The hobby knife blade slid into the forearm needing very little compression, blood bubbled up, then drizzled over his denim jeans. This latest addition to the lattice of scars landscaping that violated ulna. As the blade retracted, captured breath escaped,hexed relief. Blood letting all those niggling behemoth's.
Bounding along a rutted lane, two school friends laughing alongside him, high over the verdant hedgerow, sunlight scorched the sloping football field, arena for the never ending competitions of school summer holidays. They could hear the urging, cussing and complaints of the ever fluctuating team members. Blackie stopped with a suddenness that caught Harry out, he clatters into him. Cooper ski skids to a halt with an extravagant dust plume. Blackie twists around, any joy adorning Harry lip's disappears swiftly to the curling sneer rising across his friends face. A forceful shove in the shoulder.
“What are you doing?” gulps Harry. Blackie and Cooper steadily look at each other with nastily smirks. “Fuck face!” exclaims Blackie before glancing a stinging blow across Harry's cheek, toppling over with the boot cap of Cooper's catching deep into the fleshiness of his thigh. Parched soil dislocated, limpet-ting across his features. Befuddlement, more blows. Blackie now standing over him, a flaccid penis end in his fingers. Cooper laughingly joins in. Harry could feel the urine soak into his t-shirt and spray his face, congealing the attracted dirt. Attempting to escape their attentions just makes them guffaw harder, their legs straddled over him, keeping the frenzied scrabbling to a minimum. Submitting, streams of urine become dribbles, shaking last drops of humiliation they leave him. Smaning callbacks flay the humid air, as they find a gap in the foliage leading back to the game.
Revulsion always followed his relief. Wanted to ring Joanne, of course he wouldn’t. She always voicing loudly, that any sort of addiction was pathetic, empathizing his Achilles heel. Wrapping a dingy tea towel around the bloody gash then squeezing hard, forcing a thumb into the material. Blood gradually seeping through the cloth's design.
It was never explained, why they had selected him to receive this odious abasement. No prior indication either of this malice aforethought. Ammonia sting nestling amongst nasal hairs, still festering, unlovely remnant. The odour of it, waking up in beds dampened, Pub lavatories awash, nothing competes with the redolence of piss aimed at you.
Taking a long slug from a can of lager, Harry slumped onto the second hand sofa shifting three days of crumpled tabloid newspapers with his feet. Turning the volume up on the cathode ray television, talking heads were discussing the career of Sir Alex Ferguson, he switched channels. A cook sweating vegetables and talking about the various attributes of fish. Home amongst the scavenged detritus of other peoples house's, he felt chilled, dirty and dislocated. The TV just reminded him that once he had flat screen viewing, HD satellite subscription with live football on tap. Applying sufficient pressure forced a satisfying amount of crimson stain to spread along the towel.
Joanne had the HD, unpaid for three piece suite, sound system. The twins.
Their former marital bed. A life. Harry twisted this reality with unforgotten episodes of stinging embarrassment. His ghosts being a fatal bait, that refused the hook of life. Twisting amongst these ventricles of his existence, skewing the animal psyche of eternal future.
His father's eye's closed in mock exasperation,
“And you just let them?”
“It was two of them” Harry was now weeping openly, snot was gathering.
“Didn’t you fight back?, you didn't did you?” the eyes squinted with the accusation. He shifted towards the sob racked child. Slowly Harry curled up, the new sensation of damp foetid clothing, heightening the expectation of the already known.
Harry felt for the lump of his mobile phone and scrolled through the text messages. Reading his received headers, then sending off a “Hiya” to Joanne. Placing it on the arm of the chair, intently staring at the screen expectantly, the “Why so serious?” dead movie star voice remained silent. Over the next fifteen minutes he sent the message another eight times, Heath Ledger remained on his sim card.
Pain reigned his forehead, crumpling the tin of Stella, he tossed it haphazardly towards the broken tiled fireplace clanging amongst the collateral damage of a month's drinking. Blaming the twittering on the
television for the tormenting affliction. He turned it off at the set. Gingerly he removed the towel from his arm, threads grasped into the setting scar. Scabbing over, fresh red trickles escaped.
Watch That Man. David Bowie vibrated the Dansette record player, it's electrical cord stretched to the limit straining to reach the socket on the landing. Russell Mael eye's followed everyone into his tiny bedroom. Damp lingered on the walls facing the outside corner of the family home. The edge of the poster lifting away from moist emulsion. Downstairs his Mother strains to be heard above Alladin Sane.
“Turn it down, Harry...please!!”
Staring across the avenue towards the bedroom of Patty, trying to will her to the window, a few weeks ago she had broadcast T. Rex via her opened window, it had so annoyed his father. Metal Guru repeated incessantly over two hours, ruining his garden time. If she could hear this album, then perhaps they could dissect it's meaning and connect again. Two weeks ago she had been drunk on Cherry brandy, beckoning him into the empty chaperoned home, they had fumbled, before she violently erupted a red spume and then collapsed on the bed. Since, she had chosen to forget him, ignoring his best puppy advances.
“Turn it down, Harry...please!!”
The turntable droned, the record arm needle scraped violently across the vinyl as the door was forced open. Kicking the player firmly, the father gripped his son by the neck and hissed into his startled face.
Harry could hear his younger brother laughing.
Downstairs, Harry's Mother was demanding restraint. Quite what guidelines she had in mind were not clear, earlier in the day during tea, his father had returned home drunk. She had been screaming again, this time over Frank Sinatra. On sitting at the table, a long metal comb hurtled towards his fathers eye socket, the slender handle point embedding in the dark rings of flesh. She had gasped at her own temper, unmoved, he just pulled the dangling comb out, placing it next to his fork, which he selected, then eat his chilled food.
The images of Joanne laying with a lover, interrupted his parental blame game. Another betrayal, more dizzying pain, fizzling linked with the intangible anguish of loneliness. Outsider, looking in. Teachers forcing him to the back of the class, last selection for the team games.
All the pleasure of her love, repaid in mental convulsions.
“Turn it down!”