There’s something going on

I got home from work earlier than usual, soaked from the walk. April is one of those months when I never know whether to take my raincoat.

In the evenings, since Joanie finished with me, all I usually do is sit in and mope. I live in a ground floor apartment on the same block as the two nightclubs in this small town and there’s plenty of pretty women that walk by, so I like to watch the world from my window as my coffee gets cold.

Tonight is different. Tonight I’m going to a party, getting myself all smartened up. I’ve even washed my hair. I set off down my road and there’s Jeanie coming the other way. At least she’s over the other side, so I don’t have to speak to that ugly brute of a boyfriend holding her hand. I can’t believe she’s actually with him. They always say that looks don’t count and I guess there is the living proof of it.

I give them an evil stare and walk by.

1974 – guess the song

I woke up in 1974 to find myself wearing platform boots, and yes, I am a man. That was 1974 for you. They were silver and made me taller by an inch. Funny thing was that everyone else in the clubs wore them too so I didn’t stand out. That and my shoulder length straight hair. Proper glam I was.

She was in the band I followed. I saw them at half a dozen gigs and had all their albums (then bought the cd’s, then the mp3’s.). Yes, I helped them make their fortunes. Now I don’t know where she is, probably some backing singer somewhere or living on her country estate making cheese. Not that I’m bitter at all, she was gorgeous and I adored her.

She wore crazy clothes. My Mum and Dad disapproved of course. They didn’t like any of my music or the bands, or the clothes they wore. They told me I looked silly in my tight silver trousers. I didn’t care. I loved the electric music, the solid wall of sound.

I went into London one Saturday and was shopping in Carnaby Street when she walked the other way, surrounded by her entourage. I couldn’t believe it. I turned and stared and luckily had the quickness of thought to ask for an autograph. I still keep that framed on my wall today. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. There she was looking as extreme as ever, frizzy blond hair. She looked really keen in her mohair suit and electric boots. I was amazed, I didn’t actually think she owned such clothes – I had only read it in a magazine.


Such a popular song so I’ve tried to make it as obscure as I can:

The houses look the same with their brick walls, white windows and front gardens freshly mown. The gravel on the drives has been swept, the hanging baskets are watered. They look empty as I walk out of the cul-de-sac where I live, everyone has gone to work in the city and I’m left here in the blue skies of suburbia.

I find a coffee shop, order my cappuccino and reflect on my success, the daily paper cast to one side, the crossword complete. I’ve escaped from my past, my past on that grimy street with its humdrum life that I grew up in, but I still feel it in my ears and see it with my eyes.

I used to watch the daily life of the people in that street and dream of another world. Now I’m in that world, and I dream of those everyday people walking my street, the bankers, the barbers, the nurses, the firemen. Everyday people of the city living everyday lives.

I saw the light

This week’s story from a song lyric. A bit of drama for you. Do you know the girl’s name?

We’d been going out for four months. It was brilliant. I was head over heels. She was everything to me, the girl of my dreams. We met a party and she looked gorgeous, all smiles with such a pretty face. She sparkled. She was full of life, always wanting to go out to the clubs or cinema. I couldn’t resist her. We found a lot in common, music, politics, religion(lack of), sex. Perfect.

I was the studious one, she was the party girl. At first, I didn’t mind, but as we got more serious, I found myself getting jealous. When we went to the pub, I’d be happy to sit in a booth, just us. But she wanted to be with her friends, chat to the gang, flirt with the boys. Of course, she said she only wanted me and she’d come back to me at the end of the evening so we could walk home together. But it was disturbing me.

One Friday night, she said she was going out with her girlfriends. She told me I should have a night with my mates. So I did as I was told, I was like a slave to her really, besotted. I did whatever she said. I was lost, but I was suspicious.

I made an excuse and left my mates early and went home to stew. At eleven o’clock, I went out and drove past her apartment, pangs of pain in my mind. I could see her living room window. The blind was down but the lights were on and I could see silhouettes of two people, one definitely a man.

What was going on? She was my woman.

I parked up and waited, consumed by passion. I waited and waited. The night was long and it was cold. I wrapped myself in the car rug and sat there watching her window all night long. When the sun came up, a man emerged from her front door. He was wrapped in a dark coat and strode down the street without looking back. I felt sick, my stomach churning.

I opened the glove box, pulled out the knife and slipped it into my pocket. I walked over the road and rang her bell. Eventually she opened the door, wearing her bath robe, her hair wrapped in a towel.

She was surprised to see me, and before I could say anything, she just laughed. Perhaps it was a nervous laugh or did she just not care? I think it was the laugh that annoyed me more than anything. I pulled the knife from my back pocket and it glinted under her hall light.

She stopped laughing.

Is it snowing? Best send out some guards to take a look.

This week’s story from a song lyric and, for once, you get a clue. The title begins with a C, as its also part of the atozchallenge.

Any ideas what it could be?

“If I say ‘I love you’, it’s not enough to express the way I feel about you. There’s so much more.” Charlie signed his name at the bottom of the letter, then put down the pen. He sat back, a tear in the corner of his eye. Celine was special to him, very special. He’d met her in a bar and within a month he was in deep, and loving it.

Charlie studied English at school and developed his poetry skills at university. He was tall, athletic and didn’t have any trouble finding girls. He got a kick from the way groups of them would often turn to look at him when he entered a club or pub. After two terms, he’d dated a dozen, nothing serious. Then Celine came along, even the name was captivating. He’d sit up to all hours composing verse for her.

Charlie and Celine, Celine and Charlie. He wanted more and more.

He didn’t need anyone else, and nor did she. They could do it all together, just them. He wanted to lay with her, and forget the world. So he asked her in the letter. He never mentioned that he loved her. He didn’t need to.

At that first meet in the bar, he asked her on a date. No chat up line, he just came out and asked, as he pushed through the crowd on the way to the door. He had to squeeze past her and was instantly taken. He was cheeky. She said yes. He wrote down her number. He had no idea whether they’d find anything in common, it was just her eyes that attracted him, her perfect eyes. When he looked at her, everything else disappeared, and it was like his memory was wiped clean and all he could see was her eyes.

They met the next evening to go to the movies together. They found they both liked the same things, sport, music, films. She was studying engineering. She was a car freak and wanted to design them. She was confident, calm and graceful.

Every time they met it was the same. All that Charlie could see was her. All that he was, was there in her perfect eyes.

They talked about everything, his writings, her studies, but they always ended up talking cars, their shared common love. They would just lay back, forget the world, waste their time and dream about racing each other.

One-of-a-kind, not.

Belinda lived with Gary for three years. They met at the 25th party of a friend of hers called Emma. Gary was standing in the kitchen, tall, dark tousled hair and scruffy t-shirt with ill-fitting denim jeans. Belinda felt an exhilarating shiver the moment they touched hands and he hugged her in welcome as if he owned the kitchen and all it contained.

He asked her out a week later, an infuriating week of waiting for the call. She became instantly besotted and he moved into her apartment after six months. She was the one with the career, the success, the money. He was between projects.

Belinda preferred tidy, her clothes neatly hung, her shoes in bags sorted by colour and height. She persuaded Gary to put his few belongings in a box and keep it to the left, at the back.

They had three feverish, frenzied years of living, partying and sex. Belinda was on a high, her singing career took off. She showered Gary with gifts, smartened his appearance, bought him gold watches and paid for his car. She was worshipped by the public and when at home, she worshipped Gary.

But Gary was a wanderer, a renegade, a rebel, a womaniser. The old story, I hear you say. He remembered Emma better than Belinda did. Belinda had lost touch with her friend Emma, but Gary hadn’t. He took Emma for a spin in his car.

But here’s the twist. Belinda was besotted, but no walk-over. She found out, of course. And she hounded him out. She booked him a taxi, then stood over him as he cleared his stuff. Didn’t take long. Everything he owned was in that box on the left of the closet. She listened patiently when they were outside in the yard, waiting for the cab, listened as he pleaded his case, as he said she was the fool, that she’d never find another man like him. Ha! She could find another one in a minute, that was for sure.

“Get out,” she shouted, “and don’t go thinking you’re so special,so unique, so one-of-a-kind. You’re not. I’ll have another you by tomorrow.”

With that he was gone, no tears, no lost sleep, forgotten. On to the next.


It was Saturday night. Ben pulled on his t-shirt then finished arranging his hair before he picked up the phone and called Bill.

“Woohoo. There’s only one word for it, woohoo. We need to go out. I’m really excited, Bill.”

“I keep telling you, don’t call me Bill. That’s too old. I’m William. Will…I…am.”

Ben knew how to wind up his mate. And he loved to. It still amused him even after 10 years at school together.

“Aww, come on Bill. It’s Saturday. Let’s go watch the girls dance and have a ball.”

“Ok, Ben, but I don’t have any money, and if we do go out, don’t call me Bill.”

“Sorry, Will…I…am. I got money. Let’s go spend it. I’m feeling all stressed from this week anyway. Let’s go paint the town.”

“Ok, ok, Ben. I give in. Let’s do it.”

Ben skipped around his room, unable to contain his excitement at the prospect of partying all night with his friends, chasing women, living it up and generally causing a riot. He knew they were in for a good night.


To say he was in love with her would be too much, he never said that.

Brian was over six feet and blond, his long hair like a white streak of lightning down his back. He wore skinny t-shirts, blue denim jeans and sneakers every day, he had a wardrobe full of them. He was a happy person, soulful and fresh-faced.

He met Ruby at a party. It was yet another party at yet another friend of a friend, this time on a Tuesday night. At least he didn’t have a gig. Brian was usually the one getting all the attention from the girls, not just because of his looks but also his profession. Well, if you call it a profession. Brian was a guitar player in a rock and roll band. He could also play harmonica. How cool was that? The women flocked to him.
“Let the crown see the jewels.” His friend Paddy would say to him. (apologies to Paddy McGuiness ☺)

Ruby was different, her eyes, her looks and her attentive, sparkling personality. She fizzed. She didn’t chase, she just stood close and chatted with him with a confidence that flowed. He was intrigued.

She would never say where she came from, she didn’t talk about her past. She said she changed every day, she was free, unchained, and planned to stay that way. It was the only way to be. Of course, this made her all the more enchanting.

“There’s no time to lose, go grab your dreams before they slip away.” She smiled when she said it and he knew that he’d miss her.

Last train – a tribute


“Hello, is that Mary?”

“I can only just about hear you, Mary. The line’s not good and there’s a lot of noise here.”

“I’m at the station. Yes, that’s right, overnight. We all have to leave in the morning on the troop train. It’s taking us across to the coast, there’s a big army base there.”

“What? What did you say? Yes, that’s right. It’s my last night here. We fly out to Vietnam tomorrow night.”

“I know, I know. I love you too. I’m gonna miss you bad. I’m feelin’ pretty low already.”

“But I’ve got a surprise for you. I need to see you, babe. I need you here by my side for one more night. One last kiss over a cup of coffee in the cafe here.”

“What’s that? Of course you can come. There’s still time.”

“Yes, I know, I love you too, my darlin’. I’ve made you a reservation.”

“What? Of course you can come. There’s one more train tonight you can catch. I’ve got you a seat on it. It gets here by four thirty. It’s the last train.”

“Don’t hang around, babe. Come now. I must see you one more time, and you know what, I may not come back.”

“I know, I know. I shouldn’t think like that should I. But I can’t help it. I’m feelin’ pretty low. Come and cheer me up. Take the last train and you can be here by four thirty. I’ll be waiting at the station.”

“Now, I must hang up the phone. I can’t hear you above all this noise. Come see me.”

You don’t know what you’ve got

“How much is it?”

“A dollar fifty each.”

Charlie pulled the three dollars from his pocket and passed them through a narrow slot in the window of the museum’s ticket office. It was the first time that he and Kate had visited and he’d spent days preparing, studying the guidebooks and reading up about the extensive range of species on show. He loved that kind of thing. Of course, his sister didn’t, but he wanted to do something to take her mind off things.

They had parked in the lot opposite the museum, the one that was developed from a green belt area a few years ago after much local protest. Kate’s husband, Bill, was the protest leader, always the green activist. He was the one who stood firm against the developers of the hotel, shopping and night club complex, calling it a tawdry replacement for the paradise there before.

“Come on, sis. Let’s go and look at the elms first.” Charlie stepped forward through the gate and tugged her by the hand.

“Ok, ok. I’ll be right there. It’s all kinda painful, you know.”

“It’s good for you. There’ll be trees everywhere. We can pin a little note on one, with Bill’s name on it. He’ll like that. I’ll take a pic.”

“What, and then I can take it to him when I next visit?” She said.

“Yep, that’s the idea. He’ll love it. He can pin it on his cell wall and remind himself of how the trees were before.”

Charlie walked on through the fabricated forest, holding his sister’s hand. He’d been staying with them that night when the cops came and took Bill away. The police car arrived in the night, its bright yellow colour like a beacon warning of the danger ahead. They slammed the screen door as they took him, with Kate wailing, “They’re taking away my old man. Come back.”

But it was no good, you can’t stop progress.