So, I didn’t stop there, as my observations of john changed my opinion slightly as he opened up more to poor Derek.
John, part two
Yes, I know. My life pathetic, my wife is a bitch, she’s fucking the gardener, but I’m still better than you.
You have a car? Great, I can buy a better one
You have a dog? Bet it’s a mongrel
You own a house? Mines bigger
Oh and I have a cleaner, and a gardener.
Your wife’s a bitch? Yeah mine too, and she’s fucking my gardener.
You work? I’m retired
You’re retired? Iv done it younger
Oh, you’re my gardener?
So, this one came to me whilst i was judging people in the pub.
“So, what now?”
“Hmm?” Jase replied, clearly lost in thought.
“What do we do now?”
“I don’t know, fancy a pint?”
“A pint? A fucking pint?”
“Yeah why not?”
“A fucking pint? My wife left me for some fucking surgeon and you want to go for a fucking pint?”
“I’m an alcoholic, of course I want to go for a pint, probably more to be honest.”
“And that’s going to help?”
“Help? Yeah if you like, short term we get pissed; medium term we philosophise and plan the way only drinks can; long term will come from there.”
“That’s fucking stupid..”
It’ll come back.
Yep. Here it is.
Spill someone’s drink.
Ah, shit, this isn’t my bed…
“Oh wow, my fucking head.”
It’s female, yes, I remember. She offered to clean me up, we skipped the cleaning and fucked.
Curse my photographic memory.
Jase was wrong.
How the fuck can I work out the next step if I can’t forget why she left.
24 hours earlier
“You know why, because you can’t keep your dick in your pants”
“That’s how we met.”
She’s no lady, a fist.
Solidly into my nose.
The tears are blinding and the blood isn’t far behind.
“You fucking prick. I gave him a disease, which I guess came from one of your dirty fucking husseys.
Iv made a mistake.
I’m still here.
“Um, hi… Uh?”
“Ah shit, you don’t even remember my name.”
Fuck off, I don’t know yours either, it’s just sex. I’m surprised you’re still here.”
“Ha, yeah me too.”
“So what now? You want something more or are you going to fuck off?”
I fucked off.
Six hours later I’m sat in a bar with Jase. He’s back on the beer, I can’t stomC anything more than a shandy just yet.
“So the plan?”
“For fuck sake Jase!”
“What? Don’t fuck sake me you prick. I’m very hungover. Good night eh?”
“Good night? We were supposed to work out a plan to get sarah back.”
“I like sarah, good tits.”
“Will you shut the fuck up and tell me the plan.”
“What plan? And how am I supposed to tell you if I shut up?”
“Oh fucking hell.”
“Will you chill, we did it. You got some didn’t you? Twice if I wasn’t seeing double.”
“That’s sex, that wasn’t the plan.”
“No, fucking hell, I want her back.”
“Then why’d you fuck about?”
“That doesn’t count.”
“No? I’m fairly sure you’ve fucked more women since you got with sarah than you managed before.”
“Right, but that’s just fucking. I want her.”
“Look at this pint…”
“Oh fuck off Jase, I’m not drunk enough for one of your philosophically pissed moments.”
“There’s a simple solution to that. Get a drink.”
I do, why the fuck not.
“So, look at this pint.”
“Oh fucking hell I got a drink, I still don’t want to have to hear your shit.”
“This pint.” He continues regardless, ” this pint is my love. But you see, at any point or at any time I could get up, leave it, move on…”
“Fuck off, you’d never leave a drink.”
“True, but the option is there. Anyway, when I want some I drink some, when I fancy a change I try something else- whiskey, vodka, even cider. The pint doesn’t complain because she knows I’ll be back.”
“Why do I feel like this is an analogy of my life?”
“No, no. It’s not. You see, your pint- sarah- isn’t ok with you having other drinks. She wants you to drink with her. Always.
“But, as I was saying, occasionally she hurts me. Hangovers, getting too drunk to fuck, sometimes getting beat up and arrested. But it’s no issue, because she’s always waiting.”
“Right so beer is better than a woman, I get it. But your pint is empty, so she’s left you. Now can we talk about me for a minute?”
“Precisely my point, my pints empty, your woman’s gone. Let’s get another.”
“Another? No, Jase, I want her.”
“Ah, but don’t you see, if I want my last one I’d be drinking my piss or eating my vomit. Not as pleasant as the original. A fresh ones better.”
Jase is at the bar, solving his lack of pint.
He’s a fuckimg drunk, he can’t help me.
Fucking full of shit.
Sarah isn’t piss or vomit.
I’m going to get her back.
I stand, not bothering to wait for that drunk fucktard.
As I step into the street I don’t see the truck.
I hear voices.
All saying the same thing.
I’m a prick.
I lost it all.
I’m fucking stupid.
Jase was right.
And now it’s all fading.
I wasted everything.
All goes black.
So, another backstory, also from the pub
Rita, the barmaid. She’s pretty good. Good at her job anyway.
Life? Not so much.
She’s single, not really an issue
She’s 50, still ok
She’s never been in love. There have been men of course, many men. She’s fifty and an barmaid, there have been plenty of men eager to take advantage of an easy lay. But never love.
Men have been revisited, often multiple times, rarely on consecutive occasions. Given the numbers you’d wonder why she isn’t a mother.
She doesn’t use condoms, she wants the feeling
She’s not a mother, maybe it’s her body, maybe it’s the smoking, maybe it’s the drink, maybe it’s luck. It doesn’t matter, she’s childless and she wants one. Two. Three. Any. But it’s getting late, her clock is ticking, she’s 50 and single, what else can she do? Without a child her life’s been wasted, pointless.
She wants children
She has none
She’s getting old.
Tonight will be the end of it, it cost her her job but she did it, enough free drink for the youngest, fittest guy in the bar, enough free drink to make him want what she can offer. It cost her her job, but tonight’s her chance.
She’s fifty, he’s twenty two.
Tonight was it, if she’s capable, she’ll be pregnant.
She needs it, needs kids, tonight’s the chance.
Tonight she gets pregnant or she doesn’t
Tonight leads to happiness or it doesn’t
It’s been two weeks, two weeks of no sex, no smokes, no drink, two weeks of crossed fingers and crossed legs.
She’s desperate, she wants kids, she needs kids.
The stick is there, soaked in her piss
Pissing on a stick, so classy
She’s not pregnant
Nothing else matters but the stick
Here she sits, in a grotty cubicle, in the grotty pub she worked in until so recently.
Pissing on sticks
She has everything she needs here
She’s not pregnant
This is her last chance, her last attempt at creating life.
Or she’s dead.
The stick starts to change…..
So, another helping for you
You know, were I to write a diary it’d be empty. I have nothing to say and nothing to write. My life’s empty, it’s fairly pathetic, but here I am; at the pub. Drinking with Derek. Because Derek’s here and so am I.
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing, truly wonderful, if I could tell you my life was normal and average or tolerable and acceptable but it’s not. I’m too old, my wife’s too ugly, she’s probably fucking the gardener. She’d leave me if she had a decent lawyer. The fact is we’re going through the motions, she’s a bitch and I’m a loser.
I’m in my forties, too old to start again, too young to just accept it and settle. Yet here I am, rich enough to stop caring. Poor enough not to be able to change things.
Here I sit, my clothes worn, colours faded, jeans patched up. If I were smart I’d spend the money; new clothes; new car; new woman.
I’m John, I’m pathetic, I’m a loser, my wife’s a bitch, I’m in the pub, she’s fucking the gardener, I wish I had something.
Anything more than sitting here with Derek. I’m drinking with him because he’s here, and because I’m here, but he has nothing to say either, he has no story. He’s just an old fella with the shakes. He’s probably had as pathetic a life as myself….
So, here we go.
“You’ve let the place go a bit.” I observe. Iv been brought to a safe place, somewhere he can help me fix my arm.
“Well, without you out saving the world, our funding was cut.”
“I never saved the world,”
“This is going to hurt.”
SNAP. My arm snaps back into position and I let out a roar of agony as the pain brings back memories of so many injuries.
The hand that grips his throat would tear it out without a hassle.
I’m not ready.
I try to rise.
“I don’t know him, I don’t care about him.”
“No, no of course you don’t. Not yet.”
Iv got no chance, I haven’t got time for this, i haven’t got the strength.
“Oi dickhead,” another voice, a female voice appears.
He spins, dropping the paramedic, only to face up to another.
“Well aren’t you a pretty bitch.”
“Fuck you,” she spits back, unleashing a fire extinguisher at his face.
A huge arm reaches forward and swats her aside, he turns back to me, “two more deaths on your conscience, boy. Come with me.”
He reaches for the first paramedic, drags him to the other and lifts her too.
“I’ll smash them both right now,”
“Don’t even try to resist me.”
He lifts them both, “it’s time to make a choice.”
Power flows through me.
It tears and rends previously healed wounds.
Coiling up my arms it scorches.
And slams into his chest, tearing apart his lungs and hurling him across the street.
I see this as my eyes burn.
Blood flows freely from me and I die.
“Jack? You awake.”
“Jack, open your eyes for me,” a rough female voice requests, “it’s ok, the lights are down.”
I do as I’m instructed, it burns but less than it has done.
I know your face.
“Hello, Jack, it’s been a while.”
“You left… You were gone.”
“Yeah well, I’m back, he felt you needed me.”
I didn’t reply, I slowly look around to see the state of the room.
“He wasn’t wrong, Jack, you need me. You need us.”
“I don’t need anyone…”
The words are as hollow as they sound, we both know it.
We both know I’ll be dead soon.
“Get some rest, Jack. Tomorrow you’re going to need it.”
“Liz… Thanks for coming back.”
“I did it for Jeff. He can’t let go.”
“No, he can’t can he…”
Liz leaves the room and the lights dim down,
I try to keep my eyes open, but it can’t be more than a few minutes before they droop closed.
So, I like to write. I like to sit with a pad and write. I like to sit with a pad in a place that inspires me and write. I like to sit and write in a place that inspires me and I can write and write.
My writings not very good but it’s the only way I know of completely shutting down my brain and letting go.
Unfortunately Iv hit some major writers block.
The problem being that Iv reached a point where I can’t write anywhere but the local pub. Some would suggest it’s the beer, and that would be a potential reason, but I can drink more beer at home and still nothing comes.
I think it’s the atmosphere, and the fact it’s a change of scenery from what I’m seeing all day every day.
So problem solved right? Go to the pub, get writing and take a break. Awesome.
Except for the real problem, my partner thinks I’m an alcoholic (to be fair she’s probably right) and doesn’t like me going to the pub.
I could easily explain the situation, I doubt she’d get it and would probably think it’s an excuse.
Even if I could make her understand I think she likes me to be here in the evenings so she isn’t lonely, even when we’re doing different things and not talking. Plus she needs me to help with the waking kids.
Another easier option would be to find other similar locations, cafés coffee shops, park benches. But I’d need to find a way of escaping the kids to do it, I can’t switch my brain off when I’m supervising.
Maybe that’s the real problem, when I’m sat at home I’m still supervising so can’t shut down.
So, here’s the latest. Any feedbacks welcome
The ambulance blurs in and out of focus, my mind swimming.
What did I do?
I made the wrong choice.
What will happen.
I’m to blame.
I can’t take it back.
“You ok, son?” A voice cuts in, “you’re mumbling there, you with me?”
“If you can focus, I need to more information on you injuries.”
“I… I don’t know much….” I stammer back, trying to think back.
“Ok, well just take it easy, try and stay awake and when you’re ready…”
“He… He said if I walked away he wouldn’t kill me, he’d stop what he was doing, he was going to unleash…”
“Ok, calm down, you’re getting worked up, just breath.”
I do, a long one in, held, released.
I need to get out of here, need to find a way to stop this.
“Hold on there Jack, stay down”
“I need to get out, I have to stop him.”
“Stop him? Who is he? Who did this?”
“You wouldn’t believe me….”
“Look lad, I found you in a pile of rubble smashed inches short of being dead, I wouldn’t have thought you to be alive, let alone capable of talking, why don’t you try me.”
An explosive tearing of metal filled the ambulance as the world flipped and all my pain returned all over again, I struggled to remain conscious, the world was darkening, my last sight a hand tearing open the doors, which had just become the ceiling.
My headache was back.
I snap awake, to see the splinters of the door raining down on me.
Blinding light shines past a dark silhouette.
My eyes slam shut, this isn’t a headache.
A rough hand drags me to my feet.
“You’re getting easier to find, Jack.” A gravelly voice burns through the fog.
“Iv not been hiding,” I spit back, knowing the headaches coming.
“You’re losing it, son.” He drops me to the ground, and tears open a pouch on his belt as my eyes open and slowly adjust to the glare.
“Losing it? I lost it a long time ago, you know that.”
A jolt of pain as a syringe is slammed into my neck, working quickly to lessen the thump of my headache.
“When are you going to let me have them?”
“If I gave them to you you’d be out in a week, it’s not a fix to cure your lack of control. And anyway, the supplies running out.”
I painfully sit up, “what happens then?”
A dry chuckle, “the way you’re getting through the doses? I wouldn’t make long term plans.”
I don’t bother to reply, Iv had this conversation with him too many times to give a shit. I shakily stand with the intention of getting away before it starts.
“Look, Jack….” He starts, “I don’t want this conversation again…”
“Good, shut up then.”
“Jack, are you done?”
“Done?” I turn, unable to ignore the bait, “I was done a long time ago.”
“That’s not what I mean,” a touch of sorrow enters his voice, “sooner or later I know I’m going to find you in a doorway like this bleeding out, or already dead.”
“That’s the plan.”
“Why? What’s it going to achieve?”
“It doesn’t have to achieve anything, I’ll just be gone.”
“Then what’s it all been for? All these years of pain and suffering? Living with this guilt you refuse to let go?” He pauses, he knows he has me now, “I was there, Jack, I was the one that pulled you from the rubble…”
“You should have left me” I spit back, “I deserved to die.”
“Except you didn’t, did you? You lived, because we went through hell with you, we kept you alive despite everything, your injuries should have killed you. Christ, just a handful would have killed anyone else. I know you don’t see it, but you lived for a reason that day, you can still fix things… Fix yourself.”
“I can’t fix anything, I don’t have anything. I can’t save anyone…”
“You saved me, you saved my partner that day, you’ve saved a lot of people since then.”
“I haven’t saved anyone.”
He steps forward, looking me in the eye, “has it really gone that far?”
“You don’t remember do you, you remember nothing.”
“Remember what? I remember waking, the rubble, pain…”
“Ah shit, you’re in worse than I realised, you need to stop.”
“Iv already stopped,” I reply, turning and walking away, “I stopped a long time ago.”
“That’s not what I mean, Jack.”
I don’t respond as I start my long descent down the stairs that hurt so much yesterday.
That pain was nothing compared to the pain I know is coming.
I can’t let it in anymore.
“Get out of my way doctor, you don’t have to get hurt.”
“You don’t have to hurt me”
“I’m here for him.”
“He’s under my protection, if you move him, he’ll die.”
“If he was going to die, he’d be dead already.”
I hear words.
My eyes spring open to see the paramedic stood over me, looking pathetically small against another man.
He was hardly a standard ‘man,’ he was huge.
He was the one that did this to me.
“Get out of my way doctor, you don’t have to get hurt.”
“You don’t have to hurt me.”
I can feel it seeping into me, knitting bones and tightening wounds. My skins itching as it always does when I let this happen.
“I’m here for him.”
“He’s under my protection, if you move him, he’ll die.”
Pressures building, i haven’t got the strength to heal, but I have enough in me now.
“If he was going to die, he’d be dead already.”
“He’s right,” I cut in, lifting my arm towards the couple.
With a gesture the paramedic is pushed aside and I’m face to face with him.
He’s put me in this position.
“Hello, Mr Superhero, how’s your head?”
“You here to kill me now?”
A chuckle, “now, now, what would be the point of trying,” he reaches down and wipes blood from a recently healed cut, “I can see now that that’s not so easy. No, I came to apologise. And to offer you a deal.”
“A deal?” I can feel pressure building, more healing, I just need time, “I couldn’t trust a deal from you.”
“No, maybe not, but I don’t intend on giving you much choice…”
He reaches down to lift the paramedic from the ground,
“Come with me, join me, or I’ll kill him.”
I’m roughly shaken awake, my arm feels broken.
“You can’t even manage a flight of stairs can you?”
“I, I didn’t fall…” I say, the haze slightly lifted, “something’s happening.”
“Come with me, we’ll get you fixed up.”
“Come..? Come with you?”
“Yes come on up you get”
“Memories.. Memories.. I remember, that day.”
“The day we met.’
So, the next instalment.
Drathé and Prontus had taken point, with Tratheus and Atheos in the rear, Sectar and D’Antine were in the centre. Captain Atheos wanted to ensure the librarian was protected, whilst there was not a chance he was letting the cog head out of his sight. He knew the Techmarine had not shared everything he had got so far, but he needed him, so he couldn’t force the issue. He would get answers though, that was certain.
Sectar could feel the threads unravelling, the strain of the mission on the team was high, even space marines get tired eventually. Sectar was focusing on Tratheus, he was key to the ending, he was certain of this. For good or bad Sectar couldn’t be sure, but his thread was important. Captain Atheos too, he was important, but not here, his thread went further, his impact on the ending would come much later.
Sectar could envision it all, sergeant Tratheus would be a small stone setting events in motion, whilst Atheos would be key to the downfall or survival of the chapter. Had he known the directions then Sectar would have no hesitation in incimerating them all, but now he knew he had to wait. At least, until his ending came.
He knew he was the next to die, his thread in the chapters history was coming to an end.
The capsule was a new thread, this he hadn’t seen, but it was there now, a slim almost imperceptible thread linking them all, and their chapters.
Sectar couldn’t be sure of meanings, it could be the influence do chaos adding threads to the story, a space marine doesn’t respond to fear, but Sectar was scared.
He was next.
“Contact.” Voxed Drathé
“Acknowledged,” responded Atheos, “hostile?”
“No sir, um…”
The hesitation was uncustomary of a marine, even one such as Drathé, recently promoted from the scouts. “Drathé, focus. What is the nature of the contact.”
“It’s the apothecary sir, he’s alive, but… You should move up sir.”
“I’m coming,” he returned before clicking open a private channel to Tratheus.
“Hold position here, il send Sectar and the Techmarine back to you,” he stepped forward before continuing, “we’re a long way from the docs last position, so be alert. Don’t stand and fight, pull back to is if you must.”
“Yes captain,” Tratheus responded quickly, “sir?”
“Could any others be alive?”
“I have most of the geneseed, it’s possible, but realistically I wouldn’t hold out much hope. Your squad is gone, the important thing now is to avenge them by honouring your duties.”
“Yes sir, I intend to,”
Captain Atheos moved forward, pausing to direct Sectar and D’Antine back to Tratheus, he was worried about his remaining sergeant, he clearly needed some close attention, but right now Atheos couldn’t spare it, hopefully Sectar would be a useful comrade for the moment.
“I don’t know how this happened sir, but he’s alive, unconscious, but alive,” Drathé quickly explained to his captain, “the limbs are gone, but his bodies successfully sealed up the tears. I can’t be sure about his mental state, or whether this is a self induced coma to combat the damage”
“Thank you Drathé, Take a moment to compose yourself and collect Prontus, we need to get the apothecary moving.
He left the room and Atheos turned to the remains of his apothecary, “Apothecary Tureo, can you hear me…”
No response, Atheos knew he needed him awake, he also needed to get everyone moving, the xenos were holding back, but sooner or later they would be back.
“Yes sergeant,” replied Sectar knowing the dicussion that was about the occur,
“I’m going back”
“Really? And why would you want to do that?”
“I think it needs opened, it’s important,” Tratheus sounded set in his decision, “I can’t explain it, but I feel the emperor has guided us this way, we have to open it.”
“I told you already, you mustn’t open it,” interrupted D’Antine, who’d been listening closely, “I don’t know what’s inside, but it isn’t something you want to release. The mechanicum are not in the habit of imprisoninf anything of use.”
“I don’t give a shit about the mechanicum, I’m heading back, and then I will decide what to do with it, I want you to come with me, I need to know what’s written on that thing. You held too much back before, I want answers,”
“Very well, if it will help you to see sense I will go with you, but this pod will not be opened.”
“We’ll see,” Tratheus mused, then turned to the librarian, “please don’t try to talk us out of this, will you give us some time before telling the captain where we’ve headed.”
“I can’t do that sergeant Tratheus,” Sectar held up a scorched gauntlet to stop the inevitable argument, “I cannot tell the captain anything, because I will be coming with you. That capsule is potentially dangerous, you may need me.”
“Very well, let’s move quickly.” Tratheus led the way back down the corridor in the direction of the capsule, with Sectar at the rear.
Sectar wasn’t sure where the threads were heading, but he knew he had to stay close to Tratheus, and as for D’Antine, his thread had not yet become clear, but he was sure to be involved somewhere, the mechanicum always were.
They had lifted apothecary Tureo into as close a sitting position as they could, but so far there was no indication he would wake, Captain Atheos was hesitant about the next step. Prontus stood nearby, his melta sweeping back and forth, whilst Drathé did his best to examine the apothecary.
“I’m sorry sir, all I have is what Iv learnt in the field, i don’t know anywhere near enough to help Tureo.”
“I understand, Drathé, your honesty is appreciated, for now what matters is that he’s alive. We can worry about the rest later.”
Atheos stepped away and opened his vox “sergeant Tratheus, move up and join us, it’s time to move.”
No response “librarian Sectar, are you there?”
No response, “Techmarine D’Antine, do you copy?”
“Yes Captain Atheos, I copy.”
“Has there been an issue? Sectar and tratheus aren’t responding.”
“No captain, no issue, they are with me, they won’t respond on the vox because I’m jamming their range.”
“Why the hell would you do that?”
“Well, because I wouldn’t want you talking sense into then right now we’re heading back to the capsule, I believe sergeant Tratheus intends to try and open it, I need to be sure that doesn’t happen. And if it does, I need you to be gone with that artifact.”
“We’re coming back to you right now…”
“I doubt it very much, Iv closed the bulkheads behind us, you’ll be too late if you try. Do your chapter honour and deliver the artifact.”
The Vox clicked off and Atheos couldn’t get any more from them. He turned to the others and outlined the situation.
“So what do we do sir?” Asked Prantus,
“Honestly, I don’t know. Our mission is clear, we have the artifact we came for and our orders are to escape with it, regardless of cost. But the loss of three more marines is a worry, not to mention the capsule is clearly an important development.” Captain Atheos looked to Drathé, “can the apothecary be moved?”
“I think so sir, he was moved here somehow, I can get him strapped to my back and carry him for now.”
“Good, get it done. We’re going to continue on our path to a control suite, then see what we can find out about the capsule, from there we’ll make a decision.”
Prantus moved to cover as captain Atheos helped strap apothecary Tureo to Drathé. The marines moved out slowly, Atheos hesitating for only a second before moving on.
Drathé trudged slowly along with the apothecary in his back. He didn’t know what sergeant Tratheus was doing, but he knew that somehow he had to get back to that capsule, those symbols had spoken to him in some way he couldn’t explain. He couldn’t tell the captain, but he needed to get back, even if he had to go alone. Not alone he reminded himself, I have the apothecary, I suspect I’ll need him sooner or later.
So, there was another short extension of the previous pathetic, which I wrote up and then kept going, I was quite pleased with it, then it disappeared. So now il try again.
I’m looking over the city, it’s a true cesspit.
Who’d have thought I created this.
My actions led to the desecration of hope.
Of the future.
My actions destroyed all.
I’m up high, I’m tired. Not just physically- though the climb was pain wracked. I’d staggered from the cubicle, thankfully missing the ‘shitface’ on the way out, and not pausing to watch the rat swimming in my leftovers. I painfully made my way up the stairs to the edge on which I now stand.
No, I’m not just physically tired, I’m spiritually drained, my weariness is inside, I’m spent, I have nothing to give.
I’m worn out.
Years of stress and guilt have torn away my inner strength. Even if I wanted redemption I’m in no position to get it.
As I stand on this edge a memory flashes into my mind…
I’m in pain.
A lot of pain.
I can’t feel my legs
My arms are numb
I can’t open my eyes
My mouth is full of the tinny taste of blood
“Ok son, try not to move, my names jeff, I’m a paramedic.”
A paramedic? I must be bad
“Can you tell me what happened?”
Dilemma, I can’t tell them, I’m led here smashed up in my costume, my identity a secret, resultant of a secret war. What can I say?
“My names jack, I made the wrong choice.”
The truth, I can’t move, why hide anything
“I can’t feel my legs.”
“Don’t worry for the moment, let’s just get you checked and comfortable, then we can move you to hospital, can you tell me anything else?”
“He said if I walked away he wouldn’t kill me….” I pause before coughing up blood, “I guess he was telling the truth.”
“Whoever he is, he’s taken you pretty close, you’ve taken a beating.”
“The cages, are the cages there?”
“I can see some cages yeah, just over there.”
“Oh thank god, he didn’t open them”
“I don’t know what the worry is son, but the cages are empty, I’m sorry, whatever you wanted is long gone.”
No pain can replace the utter despair in that moment, whether it’s the sheer frustration and upset, or the drugs the medics are pumping into me I pass out.
I wake up.
Where am I?
It all comes flooding back.
Grit from the roof has added a few more scrapes to me but I rise stiffly.
A memory, not much but a start.
Guilt flows into the haze, I failed, I caused this.
By memory I explore my body and the wounds I felt before, apparently the docs did a decent job of patching me up, though I don’t know how much of my current state is down to that time.
I hear noises.
The curfew must be approaching, the choppers are out, I need to get off the roof and hidden somewhere.
There’s no way I’m making it all the way down those stairs so I huddle inside the door at the top and let it in….
So, this one I scrawled down not that long ago. I was in town and needed a poo, so sat in a grubby cubicle when inspiration hit.
The situation that had led to this point was still hazy.
It wasn’t a situation, that would imply some misfortune or excitement. It was no more than a series of events, brought on by my actions and lack of.
But nevertheless, here I now sit, shitting away last nights pitiful meal, on a piss soaked seat in a grubby public toilet.
That much is clear, crystal clear.
The rat, seemingly waiting on me to finish before diving in and hunting for Undigested treats.
The faecal smear on the door that seems to have morphed into a mocking caricature of a face, as though even it’s pitiful life (because surely it can’t be having all the fun) surpasses that of my own.
The hole in the cubicle wall that may or may not have an eye behind.
I’m shitting, I’m pathetic, they might as well watch.
I didn’t suddenly wake up here, I should be clear, I came of my own volition. Or at least that of my guts. But still. It’s all a haze. I know what I need to get clarity, but I can’t let it in again.
Let me start from the beginning
“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”
What a line, confidence (who knows, it could be arrogance), power, knowledge that the force is with him.
“With great power comes great responsibility”
Wow, should have remembered that one, bitten by a spider, develops super powers, uses them properly.
I’m ten, and all my dreams are of superpowers, the force, spider bites, radiation, money to fund gadgets, I don’t care how I get them, but I want superpowers and I want to be a hero.
If I could see my ten year old self, what would I say?
Go for it? Remember the purpose?
Or would I just give him a whack, homework, school real stuff?
More to the point, would he listen? Would I be written off as a ‘baddie’ and so wrong, or would a ten year old who so desperately wants to be a hero be crushed by the truth?
Because, the truth is, I did develop superpowers. Or at least I developed powers. Super, it turns out, comes from your actions, not the powers themselves.
Super is not what I was,
Not what I ended up.
I know what you’re thinking, I’m delusional, I’m high, I’m just talking crap. Well I can’t deny it, maybe it is just a figment, a trip, made up. But it happened, it was real to me.
Again, I know your thoughts. If it’s true, then what powers? How? When? What happened? Are there others?
I can’t answer.
As I said, things are hazy, I don’t know, this isn’t some ‘superhero origin story.’ Nor is it about redemption.
This is just my story.
And my demise…