Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Few Smalls

Ok, I didn't write this one, but I thought it especially apt that it couldn't be looked over. It is a quote by William Henry Channing. Has a rather poetic charm...a few of us could learn from it's philosophy too. Myself included.

'To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common - this is my symphony.'

It's one of those 'if you have to ask' quotes. Also, one day I swear I WILL actually finish a story off. I started to write this next bit purely because I had an image in my head of this dark, grizzled bastard on some hill-crest with vengeance in his heart...the hill-crest belonging to a wasteland of gore and brutality. I tried a few directions with it, but this has hit the back-burner again. The working title I had in mind was 'sin', but I think I might turn this into a graphic novel instead.

'To truly understand sin, one must have first passed through it.

In my own obscurity I’d often dealt with the more negative forces of nature, being handed on and goaded into a role that I feel I wasn’t entirely born for.
            Waging wars of prejudice upon weak minded puppets used to be my sport; until I became one myself. I’d slit the throat of the snake tongued liars and sever any thread of corrupt justice meted out arbitrarily without even a glimpse behind; not a second thought. But as fate would weave it, I turned into mine own enemy; the very thing I’d loved to hate.

            It stinks. The rain only tends to make it worse…and here, it rains continuously. The morose grey gets its daily downpour, but it doesn’t bother me. You get used to it. But that smell…that smell you can never get rid of. It’s a mixture of blood, piss and defecation.
            That’s all this place stands for now. That and sin.

            I can hear the chimes ringing. The chimes of death himself. I hear them always.  They grow louder when the cadaver is close. He’s been on my trail ever since the day I chose to end the life of my lover. It’s some strange quirk of the universe; purge an untainted soul and indefinitely deface yours. Then he comes for you.
There’d be no point in trying to seek penance for the deed. It’s been done. What’s asking some paranoid superstitious fool for forgiveness going to do when I’ve got the biggest of bounties on my head? It won’t return her to me, nor will it end my grief. Nor will it keep the figure in black from tormenting my dreams and casting his grim shadow across my path. To escape him, I must escape myself.
Azure. This place will never change. A cess-pit of scum, whores, rapists, paedophiles and debased creatures clumped together in the interest of appeasing every disgusting habit and desire they’re capable of in their short and pitiful lives. I often imagine every one of them with a self destruct button on their foreheads, and if it were so I’d press them. Every single one. It still wouldn’t bring her back, but it’d make them leave. That’d be enough. 
There’s supposed to be law here, but it’s a corrupt and flawed system with leaders who have their filth-ridden fingers in every crime syndicate imaginable. In order to survive, you must take the law into your own hands or be down-trodden by the various thug gangs and democracies that thrive and breed in Azure. Their lives must expire before your term has finished. This is the only way, but this harsh reality is unpredictable when choosing its victims; its playthings. The innocent, should they truly exist in Azure, are too; expendable.
This is the only way.
Ask her if you meet her beyond. And pray tell if she forgives me…
This is Azure.'

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

This is a short paragraph called 'Ten'

Fuck knows where this came from, just popped in there as they say. Please don't judge too harshly...

'It was dark. Grey, but with the scent of new summer’s dawn. The rain poured like tears; tears I should be shedding given the circumstance. Content with the result, I felt like skipping. Like throwing down my briefcase, the last relic of the life I’d just walked from.
                The thought of her taunted me, but it was the catalyst I needed to push me over the edge of reason. Do remind me, maybe then I’d…No. This was right. I had been driven to this and I have passed the point of no return.
                I laughed.
                I realised then I’d dropped the briefcase, but it didn’t matter to me anymore. All that mattered was that innocent cry as she lovingly and blindly obeyed her father. Me.

                I thought back to her sweet innocence one last time…'

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Vision of Grandeur

This is a poem I wrote a few years back that's being published in a book called 'the Book of Dreams' in November by United Press Ltd. It also got featured in the Freshers Edition of Smoke Magazine 2010, downloadable from their website.

'My focus was drawn to the small red man at the foot of my leg. A curious look of satisfaction on his sunburnt face, and a small knife clenched in a deformed hand.
In the grand scheme of things she was no prize pony. She was a walk on part in a made for TV movie, and because of the way she laughed with that cold green stare, a panicked rush of fear paraded through my mind. Like the seasons she could change.
I looked twice and the characteristics were there. Teeth and fur and the bloody remnants of a meal at her mouth. Then was gone. Obviously a hallucination. A vision of grandeur. A horrific trick the red man had played on my fragile self. He likes to watch me squirm and stutter and become unsure of myself.'

Saturday, 2 October 2010


I began to write this story a few years back and just haven't been able to take it any further since. Maybe it's some form of mental block, or maybe I'm just a little worried about actually continueing it. Perhaps I just don't like it anymore? It's been so long since I started to write that I have completely lost my original trail of thought. Part of this was as a way to express certain things and feelings that I was struggling with at the time and had no outlet whatsoever.
It was in part a confession also. For what, who can say? It's called 'Desires'.

He fucked her. And behind his lovers back too.
                Caleb worked for a small time grocery store just a few streets from his house. Nothing glamorous. He is only 20 after all. And the fine young lady he’d just made love to in the stockroom, in the middle of his shift, was only a year older.
                The kind of girl you don’t really get involved with because she’s either carrying some disease or has a huge boyfriend. Her name; well her name doesn’t matter. All that matters is that she has a way with men. And Caleb just happened to be one of them.
                He didn’t even think twice about it. Things weren’t going particularly well with his significant other, and if this kept him going back, who was to say he was wrong? Ok yeah so there’s the whole love deal, but if love is moaning about how he drinks his coffee and what brand his trainers are then love is nothing more than a Chinese water torture of patience.
                Caleb stands back up from the dank floor, pulling himself away from this whore of a work colleague, and then reaches for his trousers by his heel. Pulling them up he knew she was smiling at him, but he didn’t return her gaze. She was still seated on the floor with her legs apart. They hadn’t used protection; it was always the way with girls like her. Of course it feels better, but now he now felt disgusted with himself.
 As he zipped the fly on his faded blue jeans he could feel the weight of guilt resting upon him like it was taking up residence. He knew it would happen, but it still caught him by surprise. He had been wrong, and of course he now wished he’d reconsidered. Caleb turned away from her and went into the staff office. A small workroom with an old looking table and a few foot-stools to sit on. The desk was littered with paperwork, and down next to it was a rusty old looking safe, one of those stubborn bastards with the fifteen minute time lock fitted. The safe always stayed at two hundred pounds, and was used for change when the store took in too many twenty pound notes. He always got the one who wanted a pack of cigarettes and gave him a twenty.
                His work-mate followed shortly, presumably after she’d quickly cleaned up in the toilet. He could hear it flushing. She looked a little confused and a little embarrassed also. She’d enjoyed it, they both had. Of course they had. Despite being with somebody else they’d both secretly fancied each other for a little while. But finally as they’d both got what they wanted, they began to change their minds. Caleb did anyway. He couldn’t deny it to himself though; she was good. It was this very reason alone that it felt so much more like it shouldn’t have been done. The hit had finally kicked in. He needed a cigarette.
                A typical sub-urban area; rows of shops selling CD’s, video rental, guns, foreign cuisine, newspapers, haircuts, even the widely popular sex shop. And there was of course; Caleb’s grocery store. ‘Bag em Up’ it was called. The name always made Caleb grin. The name sounded like it used to be a not-so-secret mafia hideout. He relished at the thought of that, but for a grocery store, it was such a lame name. The irony was that he needed the place. He needed it to get away from his mother, and he needed it for the money. And sex now if he wanted it. She’d be there, and all it took was a quick phone call like it had earlier.
As he stepped out to leave he pulled a lighter from his pocket, sparking the Marlboro jutting from his stubbly mouth.
He still felt that irritating thumping of guilt; his heart was pounding rigidly in his chest, and he knew that no matter how much he tried to calm himself down he probably wouldn’t be able to until he was plastered. He was scared, and that didn’t help. All he could think about was his other half. How he’d betrayed her trust. Even if he couldn’t stand her. And even if he wanted to knock her lights out. And even though the filthy slag had probably been doing the same thing at this very point in time. No matter how bad it was with her, he still felt like he should’ve been lined up against a wall and shot.
                April worked in a bank. She shouldn’t though; she didn’t have the right qualifications to work there, she was as thick as shit and was always terribly rude. She only got the job because she has big tits and is very persuasive. Very persuasive. She was the type of girl who wouldn’t think twice about taking a shot in the mouth to get further up the ladder.
This annoyed the hell out of Caleb, who had trouble finding work outside his shitty little grocery store, let alone in a bank. She got paid fifteen hundred a month for sitting on her arse and pressing the ‘enter’ button while gossiping with Charlie.
                Charlie was her best friend. Caleb had always had a secret affection for her. She was just drop dead fucking gorgeous and was so much more fun to be around. She actually cared about things that Caleb gave two flying shits about. Things like other people for one. Just being around Charlie made him go all sheepish, trying to act calm and be mister cool. He’d have made his move if he hadn’t met April first. In truth he’d considered making a move anyway. He swore she was in love with him too.
 April was one of those girls that always got what she wanted and always had to be the centre of attention, and this kind of showboat attitude drove Caleb insane. In her mind she expected a red carpet rolled out before her by peasants. The planet revolved around her. She was always right, you were always wrong. If you don’t like it; tough shit. Because she’ll die before accepting responsibility for her doing something nasty or inconsiderate to somebody else.  
He didn’t know if she’d cheated or not, although girls like her don’t stay faithful for long. They always get what they want. Always. He’d had enough, but didn’t have the courage to take that step and get rid of her.

                Caleb had been home half an hour now, already had a shower and was now on his way upstairs. His mother had had her daily bitch-fit at him too. Always about some crap he couldn’t quite care much for. She was so much like April he thought that it was almost scary. Maybe she was April’s long lost mother and he was adopted. Of course he wasn’t, but was like they were related. And of course they got on really well didn’t they. Just to rub salt in the wound. Caleb couldn’t stand April almost as much as he couldn’t stand his mother, and he often sat wondering who was worse. It was one of those things; if he had a gun…
                His bedroom was his Sanctuary. It was the only place he could really sit back and relax, and not have to worry about anything too much. He could be himself, and not feel like a doormat. Not feel like a slave. Here, he could lose himself to himself.
Caleb’s Sanctuary depicted his personality down to the ground. CDs scattered everywhere, dark lighting, clothes pumping out of a large chest of drawers and a definitive poster of Layne Staley giving the finger. There was an ashtray on the window ledge jutting with cigarettes. He didn’t clean it out much, and only smoked when his mother wasn’t in, the little rebel. It’d give her another excuse to have a massive bitch-fit at him. He thought she was just whining because she was obese and was just taking it out on him. But then again… It sounded almost too easy, and too much of an excuse to go by. Way too easy to blame everything on that. No, what it was really was that she just outright hated him.
What she hadn’t realised was he was only what he was because of her in the first place.  The whole nature and nurture deal. And what was he? A waster, that’s what. A dirty waster who sits around high as a kite whilst the world flows by. Completely oblivious to anything happening in the real world, as if in a state of limbo where time stands still and ethic morals exist but aren’t applied. Of course he cared about things, but most of them he couldn’t do anything about.
                Instead of a curtain he had a bamboo blind that only let through the tiniest peak of light. On his window ledge next to the ashtray was a small tin case which he kept his weed in. It was however, almost empty.
                He had a large CD player mounted on the desk of draws. He turned it on and pressed the play button, there was already a CD in there. He couldn’t remember what it was, even though he’d probably been listening to it five minutes before he’d left for work. But now, he had far too much on his mind.
                He was still thinking about the girl in his shop, and how he’d taken her.  He kept thinking about that loving smile she gave him just as he'd left, knowing that she'd need only ask and he'd take her again. And again. And again!
                Next to Caleb’s CD player was a half-empty litre of whiskey. The cheap stuff, but damn it was pretty good drinking. It did the job didn’t it? He grabbed the bottle and swigged back a shot dry, his throat all of a sudden burning with alcohol.
Other than thinking of his work-mate, he was now beginning to worry about April. The paranoia had taken over. The day before, Caleb and April had a fight over something real small and petty. He couldn’t even remember what it was over. It’d only been a small fight with her, but you know what girls are like. Their relationship had got real heavy into the power struggle phase, and April always had to be the victor. He had hung up on her and turned his phone off in the middle of her obnoxious whine. This must’ve pissed her off something else. She’s one of those girls who walked around with her nose up wondering why the ‘commoners’ aren’t licking the shit from between her toes. She was above everyone else you see. Her shit doesn’t stink, she shits roses.
Hanging up felt good at the time, but what goes around comes around. Caleb was a firm believer of Karma, he never knew why, but he just was. Let’s not also forget…that he had just fucked the brains out of somebody else behind April’s back. Oh yes, if karma was at work here then he was certain to get a huge piece of the payback cake. With a cherry on top for good measure, and to make sure he got the message.
His luck never seemed to be too great. It felt like he had to work twice as hard to receive the rewards and his troubles appeared ten-fold. He must’ve been a tyrant in his previous life or a rapist or something. And much to his dismay, he knew it wasn’t over yet. There was this gut instinct telling him that this was only the beginning.



                Why do my eyes hurt…?

                …His eyes opened slowly, red raw and dried like he’d been up all night under the influence of 4 different kinds of class ‘A’ hallucinogenic. Nothing came from his throat in his desperate struggle to question. He couldn’t move either, his body was too comfortable in the position it had been placed in. Paralysis? No. Just rested. Rested for a long time. Longer than he could remember, if he was capable of such a task. What happened? How the hell did he end up here? In this…white room! What did the white ceiling above belong to? A prison cell? A mental detention centre? And how did he get here in the first place? What a mind fuck.
His eyes were coming into focus slowly, getting used to the bright light which shone in his face. But it still hurt like hell. He tried moving his head, having a look around and trying to get his bearings, but couldn’t. Wow. This was fucking serious. He must’ve done some hardcore shit this time. None of that gimmicky stuff with the willy franilly haircuts. No sir, he’d gone that extra mile. He felt like he’d shit his pants and ate it.
“He’s awake!” A voice he didn’t recognise, and couldn’t wholly hear. It was hard to concentrate on anything in his disorientated state. The voice sounded female, young. She almost sounded caring…almost. Suddenly the figure appeared in front of him. The young female figure he’d imagined briefly and another much older, grim looking man were peering down at him as if studying a lab animal. They were talking to each other, but with an air of indifference. He would’ve wondered why if he could manage the feat. The old man said a few words and then they looked at one another before disappearing again.
Their attire, it was unfamiliar to him, but matched the blank room perfectly. It was formal and very clean. The whitest whites as they say on TV. The old man had a pen poking out his shirt pocket, but he didn’t notice as his dazed gaze was drawn towards the young woman’s cleavage. He must be feeling better already…
He tried to lift his head up, but had considerable trouble. It felt way too heavy to rise without help. It fell back down, the disorientation coming back. The ceiling swirled a little as he blinked, trying to re-focus his eyes in a futile attempt to see where the fuck he was. If he had to guess…a hospital.
He lay still for a moment, taking in the thought. A hospital…a hospital. He tried moving his head again, but this time rolled it to the side, trying to scope the room out. It was bare, the walls the same pale hue as the ceiling. There was no equipment oddly enough, just a door at the far side of the room, also sporting the expressionless clinical theme.
There were no windows, no furniture save the bed. Not even a dull lampshade; instead just a bulb. The young woman suddenly re-entered with a clipboard in her hand. The old man didn’t follow behind, presumably pre-occupied elsewhere with the coffee machine. She stood next to him, scanning through her sheets as she mumbled to herself while chewing a pen. Her demeanour had a swagger that matched her obvious teenage angst attitude. His heart was racing as he gazed at her, trying to focus his eyes so he could get a piece of Aphrodite. It was no use though, his head hurt too much. He fell back under.

Grief stricken turmoil. Yes, he thought. That was it. That’s exactly how he felt every time he jumped in the sack with that bitch. It wasn’t about love or about wanting to give a little piece of himself to her. It wasn’t even about just getting some poontang anymore. It was an ambivalence of two conflicting, aggravating emotions. It was a wonder how he even managed to get it up anymore in all honesty. But then that was the easy bit really wasn’t it. She’d obviously been doing this kind of thing since she was 12 years old. With one stroke she’d have him harder than a paedophile in a child’s playground. If there was a degree for this, she’d pass with honours, get given a trophy and even a smiley sticker for a laugh. Filthy slag.
Caleb didn’t know if he wanted it or needed it anymore. Deep down he knew that it was just to shut her up. This, he thought, is how he knew she wasn’t faithful. She was far too horny to go a day without sex before needing to smash the shit out of somebody. Maybe it was her way of venting pent up aggression from her childhood. Or maybe she just doesn’t have the respect for herself that she kids herself she does. Knowing April…it’s probably all about feeling like she owns somebody and can make them do whatever she wants. She definitely had some acquired tastes when it came to sex. It was only short of getting on a leather jumpsuit and cracking a whip in his face. You name it; chances are she’d already done it with at least three other people in her short life.
Maybe this was why he did it. Although he’d never admit it, he’d never had sex so fucking good! There were literally no holds barred when it came to April. That girl could suck a golf ball through a garden hose. She’d have it in at least two holes until she bled from both and then ask for seconds. She literally did anything. He hated himself for that.
They’d finished after four hours of intense sex. It was strange how he was the one who never fell asleep after. He stared up at the dark ceiling, his body aching as he watched the shadow of a tree outside twitch. There was a slight breeze wafting through the window, but it didn’t quell the sweat. It was hot. Damned hot.
She always turned away from him as they slept. Even though Caleb knew it was just a habit, he couldn’t shake the feeling that it was because she’d got what she wanted from him and didn’t need him there anymore. He’d always been the emotional one of the relationship, the one who gave a fuck about people’s feelings. She’d never been like that; instead sporting a rather fierce only child complex. Opposites attract indeed.
His head raced in the heat, but the fatigue didn’t bother him. He was far too pre-occupied with the chaotic self delusions running through his mind. It was like a cancer. Paranoia in relationships was never Caleb’s strong point. He knew that. But changing how you are completely is like jumping from a cliff and landing on your feet unscathed. Of course the drugs didn’t help his state of mind did they, but Caleb wasn’t ready to admit that to himself. Not yet. As far as he was concerned, they were the only thing keeping him sane in this insane moment of truths.
What Caleb hadn’t noticed was the tiny red man standing between his legs, glaring at him with a maniac smile and a rusty dagger in his hand. Then the red man made his entrance…

Copyright to Darren Kirby 2001