Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Molecat Jumaway

We define things in aspects, how we perceive things is up to the individual. A person can be a real bastard but still have a great eulogy because his life looks great on paper. A person can seem lively and exciting until you become his neighbour and then he’s just fucking loud. A homeless person can bring disgust from one person and a tear from another.
I was a volunteer, more or less the emergency doctor, nurse and psychiatrist of sorts at one of the largest halfway homes in the built up, run down areas, just south of central. It started off as a hesitant, last year thesis for my degree. I was a snotty nose, spoilt brat of a student trying to do something that made me look like I actually cared. Girls dig that you know, people that care. The degree was done, I’d earned my right to practice medicine and here I was, still spending most nights at this homeless refuge. Single, I might add, girls don’t dig it as much as they say they do.
There is a non-descript point to when my concern started. It would be hard to stick a needle into time, tie a string and make it red to signify the exact start of my downward spiral. Memories of a boy being thrown into the air by his dad. Photos I would pine over, a father long lost, a father never really known. I guess it really started with Smelly Jack; he was getting worse and worse as I was finishing my thesis. I stayed for one reason but I was glued there for another. I couldn’t leave him there, leave him alone. He had been suffering some sort of delirium and it started off with just the usual painful muttering that half of them had. Whether it was his drinking, the bad diet, the cold, I could not tell you. The muttering soon became hysterical ranting. He did not want to be touched. “Keep away, Unclean!” He would scream as though he belonged in the bible.
He staggered in one day and curled up into a corner. “This is my own fault.” He said with a whimper. “Keep away, unclean.” He muttered as I came over. He had no energy to scream or pace back dramatically, all he could do was lay curled in the corner and mutter at me. I stared down at him, here lay someone’s son, someone’s father. Here lay someone’s husband, someone lost in time, lost and forgotten to us all. I looked down upon him wondering whether this was the reason I stayed then I saw the blood. Inching, swelling out along the tiles from under his coat towards my shoes.
I yelled to one of the other staff and we soon had a stretcher brought in and he was taken out into the back. An ambulance was called and as he lay there we inspected the wound on his leg. It was viscous, I could only interpret that he’d been mauled by some dog, mauled right down to the bone. The ambulance took him away.
My shift had ended, something seemed strange about volunteering and then rushing home to my safe cosy apartment. I always do it though and I did it this night as well. At home I paced backwards and forwards. I cannot covey the emotions that were wracking my brain as they were too numerous. I remember grief, I remember angst, I remember guilt. I ended up ringing the hospital every half an hour. I never went down there, I paced enough from the fireplace to the phone to make the journey ten times over on foot .
Smelly Jack lost his leg, Smelly Jack died in bed five hours later. It wasn’t the leg that killed him, whether it was the shock or being homeless and old he just flittered away.
Well that’s how it started, Smelly Jack was a muttering homeless person when I started my thesis. When I was close to finishing it, he had gotten worse, two years after graduation he died. There were many muttering homeless people, more often than not they muttered.
Between that time and when Conrad started getting worse I wondered whether Smelly Jack had a funeral. I never asked. Deep down inside I really did not want to know the intricacies of the homeless. I did not want to know how they were disposed of, whether their real names were found. Whether Smelly Jack would be engraved on his urn or grave if they ever had one and where it would be kept. That would be too much, way too much for me to know.
As I said Conrad started getting worse. He was over at the south side beds and I kept North. There were other people to attend the South Wing, more doctors in waiting. I wondered with all the PHD hopefuls, did they really care or were they here for the same reason that I was originally here? Did they think they could score extra point with this line of work with their thesis? Did they think they could pick up chicks? As each of them graduated you never saw them again. I guess that I would be in the same boat if it weren’t for Conrad. As Conrad followed the trend of Smelly Jack I watched from my South Wing. These are the forgotten, these are the lost. Conrad or Smelly Jack finding their end in an obscure, lonely way is merely a story that one man tells a woman in bed when he thinks he should open up.
It was a big hall, split in two. Someone made a fuss on one side, you could see and hear it from the other .I watched as Conrad screamed and ranted. I stood there and stared across the vast hall of beds as Conrad backed away from contact. There was a young boy of fourteen, homeless and with asthma on my side and I was soon distracted by his gasps. When I came back to finding out what was happening on the other side I wasn’t all that relieved to find nothing happening on the other side. I lost all conformity then and stalked over from the North Wing.
“What happened?” I asked, maybe a little too forcefully.
The young hopefuls seemed a little perturbed by my advance. I’d never encroached on their territory before. If we had been doctors of twenty years difference later in our lives it would have made little difference but now those three or four years that I had on them made a significant impact.
“He went nuts.” Said one of the young students in a way that only the young can state the obvious.
“Yeah, I know that.” I replied patiently. “Then what?”
“Dunno.” Said the young man and the two of them shrugged.
“What do you mean, you don’t know? What happened to him, where did he go?”
“Dunno, he just left.”
“How long ago?”
“Maybe a few minutes ago…” The guy kept talking but I was already out the door and in the streets.
I remembered Smelly Jack; I remembered his state, the leg, dying alone in an unknown bed in hospital. I knew it could be much worse, a whole lot more bleak, a whole lot more lonely. I could not let this happen to Conrad. I was in the street, desperately looking up and down and around corners. In the distance I saw a man in a large, dark parker walking off. It wasn’t the usual homeless tread, he did not idle or linger or pace. It was more of a determined march. It was probably him.
I chased after him, being careful to not run but walk swiftly, being careful not to make too much sound. The man stopped and turned around, I ducked into a doorway just before his eyes reached my location. I peered out into the street to find him ducking into an alleyway. I again followed and reached the alleyway to find it empty. I cautiously ventured down, checking each nook and cranny. Just as I felt I’d lost him, just as I felt as though he’d entered one of the many darkened and ominous doors he jumped out in a screaming rage. I’m pushed against the bluestone walls, pushed against it with a might I had not encountered. There was manic fury in Conrad’s sunken eyes. His leathered skin was crinkled up with pure rage.
“You want it!” He’s screaming. “You’re following me because you want it!”
I’m trying to make a word in my mouth, a word I have not said for years. There’s a smell on him, urine, smoke, rot and death. I’m desperately trying to mouth the word.
“You want to feel it but you can’t.” The man rants. “It’ll destroy you, it’ll take it all!” He screamed and then he stopped and paused. I don’t know what he was thinking, in my concepts I hoped he recognized me but I could only be have teasing myself. He paused and his eyelids opened a little, his fingers around my arms relaxed a little. I needed to say the word, and this was my chance to say it. Suddenly, unexpectedly his brow furrowed with hostility and he literally throws me. I’m in shock, I’m airborne, I hit the ground with a thud. When I regain my wind I look up and around, he was gone.

I felt that was my chance and I lost it. What happened to Smelly Jack, the plunge that I witnessed that ended in his death was going to happen to Conrad and I had lost my chance. As I had thought, he did not turn up at the halfway house again. It was bleak and cold out there and the other hostel was too far away for it too be a likely option. I ventured there on my day off anyway. I explained to the workers there and described Conrad. I described his looks and they shook their head. I described his shift in personality and they said for certainty that they would not let him in.
I was shocked, the homeless were at the beckon call of unreason, if they turned away those who were unstable they would be turning away half of their patrons. They simply nodded with unease. One of the volunteers gave a deep sigh and explained that he disliked the policy as eventually it meant they were turning away the largest part of the most needy. I agreed with him but only left without a word.
The following weeks seemed shallow, work was work and my daytime practice was as always. I continued to work at night at the homeless shelter but I knew that Conrad was out there in the cold somewhere and I had driven him away. Both during the day and the night I grew listless. I was both easily distracted and easily enraged. I soon realised that I needed to find Conrad, find him quickly as he had moved from the back of my mind and was sitting always in the front of my thoughts. Whether I liked it or not I was now preoccupied with his well being.
I was supposed to be at the shelter but I called in and said I was not going to make it. It was especially cold and I rugged up for the night noting that I had that opportunity. I ventured out into streets where I had last seen Conrad. I walked down the laneway; it was so cold that water between the cobblestones was on the brink of turning to ice. I looked at each of the doorways, backdoors to restaurants and shops and wondered with each whether a homeless man would be venturing through. It was after eleven, closing on midnight very quickly. The doors would be all locked but each one I paused at with trepidation. Each one I would stare at and finally reach out and turn the handle. Each one, to my complete lack of amazement was locked. One of the doorknobs I turned started up a hysterical alarm, I ran down the alleyway and around the corner into more darkened lane hoping that I would not come to a dead end.
I came to a dead end, the laneway turned this way and that. The cobblestones were greased over with moss and I slid to a stop as I came to the brick wall. I looked back wearily, today may be the first day in my life where I would be seriously grilled by police. It was a strange laneway, I wondered whether a car would even fit through here, I doubted it. I started my way back and remembered that I should be looking for a place where Conrad was heading. This seemed like the perfect place, unused perhaps even unknown. There were no doorways to pause and think at. In fact if I had been in a right state of mind I would have wondered why the hell the back road was here for in the first place. Maybe decades ago there were doors and gates only to be bricked up against the insecure narrow lane?
Soon I was standing, staring at what could be my answer. I must of run a long way quickly because nothing seemed familiar. I did not remember seeing anything like this on my way down. If I had seen it then it would have stopped me dead in my tracks like it did now. The bluestone walls along one side on the lane had parted for a brief moment. There was wire fencing, construction signs, little yellow helmet pictures. The wire fencing was bent over at one of the far sides.
This seemed more of a likely destination than any. On the other side of the fencing was the back of a very old building. Through the darkened shadows of the tall surrounding buildings I saw a small garden, dying away at its core. Only the dirt and bricks remained. In the centre I saw a glimpse of a small, dry fountain. It looked like they were doing work on the back wall, maybe erecting a replacement. The place looked like an old dwelling from the late eighteen hundreds and I was surprised to find it amongst the heavy drab city central buildings. There was no light from any of the dwelling’s windows, the place looked deserted. The place looked ominously dead.
It looked like a perfect invitation for a homeless man. It was astounding, this would be prime real estate and yet it looked so abandoned. Something that looked so abandoned was still obviously having work done. There was a gate lying on the other side of the wire and bluestone bricks that would match the surroundings lay everywhere. I bent down under the wire that had been drawn across and moved into the garden.
It was almost as if a part of me had forgotten my aim. As I moved through the deadened garden I was amazed at what this place once could have been and what it had relinquished. In a time before even my parents were born this would have been green and beautiful. I could not say whether the surrounding buildings blocked out all the available light or whether, through obvious neglect but it was far from beautiful now. Nonetheless it was still captivating, like walking into an Egyptian tomb, there was history, there was loss.
Suddenly I was distracted by a slow sound, I raised my head from being completely enthralled and looked around. I walked towards the rumbling, which ruptured, into sound and vicious movement. I instinctively threw my hand up and backed away quickly. A Doberman was chained up, large and black now snapping and stretching it chain to its limits as it tried to reach me. I soon had my heart rate under control and was staring at the large beast. No homeless person would stay here with that thing lurking around. I nearly turned and left and then had a change of heart. I edged around the dog and moved towards the back of the house.
Again another door to stare at, again the minutes tick by as I clutch to reach out and grasp the door handle. This door was probably the oldest wood I had seen, the door handle was old but simple metal. I finally gathered enough steam and turned the door handle. The dog was barking in the background, I was praying it would shut up soon. I had set off an alarm and there was a chance that police would be hanging around the area. The door was unlocked but it took a little of my shoulder to push it open. Again I thought of a homeless man, cold, malnourished, not exactly an easy obstacle.
I was inside and pushing the door closed behind me with all my might. I could barely see, the windows were dirty and let little light through. Maybe I could return with a flashlight? I’d have a quick look around first; I was here now anyway. I moved from room to room. I was amazed, even with the small amount of light that a place like this existed. There were cobwebs and dirt over each window but the inside was clean. Dustless as though used and maintained often. The furniture, from what I saw in the dim light was old, very old. The furniture alone in this place was worth millions. I wondered what it was doing here, what it was used for? I was crossing the kitchen; empty but completely clean. I had decided to leave. I was trespassing, I would not return with a torch. As odd as the place was, this was someone’s private dwelling and I was here like a common thug. I was turning to head back the way I came when I heard a sound.
I stopped dead in my tracks listening, it sounded like a groan or a dog? I thought of the dog outside and kept listening. Maybe the echo of the dog chained up was bouncing of the wall? I moved towards the sound and found an old solid door. I slowly opened it and it swung out freely and without a creak. I was at the top of some stairs and a steady radiance was issuing from below. There were two sounds that I could hear. One was what seemed to be human, a groan and the other seemed like a growling, chewing sound.
Slowly, awkwardly I ventured downwards. A minute later I was standing in the basement of the old house. The place’s interior was filled with a flickering light. I was frozen staring at the horror in the centre of the light. Conrad was on his knees, his mouth open wide and his eyes rolled back. There was a figure above him with his hands on Conrad’s temples. The light issued from the hands. I could barely see the figure as the light from the hands was obscuring the view. Everything around the figure seemed distorted, it’s face, it’s neck seemed stretched, I could barely see it through the light. At Conrad’s feet there was another Doberman making a sound of pleasure as it chewed its way through Conrad’s waist.
I made a yelp and the light went out. There was a growling and a scuttling of paws in the darkness. I instinctively backed away, retreating up the stairs. I moved quickly into the kitchen and soon heard the scuttling of nails up the stairs. The large black dog’s head was soon in view, covered in blood and saliva. I kicked with all my might at its jaw, it made a sound and rocked back a little. I kicked at it again, the dog yelped in pain and was soon withdrawing towards the back door. I was running down the stairs again. When I got to the bottom I stood there and listened, I could hear breathing. Was it Conrad? I moved to where I had seen the little ceremony. I had to just get to Conrad, drag him out. The other man could be anywhere.
The man mumbled as I grappled with him. I could not see anything, I felt around for his arm and threw it around my shoulder. I dragged his sluggish body to his feet and towards the stairs. There was no sign of the other man anywhere. I dragged Conrad up the stairs and out of the house. I was surprised that I was not hindered by the dog I kicked nor the dog chained up. I got to the place where the first dog had been and it was missing. By the time I got to the wire fence I was surrounded by flashing lights. Red and Blue whirling and painting the walls. The police were obviously called in from the alarm. Here I am, a body hanging from my side, bloodied and unconscious and the police with their guns drawn. I was so happy to see them.
Conrad’s ravished body actually aided my story to the police. I was worried that something was happening to the homeless so I followed him here. I did not tell them of the lights, I just mentioned a male attacker and the dogs. An ambulance took Conrad away and I caught a taxi to the hospital he was taken to. I offered to pay for any of the surgery but after an hour on the table they shook their heads in a kind of sorrowful negative. I wondered whether the solid action was gained by practice or habit. I was distressed though, I was not thinking straight.
I sat at his bed, his eyes could barely open. His hand flopped out and I clasped it. His dull eyes looked at me, he seemed to recognise me, just for a second. Before he drifted off I said the word that I had tried to say many a time, I called him dad.

I had nothing but a cleansing vengeance in mind. I was so full of determination that I had nearly forgotten to bring anything with me. It was merely an afterthought that I stood at the doorway to my princely apartment in pause. I only turned and collected the torch because I turned to fetch the biggest knife the kitchen could offer.
What was I doing? I had a PHD, I worked at a successful practise and here I was going out at midnight in retribution for a Father I never knew? Things were financially looking up for me. It seemed callous but now that my Father had departed I had no intention of returning to the halfway house. There would be mourning, sure but I did not have to watch my father each day, wondering what had happened to him. Here I was though, grabbing a knife and a torch and swearing that people will pay for the death of a man who had abandoned us.
Before I knew it I was through the garden and into the house. I was searching each and every room and soon came to the kitchen. I threw open the door recklessly and with the torch on, knife drawn I stalked down the stairs. Where my father had been there was what looked like an altar. I searched the basement room and when coming to the back I heard a clattering of paws behind me. I turned quickly and the light shone on the Doberman’s large open jaw as it sprang at me. My knife slashed out automatically and caught it mid air in the head. It landed on the ground with a thud, scuttled around and sprang again at me. I caught its head with my boot, it hit the ground and went for another attack and suddenly stopped and started backing off. It’s retreat gave me a bad feeling and I turned and shone my torch behind me. The figure that I had seen here was right up against my light. What I had seen before was no trick of light, it’s appearance was drawn out. It’s face long and stretched. It’s nose hung in front of it’s mouth which was open to show sharp teeth. It was grinning.
It’s long spindly hands clasped my head and suddenly the room was filled with light. I felt parts of me being sucked into it, parts of me that I wanted, parts of me that I needed.

Fate is an odd thing; our past manufactures and manipulates us against our screaming, fighting will. The more we deny it, the more it sits in the shadows and reels us in. The more you fight your father’s influence on your own life the more it influences you. Then suddenly, bang! - You’re him, mark for mark.
I can barely remember who I am or what I’m doing. There are moments where I recollect Smelly Jack and my Father, my old life my comfortable, clean life. There are rational moments when I think of it all and tears wet my cheeks. I’m a different man now though, nothing else matters. I have an appointment.
There is a moment where everything is sucked out of you and it seems like the abyss that waits is welcoming. It’s an addiction, loosing it all. All you desire, all you’re thinking, all your rationale, feeling it all pulled out and dissipate into nothingness. There is light all around you and everything that ever made you a man is pulled away. It’s bliss.
You hang there between the hands, mouth open, eyes rolled back. You go away, feeling dirty, unclean and sometimes pass another going in, a past turned into just another homeless person. Unclean, you give each other a wide berth.
I live where I can, the halfway house when I can get a bed. They look at me funny, sometimes I remember and I start to cry. I make sure I go to the one I recognise the most and not the other because the other would kick me out. I cannot remember where I originally lived, it’s gone; that life is sucked from me. I loose more portions each day. I watch myself flitter away like tissues in the wind and I wonder what happens to parts of me. As they are pulled out I watch the dogs watching and waiting. I sometimes have coherency and realise that the dogs are waiting for their slice of the pie, their slice of the flesh left over. One of the dogs is waiting eagerly; a scar across his head from a kitchen knife. A small potion of doggy revenge makes him salivate a little more.
Just like my dad I cannot go back to the life I had, even though I know that I want to.

Abandon - Introduction

I entered this story in a UK competition. I liked it a lot. The list of winners is up now and, well; I'm not on it. This means though that I can publish it up here on my own website.

I actually spent a couple of days on this story. Sometimes- well often- I do little monologues. I started this story with the usual monologue and wrote a bit. I put it down and the next day I wrote another little monologue. I set a task to join the two.

I really don't know the process but I think two monologues would mean two themes. There are definitely two themes to this one and I'm extremely pleased with it...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Competition

The Competition
Molecat Jumaway

Ever been chased, running away with no place to go? It’s like a nightmare, it carries the same ‘piss in your pants’ adrenalin and fear but of course it’s real. There is pain, you’re pushing yourself to the utmost limit and it is killing you but you know if you stop it’ll be worse. If you stop, they’ll get you so you push yourself past breaking point and then a bit further. You could die running, burst a million blood vessels, in your brain, in your heart, better to die on your own terms.
You think at first you can run into a crowd, find people, they could help. They don’t care though; in fact you think that they are all on the other side. Some stare at you as you scream as you run like you’re some oddity, some smirk, some join the chase.
I think I found a way out; I’m now travelling faster than I’ve ever travelled before. The wind is in my hair; I’m literally hurtling, they can’t chase me now. There’s a destination in sight where they cannot get me.
I better explain.

I got a fear in my head that threads down every nerve cell of by body. Something is going on; people are not telling us the whole truth. There’s a man who lives opposite, every time I open my door he’s standing in his doorway eating a chop or something. He’s on diet pills and does not stop eating meat. He is as skinny as a refugee that came from a country completely devoid of food, like the moon or something. He’s eyeing me off as if to say ‘when I run out of meat you’re next.’
Every time I open a document on my computer and go to close it without pressing a single key it asks whether I want to save the changes I have made. What the hell! I’m suspicious of that, as though something has happened to me it the space between opening and closing the document that I’m not aware of. I feel as though I’ve been drugged so that the document in front of me can be changed without my knowledge. I reread the passages that lie within hoping to get some clue on what it’s all about but I see nothing has changed.
‘Gr8r Medicine’ can’t spell ‘Greater’ or are very lazy people. Lately I’ve been noticing people use the number 8 in all kinds of words. I have a suspicion that Greater Medicine are only covering their tracks. I don’t take their drugs; I don’t use their vitamins. I refuse to partake in what I believe is the source to the decline of humanity.
My cat used to stare at me with judging eyes. She used to just sit upright at the end of my couch and stare, at the end of my bed and stare. Judging me, it got to a stage where I could not look her in the eye. I found out that the food I was feeding her was made by a subsidiary company of Greater Medicine. I changed her brand of cat food. She stopped eating entirely, went berserk and ended up licking out her heart. I drove out to the country to bury her; I was scared that the man opposite would get her if I buried her close. I would open my door one day to find him eating into her petrified head.
I stood on the hill over her little, cat-sized grave. I was sad for my loss then angry with the company that had caused this to happen. I was sad that she went so soon and angry that she never had a chance to live without the large corporations having control over her emotions. I went through a whole range of emotions but it was mainly sadness and anger.

When I returned home I logged onto my computer to see if I could research what other companies Greater Medicine owned. There was an email from a friend agreeing that the new ‘eye cleansing medicine from Gr8r Medicine was wonderful and innovative.’ I scrolled down and sure enough there was an email from me explaining how much I loved said eye-cleansing medicine. I’d even spelt Greater with a number in the email.
I looked around my house nervously. Something I owned; something I used; something I took was secretly manufactured by Greater Medicine. I needed to be clean, clean of that corporation. I searched the Internet and found nothing that helpful. The site with the small list of subsidiary companies that I found before when researching my cat’s diet now showed only praise for Greater Medicine. There was a hair tonic that I’d bought that I was very suspicious of. I’d never used it because when I got home I’d read the instructions and I quote ‘4 use of strengthening brittle hair use up 2 four times a day.’ That was it for me, could never use it. My suspicions were also increased when I kept catching the cat was pawing at the jar, when it was alive that is. Now it had to be out of my flat. I opened my door and saw the man opposite standing there in the hall staring at me. He had a slice of bacon he was slowly guiding into his mouth suggestively. I immediately retreated closing the door and leaning against the wall, breathing heavily. I stared down at the bottle in my hand; I could not hang on to it any more and placed it down on the ground beside the door.

I was awoken in the middle of the night to hear a scratching. At first I thought it was my cat but my cat was dead, there’s that sadness again. There was a cold darkness that made my flat seem all the more intensely alarming. I pattered out through the hallway to investigate the sound. I soon found myself fearfully standing across from my front door where the scratching had originated and was still continuing.
There is something about being a man by very definition makes you ‘be a man.’ It’s probably where chivalry stems from. It’s not about the right thing to do, or the courageous thing to do. It’s about being a man, sucking up all fear and just opening the bloody door. No matter how many images from Japanese Horrors flood your head, just open the bloody door in one fell swoop and face what is on the other side.
I swung the door open and found my neighbour scratching at my door, on all fours and a pork chop in his mouth. He looked up at me in surprise; I stood firm in the doorway. His hand reached through the door, past me. He grabbed the hair cream and ran back to his flat, the door slamming behind him.
Well, that was an odd moment.

When pondering my predicament I had been wishing that my cat still was alive. She seem a little in harmony with the products made by Greater Medicine and maybe a tuning fork on what was manufactured by them. I had thought about getting another pet and feeding that pet the same food and then getting said pet to pick out items on my shelves that belonged to the same manufacture as Greater Medicine. That seemed unusually cruel though. I’m sure that most pets would be fed that brand but to purchase a pet for the mere experiment seemed a little cold.
My neighbour though; the man who stood outside, eyeing me off as desert; I had no qualms using his instinct to seed out Greater Medicine products. I brought out a large box and filled it full of products I used. I threw in some of the cat food cans that I knew were from the company and some of the products that predated Greater Medicine. I was hoping that he would be selective on what he took and what he ignored. I was hoping that he would not just take the whole box.

Canned beetroot, now I like canned beetroot as much as the next man, maybe even a little more. In the morning I was surprised to find the box still sitting at my doorway. The logical deduction would be that the whole box would go missing rather than selected items of the contents of the box. The pet food was missing; the pet food that my cat refused to eat still remained. Some of the items that predated Greater Medicine were surprisingly missing and a lot of other items. The canned beetroot was the only foodstuff item that still remained. I’d even put a lettuce in the box and it was missing, maybe the chemical spray was owned by Greater Medicine.
Each day I filled the box with goods and each morning I opened the box to find what was left that was safe for my use. I don’t know what it was about the canned beetroot but there were very few food items left uncontaminated. At that moment, breakfast, lunch and dinner consisted of canned beetroot. My urine started to turn red, freaked me out at first when I thought it was blood.
Bloody Beetroot.
Suddenly it occurred to me, there was one company I knew that had none of the chemicals used by Greater Medicine. I flung open the cupboard and read the label on one of the many cans of beetroot slices. Josh Carding Manufacturing; I grabbed my jacket and ran to the door repeating that name over and over. My chant was soon quietened when faced with the man opposite, staring at me, a plate of chicken in one hand and a fork in the other. I edged out under his silent gaze and locked the door behind me. I tried walking away quietly but soon found myself running.

I’m in the supermarket looking at all the items, looking at the back, reading the labels carefully. It’s amazing how much you never noticed about store products. There is a complete flooding of the market by Greater Medicine and all its subsidiaries. For every item on the shelves there are five other similar items made by different companies but all owned by Greater Medicine. For every item there is a substitute item made by Josh Carding Manufacturing. Just one item, it’s enough. I don’t have to spend my life eating fucking beetroot and having to remind myself that I am not in fact pissing blood.
I’ve set up a little Josh Carding Manufacturing shrine in my kitchen. All the good products are there. I’m eating regularly but my urine is still red. Greater Medicine no longer dwells here; its overall absence has not stopped the guy opposite from creeping me out though. I still wake up to hear him scratching at my door like a goddamn animal. People have started looking at me a little funny. I walk down the street and everyone’s eyes are on me. I’m not handsome, in actual fact I’m a little homely so I feel the undue attention is somewhat uncalled for. I went to the dry cleaners and the lady actually sniffed me. She was a pretty girl, I’d let her sniff me all she liked but I have the feeling dinner and a movie was not what she had in mind.
You think I’m paranoid? I’ll show you fucking paranoid. One night I get sick of the noise, the constant bloody scratching and I get up to do something about it. I’m marching over to the door, I’m ready to fling the door open and smack him in the head or something, anything just to make it stop. I get closer and the scratching quickens. He knows I’m there, like he can smell. It freaks me out but not as much as what comes next, as I get closer he starts making a noise. At first I think that he’s really flipped his lid, is he growling, is that what he’s doing, does he think he’s a fricken dog? The sound is familiar and suddenly I realised what the sound is like. My cat would sometimes get excited about a special dish (fucking greater medicine in a goddamn can or something) and he would make a chewing sound. The chewing sound would be vocalised and it would come out like a deep siren, UngUng UngUng UngUng UngUng. That was the sound I was hearing, he was goddamn salivating as he could sniff me on the other side of the door. I can’t simply open the door to that!
I looked around for something; the first thing that came to mind is a nice sharp knife. I stopped myself, calm down. I could kill the man and then spend the next ten to twenty years in prison. I could always plead self defence, ‘he was trying to eat me, Greater Medicine are trying to control your minds people!!’ Yeah, that’ll fly. I could end up spending the next ten to twenty years being raped up the arse by a guy making that same chewing sound in my ear. No, skip the knife, I needed something less lethal. The only thing I could find was an umbrella, it was large and pointy I held it in my hand and swung it a few times for practice, nice.
I flung open the door; he was there on all fours and made some sort of savage, primeval attacking sound. Imagine Neanderthals in pyjamas and I’m like a zebra and you’ll find yourself pretty close. I’d practiced the swing and so I was ready and clobbered him on the head quite hard. He gave a yelp of disdain and retracted the umbrella opened. I gave a scream of horror, backed up and slammed the door behind me. Not exactly the smooth ballet I was hoping for, screaming like a girl at an open umbrella never was in the equation but I showed him who was boss.
Maybe it was the lack of Greater Medicine products in my system? I really did not know but it was starting to become a little disconcerting. I knew my fears of Greater Medicine sounded like the ranting of a lunatic and I did not know whom I could turn to about this.
Suddenly it occurred to me, the best people were their competitors.

Josh Carding Manufacturing had a factory just outside town. I stood on the brink of the first step marvelling at their building. It was so white, so very clean, and so pristine. Upon seeing the factory I was more than happy to be purchasing their product. It looked more like a hospital than a factory. This was the kind of place that you could only wish food goods were being manufactured in. I only hoped they understood my concerns and did not consider me a lunatic. I hoped that they had heard similar complaints about their competition and could offer me advice or at least peace of mind.
The receptionist had all the receptional assets, glasses, tied back hair, a hidden beauty, etcetera. I tried to calmly tell her my story but it probably sounded like the ravings of a madman. I realised that she wasn’t freaking out, she wasn’t looking at me with some fake concern. She was listening to what I had to say as if she had heard it before. I was not raving mad; I was not the only one that had concerns about the products of Greater Medicine; there was a solution. She informed me of just this and someone came out to meet me.
He was dressed in white, even though I found it probably very complementary of someone that worked in a factory, a testimony to a bacteria free food product it made me feel a little uncomfortable. We shook hands; he escorted me through large swinging doors, into a hall and then to the first room on the left. He showed me a seat and I sat down He patted my shoulder and then plunged a needle into my neck. My last thought was ‘but I’m a customer…’

It was the pain that woke me up; I’ve never been good with sedation and anaesthetics. I woke up during an appendix removal; still have nightmares about that moment. I think it was those nightmares that brought me to react so suddenly. I cannot very well say it was bravery as it was more a knee jerk reaction. I felt a pain in my arm as I woke and quickly moved my arm. There was a guy in white, wearing a mask suddenly on top of me, trying to hold me down. I sprung up, his hands were on my shoulders, my hands were on his neck. I was pushing him downwards; my knee came up and clipped him in the jaw hard. I felt his jaw slam shut with a sound that would make you wince. He fell to the ground, I hit him again anyway. I think that could be the very definition of a knee jerk reaction.
There was a tube in my arm and I ripped it out without thinking. I looked at the bag that it was at attached to. It had a lot of writing on it and I could barely focus. I saw two names ‘Josh Carding Manufacturing’ and ‘Greater Medicine’ side by side. I looked around the room frantically, the guy was on the ground unconscious and there was no one else. There was a window and I could not but help but notice that it was dark outside. How long had I been asleep for, it had to be at least six hours?
I went to the door and looked out of the small window. It opened to a large room; there were hospital beds everywhere with people asleep in them, all hooked up to little drip feeders like mine. There was no one standing or walking around. I slowly crept out of the room and stuck to the walls. There were doors like the one I had just exited all along each wall. I went to the bed nearest and looked at the person lying there, he was missing both legs and wasting away. My focus was better now and I read the label on the bag that he was attached to. It said the two company names and was titled ‘Greater Medicine ingredient enhancer.’ I had no idea what this meant. I looked into one of the rooms and was horrified with what I saw. There was a woman, literally being milked like she was a cow. She hung there on all fours, barely awake, naked, eyes rolled back and connected to milking machinery. The metal container that all the tubes went to again said ‘Greater Medicine.’ The next door made me run, the next door made me scream. Through the window I watched as two employees dressed in white disassembling a man hanging from the roof in chains. The room was a mixture of bright red fresh blood and a dried copper brown. One worker was removing an arm while the other staff member fed the other arm into a mincing machine. As I said I then started to scream and run, brought about some attention as well.
An employee verses someone running for his or her dear life. I do not doubt that this kind of event would be a regular thing for the staff Josh Carding Manufacturing but if it was then I was surprised that it had not reached the news. A man filled with terror, fleeing for his life against someone that merely clocked in, I’d bet against the latter. I seemed to prove it as well. People tried to grab me and I flung them away, people tried to stand in front of me and I ran them over. Literally ran them over, probably leaving footprints on their nice white uniforms. There was a guy covered in blood, I think I broke his arm.
Nothing would stop me getting out of that building. Locked doors were smashed, people in white were thrown aside, some were hurt. Suddenly I was outside, running into town. On the way I had somehow made the connection. The products made by Josh Carding Manufacturing are metabolised it the human body and are the ingredients for product made by Greater Medicine. I don’t think that I was being paranoid. I was surprised I was not chased; it would seem the likely thing that would happen. I got to town and slowed down. Someone was walking and I called to him, he stopped and looked at me fearfully. As I got closer his expression changed a little and I was hoping it would be for the better. I asked him where the nearest police station was, he was not listening, he was sniffing me. I backed off, he came forward, I turned and ran, he gave chase. I turned and hit him, he did not seem to care gave me a look to say that he liked his food fighting back.
“Help, help!” I ran through the city. I tried stopping people in the street, all came up with different reactions and all bad. This wasn’t like before; these people were not merely employees making an attempt to catch me because they were paid to do so. These people were hungry, they wanted some Greater Medicine and I was the active ingredient. Suddenly ten people were chasing me, I ran into a crowd screaming hoping someone would come to my aid. Suddenly ten becomes thirty.
There’s an open door and I run through it and close it behind me. I lock the door, I’m in a stairwell, I’m hoping I can hide but they can smell me. Soon there are people slamming themselves against the door. I start rushing up the stairs I try the door on the first level but it’s locked. Behind me I can hear the door buckle and I keep climbing the stairs. I try the second level door and find it locked. I hear downstairs the door break and beaten down. I turn and continue to climb the stairs as my pursuers continue the chase. Door after door I try but its no use. I’m hoping that at one stage there is a door unlocked, I can visualise my fate, being eaten alive at the top of the stairwell. Even if I can escape the stairwell the chase would continue, continue forever.
One door does open and I ram myself through it. I shut it behind me but there is no lock. I’ve been to involved in fleeing that I had not realised that I’m at the end of the stairwell. I’m now on the roof and I can hear them coming up the stairs behind me. There really is only one way out.

The Competition - Introduction

I'm supposed to be instilling a sense of paranoia with this one. A creapiness that comes with the idea that what we consume everyday is not really what it is supposed to be.
During the last story; A story basically about Sugar I spilt beer on my keyboard and had to purchase a new one. The new one isn't that great and the 'o' key needs to be hit really hard.
When rereading and editing this I found all the 'o' s missing which was disconcerting.
I like the story, it's a little to extreme to submit it too anything though.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A story basically about Sugar

A story basically about Sugar.
Molecat Jumaway

Josephine hated people with clipboards; maybe hate was too strong a word. She was wary of people with clipboards. They came up and started with asking whether they could ask questions. She did not like that one bit, it felt wrong. If she said no, she’d be still answering their first question. She’d try to just walk by quietly, in a stern but humble fashion. When they followed her she really hated that, they wanted something from her, she just knew it. ‘Can I have a moment of your time?’ Sent shivers down her spine, almost begging but worse, ‘time vampires!’ That was it she thought, they were time vampires. Ready to suck those precious moments from her private time. They did not come into her work, and take from there. Those moments belonged to someone else. Tea breaks, shopping, rushing from one place to the next, at home having a tea, her private moments.
She was crouching at the side of her window, peaking out the corner like a little mouse watching a man, in a suit, with a clipboard come up her pathway. She sat on the floor and took a deep breath. The doorbell rang, she held herself there, holding her breath in. The doorbell rang again.
‘Oh, go away you man with a clipboard!’ She thought to herself as her face slowly grew red. The doorbell rang again. ‘There’s no one home, go bother next door.’ There was a silence; she suddenly thought it was extremely dense to be holding her breath. Of course he could not hear her breath; that would be ridiculous.
She let out her breath in a big gasp. Suddenly the doorbell rang in three quick successive rings. She had to stifle a little cry.
He had not heard that surely? There was silence and then Josephine could hear him stepping off the large front door step and walking away slowly. She rose a little and peeped over the windowsill and saw him walking back down her path. He suddenly turned and she ducked with her hand over her mouth. She gave it a second and peeped again.
Her neighbour Tom was coming around the front of their fence and up towards her house. The man with the clipboard went to intercept him and he made quite a rude waving off gesture at him. The man with the clipboard moved back down her path and then out onto the sidewalk.
The doorbell rang and rang and rang; Tom was trying to make a melody with the chimes and doing a terrible job at it. It rang and rang again as she sat there on the carpet with her back to the wall. It rang and rang some more.
“Oh bloody Thomas I’ll wring your little neck!” She growled and got up, stormed over to the door and flung it open.
“Thomas you have no sense of manners or rhythm….” And she then stopped dead. Tom was standing at the doorway with his cheeky grin but off in the distance the man with the clipboard stood silently staring.
She stood there silently staring into the eyes of this inhuman clipboard holder.
“Halo Truffles!” Said Tom in his usual jovial way. “Just popped by for a bit of a…” He then realised that he did not have Josephine’s full attention. He looked at her stare and turned around to see the man at the end of the path holding his clipboard. “Oh Will You Sod The Bloody Hell Off!” He yelled at the man waving another unkind gesture. “We don’t want your cheaper rates, or your new God or your expressions of gratitude for answering a few of your bloody inane questions!” He yelled which snapped Josephine out of it. The man with the clipboard moved away without a sound in a creepy fashion.
“Oh Thomas, you are a brute!”
“I do what I can ma’am.” Tom said and made a little bow. He dramatically cleared his throat and repeated himself. “Halo Truffle! Just popped by for a bit of a chat.” He paused and wiggled his ear nervously. “Well, that’s not true; I came by to see if you could spare some sugar?” He said and beamed smile while holding up an empty cup.
“Come in Thomas, I’m sure I’ve got a bit left to spare.”
“Thank you kindly Ma’am.” Said Tom theatrically as he followed her through the front door. “And you can call me Tom.”
“I know.” Josephine replied and then the phone rang. “I’ll just be a second.”
“Hello, I was wondering whether you are the lady or man of the house.” Said the unemotional voice on the other end of the line. Josephine took the receiver away from her ear and stared at it in confusion.
“Can’t you tell?” She said.
“No, I can’t tell if you are the lady or man of the house.” The anonymous voice said. Josephine stared at the phone another time, she thought she sensed a clipboard being held somewhere on the other side.
“Vampire!” She screamed and slammed down the phone. The little thing made a distressing bell sound as the receiver struck the cradle.
“That’s very unlike you Jo.” Said Tom in the background. “Screaming at someone and slamming down the phone like that.”
“Bloody Time Vampires!” Grumbled Josephine she thought for a second and at a later stage in the day wondered whether it was because she was already in an angry moment. She turned to Tom. “How is that unlike me?”
“Well usually you’re very…” Tom knew he was getting in bad territory and paused, he could not think of a suitable word that was not going to get him in trouble.
“Very…” Tom was pondering.
“Yes, out with it?”
“Well, usually you’re very, well… Mousy.” And just as he said the word he knew he was in trouble.
“Mousy!” Repeated Josephine in shock. Suddenly Tom thought of the right word but it was too late.
“I mean lady like, lady like, you’re usually very courteous.” Said Tom rapidly trying to fix the rut he’d gotten himself into. It was too late though; Josephine was standing there with her bottom lip out. Tom stopped talking and just simply waited for the repercussions.
After a second Josephine made a little ‘humph’ sound and turned away from him. She went to the pantry and searched the shelves silently.
“Jo-Jo, what’s this about vampires?” Asked Tom but got no response. She came out with a large metallic jar and put it on the bench. She held out her hand and it took Tom a second to realise she was demanding for his cup. She waved her hand around impatiently and Tom put the cup in it. She opened the lid of the metal container which was marked ‘Sugar’ and looked inside.
“Damn and blast.” Josephine said and brought down the cup on the bench shattering it.
“Hey, that was my good cup!” Cried Tom.
“Well that will teach you for calling well mannered ladies ‘mousy’.”
“But..” Started Tom but found that Josephine was heading away from him. “Where are you going?”
“’We’ are going to the market to buy sugar, I’m all out.” She said as she grabbed her bag. “Come along.”
“Yes ma’am.” Said Tom and started to follow her as she left her house.
“Idiot.” Mumbled Josephine.
“What was that?”
“Come along, stop dawdling.”
“You called me Idiot again!”
“Did I?”

Josephine pulled up into one of the few remaining car spots and sat there in the car with Tom looking very apprehensive beside her. She preferred the smaller supermarket as opposed to the large corporation but this meant a smaller amount of car parks. She was amazed and ecstatic with her luck, though she did not show it to Tom who was still to know her wraith.
“Mousy.” She grumbled again just to show him.
“Look I’m sorry.”
“Sorry-s are easy for men.” She said. “Just like other words that describe people and rodents.” On the inside she was thinking ‘this is a great spot, close but far enough away to avoid….” Then as she thought about them so did they appear, men with clipboards. “Shit!” She said.
“Wow, you are a grumble bum today.”
“Bloody Time Vampires!” She said as she saw them huddling around the front door. Trying both professionally and desperately to intercept as many people as they could. She got out of the car slowly, trying not to look at the congregation. In her mind she had decided that they had a medusa like power, meet them in the eye and time stands frozen. Your time; your most personal and private time; time that belonged to you alone and these things were trying to steal it. She grabbed her bag and Tom got out as well. Even though it was a central locking system Tom locked his door before closing it, bless the oaf.
Head down, Josephine headed towards the doors of the supermarket. She had almost the inclination to retreat back to the car and drive to the larger place. What was the point though, she’d achieved a high-ranking status in car spots and there would probably be more of these clipboard things at the other place. She came to the double doors with Tom in tow and she glanced at one of them.
Time stood still.
It was him; it was the man that was at her front door. How the hell did he get here so quickly?
“Hey Jo-Jo.” Whispered Tom and prodded her. She jolted back into life and found the men with clipboards slowly encroaching on her. She tried to keep her head down and move forward.
“Excuse me Young Lady?” and “Do you mind if I just…” and “Can I trouble you with…” All coming up in a flurry of clipboards and questions.
“Oh rack the hell off.” Said Tom from behind her.
“Tom! Language!” Cried Josephine in astonishment.
“Sorry Ma’am.” Said Tom and the two of them moved slowly through the crowd.
“We just need some sugar, there’s no need to be obnoxious.” And with that Josephine moved in to the store, past the counters and into the isles. She knew this little journey well, one item and just one item. She found herself mumbling the word ‘sugar’ over and over, even when she was standing in the freezer section staring at very tempting ice cream. It was the temptations that blew the budget; one small bag of sugar becomes a load of groceries she did not need. You don’t need but you could imagine those two minutes of pure love. Like eating a bowl of vanilla with raspberry and chocolate ripple ice cream.
“Thomas, I suppose it would not hurt to get some ice cream to have between the two of us. I mean it is on special and…” She turned to look at Tom in the mousy way she did but he was not there. “Tom?” She called but there was no response. She made a growling sound; I mean he knew he was in her bad books. Even though it was just an imaginary book, the sentiment and end result should be the same.
“Tom!” She cried and left the ice cream section. She walked the isles, crying his name. She was a bit miffed at his sudden disappearance, it wasn’t like him. He was her neighbour, he came around to borrow this and that, and they would end up talking and watching the television. She was sure that she could go to his pantry right now and find stacks of sugar. She loved his attention and was waiting for some kind of fruition of said attention; it was not like him to wander off like this.
“Tom!” She yelled and found him standing at some stall at the end of an isle. Someone had set up a taste tester, and a man with a clipboard stood there behind a sign that said ‘Old West Chilli beef!’ Tom stood there silent, stationary and still. There was no small cup of chilli beef in his hand; he just stood there uselessly. The man with the clipboard stood there silently, pleased with the situation before him.
“Tom!” Josephine yelled she ran over to him and pulled him arm. It was as if someone had made a statue to look like Tom and then clothed it in his clothes and now she was pulling at that sturdy, relentless arm.
“Tom!” She wailed and pulled and pulled. The man with the clipboard turned slowly to her.
“Madame, if I could just spare a minute of your time?”
“Tom!” She yelled, trying desperately to ignore the man with the clipboard that was moving into her view of sight. Tom was not budging. She could not believe it, this thing about men with clipboards and time vampires; it was just her being vindictive, now suddenly it was all unravelling in front of her. The man came closer the clipboard was almost touching her. She gave a little cry and moved back a little, still pulling at Tom.
“Oh rack off!” She screamed, she could sense the whole supermarket look her way. The man with the clipboard cleared his throat.
“Now that’s no way to talk.” He said. “You’re boyfriend talked to us in that manner and now look at him.” The man with the clipboard smirked and pointed at Tom.
“What?” Was all she could come up with, she couldn’t believe this was happening. She knew she had hypothesised on this very theory but that seemed to make it all the less unlikely.
“YOU.” Said the man with the clipboard sternly, “Will answer my questions. YOU will spare a moment of your time.”
“Why?” She asked, trying to be calm.
“It’s what we do.” Said the man. “Time vampires, don’t you know.”
There were little jugs of hot, steaming chilly on the table and Josephine grabbed one and threw it at the man’s crotch.
“That wasn’t very nice.” Said the man looking down at his pants. There was no scream of pain or anything like she was expecting. She grabbed another one of the little plastic jars and emptied it again on his crotch. Nothing, no flinching, no nothing. She was right, she could not believe that the most irrational thought she’d ever had in her life was correct. Well, there was that little Tarzan dream she had but she guessed erotica did not count.
By this stage she was noticing that other men in little uniforms and suits were starting to encompass her. Out of frustration she grabbed the man’s clipboard and hit him over the head with it. There was a moment of dead silence. The man, his hands useless out in front of him grappling for a clipboard that was no longer there stood with eyes wide open in stark astonishment. He then proceeded to collapse to the ground.
“What the devil did you do?” Cried Tom; snapping out of his vertical coma. He peered over the small chilly counter at the collapsed man with worry.
“Look around darling.” Replied Josephine as she steadied her new clipboard-weapon.
“Oh golly.” Said Tom softly as he saw people with clipboards were surrounding them. Josephine hit one of the encroaching people with her clipboard. He stood there with an expression of amazement for a second and then collapsed to the ground.
“That’s assault!” Said Tom in disbelief then Josephine did it again. “You did it again!” Then she hit three more of them in a quick succession. Then Tom was noticing that people were still coming, people with clipboards.
“Oh golly.” Repeated Tom. “May I ask what in blazes is happening?”
“Time Vampires.” Replied Josephine as though it all made sense and she hit another one on the head who then collapsed. “Come on, we’re getting out of here my love.”
“Hang on, Darling? My love?” Replied Tom, a little dazed.
“Yes, yes.” Josephine hit another on the head and then bent across to kiss Tom on the cheek. “There, see?”
“Wow.” Replied Tom. “And a little awkward considering your accosting staff with a clipboard.”
“Time Vampires.” Corrected Josephine and hit another. “Don’t make eye contact. Come on lets go.” Josephine started striking outwards to clear a passage. Tom turned and grabbed a small plastic pot of chilly beef and a spoon. “Come on!” Grumbled Josephine.
“I’m coming.” Tom took a spoonful of chilly beef into his mouth and followed behind. Josephine banging her ‘Time Vampires’ on the head as she went. They made their way towards the door and Josephine lifted up the clipboard one last time.
“Mousy!” She exclaimed as she struck the last one on the head. Tom took the last spoonful of chilly beef and placed the plastic tub next to the comatose body of the last victim.
“I’m ever so sorry.” He tried to explain to the man laying face flat on the floor but he wasn’t listening. “She’s usually very, well..” He was about to say ‘mousy’ but didn’t. “She’s usually very nice.”
“Come on!” Yelled Josephine.
“Okay Jo-Jo.” And Tom followed the fleeing girl.
They got back into the car; Josephine a little dismayed that the fruition of the good car spot had not eventuated in actual groceries. The she remembered the sugar.
“Ahhhh!” She growled and felt like hitting the steering wheel.
“What’s the matter?”
“We forgot the sugar!”
“Don’t worry I’ve got some at home.” Replied Tom, Josephine just stared at him until he blushed.

They were back at Josephine’s; She’d put the clipboard on the dresser where it joined all the other little tokens that she’d collected. Things she had collected from other little adventures. Tom had brought in the sugar and she was making coffee. She went to put a single spoon in each. She knew Tom liked two spoons of sugar but he’ll have what she darn well serves him.
“Mousy.” She mumbled to herself. She accidentally spilt a few grains here and there of sugar on the bench and now ants were marching out to collect their newfound goods.
She stared at the ants and her nose wrinkled up. She hated ants; they took things that did not belong to them and spoilt food. She did not trust them, did not trust them at all. They were going to take and take until they took or spoilt the whole world. It was as if they were… well it was as if they were....
“Bloody Ration Grubs.” She said with anger as she stared at them.

A story basically about Sugar - Introduction

I like this story; basically it's a romp.
I wrote it a few weeks ago but could not put it up on my site because I submitted it to an Australian Science Fiction / Horror Magazine. Anything on my site cannot really be submitted anywhere else.
Well; when they rejected it I was not too fazed because now I can publish it here. I am starting to really like my site and find it a dreadful shame to hold back stories that I think are above standard.
It was rejected on the grounds of 'being overwritten and that it does not go anywhere' and that's fine by me. A playful romp, a story which is farcical by nature seems to require to be overwritten and go nowhere at all.
After rereading it I found I love the two characters and there may be room for a few more of these little romps.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Good ol' Fright

Okay, I haven't written in this for a long time and I haven't posted any short stories. Many reasons for that and they all seem like excuses.
I disconnected my internet, its back on again but with another company. It's probably best not to go into details but, oh my god the nightmare!!!
But that's not really the excuse. I can always manage somehow to get writing on the internet.
I have actually written several short stories and afterwards none of them seemed good enough. A lot of my time has been taken up writing my new novel. It's a large novel and I'll write ten or fifteen thousand words and then burn out a little. I like it, it's harsh and dirty yet kind of humorous.
What I need is a good scare and I think I got it.

You see I write horror, well horrorish. I don't really classify myself as a writer because the theme on my work is really based only in one direction. Writers can diversify, I can't.
I think writers and horror writers should be two different occupations. You read memoirs from horror writers and they all talk about simular things and these things I can really relate to.

a) Suddenly finding for no good reason you have a whole novel in you that you were not aware of ten minutes ago.
b) Having a dream or nightmare that has a need to be placed down.
c) Feeling you are driven by something that has happened to you in the past.

It's all a bit more complex than that, sufficed to say that from what I've heard from other horror writers, their talent tends to stem from more a compulsion than anything else.
Thus I love to be scared.
I have a fear of aliens, in particular alien abduction.
There are nights when I cannot sleep, I've turned on all the lights, trying desperately to keep my cat close, clutching at one of my bears and all I can do is stare at the bedroom door.
I love those moments. I adore them.
Yes, and you did hear correct, I have a collection of teddy bears.

At the moment I'm covering for someone and doing the nightshift. I started at this job on the nightshift. It's what led me to write one of the novels that I hope one day everyone will be able to read.
That eeriness of being the only one in the dark building, it's like visiting an old friend.
In the silence my ears are always thinking they hear music, I can even hum along until I realise that there is no music, it's all in my head. Out of the corner of your eye in the darkness you catch a glimpse of a moving figure. I'm imagining it of course.
I love it.
The last week I got a little bonus.
Went out for a cigarette, there was a figure at the back door of the next building. I thought security guard, he turned to me and I thought opps, time to go back in.
I turned off all the lights and tossed through my mind calling the police. We are on level 1 so I looked down on where I'd seen him. He wasn't there, I though phew I don't have to call the police. Then I saw a man walking around and I wondered what I was looking at. I was looking at the reflection of our building on the windows of the building next door. The man was trying to break into the door I had just gone into. When I thought about it I rang the police. I mean the man saw me go through a door and then proceeded to follow and try to break down that door.
After I got off the phone from the police I decided to go downstairs and see if he was still there. I could not see him in the reflection anymore.
Went down stairs, looked out the door, looked out a window. I shrugged and turned to return to work. There he was standing there at the other back door, waiting, grinning at me.
Inside I got quite a fright but all I did was murmur, well that was quite a shock to myself and then moved on, quietly back upstairs. By the time the police did the rounds he was gone.
I was as happy as Larry, the look in the guys eyes, the grin and the way he just waited it was pure madness.
I'll at least get a short story out of it. I was hoping for a nightmare but you can't get everything you want.

Oh yes, that competition I entered the story abandon in will get judged in November.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Voting and Stats - Support groups

I had to take off the Poll at the bottom of the page as I posted a new story. Before I took it off though Support groups was getting the most votes. Also Support groups was getting the most page hits.
Shows what I know, I wrote it and then read it and found it unusually cruel. It's actually growing on me though.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Finding Farley

Finding Farley
Molecat Jumaway

Farley used to hear it all the time and think it bollocks. 'I’m starting over', 'I’m finding a new beginning' or 'this is the first day of my new life', Blah, blah, blah. It’s not really the first day of your new life, you’re not really starting over and it ain’t a new beginning. This is mainly because what ever has happened to you in the past is brought with you. The fact that you have to escape those emotions by Starting over means that you’re not starting over. You’re ruled by events of the past and you’re carrying concentrated forms of it in little bottles with you where ever you go.
There is such a thing as a change of scene, escaping. Farley stepped off the train and he could not only see the change but he could smell it. He felt immediately good with one deep breath of the mountain air. He felt immediately anxious as he looked around and realised he was completely disorientated.
He had seen the station on maps countless times; he had seen his property on maps countless times. Now it just all seemed like squiggles on paper. He had no idea how far it would be or even at this point in what direction. He stood there on the main road and tried to guess which way was the right way. At this point Farley was quietly disappointed with his idea that travelling by train and walking the rest of the distance would be quaint.

Farley wasn’t a young man; he wasn’t inclined to throw caution to the wind. He wasn’t open to the idea of flagging down a car to ask for a lift, he wasn’t even prepared to ask for directions. By the time he realised that he should have been less prude it was too late. The cars had stopped travelling this road long ago and it was getting dark. It was getting cold, he was wanting his car; the seat in his car; the engine; the heater.
Farley kept walking, wondering what he would do. He didn’t have any baggage with him; it was all in little trucks heading to his newly renovated country house with everything else. He could just keep walking he guessed. Everything was getting so dark though.

Everyone comes to a moment in their life where decisions are a luxury. What should be done or could be done no longer matters. Farley could not walk on; he hadn’t seen any sign of life for hours, no lights on the horizon, no nothing. He’d nearly walked off the road a few times. He was sure that he wasn’t going the right way, he would have gotten to his destination if he was going the right way. It was incredibly dark, he could passed the small red letterbox that marked his driveway ages ago and not realised it. Farley stopped walking and started to look around.
The land was a grassy, hilly plain from horizon to horizon, drained of colour and life in the darkness. Over to his left was a small, rounded hill and on the hill stood a tree. He didn’t want to lay at the side of the road to sleep. At this stage, with his luck a passing motorist would come by and run him over as soon as he lay down. It also seemed very uncouth. He turned and walked towards the tree. When it was light there would most likely be the odd car and he would bite down his reservations and flag someone down for directions, maybe even a lift.
Up close it was a lot bigger than he expected. From a distance, in the vague moonlight the tree seemed frail and insignificant. Up close it was huge and ancient. He felt wretched and uneasy, he stood next to the tree for a while watching the world not go by. He circled the tree and came back to the same spot. The root work at its base was massive and impressive. He finally found a section against the trunk and between two large roots where he could slide himself in comfortably.
He sat there getting sleepy, worrying about spiders and watching the silent landscape. Well he wanted the countryside, he thought. He wanted the quiet life and he certainly got it.
Farley was woken an hour or so later, he didn’t really know how long it had been. It seemed like five minutes but we don’t keep count in our sleep. There was an odd light, devoid of colour as though it came from a dead place. There was a slow sound of scraping of bark and leaves.
Farley sat still and silent watching the scene unfold around him. The light, devoid of life; the slow shuffling beside him; the cold, white petite hand slowly coming into view. Fear had paralysed him; doubt in his senses had made him motionless yet observant. There was a slow sound, like the wind that soon became a voice. A voice that sucked air in rather than expelling when it spoke. It was slow, it was patient and it spoke to him.
“What – do – you - want?” Came the slow rasping voice.
Farley said nothing, this was not happening, he was scared and confused.
“What – do – you - want?” A head with pure white skin was slowly rising into view. Long silver white hair, black enchanted eyeballs, thin and long pointed ears.
“What – do – you - want?” Farley said nothing; he wished that he were in his bed in his new house. He wished that he was still with his wife and she understood him and nothing had come between them.

It had been nearly a six months since Farley had moved out. He’d rented a little room for a few weeks and then had all his stuff shipped off to the new house he’d bought in the country. Maryanne never knew he liked the countryside. She’d felt a little out of sorts when he’d bought a house in the hills. She’d been the one talking about moving to the county and as soon as they split up off he goes. Buying her dream home, living the life that she always wanted.
It had been nearly two weeks since he’d finally moved up there. Since then Maryanne had felt out of sorts. She had heard not a peep from him since he left. She missed him, the things she had hated a year ago were now the things she yearned for. The first week and a half since he moved she spent an hour here and an hour there staring at the phone hoping it would ring. It never rang. The last few days she’d spent ringing his number, it just rang out. No answering machine, no nothing. She wasn’t even sure she had the right number, she’d gotten it from one of his friends. With a sly grin his old friend had written down the number and even the address on some scrap piece of paper.
Maryanne was now holding that scrap of paper, had barely let it go for the last two days. She tried the number written on it one last time and let the phone ring out. Tried it again just to be sure and then walked out the front door and into her car.
The drive would have been a nice one if she had not been gripping the wheel the whole time like it was going to grab its own car and have its own vacation. There would have been lovely scenic moments that she would have enjoyed greatly if she had not of stared so intently at the road ahead of her. She would have had a great time listening to all her favourite CD’s if she hadn’t been grinding her teeth for the whole journey.
She came into the town, which consisted of a station and a convenience store. She would have appreciated the old world value of it all if she were not so preoccupied. She asked someone for directions and read him out the address. Instead of directions he gave her a story on how to get there. There was no go left and the right at the high street and keep going until you see a red mailbox. Instead she got something that was accompanied with fish like hand movements. She tried to keep up but couldn’t. She managed to grasp the part about high street and the red mailbox and then tuned out all the rest.
“If you see a big ol’ tree standing alone on the top of a hill then you know you’ve gone too far.” She nodded and he kept talking. There was a story about the tree, fairies and all. “You know that the Fae are the dead, damned to the ground?” She was already driving off she heard something about As long as they pay their dues but she wasn’t listening.
High street was easy enough; it was the only street that went from horizon to horizon. She turned into it and drove, keeping her eye out for a red mail box and maybe a big tree on top of the hill and then maybe some fairies.
It was hard to miss, that bright red letterbox. She came to a halt at the side of her husband’s driveway and found herself staring at the tree on the hill in the distance. There weren’t many trees in this area and its gnarled silhouette almost trapped her there. She shook it off and stepped out of the car. Suddenly it was as though hours had passed while she had been standing there. The sun seemed to be setting, the sky filled with colour. She averted her eyes away from the strange tree on the distant hill and concentrated on Farley’s house.
The long driveway to the small cottage was quiet. She walked up slowly, nervously and came to the front door. There was a stillness about the place that not only rejected the idea of someone inside but invalidated the idea that the air even moved. She knocked on the door and waited, there was no answer, no movement. She knocked again and waited, knocked again and waited. She took a deep breath clasped the door handle and opened the door.
The place was a mess, it looked like it nothing had been cleaned up for weeks. Books and papers lay everywhere, on every surface. The place had been sealed up tight and the air was stale. She tried the light switch but it seemed the power was out. She was about to give up, turn around and go back home when she realised that her husband that she now suddenly missed terribly may be still in here dead. She raced ahead determined to search the place hoping that he wasn’t here. In the lounge room she found her husband in a chair, sprawled over the table in front of him.
She stood there staring at his slumped over body wondering whether he was dead, wondering what had happened to him. His hair had gone from the rich brown it was to a silver colour. There was no sign of movement, not even breathing. She ran over to him and was about to shake him but the noise of her approach woke him with a startle. He jumped up from his chair with a startle and started backing away from her. There was pure fear and terror in his eyes. It was as though he could not see that it was Maryanne, no matter how she tried to explain the matter. She knew that they had not parted amicably but this was not the expected reaction. Especially when she had travelled all this way to make up with him.
She grabbed at him and he made a small whimpering sound. She grabbed at his hands and he retracted and ran off, out the door and into what was now, inexplicably the night

Farley ran and all she could do was follow, it was growing cold and dark. The Fairy tree was silhouetted by the large rising moon. It all seemed too magical for Maryanne, the tree, the sudden night, the story she heard in town, her husband’s appearance and manic demeanour. He was running a lot faster than she could manage. She could not keep up with him and was getting puffed. There was seemed no point trying to catch him, she knew where he was going and slowed down to catch her breath.
She found Farley on his knees in front of the tree crying and hysterical. His fist was clenched and he was pounding the ground, sobbing and wailing like a child. She stood there and watched him and realised that she had to take him from this place, get him some help. She did not know what had happened, she did not know why he was like this, why his hair was silver but he needed help desperately.
She went up to him and put her hand to his face.
“Omigod, you’re so cold.” His face felt like marble. She did not know whether it was the moon and the deathly cold night but his skin looked pale and slightly blue.
“Come on.” She said trying to lift him. “We need to get you out of here.” At that he stopped moaning, stopped wailing, stopped flailing and beating the ground and looked up at her. The moon got brighter behind them. Farley’s eyes diverted from his wife and looked ahead. He started to whimper a little, much like a dog.
Maryanne turned to see that the light was not from the moon but from the tree. It glowed with a meek blue that seemed to issue from inside. There was a thin, long, delicate hand that seemed to spring forth from under the large roots. It grabbed at the ground and soon she saw the top of a head rise from the ground. Silver hair, like Farley’s that shone in the blue light. The eyes rose up from above the ground, black balls of nothing enclosed in white dead skin. A wind rose and it seemed to come from the rising lady; it did not blow from her but pulled all else in. The wind was filled with a voice, a voice that pulled at her very soul.
“What – do – you – want?” The wind rasped.
She looked down at her husband, cowering and then back to the creature. It was fully out of the ground now. It did not stand upright but the woman’s body was on all fours, not like a mammal but like a spider. Its silver hair was long and dragging along the ground. Her husband’s hair was the same silver. She looked back down at him and he looked up at her, his eyes small black balls of nothing, like staring into the night. It was coming towards them, a naked, deathly white female. Coming towards them on hands and knees like it knew not how to walk.
“What – do – you – want?” The woman was coming forward on all fours. Maryanne was mumbling to herself.
“Don’t answer, don’t answer, don’t answer.” As she back away from the terrifying scene that unravelled in front of her. As the white woman drew close to Farley he seemed to cower in her presence like a beaten dog.
“What – do – you – want?” It said and every time Maryanne felt a little bit of herself sucked away.
“What – do – you – want?” It pulled at her and kneaded her will, it cajoled her sanity. This isn’t happening, she wanted this moment to be over, she wanted everything to be okay. She wanted to come over to Farley’s and spend time with him, maybe make up and everything to be okay with the world. She didn’t want this.

Maryanne woke up in bed; the early morning sun shone through the cottage windows and hurt her eyes. She looked around with a startle as if shocked by something and then could not remember what it was. She looked down in the bed beside herself at Farley and smiled, everything was okay. She was so cold though. Farley had found her dream life during their separation and here she was waking up in it. I guess there would be some down side; the countryside is always a little colder. Men are warm though and Maryanne snuggled into her husband to find some of warmth. There was none though, he was as cold as she was.
Something nattered at the back of her brain but she could not think of what it was.
She got up and put on some clothes. The electricity was off for some reason but the gas still worked. She walked around his house, it was a mess. She turned on the heater in the lounge room and stood there in front of it trying to warm herself up.
The state of the place was quite unlike Farley, he was a bit of a prude and always put everything away. He would have also made sure the power was on before he moved in. There were books and papers everywhere. She picked a book and looked at the title. Folklore and Faeries it read, she made a little questioning noise and put it down. She picked up another book, The old ways was the title and she opened it up. It was about old Scandinavian tales about the dead and fairies. This did not sound like Farley at all. She even went to his bedroom, book in hand to look at his face to make sure she had been with the correct man that night. Yeap, it was Farley alright.
She looked at all the books and they were all about old tales and lore relating to Fairies. She shrugged and picked up the one she thought seemed more realistic and sat down by the gas heater to read. She did not feel any warmer though but at least she had entertainment.
She found the book interesting; it dealt with the tales on fairies on a realistic level but also gave details on the lore. She huddled, deadly cold by the fire reading the book. It wasn’t the version with the little creatures with the wings. It was a dark account of creatures that belong to neither heaven nor hell but are not of the land of the living. As they don’t exist in the world of life and are shunned by heaven they are forced to pay a duty to hell, the book described it as a kind of tax. The best tax was human souls and thus the old folk would ward off fairies with all sorts of methods, various herbs but iron was the best guard.
Maryanne was tired and thirsty and still cold. She wandered into the kitchen and wondered if anything was in the fridge. She doubted that Farley would store stuff in the fridge with the electricity yet to be turned on. She opened it anyway and fell back three steps. The fridge stank and she shut the door on the odour that was issuing forth. This wasn’t like Farley at all.
She had to go to town, get some goods. Something to eat and drink at least. She went back to the bedroom and found her shoes. She sat on the bed and put them on, Farley did not even mutter as the overly soft bed fell in and out again. She looked over at him sleeping, deeply and then resumed to put on her shoes.
Something was gnawing away at the back of her brain.
She grabbed her bag and made her way to the front door, it was still morning and even though there was not a cloud in the sky it was as cold as death itself. She walked down the driveway, rummaging around in her bag for her keys. She looked over to her little car and saw the strange tree on the hill. She stopped walking and stared at it.
All reason went from her, she felt as if her whole being was dropped into a void. She stood there swaying in the wind, staring over at the hill in the distance. It took all her might to recover; a screaming voice was in her head. The same voice that gnawed and nattered away at her was now prompting her to recover, to recover fully. She found herself averting her eyes from the tree, she found the sky darkening, colour blooming through the landscape as the sun started to set.
She rushed back into the house, through the hallway, through the lounge room and into the bedroom. She was hoping she would be wrong, she was hoping everything was all right. She stood at the entrance of the doorway staring at her husband, his pale skin, his thin frame, his silver hair. She rushed to the mirror and looked at herself. Mostly, her hair was the colour it had been yesterday but silver streaks were strewn through what was once a colourful, rich blond.
She went over to her husband and shook him desperately. He moved but only slightly as though caught in the throws of sleep, as though caught in the depths of a spell. She went to the living room and looked around, wondering what to do. On the outside she was doubting herself, on the inside she could not come to any other conclusion. She was damned, her husband was damned. She needed to think, she needed to find some strength from within her.
In the lounge there were two fireplaces, one side was replaced with a gas heater, which was still pointlessly on, but the other side still kept its original fireplace. She went over to it, bent down and fetched the poker. She wondered whether it was iron but as she clasped it she felt the heat, she felt the pain that it bore. She was enchanted; iron was as much her enemy as it was of the fairies. It hurt to hold but she clasped it tightly, the more it hurt the tighter she grasped it. It was now her only link to the human world.
“What’s up?” said Farley from the door scratching his head and recovering from a very long sleep.
“We’re damned.” Replied Maryanne, it was nearly completely dark and she had not time to explain. Why should she explain anyway, she’d been reading his books.
“Huh?” Said Farley scratching his silver hair.
Maryanne marched herself to the front door, iron poker in hand. Farley followed. She swung the door open and strode out into the night towards the tree. Farley came with her on her heals with questions that he should of known the answer to. Within twenty metres of the tree he stopped still, staring at the huge enchanted tree. Maryanne kept going without him.
At ten metres the show had started, she now remembered it fully though she did not remember how she got back to the house. She stood, three metres from the tree, poker clasped firmly.
There was a sucking of wind, there was no questions voiced now, just a rage. She had disturbed it, it had what it wanted it no longer needed their attendance. It had pulled itself up from the ground and was stalking towards her like an insect. Its pale fingers clasped the very dirt and it seemed not to walk on all fours but to spring from spot to spot. If it killed her she would be damned, her and her husband. She took a step back and raised the iron poker. She saw it and stopped there stationary, her mouth opened in a hiss. The wind pulled from behind Maryanne but she held firm. She took a step forward; the naked woman with the silver hair and black eyes took a step back.
“Yoooouuuuuudoooonoooottneeeeedthaaaaat!” came the voice that pulled and pulled at her very bones.
“Oh yes I bloody well do!” Said Maryanne with determination. She was not going to be cajoled or manipulated, this thing had her soul, she would not get any more from her. The thing looked over behind Maryanne and she heard Farley getting up and walking towards her. She gathered that this thing had more control over Farley than it did of her. She did not know whether it was because Farley was caught in the spell for longer or because he was the opposite sex. She gathered it may be a little bit of both.
“You don’t need that.’ Said Farley as he staggered towards her, his eyes were as black as the night’s sky.
“Farley wake up!” She screamed to him as she backed away sideways from them both.
“Give me the poker.” Said Farley, his mind seemed to be far away. He was right up to Maryanne now and he reached out and grabbed the iron. As his hands grabbed the iron there was a sizzling and a smell of burnt flesh. Farley’s eyes turned slightly to colour. The thing on four legs jumped at the two of them and Farley wrenched the poker from Maryanne’s grip.
Maryanne thought that this was it, her death, her damnation. She closed her eyes, she did not have the poker anymore to protect herself, to kill the beast and the beast was upon them. Springing in the air towards its prey.
There was nothing. No death, no damnation. It would have happened by now. She did not know how it would have happened, could not have imagined it in her wildest dreams. All she knew is that it did not happen. She opened her eyes and found the creature, still in mid air with a poker through its chest and Farley holding it. Farley dropped the fairy skewer to the ground. It was dead and cold which by no means is any different from how it was before except from the fact that it was no longer moving.
Farley dropped to his knees and Maryanne ran over to him.
“Farley!” She screamed and took him in her arms. There was a warmth that both of them had now but it was inconsequential. It was minuscule, it was fading. She held him and he held her.
He found her cheek and kissed it, tears poured down from Maryanne’s eyes as she realised what was happening.
They had broken the spell; they were no longer damned to hell. There was no longer a tax to be paid with their souls but they were both already dead. The walking dead were no longer the walking dead, the enchantment was over.

The tree was avoided by the locals until it started dying. It had been in books and fables for years so when it started collapsing the residents of the area withdrew from their fears and investigated the matter.
They found a couple, dead for a week at the most, clutching at one another tightly and an iron poker a few metres off. They made up their tales of love, redemption and a broken spell, very much like this one.
Except the fairy of the tree wore a dress.

Finding Farley - Introduction

I usually start off writing, a small amount of planning in my head. A lot less planning than what I do for novels, I find it a lot more entertaining to sometimes not know where the story is going to take me. I usually add the title either half way through writing or at the end. Sometimes I even add it days later.
Finding Farley started with the title, no idea where I was going at all.
Half way through writing I stopped and started looking up all I could about Fairies (or Faeries for the pedantically inclined -:D-) Read some really interesting stuff that may even be used in another story.
It looks like I'm going to be doing short stories in two avenues, normal horror/fiction and those of the fairy tale incline. So far I have Finding Farley and The Jaga and the Kaax.
I like the idea of Fairies not being that cute and having to pay a duty to hell.
Even after doing the reading on Fairies I still had no idea where the story was going. I just kept writing and it was only towards the end that I realised what was going to happen. I think there's this little person in my head that sometimes has it all planned out for me but only gives me portions as I go along.
I think I've said that before here.
Oh well, it makes it all very interesting.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Statistic Summary and Updates

Here are the statistics since I started to take statistics. The last peak on the graph was right after I put the last story on the site.
I'm hoping that means something.
I love looking at where all the dots are for each day.
I've also made some changes to the site. The image on the right now loads at random. At the moment I've loaded up four images for it. Refreshing the page or going to another page on the site will load up another image. Took me a hell of a while to work out how to do the JavaScript and html, especially with the sizing and positioning of the thing.
Opps, I almost forgot, I put a poll down at the bottom of the page where you can vote for your favorite story. I made my own vote for "Life and death as a Sitcom."
It came about when I told my mum that I did not think much of my new story, "Support Groups." She read it on the internet and liked it more than the others. I found it a little cruel, she found it funny. It's usually the other way around which I found odd. Well, odder than usual which makes it pretty darn odd!
I'm starting to like the way the site looks and feels. I'm glad I chose the Blogger site as a place to put my stories. I was thinking of buying webspace for the site but this looks a lot better I think. It's kind of a Blog I guess.
I've got to put some more stories up though. I've decided to steer clear of using this as a diary or some speech outlet. It'll only be story related. I'm still editing the one that I wrote before I wrote "Support Groups" and I have another one that I found on my hard drive that I kind of liked that I may put up.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Support Groups.

Support Groups.
Molecat Jumaway

Heroism is a tool of the media. It ain’t about those last few seconds, it’s about sales and marketing. Everyone loves a hero, everyone loves to cheer a live hero, everyone loves to mourn a dead hero. It’s on the news, the television; it’s in the papers; on the radio; on everyone’s lips. We live in a world of numbers; a story of heroic deeds is a spot of colour in a dreary grey world. Even if it were just a story.
In reality it’s all about instinct and thought. Which way does your instinct take you, charging in or begging for your life? Most of us would, in truth say the latter. But if you see a situation and given enough presence in mind to think you realise that there is only so much you can do. Looking like a twat isn’t going to save your bacon. If you’ve been through enough shit you realise that some things are just inevitable.
I haven’t realised all this yet.
I’m looking like a twat.
I’m crying like a baby and pleading for my life.
Considering there’s a gun at my head it’s quite understandable, most of you would be doing the same thing. Those of you that just shook their head would be the first to start tearing up.
He’s already killed the little girl, a man, a pregnant woman for god sakes and now me. He doesn’t want anything, we’re not hostages. The only reason why we’re not running is to spare ourselves those few extra seconds of life. This isn’t a robbery or anything reasonable this is just a man-gone nuts and he happens to own a gun.
My nose is running, nice way to find your cold dead body. I’m begging and I don’t even know what I’m saying. It’s all automatic and I have no real control over it. You know I think I’m talking about my runny nose. For Christ Sakes shut up man! If he killed a pregnant woman at point blank he’s not going to care about your sodden life!
The hammer draws back. Ohgodohgodohgodoghotdogshotdogshotdogs. Bang.
There’s the pain and all I’m wondering is how my Oh Gods turned into hot dogs. I think I’m alive, I think the bloody bastard missed me. I’m even still standing. I’m wondering about the pain but I’m alive and in pain and not dead and nothing.
“Fucking arsehole.” I yell and I hit him, I hit him hard. I don’t think I’ve ever hit someone that hard before. When you hit someone, you’re usually trying to warn them off, go away or I’ll hit you again. I’m hitting this person with intent to actually kill him with my fists. The gun’s gone now, he dropped it on the first punch, someone else came and picked it up. A little girl I think.
“I’m okay, I’m okay.” I say after getting tired of hitting the guy. Everyone is just standing around staring at me. I look down at my feet.
Ew, did I do that?
Okay, so now I’m a hero, Splat.
No, no, I’m not doing interviews. No, no, thank you but I must decline. How much? Jeeze, Nope, no, I don’t want to talk about it. Well maybe just one.
Then there’s the manslaughter charge. I really didn’t think I was hitting him that hard and he had just shot me damn it. I know he’s dead but I only got half a bloody ear. I was found guilty but in light of the circumstances the judge felt a suspended sentence was in order. It was all over the news.
I was hoping the group; the people that were there with me would welcome me in as one of their own. We were brethren after all and if I hadn’t of acted we’d all be dead. They don’t return my calls, they’ve set up some support group, I don’t know where it is and I don’t think I’m welcome.
I’m in my room without a support group and I’m recanting the events that threw me into this little spot. I still remember crying, balling my eyes out. I still remember the man falling to the ground, the pregnant woman on her knees and falling forward on her face, the little girl hurled sideways. I bet those other bastards are in a room right now discussing these very matters. No matter, I’ve got a bottle of red wine.
Today’s interview did not go as expected. I thought that I’d be asked questions about being a hero and all for the whole time. It started off like that and I was very good at being modest, I actually maintained the truth. I told them that I did not feel like a hero and that I was crying and pleading for my life. I told them that I would have been nothing if the guy had not of missed.
“And that’s when you killed him with your bare hands?”
I was a little speechless. I was remembering the moments before; I could barely remember the moments after the gun went off. My face was pale. I felt a little limp. It felt like all the blood in my body had now succumbed to gravity and was sitting in my feet. The lady interviewing me was unknown to me, had not ever seen her on the tele. She waited and I just looked around pale and listless. The camera crew were standing there patiently, there was a guy holding the big boom mike thingy. There was a little girl among them, all of them waiting for me.
“I could not remember the rest.” I said to the lady I did not know, had never met. Was this my support group? “I’d watched the man kill many people.” I sort of stuttered it out.
“The coroner said that the man would have died after the second punch and yet you hit him over seventy times.” Said the lady. I’m thinking that maybe I was really shot and killed and this is my purgatory. It certainly feels like it. I look over to the lady, I guess they’re loving it, this is prime time stuff. At least there’s going to be a cheque in the mail.
“I don’t think I was thinking straight.” I tell her, or the viewers, or the mike, or the little girl. I don’t know really, I’m just saying the words.
“The courts would have acquitted you then.” Said the lady. “They didn’t.”
“Then why am I here?” I asked listlessly. “Why am I not in jail?”
“You tell me.” Said the lady who I didn’t know.
Well that went well, I watched it on the news. They replaced the unknown lady with the face of the primetime television. I got a letter from the courts instead of a cheque saying that I would not be receiving payment as I could not profit from a crime that I had been found guilty of.
Not a very good support group really. I wonder what the others are doing now?
I don’t really have any hobbies, nothing to take my mind off these things. I guess my hobby now is drinking red wine and thinking about my shit life. I fell asleep and dreamt of how one luck lustre life can turn into a painful excuse for an existence and those powerful minutes that caused the transition. I woke up pickled; today is the day I miss another day at work. Today is also they day that I get fired from work.
There’s a little girl waiting in my cupboard when I open it. I slide the door open to grab some pants and she’s there between a couple of jackets staring out at me. I ignore her and her eyes, if she’s not going to hand me my pants then I’ll just take my pants and close the door.
I’m going to have to remind myself one of these days that I’m alive and that’s what counts.
I go out to have a drink, maybe something at a bar or something.
“Hey you’re that guy.” I’m sitting at a bar, it’s pretty upmarket and I’m wondering how much of my money I can spend until I completely run out. There’s a burly kind of guy behind me and he’s addressing me as that guy. Probably seen me on the tele.
“Fuckin’ arsehole.” He says and spits in my general direction. “You’re as bad as the killer.” I get up and turn around. I forget that I’d just killed a man with my bare hands but no one else does. Suddenly people are rushing away from me. I leave a tip and go on home.
I feel as though I’ve missed something.
I’m in the corner with my bottle of red. I’ve got the phone in the other hand. I passed the support group on the way home, all filing in to the large hall to talk about their woes. They see me walking by and stopped one by one to stare at me. A little semi-circle of people that shared the worst day of their lives. All standing silently around the lit entrance staring at me.
I’m having deep drinks of wine and ringing the hall’s number in between times. I could imagine them all sitting around the ringing phone, knowing it’s me, letting it ring.
Here’s ya fuckin’ support you bloody wankers!
Or maybe the phone rings out into another office. Maybe I’m just an incredibly stupid person. I have another scull of the wine. I lower the bottle to see the girl looking out at me from the hallway across the room. I’m about to say something but she’s suffered enough, because of me she’s suffered enough. I fall asleep, on the floor, in the corner.
The bottle must have dropped into my lap because I’m all wet there. I don’t know which would be better the wine spilling or me wetting myself. I’m sitting their in the corner thinking about it, I decide that urine would be easier to clean out of the carpet. I open my eyes and there are eyes staring into mine. It’s her.
I’m not a babbling fool of a person. It’s not called courage, it’s called not caring. I don’t give a flying fuck what happens anymore. I don’t care if there is red wine or urine in my lap and I don’t give a shit whether there is a little dead girl up close and in my face. She smiles and she draws back silently.
She’s now at the end of my feet, she slowly retrieves something from under her dress. She places it at the base of my feet; I’m staring at it. I’m not shocked when she is thrown backwards in the air. Out the door as though my apartment was suddenly in space and everything was pulled out with the air.
I look at the object at my feet, why am I not surprised to find the gun that was once pointed at my head there? I stare at it and something fills my mind with unease. I pass out again.
The next day I’m him. There’s a list of people that I’m apart of. We’ve formed a sort of support group of our own, like a father would support a son. I know the tradition and I have to follow.
I’m in a large room, there’s only one exit and that’s all locked up. There’s a sniffling little man sitting in a corner, snot is coming out of his nose as he pleads for his life.
“Next!” I’m not a demanding man but tradition dictates. I’ve made him pick out three people already; they’ll have this support group set up next week. The man is crying as he points to a little girl.
“I’m sorry.” I say to the little girl who is now a ball of arms and legs, trying to hide from what is about to happen. “But he chose you.”
As tradition dictates, I’ll leave the runny nose man until last and just clip his ear or something. It’ll be fun.