at the edge of something

What If by Andy Harrod

What if I said I was lonely?  The hours of each day a dull ache to get through.  Would you laugh and say get over yourself?  Would you stop and listen?  Would you try and help?  Would you respect me?

What If by Andy Harrod

What if I said I felt trapped?  The four walls of my house a safety net I can’t leave. I see the outside, but I fear it, I don’t know my place in it.  Would you laugh and say get over yourself?  Would you stop and listen?  Would you try and help?  Would you respect me?

What If by Andy Harrod

What if I said I hear voices?  An electric buzz surrounds, through the wires I hear and feel nothing but pain.  Would you laugh and say get over yourself?  Would you stop and listen?  Would you try and help?  Would you respect me?

What If by Andy Harrod

What if I said I wanted to talk?  I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I need help.  Would you laugh and say get over yourself?  Would you stop and listen?  Would you try and help?  Would you respect me? 

What If by Andy Harrod

What if I said I was going to jump?  There is nothing left.  Would you laugh and say get over yourself?  Would you stop and listen?  Would you try and help?  Would you respect me?

Alice

Andy Harrod

barriers.  in the sun they play in the boy’s sandpit, the moist sand easily turns into castles for adventures, quiet imagination takes hold and they smile, they learn, they laugh.  barriers.  he rushes into the room, turns to the noise in the corner and reads the scrolling script, whilst watching the cut and paste amateur video footage.  barriers.  ‘where is he?’  ‘where is he?’ he screams, as he walks through to the kitchen.  barriers.  she sits crying, he slams his foot down, crunching broken glass, red wine drips from the table.  barriers.  holding her shoulders and shaking her, he screams ‘where the fuck is he?’  she turns her head, a quick glance to the window, before swiftly falling into her hands, sobbing.  barriers.  they hold hands and run together, before jumping into the paddling pool, the warm water splashes up and lands on the muddy ground.  barriers.  he pounds down the garden; missing what his eyes see.  barriers.  he picks him up, spitting at his son’s best friend.  ‘your kind disgusts me.’  ‘get out of here.’  ‘get out of my home.’  barriers.  the boy shouts ‘daddy, what’s Alice done wrong?’  he starts crying, Alice is already crying, crying because she is scared, crying because she has wet herself.  this man, who only yesterday gave her lifts and offered her sweets, spits at her again.  ‘daddy.’ ‘shut up son.’  barriers.  ‘stop’ his wife screams, ‘you are upsetting them’.  ‘why didn’t you remove her from our home earlier?’  ‘it’s not her fault.’  barriers.  the boy wiggles free and runs to Alice and holds her, he strokes her hair.  he has seen his dad do it to his mum when she’s crying.  barriers.  Alice keeps crying, the boy strokes harder, ‘i want my mummy’. ‘you can have your fucking mummy.’  he grabs Alice from his son’s hug and marches up the garden with her swinging under his arm, he drops her over the gate.  ‘Go.’  Alice looks at her leg, the red glistens in the sun.  ‘Go’.  barriers.  his son reaches his dad and bangs his fists against his dad’s leg ‘ i hate you, i hate you’. barriers.

6 Responses to at the edge of something

  1. ‘At the Edge of Something’ – moving- in my case to tears. A very close family member committed suicide ten years ago. Those of us he left behind will forever wonder if we could have listened and helped more. The photos and the words -I can’t think of a more intense example of human heart to heart communication.

    ‘Alice’ – DISTURBING! Chilling, menacing, ambiguous – it’s brevity makes it all the more sinister – and leaves the barriers in tact. Masterly writing.

  2. danholloway says:

    thank you, anne. Andy is extraordinary writer, and this is a perfect demonstration of the way simplicity can be so so moving.

  3. Andy Harrod says:

    Thanks Anne, I am still taking in your comments. I am very happy my writing and photography has made such an impression. I am sorry to hear of your close family member. Very sad to hear.

    Thanks Dan too, your support has been great.

    Best Andy

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