There is a man I see as I am walking to work. He is middle-aged, dark haired, and carries his backpack over one shoulder, always his right. He is a rather portly gentleman and he walks at pace, he reminds me of one of my Uncles, should he have been portly and fast at walking. The frightening general disparity of lifeforms which occupy a metre of pavement and do not interact is molested and exaggerated as we pass in the street. We share the scent of the fruit stall, and the coffee shop; the beige undertones of the charity shop front window, and the shelter of awnings when it is raining. I do not know the colour of his eyes, but I fancy them to be brown, or perhaps green, a shimmering of blue, or spliced with hazel. He wears black trainers which accentuate his large form into a mass of darkness as he makes haste on the street, the red streak in my hair serving as the only hint of colour in the otherwise bleakness of our encounter. He wears the same jacket, never fully closed on account of his weight, in both rain and sunshine, and as we pass each other I can see a black shirt tucked into black trousers, partially concealed beneath his coat’s exterior. Continue reading
After years, and the harshest parts of the shower.
There was your old bathwater, and I became braver…
then slowly boiled to death.
To float in the water… shoulders dipped… swathes of warm around your neck…
slight pressure pushing you down.
Closed eyes… push yourself under… knees become cold,
in a world otherwise warm.
Breathe in… soapy water… burns my throat… slowly drift, drift… drift…
exposed and concealed, there are ducks on the curtain.
I think about your indifference as I submerge my head.
Heart becomes frenzied, a spark of enthusiasm in a life otherwise dead… flutter. Misunderstanding or despair pressed between sheets of odium or water,
I haven’t decided yet… flutter.
I gave you the world and you mustered a smile… flutter.
The water keeps my skin from falling away for a short time, at least… flutter.
At least, I hadn’t noticed the pattern on the bathroom ceiling before.
Someone had made a film at college. Someone only, as I knew her name at the time, but was sickeningly jealous of her hair and boots, and in the years which followed my jealousy became somewhat more focussed around people who could drink copious cups of coffee without diarrhoea-ing on the bus; and thus her name faded from my memory. Someonly? Though my ability to both use and spell onomatopoeia was much greater than hers, her one-time immaculate, perfectly timed use of the pun Santa Claws as the title for her Media film coursework bore directly into the centre of my brain and sat there, festering, rendering my lovemaking lacklustre and my love of the English language austerely lifeless. Unresponsive. Dead.
My own zombie film, compromising entirely of my friends and I running through the town centre covered in blood and screaming for the lives of our zombie children, and grandparents, and undead hamsters, received full marks and was shown as an example for future generations for how to kick ass in the cadaver media market, though I still cringed at the sound of my own voice wailing madly amongst the sea of blood-soaked charity shop t-shirts. Santa Claws however was visceral, gratifying… All She Wants for Christmas is a New Face. It kicked you in the stomach and tickled your jealousy hole, and carved off your skin with a rusty butter knife. It was all any of us ever wanted for Christmas, and on a warm summer day with the blood growing thinner in my veins as a result of too much, or too little, vodka, I found I was holding a spork, which was stabbed acid-deep into the belly of a fat gentleman. It’s funny to say, isn’t it, vodka? Vod-Ka. Continue reading
There wasn’t much to think about before, cosmetics and expensive Kit Kats, that sort of thing, or the way in which the woman in seat 17A had been playing with her hair for about an hour. But when the floor fell out from underneath us, things suddenly became less material. I fell with my back facing downwards, and noticed that my fingers had broken, likely in the explosion. There was a force which pulled me from my seat and snapped the bones in my hands, backwards. The descent began and I was entirely capable of pushing my fingers from the flapping material on my mittens, my thumbs noticeably quite alright still, although any attempt to strangle myself with any kind of quickness would have proven impossible. My back became numb, my fingers cold. I laughed as I remembered being sat on the floor of my Nan’s living room, the most impressive choice of Disney VHS’s stretched out before me. A sunny afternoon and computer animation, there was something to think about after all. This isn’t flying, this is falling… with style. Continue reading
There is only one way to start, with the tiny chill down your tiny spine. We watch the girl in the bath take her final soapy breath, following the inevitably fraught move into a new house in the American suburbs. Perhaps there is a little stream in the garden where furry animals can pile up and die. Stood in a public place, the grimaces of life hammer more directly into the soft innards of your brain; the test of true Horror, with a capital H and a semi-colon to precede it. Continue reading