Monday, 22 July 2013


On The Other Side From You (Novella by Dom)

It’s just an undulation, a wave of pain washing over, filling out around you. Let it wash past, or soak it up and wallow in it. Like a bandaid coming off, its pain only increases in intensity toward the end. And so I held it down. Pinned it to the ground by the neck. It writhed beneath my fingers, struggling for freedom.

I can remember when I was younger – we had a chopping block out the back. A hard wooden stump stained red-brown from frequent use. What would it be like to lay there, head detached in searing pain, watching your body run around without you? Even your body leaves you in the end, with only seconds ticking down till the moment of expiration. We all die in pieces. We all die alone. It’s such a quiet thing, such an intimate thing. Being herded like cows into the gallows. Being skinned and ripped to shreds by the cold metal machinery. Just to be eaten, chewed up and spat out. Discarded, taken away and interred into the ground. The drop, that’s the worst part. The slow motion fall from life into death. Life starts with a roar and ends with a quiet thud.

The Melancholy Detective (Novella by James & Dom)

This grey world which was the most diametrically opposite you could get to the greenery of life. An urban jungle, thick and dense but not seething with life or growth. Seething with death, or more correctly, undeath. The people skittered to and fro between work and home, work and home, work and home. The only deviation was to the grave.

The Creg Chronicles (Novel, by James & Dom)

I looked at her quizzically and motioned for her to take a seat on the end of the bed. There was obviously something wrong with her if she wasn’t impressed by Bruce Lee. She sat down, closing her eyes and trying to reclaim her composure. Either she was being swept off her feet like one of the girls in those Victorian dramas, or she had a headache. Girls always got headaches; I’d learnt that from watching half an episode of Friends one night when my mother was out. The key to girls was to catch them before they got a headache, or to distract them if they felt the onset of one.

The Creg Related Chronicles (Collection of Short Stories by Dom)

“Jack are you okay?” someone asked through the dark. A whisper really, it floated, lingered in his mind for a second. Clearly not. Clearly he wasn’t fine at all. What was she doing in bed with twins? Them over him, what a ridiculous notion. Takes two to compete with him, that much was right. What the hell had he gotten himself into with her? Nigel, this was Nigel’s fault. Picking him a slut, encouraging him that she was perfect. Obviously not. Obviously she was bedding two guys at once, wasn’t she? They were topless they must’ve been. At least, he thought they’d been topless. They could’ve been wearing anything, or nothing at all. He grasped at the memory but it was gone. The swirling of his mind had whipped it away, like a gust of wind through a photo album it pulled everything apart.

I stepped through and grabbed the small wooden boat, flipping it over and pushing it across the plants toward the waters edge. Creg was hot on my tail, padding through the soft ground which permeated that familiar smell of marshy pond mud. We both climbed in as I pushed us off. The sun hung high above us, a perfect yellow, dripping down through the blue arching sky. It was like a painting drawn by a child, strikingly vivid colours that melted into each other without any care to convention. It was beautiful; we were beautiful. It was the first time I felt beautiful in my entire life, but it was there, and it felt amazing. The boat wasn’t too big, it provided just enough room for the two of us. It only had one small oar, but we didn’t need it. We floated perfectly toward the middle of the pond. Both of us lying on our backs in the sun, enjoying it’s warmth on our faces and naked bodies. I had to rest my feet up and over the side, hanging them out of the boat, but Creg fit just fine.

“I wonder if we’ll get any freckles Bill,” Creg said with a smile in his voice.

“Maybe,” I whispered, feeling content.

“When I was little I asked my dad what they were and why I got them. He told me they were kisses from the sun.”

You Shall See (James & Dom)

I could smell cocoa powder for some reason and I imagined her on roller skates, her who looked so much like Maggie Gyllenhaal it struck me, and her who I wanted to blow a kiss to - through the window, through the air, through her lips. Or even just hang around, like some kind of half demented dog, kneeling at the letterbox that may as well have been on my own front door; waiting, lapping and excitedly expectorating as she came upon me like a hail of sealed up secrets, desperate to be explored.

Musings of a Bald Man

It’s trashy and inconsequential, but that’s life in a nutshell really. A thousand punches of pseudo-reality and the whirring traumatic nausea of nothing working. As of late I’ve been plagued by that uneasy feeling akin to acid coursing through the centre of my bones. As if they’d been hollowed out to allow my recently all-consuming misery a new place to hide away and regroup. New pockets to fill with the liquid anguish that oozes from me every waking minute. It’s inspired and legitimate pain; borne from the realization that you’re just as pointless as everyone else, flitting along from relationship to relationship as if it all ultimately means something. I took the torture of high school because I expected that some day I’d grow up and be able to rub people’s noses in the fact that I’d made it. Movies and music encourage those of us that are different – a future of making more money and becoming more successful awaits you.

But it’s lies.

You’ll earn just as little, or even less, than the sexually successful linebacker who had orgiastic intercourse with every girl you ever had even the remotest interest in. He’ll get a job where his dad works, or down at the local supermarket (the same one that sneezed your application into the bin). His confidence and arrogance get him into a managerial position and someday he runs the store. Meanwhile you’re tapping out inane reports on a ten year old computer, trying as best you can not to tear out what remains of your hair and shoot everyone around you directly in the face.

There’s a woman giggling at the photocopier behind me and it’s becoming rather distracting. There's a man slapping at her flirtatiously with a ruler whilst they wait for the files to print. I can see on the reflection of my monitor as he darts his eyes about to check for witnesses before pulling her in for a quick kiss. The last time someone wanted to kiss me it was halfway through the great depression, or at the very least my great depression. I’d scoped out the water cooler, waiting for the moment I could sneak over without encountering anyone. It was a similarly hot day, as if the sun had stuck a spike through the earth’s axis and was slowly spit roasting it. I kept my head down and my eyes straight ahead, moving my cup toward the tap. Our hands brushed together and sparks literally flew, my shoes having dragged themselves timidly across a static inducing carpet. I recoiled rapidly, having not expected any company. She apologised, sounding flustered as if in her clumsiness she’d done more than just brush my hand and had somehow destroyed something precious. I should have cottoned on I suppose – that she had somehow managed to mistake me for a higher up. I’d mumbled my way into accepting her offer of a drink later on. A kiss at the end of the night and a bit of uninspired and disinterested lovemaking later and she found out I was just a lowly desk slob.

I’d love to tell you that she was displeased but to her credit she took it in her stride and moving quickly on, she suggested in her post-coital drawls that she didn’t care about my career. In fact she said she was more interested in sleeping with a bald man and that’s how the whole thing came about. It’s hard to respect someone after an admission like that. I mean - who in their right mind would want to have sex with a bald man, really, when the choice presents itself – the woman is a reverse-lion – surveying her savannah filled with prey, her eyes normally don’t rest on the weak loner that strays to the sides of the flock. She goes mercilessly for the throat of the most muscle-bound and obnoxious, walking-turd of a male, and failing in her bid to keep him subdued, slowly works her way down the food chain until she finds something too weak to resist. I remember lying awake in her bed that night, wondering if perhaps I was the least in a line of previously unsatisfactory matings; whether my fairly average and awkwardly more-or-less upright phallus stood up to the beatings of younger and more manically desperate stiffenings. The bed head stood at an awkward angle above me, as if about to collapse on my face, as if it had been shaken to the brink of splintering on repeated occasions. As I lay on my back looking at her darkened ceiling, I couldn’t help but feel a pressing, sweating shadow writhing above me; the ghosts of lovers’ past haunted me, begging me to high five them for their incomparable acts of vigorously spectacular copulation. The spectral linebacker winked at me as he scored his fourth goal of the evening, hardly breaking a sweat as he pushed away at every correct button, note for note, as if he were the perfect maestro of her genital keyboard.

Of course, if I had the sense I would’ve snuck out and left her to wake up alone. She’d accuse me of simply using her for sex, but a reputation like that is hardly a cause for consternation for a man. Instead I lay there for what seemed like hours, trying as best I could to think of anything of consequence. As usual, what little spurts of intelligence that fleetingly lurked forth from the crevasses in my mind, drained away as quickly as they were imagined, with no pen nor paper with which to capture them. The smell of sex was deafening amidst the tedium.

An extract by DB