At home, Gabriel only ate the red M&M’s.
The other colours all terrified him.
His exasperated mum wrote it off as ‘just another of his autistic quirks.’
He couldn’t tell her that the angry lady with the piercing eyes, always ate the red ones during his ABA sessions; ‘rewarding’ him with the other colours when his fear finally forced him to follow her barked commands.
The other colours were the currency of her grudging satisfaction, and only when she slid them across the table at him, one by one, did he not have to look into her eyes.
To Gabriel, red, was the colour of freedom.
Flora was a busybody.
Nobody at the Garden Club could stand her.
Nothing was ever to her standard.
Frank had had enough of her griping about his fuchsias.
Weeks after she disappeared, even the police were impressed with how they bloomed.
‘Aye,’ he said, ‘new bonemeal.’.
“Right,” He said, eyes roving over her with interest, “What can you bring to the marriage?”
She looked at him as if he were the only man in the room; to her, he was the very oxygen she needed in order to survive, “I will love you with every fibre of my being. Until I die, everything that I am will be yours.”
He nodded slowly, “Right… erm, but can you iron a straight pleat in formal trousers? It’s really an essential skill in a woman, you know?”
I caught every stone you threw at me,
and built myself a fortress.
How safe I feel,
by these strong walls.
How I wish,
that they weren’t quite so high.
I looked across the room and there you were. Even then I saw that you were broken in the same places that I was.
For a brief moment it gave me hope that I was not alone.
Our scars linked hands that day.
How beautiful it has been with you at my side.
The old man reached up with feeble hands. His unseeing eyes briefly lit up.
A weak smile broke on his face, “You’ve come,” he breathed, as his life finally escaped the diseased chains that had held him captive.
“It happens,” the nurse gently comforted the old man’s inconsolable wife, “chemicals in the dying brain sometimes cause the patient to have, well, visions.”
And, as she was about to start writing up the final report with the time of death, a single brilliantly-white feather floated, as if from out of nowhere, and landed softly on the bed.
“Look at my scars,” she whispered, “I feel so ugly.”
“Don’t hate your scars,” He gently replied, “Your scars are guiding lights that draw those who are still bleeding from the same wounds. Your scars give them hope.”