Red Light

A story for our times

Red light

Too hot – lights too strong – uncomfortable.

The red light.

Her elbow – her pointed elbow – he SCREAMS at her – your elbow on my half – your elbow burns – is burning me – she doesn’t hear.

Red light flashing now.

He wants to stand up – he needs to stand up – he must stand up, stretch and stand up or…

Containing red light.

His brain is melting, his stomach concrete, his palms moist, his wet shirt stuck to his back.

The red light moves – the producer gesticulates –he follows the light

A voice, another talking head, another drone, practised, rehearsed and SAME.

He tries again – furrows his brow – strains to concentrate – to hear a difference – a movement – a nuance -any breakthrough,

The red light on the camera.

The red light is distracting him, the red light which from a distance is a pin prick, hardly noticeable amongst the detritus of the studio, the tables, the chairs, the podium and the backdrop.

But listening is important, the reasoned debate, the intake and analysis and the response with logic, rational and facts.

The red light throws a bordello shadow, he fights to concentrate.

His hand feels for the blade and he cuts himself secretly. He drags his thumb lightly across the edge; just enough to reassure, the pain dulls the banal.

The presenter speaks  –– NAMA- Anglo- public service –unions – deal –conflict –private sector-context – moving forward –solution…

More words, more listening.

He feels the warmth of the blood across his fingers and grips the handle.

Red light – him, the host- her, the Minister – budget – cut-backs – strikes – your department.

There is no anger.

He has eaten it.


He loathes.

He has read the papers, talked to pals, listened to the news. He knows the issue, he understands the issue, he breathes, walks and talks the issue.

The red light doesn’t.

He walks into the audience – he wants to follow him– he can’t.

His microphone and his clichés – his D4 domiciled – empathising now – just one row behind him.

Heart racing – panic spreading – he fingers the blade – feels the edge, feels the purchase and then the pull on the skin and the dull dull ache.

The microphone at his face.

The red light blinks.

The host looks to him.

He drives the blade deep into the centre of his skull.

The red light.

He listens for the other side, for the response, for the logic and rational.

16 thoughts on “Red Light

  1. Great stuff Mr Sniffle, more power to you pen -and more accuracy to late Shannon penalties, ahem.

  2. Heh Bock – stoned, hopefully in a that good smoothly mellow way as opposed to the freaky Columbian marching powder psycho way.

    Hey Gary, nothing really – these TV forum programmes wreck my head occasionally – that’s all .

  3. Bock who are “they”? Potentially the World . Snifell if you are not on any form of
    Drugs. Perhaps you could be a bit more specific? Regrettably a man of no

  4. Hi Gary, It’s a little thing about TV discussion programmes where our hero turns up and little frazzled from being repeatedly bombarded by talking heads droning on and on about the crises. And he takes affirmative action, he asserts his good self but in a kinda different way than normal. K ?

  5. Bock were I to relax much more I would be dead. Sniffle thank you for the explanation. Perhaps the wises thing is to keep the fingers well away from the keyboard

  6. Hey Gar bud, what do you type in predictive text to get aunt ?

    Missed you up there Mr Out – Ta- They’re not good enough this year & hey , they owe me nothing

  7. That’s very philospical of you Mr Sniffle. I think that this year was the first year a Limerick club didn’t finish in the top four since around the time Moses was a teenager

  8. Sniffle my apologies , given that you are posting to the world I stupidly misunderstood that this post is between friends and not for “they” . Sorry about that . I get confused when I may or may not comment.. It’s a bit breaking in on a pub chat.

  9. Gary — It isn’t a private conversation. It’s a short story. Fiction. Stop taking it — and yourself — so seriously.

  10. Gary: Please allow me to correct you on a couple of things.
    When you say “wises”, you actually mean to say “wisest”.
    When you say “a bit breaking in on a pub chat”, what you actually mean to say is “a bit like breaking in on a pub chat.”
    Just a few pointers there.
    Sniffel: Excellent.

  11. Thanks Dr. Purplehead .

    oh the so sweet slow burn of a middle-aged rage – bring it on Seanie, Sean , bring it Frontline …


  12. Don’t know how I missed this one. Must have been off line, had issues with the scumbag at Three, on going,
    As to your sorry tale, I guess you had to have been there, but it’s good writing. Do more.

  13. ta Monsieur Un. – a sorry tale indeed and if I ever get to Donneybrook with my stabbing stiletto, they best look out…

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