Joe2stories

Stories from a Dublin Scientist

Category: Uncategorized

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle 27

Doctor Joe: Agony Uncle, knows how much wood a woodchuck can chuck*.

Dear Doctor Joe,

I write you a man distraught. I had been having problems in my marriage over the last few years but nothing at all that would lead me to believe that things had gone beyond hope. I figured that all I needed to do was leave work early, buy a nice steak, bottle of wine and some flowers and come home to give my wife a little TLC.

No sooner did I get home but I heard some noises coming from the bed room. I walked in and found my wife in bed with José the gardener.

I was in shock. Without letting anyone say anything, I walked out of the room, the house and back to my car. I been driving around the city for the whole evening and  have booked a cheap Motel for the evening where I am now.

Doctor Joe, I don’t know what to do. I loved my wife, but I don’t know how I feel about her now. Can you help me?

Distraught Derek.

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Dear Derek,

I have to say that I had to read your letter a few times because I just could not believe what I was reading. The horrific acts described in your words brought a pause to my breath and scandalized my heart. I don’t know what to say, what I can do to help alleviate the situation but I will try my best…..

YOU LEFT THE STEAK THERE!!!!

How could you. Was it a T-Bone a tenderloin? It doesn’t matter, any man who can’t take care of his meat has no business being involved with a woman. With your slapdash approach to animal products it is no wonder that your wife found solace with another man. Who could blame her?

You say you want her back, that you don’t intend to abandon her like a rib-eye in the sun. Not that I totally trust your convictions in this but there may be a way for you to prove yourself.

Look after some meat.

Maybe not a steak, not as first, that may be too much for you. Perhaps a couple of porkchops or some chicken breasts to start with. look after them, take care of them. DON’T ABANDON THEM. Don’t leave them on their own with no one to eat them. and maybe, just maybe things can turn out alright.

Good luck. I know you’re going to need it.

Doctor Joe

*Editors note: Eight.

To read more from Doctor Joe or leave a question check out here.

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Six word stories 15/08/17

Finally swam alone, shark came calling.

The wedding rocked, the divorce too.

He took his own life, twice.

Never ignore a witch’s friendly warning.

Revenge, best served at her wedding.

Hide and seek master, never found.

A man’s Story

Breaking news: A man in his mid thirties has committed suicide by hanging early this evening, more details to follow.

The rope, hempen roughness, ticklish bristles on soft palms, slides amiably into a hangman’s knot, a loop wide enough for a head, a brain filled with despair, a face stained with countless tears, a mouth silent in the search for help. The loop tightens around a thin neck, hard cord in soft skin, a final discomfort. High from his podium, in uncommon elegance he speaks his farewell soliloquy, the room as silent and despairing as the world he sees. Then one final step. Rope taut, loop closes in, bones snap. All gone. Save the body, legs and arms twitching, the puppeteer gone, comical. Bowels and bladder empty, a final humiliation.

 

Breaking news: The man’s wife has been informed and taken to see and identify the body. By all reports she is inconsolable.

She sees him, she sees him dead, skin pale grey save for a bruise around the neck, head at an unnatural angle. It’s him even so, she nods, the white sheet reclaims its ghostly form. One word fills her thoughts, betrayal. Why? Why now? There’s bills. Life comes with a price-tag. Money makes the world go round, without it you might have to get off. Without him she will have to provide. Get a job, get some welfare, get cash, however you can. Sell the china, sell the house, sell yourself. That last thought jarring. A tear comes loose followed by a torrent of siblings. A comforting hand on her shoulder. She nods in thanks. Nobody’s the wiser.       

 

Breaking news: The man’s six year old son is reported to have been away at the time. Sources have it that arrangements are being made for his care as his mother is unable to cope.

Daddy’s gone, Mommy is unwell, too final for young ears to hear. Daddy’s gone, the man, the sweets brought home on Fridays, the sneaky coke on a Sunday shopping trip. Slowly sinking into a past not yet consigned to memory. Mommy’s situation frustrates in lack of remedy.  Where hugs heal and kisses take away pain the smiling clerks and those who declare to care only frustrate a noble naiveté. Tears well, anger ferments, the seeds of social disfunction takes root in fertile ground.

 

Breaking news: The man’s funeral mass is to be held on Saturday next. Family flowers only please.   

Priestly vestments hide old, decrepit body. Sonorous psalms boom out from the alter. Beautiful blessed but bland beatitudes. Prayers a plenty for the preservation of the poor penitent. The those who know him know the priest knows nothing. Generally generic are the words used in the sermon, platitudes wrenched from forty times ten funerals ‘fore this one. Two themes of consolation,

The practical: Death as loss, to be dealt with. Lean on us for support.

The hopeful: Death’s not the end, rebirth through the Lord. Follow to be saved.

Hundreds pack the pews. Black the dominant colour, on clothes and on moods. Scattered sniffs denote those still reeling. Relatives, long unnoticed, sit at the front. The widow, surrounded by so many, is alone.

The prayers spoken, the rites fulfilled, he takes his wooden conveyance on his last journey.

 

Breaking news: The man is to be buried in a local ceremony with the bodies of his deceased parents and baby sister. Be advised of possible road closures in the area.

Two grave diggers, hard and sweaty, suck on fragrant cigarette fumes as they await the deceased. Some of the resting places around them are prim and tended, others disheveled and forgotten. The body arrives, held on the backs of six men, It is lowered six feet down. There are final words, the mourners leave and final job of filling in the trench is begun.

Ashes but not ashes, dust but not dust, more a mulch, a horrific foulness of decay and corruption. Food for worms and germs until only the complex simplicity of fertiliser remains, set to become new life, the circle of life waiting for one more turn.

The gravediggers are the last to go. Some who were there return in time, keeping him alive in memory. Many will not. Soon memory, like the body, will fade and decay and he will rest, in his place in the ground, for all eternity.  

Misplaced

I slipped into the kitchen, water dripping on the floor. “Aha!” I exclaimed, lifting shampoo from the sink. “Never trust squid to pack away groceries properly.”

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Written for the grammar ghoul press shapeshifting thirteen challenge number 87.

Tyrant

A gust of wind.

“You disturbed my reflection?”

The wind said nothing

“Insolence!”

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Written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 Challenge number 86.

 

The Gift of the Gods

The basket came down from the sky, full of coloured lumps.

The high priest took one”We give thanks for this sustenance.” and took a bite.

His face contorted.

“We’re grateful” Someone said, “But why can’t the Gods understand taste?”

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Written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 Challenge number 83.

 

A new book with me in it!

Good news everybody! I have been accepted into the latest collection of flash fiction organised by the Worcestershire literary festival. They held the launch yesterday but I couldn’t attend because, you know, I’m a bit of a ways off 🙂 . Still if you want to get the book (and I’ll highly recommend it going on the quality of previous years) you can get it here or soon on Amazon. Buy it and I will love you forever.

acof-front-cover-2016

Joe

The Truth

There was passion between us but not just physical, we got each other.

I didn’t care we were both men, I didn’t care about his age. I didn’t even about the Slave brand on his back.

I loved him.

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Written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 Challenge number 79.

Debating

Your attacks are so over the top that I’d almost say you were being facetious.

But I doubt you can spell it let alone act it.

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Written for the Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 Challenge number 78.

Real Estate

It was gorgeous. Five houses by a lake. Graham pointed at the largest one in the centre and said “I’ll take it.”

“Excellent choice.” The agent said, “Well worth the premium.”

Graham could barely see flaws of the ‘Sky’ above, hiding the walls of the habitat.

“Indeed!” He said “Well worth it.”

Copyright: Norm Gresley

Andare” by Ludovico Einauldi from Divenire. (Retrieved from David Ballard)

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Written for The Grammar Ghoul Presses Shapeshifting 13 Challenge number 76.