Been kind of in a funk recently shouting at my tv, losing at Gwent haha. I wish after all the money I sunk into it I wasn’t so shitty at it haha. But I can’t stop playing it, what an abusive relation it is haha.
Talking about abusive relationships, nah, no more of that nonsense. All business now.
Pretty much been business as usual, keeping up my usual pace, can burn out about 8k a week as long as my day job doesn’t get in the way and we’re entering that busy season and the weather isn’t helping. I’ve got two fans on me as we speak and I already bought a third. And not pussy fans either, one is a big tower fan for about sixty quid the other is a powerful little clip on one attached to my desk.
This heat is insane man. I mean shit if people can use a snowball as proof that global warming isn’t real I can show the stains on my couch to prove the opposite, let’s not fight. It was joke. It’s just so freaking hot, this is England not fucking Zimbabwe, jesus.
Its going pretty well, pretty much the only thing in my life that is. I’m really enjoying how it’s turning out, it’s fun even for me and the response so far from beta readers is great.
So keep on keeping on.
Paul drove his dad’s car when he was out in the field doing what I could only dream about, literally. But in an all together less neat and ritualistic way. That’s a level of trust you can’t kill for. His dad was obviously very confident in the offspring he’d carefully chiselled out of clay. That or he was indelibly stupid.
It was an older model olive drab hummer with leather interiors that smelled like discipline and spearmint gum. The thing ran like it was brand new, the old man kept it in peak condition and his son took it just as seriously. I opened a bag of chips in her once on the way to an Ariana Grande concert and he made me get out and finish them on the side of the freeway.
Did I mention another thing I love about Paul Alan Jnr? He rarely talks, sure there’s strong silent types. And then there’s types who are conditioned to levels of ‘being seen and not heard’ that teeter on ‘culty’, is that a word?
They taught him well, sometimes I wondered if he wasn’t as damaged as I was. But instead of breaking the mould he’d been hammered perfectly into it. A living Ken Doll with no visible cracks or creases.
I am a big fan of comfortable silence but sadly in Orange County, near the coast, it’s in short supply. But inside the sealed air conditioned mobile command centre that was Paul’s dad’s car, it was preserved. Like some kind of orchid, hermetically sealed for freshness. I could almost taste it.
Just watching the anemic palm trees go by. Baking and cracking in the sun while I felt like a lizard on a cool shaded rock, bliss.
And with a full stomach it was even better. He took me to this little taco place we like near the beach because it’s quiet and he knows that’s why I like it. I had the vegan taco, I’m not vegan but I like their food and for some strange reason I like animals. Not really people or kids, although I don’t hate them. I just feel a callous indifference for everything that doesn’t walk on four legs. There’s something about them I like, their raw natures, their lack of pretense, lack of filter. Their natural instincts just accepted, not sanded away by school or television.
Although sadly the feeling is not mutual. Every cat or dog my aunt brought back would rather jump under a semi than let me pet them. I won a gold fish at a fair once, got it a bowl and a little castle, the whole bit. As soon as we put it in the bowl it climbed those castle steps and was never seen again. It chose a life of solitude like some hunchback. It starved to death rather than see me for all of the five seconds it would take for me to sprinkle food on the surface of the water.
He paid for the food, of course, perfect gentleman, did I mention that? Feminism what’s that?
“Are you mad at me?” He asked as he kept his eyes straight, hands at ten and two.
I looked at him and sighed, smiling with the corners of my mouth like a snake. “No.”
“Is that a real ‘no’ or a woman’s ‘no’” He asked still refusing to look at me.
“No as in no”. I just couldn’t get those dreams out of my head. Picturing the city under the blanket of night and me stalking it’s street like some carrion bird picking off the weak and the strong alike. It was a mix of horror and sheer splendour mixing in my chest. A feel so unexplainable, to try would be blasphemy.
“You just seem-“ A sound of leather shifting, from the seat. “-Different”.
Should I tell him about my dream, maybe just to shut him up. I don’t have to tell him about the good bits, I can keep those to myself, locked away in Dear Diana’s vault of diabolical deeds.
I make a bit of a show of it, lick my lips so he can hear, maybe not over the air-conditioning. “I had this weird dream is all” I shrug and smile.
“What kind of dream?”
Two questions in one day, my aren’t we the inquisitive type today?
“I was walking- walking at night”. I said tapping my front teeth together anxiously.
“Like a vampire?”
“You really shouldn’t be walking alone at night” He said sounding like the father I never had.
“You haven’t heard?”
“Apparently not” I say losing a sliver of patience,
“You didn’t watch the news?”
“Not if I don’t have to, boring show.” There goes another one.
“They found bodies washed up on Huntington beach.”
“Bodies?” Happens every other day here. Some fat tourist from pittsburg pennsylvania goes belly up in a rubber dingy and we have to pretend to care.
“Headless bodies” He said making a chopping motion at his neck like I didn’t know what headless meant. “They think it’s a serial killer.”
A shock of something, a cold laughter in the dark, a tiny voice speaking a language only I could understand. Those words setting my teeth on edge, my skin to a cool burn.
“Really” I said trying to sound like I wasn’t chomping at the bit to google this on my phone right in front of him. I swallowed, trying to pretend like it didn’t phase me at all like it wasn’t the most rapturous news I’d heard in my life. Like there weren’t alarm bells ringing all through Diana’s dark deep depths. Like a light didn’t go off in my head telling me somewhere somehow this is what I’d been waiting for.
But what else? Of course I need to feign some sort of fear, some kind of concern, for the victims for their families maybe. I realised then that it had been a minute since I last spoke. I just threw out a stock “That’s horrible – those poor people” I added for effect. No tears, no screams? Too much.
“Don’t worry – I’ll protect you” He smiled into the rearview mirror.
“Did they find them?”
“Did they find what?”
“The heads” I asked quietly, trying to restrain myself, biting my lip.
“Now that you mention it, I don’t think they mentioned that.”
“Oh, terrible, I’m so scared” I said almost shaking with excitement. What could it mean, why take the heads? Was it just a gang thing? Maybe it was the cartel. They love murdering random people and scattering them all over the place. But what happened to the heads? Maybe they just washed away to become a house for a family of California Dungeness crabs. But not to find one, it could have just been Paul forgot but it seemed to strike a chord with Diana’s dark double. A shrill laughter, a tingle, a shiver up my spine, electricity on my finger tips. Every hair on the back of my neck standing up, I had to check my lip to make sure I wasn’t drooling. Something seemed so right about it, something I had no idea I was waiting for.
I had to find out.
The moment he stopped the car I bounded out the door like a dog seeing another passing car full of burning cats.
Tossing back a feeble kissing noise and something like “Bye babe, see you tomorrow”
He tossed something equally as vapid back and drove off down the street.
I quickstepped to the door of our ’reasonably’ priced Orange county that looked like a little beach hut. Complete with beach towels drying on a spinner in the tiny front yard.
I was trying not to break into a full scale sprint. Trying to keep my hand loose enough so I didn’t break the key off in the lock. All so as to avoid any unnecessary time wasting conversations with my aunt. So I’d be free to sit down at my computer as quick as humanly possible.
The keys on my chain rattled and it took me too long to find the right one and get it to keep still enough to go in the lock.
I turned the key closing the door behind me and striding through the halls passed the living room which I followed with my eyes. The tv was on, the news, something about the killings. What a coincidence but something in me told me this had to be a private moment, shared with no one. Not even my own flesh and blood and I also didn’t want any spoilers, no fluff, or padding. Just raw stark reality, no artists impression for Diana of the Dark.
I hurried past slurring my words “Hey, I’m home, had a great day, no hungry, kinda tired, going to my room kthxbai!”
Bustling past what felt like a crowd in a trainstation. Fighting a wooden hatrack I thought was cute on amazon but had yet to buy a hat for. I barged into my own room and shut the door.
I know what you’re thinking, possible psychopath girl. Her room must be silence of the lambs, American psycho levels of neat freakery, well you’d be wrong. My room is for lack of a better word, a hovel.
Clothes, clean and dirty in piles throughout the room and on my bed. Posters of bands I don’t listen to anymore if I ever did in the first place peeling off the walls. Containers of soft drinks and burgers, I never said I was vegetarian, I said I liked animals, big difference. They could be vegie burgers, I don’t remember.
The curtains were drawn and the room was dark and humid. I put on the fan and it started to cough and move warm air around my small room.
My laptop sat atop a throne of dirty clothes on my bed, half open like a clamshell.
I snatched it up and almost tossed it onto my dressing table slash desk slash landfill.
I turned it on and found a swizel chair with a sock wrapped tightly around one of the wheels. It’s swivelling days were over it seemed. I sat down and waited for my laptop to boot up which seemed to be taking much longer than usual.
Punching it wouldn’t make it go any faster. So I didn’t do that.
It finally booted up and I quickly logged in. My fingers almost tripping over themselves to type in my password ‘Dahmer7’.