This week’s post title sounds like a story title in itself, but actually it’s an intriguing composition of the following two stories:

Hell is by Laura Weichselbaumer

and

The Lost Leg by Caroline Stevenson

We hope you enjoy reading both these stories written by two very talented Sunday writers.

Hell is

By Laura Weichselbaumer

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash

Writing prompt: Hell is

Hell is Disconnect.

Disconnect from purpose.

Disconnect from intuition.

Disconnect from desire.

Disconnect from Love.

Those are the things of hell.

Hell is Deprivation

Deprivation of eternal self.

Deprivation of joy.

Deprivation of freedom.

Deprivation of the present moment.

Those are the things of hell.

Hell is Demanding.

Demands to conform.

Demands to accept.

Demands to produce.

Demands to struggle.

Those are the things of hell.

Hell is Limiting.

Limits on curiosity.

Limits on creativity.

Limits on potential.

Limits on expression.

Those are the things of Hell.


The Lost Leg

By Caroline Stevenson

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

Writing prompt: It’s been a long night working at the bar. Tidying up at the end of your shift you are shocked to find an artificial leg under one of the tables. Who could have left it behind? You never noticed anyone hopping home…

The clearing up of the bar and the stacking of the chairs had largely been completed in auto-pilot. I had never actually attempted to clear up the bar blindfolded after closing time but I’d certainly be willing to bet a pint on the odds of me being able to complete the task. I didn’t even focus on my surroundings by this point at 3am, after hours of straining to hear orders over the 80s pop music and being up on my feet all evening. This particular evening had been more of an exertion than usual since my fellow barmaid Paula, having been refused the night off, was purposefully digging her heels in and being painfully slow in the kitchen, painfully slow on a fag break, painfully slow in anything which didn’t involve face-to-face contact with a dreaded customer.­­

And lo and behold, before the chime of the clock striking three had even begun to resonate through the woody interior of The Peg Leg, Paula sprinted out of the swinging doors – the kind which always have a starring role in Spaghetti Westerns. She was free at last to run off into the night and fulfil her postponed diary appointment to shag Kevin. Lord knows how Kevin had survived 8 hours on his own without her. He must have been scratching at the doors of the flat like a cat, or found a better use for at least one of his hands in the meantime instead. Paula would have you think that Kevin was as dependent as a kitten and as sex-crazed as a rabbit, and would abscond if left to his own devices. She’d just have to lock him in next time.

My thoughts wandered between these bitchy musings and the half-remembered contents of my fridge. I was fairly certain I had enough for breakfast, that’s certainly what my rumbling tummy was counting on. My breakfast reverie had evolved to visualising a fry up and was broken off too soon when my left leg thudded against something it doesn’t habitually thud against in the dimly lit, post-work gloom.

I knew at once it wasn’t a table leg, it was too centrally located under the table. I didn’t want to have to bend down and look unless strictly necessary – too much effort – so I gave it another little kick and put my powers of deduction to the test instead. It recoiled slightly from the contact, even seemed to bounce a little, but was nevertheless firm, as the nerve endings in my toe immediately acknowledged. The thus-far Unidentified Springy Object tilted from the aftershock just as I bent down to rub my foot. Imagine my surprise when another foot burst out from under the table and nudged against my own. My scream was loud enough to wake up the neighbourhood – even Deaf Irma two doors down – and I stumbled back, sending a wave of stacked chairs crashing to the floor in a mocking, clunky domino effect. Just my goddamn luck. I’d dragged punters out of the toilets at closing time before if they’d fallen asleep on the bog in a boozy stupor, but never had anyone actually succeeded at drinking themselves under the table. This asshole was going to be dragged out, quite literally.

I hope he stubs his balls on the table leg, I thought to myself as I grabbed the foot and pulled it with all my might. My body, braced for resistance at least matching my body weight, was met with next to none. I backward-somersaulted over the table behind and mercifully now had a stack of chairs on the other side of it to break my fall. It was the kind of kinetic feat which could only hope to look impressive if it had been pre-choreographed. Clutching a rib with my left hand, I was astonished to register that my right was still holding a foot. A shiny, smooth, non-stinky bare foot. Toes in perfect proportion to each and their nails free of any discolouring. Naturally, attached to this foot was a leg. But nothing else besides.

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