Balance

Justice Fountain, Bern
Hold on to the balance, it has lost the way
My head is turning, my thoughts go astray
I stumble, I fall, give me your hand
The impact is hard, not falling on sand

Why did you do this, you left me alone
I did not deserve it, broken this bone
I am bleeding inside, you have broken my heart
You push me away, like a pig in a cart

My feelings are tilted, am I your wife?
Here is the justice I restore with this knife
And now you are trembling, your turn to shiver
As I plunge in this weapon, you soon stop to quiver

Now I feel better, it was only a dream
But reality is stronger, don’t think I am mean
We will stay together until death do us part
I warn you the last time, have care to my heart

Change

change

You pass me by,
No recognition any more
Oh yes, I have changed
You notice the difference

A few wrinkles above the eyes
No longer a soft glance
Hard, without emotion
As if I am wearing a mask

You are sorry you left me
So was I, often 
You are sure it was for the best
It probably was, for you

It was time to move on
A change of routine
Find other pastures to roam
You are sure I understood

No, no, I have no tears of sadness
They disappeared some time ago
I know my eyes reflect the light,
Yes, they are tears, but of anger

You are looking worried
You are still thinking of me
Oh, it is just the gun I have in my hand
I always have it with me

You never know who you might meet
Perhaps I had been waiting for our chance encounter
You say you have changed
I am glad to hear it, but it is too late

You see my face has grown older
Beneath this mask I am still the same
If I do not get you, then no-one will
So goodbye, and I pulled the trigger

The Neighbours

„She’s doing it again Fred, come and have a look“ and Frieda Black was quite excited.

“Who’s doing what” answered Fred and went over to the window where his wife was looking out through the binoculars.

“The neighbour in the ground level apartment, she’s digging up the garden again and we know what that means.”

“Show me Frieda” and now Fred was getting interested “planting another bush or tree to spoil the view from our window. If only Mrs. Goodall would hold herself to the rules and regulations where we live, it would make life a lot more enjoyable for us all” and Frieda nodded in approval – the word “all” applying to only the Blacks of course.

Fred and Frieda Black found that if you buy your own apartment you should still ask the neighbours for their permission before doing something different. After all the front gardens should all look alike, each one with a nicely kept lawn and not with bushes and trees in between like the Goodalls always seem to be planting. Why they even have two hazelnut trees growing in the garden, apart from the walnut tree in the big pot. It just does not fit into the organised pattern of the estate.

Basically most of the neighbours found Mrs. Goodall’s garden admittedly something different, but not a disturbing feature and some neighbours even found her taste quite good. Only the Blacks were not satisfied.

Mrs. Pamela Goodall was happy with her garden. In Spring the bushes were flowering and throughout the Summer they attracted all sorts of wild insect life. The butterfly bushes were a colourful contrast for all to see; after all they were not called butterfly bushes for no reason. There were at least four different sorts of flying beauties searching for their nectar on the flowers.

Pamela actually had no suspicion that she was being observed constantly when she was in the garden by her neighbours on the top floor. There were six apartments in the house and Pamela and her husband, Michael, never had a problem with any of the other neighbours. Even the Blacks never let any suspicion fall that they found Pamela’s garden improvements were not approved of, they preferred to keep it a secret for the time being.

Mr. Black was  retired  and was used to having things in organised patterns in his life. He had trained his wife to think the same, and if Fred Black did not notice that things were not going to his plan, his wife quickly brought him up to date.

It was Mrs. Black that was talking to one of the neighbours and heard that this particular neighbour now had a special machine attched her water supply for the reduction of the lime in the water. Mrs. Black found she should have known this before the neighbour organised it. Mr. Black made further investigations and found that already three neighbours had this machine and he was not informed. That was a problem and was one of the items on the list for the next meeting of the owners of the apartments. After all before the neighbours organised something Mr. Black should be asked. Fred Black found that this lime removal machine would only work properly if attached to the washing machines in the cellar as well. Actually this did not really matter, but gave him a reason to have it discussed with the other neighbours. Perhaps he could even ensure that these machines would be forbidden. He knew nothing about them, his wife found it out by chance, and that could not be. Only on the approval of the Blacks should anything be fitted into the homes.

He had also made sure that Mrs. Goodall’s garden would be discussed. Mr. and Mrs. Black also had disciples in the estate, Mr. and Mrs. Grey. They found that what Mr. Black said was always good, and so Mr. and Mrs. Grey always nodded in approval at their suggestions just to keep on their good side.

It was now two weeks before the annual meeting and the list of things to be discussed was sent to all the owners of the apartments. When Mr. Goodall saw that his wife’s garden was on the list he was furious. First of all he found his wife had perhaps gone a little bit too far with her agricultural creations, but on the other hand when he read about the objection to the lime removal machines made by the Blacks, he transferred his anger to the Black family. It was then quite clear to him that they were being observed most of the time.

“What do you propose to do with your garden now” Michael Goodall asked his wife.

“Well, Michael I must say this whole thing has become a bit of a shock. We have been living here almost ten years and I started my gardening scheme eight years ago. When the good Mrs. Black had told me that it was not in line with the estate I would naturally not have done anything, although I must admit I have had so much pleasure from the garden. Now I suppose I just have to dig everything up to suit their taste.”

“Let’s not handle without a fight, dear” said Michael. “What annoys me is that the Blacks are now starting to tell us and others what to have in their own four walls and what not. I would say we wait for the meeting and see what happens.”

“You know Michael, the nicest time we spend living here is when the Blacks are away in their holiday house in Spain. Then everyone seems to be able to live in peace with everyone else.”

The evening meeting soon arrived and all the apartment owners met for their discussions. The chairman was a neutral person who looked after the finance concerning the communal arrangements, such as the gardening of the surroundings, the finance of the heating and water which was shared by all. It was to be a long meeting starting at seven in the evening and only at ten in the evening did the subject of the gardens come onto the agenda.

Mr. Black opened the discussion and stated that the gardens should all be alike but there were some people that just went against the rule.

“Let us say it clearly Mr. Black” Michael Goodall spoke up. “Do you mean my wife and me in particular” and then the argument started.

Eventually Mr. Black decided there should be a commission formed for approval of the gardens. The chairman called for the vote but Mr. and Mrs. Grey were the only people that agreed, all others were too tired and found it so trivial they turned it down.

The debate concerning the acceptance of a suitable lime removal appliance according to the wishes of the Blacks (and naturally the Greys as well) was also declined. Mr. Black was particularly disappointed in this respect as one of the other neighbours had told Mr. Black he would also support Mr. Black in this respect, but had changed his mind at the last moment. The remarks uttered by Mr. Black to this neighbour are here not to be repeated. It suffices to say that Mr. Black found yet another neighbour who was not on his side.

Unfortunately Pamela Goodall could not attend the meeting to the end as she had to go to work the next day. Her husband was already in retirement and so he told his wife of the decisions made.

One evening late the Goodalls were standing outside in the garden. They had got used to looking at the garden late in the evening to make sure they were not being observed.

“Well what do you think, Michael? What shall I do with my garden now.”

“Pamela it seems that only the Blacks are really against it, so I would say just carry on. I noticed you have dug two rather large holes in the garden. That seemed to be the reason for Black’s disapproval. What do you actually want to plant in them?.

“Well you know Michael, I though an apple tree would be quite suitable, the problem being that you really need two apple trees for a good harvest”
and then the Goodalls heard someone shout down at them from the window above “before anything more is planted in that jungle we have something to say” and Mr. Black was shouting from the window. Pamela and Michael were glad it was late in the evening and that the other neighbours were not around to hear.

Suddenly Mr. and Mrs. Black appeared in the Goodall’s garden and an argument broke out.

“What did I hear. You are planning to plant two apple trees. Over my dead body said Fred. Black.”

“And over mine as well” said Frieda Black.

“Did you hear what they said” said Michael.

“Only too well” answered Pamela and so the argument went on.

This argument did clear the air. It seemed that the Blacks left for their house in Spain shortly afterwards and Pamela and Michael planted their apple trees. Actually they had a lot of success with the trees and a fantastic harvest every year.

The Black problem looked like it had been resolved and the Blacks were never to be seen again at the estate, everyone assuming they were in their holiday home in Spain.

Of course Pamela and Michael did have a couple of problems. Cleaning the blood stains off the shovels was one, but eventually they decided to throw the shovels in the near by river and buy something new. Of course they were proud of their wonderful apple trees which seemed to grow stronger year by year. Pamela was often asked what she used for fertiliser to make them grow so well.

Fred and Carol

Carol had a well organised life. She met her husband at a local dance and they married after a two year engagement. Carol was then 22 years old and Fred, her husband, 24. Now things look so ideal and to make them more perfect two years later their daughter Shirley was born, they were both happy. Fred was the perfect husband and Carol the perfect wife. If Fred said he would be home in the evening at a certain time, he would be there. Sometimes he had to work later in the office, but he always called Carol on the phone to tell her that things would be later. If he said one hour, then he was home one hour later. Carol could rely on her Fred and he was an ideal father. On Sunday morning Carol cooked their lunch, something special. Fred realised that she had to prepare lunch and always took Shirley for a walk to the park and to visit her grandmother to give Carol a chance to prepare things on her own.

Of course, Carol had her own private life as well. She enjoyed making her own clothes and during the week she attended a dress making course. She would go with her girlfriend, Maureen, where they would meet some other friends and it was a nice evening out. Sometimes she would make herself something special, or often she would make a pretty dress for her daughter. Fred would look after Shirley on those evenings.

It was the ideal marriage, and they were known as the perfect pair. It was Maureen who first sewed the seeds of doubt in Carol’s mind. She phoned Carol to say she could not come to the sewing classes as she was not feeling so well.

“By the way Carol” said Maureen “I saw Fred in town yesterday afternoon.”

“That cannot be” answered Carol “Fred is at work in the afternoon.”

“I was surprised myself, but it was Fred. He seemed to be waiting for someone outside the cinema and kept looking at his watch.”

“Are you sure Maureen, he called me yesterday to say he would have to work later and only arrived home at eight in the evening.”

“Well, I thought it was Fred, but perhaps just someone that resembled him”

and the two women closed their conversation.

It just didn’t go out of Carol’s head that Fred was not at work. When Fred came home that evening she said nothing, and was her normal self. Her Fred would never lie to her. When he said he was coming home later, then it would be the truth.

The next time Fred called from work to say he would be coming home later, Carol somehow felt a bit unsure. She called her friend Maureen and asked if she could bring Shirley for the afternoon. Maureen also had a little girl about the same age, so that was no problem. Maureen was glad that her daughter had a playmate for the afternoon.

After Carol had left her daughter at Maureen’s she made her way to Fred’s company and waited outside. She didn’t know why she did this, but had a sort of unsure feeling. All these years she had a perfect relationship with her husband and now her best friend tells her she saw him in town in the afternoon. Carol waited at least half an hour, wanted to go, and then she saw Fred leave his work place and walk along the street. Carol hid herself in a doorway, and then followed him. After a while Fred stopped at a street corner and stood waiting. His wait soon ended when a young good looking girl came along the street. She then saw Fred and the girl putting there arms around each other and were exchanging kisses. Carol was shocked, particularly as the girl just couldn’t be older than eighteen years. The couple walked along the road together arm in arm. Carol decided she had seen enough. She she picked up her daughter from Maureen’s house and went home. Fred arrived as promised at eight in the evening but was quite astonished. He wanted to open the door with his key and found it did not fit. Carol had lost no time and had already called the locksmith to change the lock on the front door, inventing a story about losing a set of her keys.

“Carol, it’s me, I am having a problem with the door.”

“I know Fred”, was the answer “I will open the door for you, just wait.”

Fred waited patiently and Carol opened the door. She had a bag in her hand and gave it to Fred.

“Something’s wrong with my front door key it won’t work and why are you giving me that bag.”

“Fred I have packed as much as I could in that bag, when you tell me where you are living I will have the rest brought to you.”

“Carol, I don’t understand, can you tell me what is going on.”

“No problem Fred. I just hope your new girlfriend has room for you where she lives, because I do not have room any more. I saw you together this afternoon and actions speak louder than words. Goodbye Fred” and Carol shut the door leaving Fred outside.

She heard him calling her name, but she ignored it. Carol had her ideas about love and marriage and they just did not include a teenager. If Fred decided to have a girlfriend, then he could have her.

Later that evening Fred called Carol on the phone.

“Please Carol, let me come home, I have nowhere to go.”

“You can move in with your teenager girlfriend.”

“That was really just a bit of fun Carol, nothing serious.”

“Fred that is your problem. Then go to your mother’s. At least I know where to send the divorce papers.”

“But I don’t want a divorce.”

“You don’t, but I do. I do not want my daughter growing up with a father that runs off the moment a teenager looks at him with big eyes. You will hear from my lawyer.”

And they were the last words that Fred heard from his wife before the divorce.

Fred’s new teenage girlfriend decided that she did not really want to live with Fred or marry him; after all it was just a bit of fun to go out with an older man. That was his problem if he was married and his wife got annoyed.

The divorce went well for Carol. Fred had to pay Carol for her upkeep. His daughter was allowed to visit Fred once a month for a week-end. The first two week-ends were ok, but Shirley decided it was not so much fun visiting daddy for just two days a month so she preferred to stay at home.

Carol was an attractive woman and one day she met and fell in love with one of Maureen’s husband’s friends. She got married and lived happily ever after. Yes, there was no messing with Carol.

The Rival

I tried to kill her many times; strangling with a telephone wire, poisoning her morning coffee, pushing her over a computer cable lying on the floor and as a drastic means, a clean shot through the heart. Ok, now everyone stay calm, this was in my imagination, I just could not get the courage to do it properly at the time. Perhaps I should tell it from the beginning to put you all in the picture.

I was busy at work doing the job I had been paid to do for at least twenty-five years. Of course, when I started I did not really have a clue, but time makes perfect. I had been the longest in the department and there was not very much I did not know. Even the boss was glad. You cannot expect a boss to know everything, they give the orders, we have to carry them out. Things were just running well for everyone. If you did not know the answer, just ask me. The essence of being good at the job is that even if you make mistakes, no-one notices. Someone might ask something where you are at a loss with a good answer. The best thing to say is “I will have a look” and hope that the matter is forgotten, which is usually the case. If the question is remembered some time later, the problem has probably solved itself by then. So this is the cosy state of affairs. No problems, you know the answers and no-one asks silly questions. Then one fine day she arrived on the scene. Someone new was needed, I cannot really remember why. Was it a colleague that got herself in the family way, someone that found a better job, or just a marriage to someone so rich she did not have to work any more? Take your choice, but we had to have someone new. It is strange but when she arrived, little Miss Know It All, I just knew that my nice cushy safe position as alpha animal was going to be endangered.

Did she get the job – of course. One friendly smile from those baby blue eyes at the boss and the right answers to the questions, she got the job on a plate. When she started, it all seemed so harmless. Me being the helpful friendly type showed her what was expected. Then I just settled down into my nice little corner in the office and carried on as usual. First danger sign was when I heard something about further training for our new star. She had been in some foreign country for half a year to learn the language and now the idea was to give her the chance to learn even more. I had done enough of this further education myself, a little bit here and a little bit there, but she was sent on a course for a professional super top secretary with all the trimmings. The company were paying and it seemed to be quite a gold plated exercise that she was doing. Three hours a week for a year in a top school and when she passed the examination she was destined for a good position which sounded vaguely even better than mine.

Of course I was wrong. One fine day the boss called us all into the conference room for news. He was taking on more work and needed someone to take over the department. Not that I wanted the job, I had enough to do. I do not know what devil had ridden my boss at that time, but he decided little Miss Know It All would be his substitute. I did not really take this news as seriously as I should have, thinking my work is not involved, she will have her own headaches to manage. How wrong can you be? In the process of a month she had taken over all the important jobs I had and I was left with the routine stuff. I did not even have to think any more. She did the thinking and gave out the instructions. I was known as being a friendly helpful person, always ready with some helpful advice. At the end of this month I only spoke when spoken to and helped only one person, myself. I had been stamped into the floor like an ant; one of those that you do not even notice when you tread on them. I think this was when I decided to put my murderous ideas into practice and enrolled for a shooting course. I organised a licence for a gun and was soon one of the best in the course. I had a target before my eyes and decided it was now or never. I could always plead insane after the crime and life on a happy farm could not be worse than where I was working. Perhaps irrational thoughts but at the time I found them quite sensible.

I did try to save myself by asking my ex-boss for a transfer to another department. He even helped, but the director found I was in the best place for my qualifications. Life went on and the day was approaching when I would use Miss Know It All as the suitable victim for my black thoughts, but things are never as you plan.

It seemed that the chief secretary in the company was leaving and a replacement had to be found. Who could be more suitable than our brilliant spark that was giving me orders what to do and I really hoped for her (and me) that she would get the job. Of course, she applied and then the day came when the decision was made. Now this job was for the director and that was even one step higher to heaven than my ex-boss. Unknown to our leading lady, there was someone else in the narrow choice, the director’s daughter that had just finished her university education and was even more perfect that our star. Who got the job? That was clear, it was the director’s daughter. This was where things got a little mixed up. The day that it was announced who would be in the top floor of the company was the day I had decided to shoot Miss Know It All. I had progressed so well in my shooting lessons that I decided I was ready and had my pistol in my handbag ready for use.

What I did not know was that on the evening before, our aspiring director’s assistant had arrived home to find her boyfriend had left her for her best friend. She was annoyed, very annoyed, so decided to bring things in order and paid a visit to the boyfriend and his new partner and shot them both. The next morning she arrived in the office and received the news that the director’s new assistant would be his daughter. After lunch she came into the office with a gun. Of course, no-one was expecting this, but I could feel her emotions, after all I was planning to shoot her myself on that day. She walked into our office and shot the ex-boss. At least there was a lot of blood, but I could not really tell if he was still alive or not. Then she turned and looked at me. There is a saying “if looks could kill” and this would have suited the moment exactly. She raised the gun, but must have been a bit nervous as she narrowly missed me, although my computer was no longer usable. I pretended to be unconscious. She lost interest in my condition and walked on in a direct line to the director’s office where he was showing his daughter around. I decided to follow – after all the fun was just beginning. I walked past my ex-boss who was moaning on the floor, so he was still alive. My one time work colleague and woman in charge was just about to shoot the director and his daughter, when I gave her a push (she was not expecting me to appear). She fell and I jumped on her. There was a fight and somewhere in the fight a shot was released from the gun. There was deathly silence, lots of blood, but I was relieved to find it was not mine.

Little Miss Know It All had a quiet funeral. She had no family (it seemed her parents were killed in a mysterious fire at their house some years before). I attended just out of curiosity and my boss insisted on coming as well. I pushed him in his wheelchair.

Of course, I was the heroine of the day saving everyone’s life from our colleague that had decided to go on a shooting spree. My company decided to award me an early retirement with a very good pension. My boss never did recover, but now and again I take him for a walk in the park in his wheelchair. Sometimes things just do not turn out as you expect.

Mirage

sky and castle
 

You said you build castles in the air for me
That was a wrong, you had a new girl
You lied to me and broke your promise
The mirage of love took a whirl

You would love me forever, come what may
How long is forever, a day or a year?
Where are you now? with another?
This is not my mirage, but just plain fear

I saw you with her in the park, bodies entwined
Your promise to love me now forgotten
I no longer mean anything to you
The mirage is transparent like cotton

After the kiss you walked away
as if you were in a dream
I knew then that you were finished with me
Love was now a mirage stream

Where is my castle in the air?
Destroyed by a love betrayed
I cannot forgive you for what you have done
A mirage has now been made

I plunged a knife into your heart
It was real and you are dead
You really thought that I was joking
This is no mirage I said