MESSAGE by Marcus Speh

We are fortunate to live in times of great tenderness. To describe the intimate touch between two of God’s mad children whom we encountered today in the crowd, on the railway, we must use a metaphor lest someone presumes we want to poke fun at the less able as they’re called by well-meaning magistrates of human diversity. The normal people, as they call themselves, looked with suspicion at the crazies hugging in the train. They cannot figure out why the bozos, as they secretly call them, caress each other so eagerly. “You don’t need to hang on to one other”, says their minder, “just hold on to that pole”. His voice sounds practical but not dispassionate. “Okay”, says crazy Jim and as he grabs the pole, another one of the group with dark eyes puts her head on Jim’s shoulder, smiles and sighs deeply. Jim smiles, too. He doesn’t think he’s stupid. Neither do we. Before the train disappears in a dark underpass, I read a feverish message on the tunnel walls: “If everyone hunts the offender who stays with the victim?”


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17 responses to “MESSAGE by Marcus Speh

  1. More behind this simple scenario than a single reading can detect. Nicely done, Marcus.

  2. Michelle

    Nice, Marcus. Very beautiful.

  3. Oh, yeah, totally on the spot. Love this

  4. I sometimes think that people who don’t ride trains are missing so much of the world. Well-observed minders and reminders, Marcus.

  5. stephen

    very sweet. i like the word substitution game that runs through the piece as well. nicely played.

  6. thanks guys…i seem to come to this late always. there’s so much happening and now with japan…wherever you look, there’s need but also nurture. but i digress as usual. enjoyed your comments, thanks for reading. looking forward to read yours, too. cheerio from berlin, flying colors! spring beckons!

  7. len kuntz

    great job, marcus. loved the first and last sentences especially. it started out sounding sort of like dickins.

  8. Oh wow, so much in this, it’s wonderful. With everything else in your life at the moment, where did you find the time to write it?

    • thank you matt. i wrote this a while back. i posted it now. i do write flash every day though – it relaxes me when i’m fed up to the gills with the long form. and vice versa. cheers!

  9. I really liked this. I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but it really appeals to me.

    • …thanks. perhaps it’s the last,rather ominous sentence, which is just an observation – some graffiti i read on a tunnel wall. the entire scene is (almost) observed, actually.

  10. Dorothee

    Thanks for that Ride. Made me think of Kerouac: the Mad ones that shine.

  11. What a wonderful voice, Marcus. Love ‘the intimate touch between two of God’s mad children’ and ‘one of the group with dark eyes puts her head on Jim’s shoulder, smiles and sighs deeply’ and ‘neither do we’! This rich piece burrows right in. It’s a gem.

  12. Kelly

    very very nice, Marcus – just shows you how nonlinear a train ride can be.

  13. love the feverish message, lends a dread to the piece that is quite delicious. peace…

  14. Pingback: Week #44 – Crowd | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  15. The “message” and how it channels through us, is a powerful construct. I liked this a lot, Marcus and felt the heavy dread in it, the mirror in our world at the moment if one does not pay attention to the infinite: sun rising, birds chirping, a nice smile on the train, etc.

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