Not good at all! Probably one of the worst stories I've ever written, but hey, this is the first time I've written anything in the last two years.


2. Free.


I’ve always dreamt about flying. I wish I could escape. When I was little, I used to imagine my mum was a guardian angel. I'd pray that one day she’d swoop down unexpectedly and cradle me to safety in her warm, familiar gentle touch, effortlessly soaring us upwards, leaving a darker world beneath our ascendance, the icy night air kissing our cheeks, the stars just silver dashes of light as we rush past, my mother’s ivory feathers fluttering delicately at the tips of her wings.

But recently, I’ve been thinking more about falling.

I’m not sure where to. Just, downwards into the shadows. I keep having the same dream over and over again, it’s always same;  often, I’ll just be walking, just stumbling along and unexpectedly my foot trips on something invisible, and all of sudden I’ve lost control. My body’s hurtled forwards as if being pushed by some greater force that’s been following close behind me the whole time, and the ground cracks open into a gaping, bottomless dark hole. As I plummet into it, I see flashes of my mother, my father, their voices a symphony of distressed whispers echoing around me. I never can pick up on what exactly their saying, but I know they’re disappointed in me, I can hear my mother’s sobs trembling on her lips as talks softly.

And the strange is, I like the feeling. When I’m falling, I don’t have to be in control. I’m lost, alone, tumbling helplessly down into the depths of the unknown, with no way of ever finding my way back up to the surface. But somehow, that almost feel’s like freedom.

And I feel like I’m falling again right now. All at once I’m plunged into a blind darkness, I can feel his heavy breaths against my face, smelling the old pungent stench of vodka that he always owned. His disgusted stare penetrating into my skin, the heavy pounding of my heart throbbing melodically in my ear so that even the rage in his voice could be drowned out. I was a disappointment. My body, the empty, cold shell, the only remains of the person I used to be, now feels once again fragile and weightless. The reassuring ground, firm underneath my feet seems to have given way and abandoned me, I could crumble at any second, fall to a mere and insignificant pile of grey dust on the carpet for him to walk all over.

‘Look at me!’ I felt his tight grasp strengthen around my throat, pressed deeper as I gasped for air.

‘I said look at me!’ He repeated, shouting louder this time. I forced my swollen eyes to open and winced at the sight confronting me. His face close against mine, his eyes alert and bloodshot. Before things got bad, when I looked into them I saw something in him that was identical to myself, like a mirror. But now, they’re just an emotionlessly guarded wall, only seeping out irrepressible waves of hatred, with a near permanent stain of red that a constant intake of alcohol has burdened him with. He’s a stranger to me now.

‘You’re scared at you?’ I spluttered as I tried to reply, my words inaudible through my dry throat. A smile slowly crept across his lips, I could hear a distant dark laugh buried somewhere in his voice, he was looking at me with such intense pity it almost amused him, the expression was familiar. It reminded me of when me and my brother used to go a fishing in the summer. If we caught anything, my brother would always cruelly chortle as they desperately flapped their weak silver bodies as they struggled to breathe before we eventually put them back into the water before it was too late.

He leaned backwards slightly; the second his grip loosened I fell forward, collapsing onto the floor as I choked on my sharp inhalations of air. I could sense his towering presence casting a broad shadow over me. I didn’t dare look up.

‘You’re pathetic. You know that? I gave you everything Max,’ He spat. There was a pause, I heard the chink of glass as he picked something up from the side.

‘Everything.’ He growled I heard him swallow vigorously before clearly his throat, his slurred drunken words chipped away at some aching point in my chest.

‘And this, this is what you fucking turn into? Look at you.’ Anger flared up in him like a match to petrol, the golden unpredictable flames alive and present in his glare. He threw the bottle and I heard it smash onto the wall behind me, I felt a few of the smithereens shower onto my back, like delicate flakes of falling ash.

‘Look at you. Look at me!’ As he laughed I wondered if he would remember any of this in the morning. ‘You know? You’ve me made like this. And I’m supposed to call you my son.’ He spat in repulsion.  I heard his unstable steps edge closer to me and held me breath, preparing myself for another hit. But instead, I felt his hand grab my hair, tilting my head upwards roughly, I could barely see his face against the orange glow of our kitchen light as he leant forward and whispered in a husky voice,

‘Dare to take my money again, and I’ll kill you. You hear?’ and he thrusts my head backwards and I let my exhausted body fall back hit the floor. It’s not until after I hear the door click that I realise my brother’s been in the house this whole time. He’s playing his music loudly as usual, he won’t admit it’s to try and block out what’s happening downstairs. He’s like a ghost now, half here, but half missing, I can tell something deep inside of him that was once there has been ripped out of him leaving a raw scar in all of us that won’t ever heal. After mum died, it was like she took him with her. I promised myself that I would never forgive him for not doing anything, for not trying to help me when I needed him most, for letting things just get worse and worse. But I know he’s just as scared as I am. And that’s when I feel it. Slowly, and warm liquid has heavily started to pour out of my head. I gingerly raised a hand to it and I realise from moist crimson pool that I’m bleeding. I didn’t attempt to get up. Instead I lay completely still on the cool kitchen tiles, enjoying the feeling of slight pricks as my back pressed lightly onto the fragments of glass underneath my body. Listening silently to soft hum of the fridge against the faint beat of my brother’s music, pumping through the walls of our house like a weak heartbeat. My mind cast back to last memory I had of her, being clutched close by my mum on that hospital bed, not needing to say anything but absorbing fully myself into the rhythmic beat inside her chest, until it slowly came to a stop. My eyelids began to feel heavy and I didn’t resist closing them, I felt my breathing become slow and deep. The floor started to dissolve underneath me, and my body sank deeper and deeper into nothingness. I was falling, I was finally free. 

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