Sesame Seed: Daybreak.

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Backlit by this light show was the solitary Phare de Grand Jardin  Lighthouse, rising majestically from the sea.

“I HATE YOU!” Blackboard.

“No you don’t”, Tony whispered to himself as he stumbled along the narrow corridor, holding himself up using outstretched arms. It was then that he noticed the blood. It had left a trail along the left hand wall like a gruesome murder scene – or suicide. He shuddered, inspecting his broken fingers. The pain hadn’t kicked in yet. Retracing his steps, Tony used his handkerchief to wipe the thick red liquid from the wall then wrapped it around his hand. At that point, the throbbing began as the shock and adrenaline subsided.

He entered the almost empty bar, conscious of the bulky, bloodstained, makeshift bandage on his hand. Like an escaped convict, he concealed the offending limb under his right armpit and approached the bar. He ordered a bottle of Kronenbourg 1664.

“Are you alright sir? Your hand,” the barman enquired, removing the lid from the bottle and placing it on the bar.

“I had a bit of an accident,” Tony responded, a wave of nausea crashing over him.

“Please, come with me,” countered the young man. He checked to make sure no one needed his attention, and beckoned Tony to the far end of the bar. By the time he was finished, Tony’s stricken hand was neatly wrapped in a clean bandage.

“Thank you, that’s quite a professional job,” Tony said, holding up his hand for inspection.

“I’m a doctor. Or at least I was, in my home city.” The attendant replied.

“Wow, really? Where’s that?” Somehow, Tony anticipated the response. His heart sank and he thought of Shirine, disenfranchised by world politics. This young fella was no different.

“Baghdad, Iraq. You know it?” His face lit up at the mention of his home.

“I do indeed. Thank you for your attention and I hope your future goes well.” Tony felt his words were empty and inadequate and the resulting grin from the boy was heartbreaking.

The freezing beer flooded his dry mouth as he downed two thirds of the bottle in a couple of gulps. The resulting brain freeze was akin to having a stroke. Combined with the throbbing hand, the young Iraqi and the incident with Shirine, it made Tony want to go on deck and jump overboard.


The following morning, having not thrown himself into icy depths of the English Channel,  Tony was lucky to witness the most spectacular daybreak. To the east, the sky was a palate of colour from salmon to indigo which shifted by the second like oil on water. Backlit by this light show was the solitary Phare de Grand Jardin  Lighthouse, rising majestically from the sea. The rocks on which it was standing were hidden by the high tide so that it looked as though it was floating. To the south the port of St Malo, with its mediaeval ramparts, appeared on the horizon.

Resting his elbows on the port deck rail, Tony gingerly cradled his Canon EOS camera in his heavily strapped left hand and focused on the fine yellow line between sky and sea. Suddenly, as it had on those February mornings at home, the sun began to emerge, a tiny yellow dot in the middle of the gold yarn. Within seconds it burst from its morning birthplace in a flaming semi circle. The camera whirred away as the yellow orb dragged itself free of the horizon and took on its full rounded form. Once clear, it began to reflect from the calm water creating a shimmering triangle of gilt spreading towards the ferry. 

It was at that point, as he replaced the plastic cap on the lens of the camera, that a wonderful sensation overcame him. The view took him back to those lonely, freezing mornings when he would drag himself out of bed and rush down to the promenade in time for the morning fireworks. Yes, he was alone then, four thousand miles from his “Daybreak”, recording this daily phenomenon of her namesake, to be near her. Every morning he would send the photograph, via Facebook with the tag, “Sobh be-kheir daaneye konjed jān“. “Good morning dear Sesame Seed”. To which she would reply with one word, “Beautiful”.

The feeling of isolation had been palpable then, separated by distance, culture and time. This morning, though, it was different. Her proximity hugged him like a warm down jacket, knowing she was just a few floors below his feet. Then, as if by telepathy, that single word brushed Tony’s left ear as she linked her arm through his. “Beautiful,” she sighed softly. He had both of his Daybreaks together and his heart mimicked the new sun, turning to liquid like the yolk of a freshly poached egg.

Shirine pressed her cheek against Tony’s upper arm, placing her hand on his bandage. She looked down at the fresh fabric and her face froze.

“What?” The rest of the words were clipped from the end of her sentence. Tears erupted in her eyes as she looked up at him. “You must hate me,” she breathed, a sob accompanying the last word. Tony turned towards her. Resting his chin on the top of her head he breathed in, the floral fragrance of her damp hair infusing his nostrils like a potent inhalation.

“Hardly,” he whispered, taking in another lungful of her scent.

“I’m so sorry, please forgive me,” she croaked, her own voice, neither blackboard nor pillow, breaking with emotion. Her face pressed harder into his coat sleeve and her hand squeezed his. Tony ignored the shot of pain that shot up his arm.

“What did we say?” He asked, trying desperately not to sound patronising. “No apologies, we’ll talk tonight over dinner. Moules frites for me with lots of fresh bread to soak up the sauce and salmon for you, cooked your favourite way.” Tony’s stomach rumbled and he gently guided her below deck for some breakfast before they docked.


  1. Gavin Atkinson

    I enjoyed reading your Sesame Seed – Daybreak. Very descriptive and setting the scene well. Cant wait to find out how he was able to paint his wall in thick claret. Im presuming that Shirine had something to do with it. Sounds like Ted is besotted by her. Bit like a friend of mine who was so entangled in a relationship he couldn’t see the wool from the trees and consequently had a mental health issue whereby he seemed to want to throw everything onto the floor and start afresh with new surroundings that would not remind him of his previous two years of a happy relationship which turned sour because of an age difference and significant cultural differences and family pressures that overcame the love she once had for him. Consequently he is now craving other cathartic experiences to renew his love of life and new horizons. I hope he finds his new dreams and doesn’t end up like Don Quixote, spending his time tilting at windmills. Like youself he is looking at ways he can embellish his future and bury the past, yet keep fond memories that wont traumatise and have an adverse effect on his present and future mental stability.

    • brian

      I think I know him! Seems like a nice guy. Although in to way similar to Tony, or indeed Shirine. Both of whom were created long before your manifestations. However, I do agree if somewhat partially with your hypothesis. Regarding the man’s circumstances. A very accurate picture you paint. Speaking of which, I you read the previous chapter here…

      …you will discover the unfortunate accident that led to the claret incident.

      The runaway says he’ll see you next week x


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