Sorry You’re Leaving!

The wait was over, it had happened. And much sooner than he imagined. Like a planet sized bubble, rippled with oil puddle shimmer, the dream had hovered there in the atmosphere for what seemed to be aeons. And now it was over. And a good thing too. Now all he saw were scavengers; crows, rats, cats. When they entered his peripheral vision he braced himself for more of the same pointlessness. And it would come like dung from a burst sewer pipe. What it was they wanted he never knew. But always, without fail, there was stupidity and grief. Hours were not allowed to pass silently or peacefully without the intrusion of one of them, screeching and with eyes misted over with blood-lust. And he decided, rightly or wrongly, not to play the game any more. He was tired.

He bashed open the toilet door, fell to his knees, managed to lift the toilet seat up before vomiting. Sweat beads burst across his forehead and began to drip into his eyes. His stomach muscles were tight as rope and the sour soup kept coming. What kind of sickness was in him; what had he done, fallen into, crossed the path of? He remembered the note he found by the bridge, ‘You will never know us now.’ it had said. He stuffed it into his back pocket with the penny pieces. And all that day he had seen images of a woman’s face; mascara lines down her cheeks and deep, black eyes. He wrote in his notebook, ‘They see through me. What was it she had done? Why did I leave the comfort of the womb?’ As he slid the notebook into the side pocket of his jacket he realised that the jacket did not belong to him. Also that his hands were paler and less hairy than before. He held his head as though it were about to explode and tried to remember something of the event. And, as he opened his eyes, he winced at the sharp air cutting across the field and through the derelict building. It had been his old workshop and now it lay in ruins, slowly becoming part of the earth but for now the hiding place of small animals and insects. There was a sound. A sheep.

The crack under the flesh sickened him. The reverberation seemed to linger in his hands as he stuffed the raw meat into his mouth.

Chunks of the animal splashed into the toilet with drops of rain from the hole in the ceiling. Something small and dark was hiding in the corner of the room. He heard small claws ticking in the surface of the plastic bath.

He flushed the toilet but nothing happened. No water. And the seascape was no longer there. A vast area of sand lay where the water had once swelled. And, across the channel, the lights of the city were out.

He opened the fridge. There was a bottle of water but now it was gone. Most of his belongings had been taken. A plastic notice flapped upon the window. He reached out and read it.

‘Keep Out – Area Contaminated – Non-Processed – Interim Border Control’

The wait was over.

He blew his nose and blood sprayed everywhere. He heard the beaks against the windows, the scratching in the wall and mournful whines.

He looked down at his rags. If there were anyone else left, this was all they’d find.


Fibre Match

Hula hula. Sound the horn. Chaser lights in gravy. Tweed suits and serious issues. Young animals with death in their bellies. The attic creaks with secrets. Two people, far apart, think of a world without each other. Harmonica’s dangle from the rear view mirror. Speculation on coming catastrophe’s. Lightening left-right combinations. How to knock a person out from across the room. Drowning in fizzy piss and tears. Writing poetry in blood. A scarecrow cackling at your prostrate form, fingers clawing the wet mud, rain washing everything but the memory into the crop. Soon, sprouting misery, a last hurrah, celebration of the cheap-shot. Scratch your name into a beautiful wooden table top, you wimp. The building hums with spirits of all shapes and persuasions. Hymns ring out for the lost, the dead and the dying. We trundle on through piercing rain in the general direction of hell. Once, I dreamed of drinking a vase of wine. When I came to, the sheets were sodden and I vomited into the toilet. Floating in the acidic mess were pasta shapes spelling the name of a hard forgotten lover. Seventeen dictaphones placed in strategic positions record the comings and goings of this naked ape. This spasm of flesh and nerves. A trail of sonic evidence that this person did something ritualistic, perhaps obsessive, in this location, at this time and on their own. There were a second set of footsteps recorded however. These were more graceful, less easy to pick up at first listening. In lipstick, the words seemed slashing; red, violent and despairing. Deep in the pigment, there was suspended a memory of him. Though no fine tuned detection would or could pick up the subtlety of the trace. A thin cord attached them but for how long, who knew. It seemed as though it might break at any time.

Wait, what’s this; a new sun? No. Someone with their headlights on full beam while I try to sleep. On the boards, under the sea, halfway between you, halfway between me.