Once upon a time… not so long ago.

I am not really sure what to write…

I could provide explicit details or I could perhaps go into a long and weary saga. Of course, this ‘tale’ is one that most people have read at some point in there lives. Unfortunately, it seems as if I am destined to reread this ‘tale’ again and again. The sad thing is, it is not even a ‘tale’ I enjoyed the first time I read it.

For a start, where the hell is the happy ending!?

Then again, I have written my fair share of short stories that end exactly thus. In despair or misery. Perhaps it is for that reason which I seem to attract such emotions? I have become somewhat accustomed to them. Indeed, I am currently having a beer with misery right now. He sits in a chair next to me trying to look at my cards while I pretend not to notice. I am going to lose anyway so I figure, what the hell.

Despair is looking at the pictures that decorate my humble abode. She seems to enjoy that. Twirling one particular photo between her long fingers she offers me a look. Fortunately, I have seen that look before and it does not work on me this time round. I just have another drink without realising that this is exactly what she wanted.

To be entirely honest with myself (which is something that I have found myself editing over the past few months) a part of me is oddly relaxed by the sudden collapse. It really was not all that sudden… the signs were always there to be read. Unfortunately, I chose to be ignorant of them. I sewed my eyes shut and carried on blissfully. She (not despair… who is now looking at misery’s cards) made the decision and… perhaps… it was the right one?

I am confused in my torment. When one finds oneself in the same proverbial boat again they must begin to wonder what is wrong with them? Of course, it is always someone else that is the issue (at least that is what you are always told) but after so many retellings of the same ‘tale’… is it really? That bothers me… and I fear that this time the damage has been done. My ‘armour’ has been battered far too often and it once again lies dishevelled and in ruin. I am thinking… why bother repairing it again? Just build a BIG wall and stick up a BIG sign telling all and sundry to KEEP OUT!

Four years ago I had an awakening of sorts. It had taken me by surprise at the time. It had taken me some two years to reach that point after the devastation wrought by the previous tale… no, nightmare would better describe that chapter! Now I find myself swamped in memories everywhere I look and many of them are getting out of hand, running about the room and throwing things about (a book narrowly missed misery which he was not best pleased about!). Despair offers to pour me another drink. She is thoughtful like that I often find.

It was around this time last year that everything went pear-shaped… the similarities to the nightmare of a previous retelling were so uncanny that I could not breathe at the time. I should have seen it coming. Then there was the Winter… Spring never really came this year when I think upon it. We were just watering the same flower hoping that it would grow again. It didn’t and suddenly everything is empty. Four years of sharing memories… four years of going in the ‘right direction’ only to round the corner and discover it is a dead end! The sign posts did warn me though… perhaps I should have kept the lights on.

It is like one of those bad slasher flicks, you know, when you know what is going to happen but you still get caught by the scare anyway. A month ago I knew what was happening… I could feel it… we both could… and yet… BAM… it slaps you hard. Misery and despair like that one. They are rolling about the floor with laughter.

I am confused… yet I keep smiling… I need to. I need to focus now that my life has suddenly become complicated. Misery pats me on the shoulder and tells me that I’m not all that bad. At least I can take a joke. I thank him and then despair suddenly snorts with laughter again and I realise that misery is just winding me up. Cheers.

If happiness exists in this world then I have yet to find it… it MUST be somewhere… although I doubt Despair’s suggestion that it is residing at the bottom of my glass. However, as I have nothing to lose, I indulge her anyway and have a look. Nope. Just a collection of memories that, despite how I feel, are a part of me that I will keep. It was my life too after all.

I apologise. None of this rambling means anything to you, dear reader. I am deeply sorry. You came thinking to read something more about the progress of my book and instead find yourself cursing loudly and scraping your boot. Damn. My book is going well, despite the upheaval caused, for it is not all darkness and shadow in my life. If it doesn’t kill me then it can only make me stronger, eh? At least I have that.

Well, there we go… I lost my hand at cards. So did misery. Despair has five spades.

All of them are aces.

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Crispian Thurlborn Posted on

Crispian Thurlborn is a British author that has spent most of his adult life travelling and working on distant shores. If not writing, Crispian can be found taking photographs, telling stories, running a Call of Cthulhu session, or... most likely... in a pub.

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