Monday 31 August 2020

Angry Birds

by Jerry Guarino

cold tea

            Tim and Sally had finally found their dream home, four bedrooms, four baths and a loft office with an upstairs balcony, situated on a northwest harbor town with a view of Mount Rainier.  Even though they were empty nesters, retirement meant they had lots of room for visitors and family, especially the seven grandchildren.  And the house was new construction, nothing to maintain or worry about for years.
            A tidy backyard meant just enough room for a small garden, a 325-foot wooden deck and a hot tub, tucked neatly under the second floor so you could use it year-round, even in the rain or snow.  On the deck was a long teak wooden table, teak chairs with cushions and a square fire pit for winter warmth and roasting marshmallows with the kids.  Umbrellas of course, the rainy season lasts about six months here, but that just made the right touch for a garden to flourish.

The garden yielded fresh lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis and raspberries.  A small patch for a basil plant meant fresh Italian Caprese salad.  That left a manageable 200 square feet of lawn, easy to mow and for the toddlers to play a small soccer game.

Tim loved wild life, especially birds and bunnies.  He dropped small carrots near the back fence and watched bunnies come each night to eat.  Soon, there was a family of rabbits visiting from the forest behind their house.  Sally thought the bunnies were leaving poop on the lawn, but Tim didn’t care because the grandchildren loved seeing the bunnies.  Tim just mulched the poop into the lawn, a feature, not a bug.

He put up plastic, transparent bird feeders on the living room window.  Before long there were dozens of small birds feeding there; Tim and Sally could watch them from the living room.  Sparrows, robins, finches, wrens, warblers, chickadees and many spotted Towhees.  There was even a large, blue Stellar’s Jay which landed on the window feeders with a boom.

So, the birds and the bunnies made up their peaceable kingdom, in their scenic backyard. Until one day, Sally heard something scattering in the walls while they were watching television.

“Tim, there’s something in the wall.  Mice, maybe a squirrel, maybe even a rat.”

“Sally, are you sure?  I didn’t hear it.”

“Mute the TV, then listen.”

Sure enough, they both heard something pitter pattering in the wall.  They called in an exterminator.  He showed them mouse droppings in the side of the house, next to the hot tub.  “Ma’am, you could definitely have mice in your walls.  I’ll set up a trap in your crawl space and check back in a week.”

“What do you think is attracting them?”

“Well, I think the seeds scattered from your bird feeders.  I would take those off the house.  And fill up this crack on the side of the house with spray in foam and some metal mesh.  That’s where they are coming in.”

Tim was crestfallen, but reluctantly took down the bird feeders.  Sally filled the crack with metal mesh and sprayed in the foam, which expanded and hardened, sealing the hole.
Well, the next day two mice were caught in the trap.  Tim tossed them into double bags and into the garbage.  The sound of mice had stopped but Sally was concerned about the mice having made babies before they were caught.  She scoured the house looking for mouse droppings, unfortunately finding some in the pantry.  She went on a cleaning frenzy.

Tim lost his favorite bird sanctuary, but he still had the nightly bunny visits. 

There was just one problem.  The dozens of birds that had been visiting for over a year were suddenly out of food and were not happy, you might even say they were angry.

They sat on the back fence staring at the window where the bird feeders had been.  Tim could no longer leave his blinds open for fear of antagonizing them.  He couldn’t enjoy a drink at sunset on his deck because the birds were waiting for him.  His castle was becoming a prison.  Then things got worse.

Birds flew at great speed from the back fence on to the window, pinging it with their beaks.  After a while, tiny chips were visible in the glass.  Tim feared that the Stellar Jay might come back and that would mean a broken window for sure.

“Tim, the birds are going to break our window.”

“I know Sally, but what can I do?”

“We could get a cat.”

“No, two of our grandchildren are deathly allergic, they couldn’t stay over.”


            Tim placed a large poster of cats in fierce portraits on the window.  The birds stopped ramming the glass window, but that created another problem.

            They started attacking the bunnies when they came over to eat.  And they stole the carrots that Tim would leave for the bunnies.  So, Tim had to stop feeding the bunnies too. 

            When the grandchildren came over, they looked for the bunnies and the birds.

            “Papa, where are the birds and the bunnies?”

            “On vacation, kids, on vacation.”

About the author

Jerry Guarino’s short stories have been published by dozens of magazines in the United States, Canada, Australia and Great Britain. His latest book, "Café Stories: west coast stories", is available on and as a Kindle eBook. Please visit his website at

Sunday 30 August 2020

Chester Medderman

by Mike Sedgwick

a stiff whisky

The airport public address system intoned the same message again; this time, I listened. ‘Mr Chester Medderman, passenger from Barcelona, please contact airport information.’

Could that be the Chester Medderman I knew at school? Mealy Mouthed Medderman, Cheating Chester or Chester Brown-nose the arch sycophant, the Uriah Heep of the Upper Fifth. The Golden Boy the Housemaster selected as Captain of just about everything, the youngest Prefect and eventually deputy Head of School, winner of one of those archaic organ scholarships to Oxford. A boy we should aspire to emulate, we were told, destined for great things. I heard he eventually had a job with Shanks, making toilets.

Chester and I were the best of friends a Prep School. We covered for one another in times of trouble, made a formidable attack on the football pitch and together won the prizes on sports day. We shared books, toys, sports equipment and even beds in a pre-pubertal declaration of everlasting friendship. We even colluded to go to the same public school.

After the long summer vacation, I sought him out on our first day at St Bede’s. He was in the Common Room talking with a group of boys.

‘Hi there, Chester. Good to see you again.’ I proffered my hand. Then I noticed his down-the-nose look.

‘Ah, Henshaw-a, now I’m at public school-a I’m determined to mix with the better class of person-a one finds here-a. Isn’t that right, chaps-a? No point being with the lower classes-a.’

Each of his phrases ended with the mouth open and an ‘a’ sound. A new affectation, like the chin-up, look down-the-nose posture.

We went our separate ways at school. He joined all the ‘right’ societies; The Scripture Union, The Flecker Poetry Society named after a former pupil and the Tovey Society after the musicologist. I went in the opposite direction and joined the chemistry society where my experiments with explosives got me into trouble.

I recognised him immediately at the information desk. ‘Chester Medderman, I presume, late of Wellington House, St Bede’s.’

‘Yes-a, and you are-a?’ Still with the ‘a’ sound but now it sounded more like a suppressed belch than his former clipped affectation.

I had stepped into a problem. His face, close up, was older, his sunken cheeks were sallow and with small spider-like veins. His bloodshot eyes held a yellowish tinge. His shave was careless, leaving areas of stubble at the angle of the jaw.

‘Richard Henshaw, from our prep school and St Bede’s. You kindly arranged for me to have a tanning for insubordination.’

That was unkind of me, and seeing the look of confusion on his face, I regretted it. He gazed for a long moment and then smiled.

‘Yes-a, Richard, how are you? Good to-a see you again-a.’

‘Have you time to join me for a coffee? There’s a table over there.’

‘Actually, Old Boy-a, I’d rather go to the bar. Need a stiffener, don’t cha know-a? What’ll you have?’
‘Did you take that job with Shanks after Oxford? We had visions of you making pissoirs for the rest of your life.’ I’m unkind again.

‘Actually, yes-a, but even though I was fast-tracked for management, it wasn’t for me-a. I tried several jobs after that, but none were suitable-a. Then I got the call from the government. I’ll get us another.’

I watched him at the bar, two double whiskies and he had vodka put into my tomato juice. He downed one of the whiskies and left the empty glass on the bar.

‘I added to your tomato juice to ginger you up a bit. Yes, a job with the government.’ He tapped the side of his reddening nose. ‘Hush, hush, MI6, don’t cha know-a, can’t say more. Just back from Moscow-a.’

‘Interesting. The PA system said you were inbound from Barcelona.’

He looked surprised, threatened almost. ‘Ah, yes, throws ‘em off the scent, don’t cha know-a. The Ruskies are a great threat-a, busy making nerve gas as fast as they can-a.’

He saw the disbelief in my eyes. He sat back in his seat and stretched his legs, showing his swollen ankles.

‘S’true, Old Boy, I’m reporting to the PM in the morning-a.’

I wondered how to respond to this when a young blonde woman appeared behind him.

‘There you are, Daddy, I thought I would find you in the bar. He’s not bothering you, is he?’

‘Yasmin, my dear girl. I gave the Commies the slip-a. I’ll pop to the facilities, then you can take me to HQ.’

‘Yasmin, nice name. I’m Richard Henshaw, I knew your father at school. Sorry to meet him again in such a state.’

A whiter light, a deeper gold, a glory too far shed, Yasmin; after a ghazel by JE Flecker. It’s about the only thing he remembers about school now. I suppose he told you about his secret world in MI6. Actually, HQ is Alcoholics Anonymous at the Priory Clinic.’

About the author 

I fly gliders over the flatlands of Southern England and mountain peaks in Scotland, the Alps and the Pyrenees.
Part of my life is in Sri Lanka, where I help with medical research into snake venoms. Keeping our tuk-tuk driver on the road is another occupation.
There is a cabinet full of turgid medical and scientific papers, but that is what the genre demands.
I submit pieces to competitions and once won a prize. I contribute to a local blog on various subjects, Prosody and Pandemics are recent topics. There are unfinished books, one about a medical student and another about Sri Lanka.

Saturday 29 August 2020


by Eamon O'Leary

black coffee

“Damn it. Damn it. Damn it,” muttered Marjorie. Her second salvo contained a more colourful string of expletives.
No electricity. She heard the click after switching on the dryer. The cuppa would  have to wait.
She grabbed her phone and lit a fag. (Marjorie would pack up smoking in a few weeks. This would be about the fifteenth year in succession she’d give up on her birthday.)
“Tom, the electricity has gone again. It’s the dryer that’s causing it.”
“Can’t talk now love. The sales figures are way down, and Jim has called a meeting. There will be trouble.”
“And what am I to do? The kids will be home soon, and it’s getting dark already. Do you expect us to sit here with a candle?”
“No need for the dramatics Marj’. Plug it out and flick the trip switch back on. That should do it. I’ll have a look when I get home. Must go. Bye.”
“You looked last week, and it’s still broken.”
Tom had hung up.
Marjorie did as instructed and power was restored. What to cook for dinner was next on the agenda, but first, a double espresso and another cigarette. Her mobile rang. Dorothy, her best friend.
“Hi Dot, how you doin’?”
“I’m great. Tell me, Marjorie, do you believe?”
“Believe in what Dot? It’s only half four, don’t tell me you’re on the vino at this hour.”
“No. I’m not drinking but I’ll definitely be having a few later. Just wondering. Do you believe in God and all that stuff? I know you and Tom take the boys to Mass, but do you really believe?”
“Dorothy, darling pet. You’re my best mate and I love you to bits, but right now I’m doubled up with period pains and the electricity is on the blink. There’s a heap of clothes in the tumble dryer and another on the kitchen table waiting to be ironed. The kids will be starving, I haven’t a clue what’s for dinner and you want to talk about God. Are you cracking up?”
“Sorry, Marj’, but it’s something that happened earlier when Catherine and Sandra called that set me thinking.”
“Oh, my God, Dot. I’m so sorry. I forgot they were calling today. Hang on a sec’ ‘til I put a drop of milk in my coffee. Now, to answer your question, I suppose a lot of it is habit, but if push came to shove, I’d have to say that I believe, but not too much. Now we’ve solved that theological mystery, tell me how you got on with the terrible twosome, but first, how’s your mum today?”
“She’s great Marj’. I called over this morning and the nursing home is delighted at how she’s settled in. It’s a beautiful place and the staff are fantastic. Poor mum, she thinks she’s on holiday. Yesterday, she told the girl that brought breakfast to pass on her compliments to the manager.”
“That’s so nice. We all love our mums, Dot, but you’ve been really kind to yours, especially since the dementia kicked in. How you juggled everything over the past three years is beyond me. And the other two barely had time to call and see her. Witches. Well. How’d it go?”
“Not great. As you know, most of the furniture ended up in a skip after me and Tom finished cleaning and clearing out mum’s house. Hopefully, when it’s rented, the money will go some way towards paying for the nursing home.”
“I don’t envy you, Dorothy.”
“Someone has to do it, Marj’. Anyway, mum still wears her rings and the string of pearls that dad gave her for their fiftieth anniversary. Bless her. She never takes off those pearls. So today it was only the family photos and a few trinkets and ornaments we’d to sort out.”
“Don’t tell me they created a hassle.”
“Catherine, the big heap, did. I wanted none of the stuff but told them I’d love to keep the old cracked Aynsley vase. For years, I’d always bring mum flowers when I called, and we’d make a big deal of arranging them in that old, tall, narrow vase. It was her favourite and since she got sick, I think she enjoys the flowers more than ever.”
“What did Catherine, the snobby cow, say?”
“She said that as she was the eldest, she should have first choice. She wanted the vase. The other one said nothing.”
“I don’t believe it. Don’t tell me you let her get away with that. Why didn’t you stand up to her?”
“Marj’. I’m drained by it all. I was going to argue, but the tears started coming. I bit my lip, sat down and thought,”
 ‘God, this isn’t fair’.
“What a horrible pair. Didn’t you keep anything?”
“Well yes. I did. Should have told you, but before they came, I took out two photos. One was me, mum, and dad on my first communion day. The other was a lovely one of dad and me taken when I won the schools debating final. He was so proud that night and it shows.”
“I think I’m going to cry, Dot. You really have the biggest heart. Did they leave after sharing out the spoils?”
“Yeah. They both had two big boxes of stuff. You will not believe this Marj’, but guess what happened when Catherine was putting the second box into her Land Rover?”
“I hope she fell and broke her leg.”
“Better than that, Marj. Much better. With her six-inch Christian Louboutin heels, she lost her balance for a second or two and wobbled. I thought she would drop the lot, but she held onto the box, but one thing fell out. Yep. The Aynsley vase. It’s in about a thousand pieces on the road.”
“Oh, my God, Dot. I don’t believe it.”
“That’s exactly what I said. ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God’. Tell you something else, Marjorie. I think I’m a believer too.


Friday 28 August 2020


by Tony Domaille


My father lay at my feet. Blood ran from his head and his eyes stared up at me, but I knew he couldn’t see anymore.
My mum stood with her hand to her mouth, and tears falling slowly down her cheeks. I reached out my hand to her, but she turned away.
“Is he…?” She couldn’t finish the question.
I said, “I should call the police.”
“Ambulance,” she said. “They’ll help him. The police can’t help him.” She wiped at her tears with the back of her hand. “Call an ambulance. You’re taking too long.”
The blood from his head seeped across the floor and I took a half step away to stop it reaching my trainers. The mess from his head looked so wrong in the kitchen he wanted perfect all the time. Nothing on the granite worktops. Everything in the cabinets, and if anything was out of place, mum would get it from him. It was weird that it was his body making things wrong.
“Call an ambulance,” she said again.
“It’s too late,” I told her.
“No.” She shook her head, hard. “He’ll be okay…he’ll be…”
I took a step toward her. “For God’s sake, mum, look at him.” But she backed away again, shaking her head. Then her eyes finally seemed to see he would never take another breath.
“Oh, God,” she whispered. “Oh, no,” and she sank to her knees at his feet, bent forward and sobbing.
I wanted to kneel beside her and put my arms around her. More than that, I wanted to take her away from the sight of the head that seemed to keep bleeding. But I knew she wouldn’t come. I knew that she’d prefer his touch. That’s how it’s always been all fourteen years of my life. Nothing changes.
I thought I might be sick. Maybe it was the blood, or seeing him dead, or maybe it was the thought of what would happen to us.  I swallowed hard and pulled my phone from my pocket. “I’ll make the call,” I said, but she heard no more than my father.
How are you supposed to be when you make a call like that? I knew what I felt. I was glad he was lying on a kitchen floor with his head cracked open and that he’d never stand again. But you don’t say that when you call the police, do you? I actually wondered about putting on a voice and which would fit best. Panic? Devastation?
As I punched the three numbers into the keypad, I settled on sounding as if I might burst into tears any moment. I knew no tears would come, but it’s an easy voice to do. That’s one of the things that have changed over the years. There was a time when I cried easily, but I guess I became numb over time.
“Police emergency.”
“My dad is dead,” I told the operator.
“Tell me what’s happened.” The female voice was calm and efficient.
I was just as calm. “He’s got a massive head injury. He’s dead in our kitchen.”
The operator tried to convince me to go and check for breathing, but I told her there was no point. I didn’t tell her that even if he had been breathing, I would have put my hand over his nose and mouth and held it there until he stopped.
“I’m going to get an ambulance and some officers to you right away,” she told me. She asked for the address and if I was okay and I realised that I actually was. A change. I hadn’t been okay for as long as I could remember.
“I’m fine,” I told her. “I think my mum is in shock, but I’m okay.”
She asked me again what had happened, but I told her I had to go, and I cut the call before she could say another word.
I walked back into the kitchen and my mother had moved. Now she was kneeling at his head, her hands covered in blood as she ran them over his hair and then wiped them on her dress.
“Wake up, Rob. Wake up,” she kept saying, but his eyes stared past her.
I reached out and touched her shoulder, but she swung around and aimed a slap at my face. “You!” she screamed, and whilst her hand didn’t connect, as I dodged away, the blood from her hands splashed across my chest.
“Leave him, Mum,” I said. “He’s gone.”
She stood up and looked at her hands before wiping them down her dress again. Then I saw her eyes and I knew what was coming.  “He’s dead because of you,” she said. “This is all because of you.”
I wanted to tell her she was wrong, but I knew it would change nothing. Ever since I could remember almost every day had ended the same. He would be sorry he’d lost his temper. He’d say he was sorry he’d shouted at her and hit her, but didn’t she see it was my fault? Didn’t she see that, if she showed him a bit more respect and spent less time fussing after me, things would be different?
And she would agree. She would treat her own cuts or change from her ripped clothes and tell him he was right. She’d tell him I was a bad kid and that she would put me right and put him first.
“You know how much I love you, Rob.”
“Then you need to show me,” he’d say.
“I will,” she would tell him, and move into his arms, still flinching in case he blew again.
When he wasn’t there, she’d tell me that dad was under pressure. She’d say that I really was a good kid and that dad just couldn’t see it. That he would in time, and things would change, but I knew that wasn’t true.
My mother looked at her hands again. Then she moved over to the sink and began to rinse them under the tap. “I should get changed,” she said. “Can’t have people seeing me like this.”
“They’ll be here in a minute,” I told her. “Maybe I should do the talking. Tell them what happened.”
She turned from the sink. “No. You’ve never understood your father and you’d just tell them things that would make him look bad.”
“What? That he beat you up almost every day?” I almost laughed.
“I upset him. It’s my fault,” she said. “You upset him. We shouldn’t have upset him.”
I moved towards her. This time she didn’t try to pull away and I held her tight. “He hit you, mum. He was always upset, and he always hit you.”
She nodded and rested her head on my chest. “Please don’t tell them how he was. If you tell them, they’ll think…”
“They’ll think he’s dead for no reason when there is,” I said, softly.
“What’s going to happen?” she asked, lifting her head and searching my eyes for an answer. Then the doorbell sounded.
I let her go and went to the door. I’m not sure now what the police officers said, but I pointed them to the kitchen, and they were quickly past me with two paramedics close behind them.
I watched as the paramedics checked my father and confirmed what I could have told them all along. A policewoman had taken my mother to a corner of the room and the policeman turned his attention towards me.
“I need you to tell me what’s happened,” he said.
My mum and I looked at each other. Both of us knew that the answer was simple if everything that had gone before today was told, but my mother’s eyes begged me not to tell them what my father had been.
“We argued,” I told the officer.
“And I hit him with a hammer.” I looked to my mother, but she looked away and said nothing. She’d never said anything to defend me before, so why start then?
The officer told me I was under arrest. I know he told me my rights, but I wasn’t listening. In that moment I knew that my mother’s unshakable love for my father wouldn’t change and she would protect him beyond the grave.
The time between that moment and my standing in the dock went quickly. On the day the judge sentenced me, I watched my mother sat small in the public gallery and was sure the price I was about to pay was the price of change. For the first time in my life I knew she was safe and that was a change worth paying for.
It’s not so bad in here. I guess the bad boys leave me alone because I’m in for murder. But there aren’t many days go by without other kids in the detention centre asking me what it was like to kill my dad. Maybe when I’m free my mum will tell me.

About the author

 Tony has written a number of award winning plays, published by Lazy Bee Scripts and Pint Sized Plays, that have been performed across the world.  He has also had a number of stories published in anthologies and magazines. You can follow him here -

Thursday 27 August 2020

The Prison Visitor


 The End  

  By Rose McGrath

black coffee

Jim: is the newly employed art teacher to D wing, HMP Bristol. He’s a widow and is trying to put his life back together after his wife died.
Lewis: is a prisoner, a street artist, and a reformed drug addict.
1. INT. Day - Classroom, D Wing - HMP Bristol  
LEWIS in his mid-twenties, tall and thin.
The stage is set up as a classroom. A flip chart is visible with a few posters on the wall.
An inmate is sitting at a desk.
JIM appears on the stage carrying a folder and an art book in his hand.
JIM sits down opposite the inmate.
I'm Jim, Jim Green, the new wing art teacher. The Governor tells me you're a street artist.
Lewis looks Jim up and down.
If you know, why you asking?
I've seen some of your sketches.
So, you know that I'm good.
The Governor wants a mural painted outside his office.
That's not my thing?
So why are you here then?
I d’know, wanted something to do. A mural - art to me is free expression.

You could bring me some girly magazines, top shelf stuff, so I could improve my skills.

I'm aware of the rules, Lewis.
I suppose it beats drawing the view from my cell.

Jim opens his folder.
Lewis sits back in the chair with his arms folded.
You ever been on a train to Waterloo station?
Jim nods.
Lewis (CONT'D)
You know the red brick building before the trains get into the platforms.
Yes, I think so.
There's a massive picture of Popeye, smoking a spliff. That's mine.
I'm impressed. That's like a national landmark.
Took me fucking ages.
Have you ever worked on canvas?
Naah, I ain't some rich kid who's been to art school. The street is my canvas. I like passers-by to stop in their tracks when they see my art.
Fag - you got one?

No, I don't.
I suppose you're veggie too.
You get me some decent gear and I'll think about it.
Jim shouts Guard.
The stage goes black.

Cut TO:

2. Int - Jim's House - Night
The side of the stage is set as a living room. A small settee, fireplace, a rug by the fire and a lamp. A picture of a lady is in a frame on the mantelpiece.
Jim is standing by the fireplace, looking at the picture.  Then he takes the picture off the mantelpiece and holds it in his hand.
I put out two mugs again this morning Annie. I should throw them all away and just keep one.

Remember your first exhibition. You were so worried that nobody would come. How wrong you were. We opened the door and there they were queuing.

The inmates are going to be a challenge. I hate the smell of the place, the endless red tape, and the lost souls. I should have said no to Jeff, but he's your brother.
Jim paces up and down.

If it gets me close to the truth, it will be worth it.
Jim touches the picture.

 I've got a big day tomorrow, so I'll say good night my darling.
Jim turns off the light and walks off the stage.

3. INT. Day - Classroom, D Wing - HMP Bristol
Jim is in the classroom, sitting at a desk. He has pictures of street scenes put up around the room. Lewis comes onto the stage with bruises on his face and cuts on his hands.
Lewis slowly sits down at a desk.
You came back then?
Jim looks up from his sketch book at Lewis.
What happened to your face?
(Aggressively) I ran into a door.
Jim sits down opposite Lewis.
You all right then?
Yea, great. What do you want me to do? 
Make a start on the faces. Jeff, I mean the Governor wants a collage of faces. Something striking that he can show visitors. It might look good for the parole board.

Do you feel you're ready to move on, start again?
You don't make plans here - just survive. You got a family?
Jim (CONT'D)
She was snatched away from me.

I had a girl, JODY. Got me to draw bigger and bolder pictures you know on the side of buildings.  She used to nick the aerosol cans from Halfords for me. (smiling to himself). But she wanted to know where I was 24/7 and who I was with. She wouldn't stop nagging.  So, I made her stop.
You need to love and protect women not...Did you hurt her?
That's my business.
Maybe your sins are coming back to haunt you?

Think what you like, mate. I don't give a toss.
Jim says "you bastard" under his breath.

Go on, start sketching out the outlines of the faces, we don't have all day. 
Ok, who rattled your cage. Here will this do.
Jim looks at Lewis sketch book.
That's good.
Maybe guilt is eating me up. I d'know. But after lights out, I listen to me music. But when I close my eyes she comes.

I see this woman running from room to room. Her hands are covering her face. Blood seeps through the cracks in her fingers. When she takes her hands away, I see the terror in her eyes as she tries to wipe the blood away, but more and more blood drips out from a cut in her head. I hear voices in the background then a gunshot. I see her lifeless body being rolled up in a rug. There's two of them; I can't make out their faces. I see the rug being chucked over a cliff hitting the sides of the rocks then dropping down to the cove - all in slow motion.

I get medication from the doc now, but she's always there.
Jim, looks away, trying to hold back the tears in his eyes.
I don't know what to say. It might be better to deal head on with your fears.

Jim gets up from his chair and walks around avoiding looking at Lewis.
Most of the time I was off my face on smack. I've done things I'm not proud of for a few quid. Maybe I went to her house?
Lewis smiles to himself. Placing his hands on the table showing the cuts on his knuckles.
They get in your face here. Tried to take my music, that's like taking your woman.
I've had dope in my body for so long. Now I'm coming off it, I see the fucked-up existence that I live in.
Jim looks at the pictures in Lewis's sketch pad.

Where's the girl from your dreams? I thought you would have drawn a picture of her?
Lewis takes a pause.
Lewis (CONT'D)
I've been thinking of things I want to do before I die. Like have a family and own a Porsche. I'd like to see my mum and dad. I've always given them grief. Maybe I'll write them a letter.

I asked the lads on the wing - they want their faces in a beach scene. Give them something nice to look at. You know, with palm trees and coconuts, white sand, and a clear blue sea. Oh, and lots of girls with big tits and a big ass playing beach volleyball.
No girls.
Not much of a beach scene without girls.
So, Lewis, have you ever been to an artist's studio?
Yeah, I've been to an art exhibition. Seen Tracey Emin's Bed, weird.
You ever been to an artist studio in Hampton Lucy?
Lewis drops his pencil on the floor. 
You sound like the Old Bill. I thought we were here to work on the collage Jim?
You sure you never met my wife? 
I d'know.
A bell rings.
Lunch time I'm off.

4. INT. Day - Outside Governor's Office
Lewis is sketching outlines of some of faces from his notebook on a wall outside the Governor's office.
The mural shows a beach with faces in the palm trees peering out.
Jim comes on stage. 
It's taking shape Lewis.
It's like the old days but without it pissing down with rain or birds crapping on me. I got time now; my parole's been turned down.
Jim speaks with gritted teeth.
Sorry to hear that, why?
The Old Bill came visiting. Think I had something to do with an unsolved murder down by the cove.

Lewis starts to laugh.
My so-called mate gave them my name. Stashed a painting from a robbery in his shed. Silly idiot should have got rid of it.
Did they have a picture of the painting? 
Lewis stares at Jim and feels uneasy.

I don't fucking remember.
Jim stands up and stares frantically at the outlines of faces that Lewis is working on.
I only see the men on the wing. Where's the woman from your dreams? You said that you would draw her?

I put her in the palm trees.

Jim leans on the canvas in shock, full of rage he walks over to Lewis and grabs him.
That was my house you broke into. You took my Annie away from me.
I was off my head on smack.
It must have been great, partying for weeks when you sold my Annie's paintings. You gave her no compassion, just left her to rot at the bottom of the cove.
Jim raises his voice.
She was flesh and blood and you treated her like she was nothing. You want your nightmare to end Lewis? Well, I'm here to end it for you.
Jim pulls out a knife and stabs Lewis in the stomach. Lewis falls to the ground. 
Lewis holding his stomach. Talking in a low voice.
The gun was only to scare her. She wouldn't stop screaming. I hit her to shut her up. We went from room to room looking for stuff to sell. She managed to crawl to the front door. I didn't know the gun was loaded. I heard a bang. JAKE SHOT HER.
Jim with the knife still in his hand stabs himself, then slumps down on the floor next to Lewis and drags a picture out of his pocket.
It's been a long time coming, Annie, but I got the truth. We will be together again.
In the background the sound of the alarm is heard.
                    The End