Head sweat frozen by heat. Eyes peeling out of their sockets, each individually draped in a woolly blanket that itches and irritates. Shoulders have fallen off; the tendons lie bare and stretched. Throat pushes boulders down to soft shit lungs. Creased horrid underwear hovers dripping ooze on neon soft mat.
Fit shavings spray with vibrations over my crotch. I twitch and look up. I can’t see shit; my eyes are pouring with moisture. Lying down is the only option. Blades slice into my back. I keep applying pressure regardless. The tiny sharp teeth start to slide from side to side eating through my spine. They stir my kidneys then pop them in half and shower their purple rancid juice, which cooks on the friction of the machine. This makes me smiley.
Stop fucking winking at me, I’m trying to work. I try and look aggressive with heavy shatteringly defensive machinery. She carries on looking. Dribble spews out of her mouth making her grey lipstick run onto her chin. She rubs it away with her hand and stains her white shirt collar in the process. She staggers over thinking she’s all clean. Out of the van she grabs a pitch fork and rams it through my flies and down my tube.
Lying in a bed of rubber, to my left my past and current love, to my right a deranged deformed Hull/LA musician. Both naked. The musician has had his genitals rearranged. Bell end stapled to the bottom of his arsehole, with the side skin welded in place. There is a long knife gash down the middle, it has been burnt clean with a blowtorch and is soft and pretty. The girl sits on him and throws her discharge at me as I smile trapped behind cling film. They start smashing into me spreading their parts on me. Carving off their tattoos they brutally stitch them on to unseen parts of my body using thick tapestry needles and garden wire.
Junk book in my bag waiting to be pawed and touched by sandwich flakes. Ripping up elms and brambles with hot sun and cool breeze. Underneath waiting to prick you are blue dirty syringes some whole, some snapped in half. The needles live near the graveyard where the junkies hang. Some trick death and others make slump, blue and cold on the grand crosses. Late after work a nurse will prick me to prevent disease and infection abroad.
Sanded down face eats meat lung, fish and rice from a plastic bag, rancid smell seeps out. He barks out orders at us between mouthfuls, ‘no only the chip board ones, and the pallets, take the pallets,’ later we slop diesel on cardboard and spiky hedge. Then load with rubbish wood. The heat cracks our face; I can smell cooked ham on my cheek. Five metres away the glow still hurts. My partner in fire stands smiling at the flames, which glint in his glasses. I have no idea whether he is utterly content or disastrously depressed about his life. At this moment he decides to walk into the middle of the fire, I feign to rescue him and try to scream. But he gestures for me to leave him, instinctively I slosh diesel into the middle and watch him disappear.
Licked clean date stones hang from tired dad’s mouth, finally dropping into dusty van cup holder. Eddie’s gunna be annoyed. Slosh petrol in orange hole and skulk off to the car park. The futility of the task is soon realised as strong gusts blow neat piles back into their singular homes of expression. I soon stop worrying and peer through the glass into commuter’s shell. A hill of baby chairs sit covered in endless empty packets of flavourless flavour puffs. Empty paracetamol packets wrap themselves round damp never dried toothbrush. Tears and blood stain the steering wheel.
First time I have ever done anything like this. Cross pedestrian quad and see her through random gaps in hoards of passing shoppers. She wears exactly what she stated she would in her email. I greet her, she barely greets me, she stands up not looking at me and starts as if to follow me. I haven’t started moving yet so I get in front to give her something to aim for. She looks only to be a vague resemblance to her picture, it is only her distinctive piercings that create a uniform between the two. Each step I take down the pavement I feel as though I am getting older and that she is descending into mother goo again. Are people looking at us? She is sweet and quiet and does not give much away. I will never see her again and that does not fuss me.
My memory of you is fading; parts of my brain have been removed by time, lack of contact and vicious oversized blades. I can no more summon up the same depth of texture and physicality in my mind. Everything is viewed through a frost weakened and out of reach. Like old badly developed or badly kept film, your are stained in but can never quite be seen properly. Frustratingly I ask how it ever got this way. I miss the immediacy of powerful thought presence. I can barely clasp you now, features of you have rotten away in my hot badly refrigerated head. The pain is only somewhat dealt with by prospect of re discovery.
‘I wish I didn’t shave my arsehole and pubic hair.’
‘Show us why’
She stands up and stabs two hands of nails into her head. Then scrapes them down the centre of her body underneath the skin, her hands part at her hips and take a leg each. Thick blood and split veins hang out from the rancid crust of cream coloured fat that makes up the edge of the wound. It all dry’s out very quickly, there is no drip. Her clothes now ripped fall of her body with ease and spread themselves on the floor. Her head twitches as she reaches into her vagina. Her wrist clenches as she forces out a half eaten mangled penis, no balls.
5 am: body naturally wakes up, yet the head is far from natural. It feels rock hard and featureless like a cube of granite. The pillow it rests on is not soft but rigid and shiny. With great strain on his neck he lifts his head slightly and rub’s it in circular motions on the hard pillow. It scrapes and echoes a nasty noise that penetrates his head and makes the insides feel soft and normal again. Lifting his head higher now he smashes it down. It cracks and he feels no more. His mother is left to find him when he does not appear all morning. His head caved in and crusted axe resting in white cloud duvet.
Shattering pitched up electric twangs race dangerously around my head. They push their way through matter sometimes stopping to give gifts and drink tea with new excited friends. Other times they grab these friends and drag them from their family and everything they thought they knew. Once in the no mans land of clear juice and white skull borders they take out their kit. Pushing the poor boy to the floor they smash his jaw with spiked hammers. Run wire into his eyes. Clean his arsehole and genitals with non-flinching wire brushes and acid. After many hours letting him writhe around they do not answer his screams with the cold barrel of a gun to the back of head. But instead clothe him and clean his wounds and place him back where they found him, no one is any the wiser.
Shivering in a cold white bed, the bleak thick wind runs off the bare tree fronds and through the slit in the window, channelling right towards my chest. I blow hard on my nose the tissue fills with hot liquid blood as well as small dark brown almost purple clots. The tissue perishes due to the over load of liquid. Falling limp at the sides it deposits a stain on my pyjamas. I cast it to rest on top of my phone to be dealt with later. Turning to the man next to me I smile with teeth, then go under the sheets to make him female ejaculate. In his pubic triangle I have earlier in expectation of this activity cornered a bit of skin with a rubber band. It is now a blue pellet and will act as the clit. Smacking that fast with my tongue I slam my fingers hard into the soft jelly skin between his balls and his arsehole. After half an hour nothing has happened, I give up, apologise profusley and vow to try again tomorrow.
Sorry to sound like your mother but did you think about what your wearing? Clean up or die. She smiles sickly AGA dripping off her breath. Looking at my background they think I’ll fit in here, how little they know me. The interview goes great, they seem to like me. Last question
‘Are there any other commitments that may impact you working schedule?’
‘Just one, I meet my dominatrix on Wednesday afternoons so I’d have to leave a bit early’
She smiles at me and touches my crotch with her pruning knife
‘That’s fine, I meet mine on Mondays’
Scrubbing the inside of my arse with dry cotton buds. Apparently there is a set of teeth in there that are all out of line. The Dr says I should think about investing in braces. I role up all my essential most personal papers from my filing cabinet. Then walk to an unknown office building. Hiding them all over. Under carpets, behind radiators, in peoples desks, in gaps in the elevator. Simultaneously drinking shots of anti freeze to impede my memory of where they are. The next day I receive a package, courier delivered. All of the papers are inside and in pristine order, they have even cleaned the ones I used to wipe my dripping penis at the urinal.
Trying not to stare at your face. I’m sure it has drastically changed since we last met. You have different hair all thick and knotted not thin and swept by mountain winds. Struggle, nervousness, no reason. Wood chips, leaves and pine needles get tossed around violently as their trying to relax at the end of the day. Watching the pink sky and glowing noon filtering into the palace and lake. A spasm-ing runner saggy legs vibrating wrinkles jerk along in intense pain. He must be running from death. The leaves go calm after he has passed.
Dumping bodies into a bay like it’s the everyday. As they slide out of the wheelbarrows and thump against the cold concrete. Their closed wrinkled eyes get battered by raindrops and twitch. I skewer mine through the chest with a pitchfork and shunt him to the back of the pen to make more room for the other fifty to come. They are all families, neighbours, and relatives. At least we’re not leaving anyone behind to morn. My partner and me wonder whether we’ll have scones at break. I hope so.
Adult cot death. Get here you fucking cunt and hold out your tongue. He grabs the collar of the pink shirted middle class man trying to enjoy his family lunch. Taking his face in a cupped hand he smashes it onto a metal counter and prizes open the guys mouth with his hand, which is encased in a chain-mail glove. Sharp German knife nudges in past tonsils and streams through the base of the tongue with ease. The fast track butcher does not go all the way through, and leaves a thread of flesh joining the tongue to the mouth. This is so he can rip the whole thing out at the end as the last morsel of pain.
Same cakes as at the funeral.
‘You wanna come to the club with me son?’
‘Dad I told you I’ve got football in half an hour, you’re supposed to give me a lift’
‘But I’ll get you a chubby pair of 30 year old cunts to sit between.’
‘What are cunts?’
‘You know when you came into our bathroom and your mum had her leg on the sink and was shaving the area where your penis would normally be’
The child looks at him blankly.
‘We shouted at you and told you to get out, remember?’
‘Yep but I still want to play football with my friends.’
‘Well fuck you its my car and I need some cunts.’
4-year-old holding a pig brander, post code pins laid out on a paddle. Dried pig blood and ink sit on the spikes. It sits nicely in his chubby hand; he flails it around calling out.
‘Granddad, granddad!’ A minute later the granddad comes through the porch. ‘Put that down, it’s very dangerous’ he says.
The child bounces with rage towards him and strikes hard in the thigh, the old man falls to the floor and the child climbs on top slapping him repeatedly in the face until it is raw and pulsed like ground beef. The screams and struggle have stopped. The granddad’s mobile starts to ring, the child finds it in his pocket and presses it up against his blood-splattered face.
‘Hey I’m just before the house or just after it, I’m definitely on the road, what was the name of the road again?’
Running away from a house I hate with friends who don’t understand and family who don’t understand and family who just want to be fed. Suburbia suddenly disappears and becomes windy Dorset countryside. Battling through the mist and long wet grass, naked down the valley. Till I reach craggy rocks and scramble down to a ledge and dive instantly into the cold sea, forgetting everything. I swim out 50 metres. Look around and there she is fringe bobbing in the small ripples’ battle over against the current and hold her. We do not say anything but rub faces. Our bodies start to graft to each other and expel us into nothing.
Man standing out side house in a small 2×1 meter metal fenced pen only accessible through a tight window from a ground floor flat. A boom box sits on the windowsill blaring about how much Kesha wants it. Thick hoody on in blazing sun. Drinking green pot noodle from the container and sucking on hash. Looking out sometimes swaying sometimes nodding to the music. Checking out the hurried walkers going places.
Thumbing newly cleaned extra small sports top. Go to soft pewter arse gold. It rips at the seems and drops of discharge reel out as the patient screams and bites down on the blanket his granny made for him when he was born. A boy walks over; he has tied a rubber band round his middle finger. Over half an hour it has lost all its blood and gone blue and cold. The crying recently penetrated man is soothed as the cold finger drifts down the fluff on his neck working its way slowly down his spine exploring each individual rib. Circular motions on the buttocks make him shiver and writhe spreading seed on the bed sheets and letting his exposed bell soak in disturbed glory.
Hand shredded in mechanism plunging deep into the earth. Birds wolf whistle at them and flash their crotch before jumping away half flying to hide in thorn bushes and stub out there semis. ‘Let your love come out out out, Let your love come out out out’ Pocket noise laughing in foreign languages running off as far away from you as they can. One lies on the dry grass as the other un zips his jeans taking a cold knob into the sun and spurting then streaming urine onto the mans chest which he has exposed by lifting up his jumper. It spits off loose fat and dries in crusts on escaped tummy pubes. They sit up shake hands and carry on with their job leaving at 4 to see there wives and kids.
Spitting un filled kettle. Looking at their vague depleted face that in moments has changed. Don’t know whether you’re being rude or whether to interpret what they’re saying or just let it fly over. Picking up tooth in hands and looking into your eyes. Don’t do it again. Rustle with tea leaves and pretend to have my bones re arranged. Falling out of control, manipulating and warping my body. The chequered blue tablecloth laughs and mocks me. Screaming and spitting it thrusts me out of the room in a spin with vibrations running through my exposed teeth. To sit and have no idea how to say, react or hold myself.
Sitting stroking a brown Labrador drinking tea from a Kath Kidson tea set leafing through country life. We should definitely just kill him. He’s totally past it. Can’t function. Failed his key stage 3 even though we got him an Oxford tutor. Never has any friends round like his brother and sister. My husband looks at him blankly. Clueless as where his seed is in him. Sometimes he wanks on him whilst he sleeps and rubs his ejaculate on his heart and head. He then waits in the kitchen at breakfast for him to come down a changed boy. It never happens. I phoned the council and they says it’s ok as long as we bury the body over one and half metres deep. She picks up a knife and starts sharpening it. I phoned the school and they’re fine with it, seem quite relieved actually. When he gets home in an hour we’ll drug him and slit his throat. They both smile endearingly. It’s for the best. I know.
I am not the person you fell in love with. I am not the person I fell in love with. Taking kids by the scruff off their neck and dragging them outside the classroom looking into their big beautiful faces who smile softly and make you want to hold them close and protect them. Instead I start choking it with one hand and scratching at its face with my nails. Blood reels out and yellow stain appears at his crotch as he breathes his last breath. I rub the urine into my brown shoes and see my bored face staring back at me. I take child after child doing the same thing as the first apart from one who I split from head to toe down the middle with a blunt sword. Hours later the corridor is hot with death stench. I put my coat on and exit to the lips of my wife at home.
Day 7 :
Staring up up up. Vertical rock in a thin canal cliff. Stares. No route out. Stabbing soft child’s cutlery that barely sticks in and bends at right angles. Somehow I pull myself up on these weak implements. The further I go the less likely the end becomes. Hours lost I am still here. I realise my family ARE below following my lead. They all have better cutlery than me so I ask to borrow some. They watch intently as I route through the bag they have given me. Lou’s died again. She fell. Her body folded on the ledge below. The ledge rises and we stop climbing and cry. Rubbing and smashing ourselves against the dark rock.
About the Contributor
Al/ice/ex Donaghy is a queer Writer, performance artist, Butoh dancer and Noise musician. Alex’s work focuses mainly on physical restriction, and restraint, and their effect on creative output.
Enter with Trumpets - Helen Henley
This book was given to me as a present by two great friends leaving for japan. A tale that runs the fine line between trashy, sexy, incredibly insightful and low budget. A loss of sex, hierarchy and embarrassment.
More from Issue Four:
- Ghosted by Max Dunbar
- Daisies by Sadie Nott
- Rasp by Hazem Tagiuri
- Greenwood by Clyde Liffey
- Exit Vania by Myriam Frey
- Cwtch by Jane Roberts
- Starfish by Lorette C. Luzajic
- Awshukh; Disease by Dipika Mukherjee
- Gabriel by Hannah Stevens
- Footprints in the Snow by Louise Mangos
- Changing Rooms by Ian Dudley
- Crow-Light by Sean Burn