This is a personal piece that I wrote, hoping that it could’ve been used for my second year portfolio but its too long and even though I’ve cut parts I personally don’t want to cut any more. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating this story and character.
The night burned cold across the metropolis of Bridgecroft, wind rattled the window panes of towering constructs and church bells swayed to and fro, not managing more than a whisper above the torrid collaboration of shattering rain and howling winds that bombarded the city all night long. The city was a deathly still, every man, woman and child were indoors or hidden away in the darkened alcoves of buildings, all of them trying to escape the torment of the past, sleepless, rain filled nights.
As the night waned on there was naught to break the monotony until footsteps came into existence. Splashes followed by splashes. The continually overfilling puddles no longer disturbed by only rain.
The steps were made by a man draped in a long heavy coat; his jeans were dark with wet, his shoes even darker. As his hooded head turned towards the streetlamps his face contorted in pain. His jaw was chiselled and firmly coated in a short dark beard that covered from his adam’s apple to halfway up his cheeks without touching his top lip. His nose was bust, disjointed and carried a near white scar that showed up against his dark vermillion eyes. His hair was dark brown, matted and long, it shined with the rain that had seeped through his hood and it was all pushed back, held by a band of worn grey fabric that kept itself tort against his skull. He carried nothing but a black hardened case which held weight within in it.
As he continued to stare up at the light the wind whipped around his ankles, he shuddered and pulled his coat around himself, hands clenching tightly. Then before he could make another move, a foreboding gust of wind swooped in, causing him to shift back on his back foot, with a grunt he pulled himself away down a cobbled alleyway where the leering buildings loomed over all traces of light ‘til they were fully extinguished.
He came out into an older part of town, the roads were cobbled and dark from grime, remains which would never be fully washed away. The shop lights were out and the eerie shadows were dishevelled nothing but slight casts of their being, created from the protruding light of old black, embellished street lamps that uniformly lined down the roads. Each lamp giving every individual stone a warm glaze of honey like substance that oozed towards the pavement, before being swallowed by the blackness of nights gloom.
As he paced down the streets his hard soled boots clapped against the hard stone pavements, music slowly came into existence, moving through the air with little resistance, warmth pushed through with every word as it bounded off old boarded windows throughout the streets until they resounded in a state of floundering uselessness. As he kept walking the music got louder, a hue a light swathed the walls of the streets much like a climbing mist, it grew thicker with every inch of ground he gained. He hit the corner with pace, his stride had quickened with anticipation of finding people in this dreary deserted city.
The light hit his eyes and as they re-adjusted they came into view, three young men playing together, one stood the other two sat, all perfectly framed in the glow of the streetlamp towering above. A hooded character in baggy jeans and thick shoes sat cross legged with a snare and a makeshift base drum. The way he kept the rhythm going was beyond any he’d seen before, the second man was bobbing his head in time, his hair didn’t move an inch, short and pushed back, he had an acoustic guitar; all thick stringed, playing it like a slap-base, hitting it on every off beat. He sat on his guitars case, old and worn with stickers covering the scars and holes developed over time. The lead was an entirely different figure he had white trousers turned dark and mucky from the rain and wore an old bomber jacket. His hair was kept in a hat, and his hood was pulled over, he stood there strumming away at his guitar, singing out to no-one. As he approached them they looked down at his case, he looked up almost hopefully throwing them a few coins, they watched him walk on by, still playing but looking him up and down. With each step away from the boys the music dimmed, the magic disappeared and sound was overtaken by rain once again.
He walked for hours, meeting no-one. The darkness grew in the alleyways and then waned as he got to the streets. His clothes were now so dark with damp that the rain simply ran off the clothing, there was no space for anymore moisture to be taken in. He walked longingly until he got to a side-street littered with graffiti and ‘art’ he slowly wondered down the pavement, his spare hand running along, feeling the textures and layers of paint on the wall, he did this ‘til half way down the street and turned slowly to a door.
His hand slid from the painted walls to the brass handle; pushing his way in he disappeared into further darkness towards a dusty lamp in the corner. A low glow began to hum from the corner, the dirty shade not allowing more then a small amount of light to pass through. The sound of a cap unscrewing echoed across the room followed closely by the clang of a glass and the slapping of liquor on the mouth of the bottle before sploshing onto the icy rocks below, the finite clunk of the bottle settling on the side table. He slumped into a deep sunken chair and drank slowly, singing to himself words of no real importance or structure. He refilled his glass repeatedly throughout the next few hours, with little movement but that of his arms and mouth ‘til he finally passed out on the chair. His head rolled back; one hand grasping the glass, the other rested on the hardened case sat by the chair.
With a murmur he grunted and shifted his weight, his eyes slowly opening with heavy resistance, head in burly hands, nursing a well deserved hangover. He pulled himself up and moved the empty bottle into the corner alongside others and left the glass on the side as he pulled his coat around him and headed out into the city.
The rain was still pattering away, though with less intensity and for the first half hour of walking it was barely noticeable that it had even touched him. His hair merely glistened and his coat was a darker hue. The city was now starting to get busy, cars were periodically passing through with increasing numbers, and people were following suit. It was never obvious where each individual went, but seemingly within an hour the majority had disappeared into one building or another. He wondered the streets with barely an obstacle after that, people brushed past and his case knocked knee’s and thighs without a care, everybody was in a rush but him.
As his journey continued he slipped down a widened side street, railings went along the side halfway down masking a stairway down into the basement of an old building. Creaking gently there hung an old iron sign embellished with the head of a cat and the words ‘enough room to swing a cat’ along the walls posters and signs for gig’s and events were strewn across, overlapping each other, all partially ripped to bits. His feet were heavy against the stone steps, the door creaking as it was pushed open before he slammed it shut.
Lights flickered on, stuttering and struggling against the darkness, only finally being able to fill the room with a putrid gloomy glow. He pushed his way through the room towards the back wall past the tables, all with seats and stools piled on top on another to clear the floor until he reached the far-side of the room.
Across the main back wall and partway down the side stood a tall bar which stretched as one unit all the way around. Taps sprung up in three’s and four’s periodically each holding a differently liquid behind the powered nozzles. Behind the counter strewn against the wall stood bottles of all shapes and sizes, filled to varying levels, none of them new, more then a good dozen very old. With a clunk of his case against a table and the shuffling of his coat draping over a barstool he settled himself behind the bar, pouring a measure of whisky in a dusty glass. As he opened the ice bucket his face screwed up in disdain, with a grunt he walked away, his glass still missing ice.
Sipping away into his fourth glass the room began to creak, floorboards groaned under the weight of someone coming from the back, lights in the far side of the room flickered and the shadow of a man flickered into life. Still besotted by the bar he slowly looked up and as his eyes met the figure on stage he quickly necked the fourth glass of the day and stood up, advancing groggily towards him.
The figure came into full view as the lights managed to bloom and encase a whole stage like construct that took up a good amount of the other side of the room. He was a stout man with a thick ginger beard, his hairline had disappeared long ago and he wore a short sleeved shirt showing his tattooed arms now hardly anything but a mush of green colourings. He jumped off the stage and strode towards the bar, taking a route throughout the room which allowed him to grab down chairs of the tables, setting them down as he went. With not even a word they nodded to each other and shook hands, grabbing his case and taking a newly filled glass in hand he slumped off the bar, towards the stage and settled down there.
After an hour of silence he started moving more quickly, evening was approaching, the pavement and roads above were coming into life, hundreds of footsteps, tyres and the rattling of a orchestra of exhaust’s echoed everywhere, glasses on the bar shook gently, chiming softly against each other. He grabbed a worn, torn apart barstool, half the padding missing the gap now nothing more then a makeshift ashtray for the user. As people started coming down the stairs the bar was casually pushing out more and more drinks, everyone floated to their seats as though they had frequented them and chosen out their own spots for years ago and for eternity. The punters were a mix of old business men, worn out shopkeepers and their young upstarts who followed them constantly, trying to figure out how everything was done, trying to gain a place in the social groupings, but constantly put to the side whilst business and life was talked about.
The stage was still empty except the old stool and the solid case to the side of it. He was stood there in a long shirt and corded trousers, looking out at the audience. Stood to the right side smoking a crudely crafted cigarette he looked over to the bar, the ginger bearded man pointed to his watch and with that he slumped towards the case and opened it up. It gleamed with gold and rich red reflection and with his body covering everything but the lights reflection his arm’s moved manically, twisting and jamming pieces together ‘til he stopped and delicately slipped a brace over his neck and clicked a catch to his creation.
He turned and faced the crowd, all sat there barely paying him barely any attention, with a sigh he shrugged his shoulder’s turning towards the back, the lights on stage clicked out, the crowd still barely wavering from their conversations and drinks.
The moan of a worn pedal dropped, a light from above flickered on revealing the stage; a piano handled by a tall slender man with, a double bass held upright by a stocky man and a drum-kit which within held a tiny man with, in the centre was a space with a stand and the worn out barstool.
The lights were chased by the sound of white ivory tickling through the air, flowing easily. The men at the bar gathered their drinks and settled down.
A plucked beat began to ripple under the piano tones, going low and deep into a quivering state beaten out of existence with every beat that followed, It was slow and deliberate whilst the piano key’s fluttered along merrily. The conversations were stopping and men looked down to their drinks.
The rattling of a skin tight snare began to fill the spaces between beats and keys with the flurry of softened hits on cymbals gave the whole piece a shimmering light much like the cymbals themselves produced as they reflected the worn stage light from above. The crowd were watching intently, the worn faces of men nodded in approval whilst the virginal faces of their apprentices were bare with complete interest.
As the night went on the crowd began to waver, going to and from the bar more and more often ‘til only half the people were really sat down. As the band slowed down the men settled down again and as the music was creeping along he entered the stage, his long coat still cast to the side and his piece held by a strap around his neck. Sitting on the stool it groaned as he stubbed out his rolled up cigarette into it. The men looked up and the band began to pick up tempo the speed increasing to furious speeds. As he put his piece to his mouth breath left his lungs and he began to play, keeping his head down whilst shuffling about the stage, his left foot tapping causing his corded black trousers to bounce to the beat.
The crowd were all smiling, the pleasure written on their faces, drinks were being brought to the tables and the ginger bearded man looked on, slightly softer then his normal fierce appearance would allow. As they played low key pieces to major numbers like Baker Street the night became a euphoria of music, it was his show, he commanded it wielding his instrument so delicately, easing out every quality and golden note.
As he swung about the stage he never uttered a word, he held the stage, his band playing perfectly and reacting to every instance where he would take over and change the rhythm of the song. They played for hours and by the end of it his long matted hair was losing its solidness with rogue hairs falling out of place, his sleeves were rolled up and his face read of fatigue and pain. He began coughing and quickly left the stage, his band members began urging the punters home.
As he riled in the ally-way he dropped to the wet floor the water flaring up on impact and splattering his clothes, his hair was now draped around his face and he was left on his knees. He punched the ground and forced himself up, pushing his hair back and quickly rolled another cigarette, as he smoked he leant against the back wall a shady bulb lit up covering the tiny area around the backdoor in light. He was only halfway through the cigarette that the ginger bearded man came outside. He whipped out a small pipe and lit it. Whilst stuffing his tobacco and matches into his pocket he turned to his associate.
Within the space of drags the bearded man muttered “You want money this week or the bar again?” his voice was horse and stifled with age.
A gruff croak murmured out “Bar.” And with that they both nodded, as the bearded man went inside he tossed the keys onto the floor and left. He finished his cigarette and grabbed the keys, only the stage light and one of the lights over the bar remained on, everybody had left, the place was like it had been earlier; chairs up on tables, stage clear apart from his instrument case, instrument inside and his coat to the on top. As he picked up his things and staggered to the bar he fell into a slump, dropping his case and coat to the floor, holding himself up on the bars side. With a grunt he pushed himself to the bar and grabbed as many bottles as possible making four trips back and forth until he found himself crashed out in front of the bar, his case an armrest, his coat a lining to protect his body from the sticky boozed up floor.
As he grabbed each bottle in succession they began to surround him, the empty bottles encasing him in a hidden away grove of coloured glass. He drank and drank, half the drink missing his gullet at one point and merely dampening his body. After every bottle he had grabbed was drank his head rolled, left to right and then towards his pocket, he rolled another cigarette, a hastily rolled up piece, it was slipping apart as he held it, and yet he lit it taking long hard drags, holding the smoke in his mouth ‘til it burnt before releasing it through the back of his throat and out of his nostrils. He smoked all the contents in his pockets, chaining every piece and drag together, whilst still burning away the back of his throat, filling his body with smoke.
As he laid there slumped against the bar he pulled some paper out of his pocket and scribbled a note, he slipped further down, his back propped against the wall and his head now rested into his chest, with every heavy breath smoke, crept around the side of his face from the front, the bottles surrounded him and only the small light-bulb above the bar was dancing, swaying in the smoke, long after the music was alive. With every breath his body began to slow, ‘til his chest stopped moving, smoke still filtering out his open mouth and nostrils, trickling through the air his hand grasped around a bottle filled with cigarette butts his other atop his case holding a card with scruffy writing on it.
I wrote the end of this piece first then added the whole entering the house bit to give a bit of back story. This won’t make the cut in terms of handing in for marking, but I did enjoy writing this a-lot.
I feel the worn wooden grain on my hand as I push against the front door, the handle clicking into place. The house is still warm, cooling fast. Where is she? Out? Don’t be stupid she’s more then likely upstairs, my watch tells me it’s gone midnight, Lily will be in bed, lingerie, the usual silky red number that I’ve said I love so many times before. It’s the usual Saturday night treat, I work too hard in the week, I know I do. I still can’t believe what Alex said at the pub, what I saw when I parked up across the road two hours ago after Alex forced me to go. Chris walking down the street, a spring in his step, my front door closing. Alex was right, though he never said how long it had gone on for.
Creeping up the stairs my mind goes over what’s happened, what’s going to happen. I’ll walk in, sleep and not say a word, ever. Then she’ll still be mine, she’ll stay with me, my beautiful girl. Or maybe I’ll storm in and call her out, watch her crumble, her beauty all but remaining behind broken mascara tears.
As I reach the top of the stairs, a glow from the bedroom cracks through the doorframe giving the hallway a grimy haze. I can hear her shifting in bed, almost in time with my footsteps. Pushing the door my eyes meet hers, I recoil. The warmth, her gaze hit me hard.
“Hey Beautiful, you look cosy…” She smiles at me, none the wiser. “Hey you, have fun with Alex? How’s he doing?” “Yeah he’s good, was a laugh, I’m just glad to be back home though dear… I’m just going to freshen up” My feigned smile drops as I walk into the bathroom, the door closing slowly behind.
The figure in the bathroom mirror stares down at me, judging me and every move I’m planning to make, How can I just roll over this? Domestic bliss… Bollocks there’s no such thing. Christ I do love her though, but does she love me? How can she? Its not like I’m always out, not away with work. How could this have happened? How long has it been going on? Alex never said.
Dowsing my face with water, nothing has washed off except the lightness of my clothes, now stained with moisture. My tired eyes, red and irritated still remain skirting around, looking for a way out of this mess.
My tired sodden clothes go into the washing bin, I slip off my shoes, my socks and as my feet meet the bathroom tiles they wake me, eyes wide open and focused for an instant. Fully alert, awake. Stepping out now, fully without a clue.
She’s there, laying in wait for me, I make one step, two steps, 3 steps, around the room our eyes never leaving each other. I hit the side wall, my shoulder bangs into the mirror and it shatters, she jumps and the focus is torn away. She is scared, and clutching the covers. I can feel my shoulder becoming warmer, liquidating and being covered. She doesn’t say a word, she’s just there staring, quivering, in silence.
“I love you, you know that don’t you? I really do. God knows how or why, but I do…” Her eyes met mine again, I could see her head ticking away, working it all out. “I know everything, all I ever wanted was to have you, as mine. Mine alone, my beautiful girl.” I crack a smile; I just want her to understand.
In a moment I’m by the bed, on the bed and laying next to her, my head is rushing around so fast, I look into her eyes, I whisper “I love you” my head says I hate you. What I want her to hear and what I want to say are slipping far apart and control is going with them. I lean in and kiss her. I’ll kiss you darlin’, I’ll kiss you as i always did, with sweet butterfly like kisses upon your warm soft skin. I’ll kiss you all over. Everywhere, until you are smothered, smothered and still, leaving you there, laying on the floor, left as nought but a passion covered corpse of past romance. As I see you there I cannot help but be wrought. The warmth leaves your body so quickly, the rose in your lips fades, you’re beauty is diminishing right before my eyes with every staggered breath I take.
I search the floor ‘til my hand is caught, with no thought I grasp and feel the glass and metal of the broken bedroom mirror bury into my palm adding my wounds to my being. I crouch and give but one final sweet kiss before the mirror shard beings to swathe through your layers of skin, so easily its almost invigorating, as the edges come away the skin flaps, your beauty, must be kept so with speed I hack through the centre, preserving as much skin as possible, and with that you are done, prepared even. As the crunch of glass breaks the silence I look down at the mirror shards on the floor and able, the bed is ruined and the carpet beyond repair, it is masked by your blood covered body and as I look closed into the mirror I see myself more and more clearly, as I hold your face before mine it is but a façade of beauty I once thought I truly owned.
I Wrote this piece whilst sat in the centre of Derby during the “Big Freeze” last year, although it didn’t make it into my portfolio its a beautiful memory for me.
There was something unsettling about the street I was walking down, having just been inside a warm and busy shopping centre for hours the street was a contrast to all the senses, a tender mist split into existence across the distant cobble stones and seemed to retreat as I waded through, the streetlight’s were on, their manufactured beams of piercing light smothered, softened and sweetened by the soft coat of wispy whiteness in the air.
A cold breeze walked through the street in consecutive patterns as though keeping in time with the faint musical notes that drifted through the streets. The sound of the solitary Accordion echoed and sung throughout. It gave a much needed warmth to somewhat compensate against the cold, aiding people in the darkened winter months.
I sit on a nearby bench to listen and take it all in. I cannot help but wonder how a single, simple man who by reckoning will have no means, but his instrument in order to live! How can he bespeak such emotion and create such a subdued atmosphere for all… Despite the cold I cannot help but sit here on my bench and take it all in. My shopping slowly thaws beside me but at this time it doesn’t matter. I cannot help but enjoy the splendour and tranquillity of the whole situation I’ve found myself in. Even though I believe for a fact he is simply playing for attention or the public. I feel he is playing for me…to lift my spirits during this cold time. The feeling pay this man a visit and at least drop some change to help out struck me, having never gone out of my way to give change it was strange, but it felt right.
I walk up the highstreet listening out for the source of whimsical music and to my surprise I find him. Playing his Accordion leaned back up against the wall, his head resting against his ornate piece of equipment. As I get closer I see the black worn trousers accompanied by a big padded coat that I am envious off myself being subject to this unsuspected cold shift in climate from when I came out. His face is so serene; eye’s closed, pursed lips and the lines starting to come through in his face giving a sense of age and knowledge about him.
The music seems to be coming from somewhere other then the instrument he wields asthough it is coming from him and the instrument as a singular object. As I toss a two pound coin onto the brown mat before him he looks up and mouths thank you, as I look at his face I realise that it’s a woman who has graced the area with music and not the stereotypical male busker.
her eyes give her away, they glistened with a hint of tears, at her hardship, her loneliness? Or maybe her music. As I walk on she bows her head back down against the Accordion, sheltering it from the wind, and she continues to play, I can’t help but smile the rest of my journey home. Tonight I feel as though I have been touched by something I’ll never understand.
A crash breaks through the space surrounding me, the echoes bitterly bringing a sense of tension that ripples into a gentle fear.
I am lying on the floor, my head tilted at such an angle, my body is tensing to keep my neck and head at such an obscure pose. I can see nothing but my own body; twitching horridly, stranded beneath loose clothing. The space around is black, black like the moon’s core, and I am lost. I feel as though I could reach forever and never hit a wall, a side, a person. I would explore for the entirety of my life and find nothing, but I can’t even do that. I am on the floor unable to move. On the floor. Pinned, by my own failure as a person. As a living being.
It seems as though I am waiting, but for what I don’t know; for nothing, for something, for judgement, for redemption, for death, for a Saviour or a miracle. I have no idea why I’m here, only that I seem to be waiting, forced to be waiting, for what? What am I waiting for? I have no idea but I’m… I’m Fucking Scared.
As if by some satirical magic my muscles tense in quick succession as my nerve endings erupt in a painful euphoria of fire, throbbing and pulsating in unison. Eyes open in shock; I feel my pupils retreating into themselves as tears cluster behind the glistening lens, trapped and never to escape. I don’t cry anymore, that ability left me long ago; I suppose some things stay with you forever. At this thought my parched lips stretched to something which could loosely be construed as a smile, surrounded by pain that keeps my jaw clenched shut in foreboding fear. I haven’t spoken in such a time, I can’t. I speak silence to anyone who listens but there’s no-one to listen. I am alone in this black deathless place.
A shriek, woman’s? Or, I ponder, a very troubled man’s. It erupts now, gaining volume and force, the echoes rendered unnecessary as the powerful screams of unfathomable pain and disgust reiterate constantly. What she is saying? I. Do. Not. Know. Sound is audible but not recognisable, the sounds strike my ears, and although the words ring out, the meanings are lost to me, they are nothing to me, it is simply the emotions that allow me to understand, fresh from the gaping wound of a shredded soul.
There is a thud. It envelopes and instantly smothers all previous noise. Nothing reverberates in the slightest. All sounds stop. My breath is the only thing breaking silence, the breath in front of me whisping away into the cold darkness around me. The slow scratching of metal ambles through the air before dissipating into nothing, and again I am alone, I am alone with my breaths and my thoughts.
My shirt is gone now, in the blink of an eye my view changes; I am still looking forward, only now at my naked torso. I fail to recognise it as my own. My body has been torn into with feverish pace, and it resembles what I can only describe as a patchwork quilt of pain. Its seams are scarred across my chest in horrific unison and the only thanks I have is that the nerve endings beneath my ravaged flesh are now dead.
I can’t help wishing I was as well.
Shrill, nervous, delectably sinister squeals poke out of the darkness from every angle, taunting me as though I am ready for the slaughter. I am a dying flower; wilting, crumbling, persisting and waiting to be haphazardly pruned, these sounds haunt me for a time that is completely unknown to me. Every now and then there’s a pinch, a nip, a scratch against my legs. I look down, trying to see what is toying with me, but all I see is jeans, my jeans, gaining tears, and being bathed in a vile fluid that no longer resembles a real, authentic bodily fluid, the colour is all but gone, all vitality within it, gone. Yet the darkness still manages to engulf it, making it bleaker then a blind man’s perspective.
It plays softly now, a nameless tune that lulls my body away from the pain and into transparency, it’s as though I can’t be hurt. Although when my eyes open, I see my body, my flesh, my clothing being torn into… I see it all happening. I see myself slowly dissipating from existence, leaving nothing but a physical shadow of what and who I was behind. I cannot feel it, the torture. I reach such a pain barrier that screams did no justice. Only silence, as the pain stabs through me in every instant. My silence helps me regain humanity. I now hum through my dried lips. Humming through what is now a brown crumbling scab, forever sewn up from determined disuse.
Hum, mmmm mmm mmmm
For a time, a time where everything can touch me, I am in heaven. My body doesn’t recognise the squalor of its state, the way I am in, but strangely I’m at peace.
The music stops and a molten assault of Knives, Jabs, Cuts, Bites, Sights and Sounds rise up into the darkness out of vision, swirling around above me. Then, in an instant, they move downwards, floating cataclysmically down like leaves in a transient sense of whimsical, sickening fun. Fluttering around me, twisting into shapes and then into nothing. Moving away from any perceivable sight I feel them all submerging deep into my entirety, my skin bulges and squashes and I am in agony. But it is over soon. There is no blood.
The darkness swings open, and a figure crashes in with a tool in hand, the face covered by a huge metal visor with a glazed over eye slot. I look directly at this Dominating figure and my reflection is non existent, I don’t recognise who it is, I can’t. I look around the hulking body and my eyes are strained by the exuding light, carelessly protruding from the door-like passage that has appeared from no-where, in that instant I see movement. Muscles tensing, an arm rising, the tool glimmering with a deep burgundy fade that sits over the worn metal fabrication. As the light glints off it catches me and I blink.
I hurriedly open my eyes. The tool is already well on its way into my broken face.
This was my extended piece for my first year of Creative Writing at Derby Uni.
24/06/2011 9:00 Morning
The waves of sunlight crash into my eyes. My pupils retreat in pain, scurrying away into the infinite darkness of themselves.
“Shit, it’s too fucking bright,” I mutter to myself before reaching and pulling down on the cord, loosely suspended from the ceiling. The shutters slam down eradicating the light leaving the clouded room stale, no longer penetrated by the piercing brightness. My makeshift bed is sprawled across the floor taking up nearly all the room I have; an old worn mattress, coloured by stale stains of soaked-in piss, shit and vomit. Two blankets riddled with holes, scrunched on top alongside the musty pillows that stink of lonely nights. The TV resonates a loud hum throughout the room melodically accompanying the black and white image stuttering across the screen, emitting the only light which this space now possesses yet still struggling to make it through the shadows.
“Urgh.” With strained grunts I raise my knackered body to standing; my hands sway against my sides. I barely have the drive to move, slowly stepping forwards into a dilapidated stagger I end up crashing through the room, still half fucked from a three day long binge started a few days ago, at least I think it started a few days ago. To be frank I don’t know how long it lasted. I don’t even know what bloody day it is; never really do… All I know is that when the retarded litter-bearing sow of a whore below me goes to get her government funded money, it’s probably a Monday. I should really have gotten up and gone to get my share awhile ago.
Desperate for a piss, I launch myself towards the toilet door which slowly creaks open. A small bulb floating from the ceiling flickers into life, bathing the space in a turbid orange that partially resonates into the other room before reducing into nothing but the shadows.
Follow the normal routine; hair, pull it forward, half covering my face and slapping the hat on, two day stubble, I don’t need to look at it really, it frames my sharp jawline well. Cracked lips shine through in a bloody red and my teeth are brushed to a near white, still failing to be completely rid of that putrid yellow stain from long ago. My eyes look battered, the white broken by thin red wires that creep towards the centre, towards my deep green eyes that have been forced to widen by the crimson tendrils, all framed by a dark fade of tiredness. Throw water on my face and get dressed. Buttoning up the fitted grey shirt, creased but I needn’t care about that, rolling up the sleeves in darkness I perceive nothing before pulling up an old pair of battered, slightly ripped jeans to just under the waistline. My arms are now dying, fuck knows what I did but I see old friends, track marks. Yanking up my boots, my arms still battle against co-operation, lastly grabbing a pile of papers from the table ramming them into my pockets. A couple of quid and my keys are quickly added to the collection. It’s all I really have to be honest…
Pulling the door too, I start to lock up. The key twists into place and I feel the stiffness of the lock as I turn it, until suddenly it snaps. The key in half, I pull free what I can. Half a bloody key? Brilliant! Slumping down the corridor and onto the streets my first task of the day is towards McKinnely’s, an old-school butchers. I used to work there not long back, it was good sane work.
There he was, bloated as ever, balding faster than a given up chemo patient, his apron was littered with stains; an ironic reflection to the cleanliness of his business, which he dictated with a fierce harshness.
“Ahh here now! Come for your job again eh? You can fuck off! You wasting cunt!”
For a time we stared each other down, his enormous brow overshadowing his beady little eyes which still managed to see right through me, he smiled… I had to beat him to the punch
“Yeah you can bollocks as well!” I yelled, still staring him out. Rummaging into my pockets I found what I was looking for and withdrew one of the pieces of paper I had picked up earlier, shoving it forcefully into his palm that regressed almost instantly into a fist. He looked confused, bemused in fact, but that glint of anger in his eyes convinced me to start running. In hindsight that was one of my smarter moves of the day, as moments into my sprint, a chopping board flew towards me, clipping my ankles from an almighty throw. Fuck knows if he even looked at that piece of paper.
Next stop, Becca’s house I guess, we broke up a few months back, maybe three? It was messy and the reason I was now sleeping in that shitty flat. Should be a fun visit, haven’t seen her since it all kicked off.
Classy area, for a ‘Classy’ girl this place. Grand terraced houses with towering coloured doors lined Swingate Road. After trawling for five minutes I reach the house that I once lived in. Big blue door, robust handles, styled knockers all put to shame by the intricately crafted number 57 placed in the centre of the door. The building’s just beautiful; looks like it would’ve cost a small fortune! Probably did. Becca got the whole bleeding house, free of charge. It was left by her parents, died a few years back in a crash. Was proper messy, had news coverage and everything. Knocking on the door and waiting was crazy; I used to just walk in. hearing the paced footsteps coming down the stairs I knew it was Becca. The slow opening of the door revealed her in front of me just standing there, taking it all in was strange. Once blonde she was now brunette, her hair curling and falling over her shoulders, her blue eyes partly covered, wallowing beneath an angled fringe. Her frame was still so slender, feminine like a waif, barely covered by a thin cream dress with frills. Christ I hate frills! But she could pull them off. Don’t get me wrong, the break up still hurts, but Christ!
“What do you want? Money by the looks of it.” Her eyes were now piercing into me, she hadn’t expected a visit anytime soon.
“Nah I’m good thanks, just wanted to give you this, I’m leaving town”
“What is it?” she looked almost as confused as McKinnely.
“Nothing, just do what you will, you always do”
“Hey!” Her face instantly red, flustered.
“See you around Becca.”
I don’t hear the door shut behind me. She’s watching me walk away, no looking back, there’s too much of that today.
Last real stop of the day I guess, Dads house.
Four years ago mum died from liver failure. Cirrhosis of the liver they said, but gave no reason as to how it had come about. Since then it seems dads been trying to go out pretty much the same way, by destroying his liver. Drinking his Pension into an admittedly impressive, empty bottle collection.
My first home now an old run down building. Just a small trek from Becca’s, it’s in a completely different world of its own standing there, alone on a small plot of land. The house used to be beautiful. But now it’s crumbling apart into disrepair and the door is near grey, the remnants of green paint slightly speckle the bleakness. I knock, and I wait, and I sigh for over an hour. I keep going hoping he’s in there and will wake up until my arms and arse are sore.
I post the letter and make my way towards the local graveyard.
There it is. Lodged in a cluster of dislodged broken down stones mantled with moss and flowers, Mum’s grave. Fuck knows why I wrote her a letter, maybe I’ll keep it with me, I think I will anyways. I’m there for hours, talking to her; About Dad, About Becca, About McKinnely, About my room, About how shit its been Lately, About how much I miss and need her. Nobody’s passed me in all this time, I’m sat in a silence that’s only broken by my voice, I’m all alone.
I glimpse down at my watch, train’s arriving in an hour, I leave Mum and walk down the pathway towards town, tossing the letter into the bin on the way out. What’s the point in keeping it anyway?
The Stations packed, It’s always packed at this time of day, the train to the capital arrives soon, but there’s still a seat on the platform staring at me through the crowds I walk over to it and I write down my day again, reading back it’s been hectic. Looking up I can see the side entrance to the tracks through the broken security door, just ten more minutes until my train comes. I used to love watching the train come, never understanding why I wasn’t allowed near the entrance, until I found out a lad my age had ‘fallen through’ and gotten killed. Christ what a way to go! Now all I see are the kids staring at the policemen, armed with their rifles, their guns, ready to take down any threat to the public in an instant. Time to get ready, I’m going to walk up now. Stand in the crowd. The plan? Wait until the last moment…
Tv’s flicker on, the evening news begins
And now to tonight’s top story. At twenty to five today, Newkstead Train Station was the scene of tragedy as now named 23 year old ***** ******* was perceived to be threatening members of the public in a terror scare, claiming to have a bomb. Armed members of the police quickely responded in force gunning down young ***** ******* leaving him dead. After searching the body it appeared that ***** ******* Was actually of no threat, with no bomb attached. His life now wasted, the case is under investigation. On his person were a journal recording his day and a separate note addressed to the police. Police are now following up leads gained from the journal of ***** *******.
You gave me a place in the world to work. It was hard but worth it, but then you fucked me over, all for what?! A couple of quid YOU said I could borrow from the register. You knew I had fuck all to eat, always complaining about how skinny and weak I was.
Rot in hell.
I thought you’d honestly be the one, we were great and we kept each other safe and so happy, together…
But fucking Simon? Seriously! What did you gain? You deserve to drop dead and die alone.
Kind of ironic me saying that really… don’t worry you’ll get it.
I’ve seen you kill yourself slowly over the past few years because of mum, and I’ve tried, honest to god I’ve tried to help you, but Christ! I needed you. I failed without you. With every bottle you pushed us further apart; your wanting to die consumed you.
I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, just at a faster pace.
I can still remember four years ago, the whole day. It’s crazy; my whole life is a blur in some way, there’s always a bit missing, but that day… everything is there, even the sterile smell of the hospital and the feel of my eyes welling up when the doctor walked up to me and dad, taking us into another room. He muttered “I’m sorry…” and with that we both knew instantly. It’s strange looking back, he said nothing more to me. Dad hardly gave attention to what he was saying. We just knew, and although we’d all expected it for so long it still… it still hit me, so much harder than anything before, or anything since: Dad walking away and starting his lifelong suicide; Becca cheating on me with Simon; McKinnely firing me; Being so poor I had to beg. None of it hit me really, not compared to you. No-one was there to help me. Christ, I was lost in that hospital room for years. I sort of still am, stuck in life, stuck without you.
I miss you mum, I really do.
To whom is may concern.
To me this was an easy way out. To me this was nothing. Record it as you will.
1/7/2011 10:00 Evening
The inquest into the death of ***** ******* has finally been resolved today, with a verdict of it being an open ended case. Police are with-holding details but it appears the officers involved have been in talks, and the case is being internally resolved. Our thoughts go out to any friends or relatives of the deceased.
This is the first piece I ever wrote whilst at Uni, its definitely the start of my current writing style.
I am a fucking machine. But my body is a temple of decomposing decay. The gears of my system run fluid with the excrement and pulsating ooze of hate which spills over my entirety, liquidating every surface of my factorial being, causing it to rush, crush and consume any sustainable substance in a horrid torrent of cannibalism. My heart beats faster than any other; it’s powerful, pounding, pummelling, against the soft fleshy walls that hold back my blood, my fuel, my unyielding liquid from which a lucid blue erupts into a violet red filled with rage.
Once set forth from my body, from even the smallest of breaks in my natural casing, it slowly covers itself into a hard crumbly dark matter. Like the broken floor of a once viscous volcano that now lies dead. My skin is blackened by these scabs, pieces of me set apart and raised from my very skin, then with the timely dismissal, and removal of these blemishes, I am left with an everlasting scar. It depicts every instance of pain, release and incident, all distinguished with an underlying sense of anguish accumulated throughout my life.
Internally though, my body embraces my lifestyle, enduring, preparing and dealing with this mechanical mess of a vessel I call mine, for yet another onslaught of poisons I willingly inject, infuse, intake and inflict unto and into myself. So that I might again feel that sense of gratitude and sheer bliss that escapes me in a sober state. ‘A life of excess is a life lived!’ is something I never understood; surely the body would break, but it seems to adapt and wilfully continue with the sole purpose, that it just might live.
I decided never to think about it, but once, I did. At one point in time, I questioned the whole concept.
I pictured a being, willingly destroying and pushing its self to the brink of unstable limits, before releasing the toxins and bile in a projectile, crystalline somewhat semi-liquidated mess, containing his addictions and remains of digested sacrifice, the sludge coloured by the chemicals and glutinous solutions used in its orgy of self wanting destruction. Yet almost immediately, the beast continues, fuelling what seems like complete and utter contempt for itself, a state of disgust solely directed at individual annihilation. Its hostility is aimed at the disfigurement of any trace of humanity that might be residing in the damp mossy corners of its soul, as fetid drops of cancerous death speckle and flourish the silence with razor-edged regurgitated screams, all filled with; sorrow, wrath and despair, yet completely engulfed in a torturous torment of inexplicable anger.
‘To be such a being is sheer lunacy,’ I thought to myself. But now, years later, my body older and my world bigger, more unrestricted, I look in the shattered mirror of the basement room. The cracks cut jaggedly into my reflection with every separate piece showing a new instance of excess. The music booms above me, moving everything in this dark, humid, inhospitable space. I recognise something: I am looking at myself. I have become that being. It will surely destroy me, but I am not afraid. I relish the opportunity to push myself; my mind, my body, my soul, all to the brink of lunacy. All to please myself completely.