Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I've been tagged by Gina and this story is my five things you didn’t know about me. So, for once, this is not fiction.

  1. I try not to be selfish. This is why:

    I can recall the day the phone rang and my father was on the other end. He told me my mother was dying. It was a Wednesday. I’d just been burgled. It's as clear to me now as it was all those years ago. It was one of those days: a shit one.

    I shouldn't have been surprised by the call; we're all on our way to death. Still, it came as a shock. Now I am numb to it. It's what happens as time drags on. I almost wish I could scream at her: what's taking so fucking long, I've been mourning you for almost two years; can’t you see what it's doing to us?

    Instead, I hug her, hold back my tears and remind my mother that I want her around to see me get married, have children, live my life.

    To think that only seven years ago I tried to take my own life, to discard this precious gift as if it were a soiled blanket. How selfish I was. Perhaps I am still? I try not to be.

  2. I have a copy of every book written by Charles Bukowski. His sense of self-esteem mirrors mine, but I've learned that drugs only blank things for a while. Drugs? I’ve tried them all. I've failed with them, too. Now, I sup at beers and suck on joints held together with the spit of friends and lovers. I regained my love of writing from his books, helping me to gain publication of my poems and short stories.

    I gave it all up for a career in advertising. If I ever had a soul, I know it's been sold many times over. I keep checking eBay, but to no avail.

  3. Often these days it's music that keeps me going. I can't stand the sound of silence and have to put the radio on if there is no access to CDs or musical instruments. In times of real distress I reach for a guitar, strum a tune or two. Music calms me and in the past it has stopped me from doing something stupid with razor blades.

  4. Over the past 12 months I have given up many of my vices. It's been an arduous journey, particularly the no smoking. I took up yoga to help. It has worked for me and I can now bend my body into interesting shapes.

    I still crave cigarettes from time-to-time. Such as during my waking hours. But I abstain.

    It's a sign of me maturing, I guess. Only a little.

  5. I still remember every word in the script of Pulp Fiction. It's a film that no one can ever watch with me. I annoy people with my reciting. It stems from the time I took a strong hit of LSD, watched the film three times in a row. Since then, the words have embedded themselves in my brain. It makes for nicer flashbacks.

    I'm pleased I never watched soap operas. Flashbacks would have been hard to live with if I had.

I now tag the following people:

I just hope they have the time and inclination to write out a list.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The last night out

I feel the
pulse pulse pulse pulse
of the dancefloor, watch the lights swirl and sparkle, catching
glints in eyes and the tall glasses filled with coloured liquids.
Held tightly in hands. Fingers wrapped.
I smile, watch bodies jerk backward and forward in time with the beat.
I smile and watch.
The floor of the nightclub is packed with people sweating profusely.
I sip water and smile.
Larger men roam, carefully moving past the dancing hoards, floating through the area like icebergs, silent and cold, waving hands in front of their face to clear fog of cigarette smoke and dry ice, noticing everything around them, every nuance, every
nod wink raised finger.
I smile and watch.
I spy a friend, John, pushing his way to the bar, a note held aloft. He's waving to attract the barman's attention. He is shouting, grimacing and he looks menacing. People move out of his way. A modern day Moses. He is served, money exchanged, pints in hand, he smiles as he excuses his way through the throng of sweaty bodies. He takes a chance
casts a glance to me.
I smile and watch. I don't raise
my hand
I don't want to attract attention, which is why I sent John down with the
money. To the bar. To get the drinks in.
I feel his presence behind me and I turn.
Cool, he says, passing me a pint glass, the top centimetre of liquid missing
spilled on the floor and on his shirt. He doesn't notice. The pill
has made him unaware of such things.
I smile and take the glass, spilling more on the floor as I do so.
I drink, a large gulp.
Swallow, drink, swallow, drink.
And then I turn. I smile and watch.
There is a group of young girls, barely old enough to be eligible to get through the door, to get into the club. Perhaps they know the man-mountain on the door? Maybe they were nice to him?
I don't care. I smile and I watch.
They dance, not caring who sees them. Their inhibitions have been cast away. One of the girls reaches into her bag, rummages.
Comes out with nothing. Shakes her head. Taps her friend on the shoulder.
I see friend shake her head, too. Hands held out, palms up. Shrug.
They both look around. I smile and I watch.
When they look directly at me, I nod my head. One points. The other pulls her friend's hand down, says no. She is discreet. She has chosen me. I nod again, a signal to
approach me.
I feel the pulse of the dancefloor.
I smile and I watch.
John says, here we go and I turn to
see them standing no more than two feet away.
Discreet leans in, says, what ya got?
I lean in, say, whatever you need.
I smile.
I wait.
I watch.
Inevitable question: how much?
This ones on me, I say. I smile again. She grins. Says
thanks mate, let me get you a beer then?
I nod. She leaves, her friend still stands there. She smiles at John.
He says hello, looks at his feet.
I pass her a pill. John says he'll pay. I take his money.
Discreet comes back, passes me a bottle of beer. I exchange it
for a pill. She kisses my cheek
Thank you again.
I turn around. I smile and watch.
I feel the pulse of the dancefloor.
I pour my beer down behind the seat. I don't like to get out of
control too often. Tonight I want to be able to remember.
I turn back to the girl, smile and ask her name.
Cheryl, she says.
Lovely name, I say. It's the name of my aunt. I lie.
She blushes.
I always liked my aunt. I smile. She blushes
Do you want to go somewhere quieter? I ask.
I know the pill is working. She nods her head. I know the pill
is working.
Somewhere much quieter, she leans against me, her pert breasts pushing into my arm
I can feel how erect her nipples are. The pill
is working.
We leave. John is kissing her friend. They will be happy - will wake tomorrow,
possibly with regrets, possibly not. But they will be happy. I turn as we get to the dancefloor. I can feel its pulse.
I smile and watch.
We exit the club. I have to hold the girl up. Cheryl. Discreet little Cheryl. Lovely name.
The pill is working.
My car is parked behind the club, in shadows. Cheryl's body drops easily into the passenger seat.
Let me get you home, I say.
Somewhere quieter, she replies. I smile
and watch.
I know somewhere really quiet. I whisper to her. Somewhere we'll never
be disturbed.
Quickly, start the car, drive away.
All night I smile.
And watch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

That's your lottery

Here are some opening facts about me: I'm a millionaire. I won my money on the lottery, but I have yet to tell most people, including my family; I don't want begging letters coming to me from people pretending to be my friend. I also don't need my family assuming because we share a common link they are due some cash – they're not.

I know that some of you may find it hard to believe that this story is true. I can't convince you any more than with these words, really I can't. Well, perhaps I could, but then I'd have to kill you.

Okay, I know that’s a cliché, but it’s a statement that also happens to be as true as the story I am about to tell you.

It all began about a year ago. I was lying in bed, watching shadows pass on the ceiling, waiting until I felt like I wanted to face the world. I'd had a hard year of arguments, stress and the death of a close relative. I’m not looking for pity/sympathy – I'm just giving you some relevant back story.

So, there I was, lying back and day-dreaming. Wondering. It was then that I noticed the buzzing. I looked about for a fly, hand ready to lash out and splat it against a hard surface, but I couldn't locate it. It was the first time I'd heard the buzzing sound and I sat up in bed, my head moving about as I struggled to find the source of the distraction.

Over the course of several days, the buzzing got louder. By this time, I'd noted that it was intermittent, some long buzzes followed by shorter bursts of static noise. Not knowing what it was, or what might be causing it, I made an appointment at the doctor's surgery. Surely, someone with a white coat and untidy handwriting could get to the bottom of this droning sound.

They did. The simple conclusion: tinnitus.

So, I did what any normal person would do and I looked it up on the Internet. It is described as:

Tinnitus is the condition where noises 'in the ears' and/or 'in the head' are heard but where they appear to have no external source. Tinnitus noises are described variously as ringing, whistling, buzzing and humming.

Easy. Problem solved. Or so I thought.

I discovered an old professor, for whom tinnitus had become a life's work, labouring in the bowels of some London hospital. He suffered, too, something that proved to be a turning point in my discovery.

On our first meeting he asked me to tell him more about the noises I was hearing. I described them in detail, making great use of as many onomatopoeic phrases as I could muster. It was then that he dropped his bombshell.

"You haven’t got tinnitus, at least not in any form I know of."

Dismay hit me full in the face, knocking me off-centre. What was worse, the noise in my head or not having a name for it? I couldn't decide. I left the hospital feeling worse than when I'd arrived. I guessed I’d have to live with this affliction after all, whatever it was to be called.

Two months later the buzzing noise was still evident, but I could now discern that there was a pattern to it. Perhaps this will unlock the nature of this annoyance? All I needed to do was unearth the pattern and I'd have all the answers. I knew it could take months to work out, but I believed I had a decent starting point.

The only patterns I knew came from Morse code. Dots and dashes.

Finally, it all fell into place. It was a pattern. It was code. Numbers.

There were six numbers in all. Ranging from 7 to 42. I wrote them on a piece of paper and spent a huge amount of my time staring at them, trying to figure out what they meant. Nothing came to me.

I ducked out of the house to grab a paper from my local newsagents. While I was there I saw a sign for the lottery. I hadn't had a lot of luck over the months, so I thought I'd see if things might change. It was then I put two and two together and for the first time it added up to four.

The buzzing in my head was a set of lottery numbers.

Maybe that wasn't the real answer, but I knew it couldn't hurt to use them. I quickly grabbed a pen and an entry form, filled in the numbers from the piece of paper and paid for my lottery ticket.

The following day I checked my numbers and, yep, you've guessed it:

I'd won. The jackpot.

That was six months ago. No sooner had I placed my hand on the cheque, the buzzing stopped. To this day I don’t know if I was meant to use them to win or if it was a strange coincidence. Now I'm £12 million richer I really don’t care.

I've not used the numbers since. I've only played the lottery once. Odds are I won't win again. So, perhaps you can make use of my numbers, see what they can do for you.

Here they are: 7, 18, 34, 35, 39, and 42.


Life slips by quickly
There is barely time to stop
And think. Don’t you feel?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bus Ride

I picked off the lollipop stuck to the side of my skirt and hunkered down for the rest of the bus journey, my face covered in scowl-grimace-fuck-you-don’t-even-think-about-speaking-to-me glower.

It's something I'd perfected with musty aunts back at the time when Christmas meant something magical.

I was off on a journey of discovery; I didn't have a clue where I was headed, that's what I'm saying here. My mask was working: I had the whole back seat on which to lounge. Not even the wisps of smoke from my cigarette attracted more than a few curses, black looks, whispered insults from the blue-rinse brigade.

I watched landscapes trundle by the window, the shade just pulled down sufficiently to keep the sun out of my eyes. Like the smoke from my cigarette I began to drift off.

Bumps in the road jolt me awake, consciousness bright as winter sunlight. I look around. No one else is on the bus.

Where did they go? How long have I been sleeping? Where am I?

I start to get up, but a violent and wild swing of the wheel brings me down hard in the aisle. A simple, single phrase passes through my head: what the fuck.

I crawl to a seat, sit down again and try to discern where I am in the city. I recognise nothing: anywhere. Nowhere. Not one landmark kick-starts my memory.

I shout out, but no reply. Quiet at the front. I see eyes in the rear view, hands on the steering wheel, but they are just abstract images of a whole person. I hear no voice. Just the rumble of the engine, the throaty roar as driver and accelerator combine. I start to get scared.

Stomach knots, brow knits. Hands sweat, shake, rattle as we roll. I pull a battered personal stereo out of my pocket; headphones connect my ears to sounds. I turn it up loud, so I can’t hear my immediate environment. I close my eyes. I smell cigarette smoke again but I don’t have one on the go.

With sudden movement we stop, still. Footsteps clunk up the central aisle. I try not to flinch, but know I do. Still I keep my eyes shut.

"Sonny, I have to tell you that you’re not allowed to smoke on this bus. Please extinguish your cigarette or you’ll have to leave the vehicle."

Footsteps again. Moving away.

I open my eyes. There are many pairs of eyes staring back at me. My cigarette has burned away to the stub, making my fingers turn a darkened yellow. I turn red. I must have been asleep, dreaming.

Now, I wish I was.

[A] Blockage

It sits there, mocking me.

Days ago I thought I’d left this behind
believed I’d given it the slip
pulled the wool over its eyes
put it to the back of my mind

but like a frightened horse it rears up its head

I cast my eyes to the ground, hunch my shoulders and pull myself inward

I’m writing this with a gun held to my head

so it seems

must let the words flow and try not to think too much about style, form, content; just let things move

out of my head in a constant stream

a waterfall

still it sits there, mocking me.

my writer’s block.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Not in my house

I've been burgled before. It’s never nice to come home to a ransacked house. Today it looked as if someone had come along, picked up my house and shaken it, like they were they trying to make some sort of cocktail. The contents of drawers were strewn throughout the house, up stairs and across beds – a clothing ejaculation.

I staggered from room to room, trying hard to take it all in when I heard a noise coming from the bathroom.

I looked about – almost as if I wished there to be a gun on which my hand could fall, just as Bruce Willis' character in Pulp Fiction when he discovers John Travolta's hit man taking a shit in his toilet – but my eyes didn’t seem to focus on anything but the mess.

Anger welled inside of me; this was my chance to exact revenge. I felt like a fucking rabbit caught in headlights. I'd always assumed I know what to do in these situations; I'd spent time discussing it with friends who'd been the target of thieves in the past:

"Yeah, I'd fucking kill 'em; if I found one in my house, he'd better pray someone's called the fucking police, cos when I get my hands on him..."

Lots of sentences like that. I'd been lying, not only to my friends but to myself. I was not into confrontation. Not as much as I'd thought I would be.

This time, a different set of thoughts went through my head:

What if he's got a gun?
What if he's bigger than me?
What if the police say I've used more than reasonable force?
What if...

It was just a bunch of ifs. I couldn't stand around waiting to see if I'd get whacked first. I had to be in charge of the situation, otherwise I might find that some ambulance driver – say, one who's been awake for days thanks to the problem of a lack of staff – falls asleep at the wheel of his vehicle just at the point he drives onto a bridge.

I decided to take charge, to turn this set of undefined circumstances into a positive outcome and ensure that things turned out the way any normal people would expect them to conclude. So, I did what that 'normal' person would do:

I crept to the under-stairs cupboard, retrieved the baseball bat and slinked back to the kitchen. I grabbed a large knife (more for effect than for use: I don’t like blood) just in case.

Then, the door to the bathroom opened.

I didn't wait around for explanations. I just flew at the intruder, my arms flailing. I didn't take any time to look at his face, his build, whether he had a weapon or was empty-handed. I just did what I had to do. To protect myself, my property. Protect what I'd spent years building up.

Only when the body stopped moving and I had to fight for breath did I finally cease. Only when the police came did I put down the bat, drop the knife on the blood-stained floor. Only then did I become restrained.

The masked body of my opponent – for that is how I viewed them in my head – lay on the floor, not even a twitch of movement. A policeman bent forward, hand poised to pull off the mask. A thought ran through my head: I would've got away for it if it hadn’t been for those pesky kids, or in this case pesky baseball bat. I smiled.

That soon dropped from my face, joining the bat and my jaw on the floor.

I hadn't expected it to be my son.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

One day out of many

We were out chasing rabbits, the mist curling over the dew-encrusted hills, early morning light bouncing through the trees so we had to squint to see where to point our guns.

You're my reminder, as always; there are still days when my mind fogs over.
Like waterlogged fields
Never clearing, never draining.

The men watched as we stumbled; feet catching on the numerous cavities scattered over the field while we ran, our hands becoming covered. Mud sticks, so does circumstance. Something I would soon find out.

Breath streamed away from our mouths, pooling in the air around us. The loudness of the guns' bangbangbang made you jump; momentarily I could have sworn you actually left your skin – it seemed so wrinkled afterwards, as if you’d stayed too long in the bath. Your eyes wide, hair on end. Frightened.

I laughed, my teeth glinting in the sunlight. When I composed myself you weren’t there.

We found you some metres away from where I was standing. Breath was sucked in, sharply. I marvelled at how little blood there was, considering the amount of holes I managed to count before father dragged me away. Gun, snatched from my hands. Tossed to one side. Anger crowded around me, palpable in its intensity.

Immediately, I wanted to swap places, to be lying on the ground instead of you. I envied you, jealous of the attention you were receiving.

bastardbastardbastardbastard whispered under breath.

Will you forgive me? Can you?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Running Around On A Beach In Winter

The coastline is forever shifting.
Tomorrow is will be different once again.
Nothing will be left to show
we were here, how we danced, laughed, lived. And died.

Remember: the wind whipped; dressed in leather it was,
barking orders to us that we
chose to ignore. We turned our backs,
leant toward each other to stay warm and
accepted each others’ hot breath into
lungs burning with the cold.

Laughter snatched from lips and carried
to distant lands where it would never be understood. The bottom of our clothes
dragging through the salt. White crusts on hems.
Our eyes black pits; our skin red raw
like the plucked turkey skin from the days just gone.

One year on, our tears are the only evidence that we ever existed.

The Photograph

Dear Sarah,
Here's the photograph on which my whole case is based. Look beyond the bent corners, the unsaturated colours and the fake smiles. Look into the real action that's taking place behind the focus of the shot. Look carefully. What do you see?

Can you make out, nestled in the shadows, the hidden person? That person is me. I don't expect you remember me being there, as you were what? Three, perhaps four-years old? It doesn't seem all that long ago I was bouncing you on my knee, making your gurgle with laughter so that you mother thought you might "bring up your tea all over my clean sofa". We just laughed some more, didn't we? Surely you must recall that?

If you ask about I would expect that some recollection remains in the minds of the older people who were guests that night. Maybe they retained some vital information about me that you’ve been seeking; some snippet of evil only they noticed, but through which they can justify their vitriol. Perhaps they just want to be interviewed on the television like those I went to school with? I don't think I'll ever know.

Those times were happy ones, were they not? Didn't we have fun, you and I? Didn't we? I implore you to spit out your memories to the court, to tell the jury that I was a friend – your only friend during those times – and that I looked after you like your mother never could thanks largely to her daily alcohol consumption – a point, I might add, that has been overlooked by both the media and my lawyer. Still, the fact that she is now dead probably means that this nugget of information is unlikely to help me in my predicament.

All I have left of those happier times is this photograph. Of course, it proves nothing, let alone my innocence, but to me it means a lot. To me it points to a time when accusations weren't provided by the shouts of hundreds of people, when words didn't count as 'pointing the finger', when police authorities did their job and researched an individual's background and didn't rely on rhetoric from a national newspaper. I knew my life was over when they came and held placards outside my house – many misspelled and illegible – with their children tagging along, taken out of school to be shown my home firsthand.

Then, following nights brought bricks and bottles of petrol with lit rags dangling from the small opening. It brought angry letters to the local newspaper. It didn't take long for me to lose my job, to be ostracised by friends, family, colleagues and – in a final fuck you – by everyone within a 10-mile radius of my home. And for what?

For something that we are all guilty of at some point in our miserable lives: for telling the truth, for dealing with the scum that permeates our society. However, somewhere along the line it backfired and I must pay the consequences for my actions.

Is it a fair society that allows you to get away with... with murder? Yes, with murder. Is it reasonable that I must feel the wrath of people for whom none of this is real? These people, they have only the journalists' words to use as a weapon. The same journalists upon whom they pour scorn every single day. It makes me sick to think about it.

And, it's because of you that I find myself here, staring death in the face on a daily basis. Thanks to you I stand accused of these crimes. Thanks to you, my love.

So, you look closely as the photograph. Stare at me, send your hate forth. When I am gone, you'll come to realise that it was I that protected you from your uncle. Protected your virtue, warned him away.

However, it does no good to me now. I do admit that it was I who killed you. I never touched you, though: not once. If only you could be here to tell them it was an accident, to tell them that I was saving you from a fate worse than... worse than what? Death?

So, look closely at the photograph. There is a man captured in that photograph, a man who will cause more pain than I ever could. I am only guilty of trying to protect you, to save you, to keep you pure. To that, my Lord, I plead guilty.

Yours lovingly


Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Days After

The streets steamed after the rain, but some stains were harder to wash away and the council workers could be found with stiff brooms, running back and forth through the streets. They were trying to eradicate the evidence, but no amount of scrubbing could erase it from the minds of those that witnessed the brutality of the government at first-hand.

The nightmare continued for weeks afterwards; sleep eluded only those that didn’t succumb to the rivers of drugs that flooded the area following the massacre. Wherever you looked there would be small crowds of people huddled in a corner of the town square. On occasions, small pockets of fighting would break out, but no one seemed bothered. Corpses in the street were a daily occurrence now. It was something we all had to get used to.

Those of us wanting to go back to the old ways could be found hiding in the old municipal bank, a sturdy edifice that we believed would protect us from our new enemies. We would go out at night foraging for food, anything that could sustain us. We often found only meagre scraps of rotting meat, so we stripped the bodies of the dead. Sometimes they would move, perhaps cry out and one of us would have to use our shovel to silence them. Being discovered was a bigger nightmare than the images that haunted our dreams.

Within hours all the council workers had disappeared from the streets and an eerie silence descended. The sizzle of the rain against the asphalt was the only sound that could be heard, but that soon became a solitary drip from the corrugated roofs of the shacks that lined the main highway, their owners long gone now. The wares that would usually be found stacked neatly within these shady lean-tos now looted by scores of blank-eyed rioters. There was nothing left, not even birds seemed to be in song.

I clung to my doll throughout the ordeal, my eyes tightly shut and my hands clamped over my ears. Blotting it out seemed to save me. I remember being slung over a broad shoulder, my chest bouncing against the taut muscle so that, even now, it’s tender to the touch. Among the twenty of us left in our group, I am the only one without some wound that requires me to rest. Some are worse than others.

If you watched people lying around, you could read their thoughts in their eyes, those pools of liquid ready to give up secrets normally buried deep: no one wanted to be the first to die, to think that perhaps they might be eaten by those that currently took care of them. It made martyrs of many, my father included. It’s not something he’d be proud of, if he was still here.

In the weeks that followed, we dug below the foundations of the bank, carving out a new world beneath the surface of our old one. We did without sun, our eyes now useless in light. We daren’t venture out now, for surely we would be killed almost instantly. We are biding our time. We know that soon what is left of the human race will have obliterated the resources of the planet and darkness will swoop upon us. How we can’t wait for that day to arrive. For then, we can retake what is rightfully ours.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Saturday mourning

This is a continuation of a story that was started by Kat at her Reflections blog. A sequel was written by Chris at Spontaneous Fiction and then Raynwomaan put together chapter three. This is the next instalment. I hope you enjoy it.

Noel had been waiting for a while. Something bad had happened, but what? She felt helpless, which was a feeling almost alien to her. Slowly, the fog in her mind cleared and she remembered: Ms. Friday.

She felt around her head for the lump she knew was there; the shock she felt as her fingers grazed a thick clump of blood and hair was still evident as she brought her shaking hands back to her lap. Why did she feel this way? It was so unlike her to feel scared, unsure. Noel tried to summon the strength and wherewithal to work out where she was, how she’d got there and how she was going to break out.

Glancing around, there appeared to be little for her to work with. A small table was bolted to the concrete floor, as was the squat chair in which she sat. A window – more an aperture – was placed high up on the wall, its glass strengthened with wire to prevent escape. It seemed hopeless, even to Noel.

Voices, faint and indistinct, were just audible to Noel as she sat contemplating her next move. She felt her body for more wounds, finding none; however, neither did she have her weapons. The voices came closer and she recognised Ms. Friday’s nefarious tone barking instructions at some poor subordinate. Noel wondered to herself whether he was a looker. Guilt washed over her as she recalled the last man she’d disposed of; he’d been quite something. Noel let out a sigh of regret and buried her head in her hands.

Ms. Friday opened the door and saw Noel, bent over and wracked by sobs. So, she thought, they had broken her at last. Noel looked up through her lank hair just as Ms. Friday entered the room, a small man with glasses trailing in her wake.

"So, you’re awake now, are you?" Ms. Friday hissed. Noel ignored her, wiping the backs of her hands across her eyes to remove any trace of her tears.

"Well," Ms. Friday continued, "Dr. Scramton will access you now and then we will decide how you will die. Believe me, it won’t be a pleasant method I choose, pain is something you will almost certainly feel. There’s something about torture that makes me wet." Ms. Friday turned on her spiked heel, laughing. The echo of the door slamming filled the silence of the room.

Noel looked over Dr. Scramton. He wouldn’t be that difficult to overpower, surely? He stared at her through his thick glasses, the clipboard in his hand resting on his thigh.

"Hi, Nnnn-noel – ccccc-can I cccccc-call you Nnnnn-noel?" he stammered.

"Sure thing honey," she replied, giving him her best doe-eyed look. "So, you need to give me the once over, do you? Best get it over with honey, I ain’t got all day."

Dr. Scramton moved towards her, shuffling his feet across the concrete floor. He stopped just out of arm’s reach.

"C’mon Doc, you can’t check me over from there." Noel moved her legs slightly apart, giving the good doctor a glimpse of her red lace panties. She saw his eyes light up. Then, quickly she was on her feet, her hands around his throat. The light in his eyes dulled as his windpipe was crushed.

"I’m sorry, Doctor, but Saturday is not a day on which I choose to die. I prefer death to be a Friday. A Ms. Friday to exact."

She moved the dead weight of the doctor’s body into the corner and rifled through his pockets. On his person he had one comb, complete with grey hairs, a map of the compound and a small torch. Nevermind, thought Noel, I could use the excitement of having no weapons. After all, the past two days have been fairly boring.

With that, Noel slipped out of the room skulking down the gloomy corridors in search of her nemesis, Ms. Friday.

The story continues here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Counting on my friends

I can count my friends on the fingers of one hand. I’m not unpopular; it’s just that I have a tendency to kill my friends. Not murder, you understand. It’s usually an accident that takes them away from me. I seem to invite bad luck into my life like some people invite trusted colleagues round for dinner parties – fairly regularly.

Consequently, word gets around and I find that friends soon become acquaintances and then distant acquaintances and soon enough they are strangers. Except they’re not.

They can’t act like real strangers, since they know about me; they know about my record with those that choose to get close to me. They know about the dark force that follows me around like a shadow. They become clairvoyant. They believe they can tell when death will come to collect them, to harvest them.

I am the bad apple in the barrel. It’s the drugs or it’s the voices; it’s the drink or it’s any number of vices that I have: drink driving, sword fighting while high on crystal meth, etc. The list goes on. Often I blackout and I don’t know what happens. The cops just shake their heads. There is no proof, no fingerprints: no evidence.

That’s why I’m writing to you. I’m looking for new friends.

Could that be you? Is it within the realms of possibility that someone can befriend me and not… I can’t bring myself to say it.

If you think you can help me, please write to me. Please come and visit. You’ll be perfectly safe here. I take care of visitors. It’s just that they don’t seem to take care of themselves.