Thursday, January 26, 2006

Home for our Meteors-chapters 6-11

Chapter 6
He was perched on the edge of the desk, hands waving, joint in one, ciggie in the other, baby firefly and it’s mother dancing around a stuffy bedroom. His lips were moving very quickly, because he was talking, he was the only one in the room who didn’t know what he was saying.

“I have to pretend that we’re going to be dancing somewhere else, somewhere better then this, somewhere with brighter stars, you know what I mean. Some kind of secret dancing platform, where we can move as much or little as we like.” He took a drag from the cig, and blew smoke upwards. His feet were tapping quickly to some hillbilly rock and roll. “Catherine, Catherine what am I saying?”

She looked up at him, as hard as he was looking down and whispered in between sips of her drink, “Honey you want us to be free,”

“Yeah I do, don’t you. I mean we are free now I know. I mean lucky kids in the lucky part of the world. I just want another kind of freedom, not the one I’ve seen on TV.” He slid off the desk and over to the bed where Daniel sat watching him. “Daniel, Danny, Dan, I want you to be happy.” He spoke slowly letting his mouth curl round every D.

“I am.” Daniel was looking at him with conviction, but Stephen was not convinced.

“No, no, no. You’re high,” He turned from the bed and did a little dance to the melody, “We’ve smoked some, we’ve drank some, took some pills, stood and delivered some lines. So you, so we are high. That’s not the same as high, Man! Why don’t people know this, just because you feel happy? Doesn’t mean you are,”
He felt himself collapse to the floor, and began to giggle uncontrollably. “God! I feel so fucking good. No I don’t. Yes I do, I do.” He glanced back at the others and could see they were in secret deliberations. Planning something, maybe against him. Maybe they something’s that he’d done, that he hadn’t told them. Had they seen him do what he thought he had done?

What had he done? He couldn’t remember. He pulled himself back to his feet, using the window frame as a support. The curtains had been drawn but he could see the sun was still outside. Cars were going by. Wait no that was coming from the stereo. There were cars inside the speakers. No, that was a guitar, and there were some drums. He stood straight up and tilted his head back. A soft hand touched the back of his neck. It guided his neck straight, Daniel appeared in front of him smiling, bobbing his head to the music that was filling around the room. Daniels fingers were twisting their way around the back of Stephen’s hair. Moving like Daniel, slowly, relaxed and gentle. This was sweetheart seduction Daniel, the one who could look people in the eye, and show no danger, no sense of sex, just possibilities. This was how he got boys to follow him home, without them ever thinking for a second that they were going to get laid. He laid the seeds of confidence in people, like maggot eggs along a carcass, nothing in themselves, but soon to devour flesh. Stephen saw his friend trying to do the same to him and was repulsed. Seconds away from punching, from throwing, from kicking and screaming when he glanced over at the bed and saw Catherine beaming at him. Her smile so wide. Her body swaying slowly. Not to the same tune as Daniel, but with the same joyful affection.

“You too aren’t out to hurt me, are you?” his voice was high and barely audible, he could not recognise it.

Daniel pulled Stephens head, so their foreheads touched. “Of course not honey, we’re not out to get no body.” with that he pirouetted away, and across the room. Stephen watched him go. Small, devilish in his movements, each twist for everybody in the room, but oh! So much more for himself, Daniel made his way to the desk, without ever bringing his dance to end he poured three more drinks, from the second bottle. Stephen’s eyes left Daniel, and focused in on his woman child, whose swaying had ended and was rolling another joint.

“I just want us to be free, babes, you know,” his voice had returned to normal, and he walked towards Catherine, who glanced upwards at him. “Just so we don’t have to get all fuckin scared,”

“I know kitty kat, I know,” She says as he sits next to her, he reaches out to a lose strand of hair that has dropped across her face, “and we’re not scared, not of each other, not of anything in this room, you just need to settle down. We love you,”
“I love you too,” he rolled the strand as she rolled the spliff, when she brought it to her lips to wet; he wanted to do the same with her hair. “You are so beautiful.” He meant this too.

“Daniel, my boyfriend thinks I’m beautiful,” Catherine giggled with delight as she said this and at the same time lit up. “GOD I LOVE HIM,”

“He’s very lovable,” Daniel handed them both their drinks, “He likes your hair,”
Daniel sat down on the floor, Stephen realised his friends song had ended and some new one had begun, something about clubbers and Christians and what happens to make things worse. He drank, his drink. Sweet and sticky, sharp with alcohol, he could taste the fake fruit. It tasted good, he was glad he had the two people he loved most sitting around him. He did really feel safe, what had been worried about, they were planning nothing against him. They were here for the long run, they’d be here everyday, and he needed them to be.

What would he need them for? Why would he need them? What part of him created the need? Was it the heart? Like they claimed in his favourite songs, where the lonely angry man, standing in front of his band begging for salvation, pleading for forgiveness, clearly secretly wishing that they were going to be held, all night from that night on. Was it the head? He hadn’t read nearly enough, but he knew there were studies, knew there were men and women with ideas that said it all comes from the brain. All your wants, needs, they come from parts of the brain filled with memories, and chemicals past down from your family. This made some sense, Stephen agreed with these men and women; they wore smart jackets and never snorted speed of desks brought from Ikea. They were people he’d never meet, and would never want to meet him. They were smart though. They had some good ideas. You need because of what you’ve seen, that mixed with the potions that define the colour of your hair, and the shape of your eyes.

As Stephen shook the last cig from his pack, he admitted that he understood what the singers of his favourite music were talking about. Just like them he felt angry and alone sometimes, as if no body was ever going to really look after him. He conceded that it was more complicated then that, but he only really got it when he heard them singing. If he was supposed to read some books about these same ideas, but more complicated, more about the head then the heart. Well then he’d become confused, and wasn’t he confused enough already. He knew he was drunk. He knew he had the greatest girlfriend in the world. He knew that life started once and sometime it would end. He knew he was high on some scuzzy blue pills Catherine found in her jewellery box. He knew he had Daniel the best friend someone could imagine having. He knew he wasn’t anything important. So if that was all he knew those, five, six, seven, eight things, and everything else was a mystery, well why should he read something he wouldn’t understand. Something not even the writers understood. Why should he? He breathed the cigarette smoke high and across the room; he watched it float slowly until hit the curtain and slid its way inside the cheap cotton fibres.

He leaned backwards until his head reached the pillow. Listening to the voices of Catherine and Daniel, as they circled the room. Daniel’s rough whisper, which would seem like it was coming from under the ground even if his lips were touching your ear. Catherine's speech was a steeplechase, fast, getting faster then slow as it leapt a hurdle, always the same volume when she was buzzing. As if she could work out the noise level in a room, and land her voice just above it. Their voices in tandem brought him some peace. With a Scottish drawler crooning, “You’ll bring out the best in me, nothing like the rest of me,” Stephen felt himself drifting away, until hands squeezed both his and warmth shot up his body.

“Don’t you leave us love, we’re in for a long one,” Daniels voice reached Stephen a little sharper in tone “You wanted this, you got to keep with us,” Catherine’s voice followed close behind, “Sit up sugar plum, I got something for you, but you need to be sitting up” Stephen opened his eyes and saw that Catherine was holding a CD box out to him. Thin white lines, and a tightly rolled up ten-pound note. The hand on his left foot was lifted and made its way up his leg, at the top it tapped his balls, and Stephen jolted up.

“Hey none of that,” He grinned but was slightly pissed at the sight of Daniel now leaning over the end of the bed laughing, even more pissed at the sight of Catherine almost choking back tears, her hand shaking as she continued to hold the case. “Cheers, just what I fancy” he said as he took it out of her loose grip.
“You touch up my man again, and I will cut you,” Stephen was positioning his the end of the note to the bottom of the first line as Catherine said this, “He’s mine, you had your chance,” his brought his nose to the top of the note as he heard her say that.

“He needed a stirring up,” Stephen snorted sharp, steady, and quick as Daniel replied with that. “I promise I won’t do it again” the last traces of the line hit the inside of his nose.

“You need to get yourself a regular boy your own age Daniel, “ Stephen blinked and handed the case back to Catherine. “Not one of these nasty crusty old men whose cocks you wrap your lips around,” His left eye went watery, and streams ran down. Through the blur he saw Catherine duck down towards the case.

“I like not knowing where a cock has been,” Stephen wiped his face dry, as Daniel spoke “Adds a real sense of mystery, with this one, I’d know precisely where it’s been,” Catherine’s head flapped back, she was laughing her nose running, and her hair falling all over the place.

“You are going to grow into a sick, sad man Daniel, I hope you realise that,” she spluttered through the laughter, “I mean really, you could get your ass tapped by a real honey, and maybe actually get to know there name,” Stephen saw her hand the case to Daniel. She then turned to him, smiled and asked, “You’re back with us?”

“Of course, I never left I was just closing my eyes, for a second,” when he said this, he wasn’t sure if it was a lie.


Chapter 7
When she woke up, to the sound of her mother’s car pulling out the driveway, Catherine was immediately envious of departure. Of her mother’s ability to leave for days at a time, as if it this home was nothing more then another motel room, or service station along the motorway. Catherine had been abroad, she’d been to Sweden, France and Spain, and she’d seen the same people, trying different tongues. Maybe a ride down a stretch of motorway, not on an hour-long flight, would take her to different people. Were different people the answer? Didn’t she already have all she needed right here? A boy wrapped around her leg, and another bare chested lying on the floor. These were all the people she needed, want she wanted was space. To go into space that had been the thing when she was little girl, to float, even then to fall, let go of one planet and find her way through the sky to another. Now space had become this country, and to float would be to slip from the grasp of one city and drive until another was reached.

Her left hand tapped against the pillow just above Stephen’s head, his pale skin against the black sheets, every cliché was accounted for in this room. A speaker still buzzing from the night before, broken glass in the corner, bottles lined along floor, an ashtray over flowing, it was all the same as before. Oh god she thought, what are we becoming? Decadent teens living in our parent’s homes. She looked at the wall opposite her window, four shelves, two filled with paperbacks, then a third with shot glasses, china figures and birthday cards, it was the top shelf that killed her though. Every inch of it covered in the stuffed toys of her childhood, how supremely laughable, she thought, the daughter of a single mum turned business woman, has sex and drug binge with two boys in her childhood bedroom. A room where her brother had read her stories, before he found weed, and then Jesus, the same bedroom she’d built a fortress out of the bubble wrap which came with her mothers exercise bike. Over the last few years she had destroyed the room, which had always made her feel safe, even when things were going wrong. Especially when things were going wrong. When she raised her shirt for boys during lunch break, when her brother had thrown a TV at Mum, she’d been able to come here, turn the stereo on, wrap up in blankets and stare at her ceiling, which back then was covered in stars.

It was time for her to leave now, she felt so sure, if she was ever going to be happy, it wouldn’t be between these four walls. Whether it was something she had done, or something that was bound to happen, a change had occurred and what had been a sanctuary had become a waiting room. She peeled the duvet of her and she reached for some underwear, pulled knickers up her legs and under her bed shirt, then slipped thin black socks on. Her eyes searched for some jeans, they didn’t have to be clean, just not the ones she’d worn the night before. When a crack of sunlight crossed her eyes she realised she did not have a headache, because this life was made for her. Just like her mothers parents, she’d been born to burn out early or not at all. Walking across the room to the chest of draws she heard Daniel roll over and onto some broken glass. He let out a scream and she winced.

“Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck fuck,” it wasn’t an anguished cry compared to others that have come from rolling on broken glass, but Catherine knew it was as pained as Daniel could really sound. “Did I clean that up?” he asked looking over at her.

“You cleared the first one, then you broke another,” she replied, taking a box of tissues off the top of the cabinet and tossing them over to him, they struck him on the side of the face. He let out a slightly louder noise of complaint then he had for the glass, which cut, through his skin. “Sorry darling,” she returned to opening a draw. Filled with black and blue, jumpers and jeans, not ripped and not torn. Some she had never worn, just sent as presents from her father, from where ever he was. A running joke, with a man she’d never met, every Christmas or birthday the same black Gap jumper the same blue Gap jeans, from which city he had reached. Five draws full of them, collected over the last 13 years. She hadn’t been in on the joke to begin with, she’d been only five years old, and her sense of humour hadn’t developed as far as the bearded man in his forties she’d witnessed only in photos. Pulling the first jumper out, she could see how tiny she’d once been, when there had been no muscular arms, no breasts and she could be held in her mother’s arms. She quickly stuffed the jumper back inside and shut the draw closed. There was no need to be looking there, in fact that was to be the last time she would. She saved them, kept them safe for private moments of tears, but why should she bother? There were no real memories attached them, the only ones that existed were those she had imagined. She needed neither wool nor denim to get her imagination going, in fact she decided she didn’t want it going, at least not now, not this early in the morning. There were things to be done, she could sit around daydreaming later, first she had to wake her boys up and then she had to pack.

“STEPHEN!” she yelled, turning quickly, giving her best grin to Daniel on the turn. “STEPHEN! It’s time to wake up, time to get things going.” She moved over to Daniel and crouched down, taking his cut up arm in both her hands. About a dozen pieces of tissue stuck to him, each one slowly turning red. She pulled herself and her friend up to their feet. “Stephen you dumb fuck, I’m not telling you again” she kicked the end of the bed, as she led Daniel out of the room.

“I’ll be fine, it looks worse then it is.” He was surprisingly nervous, never had morning after intimacy she supposed. “I can get it fixed up at home.”

“It’s not you home anymore Danny Boy,” she pushed the bathroom door open, turned to smiled at him, “Remember we’ve decided,” she looked him in the eyes, which as ever were level with hers. “We decided last night.”

“I know,” his voice did not falter, she realised that he although he was afraid of her touch, he was not afraid of the possible future, “I know what we’re going to do,” she turned to the bathroom, and caught her reflection, and behind hers where was his, for a few moments he did not have one, she blinked and his image appeared. He continued “It’s just you give something a name, it stays that way forever, I’ve called that place my home, my whole life, it’s what I call it. That won’t change. My families house is my home,” She stepped towards the sink and turned both taps on. “We might find a place to call our new home, we might not but some names will remain. 102 Long Moore Lane is my home. Sorry but it is,”

As she reached up into the bathroom cabinet with one hand with the other she squeezed his arm a little, and heard herself say, “Don’t worry babes, that’s just fine. You can call things whatever you like,” she began to peel the pieces of tissue of his arm, flicking each one into the bin underneath the sink as soon as they came loose. “We’ve got a good plan though don’t we, it’s going to be so much fun,” she believed it when she said this; she wasn’t trying to convince anyone. Just overcome with excitement, and something else a little less teenage.

When all the tissue had been removed, Catherine glanced at the cuts, she saw how thin they were, each and everyone, a perfect line, all parallel. She grabbed a damp cloth and wiped the arm clear of blood, and took a tube of cream from the cabinet. Squeezing little streaks onto the tail of all twelve wounds. She then dropped the tube into the sink, and slowly rubbed the cream along.

“There that should keep you safe for a while,” she dropped his arm, and it feel by his side, “Now go and get dressed.” He stood smiling at her for a moment or two, and before she knew what she was doing she kissed him, not jokingly, not drunkenly like the night before, but hungrily. Their lips locked together, and their arms grabbed a tight hold, as she backed him in to the bathroom wall. Catherine could taste him like the she could taste herself. She released her hold and backed away “Daniel,” she whispered, but remained facing him, “Sorry,”

“It’s okay, still a little buzzed from last night,” he answered as if it was the most obvious lie he’d ever had to come up with, “Forget about it,”

“Fucking a right, just a little buzz,” she laughed, cackled that, relieved they weren’t really backed into a corner, “Now you go get dressed, let me have a bath,”

He smiled and left her alone, she locked the door behind him, and turned back to the bathroom mirror, and for a few seconds as she looked at her reflection, she saw Daniels standing just behind her. For a few seconds and then, when she blinked, it was gone.

Chapter 8
I find myself standing in the hallway, my arms no longer bleeding really, a little bloody but they never hurt. She locks the bathroom door. I hear her talking to herself, a little giggle, and the water begins to run. Stephen has gone back to sleep, I see as I step back into the bedroom, his legs dangling limp off the edge of the bed. Pick up a shirt, put on my shoes, scrawl a note telling them both I’ll see them this afternoon. Nearly slip on the landing, my shoes had been covered in vodka and juice, got sticky, caught on the carpet as I took the first step down stuck to the floor. I lost some balance but grabbed onto the banister and got some control. Down the stairs, and out the front door.

The daylight was a jezebel, only less fun; it turned my skin to sweat, and my eyes to water. I was becoming liquid as I headed down the front path, and onto the suburban street. As I got stuck to my clothes, I got stuck on the idea of leaving, Catherine had raised it in the middle of a florid babble, and as soon as she’d said it. Then it had sounded perfect, a cheating, lazy way to rid ourselves of our problems, and more likely then not, a perfectly could way to create some new ones. However long we lasted, it would give me time to understand what was meant for me, what the purpose of my life could be. I’d been given some idea of what lay in store, but I still needed to except my role, and indeed understand the roles my friends were to play, in this my story. Thinking about leaving my family behind didn’t scare me as much as it should, they’ll miss me, and they’ll see me again. Something will happen and we’ll be pulled back into one another’s lives.

For the first few days Mum will call in sick to work, Father Eastwood will come and sit with her, they’ll talk about my alter boy days, what a diligent kid I was. He’ll tell her it none of this can be blamed on her, and that God has a plan for me, that I’m just struggling to find the right path. She’ll tell him she wants her little boy back, and that if I could just be 10 all over again she’d keep a closer eye on me, help me make better choices. He’ll take her hand and they’ll pray for me. Dad will be busy reporting the car stolen, the police report, and insurance paper work. My sisters will be cooking dinner for a week. They’ll go through a lot of pasta. Then as a week passes, they’ll find a new rhythm. After a couple of weeks, I’ll send them a postcard, letting them know I’m okay. I’ll stay in occasional contact, maybe a phone call at some point; it will be hard for them, maybe for me to. So these things goes, this is the way it will go.

I turn the corner onto the main road, it’s a quite weekday morning, shops are busy but know one seems in a hurry, just picking up a few things they don’t need. I cross the road, and go down the alleyway between the bookmakers and the travel agency, Christian has lived in the apartment above the agency for three years, It’s a large spacious place, decorated with slick, designer furniture, most of his money goes into making it look a little better. I bang on the side door, and then ring the doorbell twice, so he knows it’s me. After a few minutes when I scrape my toes against the tarmac, he buzzes me up. The door unlocks, I push it open and step inside, Luther Vandross last album is booming down the stairs, sadly I don’t know the song but Christian has played it to me before. He’s also given me his own acoustic rendition of many songs on the album, his voice is pleasant enough. I go up the stairs, fishing into my pocket for some tobacco, there’s just enough to roll a slim smoke, and so I sit down on half way up the concrete stairs and roll. The song ends, and I hear his juicer being turned on, then the next song starts, and I lick the roll up, and close. Head back up the stairs, he shouts something indistinguishable, it could be to me, it could be down the phone; it could be to Luther, they’re having a conversation from beyond the grave. I light my smoke, and go push open his second door. I step through, take a deep drag, his flat’s a tip, unusual for him, normally so clean and perfect. The living area is filled with empty bottles, and drinking glasses, CD’s and records are spilled onto the floor. One sofa is tipped over; I turn to the kitchen and see Christian with his back to me chopping fruit in his boxer shorts, his body lean and firm. A mild suntan fresh from the tanning salon, his muscles are for show, he’s never lifter anything other then a dumbbell.

“CHRISTIAN!” a high pinch screech, come from the living area, and I turn to see a girl, naked, hands on her head, leaning over the sofa staring straight at me. “Who the fuck is that.”

“That’s erm..Daniel, Daniel that is…” he turns to look at the girl who can’t be older then me, “that’s Amanda, I think, and the other one, the blond one is Becky, and there is someone else, Rachael. Amanda is Rachael still here?”
“I’m Rachael.” Rachael is either close to tears, or just very drunk, maybe both, but she certainly seems to be questioning whether she is indeed Rachael, she swings her left leg over the sofa, and clambers over it. “Amanda’s still in the bathroom. Hi I’m Rachael” she extends her hand for me to shake, well it seems she wants me to kiss it, but I give it a little shake and try to look her in the eyes.

“Hi, nice to meet you” I say, and she probably thinks it is, she probably thinks it’s nice for every man to meet her.

“Are you the dealer? Christian said he’d ordered some more coke with the pizza.” She looks me up and down, searching for signs of pizza or cocaine.

“I said that last night sugar plum, and it was a joke.” Christian doesn’t pause his chopping but his voice seems a little more strained now. Perhaps he’s sobering up.

“Do you wanna see my new tattoo?” Rachael has taken me by the arm and is dragging me towards the sofa. We step over some glasses and she sits me down, “It’s a scorpion.” She bends over in front of me and points to her left cheek. “What do you think?”

“Who the fuck is this?” a slow, drunken drawl, comes up from behind me, before I can turn two hands are covering my eyes. “Who the fuck are you?”

“This is David. He’s a friend of Christian’s” He forgot the coke. I was showing him my tattoo,” Rachael fills in the newcomer. “You can be nice to him, he’s not a pervert, he’s been trying not to stare at my pussy,”

“Is that right? Why don’t you want to look at her pussy David.” The new girl removes her hands and walks around to sit down beside me. “Ah!” she recognises me, where from I don’t know. “You’re not David, you’re Daniel, Christians boy bitch. What the hell are you doing here, now?”

A little ball of bile rises in my throat, it forces its way into my mouth but I swallow it down. Rachael has straightened up now, her waist at my level, she looks down at me, “You’re his bitch, you mean he fucks ya?” she looks much as if she’s inspecting some rather pathetic Christmas present a dotty aunt has brought her, “He’s not fucking you today, he’s fucking us today. All right so, you know. Deal with that.” I look at her then over at whom I’m assuming is Becky, and realise I know her from somewhere, the neighbourhood? Church maybe? She’s pulled the glass coffee table over, and is taking a small packet of white powder out of Christian’s pride and joy cigar case. She touches everything as if she owns it, and it’s only the fact that I can feel the effects of last night more then ever, that stops me from taking a swing at her.

“Jesus, Christian! Why did you let him in?” Rachael seems a lot less keen on showing me her tattoo now, but I still can’t help but like her, she seems unchecked. Acting out of gut feeling, you know she’d be fun if she were fully clothed. It’s this other one that is grating me, arrogant as our host, but without the same beauty, or elegance. She is cold yet garish, and as she makes very fine white lines along the coffee table, I imagine her as working as high class whore in Hollywood, living it up with the C-listers, and when I reach the part of this imaginary life where she is discarded for younger models I can’t help but smile.

“I let him in, because he’s always welcome here, aren’t you my love?” He’s walking over to join us carrying some kind of pink fruit drink, and as perfectly as his body is formed, the drink with its stick of celery makes him look a complete prat.

“I guess,” it’s all I can manage as a reply, my throat is dry as a tomb, and I’m scanning the room for something to drink that isn’t pink. There’s half a bottle of champagne on the bookshelf, sitting in between a photo of Christian at his university graduation and a large ceramic bowl.

I try to get to my feet, but my knees buckle and I sink back down, “What’s the matter boy? You feeling a little ill?” Becky’s is looking sideways at me, a snide smile spread across her lips, she hands me a rolled up fifty-pound note, and “Bitch goes first”
I take the note, and duck down, snorting the clean powder up. Different feeling from what my friends were sharing last night, there’s very little dish washing powder cut up in this, and it probably wasn’t crushed down from a pill. My head tips back and I can feel something returning, focus, or energy, a focus of energy, and I stand up and make my way to the bookshelf.

“Daniel is a lifer,” Christian has decided to play expert commentator, “He’s still a child, but he’s obviously in this for the long run, I don’t just mean having fun with great girls like you, and being my number one boy. I mean the decadence and degradation. He’ll sail up high with us good folks once in a while, but most of the time he’ll be passing cider bottles, and doing trucker speed with his fucked up friends. He’ll do that until he dies. He knows it. I know it. Now you ladies know it. That’s why I get to treat him anyway I god damn way I please.” I hold the bottle in my hand and stare at him, as he stares smiling at me, my eyes move over to the two girls. Becky leaning back in the sofa, dressing gown has come lose and he breasts are exposed, she is laughing silently. Rachael is hunched over the glass table, doing one line then another. I drink from the bottle of warm champagne.

Chapter 9
He watches her dry the back of herself with a towel, and get dressed. She was moving to quickly again. Every morning after a night like that, and in truth there had been more then should have been, she’d be energised. Shaking with so much energy, that even when he should have been used to it, there was something that frightened him about it all. Today though her energy had a focus, she’d sprung her new plan on him and Daniel with a joyful force, she’d already picked out a second hand car, and paid a deposit, they were to collect it today with another £500. She’d picked out a dozen small towns, that she wanted to visit; all of them had mobile homes to rent on camping sites. She’d found a bundle of picking and packing work that they could go and do, whenever they needed extra cash. More importantly she’d made it clear that they would end up in London, not on some desperate mission for fame and fortune, and not to visit the sights. They were going to end up there because according to Catherine that’s where people like them were supposed to end up. In a crummy run down room, in a Victorian terrace, with peeling wallpaper and a Russian landlady. If this was where they were going to end up, she reasoned that they might as well aim for it and therefore a successful life would be guaranteed.

This was the plan as Stephen could remember it, in his eyes it didn’t seem any better or worse then anything he could have come up with, so he’d signed on for it and was now happy to enjoy the ride. Catherine and Daniel would propel this, he knew for sure. He wished he could play a larger part, be more then the model riding the float of their life size parade. As is it was, he’d have to be happy with his role, it was a scene-stealer for sure, however little substance he felt it had. If it wasn’t for him people might not stare at them so hard, and maybe just maybe Catherine and Daniel wouldn’t try so hard. They were like everyone else, they wanted to be associated with something beautiful and whilst they’d try and create something, do something to compare to his face, his body, the chances were they’d fail. So they’d work at keeping him close, and maybe something would rub off. Stephen knew how shallow this was, and how arrogant he was for thinking along those lines, but he understood the part he played, and that was important.

She was sitting at the end of the bed now, wet hair tied behind her back, black buttoned up shirt a size too big and a pair of jeans cut off at the shins, her feet were bare as she rolled a cigarette. “We’re going to get something to eat, then you head home, grab a bag of clothes, get what money you can. Deal with your Dad. Then meet me back outside Stephens at six.” She cracked a little smile as she spoke, he knew she’d just pictured them heading down some small B-road, doing 50 in a 30 zone. “You know, what’s going to be good, don’t ya babes you know what’s going to be good.” Catherine turns to Stephen as she says this.

“All of it” he replies reaching out for the tobacco that rests on her lap, “It’s all going to be fucking sweet.”

“What’s going to be fucking good is the mornings, all three of us waking up every morning together, me and you in one bed, Danny over in another, under one roof,” she speaks unusually softly, he thinks about what she’s saying as he rolls his own smoke up tightly. “ Every morning, you know and we won’t have to leave each other when we’ve pulled on our clothes, sure we might have to go to work, or something, but that won’t be leaving, that’ll just be for a second, because at the end of everyday we’ll be together. Living together, Stephen that’s some fucking goodness. Me you and Danny,”

He took a deep suck of his rolly, and watched her watching him “Like family,”

“Na, fuck that, do you want another family,” her voice snapped back to normal, “Of course not, the ones we have, are enough to deal with. No we’ll be together all the time. We’ll never be alone, not in anyway,”

“Right, yeah, it’s going to be fucking amazing,” he nodded as he spoke, he could see it now.

“You don’t get it,” she smiled and patted his leg. “Doesn’t matter you’ll see, trust me this is going to be so so very good, we’ll make a happy heart out of you yet,”

Stephen laughed at her harmless condescension, it wasn’t a rarity, Catherine and in his more lucid moments Daniel had inclinations to talk down to their beautiful friend. Stephen shrugged it off; he knew it was a common way of the average looking had of dealing with any kind of physical inferiority complex they might stumble across. He was also happy to admit that his best friend and his girl knew more then he did, not just in their collection of knowledge, but also in their perception of the world. They saw a little deeper, a little further, then he did, or indeed he’d ever want to. If he had a better understanding of his life, and the way it had been lived so far, then he might as well be Daniel or Catherine, the fact that his thoughts were clearer, that his mind was less cluttered and his motives less murky, meant he was able to separate himself from them. He was able to be singular when he needed. Not every action he made could be traced back to the others, the less complex his thoughts the more they were his own.

He watched Catherine tie her shoe laces, her hands appeared strangely small compared to the rest of her body, as if who ever had constructed her hadn’t bothered making the ones which fit her specifications and had instead, decided to grab a spare pair from an broken model. She turned her head and caught him watching once more.
“Put some clothes on, it’s time for breakfast.” She said, as she stood up from the bed, she reached out and found one of his t-shirts on the desk, she threw it at him, “There’s some jeans on the floor, I’ll be downstairs,”

He caught the shirt “I’ll be down in a second,” Catherine blew him a kiss and left the room. Stephen looked around the wreckage, not as bad as some nights he thought, the curtains were still hung, there were no new stains on the wall, or the ceiling, some on the floor, but he didn’t suppose it mattered anymore. That was there last night in here. Here where he’d become reborn after his mother had died, where his friends had nursed him through his simple grief. While his father had been in jail, while his father had been on the benders that proceeded and followed being arrested, Stephen had laid in this bed, with Daniel and Catherine either side, talking to him, playing him different records. Daniel had read to him from his prayer book. Catherine had baked fresh bread. They’d drunk stolen wine, moderately at first then when the sunset each night moderation collapsed under the weight if grief and descended into desperation. Looking around the room, and remembering everything that had happened in the room since those nights, he wasn’t sure if the desperation had ever ended. His grief had, he seldom mourned his mother these days, when she crossed his mind he would roll his eyes either at her, her memory or his own pointless stroll through nostalgia. He’d loved her, but hadn’t really known her, so did not feel the lack of her presence. Maybe in the future he thought, maybe when I’m reaching her age when she died, maybe before then, he’d think about her some more and wish he could have been able to get to know her better. As it was, he was told he looked like her, that he had her grace, and that was probably enough to keep her with him, to be her, or as close to her as he could without giving it any thought. How would he manage to incorporate this into losing his father? Well he could drink more. He could turn silent. He could become a coward. What else? This was all he knew of his father really, there were details, but they were incidentals, and would not carry any substance were Stephen to replicate them.

He pulled the grey t-shirt on, and looked down at the floor for the jeans, they were crumpled in a ball covered in fallen tobacco, which he brushed quickly onto the already filthy bedroom rug.

Once dressed, Stephen headed downstairs. He made his way into the kitchen where Catherine stood over the stove scrambling eggs. “Butter the toast sweetie, before it goes cold,” her hand kept mixing the eggs in with the onions and peppers as she spoke, “I hope you’re hungry, I’ve made a shit load here,”

“I can see that, yeah I’m pretty hungry, do you think I should make some sandwiches for the drive,” he walked over to the opposite counter and took two well browned slices out of the toaster, put them on a pile of four more, and slid two more slices of bread in.

“Nah, we can eat out tonight, our first night of freedom deserves a special treat,” she turned and he felt her eyes in his back, “Don’t you think? A special meal darling,”

“Sounds grand,” and it did, he could see them sitting around a table at a Little Chef along the motorway, eating plates of potato waffles shaped into smiley faces, baskets of bread being devoured with sweet tomato soup, and bottle of cheap imported beer washing the whole starchy lot down. Warm, filling and tasteless. That sounded just lovely to him, he buttered some toast, and glanced over his shoulder and saw Catherine give the eggs, peppers, and onions one last stir before scraping them onto a couple of large plates.

Chapter 10
They’d eaten their eggs, and now Stephen has left to say his bored farewells to place he’d been young, and the father he had never once adored. Catherine now stands
in the kitchen and puts away the last of the dishes, she looks out the window that faced the garden, a rusty swing had toppled over against the back wall, the frame’s paint had peeled to the bone, and the seat cut revealing it’s dark insides. A broken birds nest has fallen managing to tangle itself up in the metal link chains. Catherine closes her eyes for a moment, she feels her chest tighten, the sink tap turns itself on and the plug slides itself in. When her eyes open, the sink is over flowing, a crack is growing across the window, and her back garden has returned to its previous glories. Her brother before he knew how to define love and hate, dancing amongst cinnamon coloured leaves. He pauses for a moment, stares back into the kitchen and continues to twist and turn. Balancing on one foot and then the other, swapping his weight, changing shapes, he sees his shadow, large against the back wall. He moulds it to his fickle will. The green shed is freshly painted and that smell fills the air, out of the shed steps a young Catherine, barely five years old, she watches her brother dance with his shadow and smiles. She stands by his side, begins to mimic him, he extends a hand and they become one ever moving, blackness against the red-bricked wall.

Mrs Jenkins steps across the garden she has come out into the warmth from the cold inside, she makes her way to the centre and sits down on a red picnic blanket. She watches her two children play, they have their backs to her, neither one knows she is watching, but from inside Catherine can see. She has never known this, the pleasure her mother took in watching, watching her son and daughter in the days before they became wild. Catherine knows she has always been hard on her mother because she never felt admired, always assumed that it was something that was lacking. That Mrs Jenkins was unable to admire her daughter, unable to appreciate her beauty, strength and whatever else there’s ever been to admire, is, and in Catherine’s eyes her mother’s greatest failing. The one reason for the distance between them, a daughter need to be admired, and Catherine thinks it’s bullshit to assume that the parent who admires the daughter should be the father. No, the mother can do it. Her mother never seemed to, but in this scene that Catherine can see through the window shows that Mrs Jenkins admired her son and daughter when they were holding hands.

Catherine caught her breath, and turned the sink taps off, the garden was as it was before, rundown and worn, unused except as a pathway to the shed. She checked the kitchen was clean, all the dirty dishes had been put away, the counter wiped clean. She was leaving it as she found it. She left the kitchen behind for the last time, and into the dining room, a table filled with her mother’s files, and sample products. A new hair conditioner Mrs Jenkins was trying to market to middle income women, the type she had become and now resented for not working as hard as she. A large multi pack carton of Strawberry flavoured Milky ways, an empty fruit bowl of fruit and Catherine denim coat. Catherine picks up the coat, glances quickly at the cabinet with its three framed photos, a mother, brother and daughter staring at the same patch of lemon painted wall.

“So long folks,” she turns to leave, and then goes to the cabinet to remove the photo of herself, she stops before the frame has been undone, and settles for turning the thing upside down, then heads upstairs. She doesn’t look at anything else in the house that’s outside her bedroom door ever again, least not really look. Least not the kind of look that can make a girl bleed, and need her mother to love her a little better. Catherine was done with that kind of looking; she was about to leave this house forever. She was going to look for bigger and better things. The kind of things, they talked around in books, and sang around in songs, but were always, always winking towards. She was about to go in search of them, with her boys coming along for the ride. First though she had to fill a couple of bags with things she didn’t want to leave behind.

In her bedroom she rifled through a cupboard and then some draws, throwing the things she couldn’t stand to be without on to her bed. She then worked the floors, where most of her belongings were stored, lifting up the unwashed and wine stained clothes of Daniel and Stephen that they would never see again, and pulling her own out. Holding them in her out stretched arms, thinking about them briefly before either letting them slip from her fingers back to the ground or twirling around and piling them on. Then came her desk, she took her black bin bag and filled it with notebooks, and loose paper covered in her drawings and written down dreams. She wasn’t leaving all this behind for anyone to rifle through and treat as a jigsaw. Her childish thoughts were to be put out for the garbage men to collect.
She knew her boys would be doing the same, Daniel especially destroying any evidence of what he might have seen thought or done, he wouldn’t want to leave any traces of the bad days which might hurt his family were they to catch glimpses of things he’d never be back to resolve. Stephen would worry less about his father, although in truth Catherine doubted how much Stephen had ever recorded outside of his own memory. A diary, did he keep a diary, he’d never mentioned one, and she’d never felt the need to ask, if anything she almost considered herself his diary. At least ever since his mother died, she’d been witness to everything he’d felt since then, every feeling he’d ever expressed anyway. If he couldn’t express it to her, then the chances were high that he couldn’t express it at all.

Bin bag full, she faced her bed, “Look at this shit,” she said loudly, and turned away in disgust, “Where’s that fucking bag?” On top of the wardrobe a thick green canvas bag, which when full rose to well above her waist. She grabbed that, and started to shove what she could in. Shirts, skirts, underwear, jumpers, and jeans all flung with a similar force, some landed in the bag, some made it half way in, when she missed it was a toss up as to whether she would pick it back up and try again. For less then five minutes she did this, and then the bag was full. Her jacket is slipped on and the bag slung over her right shoulder, and out the bedroom door she ran. Down the stairs, and in seconds the front door was closing with a bang.

Crossing the bridge in a blur, refusing to savour any of this goodbye. The three bridges, the river, the rowers whose bodies she would normally stand and admire. Their near perfect muscles with water dripping down, bringing their oars up and down out of the water, muscles with purpose, bodies as machines, four of these bodies in each boat and a runt at the end screaming indecipherable instructions.

Once over the bridge Catherine’s first stop is to pick up the car, A navy blue sierra as old as she, abandoned at the Trent Mechanics and advertised in the window of the chip shop at the end of Daniels road. She’d seen the advert the Friday a week before, and called the next day, before her plan came to mind, she just wanted something to drive. Now it fell in perfectly, with this new adventure.

Trent Mechanics, is a small garage, run by a couple of brothers now reaching their mid forties, both unmarried both living above their office in a two bedroom flat. They rise early and work until early evening, when they head to the Lady Bay pub for a steady 8-pint, they wonder home at closing time. Alternating between stopping at the Chinese, the Indian and the Chip shop, they keep a couple of crates of Skol in their fridge and when they get home they drink about 3 in the morning when they go get their four hours sleep. The brothers haven’t deviated from this pattern in nearly ten years, when two days after his 34th birthday the older brother was left standing at the alter on his wedding day. When Catherine enters the garage forecourt it is the younger one who sees her first, he is leaning against the office door enjoying a smoke break.

“Alright duck, you here for the car my love, we got it all running nicely, it’s a good car that, nice day in it?” as he talks Catherine spots his thin red snake tattoo that runs along his left arm, she wonders what it means to me, was it a drunken dare when he was a little older then she is now. “Well the sun’s out anyhow, you can’t really ask more then that? Now can you? No of course you can’t. Sunshine, cigarettes and you here to buy your self a fine little getting a round machine. Nice day, Yeah?”

“I suppose it is,” Catherine knows he’s enjoying looking at her, and doesn’t mind to much, it makes a change from people looking at her only because she’s blocking their view of Stephen, plus this is a lonely man, she can see that, and if the image of her gets him through one lonely night then she’s happy to allow his eyes to roll around her body. “So the cars ready?”

“Love if you have you got the money, then the car is certainly ready.” He throws the cigarette to the floor, and opens up the office door. “After you chuck,” She walks past him and through the doorway, making sure she brushes up against him a little. A little something tangible, and maybe she’ll stay in his mind for more then one day.

Chapter 11

I have blood on my hands once again three kinds, type who knows. There are three bodies in the room with me; one is still alive she’s making a strange gulping sound I don’t recognise as human. I don’t recognise it at all, it begins as if it wants to be a cough, and slips into the sound of splashing water and end with a relaxing sigh. I would put her out of her misery but I’m standing outside of Christian’s bathroom wondering what to do with the girl asleep on it’s floor. She’s as restful as two of her friends, only she is breathing in and out. Someone has propped her head up with a clean bath towel, and every so often she tries to move herself onto her side but her sleep is too deep, and she merely manages to loosen the bathrobe she has been wrapped in. A bathrobe I’ve worn on many different days. I want to hate her for wearing it so sloppily, with so little care, without realising how important I felt when it was slipped over my shoulders, and I tied the cotton belt tight around my waste.

I turn and make my way over to Rachael who is lying on her side, her eyes wide open both glassy and alive. When I poke her with my right foot blood pours out of her mouth. It spills around my shoe, when I step back I bring some of it with me. Another cracked cough comes out of her throat, another trickle of blood is heard falling from tooth to tooth, a sad sigh, and I stamp down from up high. Bringing my knee to my cheek and crash my foot down on her neck. Which snaps easily, she’s dead now, she seemed as if she had a soul, maybe it’s gone to heaven. Maybe not, but she isn’t suffering in this world any longer. I didn’t want to kill her.

I’d swung at Christian first, using the bottle as an all mighty fist; it caved the side of his skull in. It was easy. He never saw it coming. I think I knew I’d come to kill even before I saw him in his silk underwear, if I was going to start a new life, I had to get rid of any evidence of who I’d been and what I’d done. Some of his skull made it over to Rachael, landed in her hair, as she was doing another line. It seemed to get tangled for a moment then, helped by yesterdays conditioner made it’s way down her hair and onto the glass table just as her nose rose upwards. I don’t know what she saw first, the skull, the dead Christian or her near naked friend throwing herself towards me. Whatever she saw caused her to scream. She continued to scream as I caught Becky by the hair and swung her into the wall behind me, Becky’s head hit the wall first and she staggered back towards me, I moved out the way and she tripped onto the glass coffee table, smashing it into thousands of pieces, the biggest of which I bent down to pick up so I could slash her throat. When I stood up again Rachael was still screaming so I picked the now empty champagne bottle up and headed towards her. She didn’t move which frightened me at first, and then I saw how easy this would be and breathed easy. I swung the bottle she tried to move out of the way but it caught her on the chin, broke her jaw and sent her toppling over the back of the sofa. That’s when the strange gulping began.

I head back into the bathroom and kneel down in the doorway. Watching Amanda sleep, I think of past Christmas mornings when I was younger and more beautiful then I am today. I’d wake first, and find my red stocking from Santa filled with things I’d been asking my mother for since early October. There’d be other presents in there, presents I didn’t know I wanted, but was glad to have. I’d take each gift out and then stuff it back inside. Then head into my sister’s rooms, they’d be soundly asleep, breathing in and out. They had tiny faces, and tiny hands in those days, they wanted to be doctors, they wanted to sail around the world. I’d watch them sleeping and walk over to them, I’d stroke their faces, until they woke, and watch as their expressions changed from confusion to delight as they remembered what day I had woken them from their sleep.

Still on my knees I shuffle over to Amanda, across the clean white tiles that are only coloured by the ash from a spliff she’d been smoking before she fell asleep, the end of which is sitting on the edge of the bathtub that she lies alongside. My legs are aching, perhaps beginning to cramp, but I reach her before they do and sit by her side. Her hair cut short and pitch black, with a sharply angled fringe, that she’s dyed red. Amanda’s flesh is pale, scattered with freckles, so in opposition with her friends fake tans and blond hair it’s hard to believe they are from the same world. My hand reaches to her cheek and a spot of color seems to appear, although it’s probably just the shadow of my hand, it gives her more character in my eyes and I wish we could talk, about anything, we might have been friends under other circumstances. As it is if I wake her, I’d have to kill her even after we talked about the music that touches our soul.
“When I first head it, that song, shit it hits hard,” I say, “I thought it could have been written for me. I was sure it had been,” Amanda nods and smiles.

“Fucking defiantly, I love that song so much. I remember when I first heard it,” Amanda replies. “It made me crawl into a ball, just knowing someone else felt the same way.”

“I just wish he hadn’t tried to go so Neil Young, I mean I love Neil Young, but the stuff Molina was doing with Songs Ohia,” I light a cig as I speak, and offer her the last one from the pack “It was just so so right, I mean timeless and godly but meant for us, meant to take us away, like prayer is supposed to do,”

She takes lights her cigarette, and blows thick grey smoke upwards so it hovers between us, “Yeah, totally, just like prayer, I kinda like What Come after the Blues, “Dark don’t hide it” pulls me to pieces even now.” Amanda taps ash on to her lap as she speaks. “But you’re right it’s not the same, I can’t see him going back to how it used be. Who knows? Maybe he’ll find what he’s looking for, or maybe we’ll catch up with him.”

Of course I don’t wake her, I brush her cheek lightly, and pull myself to my feet. I leave the bathroom, closing the door behind me, and go into the kitchen. I fill the sink with hot water, and take some bleach out from under the sink. Using a scrubbing brush, I wash the blood from my hands, arms, and face. Then realise that there’s blood spattered on my shirt, and jeans. On my jeans it looks like paint, but I take off the shirt and go into Christian’s bedroom. Pull a navy t-shirt from his closet, I put it on and leave. Walking around three bodies I can see what I’ve done, I feel empty knowing it’s so easy to take a life, even one like his that is worth nothing, to anyone. It feels the same as taking the life of two young girls. Surely their lives should be worth everything or at least. It’s all the same, I don’t feel guilty, and I don’t feel powerful. I am not connected to this bloody mess, but I know it is part of me. I am not a viewer of my own actions. I am my action. I don’t know what I am. I leave the flat, run down the stairs, and step out into the bright afternoon sky.

By the time I reach home, Christian’s shirt is covered in sweat, and the bloodstains on my trousers are finally looking like blood stains, Stephen and Catherine are sitting on the bonnet of our getaway vehicle.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Catherine asks, throwing a cigarette to the floor and hopping off the car.

“I had to say goodbye to someone,” I reply and gesture that I’m going inside, “Give me a couple of minutes,”

“No ones in,” Stephen calls out as I reach the front door, “You should write a note,”

“Is that what you did?” I know he hasn’t done anything of the sort. “Did you leave a note telling Daddy you won’t be coming home again?” He shakes his head and lies down on the car.

“Just hurry up, I want to make it onto the motorway before it gets dark,” There’s a tension in Catherine’s voice which is good to hear, she knows this isn’t going to be easy, if she was fooling herself then I’d be concerned but she’s a little scared and that’s reassuring. I unlock the front door, and rush upstairs. It’s easy to pack you’re bag when you want to leave everything behind. You grab some t-shirts, and jeans, a couple of jumpers, and then some underwear; you stuff them into your biggest bag, and then top it off with an empty notepad. You can pick up some pens later; you can always pick up some pens. I scan the room quickly, see a family portrait pinned to the wall, and take it down, stuff it into my back pocket, along with my wallet. I’ve thirty quid in there plus a couple of hundred I took from Christians before I left. Not that it’ll last me long, but we’ll find a way of making some money, it can’t be that hard.


Blogger Sam Spid said...

Dude - 'Westfall' in the house!

I'm really liking this... the characters are peeling away from each other into distinct entities, rather than being this somewhat amorphous mass of sex n drugs n rock n roll, which I was a bit worried that they might continue to be after the first few chapters.

It also feels more controlled and less... sensationalist? in terms of suspense and the sexual horror stuff that was mentioned with regards to the earlier chapters. That lack of suspense is not out of place in the earlier chapters, but to continue sustaining that without pulling back might have been too hard on the reader (this reader anyway). The way you're moving, though, is drawing me in a lot more.

I did find the tense changes from the past to the present a little hard to take... is that a deliberate thing that you're going to maintain, or will you go back and put it all in one tense or the other?

I would say, again, that the language could use some tightening up, particularly in the first couple of chapters - but I wouldn't let that slow you down right now as it's a re-drafting thing. And, that said, many of the descriptive passages seem a lot more transparent than the previous chapters... like you're describing things without being too concerned about drawing attention to some new and beautiful image or clever wordplay, and that really works well.

5:12 AM  
Blogger wally said...

Thanks for the kindness. Always nice to hear.
Honestly the tense changes are pretty accidental, and like you say with re-darfting I'll have to deal with that. Which tense I put them in *shrugs* we shall see.

The tightening of the language, will probably be a problem even in redrafting, as my writing skills are pretty sloppy, and whilst I'll be working on it. A lot of the time I don't see what other folks can see.
If people want to draw my attention to certain parts, it'll be noted with gratitude.

7:50 AM  
Blogger sb said...

What Comes After The Blues, too! .

Characters: I still don't like the characters or identify with them. I don't know why they do what they do. They're like nympho druggies and generally the only time a nympho druggie character is enjoyable is when that character faces a moral dilemma or is going to find redemption or damnation. I don't know there there's a morality floating through this work. I think there has to be. Consider morality a force like gravity. If a character knows the difference between right and wrong the reader knows when the character makes a wrong decision or makes a right decision. If the character doesn't, the narrator can supply the morality by teaching them. In your free-floating universe where these characters exist, the only connection they seem to have is sex and sensuality, drugs, and music. You might actually be right in that regard, and that's the way the world is, but I find it highly discomfiting! My main reaction to this is I want one of them, probably the girl, to go crazy and cut their cocks off. I don't know if I like that reaction! Anyways, even if you don't have a conventional morality or the world these characters are passing through doesn't have a conventional morality, there is SOME kind of morality, something is effecting them beyond their need for drugs, sensual delight, and freedom. You could, of course, attend to this in later drafts if you find you agree with me.

When you do your next edit, attack sentences like this one:

“I am.” Daniel was looking at him with conviction, but Stephen was not convinced.

You don't need the Daniel was looking at him with conviction part. You could simply put: Stephen was not convinced. In the next paragraph there's a bit of a dialogue attribution situation, and I'm not sure who is thinking. It details one of the male character's paranoia. I'm assuming it is Stephen. I love the paragraph by the way, dialogue attribution and char attribution or not.

Here's a reason you've been accused of writing horror:

" He laid the seeds of confidence in people, like maggot eggs along a carcass, nothing in themselves, but soon to devour flesh."

"like maggot eggs along a carcass"?

More sexual horror:

“You need to get yourself a regular boy your own age Daniel, “ Stephen blinked and handed the case back to Catherine. “Not one of these nasty crusty old men whose cocks you wrap your lips around,” His left eye went watery, and streams ran down. Through the blur he saw Catherine duck down towards the case.

“I like not knowing where a cock has been,” Stephen wiped his face dry, as Daniel spoke “Adds a real sense of mystery, with this one, I’d know precisely where it’s been,” Catherine’s head flapped back, she was laughing her nose running, and her hair falling all over the place.

Why is she laughing at this?? This reinforces my hatred of the characters. They're dirty, disgusting drug sexopaths hiding in some room. My feeling here was I hope an ax murderer comes along, looking for some wood to chop.

When she woke up, to the sound of her mother’s car pulling out the driveway, Catherine was immediately envious of departure.

Again wishing Catherine's mother would just put her in rehab and a sex addict's help group. Like the sentences much, though!

Again the characters are always in the bathroom, or fucking, or talking crazy, on drugs. I am somewhat reminded here of the movie Dreamers.

He caught the shirt “I’ll be down in a second,” Catherine blew him a kiss and left the room."

She blows him a kiss when she leaves the room? She'd be more like to rip off her breast and put the bloody thing in his mouth! As you see, you've definitely caused an emotional reaction in this reader! That's pretty successful!

You are more with the story, too! I kinda like it. I am anticipating some horrible fate for these characters. Please. I don't want to critique too many specific parts because this is a first draft situation and no first draft is perfect, and if you start changing one thing you'll start editing other things, y'know.. and then it'd be hard to write an end.

10:39 AM  
Blogger wally said...

I don't think you're ever going to like the characters I write. At least it seems this way. I'm trying to be as not judgmental of them as I possibly can, and I mean that in a judging both for and against way. I'm not setting out to say you have to like them, and nor do I want you to hate them. I love them, but I suspect I'll remain in the minority. I just want to represent them as clearly as possible.

With regards morality, well I think they're going to discover their own. I'm not taking a broad view that the world is immoral, just that these kids are young and whilst some what rejecting conventional morals, it doesn't mean they have rejected the idea of having any at all. THey're in the process of discovery. ALthough don't expect the morality they find to be the same as yours.
There will be no penis chopping. I don't think.

I hear what you're saying about the language, and have taken note of the particualar points both you and Grace have made. I'll rectify those when I start the 2nd draft.

HAHA! the horror, the sexual horror, like I said the other day, I'm seeing it, not as clearly as you seem to but I'm begining to understand where your opinion is coming from. I'm going to try and avoid thinking about it as this story develops, but maybe the next thing I work on will head in that direction. At the moment I'm happy letting it slip out occasionaly if only because it seems to keep you interested.

12:45 PM  

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