Andy West

Copyright Andy West 2012

Published at Smashwords

Excepting real quotes, all material copyright Andy West.

Excepting attributable real-world quotes, all characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental


Now: in hospital.

I recall vividly the few years before it happened. When recession and riots blazed from the headlines, when white winter returned to remind us that her cruel breath still counted. I thought I knew something way back then, as the cherry tree in my front garden blossomed like never before, with it the vociferous Arab Spring, both pledging rich fruit. I amassed fashionable truths for my album of knowledge, my bible of behaviour, eagerly seeking the missing sets, the latest editions. Until completion, whispered my frustration, I would not perceive social reality, I could not take full control. Noble cause would illuminate my title page, to which end I pawned headlines and frosts for a place at a foreign game, pitching war against terror.

The scents and spirits of those remembered times wreathed around me, but couldn’t erase sharp disinfectant and the sharper pains in my chest.

A nurse appeared, bending over me. Doughy features and tea-stained skin above exotic bone structure. Eyes extra dark beneath a glistening sheen, reminding me of soft life-forms in a rock-pool. Heavy breasts plumping downward. Her name-badge displayed ‘Dora’. She beamed sympathetically, revealing beautiful teeth. In what part of long-past empire had her line originated? I tried to reflect her smile, but she was already turning away.

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