Soggy Leaves

Ensure it is cooked,
it shouldn't be crispy.
That is what they said,
way back when.
Grey leaves,
swimming in stinky water.
Eat up,
it's good for you!
Arms crossed,
a battle of wills.
Cabbage,
rediscovered as an adult.
All those years of hate,
make it crunchy and tasty.

Words © Neil Hayes and neilhayeswrites

Claustrophobic in the Classroom

These are certainly interesting times to be a teacher. Standing at the front of the classroom and seeing 16 pairs of eyes staring back at you, while their faces are covered by a mask. It is a different look and one that has taken some getting used too. There have been certain challenges which have come with teaching during the Covid era, some of which I certainly could never have imagined.

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All Debts Must Be Paid : Short Story

How did I end up with such a weirdo for a landlord? Why couldn’t I have got the nice old lady who would bake me the occasional cake? That’s what Ben got. Me? I got the ghost. I call him that because of the permanent grey pallor which he displays. It gives me the creeps every time I see him. If I have to talk to him I can feel the cold sweat begin to form on my forehead even as I approach. And now this. The rent is due and my account is empty. A lack of planning has caused an imbalance in the cashflow situation. So I have to ask for an extension from Mr Friendly.

Standing outside his door gives me a sense of dread like no other. Whenever I have to visit, which is infrequently, just knocking on the door takes an extreme act of will. When he opens his door it is always just a crack, he obviously prefers to conduct business on your threshold rather than his. Every time I have knocked on his door I have sensed something, like a chill, and this time is no different.

Once he opens the door I explain the situation. I have always been a good tenant, this is a one off situation, it will never happen again. He nods, but then shakes his head.

“All debts must be paid,” he says, “somehow.”

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