To Kill a Wish



To Kill a Wish is actually a compilation of two very short stories. I realised once I had written them that these two people were a ‘couple’. The process of infiltrating one story with the other was rewarding and enlightening in the extreme. It paid off well, one area being in the Fish Publishing Anthology and the confidence that gave me to progress my writing, secondly the acceptance of it as a short play and the conversion of what is essentially a monologue into a ‘two-handed’ play. To see and hear your own words performed on stage to subsequent applause is an awesome and emotional experience. The skills I have learned  from the adaptation of this story are completely out of proportion to the length of the text, but perhaps proportionate to the effort involved. In other words, the harder I work, the better I get. Unfortunately, not the richer…


Wishes, Last Words, Bathroom Heaters, and Japanese Brake Pipes...
Ever wondered how far into darkness the pursuit of a wish would take you?
Join Frank in his garden, as he cultivates the ghosts of his past…



I remember one morning I got out of bed and Marion says,
     What's that?
     I say,  What?
     She says,  That, and points.
     I look down,  Oh. An erection, I guess.
     Where'd that come from?  she says.
     Don't know, I say, Maybe it's lost. Maybe it's looking for the young couple next

     Close the door, says Marion.
     I say,  What?
     'Finders, Keepers',  she says. And I knew that was the last word.


Marion was an expert on last words. She had them catalogued inside her head,  cross-referenced by levels of exasperation, mostly other people's, and they would hurt right deep down inside until you saw that corner of her mouth lift in a half-smile that said, beat that, and of course you couldn't, even if you knew where to begin. There was a time when I thought I'd like to have the last word but, the problem with last words is, they're so damn final they hang around forever. 


You know, a man should be careful around wishes too. I remember once I wished so hard for the last word that I never heard it come around full circle until it took me from behind like a wolf and pulled me down here in this chair where it could gnaw at these old bones.

     Especially on Sundays.  


Sunday was such a good day. They began around nine a.m. with a dark coffee, fresh, not re-hashed from Saturday supper and two thin slices of evenly browned, evenly buttered toast. I never over-ate on Sundays, Marion always reminded me when I'd had enough and I can still touch my toes even though some days it might be easier if they were someone else's. 
     Marion said I should be grateful. 
     Perhaps I am.
     She said I should be.
     Perhaps I'll consider it.
     About time, said Marion.
     Later, I think.
     Always later, said Marion.


And then I'd look over the car and swear I was going to trade it in for some old junk pile. The things ran perfectly for years, apart from that one time with the rusted brake lines. And what use is a car like that on a Sunday? Marion said it was my fault. She said I'd spent so much of her housekeeping on that one special tool set and parts just waiting for it to break down that it would take one look at me with the cans and the boxes and the bright gleaming spanners and keep right on running 'cause it was afraid to do anything else.

     She said the exhaust rattled when the engine stopped.
     Sounds familiar, I said.
     Can't think why, said Marion.


I'd go out to the front porch for the paper and the door has a hinge that's swollen with rust from the rain that strikes that particular corner on the days when it should rain, like Bank Holidays, and Easter and Christmas and New Year and from the days when it shouldn't like Mondays and Tuesdays when folk have to go about the business of just being and living and when you stop to think about it, it's hard enough having to work for a living without rain getting in the way.


I always thought rain should be saved for holidays, when there's time to go out and enjoy it for what it is and not hate it for what it stops you doing. Marion would say don't be so wet and I'd say it would be good to be able to plan for an umbrella and to know when to wear a coat. The hinge squeaks in the wind.

     Oil it, says Marion.
     I nod,
     That's what Sundays are for.
     It'll soon be Monday, says Marion.
     Oh, I'd say, looking at my watch, still fourteen hours twenty two minutes........
     Twenty one now, says Marion...