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No Cygnet for Sleep: 2

‘No Cygnet for Sleep’ contains strong language, sexual scenes, drug use, and gore.



No Proposition Denied

By Jivan Ward


Knife fork and plate chatter screech falsetto. Waitress lead we cramp in couple’s row. Left, wrinkle foreheads and retirement holiday tan rest off forty year survival. Right, designer stubble chortle mani-pedi giggle and date-etiquette Chianti on tap. My elbows pinned by space bubble I can’t break. Ignore it down to menu and glance over laminate A4 sheet Italian sub-headers with Anglo-colloquial-condescension below. Décor of wall-mirror and chandelier, staff upper-class penguins amiable frenzied waddle with dishware arms and cutlery tendrils. You fingers scratch wrist menu flip over for beers and wine. We decide wine bottle both know easier to talk merry when old friends begin like new. There was time when we knotted noose. Only teen angst camaraderie petered out with early-morning park beers and all-night energy drinking at laptops and essays. Memory long forgot illuminate at your presence. Same for you?

Sip water and not listen to mani-pedi spool something of sex and moral stipulation concentrate on you. Rip bread to olive oil not listen to wrinkle red-face announce despair at Miliband concentrate on speech. Waiter come waiter go glass half red starter en route we old friends. You look to listen eyes dart to dish to me and wait for point or something to confer, of university modules of aspiration women friends holidays and hobbies, precursors of the present bent to the past. I can’t talk when eat but you always could and talk of girlfriend friend of friend who likes you more than you imagine I mention one night fling and you look me and say Can ask her if she has someone in mind, Kami? concern plaster your face I down to plate fork to mouth say I’ll let you know. You say There’s nothing to lose mate, I’ll talk to her, and we’ll see? They say to yes at opportunity. I nod apprehension to the floor.

I roll cigarette quick push arms through coat and outside London bustle. We walk you ask for fag and push thumb finger to roll to you smoke. Remember argument over cigarettes and bunking off school true I flippant and your anger misplaced. You look different in shoplight through big windows, older maybe different than dye-black-fringe and acne grease soak skin. Apologise to you to myself the past and how we were at forefront of everything I think, it long time since exclude text and Facebook. You invite to practice martial art you doing since preteen. I know I too awkward and left feet multiplied to move graceful and dangerous say I’ll let you know, Hugo. We stand at station talk few minutes could continue for hours or evening but cut short and hug and watch you set down steps. I fish for tobacco again chain smoke worry away. We not talk of past not laugh to things we done, easy to swim with the current now life a different life without you.

Touch base continue and return to remember. Seems the different seams we sew cross maybe once twice more then?…I hope you find date for me.



Jivan Ward

Jivan Ward was born and reared in London, where he learnt that there’s more to life than what surrounds you. Stumbling out of a tumultuous passion for music, into the corridors of libraries and the dank recesses of fiction, he began writing poetry and short stories before going to university to study the craft and art of writing. Tit led to tat and he works in retail and is currently writing a novel and running a blog. He believes the internet is a force of neutrality and that the publishing industry should invest more in its authors than its devices.

For more Information on this Series, Visit: No Cygnet for Sleep: An Introduction
To Follow the Entire Series, Visit: No Cygnet for Sleep: Jivan Ward

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