• The Story of Harold •
Even to the end, when caught, he retains the look of the passive doctor, still asking somebody, somewhere, and what is it – the problem? No feeling. No bricking it. A dark tell of unfeeling. The world of medicine is a twisted globe, with Harold spinning in the middle.
• Help Needed •
It was as if my shoulder blades were trying to grow wings and that one morning I would awake and find five or so feathers in my bed and be puzzled by their presence: that what I first thought was backache was in fact the early days of wing-ache, of imminent angeldom. The searing pains would continue alongside the night sweats that soaked my skin and left dark damp marks on the bedding and the morning aches that stiffened the body and made Lazarus look lithe in comparison. All this would continue of course. All this must continue. The wings are a fantasy. But one I can’t stop thinking about. Flight. Ways out. Journeys above rooftops. A new perspective. No longer grounded and in pain, struggling to brush teeth in case another muscle is pulled or the neck twitches quickly; no longer the only patient in the street, who has no job or company. The wings would be an escape from all of this.
Austin Collings’ latest book: • The Myth of Brilliant Summers •
was published by Pariah Press in the winter of 2014.
It is a work of modern flash-fiction.