Shot, by an invisible bullet. Even so, it fizzed, like an angry hornet the size of a bird. Like a horizontal, corkscrewing waterspout, it raped the air before punching a hole in my chest as though I were made of paper.
I open my eyes and I’m on the motorway, in two lanes, cheeks itchy and scratchy from old tears.
In the service station toilet. Holding back the nausea. He didn’t like being sick. Worm.
Gun, automatic, dropped to the grimy floor from the cubicle next door. It spun there for a while, between my bundle of trouser and the door on its broken hinge . I thought about what it might mean if the barrel pointed at me.
In fact, it came to rest aiming right back where it had come from.
The voice was small, tiny. Indian probably. I was unsure as to whether advertising my occupancy was a particularly wise move. Until my turd broke, splosh-thudding the ceramic bitch ass mother fucking toilet.
“…yeah?” I asked, my words like little angel scouts, detecting malice wherever it may dwell, the dicks.
“… can I have my gun back please?… ”
I wasn’t going to start trusting now. Eyeballing the height of the partition. I pick up the gun in my left hand and the turd in the other. I started talking about how we were going to do the exchange, all the while I’ve unlocked the cubicle door.
I jam the gun in my jacket and toss the turd over to the little voice.
I might have saved a life tonight. And fleshed out my plan of snuffing a few out.
I spat at the ground hot with an ancient sun. Imagined how crazy things would be.
Wonders what Mexico’s like.
It all started with two white chocolate coins. It’s the time of year and you think to yourself ‘why not?’ and you eat them because that’s what normal people do and then the trouble starts. Like I’d been shot in the jaw in super slow motion, the pain started as an ache. One of those aches that, if left without supervision, will eventually penetrate to the soles of your feet. And I’m being all outgoing and chatty and then I realise it’s hurting to talk. Then it hurts to breathe. The air in my mouth whistles past the point of pain and turns up the volume. Then, after a while you just sit there staring into mid-space as the gaps in the conversation widen and laughter becomes more awkward. I mde my excuses and left, mumbling through the agony.
How deep does the root of the tooth go? Because, totally by a sort of terrifying suprise, I find that my right eye starts to hurt as does the right sinus. Like an unsheathed electric cable pulsing through the side of my head, the pain snakes through my skull like a rusty saw. I lick as far back as my tongue will go and rub across the nub of enamal and the shock is so bad that I laugh. Then I think to myself, ‘I’m going mad.’ As I drive home the throbbing seems to grow into the surrounding environment, as though the side of the car is expanding and contracting. I buy some cigarettes and pay on my card. Each beep of my pin number sends a current of screeching pain through my ear. I bust through my own door, trip on the loose carpet and grab the codeine as I fall to the floor. On my back, I pop two pills into my mouth. I squish spit together and make enough to swallow the bitter, little beauties. I lay still and wait. Seagulls scream outside. Cars fizz past. A few voices twitter . After a while, I can hear the theme tune to Ghostbusters in another flat.
And the codeine writes the final line, punctuating the pain with a delightful full stop.