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The Protector

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By Louis Brierley 

from my little window

I watch him leave at five-thirty and arrive at ten-thirty

and I give him my best smile

he turns away

and runs inside

and locks all doors and windows firmly

I sigh and know he is safe

but if problems arise

I have my own keys

 *

now

he is peering out through a crack in the curtain and

I know he has found my gift:

the photo I placed on his pillow

 *

the next day

I find it in the

rubbish

the rain is ill yellow but

my tears are clear

*

so

that night

between five-thirty and ten-thirty

I walk through rain in my best blue shirt

and unlock his door

but it is bolted

from the inside

I scream into the rain and

strike the flags with

my hatchet

a stone chip cuts the corner of my eye

and I weep crimson

into the rain

whispering I Love You.

 *

from my little window

I watch his yard at ten-thirty

but he is not back

and at eleven-thirty

he is not back

the blood has caked on my cheek

and I am having trouble seeing

so perhaps he has already returned

 *

I go out again

I am a good neighbour

I am concerned

but as I approach his door

I hear laughing

 *

he is with a Girl

not the mother, nor the sister

I know

I have photos of them

but a new Girl

and she is making him

laugh

 *

they see me

they stop laughing

and I

with tears on one cheek and

crimson streaming down the other

my hatchet in my hand

say I Love You.

**

Louis Brierley is a young writer of speculative fiction. He is in his first year of English and Creative Writing at MMU. He is also currently approaching publishers with his novel, ‘Flames of Peace’

About the author / 

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