The Walking Stick


It hadn’t been that long since it had happened. The decision had been made, the democratic process at its worst. All those months of negotiating, meetings, proposals. And for what? For this? Is this what we have ended up with?


I watch as the discarded crisp packet swiftly rolls past my foot, cartwheeling, shine that has lost its fervour; mattified into a faded vision of the past and what used to be; no longer a symbol of the throwaway society but transformed into an effigy of our thrown-away society. Freewheeling, the packet continues to freefall until it comes to rest against a wall of black bags, flicked cigarette butts and soiled nappies. What was it that Madonna sang? This used to be my playground.

My back is scratched from the heat of my body against the brick wall. It itches. Turning away from the ever-growing mountain of rubbish, I notice another ‘For Sale’ sign across the street. From where I sit, I now count them. Seven, and that’s just in my line of sight. This was a thriving community until… that.

For the rest of the story, check out Tempest: An Anthology published March 2019 by Patrician Press.