static culture

Short Stories & Flash Fiction from a London Based Writer/ Film Maker


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The Killing Tree

When I close my eyes I see the killing tree.

It rises from the ground the colour of ash; its sap a crimson wash. My eyes are transfixed upon its leafless branches, sharpened to hooks. A dying breeze soothes the hate within its heart momentarily, cooling the flames of hell that dwell within. Yet its malevolence is ever constant; totems of white flesh skewered upon its being. Some lie crumpled and still while others writhe as worms do before being cast into the sea. The pain of this image is profound and it wakes me from my wet slumber on the leafy forest floor. I am close now to finding my prey, having been on foot for three days. My quarry is a murderer, unleashed from the comforts of sanity. A man whose motives are as distant as the stars above me. A man whose friendship I once knew.

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Killing With Kindness

 

At ease…

              I want to tell you gentlemen a story. Two weeks ago I had the great privilege of seeing our boys in action down in that great hell hole called Huế, Stepping right off a whirlybird and into the blistering heat of an active fire fight. Glorious. Some lieutenant screamed at me over that all embracing sound of ordnance we’ve grown to admire and pointed to a temple, hiding itself behind heathen smoke. He told me that there where Cong dug in deep and that before they neutralised him, a sniper on top of one of them Pagodas took out four of his men. He continued to fire even as the thing went up in smoke courtesy of a few licks of the Zippo. I lost sight of him behind the plumes but I know he burned happy.

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The Boggart

Everything’s changed. The thought resonated as he scanned the landscape of the town below. From nought to eighteen he lived there with his mother and three siblings in a dilapidated terrace before events would see him don a uniform and travel halfway around the world to kill people of a similar age but who spoke a different tongue. At twenty five he returned with his brothers, one in a coffin, before at twenty six he left for good, returning only to see his brother married and his mother buried. Now at seventy after his younger brother’s death he returned to the town more often, mainly to act as surrogate grandfather to his great niece. She was eight and rarely spoke but would draw the most amazing pictures of animals. Forty years ago they would have called her creative and said no more of it. Now they called it Autism and approached the matter with clinical opaqueness.

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