The Thirteenth Metal Spike-Excerpt from ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ by Paul Tristram

If you decide to pass through the first door you will have no other choice
but to open every other door which may lay upon the other side. There may
not be any more doors upon the other side of the first door, there may be
nothing but pleasures and wide open spaces. Of course it may be the exact
opposite, there may be millions of doors; you could spend the rest of your life
walking through hallways, opening a similar looking door time and time again
until you simply explode with frustration or the other possibility is that I could
change the subject and tell you about something else, just like this.
It was midnight; she awoke as usual, stripped, showered, dressed then leapt out
of the living room window, she stole through the shadows, using mostly
back lanes and alleyways until she eventually arrived at the park.
She stole a glance in each direction as she made her way to the little footbridge
which passes over the little stream, upon reaching this she walked to the right
hand side of it and grabbed a-hold of the first of the metal spikes which make up
the boundary fence.
She counted the metal spikes one by one with her left hand until she came to the
thirteenth, she then glanced from side to side again and seeing and sensing that
no one was about she reached into the inside pocket of her dark and mysterious
coat and pulled forth a metal file.
At this particular moment the cloud which had been hiding the spiteful moon
fucked off out of the way, a silver light instantly came down and bounced off
the thirteenth metal spike which stood before her.
She had come to the same spike every night for the last three weeks and
sharpened it carefully with the file, the tops of all the other spikes were covered
in a peeling black paint but hers shone like mercury.
She smiled with delight as the moonlight lovingly caressed its shiny surface, she
stepped forward, kissed its cold, smooth almost damp surface, whispered
something weird in Latin and then set about filing the top of her beloved spike.
This will be the last night spent on the top, she happily thought to herself,
tomorrow I can start on the shaft, then that will leave just the base, ah but don’t
worry my dear spike when I have finished filing I will still come every night to
polish you.
You see, four years ago her best friend stole her childhood sweetheart from her,
they married almost instantly, for they had apparently been having an affair for
sometime. This all completely destroyed her and she spent the first two of those
years on various forms of medication, with several spells spent in secure units.
Three weeks ago her ex-best friend and childhood boyfriend had been riding
their bicycles through the park when suddenly the handle bars of the girls bike
became entangled in the metal spikes as they were passing, she was standing up
while riding and when she became entangled her throat bounced off the thirteenth
metal spike.
The police who attended the scene declared that she was in fact lucky to be alive,
that if the metal spike was sharper or she had hit it with greater force she would
now in all probability be dead, she managed to get away with only bad bruising
to the neck and a sprained ankle.
But she and her husband have both sworn that the incident would not put them
off riding bicycles in the park as they simply love it, which is why the spurned
lover is there right now as I’m typing this, either sharpening or polishing the
thirteenth metal spike in hope that the accident will repeat itself.
Hey, let’s leave the crazy fucking bitch to get on with her work;
we’ve got better things to talk about. (Really?)

paul smoking

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!


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