The Reality

And there it is, the glaring cliff of realisation threateningly looking up into your cold dead eyes

A morbidly experienced activity of counting those who you trust draws on a grimly found zero, old friends drifted into the void of time as close family are there but ever drawn into their own increasingly busy lives, then you; the keeper of secrets, betrayer of self and ultimately in that damning realm of depressive pain; the only one walking by your side

A massed horde of faces crowding you every day only sees the illusive front stonily protecting whatever it is you have become, their idea of your reality pathetically just a myriad of features you clinically cut into shapes and appropriate size to appease their simple preconceptions enforced over time

Now secured in the prison safe facility that is the toxic refuge you bitterly call home, a sole chair facing the barred windows and a single glass cast idle in the sink, now swigging straight from the bottle labelled life with not so much as an attempt at feigning concern you see the only two options which cursedly remain; which side of the head to rest the barrel of the gun and when to shoot

The ghostly whisper of a thought hanging in the gun smoke; will they see the next fatal events as a mercy killing or self-inflicted wounds, will anyone care!

An Ocean of all that can’t be escaped

Awash in the oceanic base of all negative’s filth to drown the wretched of all that manically held sanity a sane man would have cherished more so not to feel the malicious pain stinging when that sanity becomes like innocence the victim of unwilling sacrifice for survival’s vicious march into dragging grounds for sinking dreams now mere hallowed screams of unforgiving pitch that burns a thousand loud volumes of regret’s painfully persistent memorials for those dreams now bitterly a deeply resounding pitch in every charged cursed dagger held to the sand flowing throats of bloodless strangers that look vacant from the mirrors hatred hung with gleeful intent to torture its victims

But loveless lies the drowning wretched with thankfully sharp knifes against desert flowing throats with much held relish once cautiously kept for the dreams whose now cursing echoes sharpen the blades that with desperate pleas in wanton tones may sever the ties torturously chaining them to this existence of emptiness reflecting from hatred’s mirrors at every damning turn we make in passionately energetic running from the source of all we know we are to blame for the solely damning reason that such ghosts are without merciful break for which we on bended knee and fractured fragments of life lost we beg are and forever will be forced to roam

For in hollow eyes the idea it rattles with resounding degrees that now we alone have had cruelly inflicted around our necks a stone to weigh eternal with the inherited pain from all others that are now freely flying from beyond the barbed borders of negativity’s filth who’s barbs with each spike trigger an immeasurable point of pain each miserable second we force breath in the muddied waters of our imprisonment

    So now to suffer

         So now to feel

                 All the world discarded

                          But life ensures I will never be free


Creative writing 2014: Devil and Damned Territory Pt5 (Final part)

Part 4 Tenth drink and ‘everything else takes care of its self’

Last Orders gentlemen, time to settle all debts

Seconds felt like hours, ticking down noisily as all eyes were fixated on the standoff; neither of the chief protagonists ready to condemn themselves just yet as observers were either vacating the line of fire, or more foolishly moving to get a better view. Bob’s gaze held as he lined up the shot in his head, the Security Officer and his tactical support visibly unnerved, but never the less standing their ground. “When you’re dead I’ll have that ship of yours added to my collection, what’s it called again?” the Security Officer taunting, pushing for a reaction “ah yes, the ‘Gamblers Luck’ I believe”.

Bob so close to reaching for his gun, wired to a point where he no longer acknowledged the heat from the holstered blaster seeping through to his thigh. “Then again, that piece of crap you call a ship isn’t worth scrap” the Security Officer pushing again, the creep just begging to be put down. At the edge of his enhanced vision Bob noticed the bartender holding something below the bar top, that something pointed in the direction of the armed posy threatening his new favourite customer.  “When I take this fat slab of uber grade crap down, Blondie gets my ship” Bob’s voice void of the powerful emotions running just beneath the stony calm of his ready stance, fanatical glare aimed at his would be killer “and Blondie, it was one hell of a night”

Bob could sense her wanting to say something, but she must have known the atmosphere was already electric enough without some last minute plea or grade A insult. Bob fell silent, the Security Officer’s uncomfortable squirming showing the mental strain “Go on… shoot… I dare you… why aren’t you shooting coward… COME ON SCUM” the facade of control slipping “you two, behind me; shoot him you useless fuckers. GO ON YOU USELESS FUCKS”, Bob’s steely demeanour a stark comparison to the officer’s fraught panic.

Un-affected tone still arctic cold, Bob feeding off his prey’s terror, talking at the armed guards supporting his intended target,  “Your rifles will take 0.5 seconds to fire, that pistol your boss should have just shot me with already, will take at least that long to clear its holster”. Bob sensing their hesitation and pouncing with that razor sharp mind “I can pull in 0.25 seconds, maybe less, 0.25 to recharge my weapon after I floor your boss, fancy those odds guys?” finishing his little set piece with an unnerving flick of a grin.

The armed support were pushing rifle sights closer to their faces, screaming insecurity as they shuffled their feet into a stronger stance, fingers hovering precariously over hair triggers “You want to die because your boss is a thief?, because his lackey treats women like property?, imagine that little prick I humiliated earlier or your boss, alone with your women or your wallet, would you trust them? Are they really worth it?” Bob’s words were meant to hit hard – would it be enough?

The Security Officer was unable to turn his gaze from Bob’s glare, but his focus wavered when he heard the sound of two rifles venting their unfired charge, then heard combat boots scuffing the floor and he was forced  to accept that his back-up had withdrawn and the deadliness of his isolation set in.  Bob’s emerging grin more sinister than the officers fading smirk “If you take me down you’ll regret it, you’ll be hunted… I’m… we could…” the Security Officer’s pleading reeked of desperation.

The next moment was the most terrifying for the Security Officer, the eyes of a madman fixated on him; a madman with a gun. “You seem tense, is something weighing on your mind?” Bob asked with eerie calm, not a hint of the stress or nerves behind his dead eyes “give me the money you took, I’ll think about letting you leave…” the balance of power had shifted. “I go missing… A respected senior officer… You’ll never get off this station alive…” the Security Officer’s pathetic threat amused Bob more than it intimidated, as with relish he gave the arsehole one last chance “Two words ‘fair warning’ or should I say three ‘fair warning given’”.

The two gentleman had been ever so patient, but their patience ran out and they cut the Security Officer down to size with a kick to the back of the leg, collapsing him to his knees “Should have returned the money, that five hundred you took  belongs to my boss” the more mature looking gentleman stonily informed him, demonstrating his contempt with the hilt of his gun across the Security Officer’s face, fresh blood mixing with nervous sweat “and I’m sure my boss will want to hear about your little ‘side line’ in extortion” and with a nod to his junior colleague the two gentleman moved in to fish a wad of cash from the officer’s pocket.

Bob gave himself leave to take a long deep breath; rested his strained eyes for a couple seconds, thankful as the tension evaporated, a wave of relief as he felt his anxiety dissipate; the only thing he regretted was not shooting when he had the chance, venting the unfired round from his blaster as an afterthought, before it burned a hole in his thigh.

As the wad of credits was examined, the junior of the two gentlemen lowering himself so that the thieving officer could see the money being counted, note by single note, emphasising his loss and humiliation.  With just a hint of caution, the senior gentleman very calmly approached Bob “We’ll take this ‘contribution’ to our boss and we’ll deal with this former ‘respected senior officer’, you’d be surprised how many accidents happen around here” hinting at something very final; “One favour, don’t leave that trash near landing bay 5” Bob requested as his path took him past his defeated foe.

Given that he was desperate to avoid any more unexpected altercations and neglecting to even say goodbye to Blondie or the Bartender, Bob made a very swift exit, passing through the saloon style doors into the brightly lit corridor beyond, leaving with fewer credits than he had arrived with and just as sober.

Left a little out of sorts at Bob’s rude exit, but holding nothing against his character given the evenings events, the bartender calmly positioned himself in front of Blondie, still perched on her bar stool and looking like she had just caught a sample of Bob’s original positive vibes. “Shame Bob left this bottle behind, doesn’t even look opened” the Bartender indicating an unopened bottle of black market home brew “now I wonder how  this will find its owner, bay 5, the ‘Gamblers Luck’”.


Creative writing course 2014: Devil and Damned Territory Pt4

Part 3 Eighth drink and rude interruptions

Tenth drink and ‘everything else takes care of its self’

The Junior Official’s humiliating exit signalled to everyone it was fine to resume their zombie like shuffling and primitive grunts as they ordered the poison that would help them cope with whatever issues they were wrestling, of more concern to a calmed down Bob was a sheepish looking Blondie nervously wringing her hands. “I’m sorry” was all she could manage, the confidence running from her eyes in the streaks of quiet tears. After a long minute Bob surprised Blondie by slowly and purposely turning to face her, gently taking her hands to sensitively lift them from her lap with a strong but gentle hold, looking into Blondie’s smudged mascara eyes “It’s ok, no need” the angry disappointment she expected was instead a quietly comforting look.

After Blondie had recovered from the shock of Bob’s unnaturally calm response, the bartender poured her another glass on Bob’s behalf as his hands were still reassuringly cradling Blondie’s “And next time…” a considered pause “just tell me your boyfriend doesn’t have a pair and you want to upgrade” Blondie’s smile making a welcome return, the same time as Bob’s.

The times Bob had been screwed over were beyond counting, but this time it just didn’t seem to matter somehow. Blondie’s attentions and the bartender’s sharp tongued comments had lightened the mood, he was being offered drinks by other punters and the two stylishly dressed gentlemen had apparently decided to let Bob enjoy his night before collecting their boss’s money. They were also wise enough to have positioned themselves at the end of the bar; concealed holsters unclipped, to prevent Bob leaving without paying the debt.

‘Time to face the music’ Bob was filled with a peaceful calm; the two gentlemen patiently waiting might even believe his story about being fleeced by a corrupt official; having displayed his honourable nature by defending a lady; with calm resolve he stood up and started towards the end of the bar, gun firmly clipped in its holster to avoid any more complications. Bob’s path was fixed on the elder of the two gentlemen, both of whom were now respectfully standing, some twisted criminal symbol of recognition, Bob stone cold sober and resigned to his fate.

Half way to his destination “Don’t move Bob” a senior security officer barged through the saloon doors, no introduction was required. “You got my five hundred already, what the fuck do you want now?” Bob’s wonderful tranquillity converted into pure rage. “I have a colleague with a hole in his leg, a smuggler who tried to bribe an official and a dark pit to drop you in” satisfaction saturated every word as the Senior Security Officer flashed the most repulsive smirk Bob had seen, the kind a crocodile would be proud of.

Rage turned to vengeance, vengeance to pure unredeemable intent, such hateful intent fuelled by a ruined night, triggering such a foul mood there would be fist shaped dents in the hull of Bob’s transport tonight “On the count of three bartender, call it” Bob’s posture statue like, a hand hovering over his blaster as he hit the charge button, preparation for its final shot of the evening “One; Two;…”. “I brought friends” the Security Officer maliciously slithered the words like the serpent he was, with a smirk almost as repulsive as his crisp uniform that was struggling to hold in his over inflated belly.

On the officer’s words two armed men in combat attire tactically emerged from outside of the establishment, rifles raised, but any intimidation they were meant to portray was diminished by the blinding focus of Bob’s loathing for the man that stood between him and his freedom “At least you won’t be smiling with a hole in the head, I’ll see you in hell” Bob’s final words worthy of any hero.

Part 5 Last Orders gentlemen, time to settle all debts

Creative writing course 2014: Devil and Damned Territory Pt3

Part 2 Fourth drink in twenty minutes and a blonde to boot:

Eighth drink and rude interruptions

“So you shot him with the stiletto?!” his laughter sounded atrocious “hell, that tale deserves another drink” the fact the well-dressed beauty was laughing into her empty glass like a slob made it all the more amusing. For the past thirty minutes they had exchanged war stories, her fondness for hover bikes and some less than polite jokes (told equally by his female companion!), “Another bottle?” the bartender asked, his attitude and posture more energised “I’ll throw in that hole in the head for free” a cheeky little side comment to get into the spirit of things.

Being in an exceptionally rare good mood, smiling even, Bob was as quick on his return “I’ll take your finest drain cleaner bar keep” ‘bar keep’ spoken with an air of sarcastic entitlement, the bartender playing it straight despite obvious attempts to conceal another Cheshire cat grin “Would sir like it strong enough to melt metal, or just enough to dissolve what’s left of your self-control around ‘Blondie’?” this time it was the lady’s turn to smile.

Despite eight tall glasses, intoxicating perfume and the perfect image of femininity massaging his senses Bob was still sober, but inebriated enough that his sense of rage and resentment were having a well-earned night off, black market genetics that only off the grid pilots and mercs could pick up, keeping his reactions on a hair trigger, just in case.

As conversation turned to more serious topics, Bob had given Blondie a vague idea of his current dilemma, a covert attempt to get the mystery women to reveal her own reasons for why she was in a dive like this; questions like, Why him…? What were her motives…?  Why the worried glances towards the bars saloon style doors…?. A lack of answers was making Bob’s suspicious nature have a screaming fit “Well I hear that you pilots say ‘Mind yourself, your sidearm and your ship, everything else will take care of itself’” Blondie skilfully ducked Bob’s attempts to draw out the information he sought with a cleverly manipulative remark, he’d have to try a more direct approach.

Bob had barely opened his mouth when Blondie’s face twisted with fear, her look somewhere between ‘hearing bad news’ and ‘about to be hit by a tank’ as in trying to speak she only managed an arid cough, her skin now paler than Bob’s. “YOU BITCH” a crass insult carried with such wrath “YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD JUST LEAVE, HUMILIATE ME LIKE THAT.” Bob instinctively turned to assess the threat, the threat  being a young and pompously dressed Junior Official of some kind, his eyes locked on Blondie “YOU OWE ME BITCH AND I’M GOING TO TEAR THAT SLUTTY DRESS, TAKE YOU…”

Bob never pretended to be a hero and wouldn’t be caught dead as a saint but disrespecting a woman, the charming company giving him an eleventh hour reprieve. In a flash his black market genetics cleansed any trace of alcohol from his system, sheer clarity and reaction speed as only a Spacer could know let him leave his barstool in an instant, that incredible venom pulsing through his veins as pure and black heartedly as ever.

“Show some respect you rude little prick” spoken quietly but loaded with more than enough dangerous intent to silence the entire bar, the air filling with tension quicker than Blondie’s anxious heartbeat, the Junior Official frozen in fear, sheer stupidity and shock slapped all over his gormless face.

“Now, if you have an issue with the lady I would be happy to mediate, but if you say anything that even hints at rude I will…” the little prick interrupting Bob’s futile attempt to resolve the situation without resorting to his gun;  “THIS IS BETWEEN ME AND THAT WHORE..” the Junior Official never completed his clumsy insult as a ball of burning energy ripped through his leg, the heat from the brutish pirate blaster in Bobs tight grip building up again as it charged for another shot, Bob felt not a hint of regret as far as he was concerned he had given fair warning.

Every downtrodden and repressed resident of the bar secretly cheered, but nobody dared break the silence that allowed Bob to keep his volume at a threateningly cold low “I’m a Spacer, a pilot and a merc….         I don’t dress up in fancy clothes, play nice with others or pretend to be respected in this god forsaken galaxy” Bob’s menacingly slow steps closing the distance between him and the disrespectful wretch on his knees.

The Junior Official held back his cries of pain in fear of again interrupting the stranger that seemed willing to cold-bloodedly shoot him dead; without concern “but I can out shoot and out think you to such a degree you are but a stain of unwanted human bile under my military grade boot” Bob’s glare and words as dangerously charged as his pirate blaster “and you should know, I sent the last little prick that interrupted me straight to hell, fast lane style” the blaster’s barrel resting on the wretches’ forehead, steam rising as it burned his sweat soaked skin.

With Bob standing over the failed attempt of a human being, the Junior Official’s wide eyes welled up, a fresh set of tears streaking down his pain ridden face “I’m… I only… She was meant…” a hint of the man’s original anger creeping back.  Bob noticed a trembling hand drifting towards some pitiful excuse of a stun gun, continuing in that cold dead tone “Leave now, and if I ever have to endure your presence again…” Bob’s contempt crystal clear, he didn’t even bother to complete the threat.

Despite the hole in his leg, a nice little burn on his forehead and having nearly collapsed in shock, not forgetting paralysing fear, it took the Junior Official only as long as Bob’s quickly paced stride back to his still warm bar stool, to crawl out of sight. Bob took his place next to Blondie, stonily glaring forward at the bottles lined up behind the bar as he wasn’t able to face her just yet for fear of his reaction “And that’s why you picked the most sober person in the joint to strike up a conversation with…”

Part 4 Tenth drink and ‘everything else takes care of its self’

Creative writing course 2014: Devil and Damned Territory Pt2

Part 1

Fourth drink in twenty minutes and a blonde to boot:

If there was a competition for speed drinking, Bob would be in the lead, AA regulars put to shame “You could sell this crap as drain cleaner” hoarsely vocalising his thoughts. The bartender flashing a look of amusement “We just change the label on the bottle” grinning Cheshire cat style. Conversation in the joint was slower than a dead snail and the clientele of this high class establishment were doing great zombie impressions, the silence only broken by the antique clock that contrasted with the cheap metallic décor, the only things that made the place bearable were the dim lighting to hide the dirt and lack of reflective surfaces so you didn’t have to face yourself; oddly enough Bob had the urge to down another glass of drain cleaner!

“I need a boyfriend” a feminine voice broke Bob’s escalating depression, he was pleased it wasn’t a guy’s voice but not enough that he could be bothered to turn to see the source “I’m on a date with the old lady” raising his half empty bottle “she gets jealous of hookers” a line delivered with venomous pose, he could feel her angry glare without having to look. “And you look like a burnt out pilot on a bender” her response delivered in such elegant, sultry tones but with just as much venom as Bob. If he had bothered looking Bob might have noticed the two ‘collection agents’ subtlety adjusting their posture in the presence of beauty, the resident drunks too absorbed in their own little worlds to be aware of anything else.

Bob’s interest was piqued and since she was annoyingly persistent he decided to take notice, plus her perfume masked the odour of stale booze and less than fresh bodies that hung in the poorly filtered air, her acid wit also gave hope of some decent conversation. “You want to join me, or are you going to take that sexy voice of yours to the next drunk” after no ‘civilised’ human contact for weeks at a time, Bob was lacking the fine art of civil conversation. “I’ll pretend you said ‘would you like to join me for a drink’” mystery women answered in a less poison tone than previously “we’ll make it a threesome!” a hint of playful tease.

Trying not to look too eager Bob casually cast his glance in the direction of his female companion, but found himself caught off guard by her intense grey eyes scanning him, not to say he wasn’t doing the same “Apologies, your look more like a high class escort” he coolly observed, a sudden flare of embarrassment as Bob realised his brain/mouth filter hadn’t kicked in. She smiled “Well I do find the thigh highs and short skirts a bit too flattering” her response as effortless as the laughter that followed “I find a little black number and heels deter the ‘commoners’ from hitting on me” her bar stool now slightly turned towards Bob, mystery women’s body facing him in full Technicolor detail, a hand sweeping over her finely toned and slim figure, like a model showing off a hoverbike at a trade show.

Previous thoughts of debts, beating the crap out of former commanders, and in no small way the impending punishment for not been able to pay back the afore mentioned debt, melted into the background as his senses took in the women’s perfect form, the tight black dress something he wanted to see cast upon the floor of his old style transport, but even with his deficient social skills he knew better than to pay attention to the gutter part of his mind.

Bob knew no good ever came of losing your edge, as proven by the wakes he’d attended for former comrades who’d gone soft, but the warm cosy feeling that this woman seemed to genuinely care about his existence was as refreshing as the fifth drink that left the glass, almost as quickly as it had left the bottle. “Bob, that’s me, nice to meet youuuu…?” she let him humiliatingly drag the questioning syllable out, before taking pity “You can call me Blondie” giving him that ‘you’re hooked’ smile with a malicious ‘you’re mine’ twinkle in her eyes.

As he shared the sixth drink of the night with Blondie things were finally looking up…

Part 3 Eighth drink and rude interruptions

Creative writing course 2014: Devil and Damned Territory Pt1

First drink in two weeks:

‘Devil and damned territory’ that’s what they called his situation, and going by the crap about to hit; it was more than apt. “Penny for your thoughts, ten credits for a bottle” the bartender chimed in.” “I’ll take a bottle and a hole to the head” Bob’s tone could depress an optimist convention, as he fished through his pockets for the last dregs of cash. Two weeks in a rocket propelled tin can to pay off a debt and then a crooked security officer relieves him of his cash, the arsehole didn’t even bother to make it sound official, just a bloated looking senior security officer demanding a ‘docking fee’ or ‘your ship will be removed’.

“Here’s your bottle, but the hole in the head costs extra” Bob figured/hoped the bartender was joking, but given the place he found himself it wouldn’t surprise him if the offer was genuine. Life was hard, but as a deep space cargo hauler it was bloody tough, anyone disagreeing would get some choice verbal content. “You going to be one of those ‘bleeding hearts’ that wants to talk about ‘feelings’” the bartender casually enquired, his dedication to the conversation obvious by the fact that his back was turned and a dirty glass was getting more attention.

“A callous bitch already ripped out my heart and I hate all that ‘feelings’ crap” Bob continued the positive vibes “I do have a bleeding wallet and two weeks sober to mourn” the second glass of home brewed, black market alcohol mixed with the venomous rage pulsing though his veins.
Three weeks back he was in this same bar, having just stopped off at the borderline space station on the edge of legal space to ‘get supplies’ and though he still wasn’t clear on the fine point details, a heavy night’s drinking had apparently left him in the hole for five hundred credits with a local gangster, the same five hundred credits the crooked security officer had relieved him of just twenty minutes ago.

Clocks ticked; time doing nothing to ease Bob’s anxiety. “Well, you know what they say about drinking away your problems” the bartender finally responded, this time he was at least facing in Bob’s general direction. Bob reactively mumbled his empty glass a fitting metaphor for his current luck “It ain’t pretty and it don’t work…” “…but if you’re damned, you may as well be damned in style” the bartender completed the well-known merc phrase, a smug grin at getting the last word.

The only way to pay off the debt was to carry out a two week high risk cargo run into pirate space, which meant bland tasting rations, recycled water and catching up on regulation manuals for two tortuous weeks, whilst having to stay sober; insult to injury sprang to mind. Not that Bob really minded, 14 Days was long enough to get a lot of maintenance done and he mostly avoided heavy drinking since it always seemed to end in a gunfight!

Like most pilots who ran the long hauls his main problems tended to be;
1. Being dumped by attention starved girlfriends
2. Looking like crap
3. Avoiding patrols, pirate and official alike
The fact that Bob looked like crap most of time and relationships disagreed with him negated the first two! Anyway the pressing issues at the moment were the two gentlemen that had just walked in, too smart to blend in with the drunks but stylish enough to be collection agents for a certain local gangster, Bob recognised the type.

Behind the worn mercenary grade attire, day’s old stubble and zero tan lay what his former commanding officer had called ‘a razor sharp mind that has more edge than most intelligence operatives, coupled with a piloting ability that’s above most experienced fighter pilots’. The racist bastard also wrote ‘shame he is a Spacer, I’d rather promote a convicted serial killer, not that there’s much difference in personality’.

After a few years without any career advancement; Bob and his CO had a ‘discussion’ on the matter, at least being kicked out for putting your CO into intensive care felt better than ‘the level of prejudice was preventing my career opportunities within…blaa blaa political crap’. It was true, like most Spacers he had no grasp of social niceties and a habit of being a ruthless bastard, but that didn’t make him a bad guy. In Bob’s defence Spacers were born and raised on first generation spaceships held together with scavenged parts and ‘exotic’ engineering solutions, when you’re learning to patch up energy relays and weapons systems at age five there’s little opportunity to learn the finer points of life.

Third drink caressing Bob’s throat, mercenary grade genetics giving way to blissful alcohol poisoning, the sound of his glass grating against two day old stubble momentarily distracted him from the impending shit storm, the rough cut features of his face relaxing for the first time in an age, at least when the gangster came for his money Bob would be unconscious!

Part 2 Fourth drink in twenty minutes and a blonde to boot: