Archive for June, 2014

Image: Shane Bolitho 2014

Image: Shane Bolitho 2014

Born and bred an inland lad, the idea of the ocean and all things in it are as far removed from normality as anything my psyche has had to deal with over the years.
Fish were things you caught out of rivers or lakes (if you were lucky), or were battered or crumbed wedges of oily deep-fried goodness from the fish’n’chip shop down the road.
We found crabs at the fish’n’chip shop too. But, rather than scuttling creatures with nippers and stalky eyes, they were sticks of seafood-extender in salty batter.
The sandiness of a day at the beach was such a foreign, unimaginable thing, a million miles away from the sunburnt days spent in the manicured and concreted surrounds of the local pool, with its uniform straight lines and the inviting blue of its chlorinated water.


Leaning against the door, hands behind his back, Raymond Cecil Jones looks genuinely sad behind the substantial bristling of his moustache. Here in front of him is the boy he had taken under his wing, educated, and moulded, so long ago. The boy that had bitten the very hand that fed him. He takes a handkerchief from his breast pocket and wipes his nose and eyes.

“All the dudes were in a flurry, for to catch him they did hurry,” he chimes. Someone makes a noise in the back of the room, something between a snort and a scoff. Jones has two hard-core gun-fighters among his crew – Wily “Utah” Vaine and Sam Vartana. It is likely to be one of them. Jones glances in the direction of the scoff and bares his teeth in a cruel grin, exposing his look of sorrow as perhaps just another piece of fakery, hinting at his penchant for theatre, at his talent for deception, and at his generally fraudulent ways.

“One who caught him now is sorry, poor little maid,” he sings, removing his waistcoat, unbuttoning his shirt cuffs. “Poor little Moses. Poor little maid,” he says as he rolls up his sleeves. “Moses?”

Moses Raleigh sits, blank-staring at the floor, at the bare floor-boards. His hands are tied behind his back, his ankles to the legs of the rickety-legged chair, his bottom lip drooping.