Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Home for our Meteors- Prologue and chapters 1-5

The paper was lit, and dropped to the bottom of the bin, hitting a green plastic bottle, burning a hole straight through. Catherine left her open hand above it all, and as she wiggled her fingers the thin lines of smoke headed up towards them. Stephen kneeled at her feet, ripping dry fashion magazines into thin penis shapes. Tanned legs, and tight butts forming the shape of things that they were photo shopped to allure. I ran my chip-greased fingers along the top of my pubic hair, pushing strand after strand until they were all laying flat. Two voices screamed, “hell yeah mother fucker” in the background. I could not tell you if they were coming from the radio or the street below, they did seem happy, as if they’d locked themselves out of the morgue and would never have to go back. I pulled myself up off my pale blue blanket; it’s infested balls of dirt sticking to my thighs. My hands reached towards the windowsill and I looked out.


“Keep still, fucktart!”
“You have a knife, why would I keep still”
“Ste’ you wanted to do this, “
“Yeah and?”
“It’s harder to do with you mincing around”
“Like you.” A pause and I looked over, Stephen naked and bleeding a smile on his face, Catherine covering his dignity, a bloody Pearl Jam t-shirt trying to cover hers. A knife pressed into his stomach listening to his food digest, blood seeping out towards me.
“Honey I love you”
“Catherine, it didn’t really hurt.”
“I know babes, I’m going to pull it across now.”
“Honey, I’m still hard”
Catherine leant down and kissed him, her hair covering their faces but I’d seen them kiss before, the first time I’d been lying on his bedroom floor, flying upwards on something tight, towards the flowered patterns on his wall, which would cloak me. As my friends fucked below me, harder and faster then anyone ever had before. This kiss, was cloaked though so I took out three tiny whites from my wallet, and swallowed them each with a gulp of Curio. My foot twitched as the vodka hit my belly and made its way around the dinner of chips. A scream as the knife pulled across and pushed down hard, Stephens face straining under the bedside light. Catherine's free hand being gripped by both of his.
“I love you, I love you, I love you Stephen”
“I love you too, I love you so much,”
“So fucking much.”
My head began to dry, some cracks appeared and I felt bits fall around; saw my sisters playing ice hockey on the lake near the City Ground. Ears covered by football scarves, cheeks wet with sweat they twist and turn around. They come to halt by the banks, drop to their knees, hands pressed into the snow making prints with purple mittens. Raising their heads they see me, and scream. I’m running towards them with a skipping rope made into a noose, spinning quickly above my head. They take off, sprinting past me, through me? Into the fields, giving chase my lungs burning stoves cooking my flesh for Sunday dinner. I am in a house, the house. It’s full of Jewish women screaming, naked bar the mud on their feet; they don’t see me as I walk around. I can close my eyes and move from room to room until I find the kitchen with the unpowered fridge full of wines and cheese. One woman, who looks like the wife of a john, hands me two glasses and a corkscrew. I pour us some drinks and snap off some cheese, she takes my left hand and places it on her left breast, small and soft. It dissolves. She begins to scream, her friends appear behind her and I am in another room.

“Now it’s my turn,”
“Do we have a clean knife”?
“Don’t you trust me, do you think I fool around on you baby, do you think I’m diseased.”
“Then lie down.”

Catherine flops herself on the floor, the argument was a game, she has so many scars across her belly, little thick ones, mostly long and thin. She’s a regular patient at the hands of Dr Stephen although she’s never had anything removed.

With the edge of the laced curtain tapping the side of my cheek, eye peered out the window, a deserted street hiding behind scaffolding and overturned wheelie bins, I saw amongst the rubbish a broken needle and a copy of Bridget Jones Diary and wondered who was reading such crap. Car lights hit my eyes hard from nowhere and I turned away letting the curtain fall. Stephen was feeding his magazine dicks into the fire; he hadn’t managed to keep down a meal in three days although the only way of knowing would be to smell the stomach acid on his breath. Catherine had walked across the room and was engraving a wish list on the wall, using a chunk of broken glass as a pen. I wanted to smother them both underneath my mattress; they were the best things in my life. They were what I held onto, they were liars, they were cheap, they’d given blowjobs for money, they were in love. I saw from the way they looked at each other that I was the second best person in either of their lives. If one of them died I’d make a life with the other, we’d get clean, become our parents and name our children after saints.

“What are you writing sweetie?”
“I’m writing down the names of all the boys I’d fuck, if you both died.”
“Oh, whose at the top,”
“Ben Gibbard, dude needs cheering the fuck up.”
“Are they all musicians?”
“No some are rock stars”
“Are they all pretty?”
“No some have written books,”
“Whose Cameron Fraser?”
“The boy from Hoxley yard”
“With the giant tongue?”
“That’s him, he’s fuckin beautiful.”
“He’s a retard.”
“Turn some music on Danny, put on a tape please.”

I reached over to the giant record player, stolen from Hoxley yard auction house, with it’s broken record deck, and no cds to play all we used for it were copied tapes we’d managed to acquire. Mostly mix tapes, copies of “Live at San Quentin” “Parklife” and “Mad for Sadness” had all been brought and worn down. I clicked play and a Scottish post pub fuck mumbling filled the room. Stephen had broken off his own piece of glass and was beginning his own list. For someone who was bordering on illiterate his hand writing was a work of art, swirling letters which joined creating nothing but ticks and swirls. He was going to work as sign designer for a giant advertising form, he was going to change the way we think about slogans, and the shapes they create in the back of our minds. He would be the architect for the campaign to sell the finest clothes ever made. He would be worshipped by the beautiful, praised by mighty intellect, and marry into money. He was going to die in this room. There were times when he was astonishing, when his body pressed against Catherine’s in elevators as we headed up the high rise, his nose rubbing against her hair, his chin stroking her gaze. Then there were times like this, faking jealousy to begin with, working his way into the part, eventually he’ll feel it and let is take him over. Eventually he’ll be screaming, all eyes on his navel as he swigs from a bottle of White Light and accusing Catherine of fucking me when he was down the off licence with his bag of change. This red thread of his character was what made him special better then any of us. Not just better then me and Catherine but better then you and your loved ones.

They’d finished with one another’s bodies for a while and were lying in opposite corners of our room. I’d had to cover them in blankets, after fixing their wounds and feeding them codeine and vodka cocktails to take them both down. I am the mother, father, the fucked up ghost. This room I walk in is where I live, it has four walls and two ceilings, yet it covers my whole world, what’s inside it is all that matter, what’s outside is well known but doesn’t count. It just supplies, what we need, when we can afford it. It takes so many other things in return. It cannot take this room. This room is ours. The posters may be crooked, the beds may be uncovered, and there may be overturned ashtrays on the pillows but it is all ours, and the possession of space is vital indeed.

Chapter 1
Catherine paused for a moment above the stairs, standing tall and naked on her tip toes, one arm reaching out, the other balancing against the wall. The rough blue carpet giving her a tight grip on the floor, wishing her mother had gone through with the promise of wooden floorboards. They would have made her slip this second, and the decision to fall would be out of her hands. That was all she wished for, a long life, a long fall, one rich and various in its twists and turns. A fall which was decades long that ended at an old age, where she could close her eyes on her death bed and say she’d seen many thing, and done to many things, but none of them had been choices. The young nurse who sat beside her would ask for wisdom, and Catherine would be able to whisper, “Fall. Just fall”. Her fingers started to slip against the paisley patterned wallpaper and she relaxed her toes, until the only thing holding her was one small finger. With it’s braking nails, and shredded cuticles, the finger trembled under 7 stone of teenage weight. It bucked and flinched in nervous spasm, until it was about to give in.

She couldn’t do it, and released the finger from saviour duty by rocking herself backwards onto the floor, she fell straight and hard for sure, but the distance was short and the pain sharp and quickly forgotten. She stared up at the ceiling, feeling weak and pathetic. Telling herself, that she should have landed on her mothers up turned stilettos. The sharp heel, it should have sliced a way straight through the back of her neck, so that right now, if Catherine had been brave enough, she could look down to her chest, where she would see blood shooting up, and a small black tip of leather poking out from underneath her chin. She was not that brave and did not need to be, she was unharmed, apart from a mild carpet burn on her left bum cheek. She thought about getting off the floor. She thought about pulling herself into a ball and rolling down the stairs. She thought about how small her breasts seemed when she lying down. She thought about her drawings of cartoon dogs, she thought, she thought, she thought. She did not move until she heard a car drive by outside her house. For a moment her body clenched, thinking the car belonged to her mother, thinking that if her mother found her lying here looking dazed and confused, she would be taken back to hospital. It was the wrong music coming from the car though, something Catherine could not name but had a recognisable beat. So familiar with the beat she almost found her feet tapping together to it for a few seconds. The music which came from Mrs Jenkins car did not have a familiar rhythm, it had swirl, it had spiralling string movements, it lasted for a long time, but it did not have a familiar beat. Catherine tried to imagine her mother lying on the floor beside her, with what Catherine imagined as wrinkly breasts, and thick dry pubic hair. Two women, 17 years apart in age, who had slept ten yards and one thin wall apart for 16 years, lying naked, finger tips almost touching, the image rested in the head of Catherine, the same way leaves rest on grass on windless day. Hesitantly, softly, ready to part. The image raised Catherine to her feet. There was no reason to act out the incomplete image, just wait for the best day to ask her mother to help her play the whole thing out. Over dinner one Sunday evening, maybe the Sunday evening before Catherine was too start some job a friend of the family had sorted out for her. Catherine would ask if her mother loved her, and if she did, then the question would be replaced by one about how nice it would be if they could feel more comfortable with one another, and maybe that’s something they could work on. Catherine would smile in between mouthfuls of cauliflower cheese, and say she had the perfect way to start.

With small steps she made her way to her room. Walking in between the doorway her arm took a backstroke and tapped the frame of the door, once for luck and again for fun. The bedroom had been painted ice white, allowing for a clean canvass which Catherine had taken her time to cover, in small black cartoon strips from the same black fountain pen which had written her first suicide note. From the top right hand side of her large double window all around the room where small five by three comic stripes neatly drawn, varying in size, they told the story of her imaginary life since she was 12 years old. Nearly all were filled with quick tales of love, loss and the search for a fall. Only three strips remained, two on the left of the window, just above the ground. She had her plans for those already and had nearly completed the rough work in her note pad. The first was a story of a young woman setting fire to her home and watching it burn from the inside, only for a heavy rainfall to arrive and save her and her home. The morning after, as the young woman walks through the wet charred house, she sees the life that lived in every object she has destroyed. Where they came from, and what they had meant to people, before they reached the place of their cremation.

The second story was essentially a boy and girl romance, they meet in the first frame, in the second they kiss, in the following twelve the new couple try various sexual positions. In the final frame they lie bleeding from the eyes, ciggrettes dangling from their mouths.

Catherine knelt by her window and ran her finger along the naked stick men. Who continued to bump and grind under her finger print. A glance outside and she could see nothing that mattered to her, everything was recognisable but in the same way a service station would be. She could see faces, and make out where the faces became moving bodies, if you asked her, she could say she’d seen them many times before, but no names came to mind. A man went into the house opposite, as he shut the door behind him, he saw her staring down, and waved at his goddaughter. Who dropped to the floor, as the grenade he’d dispatched with his wave crashed through the window. The room exploded, and Catherine felt a burning all along her face as she fell into the gap where there used to be a floor. Her cartoon coated walls smashed to little pieces, falling near and far. Some landing close together, telling a different story, one without a narrative, just a series of images, which only had colours in common.

Catherine Jenkins had been born on the 4th of October 1987, in the Queens medical centre Nottingham, mother Elizabeth Jenkins, father unknown. She’d taken up smoking when she was 13, and 4 years later she was unwrapping her second pack of the day. It’s plastic wrapper damp having been hidden under a wet towel for most of the day, she flicked it to the floor, and sprinkles of water stuttered across the bed. Lighting up she realised that the house had produced no sounds save for her breathing since she’d woken up, and clicked play on the remote for her stereo, the mangled heartbroken voice of Daniel Johnston filled the room. Catherine understood the concept of impossible love, but the Texan made it sound like there was something that separated the lover from the love, she wanted to sit down with the man and explain to him that love was only impossible when the lover, love and loved were all in the same room. That it wasn’t a metaphorical thing, that the impossibility of love was a tangible thing a fourth presence, something which could be touched, tasted and seen with any working eyes. Of course, love in lady bay could be different from love in Austin, she should try to be less judgmental he was obviously a sincere guy, and in the end that was all that mattered. Sitting on the bed she tapped her cigarette ash onto her bare left thigh, then with the index finger of her right hand she smeared the ash, making little pig tail curls to the left, right, and centre. Until she tapped some more ash down. The room was dank and musty, sweat filled bed sheets, centre-piece to a the stale smoke which came from every item of clothing in the room. A pair of Stephen’s stained boxer shots dangled from a bed post, an ashtray over turned in a half full chow mein take out dish, and an open bottle of nail polish remover, all added to the barely breathable air which Catherine enjoyed. She leaned onto her side, and closed her eyes, listened to her heart beating, and the little breathes with which smoke poured out.

She began to see herself controlling the weather across the world, deciding who should have rain, and whose lives would remain dry. She saw herself as sun god, her face a beam of light. She would be benevolent, she would be justified, and she would make those who worshipped her feel connected, and never the victims of a vengeful mistress. They would know in the pits of their feet, whether they deserved a full harvest, and the weather which made it possible, never would they question, never would they curse the skies. In Catherine’s eyes her powers were used as justice, not as punishment, the better a person, the more honourable a tribe, the kinder a cooperation, the greater the rewards. If rain did not come, or if it refused to stop then this would have been deserved. Catherine would have her reasons and the men and women who praised her at the weeks end would never question, they would simply change into the kind of people who should be able to harvest food for their family.

The sound of the doorbell ringing did not shock Catherine, she had been waiting for it, she was surprised by the slowness of her body as she searched her room for clean clothes. Every muscle seemed to be caught in freeze frame, every bone moved to tightly, pulling on her Tullycraft t-shirt seemed to create new invisible bruises and reaching down to pull up her jeans her spine worked against her. When she was fully dressed some life began to fill her body, she left her room with a small spring in her step, and by the time she reached the stairs she was gliding on the tip of her toes, barely touching every second step. Her bare feet still made a loud slap as they hit the tiles of the hallway, three slaps, one for the right, two for the left, before she was airborne again, by the time she switched the latch and pulled open the door. Her smile was broad, and her cheeks on fire, another person any person would be good to see, as long as it wasn’t her mother. At the door was something better then another person it was the most beautiful boy in the world. She knew he would tear her apart over time, and she would return the favour, but for now though for now they were star crossed lovers, form set text literature. She opened the door to her boy Stephen, and with him was Daniel.

She let them both inside. Kissing Stephen as he tucked his hands into hers and then when she saw Daniel was staring at the door mat, and saw his lips mouthing the word Welcome which was written across it, she pulled him inside too.

Chapter 2
I tossed my final match down on to the train tracks it burnt brightly for a few seconds as it twisted in the air. Leaning my back against the wall and watched as Christian appeared from around the corner, hair cut short, his suit designed but unfitted, the pants shaped neatly around his ass and balls. His retro shoes crunching on the loose red brick paving stones, his walk, oh my God his walk. I wanted to know how to walk like that, like he his legs were made with liquid gold, as if no man had put his left leg forward before. If I practised every day after school, if I tried to copy every hip swing, repeat every length of stride, I would never be able to walk like that. He was about five yards away from me when I saw what he was spinning in his left hand, a silver Gucci watch. He was about four yards away, when he began to smile. He was about four when his arm began to bend back. He was two when his arm, was above us both our heads. He was exactly one step yard as the watch struck me. My head jerked back and I felt warm blood along my cheek. He kissed me, and took my neck in both hands, still the watch held in his left, now pressed against my pulse, as his tongue swam with mine in a pool of blood. I must have bitten my lip again. The squeeze around my neck was tight, fingers clamped down and pushing down the skin. My eyes shut tight; the only things from my collar that moved were my lips and tongue, which were being controlled by his. Moving left, moving right, with him, never against him unless asked to supply some friction; the kiss lasted as long as he wanted it, as long as it took to push me down to my knees. The same broken red paving stones, which were crunched by his feet, now began to dig through my skin, I felt dampness soak through my jeans, rain, blood or maybe I’d cum to early, it was hard to tell as I took his cock between the teeth, He pushed himself as deep as he could my neck bent back before I could begin to roll my tongue along the base. Freshly sprayed CK burnt my eyes, he pulled back, why he ever forced was beyond me. All he had to do was ask and I would do as I was told. My head moved back and forth, my neck still sore, his fingerprints had been stored there long ago, but the fresh prints would take days to sink, unless they were painted over by the bruise. I would wear a scarf, nobody would say anything, and they’d be silent as he was now except for the occasional groan. As I ran first tongue then lips up and down him. It was nearly a year since he’d first told me how he liked this, how he always asked the girls to do it and how they always failed. He’d said that I wasn’t going to do anything with my life, so I should at least master the craft. The forgotten craft, of sucking him off. My mouth was too small, he said, and teeth to large, in the first few months he said I was trying to peel his skin off, so he set me a regime of mouth exercises, and stretches to do every evening. Six months later, doing half term, he said my mouth was now the perfect size. My teeth were still too large, but if we still together by Christmas he would pay for an orthodontist to file them down. For now though the tips of my big teeth were touching his balls. My head slowed it’s movements, right down, you see as much as he liked friction, as much as he liked to opposable forces going against each other, as much he liked to win, when victory was obvious, he wanted to enjoy the seconds before. So as I slowed down, he relaxed, little thrust, little bob, baby thrust, baby bob. We were in sync, both wanting one thing. His cum in my mouth when his hand began to twist my hair, began to pull it from its roots. I knew he was ready. I gave one last lick along the shaft, helping things along. Warm. It was so warm. When he let go of my hair, sucked up all traces, and as he pulled himself out and away I slid back until my head rested on the wall. My eyes shut until I heard his footsteps disappear back around the corner.

When I knew he was gone I lifted my lids, and wiped my lips with the palm of my hand, a small drop of cum stuck to the middle, dead centre of my lifeline. I smeared it up and down, covering every day of my life. I stood, licking the stick from my teeth. Reaching in my pockets for a cigarette, looking in the direction he’d arrived and then left. I went the other way, along the unused train tracks, up and over the stream, jumping from rock to rock. Clamber up the slippery bank; duck underneath the sycamore tree, and into the football field. Filled with strong legs, warm tight thighs, I paused, scanned the scene, blinked as I looked for somebody I might recognise, then when I could see no one was there, headed off along the woodchip path way leading to a broken gate, which would either swing wide open or fall off it’s hinges. I opened it just enough to slide through and ran the hundred yards to my home. Dad was in the kitchen, making eggs and bacon, because that’s what he does on Sunday morning, three eggs four rashers of bacon, couple of slices of burnt toast and on every first Sunday of the month he adds black pudding, lots of rich back pudding. He misses his meat; a house full of vegetarians has taken its toll.

I stand in the doorway, his back is to me, he knows I’m there, he wants me to say something, start the conversation, rather then just end it. I try to remember why mum said she fell in love with him, his eyes, his ass, his smile, it couldn’t have been any of them, as they are older versions of mine, and no one could really love, my eyes, my ass or my smile. When I close the back door and head upstairs, he shouts
“Get ready for church”
“I’m not going.” I reply, although I am, and we both no it. I’m the only one in this house who admits to believing in God, so naturally I hate going to church with a bunch of hypocrites and blood kin. My God is a Catholic god, and as such is exactly what the headlines say, vengeful, violent and gay. He regrets creating you, but not as much as he regrets making me. I am the mistake that has only just begun. You will be dead before I am done. As I got to the top of the stairs, I heard my sister Alice and her boyfriend moaning in her bedroom, my mum flushing the toilet in the bathroom and my other sister Caroline singing along to the Buffy musical soundtrack. Alice’s boyfriend gave it one more with feeling as the bathrooms plumbing ground to a halt, and I went into my room, collapsed on the beanbag and took out a cigarette, lit it and turned on the stereo, begging Will Scheff to sing to me. I looked around the room, the floor covered with unfinished and up turned paperbacks. One for every day of the last ten thousand weeks, t-shirts beneath them and CD cases laid upon them, a trifle of teenage angst, a trifle of a life, covered in rolled up cig buts, and stinking ash. A bottle of wine still half full sat on my desk. I crawl across my bedroom desert to reach for the green glass, when I remember I have Dexedrine underneath the Tullycraft record Catherine left on Friday night. My eyes scan across the room, and I drop back down to the floor, drinking slowly, playing I spy the twee wee vinyl ass of the Seattle lovelies. It’s next to me of course resting between a speaker and a pillow. I pull the sleeve out from the cover, and two white pills play knock knock with the wooden floor. Scoop them up, blow away the dust and drop them down, wash them away with unholy wine. When Mum knocks on the door. I hide the bottle behind the speaker.

“Yeah, come in Mum” she does and looks as tired as ever, still smiling, in case if she stopped she might beat me senseless. Dressed in a cream suit, and carrying a pack of Dorchester menthol Superkings, I wonder if she’s ever been hit in the face with a silver wrist watch. Probably not. Probably not that kind of lady.
“Your Dad says you’re not coming to church.”
“Of course I’m coming, I have to keep you hypocritical heathens in line.” She smiles, crooked yellow teeth, the one thing she’s never really worried about. Dad calls it them the physical manifestation of all her faults, I call it shitty dental hygiene, but can see his point. She is always immaculately yet unattractive because of those teeth, just as she is a good person with a twisted soul. She goes to church twice a week, and makes love to my father when they go away for long weekends, she takes care of her three children, and works to hard, but she never loves, she never has, I know this because she tells me this. She writes me letters every so often and leaves them under a pillow like children leave teeth, expectant of a reward for the bravery, the pain it took to make this offering. I don’t leave money for my mother, I leave lies, tell her god loves her, and all her sins will be forgiven.

She turns the sound down a little on the stereo, telling me “We’re leaving in ten minutes,”
I nod and blink and inhale hard, she shakes her head and smiles at my false petulance. She leaves calling ten minutes as if it’s a war cry, and forgets to shut the door. I reach out with my right foot and slam it shut, reach over the speaker and pull the bottle back to my lips, flicking the other pill into my mouth. I hope this keeps me awake, I’ve been up this Saturday morning and I’m meeting Stephen and Catherine once mass has ended, so I’ll need some energy to deal with them. Two twin teenage soldiers gone stir crazy in the same heart, for the last three years the battles have been escalating, Moving around one another, delivering heavy blows to rib cages, back bones and groins, unsubtle in their meaning they’ve turned away from most of the world, and into each other. Same gestures, same clothes brought in pairs, when they take a break from one another they lose the colour in their cheeks, maybe their breath stops reaching the air. Don’t let me fool you, into thinking they are identical in every way, they’re not. As long as you accept the assertion that everyone is essentially the same other then superficial differences, and my children, my friends, my hands to hold life, have plenty of differences. Stephen is a peacock, fit and he knows it, he judges the flesh the same as the world, if he likes what he sees, it’s all he needs to know, and when he looks into a mirror, wooah, he likes. When the world sees his reflection they like to. Chalk skin, and dark eyes, big and warm have fooled many into feeling loved, lusted after and wet from groin to knee. His hair thick, flopping wherever the wind blows, advertising some shampoo whose name we’ll never know. That’s all the clichés you need to know for now, just be warned don’t look him in the eye, he will break your heart, don’t trust him when he says he loves you. He is Catherine’s, and she is his. She is also the girl you used to see in woodwork, carving Kurt Cobain ate my baby into a wooden pencil case. She’s the girl who broke Mr Danube’s nose with a rounders bat when he turned her down. She’s the girl you buy your weed off, she is my oldest friend and I love her. When we were moved from English Martyrs Primary to The Thomas Becket High School, we lip synched to the Mamas and Papas and raced bikes around Trent Lock water sports centre, her on her Mum’s bike and me on my ten speed racer, she’d win and still have time to push me in the water when I finally reached out finishing line. By the end of the first year I was hiding in the drama room, writing love songs to boys I didn’t know, whilst she made me money letting boys touch her tits. It was a brief parting, when Stephen started in our second year, we both fell in love with him, I sent him the love songs, she let him touch her tits for no charge. He said he’d already fucked 5 girls and let one Butlins Redcoat suck him off. He told us he liked us both and wanted to show us things. We just had to come over to his house on the last Saturday night of the school year. Apparently his Dad was taking his girlfriend to a skiing resort, and the house would be empty, along with 8 boxes of wine.
If we were to make an impression on him, Catherine and I had to join forces. We spent the week before hand practising out kissing, for me a first kiss since my second cousin Harriet had stuck her tongue down my throat at after my Gran’s funeral. It had tasted sticky like peanut butter, and the smell from the crematorium was still under my nose. Kissing Catherine wasn’t much better, she flicked her lips along my cheek until she reached my mouth, when she grabbed my hand and put it on her left tit, we held that position, before she got up yelling, “you got to move motherfucker”. We practised every day before and after school in her bedroom, with its pastel wallpaper and tie dyed curtains. Her brother Nick in the other room making the house smell of pot. We kissed and we kissed, until we hated one another. This is when she’d yell, and I’d cry, then we realised we had to work together, so started kissing again. Anyway five days of this and we felt pretty ready, so on Saturday afternoon Catherine came over to help me pick out some clothes, deemed it all an embarrassment, and dragged me to hers where she gave me her brothers combat jeans and nirvana hoody, I disappeared beneath it all as her brother was a foot taller then me, and I imagine he still is. We left her house at six pm and followed the directions to Greenacres caravan site, where we saw our boy coming out of the shower building with a towel wrapped around his waist,

Chapter 3
Stephen watched his father dress slowly, the old man’s hands shaking as each button was fastened, sweating desperately already, body clenched; ready to vomit some more. It wasn’t like looking into future’s window, despite what everyone said, Stephen didn’t feel like the spawn of this half man, he barely felt related to the dumb fuck. A thirty six year old who never got laid, who beat off under his blankets, while his son lay reading at the other end of the caravan. A half Polish, half Irish illiterate, who’d been cuckolded by half the town. How could it ever be said that Stephen O’Keefe was anything like his half-wit of a father Joseph. Sure slow Joe was a handsome man but he didn’t know what to do about it, he still blushed when holidaymakers flirted with him, he still had trouble forming sentences when anyone directed conversation his way. The only women, Stephen had ever seen Joseph talk to sanely; without a bottle of whiskey already drunk, had been both their mothers, since those women died two years ago, one month apart from one another, everything dear father had said had been slurred or unheard.

Daniel had pointed out that if he Joseph hadn’t been Stephens father, then he’d have been incredibly hot, and deserving of a blow job. Stephen knew that Daniel thought every guy deserved to get his cock sucked by Daniel Hunter, but that didn’t make the comment any more ridiculous. To Stephen attractiveness, and to be deservedly adored was not only down to how the body was formed, it was how it moved, how it’s owner used it to bring pleasure to others, When the pleasure was simply visual then it was undeserved, the body has to give a little to all the senses. This is what Daniel did not know, but to Stephen it was an ethos, he wanted to smell, taste, feel and sound as good as he could. Not in a fashion show way, not like the blank empty faces of televisions top fifty nymphets, but in a way that was musical, full of passion and soul. He looked away from his father and down at his torso, groin and thighs, they were pretty to be sure, well shaped, with a nice constant color, none of his fellow teen boys blotchiness, but that was all entirely natural, the result of his fathers catholic beauty and his mothers gypsy womb. He heard his fathers fingers go down his throat, and the wrenching of a man who should die.

Stephen looked out the window and watched some girls go by, on their way to sail some boats along the river. They were both nineteen and had offered to fuck him senseless the night before, they’d been drinking their alchopops in the city bars and had staggered into the sites reception at about 3 in the morning. Catherine had left about half an hour before, so Stephen knew he could have gotten away with it, even if she had guessed by the look in his eyes, she’d have let it go, knowing that he loved her. He had of course turned them down, there was something hateful about the two princesses. Their sense of entitlement to fuck the staff, of a caravan site they stayed in but looked down upon. The way they smelt of expensive perfume, despite having been on the piss all night. The fact that they’d leant over the reception desk like they owned it and everything they saw, and the way they expected to get him worked up just because their push up bras said so. He’d offered them a smoke in reply to the offer, they said after, he said he had syphilis, they said so have we. He had told them to take their clothes off and they had done. Quickly, desperately, giggling all the time. When they stood naked, proud to be so full of adventure, they asked what he was waiting for. He’d risen from his seat and looked them one after another in the eye. He dropped his gaze to their chests, and them down to their matching shaven vaginas. The girls began to shiver in the cold, and he saw that they were getting nervous the longer he left them waiting, but they didn’t get dressed they didn’t tell him to fuck off, they just stood, waiting for a sixteen year old to make a move.

Stephen watched them disappear out of the caravan park, once they’d gone out of view, he began to cry once more, the same tears as had flown the night before. His father was now boiling some water on the stove and searching the cabinet for a jar of instant coffee. Stephen pulled his bed sheets over his head and tried to dry his eyes.

“Where’s the coffee? Stephen, Stephen I can’t find the coffee,”
“We don’t have any?”
“You mean you drank the last”
“I mean I mean, I’ll go and get some from the office”
“I’ll get it.”
“It’s fine”

Pulling himself out of bed he noticed a large bruise on his arm, Catherine was fierce. Jeans pulled on, and they felt to tight. Jumper picked up and he squeezed past his father who stood staring at the bubbling water. As he opened the door Stephen grabbed Joseph’s lighter and Bensons, shook the packet and pulled the one that got loose. Jumping out the door and landing on the sand gravel his feet recoiling as the cold dirt pinched into his skin, his skin had refused to toughen despite 16 years of the same. Hopping across onto the grass, he lit his cig and looked around for site patrons, it wasn’t just the sexually eager who wanted to waste his time, it was the moms and dads who wanted to know when the pool would open, it was the kids wanting him to fix the pool table, it was the old couple in number 32 who wanted him to cut his hair. No one was around though, Sunday morning hangovers keeping people bed ridden, making his way to the office. He paused as ever to stare at the ghastly mural his mother had painted on the shower block, essentially a six foot by seven vagina, with two green eyes. She said it expressed her soul. Stephen said he thought it expressed something else and that either way he wished she’d shut them both. Then one day she finally did.

April the fifth 2003 her body had been found, on the Lady Bay sports field, throat slashed and naked, she hadn’t been sexually assaulted so the police suspected Joseph and had held him for two days questioning until a witness stepped forward saying she’d been in a city bar with Joe at the time of the murder, in fact she’d been on a crawl with him for the six hours either side of time of death. So he was released and whilst there was no replacement suspect, no one really believed he could have done it anyway. Not silent Joe, he was a little creepy but far too drunk and probably wouldn’t have the brains not to leave any evidence behind.

Stephen unlocked the office door, and stubbed the cig out on the back of his hand, he turned on the lights and the drinks machine, light bulbs flickered as he headed to the kitchen. The clock said it was nearly 10, so Daniel would be on his way back from church and Catherine would be waiting for him. They’d planned to fuck all day, as her mother and brother were away, but Daniel had been acting out again, he’d been hooking up with Old Yuppiecock again, and this was a piss poor sign of things to come. So Stephen had told Daniel to come with him to Catherine’s, they’d get drunk and maybe drop some pills, Catherine would be disappointed for a second, but they had their whole lives to kill each other, one sexless spring Sunday wasn’t going to be missed. It was more important to keep an eye on their friend whom, they both knew, worked in cycles, for three months he’d look after himself, behave as they did petulant, drunk and selfish, then as if some religious fervour had taken hold he would snap and for the next three months he’d be a trying to burn himself out. Bouncing between semi-consciousness and semi-abusive men, talking about the future as if he’d seen it written. He needed taking care of, and Stephen was the one who had to do it, him and Catherine anyway. They couldn’t stop him from doing anything, but they could distract him, give him somewhere to be, make enough to noise to drown out the sounds in his head.

No coffee here either, he slammed the cupboard door shut and began to clean up the mess he’d made the night before, red wine vomit, a smashed Garfield mug, and a sink full of burnt newspaper headlines. Joseph would wonder down soon, and although he wouldn’t mention any of the mess he’d use it as an excuse to pour his first drink. The kitchen took ten minutes to clean. The office was fine. Opened the safe, filled the till, helped himself to ten pounds, sat down, pretended to check the bookings, smoked another cigarette. Waited. When there was nothing his mind could rest on Stephen began to attack himself, list the five things he hated most about himself, two or three inches not tall enough, arrogant, dismissive of everyone outside his friends and family, lacking ambition for anything, and a thief. The only way for him to counter this was to list the things he loved about himself, and that always took to long, and made him desperate to be inside Catherine. To just be with her would be enough, to be alone with her that is, he knew he had to start forgetting Daniel was in the room when the three of them were together. What better way to distract him then to put on a sex show, it might be nasty vulgar straight sex but the novelty value alone would be better then TV. Stephen told himself to bring it up with Catherine, if they could relax enough and trust Daniel, it shouldn’t be a problem. They’d filmed themselves fucking, what was the difference between their friend and a camera. Since Daniel had in the last two years fucked more people then Catherine and Stephen had combined, Stephen reasoned that perhaps the third wheel might have some pointers.

Joseph walked into the office; hedge trimmer under his arm, without saying anything dropped the trimmer on the desk and went into the kitchen. Stephen listened as his dad found no coffee in the cupboard and opened a can of White lightening instead. He got up from the chair and unscrewed a bolt from the trimmers engine; he wasn’t going to worry about his father losing a finger today, even if he had nothing else on his mind. He slipped the bolt into his pocket, wiped oil off his fingers and left the office quickly. There were now a couple of people around the site, a kid about 12 years old setting up a swing ball set round the side of his family’s caravan, and the old man who hated long hair on boys. The old man waved as if to summon Stephen but was ignored, as Stephen began his short walk to his friend.

He crossed the sports field, filled with the assholes finishing up their idiotic games, he flicked a finger at a pair who decided to yell some gibberish. He jumped the gate, and lit another cig, realised he had stolen Joseph’s pack, and thought briefly of taking them back. Joseph would be flummoxed as to where they would have gone, and if he didn’t have another pack hidden somewhere would attempt the thirty minute walk to the off licence, which meant he’d spend another days pay on whiskey and cider which he didn’t need as he had enough to knock him out cold tucked underneath his bed. Although Stephen never really worried about where their next meal would come from, he was concerned about his father’s ability to eat it. There was only one way to leave that fear behind, and that was to get the fuck out of that caravan, get the fuck out of the town, away from the places he knew, so he wouldn’t have to bury Joseph.

Chapter 4
She watched her boys go up the stairs. Did they know they walked to the same rhythm? Did they know how hard it was becoming for her to tell the difference between them? More importantly, was she to become indistinguishable from them? Unable to see her own walk, she couldn’t judge whether she fell into their rhythm.

She closed to the front door and followed them both up into her room. When she walked in, Stephen was already laid flat out on the bed, staring up at her when she walked in, holding out a pack of cigs. “No thanks; I’ve got my baccy.” He threw the pack over at Daniel, who was staring out the window; Daniel's hand flicked back and caught the flying pack before it hit him. Catherine watched as he took out a cigarette and lit it; she thought of the first time they shared a pack in this room. Washed down with stolen cans of Stella, Daniel had drank easily. It didn’t seem to effect him, but the smoking had; he'd coughed his way through 10 cigs, and looked disgusted by every single drag. Now, six years later, he had the affection down pat.

“Daniel, there’s a cut on your neck,” she said, knowing she should have kept her mouth shut.

“He still can’t shave properly,” Stephen tried to cover. “I taught him all he needed to know. Still my boy doesn’t know how to do shit.”

“What do you need to shave for? You barely have enough body hair to cover your little toe.” Catherine turned to him and crawled on to the bed; Stephen tried to lean forward and kiss her, but was pushed back down.

“You want to fight, hon? You know it never ends well,” he said in a movie script drawl.

Catherine was heavier and stronger than both her boys; she was always confident she could take them both, not that she really ever wanted to, but Stephen was always egging her on, trying to flare up her violent temper. She took her left arm and dropped it shoulder first on his chest.

“Badly like that?” she smiled. Stephen winced but grinned back. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that Daniel was watching. No expression on his face: whether he was working out where he should sit, what he should say, or just where his life would end, Catherine didn’t know. She knew he didn’t seem too bothered. Even when Stephen’s right hand went up and underneath her shirt, Daniel remained blank, his brown eyes blinking occasionally.

“You think you’re pretty tough, don’t you babes?” Stephen was holding his grin as he spoke, but she knew he was in some discomfort. She only weighed about ten stone, but her lover was a slender thing, just less than six feet. He had some muscles but they were for moving, not carrying weight. He could move them, make them do all kinds of things, but heavy lifting wasn’t in their design.

“I know I can beat you,” she eventually replied, leaning harder into his chest, smiling, then kissing him. “But I won’t.” She released her weight, and twisted around until she was sitting on the side of the bed, Stephen's hand still undershirt, but now caught up stroking her back. “Could you stop that?” She felt him sit up behind her and lean his head into the side of her neck. “No, I can’t,” he said, kissing her cheek, running his lips along until they reached the top of her spine. “You’re too beautiful, Catherine,”

“Go to the offy, Stephen. I need something to drink,” she said as she pulled a piece of skunk out of her sock draw. “Some vodka, and fruit juice.” He rolled his eyes and collapsed down on the bed. “I’m comfy here,” he whined.

Daniel spoke for the first time since he reached the room. “I’ll go.”
“No, me and you are going to talk.” Catherine burnt the brown block until enough could be scraped off. “We’ll smoke this, and I’ll give you shitty advice.”

“I want some shitty advice.” Stephen was reaching over to drop his cig in a coffee mug.
“Go!” Catherine snapped. “Please just get us something to drink.”

He pulled himself up off the bed, but not without giving her a little kiss on the back. Just with that she felt shivers, a goodbye kiss, and now she wanted him to stay; she wished that Daniel had not turned up at all; she wanted Stephen naked.

“Give me some money then, I didn’t bring anything,” Stephen said as he ran his hands around his head.

Daniel started to laugh, his quiet dirty laugh, which Catherine wasn’t sure if it was made of phlegm or cum. Either way it was something she didn’t hear enough of during these downwind cycles Daniel so often disappeared into. “You stole something from the till, Stephen, you always do.”

“Fuck Danny, fuck. I’m trying to make some money out of my girl,” Stephen pouted, poking his finger at his accuser. “You are no help at all.” Catherine watched her beautiful boy go, lighting another cig as he left. “Don’t smoke in the fucking hallway,” she screams after him. “Mum hates that shit, and she’ll be able to tell too. He knows it, the fucking ass.” Daniel smiled, his laughter gone now, hiding back behind his eyes. She rolled the spliff up slowly and watched him as he walked from the window to her desk and then back again. He gave a backwards V to Stephen as he ran off down the street. His back was to her once more; his arms reaching forward, his hands pushing against the glass. If the lighting had been better he would have been a silhouette. If my mind was better, thought Catherine, it’d be able to read his. We wouldn’t have to bother with an extended Q and A; we could sit and smoke this thing in silence.

As she licked the paper, she rose to her feet. As she sealed it closed, she took the three steps towards him and leant in to his back. Stephen moved his arms back around and with one took the joint and with the other pulled her head so it rested on his shoulder. She listened to his breathing, and heard the lighter open a flame and heard him inhale. “Love you, Daniel,” she whispered. “Talk to me.”

He did not reply, and she closed her eyes, beginning to fall inside him, where she felt rain on her cheeks, where she saw fire all around. A small forest, a bright white cottage at its heart. She listened for the sound of his breathing, followed it towards the cottage’s front garden. His breathing was heavy, and she knew he was close by. She looked to the cloudy sky, and then left and right fierce fires attached to nothing were all around her. When she looked down she saw Daniel underneath the ground, alive, smiling, pointing at her. She came out of him, gasping, back in her bedroom.

“What the fuck was that?” She staggered away from him and onto her bed. He was turning towards her spliff between his lips.

“Catherine?” He was staring down at her, as blank faced as ever. He spoke in a whisper, words tumbling out: “Honey, what’s wrong? You’ve gone pale. Paler than usual. Fucking hell darling, you’re shaking.” He crouched down beside her. Catherine could see his eyes were filling up; seeing her distressed had always seemed to hurt him. She raised her trembling right hand and brought it to rest on his cheek, and she began to wipe the tears from his eyes with her thumb. “I’m okay Daniel, just weird bit of déjà vu.” He took her hand from his face, and held it, squeezed his fingers around her chubby scarred palm. They stared at one another for a while, letting breaths meet, hoping the silence would calm them down. Catherine looked at him for any sign that he knew what she’d just seen, but he just look concerned. Had he really not seen her, slip inside of him?

The door swung open and Stephen wandered in, a bottle of Kirov vodka in one hand and a large carton of Five Alive in the other. He took one look at them and exclaimed, “Pity party, is over, we have drinks! We’re going to get drunk, then high. If one of you lovelies put some music on, we may even dance.” He dropped the drinks on the bed. “I’m going to get some glasses.”

He darted back out of the room, and Catherine stood up. She’d managed to stop shaking but her legs were unsteady; she staggered forward. Daniel grabbed her by the waist, and held her. “I’m good, you can let go now.” He didn’t let go; instead, he brought the side of his head to rest on her ass. She couldn’t see him, and it made her uneasy. She didn’t want to move him, she didn’t know what the hell was going on, but if he needed to rest there for a moment, if it brought him some comfort, then she’d let him rest. She reached down and took the spliff from his hand, she took a long drag, and as she exhaled, he released his hold.

“Sorry.” He couldn’t even look at her as he said it. She smiled down. “It’s okay, darling, but you should get up,”

By the time Stephen came back into the bedroom, Daniel was sitting on the bed, crossed legged, taking nice long tokes, and she was skipping through some of the Oranges Band tracks to find “Evil’s where you want it to be.” Catherine found her song, and turned to see Stephen grinning as he poured out the drinks.

“This is more like it. We just need to relax for once.” He sounds as if he almost believes that, she thought.

“Hurry up baby doll, I need a drink. Smoke's making me dizzy,” she said as way of reply.

He handed a glass to Daniel first, filled to the rim, half and half. Catherine watched as Daniel took it to his lips and drank slowly, steadily until it was quarter and quarter. When she was handed hers, she did the same, only until it was empty; then she handed the glass back, just as Stephen was beginning to drink his own.

“Again please.” She was going to get drunk, or at least get what she had seen out of her mind, whatever she had seen. “I’m so fucking thirsty, Stephen.”

“Clearly.” He took her glass. “Well when we’ve drank this, someone else can go for the next bottle. I’m sure they were going to ask for ID, it was only because some shit head was trying to steal some fireworks that they didn’t.” He poured another drink out, first the vodka, then the fruit juice. She watched his hands as they held glass and bottle; they were more delicate then either. A flash from the 's lighter made her turn in his direction. She saw he was watching the same hands; she heard him thinking the same thoughts. She heard him think they could be broken. She wanted to believe that Daniel planned to protect them, as they tried to protect him.

Stephen’s voice came back into her mind. “So if I was going to be a lead singer, would I need low self-esteem to begin with, you know, to make it worthwhile? I mean, is their any reason to lay my soul open, if it’s not going to get me laid?”

“I don’t think it works like that,” Daniel replied, but Catherine was no longer looking at him, her friend, or Stephen. She was looking back behind the vodka bottle, at a small cartoon, depicting a woman being tied to a stake and set on fire.

“Well, don’t you think it should work like that?”

Chapter 5
I am Catholic. I don’t believe in Catholicism. I believe in communal worship. Why scream in solitude when you make so much more noise with friends. So when I leave my church, no matter that it is covered in the faithless and heavens brochures, I myself and filled with every last gasp, every first moment of wisdom, all gods’ people have ever known. My fingers will tremble; my arms give over to an invisible shake. I feel love, and loved by my father. It’s the voices that do it. The voices screaming out, begging for salvation. That the voices belong to people driving Volvos, that they live in pleasant houses, does not take their power away. They are human and they make me feel human.

So as I walk home, ahead of my family, who are slowed down by noisy gossip and honest sporting claims. I let myself be a person, who needs no one, other then every single person who has ever been. I’m not claiming to be attached, or connected to them all, or indeed anyone, but I feel their existence, along edges of my calloused feet, as they skim over the pebbled stones, that line my hometown streets. My hometown, or at least my part of it is not noble or worthy; it’s a bastion of moderate liberalism and art deco furniture. People here have secrets, but they are decent. Young families, social workers, heavy drinkers during the holidays, great lovers in their youth, the men and women who make up the neighbourhood are the people you want your children to grow up to be. They are the people they want their children to grow up to be. Something happens though, as if only one generation of each family can live this way. The adults of this little suburb, they are first generation middle class, the parents followed Thatcher’s example and put their children through university. Now the children are living a life the parents gave them, but the children of the children, they resent it. I resent it, my sisters do. Their friends, and my friends. We want to leave it all behind. So we sink, or we try to. It’s not easy to go down, when people are holding onto your ankles, some of us will find a way. Others will become something else entirely. They won’t become the rulers. They’ll become the men and women who enforce the rules. This besides the point, the point is I’m walking home, and I’m touched to be so blessed, not just to be living amongst such fine people, but to be amongst all people.

I turn a corner at turn onto my street once more, Long Moore Road. I’m coming it at from a different direction now. My back is towards the city, and towards the country, not leaving one and heading to another, I am just in between, From this direction, this angle I see things differently, the morning has reached afternoon, so the sun is shining a little brighter and the clouds have fallen away. The rain that fell last night is drying, although the Edwardian houses which everyone here lives in are glistening, like the sweating bodies of non-worshippers coming to the end of their morning run

The sweet smell of tandorri chicken fills the air as I reach my house; it’s the first Sunday of the month so the Patel’s are having their extended family around. By early evening the street will be overwhelmed with curries and spices. Some will complain, some will pop around and see if there’s anything going. Dad will ask for some Vikram for some new recopies and spend the week in our kitchen trying to replicate some dish. It’s a good thing, something I marvel at really, not just when I feel so filled with love, but every day I see him, his urge to recreate the food of his student days. Recreating his youth with out the aid of a sports car or teen porn. I see Stephen throwing stones at my bedroom window, and nothing is clear.

“Daniel, I thought you were up there. Having a wank.” He shouts this, and I know why I love him. He’ll never be wanted by the people who live in these streets. He might be the son of a killer. He is the son of a whore. He doesn’t care about what they think of him though, happy to be kind and polite, if that’s how he’s feeling, but he won’t check the things he says to make them feel at ease, and he doesn’t expect them to either. It’s just brutal honesty, between the two tribes, competing for my future, oh how foolish they both are. I love him though. I am in truth still in love with him. His whole body. I could have had it. It could have been mine. Maybe it still could be.

“ Nope.” I reached out and took the pack of cigs he was offering, brushing my fingers along his. “You knew I was going to church.”

“Yeah, just thought, never mind, man you look like you’ve been crying.” I reached up and felt for tears, he was right, I had been, my face was damp “You take all that shit way to seriously Danny. Come on we’re going to Catherine’s.”

“Are you sure she wants me there? Isn’t this your fucking time.” I knew he’d say no, but I couldn’t help but ask.

“All we have is fucking time. We don’t have to fuck our way through it all, so just come on.” He took my hand and led me back down the street, like a mother and child we walked for a while. Every so often he glanced back and smiled, it gave him pleasure to take care of me. In his eyes I was in need of protection, someone who knew the rules but forgot them so often. So had to be guided away from the punishments that came from breaking them. If this is the impression I gave him, that I was someone to be pitied then it was not my intention. His beauty often overwhelmed me, and how could I tell him that the things I did when we were apart, were preparation. He wouldn’t be able to understand, I barely understood myself.

Once we left my Lady Bay neighbourhood and began to cross it’s bridge, he released my hand and dropped back alongside me. I took another cig from him. Cleared my throat. “You just do that to make people watch,”

“Nah, it’s because it gives you a chance to look at my ass,” he smirked as he said this and slipped a cig of his own between his lips. “I know how you like to watch me, if other people want to watch to, well I couldn’t care less,”
He’s right of course, I’ve admitted as much already, I love watching him, and of course he doesn’t care too much whether strangers are watching him. His life is not a television show. If he’s performing at all it’s for my benefit, or his own, or Catherine. Who do I perform for?

As we cross the bridge I look down the river, into it, it was filled with bodies and lost minds, when we children we’d tell each other it’s where we’d come to die. My sisters and I would stand along the bank, side by side. We’d take turns searching for the shapes of bodies being made by the current. If a trout swam by we’d know that someone was about to die. This would happen around about this time every Sunday, our parents would send us off after church. So they could make love on the kitchen floor. For two hours we had to keep busy, and most of that would be spent telling the stories of the lives the water had taken. Young transvestite’s called Elaine who slipped onto a rock whilst fishing, her body had been pulled deep by the weight of her wallet. A fire marshal whose name we never knew, had jumped from Clifton bridge, survived the jump but been pecked to death by ducks. Or an old woman who had ridden her motorcycle into the water fuelled by gin and grief at her husband’s survival after she tried to poison his lasagne.

“Daniel, Danny, come on” Stephen was shouting, “What the hell are you doing up there.” I looked down at him, and shrugged, my fingers squeezed tight around the metal railings. I was standing next to the third tall green stalk, which had been placed along the bridges north side, one at each end and one at its highest point. I stroked the stalks beak.

“I just wanted to see what it looked like from here.” I shouted down at him, and it was more of the truth. It was beautiful, looking down the river, until it bent beneath the next bridge, then past that was the city’s most violent district. Where reports of murder, rape and joblessness would come from every day. From where I stood now though, the district looked perfect, rows of grey, brown, and red roofs. Creating a delicate fabric that wove it’s way around roundabouts and disused playing fields. I clambered down.

“Seriously Daniel, you need to cut that shit out,” he offered that advice and his hand, as I let go of the wet metallic beams. “What did you take this morning? Did you get something of that dickhead, or did Catherine leave something behind.”

“Nothing, just a couple of glasses of wine,” I lied. I didn’t want him thinking everything I said and did was because of some dumb pills.

“Of course, two glasses of wine, and you’re trying to fuck a statue.” I let go of his hand and we headed towards Catherine’s, a fifteen-minute walk had already taken half an hour, but we were nearly there, and in the corner of my mind I could already see us sitting inside


Blogger sb said...

You write really well. Because I don't really understand what is going on with these characters and why they act the way they do, I find it difficult to critique. It's really strong writing that dwells in this pitch-black tomb, and there isn't much variance, all these characters seem like monsters in their actions. I am going to use the phrase sexual horror again. If you know people in real life, that act like these, you should get them proper help.

I do like reading it, though, because the words and sentences are so rich. I think that if you took this style, put it away, and then worked out a bit lighter style, worked with plot, etc, you could bring this stuff out as shockers, and reel readers in. I'm not sure what this is; I think I've asked you before; is this a novel?

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