eyes heavy, he scanned the document he was reading making sure it was worded perfectly. He was going to hand the Divorce papers to his wife, that very night. Fifteen years of marriage. He sighed as the brakes screeched, a great scrapping of metal on metal. He wrapped his tartan scarf about his neck and departed the train at Moulsecoomb.

Crisp night air greeted his face at the deserted station. The chill reached his bones. He walked down the dark platform and up the stairs to the bridge over the track. His heels clacked on the concrete. It echoed all around him on the walled bridge but the sound that bounced back made him stop in his tracks. A growling emanated from somewhere in front of him followed by unnatural snarling.

His wits lost, he stood stock still for a second and lifted his briefcase in front of him, as if using it as a shield and shuffled forwards. Barks sounded around him making him cower, terrified, but he could see nothing. He edged towards the stairs and as he turned onto the next set of steps, waiting for him at the top was a black blood hound the size of a horse who lunged at him, ghostly passing through him. And so he tumbled down three flights, landing dead on the platform, the divorce papers falling quaintly about him in the still cold air.

© Jack Nugent

 

Somerton

This is a story I have been writing about The Tamam Shud Case or the Mystery of The Somerton Man. It is one that is little known but has extraordinary circumstances. The man’s body was found dead on Somerton beach at 6.30am on the 1st December 1948, sitting propped up on a wall on the southern coast of Australia. It has come one of the country’s most profound mysteries, the identity of the man has never been known. Found months later (the case was reopened a number of times even by an academic in 2012) was a page torn out of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam a poet of 12th Century fame. The page found in his fob pocket, read Tamam Shud, meaning “finished” in Persian. As well as less romantic evidence and suspicions of military interference, this one is a head scratcher from start to finish.

Please note that many of the people, places and storylines are works of fiction and it is not to be considered fact, those can be found easily, for all to read.

I

Dead before Dawn

In South Australia, he was found, the sunrise wreathed his death, casually he slumped against some steps. It looked like he was just enjoying a smoke, but alive he was not. Discovered by two swimmers and two horse riders, the early risers, on Somerton Beach at around 6am on the 1st December 1948. Opposite the Crippled Children’s Home on the corner of The Esplabade and Bickford Terrace on a fine summers day.

The pristine beach soon had the police arrive and carry the body away, bagged up in the back of their van as the low swell swept morning waves up the warm sand. His death was considered suicide and unsuspicious, the body being rigid with rigor mortis, meant he had died the night before,

“Arr he was dead before dawn” one of the coppers said.

They thought suicide as he carried no proof of identity on him. That theory soon unravelled as his body was searched and the autopsy began, things were found that police couldn’t quite understand.

The most mysterious of these things was a piece of paper torn from a book discovered in the fob pocket sewn into the dead man’s trousers. The paper had printed on it in distinctive font, “Tamam Shud”. The autopsy produced more confusion, the means of death was by an unknown poison. They did not know who the man was, his identity apparently non existent.

The case was reopened after suicide was declared and investigations began in earnest.

Detective Timothy O’Keefe sat on his veranda watching rays of the setting sun dance through the leaves of his gum trees. A few kookaburras chatted away on their branches as the crickets struck up their dusk choir. He eased off his braces and sat back on his wicker chair, curls of dark Brylcreemed hair coming loose, a sign that duty was at an end. He put a cigarette to his lips but he never lit it, his eyes were already closed and sleep came, uncomfortably.

A man was running down a beach trying to light a cigarette in cascading rain, he ran with the terror of a beast in flight. For behind him was a pack a lions, sniffing prey and drooling death from fanged mouths. His feet sank in wet sand as the big cats pounded closer, forming a circle around him. Feebly mumbling short moans he spun around trying to see all six lions at once; strangely he still tried to light his cigarette as well, in vain.

Suddenly there was a great rumbling from the earth and out to sea a great wave was forming, as big as mountain,  its steely grey slopes coming ever closer, great foam peaks frothed menacingly. The wave was upon them and its might was going to crush them.

A hand shook his shoulder and his eyes opened to find his wife’s face in front of him looking quizzical.

‘You alright there dear?’ She laughed

‘Look like you’ve seen a ghost’

‘Just a dream, love’ he replied  although his mind was still furiously trying to remember it.

‘What’s for tea?’

‘Lamb chops and veg, like we always do on a Wednesday, anyway, I saw Joyce today and she was saying this bloke Finn….’

His wife’s voice trailed off and he thought about the man who died looking like he was just enjoying a smoke and who the hell he could’ve been.

© Jack Nugent