I had a car and thought I was doing fine but it took a little ride at the fairground on some merry-go-round that rose and fell with piped music running through my veins to make me realise that I froze with the motion into nothingness. The air was cold. The blood in my veins felt thick and black and heavy. It was as if Death held a stick against my throat for a second restricting the passage of air to my lungs. Next, a painted clown came and did the same circling me like a lion his eyes just pinpricks of black light. Then it was the ringmaster in his high boots cracking jokes with me and the merry go round continued. I held on tight watching and listening senses burning alive and feeling marked now for inspection. Introspection! I got off the ride a different man and sank slowly to the ground. The dew soaked through onto my knees bent in agony against what might prevail should I look up again to the innocent sky, glance at the bodies of passers-by instead of their feet or regard the milling people buying things and browsing the stalls like candles glowing too brightly. Candle mass would have been appropriate with the organ music coming from the ride behind me. The moment passed I stand up and look around with my eyes and staggering feet and feel glad to be groggy but alive. I feel a little gloved hand take mine and I look down into gypsy black eyes and the little ride begs me Again! Again!. Splinters of ice pierce my heart and I get back on the ride again smiling widely. It’s now or never I think and wait for the ride to start..
The keys on my keyboard are full of magic. They should believe in themselves!
It’s Christmas again and the movies are playing on television as the big day looms ever closer. Hams and Turkeys are flying off the shelves at supermarkets up and down the country. Dads are stocking up on beer and candles and mums are doing that last bit of Christmas Shopping and making sure Sue, Benjy and all the little ones are happy.
It’s a Jesus-themed Christmas time at our local church with nativity plays and fayre to enjoy even though it’s cold!
Teens are indifferent to the real meaning though and are busy compiling lists of why Christmas is overrated and too commercial while looking forward to big presents and parties!
I hate Christmas. I like Doom Metal, Death Goth Metal and Black Metal. I remind myself.
Myra is at the bar and I am finishing up an assignment. The death goth movie poster I have on my wall is cool. I want tonight to be as cool, no cooler! Myra might go off on one, as usual, not that its usual, it could be my imagination playing tricks on me. Colin and Luke will be there. I fold up my laptop. Time to go.
I walk out to the hall and countdown the seconds to the car. Now I am walking past the car and heading up the road towards the village. Nobody is about. A text arrives ‘Where R U? Myra x’. I’m five minutes away. I text back saying it will be with her in ten. There’s something I need to do first. I head towards the off license and buy a bottle of vodka that I stash in the hedge. I mark the spot with a piece of red rag I find in the gutter. That’ll do for later tonight.
At the pub, I try to ignore the sideshow of the chatter of the jaguar remembering that I still need to drag down that sheep off the hill and join my friends. Hurrah! The night starts slowly but soon builds a momentum of its own and me and Myra have some quality time together. She talks of a new store opening on the other side of town and we agree to go there on opening day. A celebrity will be there to open the store, but I will be with my own celebrity, Myra. We cheer the oncoming Christmas with a row about which politician we would vote for if he or she lived locally and soon the night was dark.
Outside the quiet was as still as a single blade of grass. An owl hooted in the trees and underfoot was a thin frost. Footsteps were approaching crunching the gravel. The smell of burning pipe tobacco followed by grunts and the sound of low voices whispering. The sound of a shotgun being snapped shut followed by laughter preceded the pitter-patter of dogs feet and a single bark punctuated the night.
‘CHEERS ALL!’ shouted the landlord at the end of the night and we headed outside where people smoked and waited for lifts or taxis.
‘So I’ll see you tomorrow then?’ asked Myra
‘Yeah, at yours,’ I say
‘Bye then,’ said Myra
‘Bye Hon!’ I say
I stand at the kerb as Myra gets into her taxi and heads off towards her place in the next village.
I have a quick smoke and then zip up my jacket against the cold. I have something to do. I begin walking. I retrieve the bottle of vodka from the hedge where I left it unscrewed the cap and took a deep swig. I felt a warmth spread into my fingertips and I screwed the cap on tight. Before I headed on. Further along, the hedge I retrieved a piece of rope. All I needed for the task in hand – Midnight Sheep retrieval.