cloud passes by faster than it should.
It is gold trimmed, an expensive one.
Now it is gone and my world is still again, like a painting.
The clothesline is dancing. A tiny, imaginary tightrope walker is stepping amongst the pegs. I can’t tell if it’s a gentle or blustery wind.
The glass was cleaned yesterday. The man ignored me. Not even a smile, a look in my eye.
Already it has that peppery dirt again. How filthy the air must be. Could be the reason I’m here in the first place, but they don’t know. All that training and they don’t know.
I’ve been here so long I notice the stupidest things. Like that void in the double glaze.
What is in there?
The trapped breath of whoever made the window?
Now the clothesline is dinging. Tightrope walker has slipped, hanging on for his life I’d say. Swinging one leg, trying to climb back on.
How do you get back on something as thin as a toothpick?
I haven’t seen anyone use that clothesline. Ever.
Now I can’t breathe again. I hate this…..


t’s been snowing! Can’t believe it! I can feel it in my feet. Four days I was under. So they tell me. That’s the longest yet….
It’s gone dark outside and my window is diminished. Steamed up mostly. If I strain enough, I can see the sill. Looks like marshmallow. I’d love some marshmallow.
What about the tightrope walker? I wonder did he make it, if he’s still there, hanging on? Will have turned to an icicle.
He would be useful for me.
I’ll bet he has a little axe, could chip my pencil into a fine point.
Would save my energy.
Someone’s been chewing the end. Who would have done such a thing?
Were they sitting there, watching me?
Watching and chewing?


must have fallen asleep, or had one of my events. Feel weak today.
It’s bright out. Still snowy. The sky is heavy, like a blanket of chains.
When I go, I’d like there to be snow on the ground. I want the tiny tightrope man to shimmy up these tubes onto my face and pull shut my eyelids. Then they’ll know I’m gone for good.

The End

* * * * *

Jamie Guiney is a literary fiction writer from Northern Ireland who has a black belt in Karate, lives beside a graveyard and has a strong dislike for onions. His short stories have been published in literary journals, newspapers and digitally on iPhones and iPads. He has previously attended the Faber & Faber Writing Academy and received backing from the NI Arts Council for his writing. Jamie is a member of the Newman Writers Group.  His short story ‘A Quarter Yellow Sun’ has been nominated for ‘The 2011 Pushcart Prize’.

His publications at Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.

Leave a comment


  1. L Cameron

     /  October 13, 2011

    A beautiful piece of writing – I could feel the snow in my feet too.

  1. Dr. Hurley’s Digest: Week 32 « Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure

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