Somewhere Else Writers (SEW) Mar 23: Alan Passey

Alan Passey

One of the newest members of the group, Alan Passey wrote this month’s extremely short story – “Throwing Cockerels”.

Al Passey explained: “I was inspired by the Liverpool poets of the 60s and have been struggling with wordsmithery ever since. “Throwing Cockerels” was first included in the Fish Anthology 2020.”

Read more about the Writers’ Group and listen to audio clips at somewhere-else-writers.org

Throwing Cockerels

His mind was wandering when the string broke. A final discordant note skimming the chatter and the glasses. The string swinging loose like a snapped tendon.

He winced his smile and returned his guitar to its stand, took his bow with a luxuriant sweep. Left to right, right to left. I am done with these, he thought. Few noticed.

He pulled his glass closer, feeling the click in his thumb, the pain he accepted, and raising the glass high peered through the clear liquid at his misshaped hand, taking in the curve and rise of a Lilliputian mountain.

Alone, lying on his berth, he threw crooked shadow cockerels at the wall. Role playing overheards and profanity transported to the farm yard. He threw another and squawked “BB King called his Lucille. You,” pointing at the inept instrument “are Madge.”

He replayed an assignation. A lonely cruiser amongst the strangers and the sea. He’d been gentle with his hands. She’d enjoyed the blue.

The bar would usually empty at six and the poultry dressed for dinner. Sometimes he joined them mingling in the buffet queue. Chasing hens. Cockerels crowing. The weary repetition.

His stillness went unnoticed to this new flock. He closed his eyes, behind his drink, a solitary finger twitching to the soundtrack in his head, rising to the thunderous applause of his pain free melody. A smile and sweeping bow. Encore and fade.

Walking the evening deck he occupied his mind with views of water. The cold rail cooling his taut fingers like an ice pack.

Later, when looking at the photographs, they would comment on his manicure.

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