1 The constraints: 1) No more than
one hour. 2) No more than 20 lines.
The result ? Genius or Not.


7 April 2011

By Melissa Lee-Houghton | 2011 April 07

Martin would stare into my room through the window in the door.
His face was huge, he looked like a psychopath.
He’d been dying so many times looked like he was immortal.
I would draw the curtain and he would still stare.
In the smoke room we toasted the New Year with Bucks Fizz
in plastic cups. We watched the fireworks; there was life happening outside of us.
My bedroom window was cracked, and it frosted up
and the extra woollen blanket wasn’t enough.
Martin watched me making my food, he watched me wherever
I went, he wouldn’t listen when they told him to leave me.
His black hair was knotted and thick
and his hands were like baseball gloves.
There was something wrong with his bones and his jaw
would gape, and he would walk so slowly, sidle up whilst you were thinking
of how to get out.
He never touched me even if he had wanted to touch me.
He waited for me to get out of the shower with my towel wrapped around me,
he tried to get in but it wasn’t like that-
he was mad, he just couldn’t help it. 
I blew smoke at him and I shouted, to make him go away.

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