Monstrous silver and blue -green severed fish heads emerged at the forefront of her mind. Open, close, open, close the gaping mouths. She fancied there were others behind it. Each time the razor sharp teeth were bared she looked into the blacker than black darkness of the gullets of fish gutted and putrid.
She saw visions of a corpse, her corpse.
Dry dusty skeletal remains with black spiders scurrying over the ribcage.
In, out, in, out, the bones. She felt sensation; something that felt like a spasm then
the very idea of spasm seemed to melt away.
She stopped trying to move her arms she had known for sometime they wouldn't respond likewise her legs. Every so often a white light like a camera flash would wipe everything clean then slowly the disembodied fish would re-appear out of the darkness.
Nightmares, night scares given shape and form returning, fear always fear. Somewhere at the far reaches of her tortured conscious she remembered being afraid; being afraid of something real, some thing tangible. If she narrowed her thoughts she could almost taste the notion. That thing what was it? There it's coming back; the fish heads the spiders are engulfing everything.
There, there I am laid in a bed. What am I doing? Am I sleeping?
See I just moved. Oh I know, these are the long nights contemplating the rope. Not just the rope the blade too and the knife. Here come the pills, always the pills swiftly followed by the bottle. Lastly there's the jump.
Is that high enough for you?
Oh the joy, the sheer ecstasy of the keen blade slicing deliciously through the skin; through the flesh
Oh the warm trickle of blood flowing down and out of the body. The rational thoughts come flooding in. Least pain that is the only proviso. Search through the mind for likely spots. That tree looks promising, the bridge too or maybe the stairwell? Could I get someone else to tie the knot securely?
Just for a laugh you understand, it's a game that's all. Oh to be able to tie the perfect noose myself.
To write or not to write?
No I shouldn't bother, you're likely to get some clever dick correcting your spelling and grammar. That's the last thing you want to be remembered for.
Will I be remembered, will I? By whom and what for and how?
My folks won't that's for sure.
"No emotional outbursts, someone has to make rational decisions; keep everything ticking over, functioning."
Is that it? Her heart, unfeeling as it is. Am I trying to provoke a reaction, is that the root cause, the aim? Or am I just kidding myself? Why is it so tempting, inviting glamorous even. It features heavily in life: there's a bitter irony and there in lies the problem. Oh oh, white flash; I'm blind. Wrong again, here come the cold fish wet and scaly and toothy.
That was quick, there's the bed again, skip that stuff do. Where was I...?
It's freezing, my hair's slicks to my face, my clothes are stuck to my skin, clammy and greasy. The headlamps of oncoming traffic continually blind my sight.
Am I in the middle of the road?
No look, that's a pavement, you are on the bridge though.
There is a bag over my shoulder?
Your kittens bag: the one Lindsey gave you, before she left town without saying goodbye. But I guess you don't need me to remind you of that. Look down, over the edge, pitch black.
Need to think, need to stop and think. Cigarette, need a smoke and the drink.
I light the nicotine stick and inhale deeply blowing smoke into the rain-soaked sky. I take the bottle of whisky from my bag and glug the remains down my throat. I can hardly feel the burning in my throat anymore it's like drinking pop. My head is swimming so momentarily I close my eyes. I open them again seconds later then berate myself soundly for wasting the cigarette. Lighting a new one up I concentrate on smoking it, all of it.
The first line of a poem I wrote years before plays itself in my mind over and over again. "To do it, would be so easy..."
Oh really, easy is it?
No it is not, not easy at all, it takes bottle a hell of a lot of a bottle. The bottle, I've knocked it over, thank god it was empty. It rolls slowly away grinding against the gritty concrete surface. I watch it roll then realise it's gone, rolled right over the edge. There's a shattering sound as it smashes somewhere in the darkness below. Trembling I lean over the edge my legs dangling dangerously.
I lean farther out staring hard into the blackness below trying to see where it smashed. I'm slipping; my God I'm slipping. My fingernails grit the top of the concrete barrier then they grip nothing. I gasp for breath but none comes. I'm falling. I'm really falling. Down, down and down. My body somersaults legs over head, head over heels. As if some giant child had tossed a doll through the air. Over and over and still I'm falling. No sound, no air to breathe, no scream to make...White flash, white flash.
A mist; a mist clearing; a mangled mess on a railway line. Blue flashing lights. I'm high above watching a scene unfold. Two police officers are standing over the body; one is talking into a radio. I can her the crackly voice as someone replies. The other officer takes of his reflective jacket and places it gently over the blood-soaked form lying lengthways over the track; as still as the morning air. To the left of it, there are shards of glass glinting in the early dawn light. My bottle, that's where it went, I watch as the sun gradually illuminates the scene clearing the mist. It climbs over the treetops that line either side of the track.
I hear a siren growing louder and louder, I spy an ambulance driving over the rough ground, bumping towards the security fence screening of the track from the public. Two figures jump out and fling open the back doors of the vehicle. They drag out a long stretcher and hurry to the uniformed men now waving urgently to them. The two paramedics pause a while at the fence then pull the wire to one side revealing a gap, plenty wide enough for them to clamber through. I puzzle over this action for a while then consider the possibility that the fence was cut sometime before I got there.
The medics and the officers carefully lift the broken body on to the stretcher still with the police coat draped over it. They fasten straps across it, holding the body in place. Then, picking their way carefully over the gravel they return once more to the ambulance carrying the stretcher between them. My eyes wander back to the track. The officer now without his jacket pauses beside my broken bottle; I can imagine what he is thinking. Then, turning around he stares up at the bridge. He calls to his colleague and they engage in some conversation that ends when one points his finger upwards, right at me. An engine roars to life, the ambulance begins to move off. A dire dread feeling washes through me. A sickening desperate sensation consumes me.
Wait, wait, wait for me, I scream.
I imagine I hear voices, where am I this time? Try to see, try to see.
Come on idiot child, you know where you are.
But why, why? What was so goddamn awful, what drove me to such a thing?
Look, believe me you don't need to remember that, not now, you really don't.
"How many times is that now?"
"At least four, according to her chart she has been defibbed and resuscitated once a week since she was admitted to the I.C.U."
"Okay, keep giving her the Morphine up the dosage once more and steady the heart rate. What's her B.P."?
"One thirty-five over eighty, pulse thirty-nine b.p.m. and climbing"
"Good looks like she's fighting, keep a watch on her and let me know if anything changes. I'll be back to check up on her after my rounds on the ward."
"Yes Doctor, shall I tell her mum she can come back in now?"
"No reason why not she's out of immediate danger for now."
My mum? Where? I can't see her. Oh, another spasm, get away get away, stupid body. I can't focus. Mum, are you there? I can hear you; I can hear your voice I really can. Mum I moved my head; I moved my head, I think. Did you see mum, did you see? There's a shiny wall over there with lots of lights blinking on and off. Blue lights and red and green, tubes and lots of wires too. There are phones ringing and footsteps; all kinds of noises. Mum, I'm here, I'm here. I can see you.
Oh lord, God dear God she's awake, she's awake Nurse, nurse!
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Seven By Steve Rudd
Time spent away from the daily grind forces you to assess where, in life, you have been - and
where you would like to go.
Back in England, perversely, I had always wanted to return here to Nepal, but now I was back here,
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 3 By Rich Mills
Boring! It's far too wet and miserable to venture outside for a good few days now. Six months and that's it - I'm out of here. Eight at the very most!
All depends on how fast I can save to get myself over to the Southern Hemisphere.
Fiction - Firm but Fair By Mark Pollard
Cry-Baby Jim Breaks. He pioneered it, they say.
And the hushed, almost ecclesiastical tones of Ken Walton had heralded it's
entry into Saturday afternoon folklore: the bright lights of
Blackpool and Great Yarmouth, down to the lesser reputes of Ilfracombe and
Skegness had all borne witness
Fiction - Puzzles By Denis Price
I've got a really nice room, when the door's closed I feel ever so safe and warm. It's quiet as well,
just the swish of the wind in the trees outside. I like the trees; they hide the big tall fence.
My watchers say the fence is there to keep me safe, and that's their job too, they're always there
Fiction - COLD WAR TALES- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS By Denis Price
The piercing insistent wail of the siren woke him. `For Christ`s sake now what!` Over the tannoy the
smooth expensive voice intoned languidly that this was only a drill and that all personnel
should continue with their normal duties.
He groaned and thought, this is my normal
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,