Strawberry, mint and vanilla

In a dark corner of a 7-11 Samantha drooled on the pink and mint floor. Plump drops of thick liquid fastened her to madness in the eyes of the average onlooker and Angie Curtis was your average onlooker.

Tiff spun her candy cigarette in her fingers, it hit the tiles. She picked it up and returned it to her mouth with greedy swiftness and munched it into chalk.

All the while, the pool around Samantha grew and Angie’s anxiety went swimming in it, her body became more and more rigid and she sank into fear.

Samantha had gone to a place unheard of, with purple walls reaching into blackness, skies so vast it made one quiver on insect-jointed legs.

Confusing lines were drawn over and through things that we hold as opposite ends of a spectrum: day became night between breaths. It was hard to tell if you were outside or in, if you were breathing air or liquid chocolate or shit.

Clammy coldness flickered to feverish heat and the senses entwined in a swirling fluid chaos.

10 minutes of deadness in Samantha’s eyes made Angie frantic and convinced her of a harsh pragmatism encasing a deep and fearful desperation.

She emptied a water bottle over Sam’s head and with a wheezing shock and speed the two of them swept the shelves into their bags and bustled into the stock room at the back, dragging Tiffany with them.

After the adrenalin had worn off Samantha crashed into a pile of their coats and packing cardboard and slept heavily for hours.

Angie pushed all the packing crates against the door, stacking them into towers. She regretted soaking her, but it gave her something to think about as she wrung her clothes back into the empty bottle as best she could and hung them up.

After eating a miserable feast of sweets she would have once enjoyed, she sing-song spoke Tiff to sleep and fell into it herself. Her dreams were grasping hands and heavy footsteps.

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I hate the Norrises

The Norrises sicken me.

The dad combs his hair back without swagger, smug.

Prim and proper- a proper pervert underneath.

He talks on the phone without hands, obnoxious. His mouth a cavern of acrid attitude.

He thinks he deserves more life than Joe, or Linda who works on the tills.

I flew inside the house once, let my geometric legs land on the wallpaper, spied him through my kaleidoscope eye.

He eats flies for breakfast, in a bowl, and he cups his balls under the table.

The kid’s got no chance – he’s gonna grow up to be a right little fly-eating prick.

Cleft

The tree grew around Gary and he didn’t struggle, he was glad to be hemmed in.

The walls shot up in growing panels and clicked into natural place,

he was enveloped in the smooth, the woody gnarls on the outside, protecting him from the elements, and a wooden smile etched into his face.

Bill had planted the seed, and when he found Gary set inside so perfect, he wished he’d hacked more heartily with his hatchet.

He imagined Gary like the hazelnut in a toffee, cut in perfect half, and the wooden smile jumped across, rooting, delving, fingers rifling in his nut.

Slipped

Rolling down the hillside,

Merle’s body made it’s way to the rocky crags beneath,

Merle fluttered in and out of his head.

There was a bliss when he rose above into the warmth, and didn’t have to feel every splitting crack in bone, every cruel tumble and snag on skin and clothes. Every hot, wet drip of red.

Yet, there was a looseness, a feeling of his self escaping as he became disembodied.

He felt glassy and tried to throw himself into the weighted doll that left him.

Futile effort made in desperation,

and yet, two days and he wakened shattered, breathing in jagged breaths.

 

Ellie to Sandra – The first part

“Under the soil, there’s something there

And In the water, there’s something,

An oil slick, or something, but watch close

Coz it’s quick and it slips down the river and suddenly it’s not our problem, so peel those eyes,

Something happened, I’m just not sure what –

But I’ve seen something from a different time,

Just in bits, never all together

Never all at once, but I’ve noticed,

(And I’d never lie)

Something.

One day, my dad said, when he was burying Grandad’s dog – you know Toby,

Poor lad, well he was moving back the soil,

And he told me, he said he saw a glint,

And it reminded him of a different time, in his youth,

But he was scared so he covered it over.

But I remember how he looked, when he let it out of his mouth and into my ear,

When I was privvy to the confession that he witnessed it.

So maybe, I’m thinking, we should go to the creek,

Where no one can see, and just dig around a bit.

It can be our coming of age story, we can tell our kids about it and one day maybe they’ll investigate, but they’ll have our added knowledge,

We can help them, even if we’re dead,

With a secret clue, that other parents were too scared to look into when they were younger.”

Spike I

At half ten at night while he was flicking through the pages of his girlfriend’s novel, a spike went through David Lyndhurst. Not a spike of pain, not a spike of inadequacy. A spike. The spike pierced him like a skewer through a kumquat at a middle class barbecue.