Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Table Set For Crows

Gliding along
With his companions the moon and the stars
Unnoticed and undisturbed he assends
To his place, his heaven, his eden

His corse cry peirces the nights cold, frigid air

Splitting the skies, standing the hair 

The crow disappears and there is no clue that he was ever there

~ The Crow by Corrosivepoet


Oh, it's such a perfect day

I'm glad I spent it with you

Oh, such a perfect day

You just keep me hanging on

You just keep me hanging on


~ Perfect Day by Lou Reed

Crow (by SatuL

Six of One

Friday night at The Premier.

A swanky five star restaurant in an uncompromisingly expensive part of town.

It's busy this evening.

Smartly dressed men sit with smartly dressed women - chatting animatedly.

It is a veritable 'who's who' of the upwardly mobile rich set.

One woman fingers her pearls and picks at her food as she observes an urbane young man proposing to his companion.

The lady in question pauses before - rather unconvincingly - agreeing to be his wife.

Dollar signs are no doubt flashing before her eyes.

Another man smiles at his wife as he pours her some more wine. Then he quickly, anxiously checks his watch - his mistress is waiting for him in her apartment two blocks away.

A thin woman carefully spoons food into a small handkerchief  before shoving it into her Lulu Guinness hand bag.  She delightedly imagines the look on her poodles face as she presents her with her expensive scraps.

A elegantly dressed musician wearing a jaunty flat cap, sits unobtrusively at a piano and plays Best That You Can Do from Arthur.

He is secretly keeping an eye on all the activity around him. As a struggling musician he finds the lives of the pampered rich rather intriguing.

Annabelle Devereux is sitting with her daughter Cassandra.

They are among the exclusive rich set of New Acres.

But that does not necessarily equate to personal happiness.

They have just returned from a brief sojourn in Paris in which they attended the Paris Opera House.

The sullen silence suggests it was not a mitigated success.

Now both women are looking intently at their menu's as a smartly dressed waiter stands patiently beside them.

They are consummate professionals at the pretend.

"I'd like The Premier steak - medium rare - with Russian sauce, roast potato's and a salad please" Cassandra Devereaux finally declares as she hands her menu to the waiter.

"Darling" Her mother says,  leaning close to her daughter as she lowers her voice, "Do you really think you should be eating all that?"

"Because I'm fat, momma dearest?" Cassandra replies sarcastically.

"Oh darling please ..." Annabelle manages a little laugh "I'll have the Caesar Salad please"

"Would madam and mademoiselle like a drink?" The polite waiter enquires in a soft French accent.

"A glass of your finest red wine" Annabelle Devereaux answers him, snapping the menu shut "My daughter will be having mineral water tonight"

Cassandra shoots her mother a dagger look.

The waiter disappears.

Annabelle Devereaux nods graciously at a man who has smiled at her and doffed his hat.

Mother and daughter sit glaring at each other.

ballet mannequins (by babsi79
Silent enemies locked in a battle of wills.

"Why can't you be a nice girl?" Annabelle finally suggests,  shaking her head.

It is getting rather tiresome.

She pulls out a little Estee Lauder compact from her Prada hand bag and takes a look at her reflection before effortlessly powdering her face.

"Like Sara Beth?" Cassandra responds quickly "I think she got knocked up with the baseball coaches kid as I recall"

"Oh really Cassie  - do behave!" Annabelle shoots back snapping her compact shut and flinging it into her hand bag.

Did her daughter have to be so uncouth?

Annabelle suddenly feels very embarrassed.

Cassandra sits staring dolefully at her impeccably dressed and coiffured mother.

Tonight she is wearing a duck egg blue Oscar de la Renta suit with hair by Ari Michael and make up by Estee Lauder.

Cassandra's mind flashes back several hours ago.

Palanade Grove

A huge old colonial house in a strip full of millionaire mansions and palatial residences.

Cassandra enters the huge living room in her big Valentino jumper and Vera Wang wool coat.

Anabelle is on the phone to her friend. She suddenly does a double take when she sees her daughter

"I'll call you back Cynthia" Annabelle exclaims, quickly putting down the phone.

Her heart sinks as she eyes Cassandra up and down.

"Ready mother?" Cassandra asks - beaming.

"Darling, you aren't going to wear all that are you?" Annabelle finally asks, unable to hide the disdain in her voice.

"Why?" Cassandra cries as her annoyance mounts "What's wrong with it?"

Cassandra takes her daughters hands and brings her closer to her until she is sitting beside her on the expensive white leather sofa.

"Listen my dear"  Annabelle begins, cupping Cassandra's face in her hands. "you know your mother loves you very much ..."

"Mother, I am nineteen not nine years old" Cassandra snarls -  pushing her mothers hands away "I am an adult and not a child so don't patronize me!"

"And you actually look like you're nearly nineteen stone too!" Anabelle explodes, "For goodness sake Cassie - you look terrible're fat and flabby!"

A moment passes as the two women stare at each other - ready to go in for the kill.

Cassandra's feelings are hurt.

But Annabelle is unrepentant.

Cassandra pulls out her trump card.

"No wonder dad couldn't stand you and left you!" Cassandra sneers "You're horrible ... you're just a nasty bitch"

"I will not be spoken to like that young lady!" Annabelle responds furiously as her eyes narrow to menacing little slits "Your father has nothing to with this! This is about your weight issues missy"

"I wish he was here!" Cassandra wails, springing to her feet "He'd never speak to me like that! I hate you"

"Your father has no backbone" Annabelle answers matter-of-factually "He was such a weak man ... and then he started canoodling with that tramp ... "

"You drove him to it!" Cassandra exclaims fiercely " My father is a good man!"

"Good at getting into trouble!" Annabelle declares "Now listen here ...your father was a gambler..a hustler ... sure he was rich ... but I had to do everything myself ... your dad is a little rich brat like you!"

Cassandra sits back down on the sofa - arms folded.

Several moments pass by.

Mother and daughter stare at Judge Judy on the TV screen.

"How undignified ... being sentenced on live TV" Annabelle remarks on the TV show. Both start laughing.

"At least wear your nice Chloe jumper ... it will be ... kinder" Annabelle finally says.

Now Cassandra sits in the restaurant staring resentfully at her mother with her helmet hair and Estee Lauder red lips.

Annabelle is trying to avoid making eye contact with Cassandra.

Mother would never put anything else but La Prairie on her face ... if it's not expensive ... it's no good ... she'd rather starve then eat anything from a hypermarket ... she's the classic rich bitch ... too posh to push ... bet she's frigid as well ...

"Honey, you know I would never do anything to hurt you" Annabelle begins - taking her glass of wine from the waiters little silver serving tray.

Cassandra takes her fizzy water and drinks it down with one gulp.

Annabelle can barely conceal her dismay at her daughters lack of manners.

But the older woman fixes a benevolent look on her face and continues anyway.

Dear ... dear Cassie ... there really is no accounting for taste ... or class ... she get's all that from her father's side of course ... he was good looking .... but not a gentleman .... mamma was right all along ....

"But you are rather on the ... fat side.." Annabelle says carefully.

Cassandra sits on the edge of her seat waiting for the punch line.

She grits her teeth and makes tight little fists beneath the table.

"And you'll never find yourself a nice boy if you look like that" Annabelle finally finishes.


The food arrives.

The waiter carefully puts the food on the table with the waitress.

"What you mean is ..." Cassandra replies loudly. "I won't bag myself a nice little rich boy like you did!

The waiter and waitress look at each other quickly  - then exit.

The man on the piano looks in Annabelle and Cassandra's direction - his ears expertly pricked to their discord.

"Can you please keep your voice down" Annabelle exclaims - her voice lowering to a sneer "People are actually looking at us"

"Oh let them look at the poor fat rich girl!" Cassandra rages raising her voice even more "Maybe I should do a striptease as well!"

"Cassie are making a fool out of yourself ..and you are embarrassing me in front of all these strangers" Annabelle seethes." I don't think I can take you anywhere anymore"

"Oh do shut up mother!"  Cassandra shouts back  "With your overweening pride .. your fake nice real as your fake tits!"

"That is enough!" Annabelle cries - jumping out of her seat "I will not sit here and have you disrespect me like this!"

Several diners have turned to stare at Annabelle and her daughter.

At least one small family in the corner by the doors are commenting on the drama

Cassandra grabs her fork digging it into the steak and then cramming as much of the meat into her mouth as she can.

To Annabelle's horror, Cassandra continues to ram the meat feverishly into her mouth.

Then the young woman moves on the roast potato's.

I am a mannequin .. (by zeit204
Several other diners are avidly watching the spectacle before them and commenting on it.

Whilst during all the commotion, the adulterous male slips out to meet his impatient mistress.

The man at the piano is now merrily playing Sinatra's My Way.

Cassandra continues to shovel the food in with abandon.

The waiter approaches Annabelle Devereux.

She is still standing there - frozen to the spot.

Her mouth hanging wide open.

"Would madam like the bill now?" The waiter finally asks.

Conscience Pays To Guilt

Jack Hawkins had been sitting in traffic for half an hour.

There were cars everywhere. Bumper to bumper and Jack had too much time on his hands.

Time enough to consider how he was going to end his three year relationship with Cara, because he was in love with another woman.

Cara's mother - Melissa.

Melissa.  Sophisticated.  Smart.  Sexy.  Experienced.

Cara.  Innocent.  Kind.  Trusting.  Safe.

Jack's mind flashed back to the night before - he and Melissa in bed.

"Don't you ever feel guilty?" Melissa asked, as they both stared at the ceiling.

"Never" Jack lied.

"She's my daughter Jack" Melissa finally said - her voice full of emotion "But I deserve to be happy too"

Jack turned to look at Melissa - tears were falling down her face.

But he was too busy trying to hide the guilty expression on his face.

As soon as Melissa had introduced herself to Jack -  he knew she was the one.

Three years of lies and carrying on were to follow.

Now the charade was getting too much to handle.

They would come clean.

Then leave.

Back in the present - Jack felt like his head was going to explode.

A Police squad car meandered through the maze of cars.

Jack sniggers.

"Great - the pigs are here!" He snarled - shaking his head.

He quickly put his head out of the window but could see nothing but cars.

They were like giant ants.

Reluctantly he settled back into his seat and screwed his eyes shut.

"Come on!" Jack shouted -  hitting the steering wheel in a rage.

The man in the car in front turned around and shrugged - shooting Jack an apologetic smile.

Jack sat back. Helpless. Hopeless.

A small crowd seemed to gathering in the near distance - like the dark cloud that was hovering over Jack's mind.

Still obsessed with how he was going to break up with Cara.

The suspense was killing him.

He popped another piece of gum in his mouth.

He squinted as the sun shone its final burst of light as it faded beneath the mounting clouds.

He hit the wheel with his hand again.

Outside - several drivers had climbed out of their cars and Jack buzzed down his window.

"What's going on?" Jack shouted

One of the drivers who made their way to the front of the group came back with a face as white as a sheet.

"Accident, mate" He shuddered "Stay in your car"

Jack sniggered. Thirty minutes he'd been sitting in this car. He was sore, conflicted and angry. Now he was hungry.

"Screw that!" He snarled jumping out of his car.

He pushed people out of the way as he made his way to the front of the car.

Somebody in front of him suddenly doubled up, retching into their hand.

The scene of carnage burned its way into Jacks brain.

Two cars had collided head on.

Both so smashed up that they looked mashed together.

There was glass and pieces of twisted metal everywhere.

And blood.

There was blood everywhere.

A crushed hand hung pathetically out of the smoking carcass of one of the cars.

A cell phone strewn on the ground began lighting up and ringing as Jack's eyes followed a stream of blood to the other mangled car.

A body lay twisted and broken where it had been flung out of the windscreen on impact.

The familiar mane of blonde hair was now streaked with blood and glass.

The corpse looked just like a rag doll, that had been flung aside by a petulant child.

Vomit rose in Jack's throat.

He saw an image of  Melissa's face smiling at him and suddenly everything began swirling in his head ...

Melissa tossing her blonde head back as she sat beside him in the speedboat on holiday in Italy ...

Melissa's blonde hair across his chest as they lay in bed ...

Melissa ...  Melissa ...  Melissa ...

It would take Jack time to come to terms with the fact that it was Melissa's dead body lying crushed in that wreckage.

Even after several weeks of heavy sedation.

But it would take Jack even longer to learn to live with Cara and the gnawing guilt he felt every time he looked into her face.

And the smell of death and diesel on the road to hell.

Smell The Coffee

December in the city.

Sam Carroll was sitting in a cafe with Lisa Baker.

They were sitting in a secluded corner by a fake spider plant.

Sam was sipping coffee and looking intently at Lisa who was smiling anxiously and playing with her hair - which is what she did when she was nervous.

Chava Cafe (by jonniedee
They talked about college.

They talked about life.

They talked through each other.

Lisa Baker had known Sam Carroll for a year now since he had joined her media class.

She liked him.

He was different.

She felt drawn to him but she didn't really know why.

He always seemed like a loner.

No real history.

She thought it might be her duty to save him.

There seemed to be a growing accord between them.

Lisa Baker found this mysterious boy intriguing.

"The reason ...  I asked you here is  ... because well ... its because ... " Sam stuttered self consciously.

He had been planning what to say for days.

But now his courage was all but deserting him.

Carroll fumbled in his pocket for the little box.

The little velvet box contained the modest diamond ring he had bought for Lisa Baker.

Now she was looking at him with those concerned eyes.

Those vivid green eyes.

And Sam Carroll was falling apart inside.

"What's wrong Sam?" Lisa whispered "You seem really agitated"

She put a hand on Sam's hand and he shivered.

His eyes looked hungrily at her hand and then he looked up into Lisa's green eyes.

Sam Carroll tried to speak but no sound would come out.

Suddenly a reflex action sent the little box flying across the room.

The couple who were sitting in front of Sam and Lisa looked at the box on the floor and laughed loudly.

Finally Sam spoke..

"You know" he said slowly "You must know what I'm trying to say ..."

"Sam, you're scaring me!" Lisa replied, totally bemused by his words "I don't know what you're referring to!"

"Stop pretending!" Sam urged "You know what I'm trying to say"

A couple sitting at a table opposite them were looking at Sam and Lisa and whispering to each other.

Lisa quickly withdrew her hand.

"Stop this Sam" Lisa said as steadily as she could "I don't know what you're talking about and I don't like this.."

Lisa got up to leave,  but Sam grabbed her hand.

"All this time we've been meeting  ... looking at each other ... sharing your thoughts with me ... making me feel like we have something ... and then ...  then you play this cold bitch ... leading me on  ... letting me down ... but deep down I know you love me ... I know  ... you see ... I know goddamn everything  ..."

Lisa Baker was mortified and was now shaking with shock.

Several difficult moments passed between the couple.

Sam Carroll sat glaring at Lisa Baker.

Whilst she struggled to process the bombshell that he just dropped on her.

Nobody said a word.

When Lisa Baker finally spoke, her broken voice was barely audible.

"I felt sorry for you  ... that's why  ... I'm sorry if you thought we were more than friends ... but I never intended to hurt you ... I - I thought we were friends ... that's all Sam ... I am so ... so sorry ..."

Carroll stared back blankly at Baker.

Tears were streaming down his face now.

Lisa Baker suddenly felt horribly guilty.

"You bitch!" Carroll finally snarled "You're all the same ... stringing guys along ... then dumping them!"

"I'm so Sorry" Lisa replied shakily "I have to go now ... I have to go ...  I'm sorry ... I have to!"

She grabbed her coat,  jumped out of her chair and stumbled out of the cafe.

Standing outside in the pouring rain Lisa Baker burst into tears.

Back in the cafe Sam was staring down at his hands.

He felt empty now.

Sam Carroll slowly looked up to find the couple opposite him still looking and whispering to each other.

The woman suddenly giggled.

"What the hell are you staring at you  freaks?!" Sam shouted ferociously at them.

He lurched over to their table and grabbed a fork from the terrified man's hand.

Several people in the cafe turned to look at Sam as he stood towering over the cowering couple at their table.

Slowly the busy cafe became silent.

Then when he was completely sure that everyone's eyes were upon him - Sam Carroll dug the fork as deeply into his wrist as he could.

And The Road To Hell (by PreciousNothin


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