The Aspie Student Trying to Write

Writing. for me sometimes, is like relaxing on a beach watching the sea … whilst a big ass jellyfish repeatedly stings my face.

My autistic brain races at a pace I can’t even begin to comprehend, never mind understand. My concentration can be broken by a passing ant giving off the tiniest of sneezes. One second, do ants sneeze? Apparently according to google, ants neither sneeze or cough, due to the fact they do not breathe through their mouths. So maybe it isn’t sneezing ants distracting me. Well actually sneezing ants are distracting me now. Shit.

So yeah, today I am attempting to write a reflective writing piece. What’s happened so far is a vague strange metaphor about writing, and a google info dump about ants.

I’ve even come to the university library. A trove of learning. Sadly, it also has 8 foot windows with a massive sun glare.

My eyes hurt, which makes my brain hurt. But there are people sat by me, I don’t really want to move away from them and move somewhere else as it makes me seem rude. Sorry random stranger student lady, you don’t smell, just the sun is doing funny things to my brain.

I’m going to keep this post short. As I really should be getting back to attempting to do some actual coursework. Wish me luck.

My Aspergers

Considering I’m a creative writing student with Aspergers, I have not really done any writing on Aspergers. So this is my first attempt at explaining what this complex, interesting, difficult piece of me effects my day to day life. Any feedback would be valued immensely and I hope you enjoy.

Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.

My pen drums against the desk, the sound drives me mad, but my hand needs to move. I’d love to write. But the chances of doing that today are slim. So the pen is just here to stop me looking like I’m trying to play the bongos. Other people start looking at me, the noise must be getting to them too. I stop tapping my pen.

Instantly my world changes.

The lights get louder and the noises get brighter. Did someone just speak to me? When did they learn Japanese.

I smirk and laugh, my default response. They look annoyed, shit, wrong response Steve.

Now I bet they think I’m a terrible person, that’s it, gonna have to avoid talking to them again today. Who was it that talked anyway? At this moment they all look alike. Just complex faces full of over animated expressions, that my fuddled brain tries in vain to understand.

Okay Steve, focus. You are in a lecture. The tutor is talking about something important, probably something you need to know. If only the fluorescent light above my head would stop buzzing, has that computer always made that whirring noise. Why can I smell coffee? Oh, he’s got coffee, I hate the smell of coffee.

Can’t we close the blinds? Daylight is glaring and the students outside are blaring. Too many sounds to see, too many sights to hear. Why did I stop tapping my pen? Where is my pen, shit? Get my bag up from under the table. The chair squeaks as I move it. Did that sound hurt anyone else? Nope just me. I rummage through my bag, looking for a pen. There’s that library book. Should really return that. What was I looking for again?

My leg begins to twitch, beating my frustration out on the floor. It makes me feel better, safer, the sounds begin to dim, and the lights get quieter. The tutor looks at me, my foot must be making a lot of noise. What’s that you’re asking me for an answer? What was the question? My leg has frozen, now I’m getting a cramp. The answer is “uhhhh, well, you see …”

I’ve bluffed an answer, you think I read that book? I tried over and over, but I kept falling asleep. It’d been a long day. Another one like this.

My brain cannot keep up with how fast life is going. Why don’t roller coasters come with brakes. Not that I could use brakes if there was one. This is why I don’t drive vehicles. I crashed that push bike into a parked car. They laughed. My driving instructor begged me not to drive cause I’d be a danger on the road.  That hurt.

I don’t understand how people can focus on the road, when the world carries on outside the metal box. That metal box puts you in charge of the lives of you, your passengers and the people around you. I don’t want to kill anyone.

I couldn’t cope in jail, locked up in a cage like a hamster without the annoying squeaky wheel. Those fluorescent lights, buzzing. No control over what I do.

Not that I’m in control now. Just in freefall, deadlines, personal life, wedding, job opportunities, hobbies, all flying at me. I try to catch them like a goalkeeper, but I was never no good at football. They used to laugh back then too.

The trouble with having limited coordination, is that you can literally fall over thin air. Broken bones, but they don’t hurt like they are meant to hurt. I walk on a broken foot all day, then my shoe is too tight to get off. Stupid brain, can’t even feel pain right. Ouch, did someone just touch me, that hurt.

“My shoe was too tight to get off.” Let’s go back to that a minute. My t-shirt feels tight, its already a size too big. I like my clothes, but I don’t like how they feel. But I don’t like being naked either. “Wear smaller clothes … that’s too big for you.” You try wearing my skin and see how you feel in my clothes. I stretch them so they hardly touch me. Why shorts in winter? Because full length trousers scare me today.

Am I too hot or too cold? Of course I am, but the alternative is being in a constant state of unbearable discomfort. At least like this, I can get through my day. I can live with the cold or the heat. What I can’t live with is my skin itching like I’ve rolled around in fibreglass.

Smoking kills, drink rots your liver, caffeine is addictive, these are scientific facts. But do you know what else it does? For me at least it allows me to relax, it blocks the negatives out. For a small time at least, these are facts I can’t prove, but please just take my word for it. You never seemed like you had autism Steve. I know, I was drunk, a lot. Sadly its frowned upon to be pissed all the time. My hangovers are hell, I wake up and all the bad things are back.

I gave them all up once, do you what happened? A one way trip to anti-psychotics, hallucinations, zombie-like life, not recognising the faces of the people I love. Smoking might kill me, drink may also, caffeine not so much. But do you know what’s a guarantee. If I’d kept living on those meds, I may as well have been dead. Steve had left the building.

But now I’ve met a compromise, yes I still smoke,  I don’t drink as much, and my caffeine intake is limited. This means that I have bad days like today, where I crack up if I don’t stim or get time alone.

Anyway, where was I? Classroom, why are people packing up? I get my phone out my pocket to check the time, I find my pen. What was the lecture about? What did I miss? Where did I go? I went to my Aspie place, my bat cave, sadly that’s where all the sad memories go too.

I put my phone in my pocket and my pen in my bag. I get up, look around the room, people are not leaving yet. Is it okay to leave yet, fuck it, I need to leave. Sorry if it seems rude. I step out into the corridor stand on my toes, bounce to next lesson, with my hands flapping by the side of me.

Outside the class I roll a fag, smoke it, brain numbed for five. I engage in conversation, hopefully I say the right things. What lesson’s next? Does it matter? It’s one of those days.

“Isn’t everyone somewhere on the spectrum?” An often asked question.

If everyone is, why do I feel so alone

Cystennin and the Chythraul

Just a short piece I created from a writing prompt given by my friend Neil in a creative writing group I’m part of on facebook. The prompt said that it should be a fictional piece about someone aged between 11-15, who receives a magical antique item on thier birthday.

Before my fifteenth birthday I was just your ordinary welsh teenager. Now I’ve got a higher calling that I didn’t ask for, and one that I don’t really understand. The life I once took for granted has gone forever, and my world will never be the same again. My name is Evan Cystennin, and this is my story…

It all started the same as any of my other birthdays. I woke up late, as mum always let me stay home from school on my birthdays. I dragged my ass down stairs about 11, only to find my house empty. On the kitchen table was a note from my mum telling me that I had a full cooked breakfast in the oven, and all I had to do was reheat it in the microwave. Result. So I pulled my meal of champions out from the oven (it even had black pudding) and threw it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then I nipped back upstairs, lifted up my mattress, and grabbed the twenty Richmond Superkings that I had stashed there the night before (a sneaky present from ‘cool’ Uncle Dai). They say smoking stunts your growth, but I’d been doing it since I was 12 and was already 6 foot. I think ‘they’ lie.

So I went and stood on my doorstep, sparked one up and tasted my first dose of nicotine as a 15 year old. The streets outside were empty, all the kids were in school and the adults were working. I’d felt like I literally had the small town of Lerpwl to myself. Just as I’d flicked away my still smoking nip, I’d heard a ping come from the kitchen. Sadly I’d never get to eat the breakfast. As I went to the kitchen I’d heard the front door open and close. I thought mum must have come home early from work so I dashed out to meet her.

There was no one in my porch just a strange brown box with the initials J.C engraved into the wooden lid. I opened the door to see who had delivered the box, but there was no one there. I looked down the street no sign of anyone or a vehicle. I remember thinking it was odd, but my curiosity overruled my worry, so I picked up the box and carried it into the living room.

I placed it down on the coffee table, opened it up there was a really old pair of silver glasses, a small silver dagger and a piece of parchment. The words on the piece of parchment read “Dear Evan. These items belonged to your great grandfather. He used them to the see the truth in this messed up world, and send the Chythrauls back to the pit they crawled out from. I’m entrusting these to you, in the hope that you will carry on his work. Happy Birthday, Necro.”

When I’d finished reading I was even more confused, I didn’t have a clue who or what Necro was. I knew Chythraul was a welsh word but I had always sucked at my native language. I’d thought it must have been somebody’s bad idea of a joke. I did have a great grandfather whose initials were indeed J.C but I had never met him. He’d left my great grandmother alone when she was pregnant and moved to America, apparently he was wrapped up in the Occult. He’d died a couple of years later from lung cancer. Why would someone have sent his stuff to Evan now?

First things first I needed to know what Chythraul was, I’d knew Uncle Dai had done well in his Welsh A-levels. So I ran to my house phone, dialled in Dai’s number and asked him to come around with his welsh dictionary. I didn’t say what it was for, but he said he’d get dressed and be over in about ten minutes.

So while I’d waited I’d gone back out to the doorstep and chain-smoked three cigarettes. Dai wasn’t really my uncle, he was just an old friend of the family. He was a bit rough around the edges, would let me stay in his flat, and play computer games when I was bunking from school. I’d brought the glasses and blade out with me. I’d placed the glasses on my face but was not prepared for what I saw.

The world suddenly seemed to erupt into flames, I saw things that weren’t there, dark shapes, grotesque shapes. The parchment had said he’d used the glasses to see the ‘truth’. If this is the truth I really didn’t want to know it. I quickly took the glasses off, and instead decided to take a look at the knife. It looked sharp, but as I ran it over the palm of my hand. It felt smooth and blunt. So I’d got given some trippy glasses and a blunt knife. This was definitely one of my least favourite birthdays.

Finally I saw Dai, he was huffing and puffing as he carried his enormous stout frame up the driveway. “Whassup Ev? You know I don’t never get up before dinner time”. I’d apologised for waking him and explained to him about the box, glasses and knife. To my surprise he didn’t look at me as if I was nuts. Instead he sighed and said he should probably come in and explain somethings to me, “but first a cuppa”, he’d said and headed for the kitchen.

I’d gone into the living room, laid the glasses and knife next to the box and re-read the parchment, trying to unearth new meaning from the complex message. “So, Dai, What’s this Chyth word mean?” I’d called into the kitchen.

“Basically kid, it means Devil, but it is also used as a word for demons” Dai had called back in a very matter of fact way, as if we were discussing the weather.

“So, this Necro guy wants me to send the devil, I mean demons, back to the pit they came from, whatever this guy was smoking I want some of it” I’d said laughing, this Necro guy must have obviously been nuts.

Dai came into the living room carrying two cups, I reached to take one out of his left hand, but he shoved the one from his right to me instead. “Okay, you can have that cup you weird fucker” I’d said, wondering what his problem was. He smirked then sat down on the sofa opposite and looked at the blade and glasses.

“Drink your tea Ev” he’d instructed. Staring at me intensely.

I looked at him suspiciously, “I don’t want to a minute thanks mate, I want to know what this Necro guys problem is”. I put my cup down on the table.

“I’ll tell you Ev, but please mate drink your tea,” he’d seemed to be losing patience with me, picking up the tea and pushing it towards me. I refused again. Smacking the cup from his hand, it shattered on the floor.

“Honestly Dai, something is really strange here, I get this weird box, you are acting really off. Tell me what is going on!” I’d risen to my feet now, Dai remained sitting, I couldn’t read the expression that had come over his face.

“Put the glasses on” is all he had said.

So I picked up the silver glasses, bowed my head, and placed them on my face. Then I looked at Dai but Dai was no longer there. In his place was a disgusting horned creature. Worms were crawling out of holes where his eyes should be and his teeth were huge fangs. “What the fuck!” I’d taken the glasses off my face and looked down at Dai, who was back to his usual appearance.

“There ya go then kid, lets see how much of ol’ John C is in ya” Dai was smiling as he raised to his feet and swung his hand back in a fist. I’d ducked and he hit the wall behind me. He yelped, and gripped his hand, I grabbed the knife and ran upstairs. Into my bedroom and slammed the door behind me.

I heard him grunting as he climbed the stairs, talking in a language I didn’t understand. He began pushing my door so I pushed it back. Then a small voice in my ear said “use the knife, send him back to the pit he crawled out of.”

But its blunt I’d thought, It wouldn’t cut my hand, a human hand. “But he’s not human” the voice replied. I jumped away from the door let Dai enter, raised the knife above my head and swung it down into his chest.

Dai screamed, fell backwards, clutching the wound as litres of black-tarlike liquid poured out of it. “There he is, there’s ol’ Constantine” He gargled before his body exploded and had covered my room in a mess of body parts.

I’d stood there shell-shocked covered from head to toe in what used to be my ‘uncle’. Then I’d heard the front door open and my mum call up “Happy Birthday”.

 

 

 

Lily Red and Mr Wolph (Updated)

My original story Lily Red and Mr. Wolph but this is an updated version with some character development, and other changes based on the feedback I had back from my fellow students. Please give it a read and I hope you enjoy

Lily Red and Mr Wolph

BANG! BANG! BANG! A gang of teenage boys kick a ball into a pair of rusty garage doors. On the council estate of Uponthyme this is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. Probably the only form that isn’t necessarily illegal.

“Watch out!” shouts one of the lads, as he misjudges his kick. Which sends the ball soaring over the garage, where it smashes through the window of a flat directly above.

“Shit,” says one of the others. The boys run full pelt away from the garages. Hoping that whoever lives in the flat is not six foot five and built like a brick shithouse.

Inside the flat, a skinny girl named Lily jumps up from her sofa with a start. Lily is in her late teens, has scraggly bleached blonde hair, and her face still has the remnants of yesterday’s make up smeared across it. “What the ‘ell was tha’?” she slurs half asleep.

Surveying the scene in front of her. She notices the ball nestled in the corner of her room, and the glass from her window which is scattered over her carpet and the coffee table. Considering how often the boys play outside her window, it doesn’t take Lily long to put two and two together.

“The little bastards, I’ll ring their necks,” she mutters as she rushes over to the window, the broken shards of glass penetrate her bare feet. “Fuck that hurts!” She looks out the window, and scans for any sign of the perpetrators. The street below is empty, except for the burnt out remains of a ford focus and a tabby stray cat.

She limps back to her sofa, falls on it, and attempts to pull the shards of glass out of her bloody feet.

“This is the last fucking thing I need,” Lily says to herself. Most the blood-soaked glass was now on the table in front of her. Lily checks her pockets for some evidence of what she got up to last night. She should be more worried that she can’t remember, but it is not the first time this has happened. Out of her pockets she pulls her mobile phone; with its newly cracked screen, her bank card; that goes along with her empty account, and a bag full of white powder; that would explain why she can’t remember anything. “How did I afford this?” Lily questions.

Then her phone vibrates. She picks it up, unlocks it and looks at the broken screen. It shows 5 missed calls and 17 text messages. She opens one message, ‘Lily? Where da fuck r u? I want my cash!’ the others are a lot less polite than this one. So that’s how she got the coke.

The text messages are from Mr. Wolph. A local drug dealer who Lily has been pretty much indebted to for almost two years now, ever since she moved out of Gran’s house. Lily has promised herself that she was going to kick her cocaine addiction, but Mr. Wolph always seems to know when she is feeling down and offers her a pick-me-up. That must have been what happened last night.

“Shit, think Lily think,” She mutters to herself. A thousand panicked thoughts fly through her head. Mr. Wolph is dangerous, he won’t wait long for his money. She could get a job? They were always looking for bar staff at the local pub, maybe she could try down there.

She wraps her still bleeding soles in bandages, pulls on a pair of socks and shoes. Grabs her favourite red hoody off the laundry pile and began to slowly make her way to the pub in town. Her feet were still throbbing, and Lily was trying to put as little weight on them as possible.

Uponthyme’s town has seen better days, nearly all the stores were closed. The butcher’s son was murdered last year, which led to that store being closed down. The baker sold his business to a chain store and moved on. The candlestick maker had been harassed by the youths in the area, they even set fire to his store. No one knew what happened to him in the end. Even the builder’s yard of The Three Pyg brothers stood vacant. Though Lily had heard that they owed a lot of money to Mr. Wolph. If you piss him off, you were not around long after that.

Lily began to cross the road to get to Jack and Jill’s pub, but a Black Range Rover swerves in front of her, causing her to stumble backwards.

“Fuck! You idiot. Watch where ya going,” She screams at the blacked-out windows.

“Now, now, is that really the best way to talk to me, Lily Red?” A familiar voice answers back.

The door opens and out climbs Mr Wolph, with his slicked back greying hair and big bushy beard. His great big eyes glared at her, Lily’s whole body began to shake with terror.

He scans her, like a predator scans its prey, “I’m going to ask you a very simple question, where is my money?” This question sounds more like a threat to Lily especially as he is almost growling it at her.

She takes a few steps back and stutters “I don’t, I mean, I will, I…”

Without warning Mr. Wolph pounces on her and knocks her to the floor, which winds Lily. Mr. Wolph climbs on top of Lily, pins her hands down with his strong arms, and lowers his face to hers.

“Where is my FUCKING MONEY!” his face is full of rage. His spit splatters on Lily’s face. What’s that smell? Is that raw meat? Supposedly, when you are the estate’s biggest drug dealer, you can afford to eat at those fancy restaurants where your steak is almost alive when they serve it to you.

Lily is struggling to breathe, the smell is getting to her. He wants the money today, where can she get it? Gran gave her money from her inheritance last month, she won’t give her anymore by choice. But Granny’s memory is not the way it used to be, maybe she could convince her addled brain that she hadn’t given her it to her yet. Or she could always steal it. God, this shit is fucked up.

“I’m jus’ … on ma way … to get it,” Lily manages to gasp this out as the air begins to leave her body and her vision becomes blurred.

Mr. Wolph bares his long white teeth, and his mask of anger turns into a wicked smile “See, now that wasn’t so hard was it?” Then he climbs off the top of her and Lily splutters. The next few breaths she takes are painful and her eyes are wet with tears. She looks up at Mr. Wolph, he dusts himself off and slicks his grey hair back out of his eyes.

“You’ve got an hour Red, so tell me where you are going?” He didn’t even attempt to hide the threat in his voice this time. Lily knew it was not worth lying to this animal.

“I’m going to my Gran’s. When my parents died she got my money out of the trust fund, I’ll get the money from her” These words spewed out of Lily’s mouth, she wanted to get as far away from Mr. Wolph as she could.

He looked at her, Lily could almost hear the twisted cogs turn in his head. “If you haven’t contacted me by the end of the hour, I will sniff you out and the result won’t be pleasant.” He offers Lily his hand and pulls her to her feet.

He turns his back on her and climbs back into the vehicle, starts the engine. Lily breathes a sigh of relief, but then his scary eyes are back on her. “On second thoughts, what’s her address? It’ll save me hunting you down, I can just come pick you or the money up from Granny’s in an hour.”

Lily did not like the inflection on the word ‘you’, but she knew if she didn’t give him Granny’s address right now, she was not going to be going to Granny’s at all.

“Its … 1697 Cottage Lane … Don’t come to my Granny’s though please, she’s not well, I’ll get your money and text you a meeting place. There’s plenty of money there, honest.” Lily was trying to sound as sincere as she possibly could. If Mr. Wolph came to her Granny’s, and told her about her problem, it would break her Gran’s heart.

“Red, if you don’t text me, I will be coming there,” Mr. Wolph emphasises every syllable of this as he leers at her. Lily manages to muster a fake smile, nods and stumbles off down Woodland Drive. Mr. Wolph waits until she is out of sight and then begins to drive off.

“Stupid coked-up brat, fuck waiting for her. I know where Granny lives now,” His voice is a deep snarl, and he has a sadistic look on his face as he turns down Lye Street, and heads to 1697 Cottage Lane. He is so focused on teaching Lily a lesson he doesn’t realise the white car that follows him directly after.

 

Ten minutes later, Mr. Wolph climbs out of his Range Over in a side street just around the corner from Granny’s house. He strolls out onto Cottage Lane and begins to check the house numbers. He mutters to himself as he does this “1695 … 1696 … Here we are 1697.” Granny’s house was huge, Mr. Wolph wonders why Red would ever leave this place, he wouldn’t.

He walks up the garden path to the oak door, and pulls on the brass knocker three times. He hears movements inside along with the jangle of keys. The door opens and Lily’s Granny stands in front of him, a short once plump woman, with wispy white hair, big brown glasses and a faraway look in her eyes.

“Hello? Do I know you?” Her voice is shaky, and she is looking at Mr. Wolph’s face intensely,  as if to try and register some form of recognition. Mr. Wolph couldn’t believe his luck, this is going to be easier than he expected.

His face breaks into a massive toothy gleaming smile, and begins to almost purr at Granny in his most charming voice, “No, sorry I don’t believe we have met before. My name is Jacob Wolph, I’m a friend of your granddaughter’s. Lily?” Granny’s face is lit up with joy at the mention of Lily’s name. So far, so good, Mr. Wolph thinks and continues “She asked me to meet her here, she wanted to introduce to me to her wonderful Granny, but silly me I must have got here early.”

Granny’s face was like a child’s at Christmas by this point “Did she call me wonderful? Oh bless her, she is a lovely child, it’s been too long since her last visit. Please … Jack was it? Do come in and wait.”

Granny turns her back on Mr. Wolph, and happily leads him into the house. Mr. Wolph pulls a pair of black leather gloves out of his coat and places them onto his hands. His friendly façade disappears as he gently closes the door behind him.

 

Lily is still shaking when she turns up outside Granny’s house twenty minutes later. She would have been here sooner, but her injured feet really slowed her down. Still, she has half an hour to get the money, one way or another, and meet with Mr. Wolph.

She catches sight of herself in the window of a parked white car. Her hair is all out of place from her scuffle with him, she has panda eyes from crying, and her clothes are covered in dirt. She tries to brush the dirt off, fix her hair, and wipe away some of the black streaks, but it doesn’t work, if anything she looks worse now.

“Can I help you?” comes a smooth voice from behind her. Lily spins around and finds herself face to face with a handsome, tall, man in his mid-thirties. He has chestnut coloured hair, hazel eyes and a kind smile.

“Um … no? Why would you think I need help?” Lily did not mean to sound so defensive, but she is not used to people being nice to her for no reason.

The man looks at her with his head turned slightly to the side, before he smiles and says “I don’t, I was just wondering if you were finished checking yourself out in my car window.”

Lily blushes, opens her mouth to talk, but nothing comes out instead she moves away from the car and towards Granny’s garden gate. The man shakes his head in disbelief, climbs into his car, and slams the door behind him. Lily looks back, and sees that he is just sat there watching her. Actually, he seems to be glaring angrily at her. “Wierdo” she huffs to herself , before she opens the gate and walks up the garden path.

Once she reaches the oak door she takes a deep breath, “you can do this Lily”. She then reaches out to knock the door, but there is no need, the door is already open. Lily slowly pushes it inwards, and peeks around the side of it. No sign of Granny, she must have gone out and forgot to close the door. “This makes my job a lot easier” Lily mutters before heading to the kitchen.

“Granny?” Lily calls out as she enters the kitchen. No response, so she rushes over to the old cabinet, pulls it away from the wall, and enters the combination into the safe behind it. The lock clicks, and the safe swings open. Just as Lily grabs the first bundle of pound notes, she hears an almighty crash from above her. Lily stuffs the money back into the safe, pushes it closed and moves the cabinet back into place.

Lily swiftly leaves the kitchen, and moves to the bottom of the stairs. She listens for more sounds from above, nothing, so she calls aloud “Granny? Granny are you here? It’s me Lily.”

Two coughs come in response and then a frail-sounding voice answers “Yes, Lily I’m just in my room. Not feeling well, let yourself out dear.”

Granny sounded strange, so Lily quietly crept up two steps before replying. “Granny? You are not kidding, you sound really rough, is there anything I can do?”. Lily began to feel real bad, here is her Granny unwell in bed and she was planning to rob her.

“No Lily Red, nothing you can do, I think I got the flu,” the voice replied.

Lily suddenly felt sick with worry, her Granny doesn’t call her Lily Red. Something was seriously wrong here. She sprints up the steps, not looking where she was going. As she reaches the top her foot catches something soft, and she falls down on her face.

Her nose is bleeding, her head is throbbing, and her heart is racing. She turns her head to see what thing she had caught her foot on. Its someone not something. Lily’s Granny lies on the cream carpet her eyes closed, as blood seeps out the back of her skull. Next to her is a tacky ornamental picnic basket, also covered in blood.

Lily stands up and rushes to Granny, , kneels down and holds her. She checks her pulse, its weak but still there. Lily pulls her phone out of her pocket, dials 999 and puts it to her ear. Just as the person answers the call, she feels a sharp blow to her back and collapses on the floor next to her Gran.

“Ya couldn’t just take the money and leave could ya Red?” Mr. Wolph’s voice was full of malice. Lily turns her head to see her attacker, his hair is crazy, his eyes are wide and his teeth are bared like the fangs of an angry dog. His hands are covered in blood, her Granny’s blood. He grabs Lily and throws her head first down the stairs. Lily thinks she feels every bone in her body break on the way down.

Lily is struggling to remain conscious, her body is in so much pain. She makes a silent prayer for help, if her and her Granny manage to survive this she will never touch that stuff again.

Mr. Wolph appears at the foot of the stairs, “ I don’t usually kill women, but if I’ve killed one, I may as well kill another,” he steps into the living room, and comes back with the wood axe from by the fireplace.

Lily is crying, she begs Mr. Wolph to spare her. Pleads with him to just take the money and leave. As he raises the axe above his head, she leaves out one last scream for help.

Suddenly the door flies open, the man that Lily was speaking to earlier stands in the door way. “DI Huntsman. Mr Wolph, put the weapon down!” he commands in a voice full of authority, whilst he flashes his police badge.

Mr. Wolph shoots looks between the strong new arrival and the vulnerable Lily on the floor. Lily can tell he is weighing up his options. Mr. Wolph turns to face Huntsman and runs at him with the axe still raised above his head. Huntsman pulls out his pistol and shoots Mr. Wolph straight through the heart. Mr. Wolph drops backwards to the floor. He’s dead before he even hits the carpet.

Huntsman runs over to Lily’s broken body, and smiles sadly at her. “See, you did need help after all,” Lily attempts to laugh but passes out instead.

Huntsman pulls his phone out of his pocket, looks at Mr. Wolph’s dead body and makes a call. “Hey, it’s DI Huntsman, the priority target is dead, was not possible to make an arrest.” He then looks down at Lily “Secondary target was injured badly by priority target before I arrived on the scene. She needs medical attention and some help with substance addiction”. Huntsman steps over Lily and begins to climb upstairs.

He finds Granny and quickly checks her over. “We also have an elderly lady that was grievously assaulted by the priority target, she needs instant medical attention. I think she is the secondary target’s grandmother.” He then hangs up the phone and sighs.

 

Lily opens her eyes and sees the Hi-Vis vests of the medics working on her and her Granny. She guesses she’s in an ambulance as the small room she finds herself in seems to be moving. She hears the medics trying to save her Granny and reaches her hand out to grab her Granny’s hand. Before whispering “I’m sorry.”

It’s not the happiest of endings, but it’s the best ending this story is going to get.

Two Little Dicky Birds (Early Scriptwriting Piece)

The scene opens into a cell, a cell with grubby walls that were once white. The walls are covered in many stains, some red, some yellow, some brown. There are no windows, just one door that is locked.

In the middle of the cell lies a naked middle aged man -PAUL-, covered in cuts, bruises and scars. His body movements are very twitchy, he is unkempt and looks severly unhealthy.

He is humming a nonsensical tune, whilst the screams of other inmates echo through the room. In his hands he holds a carrot, which he is cradling as if it was the most treasured artifact on earth.

Paul: (To the carrot) Do you hear that Peter? … Our new neighbours are ever so loud, the rest of the neighbourhood isn’t going to take too kindly to that sort of kurfuffle (To the wall) Oi! Do you want to keep it down? some of us are trying to sleep in here …

The screams continue, Paul sighs and sits up, taking a big stretch and letting out a big yawn

Paul: Some people are just so rude, they are lucky its my day off. Peter do you think we should go over and speak to them? Let them know that this is not the kind of village where you can just party on until the dark hours?

Paul gets to his feet and walks over to one of the walls, opens an imaginary wardrobe and begins to dress himself. whislt obviously remaining very naked.

Paul: (Looking over his shoulder, addressing the carrot) Peter! You know I don’t like it when you watch me dress. (Blushing) Now I’ve gone all shy, and forgotten what it was I was getting dressed for … Oh yes … Noisy neighbours …

Paul Walks over to the door, tries the handle, door remains locked

Paul: (Starts off, calm, becomes more and more distressed) Peter? Do you know where your keys are? Silly me, I’ve only gone and lost them, again… Peter, the doors locked, I need the keys … Peter!

Paul tries the handle again and again, getting angrier and angrier before finally he screams and flings himself down on the floor, landing on his hands and knees

Paul: (Muttering quietly to himself) Come on now Paul. Pull yourself together, you’ll dirty your new pants. Can’t let Peter see you laid out on all fours like a wild animal. Then again maybe he’ll like it. Dirty … Dirty … Dirty … Dirty … Dirty.

A hatch opens at the bottom of the door, a red sludgy mess in a bowl is pushed through. The words “Crazy Faggot” are heard muttered before the hatch is rammed shut.

Paul: (Picks up the bowl, sniffs it, thinks against eating it)  Did you hear him Peter? He thinks         me a faggot, me, a married man. (Picks up the carrot once more, presses it against his face) Oh Peter, we are good friends aren’t we. (Looks up to the sky, his eyes glaze over as if he is remembering something) Course you have to be my friend, considering what I pay you to be our butler. Katherine wasn’t very happy at first, said it made us look stuck up, “Who has a butler in this day and age Paul?”. Then again, she hadn’t come from the same background as me. Reckoned its an expense we could do without. Because you are quite expensive arent you Peter? I was used to having  servants since I was born, sorry can’t use that word any more, political correctness is everywhere. (Under his breath) Except in the world of food delivery, faggot indeed. The only thing worse than their manners is their food…

Paul launches the bowl at the wall, it smashes and the contents spill out on the floor, a big red gloopy mess. Paul looks at this, twitches uncomfortably and carries on speaking…

Paul: … Eventually though Katherine got used to the idea of having a butler, gives you a lot less to worry about in life. Plus I think it helps that you are a good looking young man too, it was funny watching her flirt with you and you politely flirt back. Little did Katherine know she was barking up the wrong tree, her radar for men of that persuasion  was always a bit off. (sung, under his breath) “two little dickybirds, sitting on a wall”.

Paul begins to caress the carrot lovingly

Paul: I’d known you for years before being your employer. A friend of the family, young handsome Peter Cross, whose relationships never last, and his family are close to disowning him, and taking his inheritance unless he marries. Sounded similar to me, me and Katherine were pretty much arranged, my first serious girlfriend, met her a handful of times before our wedding. When I’d seen you again that night in … ahem, that bar, you were drowning your sorrows, your family had just disowned you. We had a drink together, talked about old times on my parents estate as young boys, then we parted ways, as I offered you a job as my butler …

Paul twitches and looks hard at the carrot, then sighs

Paul: Okay, Okay Pete. Who am I kidding? Who am I lying to, its only me and you here. The bar, the bar was a gay one, because … I … I am a faggot. Or as you affectionally call it, we are a pair of dicky birds. (sung under his breath) “One named Peter, The other named Paul. So we made an agreement after that night of (Grimace) … yes … yes Peter, I’ll say it, after that night of … passion. You needed money, I needed an outlet for my …. Urges. So you’d move in and work for me in the day, and the nighttime when Katherine had gone to bed.

Paul shakes his head

Paul: Course, I felt bad, I loved her, but I wasn’t in love with her. Course I’m not in love with you either, before you start. (Mumbles) It’s a sin, I love him, it’s a sin, he loves me, it’s a sin, im a queer. But one night, after an awful lot of alchohol, I made the mistake of promising you the world. I promised we would run away together, live our lives as lovers, rather than employer, and exceedingly well paid employee. Then you, you little gay bitch, started to put pressure on me, “you tell Katherine or I will”. Was I not paying you enough? I managed to put it off another 3 months, before you told me, “you have one hour”. So I went to tell Katherine, but just as I went to open my mouth …

Paul claws at his own face

Paul: She’d told me she was pregnant, I couldn’t do it to her, so I rushed to my room packed my stuff and prepared to leave. You were furious, sulked off before I could tell you what had happened. (sung under his breath) “fly away peter, fly away paul”. I’d driven about an hour away when I got the phonecall from you, telling me to come back, you sounded worried … (sung under his breath) “come back Peter, come back Paul”.

Paul is shaking, tears coming down his face

Paul: When I got there … there was so much … (looks at the contents of the bowl on the floor, vomits on himself and the floor) … Shut up Peter! … Fucking Blood okay! … So much fucking blood! … There was so much fucking red fucking blood from where my pregnant wife had took a stanley blade to her wrists.

Paul looks at the carrot, kisses it, then throws it across the room

Paul: You had told her, thinking I was too much of a coward to do it. I couldn’t look at you, my wife, my child, dead, my wife, my child, dead, you hugged me, I grabbed you, my wife, my child, dead, I took the stanley blade,  my wife, my child, dead … my wife, my child, my butler, dead … (sung under his breath) “Fly away Peter”.

Paul curls up in a ball. Reaches for the carrot and cradles it in his arms.

Paul: When they finally got called out, maybe two days after, people were worried about us. I was laying between the two of you. Singing, I’d been singing our song … from the moment you’d died … From the moment I … I … I … “Come back Peter!”

Paul cries, rocks, and sings the song “two little dicky birds”

Two days later Someone screams …

Paul: Do you hear that Peter?

T in the Park (Part 1) – Steward Diaries # 2

“T in the Park won’t be too bad, the Scottish like the Welsh”, this is a line I remember hearing just before setting off to the next festival.

Even the run up to this event had been worse than the last. I spent most my wages from Download replacing the gear that I lost. My boss spent his time pulling in new recruits as we were down a few members of staff after the biblical downpour at Donnington Park.

Somehow I was still kind of excited for the next festival, I swear I must be glutton for punishment. So I packed my kit, and took it down the bossman’s house, because this time our luggage was going up ahead of us.

I awoke early the next morning, met up with my cousin and a few others, and we drove down to Lidl in Tylorstown. This was our pick-up point.

I remember thinking at least this time we aren’t going to be all squashed in cars. A minibus seemed like a better option … oh god, was I wrong.

The drive took about 14 hours. 14 long god damn hours. Due in part to the fact that the bus decided to break down at the services. Seeing as there was not much else to do, a lot of us got drunk… Never a good idea.

The ride there was the ride from hell: there were tears, tantrums, fights, arguments, banter and more piss-stops than I can count.

Worse still everyone was following the Euros, Wales had managed to make it to the semi-finals. Now I’m not a sports fan by any degree, but I was even rooting for Wales to win because I knew if they lost, the rest of the journey was going to be even more unbearable.

The stars were not in our favour at all during that journey, Wales lost.

Then even more bad news broke, someone back home had passed away. By this point we were ready to turn around and go back. But we knew that we had a job to do.

We arrived at Strathallan Castle Estate in Perthshire, it was right smack bang in the middle of no man’s land. The nearest town was about 5 miles away, we knew when we got out of the bus. We was not going to see civilization again until the end of this festival.

The weather once again was not on our side, it was absolutely belting down. Bossman came up to us, told us we were working PUDO (I had no idea what that meant) and that we were on tomorrow’s night shift. I wasn’t going to argue with that, a lie-in was absolutely in order.

So now all we had to do was grab our kit (in the rain), set up the tents (in the rain) and try to get some decent sleep (before dying of hypothermia).

Sounds difficult enough right? But just to add to the drama … Some of our kit was missing … So we spent the next hour tracking it down or replacing what was lost … By the time we got the tent set up, (me and my cousin were sharing this time, someone else had my tent) we were soaked right through, pissed off, emotionally and physically exhausted.

But now it was time to sleep … Tomorrow we had a whole day to recover before work … Tomorrow would be better yeah? … I’m sure you can guess the answer to that question.

 

 

Zombie Life (Early Creative Writing Work)

Stumbling through the street, gurgling the blood of his many victims, Stanley the zombie drags his rotten body as fast as he can towards the glorious scent of fresh meat coming from a nearby alley.

Stanley wonders what it could be, he hopes it is not a rat or a homeless person because they taste like warmed up shit. Just because he is a member of the walking dead these days doesn’t mean that he has no standards.

As he limps closer to his next meal, he notices another shuffling figure close-by, who seems to be in even worse condition than Stanley. This new arrival has two missing arms and his ankle has twisted the wrong way around, Stanley by comparison looks practically human.

Stanley’s skin may be peeling a little and his eyes are pale and full of cataracts but at least he is mostly still intact. The biggest wound on his body is the bite that killed him, right on the left side of his neck, this had been inflicted by one of his patients a long time ago.

See before he was Stanley the Zombie, he was a young intern at his local hospital. When the news report about the dead coming back to life had come through. Stanley had been with the family of an elderly gentleman who had just passed away. When the apparently deceased man walked into the waiting room, Stanley had almost died of fright. The family had run to their relative, thanking god for this miracle, but this was no act of god.

They were massacred in seconds, ripped apart due to his new-found hunger for flesh. Stanley hadn’t even attempted to run, he was frozen in fear and cried as the old man ripped open his throat. He bled out quickly and this was the end of his human existence.

Although Stanley can recall his memories of being a human being, and retains his human intelligence, his body is controlled by his base instinct which is to feed on the bodies of humans and animals who are still living.

In the early days, there was plenty to eat but now pickings are slim and that’s why when Stanley picked up this scent he raced to get to dinner before anyone else. But now he had competition.

The no-armed newcomer, seemed familiar to Stanley now that he had come closer and Stanley recognised him as Nigel from down the street. Stanley tried to converse but all that came out was “Rarrrrggghhhh”, his usual greeting.

The last time Stanley had seen Nigel was the morning he had eaten Nigel’s wife in front of him, she tasted amazing, women always did taste better. Nigel had been overcome with grief but, before Nigel had had the chance to bash Stanley’s skull open with a table lamp, a fellow flesh eater had torn his arm off. Stanley did not know what had happened to his other arm and now that Nigel was trapped inside his own brain just as he was, he would never know.

Maybe Nigel had managed to gain some control of his own body and had recognised Stanley as he launched himself upon him now. As a general rule the zombie population don’t attack each other. But here this chap was trying to rip out the remainder of Stanley’s throat, knocking him to the floor in the process.

With Nigel upon him Stanley had looked down the alleyway and noticed that there wasn’t a rat or a homeless person there. It was a man, in soldier clothes and carrying an assault rifle.

The soldier seemed just as confused as Stanley at the scene in front of him but lifted his rifle pointed it at Nigel’s head and blew his brain’s right out of his skull.

I would thank you thought Stanley, but I know what’s coming next. sure enough the soldier had pointed his rifle at the remaining zombie, the perfect target prone on the floor. Stanley’s life and afterlife flashed before his eyes and he wondered do zombies go to hell or do they go to … (Bang).

Doubts

“Our doubts are traitors. And make us lose the good we oft might win. By fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare

I have not actually read Measure for Measure, the play that this line comes from (although it was on the reading list). But I had a feeling that when I googled the term Doubt Quotes. That my homeboy Will would have one waiting for me to use.

I don’t really want to make a habit of using these daily word prompts, but today the prompt just happened to align with the way I feel.

Now let me get on thing straight. I love workshops, you bring in some work, it gets critiqued and you go away and try to make it better.

To be fair a lot of the problems i can fix. But one of my biggest issues is punctuation. I don’t know if its down to missing so much school when I was younger or what, but my punctuation skills are appalling.

I throw down commas like they are going out of fashion. I seem to be completely terrified of full stops. I can never quite get the grasp of speech marks or how to punctuate them. That is without mentioning colons, semi colons, hyphens and any other ink blots that completely baffle me.

Then worse still, I take to the books and the internet to try and find out how to use these tools of mass-confusion, and somehow, I leave feeling more in doubt than I was before I started.

So today, I am doubting myself. But tomorrow, I probably won’t.

Because doubting yourself short term is fine, it is good not to get overconfident. I think i was getting overconfident and that is probably why it hit me so hard. I was getting lazy, not proof-reading my work.

(Not that I have proof-read this mind, but then again you guys aren’t my tutor and you don’t take marks off for bad punctuation).

This little bit of self-doubt will make me want to get better.

Therefore I will get better, watch out you little inkblots I’m going to make you my bitch!

via Daily Prompt: Doubt

Discarded to the Woods (Poem)

Grey Hoody, Black Jeggings, thrown into a bush,

Ragged, torn, and now considered trash.

Streams filled with waste, plastic bottles and bags,

Natural walkways, littered with cans and fags.

 

Broken Glass, Rusted metal where children could play,

Sullying the forest with the scraps of today.

Less animals roam, they take cover and stay hidden,

Once a natural paradise, now dangerous and forbidden.

 

Old furniture, dumped rather than taken to a skip

Rather than make a twenty-minute trip.

Its left to rot, a blemish to the eyes,

Whilst the lush green grass beneath it withers and dies.

 

Stuffed teddies, old toys, moss covered and mouldy,

Outgrown by their owners, discarded and lonely,

Superted, Pingu, past their prime, sit dirty and rotten,

All this and more sent to the woods, then forgotten.