A Portent of Things to Come

An alcoholic writer finds himself in a curious situation.

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The writer ran three rough, nicotine stained fingers through his overgrown beard.

In an inebriated stupor, he meandered towards his bedside table where he halted, examining three lines written on the back of an envelope.

It said:
a sea of broken bottles,
four walls
and a funeral.

Perplexed by the strange message, he blinked three times.

In his peripheral vision, a figure emerged at the doorway of his bedroom. He turned around to perceive the identity of the individual. He saw a woman wearing a black dress, with a red ribbon tied loosely in swaying auburn hair. She appeared to be in her mid-twenties.

She smiled but it was a brief occurrence. It seemed too much of an effort to maintain and her eyes, despite glimmering like twin jewels, bore the weight of the world.

“Who are you?” he enquired in a raspy voice.

“I am your first creation.”

“I don’t remember,” he said.

“You wouldn’t. You were drunk.”

In his mind the writer was trying to decipher this curious situation, but a dormant beast was awaking and it began to scream. He knew his ability to resist its demand was minimal. Soon he would need to rummage inside the dingy confines of his kitchen cupboard and see if his friend Jack Daniel would be there to greet him.

The young lady stepped forward and held his hands in hers. “Come outside. Walk with me. I will show you life and respite from this hovel.”

Their eyes met. For a single moment the cacophony in his skull subsided.

He shook his head. “I am quite comfortable here with whiskey and melancholy.”

She sighed. The jewels were starting to glisten. “Did you read it?”


“It is a portent of things to come.”

The writer ran three rough, nicotine stained fingers through his overgrown beard.

Ricky Gillies is primarily a poet and occasional short story writer with a fondness for melancholy and alliteration.

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