• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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You Don’t Need

You wouldn’t call it tiny if you had to walk its single road in winter sleet; or risk a night on our one moor, lightless as it is; or if you slipped off its huge, deserted, north-shore cliffs and nothing ahead of you but the Atlantic.

Yes, I’ve lived on the mainland. Tourists think I’ve been nowhere. I’ve been places they can’t imagine. Joined the army. Places so hot your eyeballs boil. Shattered people, desperate to survive. Some... some even sell their children. The kids will live, you see. Live.

Love, of a kind. You want to give them life.

I fell off the cliff once.In that plummet from safety to the void, I mourned a lifetime. What I’d wasted. What I still wanted time to do. My life — leaving me. I raged. I didn’t deserve...!

I woke on the barrack floor. Paul, my mate, was holding me, fiercely. He didn’t jeer. He knew. Between the bottom bunk and the concrete — fall enough to see too many things.

I came back here.

You don’t need a load of friends, just some good ones. You don’t need a string of women, just a wife, and some kids, and a way to support them.

Any time I itch for more, I look for something to give away.