Thursday, 30 April 2009

The Golden Age Of Mary Elizabeth Winstead (2009-?)

I wish I was a dustbin. Put me outside once a week and empty everything out of me. All the words I've heard, read, bled. Everything I've seen. Let me start again.

I ghosted down the stairs at the devil’s hour, trying to ignore those mocking the Holy Trinity. I saw the shadow of a small figure through the glass of the door.

“Hello?” I whispered.

“Hello,” came a whisper back. “Will you hold my hand?” they said, pushing it through the letterbox.

“Who are you?”

“I'm you. The born again you. Don’t you remember?” The voice belonged to that of a small boy. I took his hand in mine and kept hold of it despite the clamminess.

“No, I don’t remember. What happened?” I asked.

“They took you and put you inside the carcass of a dead cow. Sewed it up, leaving you to punch, headbutt, kick, rip, bite your way out. You rose again after three days like Christ. As me. I've been trying to find you ever since. It’s taken years; I was beginning to lose hope.”

I tried to let go of his hand but realised I couldn't. They were stuck together. We were stuck together. Panicking, I took out my pocket knife I always carry around with me with my one free hand and started sawing away at the other…

Oh yes, we’re entering the golden age of Mary Elizabeth Winstead. I want you to teach me about love. I want you to be my Father.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

ENTRY 12,602

I’d been in this bunker thirty-four years when it happened. thirty-four long boring years of canned beans and corned meat.

The reason? Well, you know the story, with the Cold War never ceasing, losing in Vietnam and the threat of nuclear obliteration. Besides, there was the whole immorality and women’s rights thing tearing away at the fabric of society’s seams. I couldn’t believe it, right before I turned my back on the world, I was driving about town and stopped at the lights - suddenly a woman is sticking her head in the passenger side window blathering on about “wanting a piece of her”, before backing up and lifting her skirt, exposing the fact she had no underwear. In 1975! I’d never heard of such a thing.

I came straight home, rubbing my crucifix vigorously. I said some quick goodbyes and locked myself in the bomb shelter I’d built below my parents house, having inherited the place jointly with my sister a few years prior. It wasn’t long before the aliens invaded. My sister radioed the news flash down to me on the 2-way, cementing my resolve to never resurface. Not two days later she radioed down to me again, telling me they were coming, that she would be killed like everyone else up there. She begged me to let her in, but I couldn’t. There was no way I was going to open up and risk being seen by aliens or infected by some kind of alien virus. Better one of us die than both.


Of course, thirty years passed slowly at first in quiet and isolation, though eventually memories began to blur without the obvious time division of sunlight. Then, when I felt enough time had passed for the aliens to have moved on and any airborne alien pathogens to have died out, I decided to poke my head out and take a look around, see how the world had changed. To my surprise I found my sister and her husband sitting in the lounge room watching television. They looked at me, their faces mirroring my own shock, before my sister ran from the room. I wasn’t sure what was going on until an alien appeared from the room my sister went into. “RETURN FROM WHERE YOU CAME,” it yelled, in some strange dialect which I managed to understand. “This’ll never work,” my brother-in-law was muttering. It was too late to save him. I ran back to the safety of my bunker and this is where I remain.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

She Cries Like The Universe Itself

The hunger sucks upon itself, causing you physical pain, making you gaze at the bones of an old woman. Release from pain tempts you as your eyes gouge her thighs like tender steaks. You drag the air about her into your lungs, scouring the taste of her scent for something repugnant, something to stave off desire. A mix of perfume and decay clogs your olfactory receptors, but does nothing to keep you away.

Take the shovel, take the bucket
Load the shotgun and cock it,
Sandy beach and foamy waves,

Use the shovel, dig their graves

Saturday, 25 April 2009

John Fowles Ruined My Birthday

Roll the ball and through the hole we fall. I lost at bagatelle and now mummy’s packing me off to hell.

At first I thought it said baguette. I saw myself choking to death on one full of disgusting, delicious, beautiful fish. “DAMN YOU TO HELL, TUNA!” I was going to scream. It didn't seem like the greatest of exits but it beat collapsing into a hedge at any rate I figured. Maybe I’d be wearing a pair of amber shades at the time to make it look a little bit cooler anyway.

It’s ridiculous but the thing I fear most about death is imagining what they’re going to think about me when I'm laid out naked on the mortuary slab. I don’t want strangers seeing me naked; otherwise I’d drop the remote control and run to the window, flick the curtain cord until the slats part, with my hands in the air, whooping triumphantly at the passer-bys in all my naked glory. I remember a colleague of mine once taking a photograph of his phimosis on his mobile phone and showing it to everyone at the pub. He wasn't even drunk; he’d just had some cokes. I couldn't work out if he was the most fearless person I knew or just devoid of a single brain cell and ounce of dignity. Either way, part of me couldn't help but envy his couldn't-care-less-it’s-all-just-a-bit-of-harmless-fun attitude.

When I apply the same approach to life, look where it leaves me. Or what it leaves me. Dirty blood from a dirty Nazi whore. People ask me how it feels and I don’t really know how to explain. Maybe it’s more a psychological thing than a physical one, but I'm constantly aware of my blood now. I can feel it bubbling underneath my skin like lava. The simplest way to describe it is – it prickles. Like I'm walking through a never-ending field of imaginary stinging nettles, when in fact I'm just walking down some scum-addled High Street in any city in any country, crying out for a bar of soap to shiver all over me.

And so I did pedal like a frenzied idiot, haunting the tunnels of my own imagination on some clapped-out excuse of a bike. To escape their questions, to escape their pity, to escape their taunts, to simply escape.

I remember one day at school when I asked the teacher if I could go wee. When he said yes, I stuck my arms out and flew around the classroom screaming “weeeeeeeeee”. Maybe the sun had gone to my head. Whatever the reason, I didn't want to stop that day. I wanted to keep propelling forward. Had a penny spent on my pilus behind the bike shed, then the idiot wind blew it, and my tears, dry as I cruised down the hill on my bike, backside up off the saddle. Guess I didn't see the car until I’d collided with it and was propelled up into the air. After that I kept blacking out. But I remember a woman in the car, me asking her if she was alright, her telling me to get lost, her foot still chowing down on the accelerator as the car and tree in front of it started eating into each other, then flames. Next thing I knew I was in bush land somewhere, on the phone begging for water.

“Don’t yell at me,” came the reply. My throat was too dry to even try and muster up any kind of response.

Why do we pay our respects to the dead but hardly any to the living? Should we really be respecting failure? I don’t care who you were or what you did, if you gave up on life or life gave up on you - you failed.

I didn't fail, I won’t fail, I’ll clean my blood, I’ll keep propelling forward.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

I Used To Swear At Strangers

I cry a dream of dust in a black field of empty sky. Pale, balding, hovering in a void of wasted time. Eyes flittering about as if playing leapfrog with each other at a tennis match in outer space. As if time is endless. Infinite.


You are now thinking about memorable conversations you’ve had using cordless telephones.

Fair Thee Well

I was at the town fair and so was she, holding hands with her mother and glaring in my direction. It was almost as if she needed the maternal support and protection from the grip of my vile paws. Her mother sat in ignorance, staring at the dog parade, whilst her daughter murdered me with her eyes. All I wanted was a shouting match - screaming and yelling to the point of exhaustion until the tears flowed, under slouched shoulders and over knock knees lifted under our chins. We could then sit and talk all night, backs against the wall, sitting on the cold tiles, until we fell asleep side by side.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Beautiful Was The Time A Leopard In Lancashire Said “Nein Und Abermals Nein"

It was more a stagger than a run, my knees intermittently turning to try and face each other. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to die but that didn't stop my life from flashing before my eyes.

*

“What are you doing?”

“I'm moving the pot plant so it gets more sunlight.”

*

“What are you doing?”

“I'm moving the pot plant out of Cassie’s reach.”

*

“What are you doing?”

“I'm moving the pot plant outside. Hopefully the bin men will take it away.”

“Has it died?”

“It will do.”

*

Eventually my legs gave way and I found myself falling into a yellow bed of leaves. I was so exhausted I think I may have dozed off for a few minutes, my face down in the mud. By the time I awoke someone was stood over me.

“Do you have any last words?” they said.

“Heil Hitler,” I half-heartedly offered in return.

They smirked derisorily and fired a paintball into the side of my head at such force that it blew my helmet clean off.

Untitled

I watch her fall asleep against the train window
And I watch her elbow gently keep slipping off
And I think of all the friends I once had
But somewhere along the line have lost

I guess life is a procession of goodbyes
And I'm just making the journey towards mine
But when we were young, we only bothered with hellos
Surely that can’t really have been so long ago?

I leave her sleeping to walk the length of the train
And I'm confronted by a memory from within each window pane -
It’s as if all of them represent a year of my life
Those done and those still yet to come
And I know that once I get to the end of the train
That I’ll want to take the whole journey again
But a falling arm can only keep propping itself up
Before eventually it just stops.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

People in Britain Traveled 508 Billion Miles by Road, Rail and Air in 2007

I’d been waiting to use the library computers for 45 minutes. Every time one came up, I passed it over, let the next person in line take it. There’s only one PC I’m after - the one in the corner, the one which no one can see the screen of unless they’re right behind you. Finally the user got up and let me on. I started up internet explorer, surfing my way over to the Daily Mail, I almost sighed as my addiction was finally sated. “Lily Allen topless”? Hrm, yeah I was game. “Sexy topless romp in France,” I clicked all the pictures open. I almost cried out in disgust as the horrible tiny red boobs sent waves of revulsion through my stomach.

“OI!” some woman was yelling behind me. “We’ve been watching you! You’re nicked! Get the heck out of here you pervert. You’re banned from here for 6 months!”

Shit. Banned for 6 months. You get up under her gaze and slink out. You notice she has moved to your computer and started closing the windows of boobs that you left open. You grab a book on the way out and hold it over the checkpoints so the alarm doesn’t go off. That’ll teach her a lesson, you look at the book, “UK book of statistics 2008″. Shit.


Did you know 1/3rd of men nowadays live with their parents? I certainly did.

The New Adventures of Old Creg-teen Part 3


Charlene, Creg’s half sister, was visiting for a fortnight, and the deadline before she returned home was looming. He had neither perpetrated an accidental walk-in on her in the shower, nor had he even managed to inadvertantly stumble into her room whilst she was changing. He just didn’t have the guts. He had been, for the last few hours, attempting to chisel through the wall that separated their two rooms, Great Escape style, with a teaspoon. Collecting the plaster and fibres in his shoes that he would then wear outside and empty in the garden. He had managed to make his way into the cavity and was about to start on slowly, quietly chipping away at the back of her plaster wall, when there was a knock at the door.

“Creg, Creg honey?”

Creg jumped to his feet and ran to his door, “yes? Yes Charlene?” he beamed as he opened it.

“Creg, I’m scared. I think we have rats.”

“No no, we don’t have rats Charlene, I mean, yeah we used to, but I’m pretty sure they starved.”

“No I can hear them, mice or rats, there’s something scurrying through the walls, Creg.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. We need to get some rat baits or something. Where does mum keep them?”

“Uhm. I don’t think we have any. There’s no rats Charlene, I promise.”

“Can you just check for me, Creg? Please?”

“Check for rats?”

“Yeah, please!” she batted her eyelids at him, making his knees melt and his legs go rubbery.

“Okay sure, I’ll check out your room,” Creg said commandingly, as if leader of a hunting party.

“No no, they’re not in my room, they’re in the walls, they must be coming down from the roof. Get the ladder and climb in the manhole and take a poke around.”

“What?”

“Don’t forget to grab a torch. If you see anything we’ll get some rat baits, thanks Creg.” She turned and walked back to her room and closed the door.


Creg dutifully went out the back and collected the ladder and a torch. Struggled with it up the stairs and positioned it below the manhole. He lifted the cover, about a thousand years worth of dust went over his face, all over his neck and down his throat. He coughed to the point of almost throwing up, before he remembered - this was his big chance to impress Charlene. Be a man, Creg, he said to himself. All he had to do was pretend he scared the rats off, quit the scratching at her wall, and he was in with a big chance of seeing a boob. Maybe even two. 

Just When I Feel My Happiness Starting

My fingers slipped from the tuft of grass that they were holding onto. I reached out for the edge but all I clasped was air. A few pebbles rained past and rolled over my face, disappearing into oblivion. I soon followed them, falling for what seemed a lifetime, staring back up at the ledge from where I fell as it got smaller and smaller. All I could think about was this article I’d read, about when things move quickly past your eyes, or your eyes themselves are moving quickly, your brain makes you go blind, but you don’t know it because it keeps showing you the last thing you saw. On a carousel spun quickly, things seem to freeze out in the distance as you spin, because you’re not actually seeing them anymore, but you are inside your head. I wondered how much of this, my last few seconds on earth, were being blocked out by my brain. I look down at myself, just to make sure the image changed. My gut is flailing about in the wind, I could’ve done something about that I suppose, in amongst all those years I wasted in front of the television set, not that it particularly mattered now. My pants hardly fluttered, skin tight, as I liked them. For some reason it reminded me of the Russian love bride I’d sent for. I paid for her air-ticket, but she was turned away when she hit customs. Made it all the way to Birmingham, but then they opened her bag and found it only had lingerie in it. Sent packing and banned from coming back on suspicion of being a prostitute. A love lost and over before it even began. I wonder what she’s doing now, right now. I wonder if she’ll hear it when I hit.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Puff Pastry

I was a pie man, crust and filler. They were the only thing that made sense in my life. That moment, twenty years ago, when I walked through the factory doors and smelt the pastry baking, I knew this was where I was supposed to be. Every single day I worked hard, producing every different kind of pie you could imagine. I climbed the corporate pie making ladder, inventing new recipes, overseeing production, taste-testing - the works. That’s why, in the end, I’m standing here about to do what I’m about to do.

When I was younger my older brother and I used to put on two pairs of old pants and stand together in the yard back to back, holding our air rifles over our shoulder. A ten-pace duel, and then a skirmish through the bushes. The only rule was that we had to aim for the legs.

One day, after he’d put me in the old bin, hammered the lid down on top and rolled me over a hill, we went to play our usual game. He crept around the hedge I was hiding in, thinking he could ambush me, but I saw him. Still stung from earlier, I found myself pointing the gun at his face. At the time he said he didn’t even feel it, but ten years went on and the pellet worked its way through his sinuses and somehow to his brain.


So now they’re closing us down. The recession apparently means no one can afford dessert pies anymore, and the modest gains in savoury pies have done nothing to compensate. So here I am, after giving up twenty years of my life, rolling the pellet they removed from my brother’s skull around in the palm of my hand while I wait for the gas to fill the room. Oh it won’t be long now, till the oven thermostat clicks on, and we’re all eating pies in heaven.

Trickle

For an eight year old, chores are akin to the crushing of dreams. The weekend you’ve been desperate for arrives, the sun is shining, the bugs are out and just waiting for you to catch them. Then of course, round comes mum, pissing on everything and demanding you do your chores. You stamp your feet about the house before remembering the one chore you don’t mind - you offer to scoop the dog’s poop from all around the lawn. Now this of course sounds like the worst job imaginable - it’s out in the heat, and you’re deliberately placing yourself in smelling vicinity of poo. The thing was, you had a trick up your sleeve. It was the only chore you could truly turn into a game. The scooper, a little plastic shovel-type utensil, had just the right flex in it to launch a barrage of high-flying turds over your 6-foot fence and onto the neighbours roof. Mum and dad had told you to put them in a plastic bag and throw them in the bin, but where was the fun in that? The sound of an old dry dog turd hitting the neighbour’s tin roof was music to your ears, the explosion as it hit and the roll of the debris down the corrugated iron and into the gutter below. The visions you had of your neighbours inside wondering what was going on and if they were under attack by flying dogs. You were all done by 11:15, record timing and still plenty of the day left to catch bugs.

It wasn’t long before you had a container full of bees and quickly grew bored of them, leaving them to die while you played with your ball. A little over exuberant kick and it landed in the neighbours yard. Well, now you were fucked. You couldn’t very well go over there and say “Hi, can I just get my ball back?” you were far too paranoid that they were onto you. You decided to sneak up the side of their house and see if you could get it back without them noticing.

Sprinting up their drive way, you dive under a window and crawl, looking about and listening for anyone who might’ve noticed. Pretty soon you’ve made it to their backyard, but a voice makes you stop dead in your tracks. It’s the woman who lives here, walking about her backyard wearing only a tshirt and nothing down below. Needless to say you were shocked by the first adult vagina you had ever seen in your life, even if it was about 60 years your senior. She was muttering something about having been hit by lightning. You look up to check the sky, perfectly blue, not a cloud about. It’s then you notice the pipe attached to the guttering on their roof. A pipe running all the way to a big rainwater tank. All the guttering, now choked with dog shit had been draining straight into their drinking water.

“SEVEN TIMES I’VE BEEN HIT BY LIGHTNING, SEVENTY-FOUR TIMES THIS WEEK.”


You gulp. This can’t be good.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The Bladder Bursts

So you do it and you feel like dirty tramp the second it’s over. You crawl your way home on the verge of sobbing and curl up in your bed. He breathes heavily next to you, undisturbed. You want to reach out a hand and put it on his back, connect with him some how, as if he could understand and forgive you while he slept. You put your hand out and touch him, just to see if he will recoil from your touch in disgust. He doesn’t, just mutters and breathes deeply. There’s a sickness in your belly, alcohol mixed in a cocktail of guilt and fear, tearing your stomach in two. The whole room is spinning around you, as if you’re the centre of your own universe of shit. Your life is over the second he finds out, and you can’t bear not to tell him. This could be your last night together. You sniff back the stinging tears and run your hand over his shoulder.