Monday, 30 November 2015


It's hard to be brave when you're just a kid and your mum's down below swelling in her grave. It takes a lot of love just to pick yourself up and dig yourself out of your self-made cave. I used to charge around our backyard with a wooden stave, believing I was living in the times of knights and knaves, busting trees and wrecking her best flower beds, I'd yell and scream and bump my head. But now I cannot bear to stray away from the patch of ground that swallowed my mum and took her away.

Saturday, 28 November 2015


One of the bossy teachers with a stroppy attitude and doubtlessly a terribly unfulfilling homelife was yelling at the bad kid of the grade above. His name was Wade, a typical overgrown thug whose testosterone kicked in a few years too early and whose parents had clearly never taught him any manners, and instead exercised either too little or too much discipline upon him to the point of breaking him into the uncaring malcontent he had become. Eventually the teacher let him off with the tongue bashing and wandered off.

A swell of Chinese whispers came tearing toward us and some kids I didn't know told us how he'd called her a bitch under his breath as she walked away. We were shocked. The five of us, all six year olds, discussed it and came to the conclusion that it was our solemn duty to tell a teacher, but everyone was too scared to do so besides my best friend and I. We took it upon ourselves to be leaders and go and tell the first teacher we found. She thanked us for bringing it to her attention and made us wait outside her office whilst she brought in another teacher. 

"What do you think Wade'll do if he finds out it was us who told?" my friend asked me. 

"She won't tell on us," I said. "Besides, he should be the one worried, he said a bad word."

"Well, we didn't hear him... But I guess you're right."

Another teacher walked by with Wade in tow. Wade locked eyes with us as he padded piteously behind her.

My friend's face went pale as he was summoned inside to recount his version of events. A few agonizing minutes went by until finally he was released and we passed each other as he headed out of the room. He looked panicked. I asked what had happened so we could get our stories straight. "I told them you were the one who told me-" he managed to get out before the teacher told him to hurry off back to class. I felt woozy as I walked into the stuffy book-filled teacher's nook.

"Dominic, did you hear Wade calling Mrs Roberts a bitch?"

I looked sidewards at Wade in terror, who was, to my surprise, not looking mean, nor angry, nor even looking back at me pleadingly. Instead he was staring at his shoes in what was clearly a fit of boredom, and probably wondering what, if anything, he'd have for dinner. "Yes," I answered, I couldn't tell the truth now, so many lies depended on just this one more lie being believed. If I answered truthfully the whole series of events would start unravelling, and Wade was a dog who needed to be put down. I swore on it. The teachers looked at each other, "I know Dominic would never lie," said one. The other quickly agreed. It was my word against his, but my word was taken to be superior.

A few weeks later I was playing alone on the oval with my soccer ball. It rolled away from me and suddenly Wade was there, doing some fancy foot work and kicking it back to me. I hesitated a moment and then kicked it back to him. He kicked it back once more and soon we were playing together.

"Did you really call her a bitch?" I asked.

"Who?" he said, oblivious.

I didn't push it. He smiled at me like no one had ever played with him before. 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Burro'd Feelings

I caught my sister hanging my birthday present on my wall - it was a poster of one of my favourite musicians. "Thanks!" I said, "this is awesome!"

She smiled, "it was the least I could do for you, after letting me share your room and everything."

I loved that poster. I thought better of myself for having it. It was the first real band poster I'd owned, as opposed to the usual cut outs from the paper or fold outs from magazine pages. Soon she moved on, and all that was left from her sojourn was the memories and that poster. At least amongst all that weirdness she genuinely went out and did something nice for me. She really knew me. I let go the persistent gloom that gripped me after she gave away my SNES to her addict friend. I let go the middle of the night wake ups as she came home drunk. I let go the weird muffled sex sounds.

A few years later we were moving and I took the poster down. As I went to roll it up and place it in a cylinder I noticed some writing on the back.

"To my darling girl,
Thankyou for looking after my stuff whilst I'm away. I know you'll take great care of it.
Love always, Nathan."

The name of her ex.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Back When Nobody Believed Me

I was young and my parents were out of town, so I was sent away to a babysitter whose son had downs. She had a daughter too, who sometimes played with me, but she was boring, as girls to five year olds can be. The daughter showed me her latest toy, a music box with a ballerina in it dancing, she was so proud of it that she was going on about it and romancing. I wandered off to the other side of the room, and then I felt a pain in my back, heard a crash and then a boom, and then the sound of a wood-on-wood crack. I looked behind and all the other kids were looking back at me, the music box was on the ground and so I picked it up to see. It was trashed, and the ballerina was very dead, it's legs were snapped off and it was missing most of it's head. The girl started screaming and pointing at me, I protested but her mother said that she knew that it was me. "My daughter wouldn't lie, besides, all the other boys said they saw you do it with their very own eyes." "But I didn't! I would never ever!" I cried.

She locked me in a bedroom and left me to sulk and sob for several hours. She demanded I confess but lies were not within my power. Eventually my dad came and picked me up, she told him how I'd destroyed the toy, and then lied to cover it all up, I promised him I didn't in the car whilst we were riding home, he said "okay" in a non-committal way because it was my word against someone fully grown. It was the first time in my life that I was blamed unjustly, and no matter what I said everyone refused to trust me.

When we arrived home my father handed me a small gift, inside was a plastic wind-up turtle that he'd bought me whilst on his previous shift. We filled the bathroom sink and watched the turtle happily paddle around, but all the splashes couldn't wash the tarnish off my hopes, for they were all already drowned.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Jeb's Journey 2

"Get stuffed!" I yelled at him, even though he just wanted to play. "I told you already, you're not playing, get stuffed!" Schoolyard handball was serious business in 1994. The next day I was taken out of class by the teacher. "I want to talk to you about how you treat others. Why did you tell Jeb to get stuffed?" This bitch had it in for me, she wasn't a good teacher. She was one of those teachers you could tell wasn't intelligent. When even a 9 year old can tell you aren't intelligent then there's something very wrong.

The tough kid of the class had told me once, that if you ever got taken outside by Mrs Butlin, that the secret was to cry a little. If you showed some remorse, she backed down and you got off lightly, or so he'd claimed. Unfortunately I just couldn't find the tears for Jeb, as much as I wanted my freedom. I stood there smirking uncontrollably, I couldn't help it, displays of authority made me nervous, nervousness led to laughing, laughing led to the teacher getting more frustrated and getting more angry, which led to more laughing. She assigned me hundreds of lines to write. It was her go to move. My father, the principal, had already told her off about how many lines she assigned to children, but she still continued.

I slunk back into the classroom pissed off and browbeaten. Jeb was sitting there proudly. I stared straight ahead at nothing, trying not to make eye contact. "Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" I sat still, sullen, refusing to look over. Besides, I didn't even know what pondering meant, "get stuffed" I yelled inside my mind. "I'm pondering how I can tell my dad about anything you do and how quickly he'll come here and get you in trouble." My eyes moved over and took in his shit eating grin. I fumed.

After school I waited for my dad. You could always hear him coming from a mile off by the jangle of his keys. That was my father's unique sound, It had a tinge of prestige or importance to it, like a policeman or a prison warden. I used to play with the other kids until late sometimes after school, and often would see my father around. He never left the school before 5, and I never once walked home with him, he seemed to be ever present. I found him and told him that I had left some homework behind in my desk, so he let me inside the now locked building. I scurried up the stairs to my classroom and grabbed a book. As I was walking back out, my eye caught the blackboard - it had been cleaned, but was still coated in a thin veneer of chalk dust. I put my finger on it and swiped across, leaving a barely visible line. I continued, spelling out the letters F U C K M R S B U T L I N.

The next morning I walked in when the bell rang to a scene of much commotion. Mrs Butlin was yelling at the three or four girls who always arrived at class before the bells, they did so to appear as goody two-shoes and to suck up to the teacher. "You're the only ones in here of a morning, who else could've done it?" I sat quietly and watched it all unfold. She took them outside and grilled them. I kept quiet and didn't say a word. For 21 years. Because Fuck Mrs Butlin.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Jimmy Jemz

I was once dragged into a chat room with a guy named James. He stuck by me for years after, like an ex-lover with an inextinguishable flame, despite the fact that during our first meeting I'd teased him and called him gay, and despite the fact that I'd immediately sent him every TISM song I'd claimed, even though he thought that they were pretty lame.

He was the first adult friend I'd made in my entire adult life, he introduced me to a magical world that was rife, with kids who would kick and then who'd fall down, girls asking for a sip of your water when you were out in the town, blokes who would bike into walls and then hit the ground, and a magical midget who turned our worlds upside down. We would stay up all night on I.M. just shooting the breeze, we'd write essays for uni and look for Scottish people to tease.

With some of our time he found a forum for writing, named himself Gay Messiah and soon he was inviting me to join him in acts of pure hilarity, we'd write stories about aardvarks or drinking our own pee, as the users critiqued our work and took us seriously. Soon our egos were inflated so suitably, that we forged out on our own expecting knocks of opportunity, but we were wrong, we wrote each other eulogies after working out that we were singing the wrong song. No one cares, and no one ever comes along, but that's okay, it only takes two to make a song, and our song is our song - a beautiful gloomy cacophonous throng, a homeless man on his death throes as he shudders along, hacking up what's left of each of his lungs, as he wipes away the spittle, he smiles, and sticks out his tongue.

Monday, 23 November 2015

It had Been So Long... Too Long

It's been over three months since you didn't email me back. I know one thing, hotmail cancels your account after 30-60 days if you don't log in. I'd like to know why, that's all. I know I'm annoying, I know I write far too much, I know I say stupid things, I know I'm a horrible person. But is that your reason? It's kind of a big thing to go straight from very friendly to blindly ignoring someone. I'd just really like to know what I did wrong. Obviously my apology wasn't good enough before. I've obviously offended you somehow, why else would you do this if not? 

I'd just like to know what I did, I guess you wont tell me, but if I knew, then I could make it up to you or at least accept it and understand. You aren't giving me the chance for either when you ignore me. Perhaps you're just too busy to reply to me, but this doesn't feel like that. You would have at least said one thing to me in three months considering I emailed/bothered you around 5 times in that period. I guess what I need to say is that deep down I'm a genuinely nice person. I may say things that sound crazy and creepy, and yeah maybe I'm insane, but I'm not unbalanced and I would never harm anyone. It seems weird that I am here trying to tell someone I'm not a psychopath, and I am not really sure why I am. I mean, I hardly know you right? So why do I care if you ignore me? Why would you care to reply? I don't really have the answers to those questions. It just seems important to me and it feels very much like I've done something wrong. I just feel really weird about the whole situation, like I've upset you in some way and that really wasn't my intention at all. 

You can ask anyone what I'm like as a person. It just seems so weird to think you're scared of me, I am so harmless, I don't drink or smoke or do drugs, I never have and never will. I'm just that boring, I prefer people to make me happy than substances, so I'm hardly hiding some mental condition that predisposes me to stalking and terrorizing people that I hardly know. If I dream about you it hardly means that I'm obsessive and weird... well I hope not anyway... I rather think that you're just a memory of mine that appears in my dreams from time to time. I don't know why it happens. I don't ask for it. I would prefer to look at it as my sub conscious admiring you than thinking of it as creepy, I never thought of it as creepy before but I guess when you think about it dreams are one of those very personal things. I guess I shouldn't have said anything, but I see that I didn't think very hard. It sounds more creepy than it is. I have lots of dreams about lots of people, they're not some kind of disturbing erotic dreams. For example, I had a dream the other night that my friend and I were visiting you and that you and her became good friends. In the dream you lived up near High Street for some reason, and then all of a sudden I had to go outside your house and fight in some war that was going on, and then I came back inside and met your dad. I mean, they're hardly creepy dreams, they're quite definitely odd, but then all dreams are pretty odd aren't they?

Like I said before, I really don't know what I'm attempting to achieve or prove here, just that I feel bad if I have upset you, or that you have the wrong idea about me. I wasn't trying to bother you by emailing you, I was just being friendly and I was truly interested in what you were doing nowadays, I had no idea you were overseas. I have a girlfriend. Even if I was single I would hope I had more class than to hit on a girl 1000 km away, by email, who is way out of my league, beautiful enough to have anyone she liked and most probably in a serious relationship. I'm insane, but I'm not retarded. I don't hit on people even if I was single, how I acted towards you earlier is just me generally, I'm playful and nearly everything I say needs to be taken as a joke. Sometimes I can't judge very well how funny something is, and things like "Hey I dreamt about you the other night", seem funny and quirky to me, but perhaps creepy and awkward to others. 

I guess I've said everything I wanted to. I just hope that this helps you see that I'm not a creep, and if I offended you, I'm totally in the dark about what I said, but I apologize totally and I'm sure it's just a misinterpretation because I'm so terrible at expressing myself. So anyway, I'm sorry again, but this time I hope you can see that its a serious attempt at an apology. I really did like hearing from you, like I told you earlier I'm doing a literature major and I found the way you wrote very interesting and think you're quite funny. I like you, but I have to disappoint you because I'm not a crazed stalker obsessed with you and dreaming of you every night and plotting how to track you. I'm too lazy to even walk downstairs and get a drink, let alone stalk someone. So can we start again, or is it impossible and pointless now?

It was impossible and pointless.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Victor 2

Victor and I talked a while and I wondered why we hadn't really talked before. Well, I knew why we hadn't talked before, but he had me wondering about my own self and how poorly my exclusion of him reflected on my character. He seemed okay at this moment anyway, and he offered to show me a great place where we could find some really big ants.

I went along with him, to a corner of the playground that kids rarely frequented. A secret place which he no doubt stumbled upon in his efforts to avoid being bullied. Here an ant mound clung to the side of the concrete retaining wall. He took a single blade of grass and stuck it in one of the tiny holes and tickled it around. Soon some long yellow ants were scurrying around, and even sooner we had a plastic bag full of them. We spent a good half hour there catching a bag of these giant ants. His elder brother showed up looking for him. His brother was weird too, the weird kid of his own class no doubt.

"Hey, goodbye, good luck in your new town," his brother said to me. He knew me with no introduction and was awfully polite. "Thanks," I said. I didn't know anything about him to use for small talk. "I'm not really looking forward to it, all my friends are here. This is my home." I let the conversation die off.

He watched what we were doing a while and asked us if we were going to release the ants. We hadn't thought about it, but "no" we answered in unison.

He snatched the bag off Victor and threw it to the ground. He brought his shoe down on the bag repeatedly until there was not a single ant left moving. "There," he said, "it's better they die like this than die slowly where they don't belong."

That was the last I saw of my school, or of either of them, and so I proceeded to die slowly where I didn't belong.

Saturday, 21 November 2015


It was the yearly break-up at school. The final day before a two month stint of sweltering hot days and trying our best to think up new and unusual ways to annoy our parents. It was just like any year for most - they'd be back next year with a new teacher, the classroom just next door to this one, with the same school bells and the same old playground. Not for me though, I was moving on.

The teacher suggested people come up in turns to sign my year book - something for me to remember everyone by. One by one they went to sign it, and eventually it came to the class nerd. I slipped in, whispered to the last person to sign it to not tell Victor the nerd, that it was his turn. We sniggered behind his back "who'd want to remember Victor anyway?"

Later on, when the 3PM bell rung, everyone was desperate to get out - they'd been waiting all year for this very moment. The teacher called out "don't forget to say goodbye to Dominic!"

But only Victor did. The rest had all disappeared.

Friday, 20 November 2015


"I hate going there, you know, what with all those old funny women."

"It's fine. I'll just go alone. Like basically every time."

"God you make me feel so guilty, but they're just so miserable about everything - they make me feel so fucking uncomfortable."

"I said, it's fine."

"It's like they're desperately sad about having old saggy tits and a cervix that's drooped so far it's peeping out their snatch like a hungry mussel. It's not my fault is it? They're always huffing cigarettes and being comfortable about being overweight. What kind of example is that for our child? I just want to spend a weekend in peace where I don't have to make polite and I can make a dinner I actually want to eat."

"How about this then, I go out, I attend this barbecue for a few hours, you stay here and make whatever food you want in the world, sit down, eat it slowly and enjoy each bite, heck - watch an episode of your favourite season of Dexter or whatever, and when I get back, we file for divorce."

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Little Dommy's Rehab

There are things no family talks about, there are things they never say, like the time when my sister came home to permanently stay. It was after four or five years of university that she had been away, so there was really no chance at that point that she'd be coming home again. So she was snuck in under the guise of some accumulated strains and the excuse of having to paint the house an orangey-champagne.

We were sharing the same room together, which we'd never done before, not simply because now we were fairly poor, but because there were exchange students in her old room, bunking like a dorm. A week or two prior she had come home to confess. I lay on my bed listening to my parents voices meter out their ever increasing stress. My sister came into my room then, and beside me she lay down. "We're not going to die or anything, you know?" "I know," I said, from behind a worried frown. But I didn't know shit. I was sixteen and my world-view was limited to teenage misery and tits. I waited for her to leave so I could pretend it never happened. somehow she'd gone from hero to zero in front of me and the whole thing left me feeling flattened.

A few weeks later I found a notebook on the floor, in it there were details of several drug fuelled scores. Of overdoses, near deaths, and waking up in houses that were foreign, of a life that was so awash with narcotics it was sodden. She brought home men at night and I would pretend I was still asleep, so then I'd hear things like "put your hand on my cock" and "is it in too deep?" My mother rang the school to tell them why I might be disaffected, but the reality of it all was that I was basically unaffected. By that age the rot had already set in from all the other shit I'd been subjected, all the times I was bullied and rejected, I was long since disconnected, and wallowing on the floor in the dark feeling dejected, I reached out to the internet and wrote in the reflective.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Doing The Primo Salami Dance

"Watch out for those bugs, them ones suck your nerves!" He was older than me, six or seven perhaps, so he was bound to be right. I screamed and hit my wrist and rolled into a heap on the ground. "That was close. My names Hugh, what's yours?" "Dom." He didn't say anything else, but I followed him around for a bit anyway, from the gate beside what I presumed was his house into the old school yard nearby. It was a weekend so there wasn't any kids around. I followed him until he turned a corner and shimmied up a drain pipe two storeys onto the roof. That was the last I ever saw of Hugh.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Tall Ordure

Two boys had run up to us at lunch, excited and sweaty, they were full to the back of their throats with a story they were desperate to leak. It came tumbling out their mouths a jumbled mess:

"Did you... Did you hear-"

"The toilets?" the second one interjected.

"The turd?" said the first gasping for breath. They were both snickering. We indicated our innocence and they continued. "The biggest turd you've ever, ever seen-"

"Bigger!" said the second.

From what we managed to piece together, before they ran off in search of someone new, was that a mystery person had done a massive poo on the top of a closed toilet lid and left it festering in the boys bathroom. A steady stream of school boys could be seen entering and exiting the toilet block to marvel at its glory. We never made it. An all school assembly was called not five minutes later.

The principal mounted the podium, looking a mix of both wildly annoyed and bewildered, he began:

"It has come to my attention that a sick individual has made a mess inside the boy's bathroom."
A few stifled snorts rang out from within the audience.
"This is no laughing matter, the groundsman is in there right now and he has to clean it up."
A Mexican wave of giggles began rippling throughout the audience.
"No one will be leaving here until the culprit is found."
A collective sharp intake of breath replaced the giggles.
"Actually, that's not true, I've changed my mind. All the girls may leave."
The girls began leaving as I raged against the injustice of it all.
"Obviously this couldn't have been done by a girl," he muttered.
I stared at a poster on the auditorium wall whilst I waited for the pooper to come forward.

Of course they never did.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The Cycle

You're at least two days behind, and you're going completely out of your mind, so you decide to ride your bicycle just to unwind. But the world is pretty unkind, especially when you are legally blind, by macular degeneration the WHO says is caused by eating too much bacon rind. You feel doomed as you speed down that decline, and the wall and your bike perfectly aligns. But not as doomed as all of mankind, trapped forever on this rock we've all been confined. At least for a second I will fly.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The World Already Slipped Out Of Your Grasp

And now you're ticking things off just counting down time. Over the tipping point rolling down the decline. There's no more experiences new and sublime, just let it wash over, lay back, be supine.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

No Reason Apart From I Love You

She had hitched a ride in the back of our car. The journey was long, and the towns were flung far. When we made our lunch stop at a small town KFC, I decided what I wanted but she said "hold on, this one's on me." She didn't have much money so on a family meal we supped, four people, one fat, on a two person cup. We shared and we split, and I pretended to smile, but I thought 'What the fuck? This is fucked!' all the while.

Friday, 13 November 2015

To The Calaboose Aboard The Spruce Moose

It was a normal morning for a normal man. It consisted of a slow drift back and forth between sleep and the aggravation of waking, for those few precious moments after the alarm was snoozed. It was followed by toast, buttered all the way to the crust. It ended with him watching the morning infotainment news for a few moments as he ponderously chewed. The lady on the screen was crossing to another lady on a smaller inset screen. They were both talking about a prison siege. Martin, our avidly mediocre man, was distracted by the news ticker crawling along the bottom, to the point where he lost all flow of the story being told by the newsreader. From what he made out, there were troops somewhere in the middle east, some kind of hostage crisis in a prison, and rent for apartments had virtually doubled since 2001.

He checked his phone messages after showering and dressing. As expected no one had called, texted, facebooked, tweeted or probably even googled him since he woke up. His ex-girlfriend had once accused him of being a real fourth album of a man. Someone comfortable and uninspiring, but someone who knew what they were doing and with nothing to prove any longer. Plus, just a little bit of extra padding in various places. He didn't take it personally because she said not to, but it was a pretty personal jibe and one that certainly fitted him. They'd split up a few weeks later because he was too shy to talk dirty in the bedroom with her. He could barely bring himself to say sex, and like a 60's crooner, much preferred the term "make love".

He pressed his phone to his ear and called the office. "Right Skip, what have we got today?" he said, same as he said every morning when ringing the office. He had a habit of saying the line he was thinking of before anyone picked up, and then saying a different line once they did. "Hi boss, it's me, any jobs?" he asked, after someone finally picked up. "Nothing yet, but keep your phone on, something will come in," his boss replied. It was unusual for him to not have a job to head to straight up. On the rare occasion he had a bit of a morning off he never knew how to properly spend them. Without a fixed time period and nothing to do he nearly always spent the time scrolling down and down on facebook, days into the past, clicking various links and random people who were friends of friends, and wandering through their photos. An hour could easily drift by until he realized what he was doing, and then the memories were gone. An hour completely wasted.

"Maybe a walk," Martin suggested to no one in particular. His boots were on and he had everything ready to leave the house anyway. No sooner had he closed the front door and removed the key, when a black SUV pulled up at the front of his house. His phone began ringing. "Hello?" he said. "Martin, glad I've caught you, its me again," said his boss. "Look we've got a situation. Did you see the news? I'm sure you've seen it, it's in Tucson. I thought nothing of it at first but, look, someone's got to go there." Martin had no idea what was going on, he had a habit of staying silent in these kind of situations so as not to appear stupid. "Look Martin, I'm sorry, but someone has to... did the police arrive yet? They said they were heading straight over."

"Well someone's here..." he replied, eyeing up the three men getting out of the SUV. "Good, good," said his boss. "They can explain it all, they asked me not to say too much, you'll get paid of course, maybe we can put some of it through at time and a half even. Well, as long as I clear it with the higher ups of course, don't quote me on it!" He said thanks and wrapped up the conversation. Martin stood still, pursing his lips and watching the men approaching. He began to feel a little nugget of worry rolling around inside his stomach.

"Martin?" one of the men said. They were all in plain clothes, the SUV was unmarked. "Yes?"

"Martin Schofield?"


"Can we come in?" the man said, as the three of them pulled up level to the front gate.

"Yes, yes of course. You best come in," Martin said as he fumbled with his keys. "You know, I wasn't expecting guests so..."

"Do you have some place to sit, this might take a while?"

"O-of course, tea, coffee? Can I get y..."

"Sure, three coffees. Black. No sugar."

"Just like on TV," Martin said, "Every cop always wants black on every..." he scanned the room of long faces, "nevermind."

He brought three steaming mugs back into the room and sat on the chair opposite them in the lounge. They'd all taken seat on his couch and had been watching him potter around in silence. Their suits were well pressed and expensive looking, they didn't gel well with his drab décor. Martin nervously crossed his legs, uncrossed them, and then crossed them the opposite way.

"Mr Schofield, we understand you work for Ambuscade Security Solutions."

"I do."

"And in that line of work you sometimes visit the county jail in Tucson?"

"Yes, I do."

"And how frequently would you say you visit, would you say people might recognize your face when you are working there?"

"Yes, I suppose some of the staff know me there," said Martin

"And what of inmates?"

"Do I know any? No."

"But would they recognize your face?"

"Maybe, I mean, I don't know. I certainly can't recall any of theirs," said Martin. "What's this about anyway, is someone saying I know somebody? Am I in trouble?"

"No Mr Schofield you're not. Have you heard the news today at all?"

"I was watching the news just before you arrived, but I get so caught up in the news ticker... why? Did something happen?"

"Martin, listen closely, this is important. Several armed felons have taken control of the prison. There's around fifty staff being held hostage in the administration wing. We don't know exact numbers of felons as we've no eyes in the building. Electrical power to the site was disconnected from the grid in an attempt to take out the security cameras. We believe the felons were using the cameras to monitor where our attempts to breach the wall were coming from. Unfortunately and as you probably know, there's a large UPS and a backup generator. So we sent a spike - hoping to knock out the comms gear and surveillance."

Martin wasn't really following, his eyes had been drawn down to the coffee mugs that sat on the table along the bottom of his field of vision. It was like the news ticker again, distracting him from whatever was important, but he just couldn't work out why they hadn't even taken a single sip. He wondered if he should have made something better than instant, but then, if he'd gone to the trouble to make something better, would they have not touched that either? He moved his gaze back up and locked eyes with the officer who was speaking. He'd stopped now. He was staring at Martin with a slightly contorted scowl. The jig was up, thought Martin, the officer knew he wasn't listening.

The officer cleared his throat and recomposed himself. "Martin we need you. They're going to start killing people if they don't see someone they recognize, and you're the only person they'll recognize who can fix what they want. And, you're the only person who can do what we want - take control of the security system, hand us remote access. We'll take care of the rest."

Martin smiled and looked around the room, "oh, no. No that's okay. Hah! You see, that's not really my cup of tea." He stood up, still smiling, a loud expulsion of breath occasionally puffed from his nostril to indicate his amusement. "No no, no- but thank-you- but no." The police officers hadn't moved as he'd expected - he was hoping they would've stood by now so he could shuffle them out the front door. Instead they sat there staring at him with their severe looking faces. Martin lost his smile and felt compelled to sit again. The blood began draining from his face, leaving him light-headed and woozy as the police officer continued to explain. Martin wasn't listening again, his mind was awash with mutterings and excuses: they've got the wrong man, I couldn't possibly, I'm sure it'll work out, someone better will come along, what if I were to run out the door right now? How far would I get? Would they chase me down and tackle me onto the concrete? Would they shoot me? What if I jumped up and clucked like a chicken so they thought I was crazy? Before he knew it his absent minded physical nodding had convinced the police officer that he was following along and he was suddenly on his feet being escorted to a car. His eyes bulged and his lips pursed as he screamed internally.

Thursday, 12 November 2015


Their dreams were crushed, then packed tightly into colostomy cups. For thirty or more years they wrote their best, until the only thing that couldn't've fallen further was their crests. They once stood proudly, but now are stooped, they subsist cowedly too scared to even use their facebook group. Perhaps before they die they'll start a trend, but more than likely they'll die alone, mourned only by their example friends.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


The girl I once loved now has a spine tattoo and she sweats meth everywhere. Out every pore and every follicle of every bleached blonde hair. She parties hard and vomits harder, when we were young we caught cicadas.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Meagre Jill Climbs The Bailey

Driving past the house always brought back so many memories. Things that I'd never even taken notice of at the time - like the roughness of his hands, or the way each of his fingers felt different as they fit snug against the nape of my neck. I lost my breath every time I went past, thinking of what could've been. Panting in a PTSD delirium I usually clung white knuckled to the wheel and lost all feeling for the accelerator. Today though, after several failed attempts, I allowed myself a pause. I put the indicator on and pulled off to the kerb. I sat there, outside that house, with my heart beating desperately fast, forcing myself to breathe. Tomorrow I might turn the engine off, and after that, who knows?

Monday, 9 November 2015


I shed and the water takes it all away, cleansing me with its disinfecting spray, If I could ever feel anything such as sprightly or gay, then I would certainly say, that right now I felt positively grey. Which, don't get me wrong, is quite a long way, from the blackness and decay; the raw flesh chipping away; the jaw stretching feelings of heavy chested dismay; the foul hearted experience of being powerless to keep a prowler at bay; the foetid stink when reading Magic Faraway, while Granny Fanny-Mae touches you with her fingers in an inappropriate way; or the loud ugly pealing as they rip the baby away, and the abject loneliness you feel on each and every mother's day. Thank-you Jesus. Thank-you for all the pain you wash away.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

I Was Languishing, Unpublished, In The Draft Box Of An Unread Blog

I slumbered in. Sunk in. Withdrew and threw insults at every single cunt I knew. Skittish and afraid, all of them I forbade from coming to my door. Dealing with people I hated was such a chore, but the people I liked? Somehow so much more.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Born Free

You forget the earth is beautiful when you're wrapped in your cocoon, eating potnoodle alone in your room, and complaining about life's gloom. You even forget that you're just a tiny dog perched precariously on a rotating ball, doing your best not to fall, and wasting your life worrying about Carrie and Saul. But what you need to forget is the fact you're pointless, and embrace your transition to obsolescence. Forget about when your boyfriend told you that he was going to die, and so you agreed to marriage at the time, and yet mystifyingly he survived. It's time to forget about the four wall cubicle cell, in which you grind your life away inside a living hell, it doesn't matter for shit that the money is swell. Forget it all and fuck off into the night, don't tell your wife, just fly away like a Coca Cola kite.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Does Mark Zuckerberg Have Any Actual Friends?

It sucks the life from me. It takes what little I had and massages it into lethargy. I start and forget when I'm supposed to stop, I just keep scrolling down endlessly from the top. New ways to buy, unique ways to shop, another shared post about beautiful slop, posted by yet another gravestone with a thumbnail on top. God only knows how to make this shit stop.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Not Long Now

I may be only twelve years old, but I have the map to your heart. I know every crack, and every crevice is marked down on my chart. I'd pushed you on a home made swing one night when we were all alone, you were telling me to slow down when the bough began to groan. You skinned your knees when you detached and landed in a heap. Like your bony little body, I was head over heels for you all week. You told me we would never be together, for you loved another man. He was thirteen years old and his name was Robert Samm. I asked how long you'd be together, if in the future I had a chance. You replied that it would be for years - decades even perchance. "We plan to grow old together, so we'll be together twenty years at least." Phew, I caught my breath, I thought I'd have to wait forever, but my luck has just increased.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Life's Too Hard And You're A Fucktard.

I'm like that episode of Breaking Bad about the fly - nobody liked me right up until the point that I died. But how do you suppose that made me feel inside? I literally wallowed face down on the floor and cried. For a good portion of my pathetic life I was scared to even try. I was too busy looking down to even know there was a sky. I always figured my best options were to either run or hide. "Boo-hoo, boo-hoo," they all cried. "You're gay and your mother is too wide."  And there was me, too well mannered and witless to be snide, letting it all build up like the surging of a tide.

Simon says go to sleep,
The pills in the cupboard his daddy keeps,
Are all gone now with no regard;
Life's too hard and you're a fucktard.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


The world that I knew had scabbed over and changed. Everything looked different though a few familiar buildings still remained. They were like worn out teeth in a once familiar skull, what they were stuck to was stripped away, and what was old now seemed droll. And so I walked down a lane that I once thought I owned, but all that was left were a few exposed bones. A man looked at me and he asked who I was, "no one," I said, after a palpable pause.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Drop Everything And Rede

I might like her to put her lips on my mouth. I might like the look in her eyes as her head starts travelling south. I might like a lot of things. But instead I sit here and concentrate on everything that stings.

Sunday, 1 November 2015


Sequins and cigarette smoke and the curl of your hair. Writhing around with another girl in a chair. And we stood in the stillness of the night yet again, the heavy breath and the slight adjustment of chins. We were strapped together with a physical rope, which I used merely as a prop to continue the joke, so that no one would ever possibly think, that I'd ended up here again covered in your stink.