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Diana in the dark Chapter 13 ‘Daddy’s little darlings’ (Remurdered)

Ok, well I started it I guess.

Yeah started Cur 2 and it went about as well as it can be expected barely at half my usual output but it’s there. I can’t say it’s as good as Cur 1 for an opening by that I mean it’s boring-er and by that I mean Cur isn’t hacking people to pieces within the first few paragraphs. 

I wanted to go for a more slow build, actually I have no idea why I’m talking about this now I should wait until I finish proofreading it, gonna shelve this now and talk about something else, save that for another blog.

So I saw that new M. Night Shamalamadingdong movie glass and it fucking sucked. Why is anyone surprised by this?

Actually nevermind, I’ll save that for a review. Translation; I started talking about it not wanting to do a full review – which then turned into a full review I cut out for another blog haha.

So other than writing Cur which I can’t talk about and watching Glass which I also can’t talk about I’ve been playing Vampyr by dontnod, prolific developer of the award winning millennial walking simulator Life is strange. And honestly I… actually never mind, I’ll save that for it’s own blog haha.

Yeah so.. bye! X’D

When the darkness faded, I opened my eyes. He was there.

“Come on, I wanna show you something.” A little boy with a bowl cut hairstyle was leading me down a tight white hallway.

There was a door; he wanted me to go through.

What was on the other side?

The door was huge; I could barely reach the handle. It was turning red, the door, it was melting.

What’s in there?

“A surprise. I did it for you.”

Shapes appeared in the red goo the door was turning into. A face was pushing through the malleable material.

It’s my face, it’s a mirror.

A sudden jolt and my face hit something hard and flat. I was thrust back into the land of the living rather unceremoniously.

My head hurt, I was still seeing spots, but that was all. There was something over my eyes. I could almost feel the veins in my neck; my brain hurt like someone had slam dunked it through a stained glass window.

There was something wet and warm on my face, getting colder. Shit, blood, it had to be blood. “I’m bleeding” I cried out to the dark, to no one in particular.

“Relax,” a woman’s voice said. “It’s just drool—you can wipe it off when we get there.”

“Get where?” I asked.

“Prom, of course,” Wendy said.

I tried to move but my hands were strapped to something at my side. But I could feel the car plaining over wet roads, felt it turning, stopping. We were moving.

“Don’t move, don’t be dumb.” Her voice was tight, stern with a bitter frosty bite. “Don’t bother screaming, we’ll just crank the radio up, the windows are tinted no one can see us in here.” There was a cool commanding calm in her voice.

“Wendy, what’s going on?”

She laughed. “What’s going on? We’re going to prom, didn’t I just say that?”

The car slowly ground to a halt and I heard the driver get out.

“Just gotta make a little stop along the way,” She added.

“Wendy I—”

“I should’ve known it was you. My mom warned me about you; you’ve always been jealous of me. How did you know?” The jewelry on her arm jangled as she talked, no doubt gesturing to someone blindfolded. “I bet you felt really fucking clever, sending me those little notes… How clever do you feel now, huh?”

The passenger side door to my left opened and something big and heavy was slung at my side.

“Don’t make a fucking noise, puto, don’t make me shoot you!” a man’s voice said.

The door shut again and the large sack of potatoes started to writhe and make groaning grunting noises in the seat next to me.

“What the fuck Denny? I told you not to hurt him, he’s fucking bleeding!”

“I had to hit him with the gun, big white boy wouldn’t come on his own, thought he was a tough guy.”

“Now I’m gonna have to clean him up, you better not have got blood on his tux,” she screeched.

“What the hell’s going on? Is this a prank? It’s not very funny,” the potato sack said in between pained groans.

“Paul! Is that you?” I said.

“Diana? Are you—?” he said groggily.

“Just stay cool,” I said.

“What the hell, Di?” my boyfriend groaned.

“What’s going on is, I’m not going to let you white trash pieces of shit ruin my senior prom.” Wendy’s voice got fast and high pitch. “Already close to ruined; having it in that fucking laser arcade. I wanted it at the beach club, but noooo that wasn’t cool enough for little miss ‘ooh look at me I’m so quirky and interesting!” She made a clucking noise in her throat, as if trying to get more spit in her mouth. “Me being the great friend I am, let it slide, but no you gotta stab me in the back and try to ruin it with your little knife in the dark Marco polo horror movie bullshit!” She tutted “I wasn’t taking any chances after getting that second corny note so I had Denny camp out in my closet just in case and look who happened by.”

“Wendy?” Paul asked. “What’s she talking about? What’s going?”

“Would you just shut up, you fucking meat head daddy’s boy retard!” She sucked her gums “It was probably you who sent me that weird video at school trying to freak me out” She scoffed “and what a coincidence yours was the only locker without a head—I can’t believe I didn’t see it until now” She took a deep breath and filled herself with sweetness and light and said. “We’re gonna be there soon, and we’re all gonna dance and have a great time; and then me and Brody are going to be crowned prom king and queen and then—”

“Then what?” I asked.

She laughed and I could feel her shifting closer to me, the leather creaking under her toned brown buns.

Wendy took the sleep mask off my face and put a small gun to my head, my small James Bond-type weapon, to be precise. She looked over at Paul and squeezed her thin spider leg eyebrows as tight as they would go. “Oh, for fucks sake!” She tutted as she pulled a tissue from her purse She spat in it rubbing furiously at the small nick at the side of Paul’s head where Denny had hit him. She stepped back after she was done, to get a good look at him. “There, you look great” She sat back in her seat in the front of the limo, with the small purse pistol trained on us. Wendy was in a gold taffeta dress, looking like a real princess.

Paul was in the tux my ‘aunt’ had picked out for him, tied to one of the arm rests with a plastic zip tie, the same as I was. He was slowly fading in and out of consciousness, like he’d taken a hit of Nyquil and whiskey.

The interior of the limo was huge. The ceiling was much higher than I’d expect, and coming in at a cool five-three I could probably comfortably stand up inside. It was almost as wide as a standard bus, with black leather couches on all sides, and a large bar-like table with cushioned corners all the way around, stretching across the length of the interior. To top it off, there were blue strobe lights around the ceiling, making it look almost like a mini-traveling strip club. It was missing the stripper pole though. No fog machine either.

I was wearing one of Wendy’s hand-me down-dresses she’d worn to the homecoming dance last year. It was a mess of pink lace that looked like an explosion in a cotton candy factory. Insult to injury received. Pretty in pink my ass.

“You two make such a cute couple.” She smirked. She tapped the glass between the passenger compartment and the driver’s cab. “Denny, you’re driving like an old lady, are we there yet?”

Yeah well you can’t read this version because I said so, maybe I’ll give it away at the end of the year but only for people on my mailing list so there haha. But you can read the raw free version right here but don’t because it sucks.

Diana after Dark Chapter 6 ‘Rescue Him’

Henlo human folk,

Back again with more chapters, finally finished the second draft and I’m proud of it, if a little deflated and rudderless feeling. Now I need to spend money on it I don’t have to have it edited. I guess I’m gonna have to pull the plaster off week by week or something to that effect which is really frustrating since I haven’t even finished paying to have TOTCB fully edited but that should be done soon and everyone on my mailing list will receive a free copy as promised in their inboxes, soon-ish.

On  shittier note, inkitt changed it’s rating system so now all my stories over like five reviews are four stars because of grammar and spelling which really rustled my jimmies.

Right now I feel a little lost, I’m trying to plan this new sci-fi/steampunk/western alternate history thing and it’s not going amazingly well so I’m listening to some audiobooks hoping for some inspiration because right now I feel bleh. Like I don’t feel like I’m using my time effectively right now and it drives me crazy.

But at the same time, the love of my life came back and brought a little ray of sunshine into my shadowy existence so in a lot of ways I feel less of a drive right now. I just feel sort of comfortably numb, like things are going right for a change and I don’t need to scurry about spinning plates and trying to crawl out of the crab box or whatever that saying is.

Which is great, but at the same time utterly maddening.

Exactly as it should be.

I stepped over the doorman and through the door. The house was dark and smoky and smelled like weed and burning plastic. Don’t ask me how I know what they smell like.
Loud music playing, it sounded like a mix of salsa and dubstep. A mongrel jungle beat getting deep down into your veins and shaking them like a tensile rope bridge.
It was a relatively cramped house, a corridor connected a series of dimly lit rooms. Two bedrooms otherwise occupied by people in varying stages of undress and intoxication. Writhing like they were about to be turned into pillars of salt at any minute. The house was almost like a living thing, I felt like I was walking on a carpet of raw nerves. There were eyes everywhere in the dark watching and not watching. Peeling back to view the insides of their skulls. And there were literally just people lying on the floor in the hall and I may have stepped on a couple of them. Sorry.
People talking in varying dialects crossing English bad English and Spanish. None of which I could understand over the loud beat drowning out all my senses. It was so loud and thick it was like my head was in a box.
All the while it was building and building shaking the walls of my chest. My heart beating just out of time with the rhythm as we worked closer to the source of the sound. I clung close to Paul as he walked in front of me, my hand in his, my face at his back. I could feel the gun under his jacket, I could smell the strong scent of his cologne. A fresh musky smell like pine cones. It was oddly comforting, soothing as we waded through this den of iniquity together.
We reached an opening in the wall a light coming from it. We entered the living room which was uncharacteristically lavish and well lit. A large flat screen on the wall playing one of the fast and furious movies with no sound. God knows which one, they’re pretty much indistinguishable at this point.
A large leather couch pointed at it with a glass coffee table laden with a veritable banquet of Chinese takeout. The varying smells drifting and mingling into one greasy mass at the back of my sinus wall.
The room was decked out almost like a small nightclub. A disco ball on the ceiling spinning pointlessly as the light was on so there were just odd dots of dim sparkling orbs around the room. A small kitchenette in the corner had been converted into what looked like a real granite bar. Complete with a stalwart bartender in a santé muerte mask and bowtie standing with his hands behind his back. The smiling skull face staring out with empty black eyes a mid a red tribal pattern. Very scary.
Was it like this every night I wondered.
The music was coming from two huge speakers connected to an iPhone either side of a fake fireplace under the flat screen.
We entered softly trying not to draw too much attention almost tiptoeing on the hardwood floor. The safest thing to do seemed to be go to the bar at the back of the room. Get a drink and maybe try to gravitate to a dark corner and pretend to watch the movie.
We crossed the room completely oblivious to the other people in it. A certain shy sheepishness had come over me and I couldn’t raise my head for fear of it being bitten off by a bigger dog.
“Hey” A hoarse voice fought over the noise of the speakers.
‘Who me?’ I froze.
“Yeah you” I turned my head like a wooden figurine on a rusty cuckoo clock and looked over at the couch in the general direction of the voice.
A moment past, charging feet over my grave. Stomping down the dirt flat and dancing and laughing. The little hissing voice inside the dark well chuckling silently. Spitting into a crescendo of ever faster beating wings rising from the deep dark murk.
It was him.
No mistaking it, I can’t say I was too surprised, I was in his house after all.
He sat on the leather coach wearing a pair of baggy jeans and basketball jersey. Sandwiched in between two ethnic looking prostitutes. Large Hispanic men who were definitely carrying guns or machetes or both under their Hawaiian shirts stood like bookends on either side of the coach. His face was young and he looked very short sitting down, a wispy dark goatee on his chin, his hair slicked back on his head in a wavy pattern. Very thin with almost puppet like movements.

I looked around again feeling dumb and drowning in the spotlight pointing at myself literally like ‘who me?’. Paul was at the bar already ordering some drinks which seemed like an ocean away his back turned as I stared intently at Ruez’s sneakers.
“Yeah, you! Are you deaf or something?”
My eyes flashed up and caught his and he gave me an odd look, almost like he recognised me. I heard a catatonic purring noise inside. He didn’t stand, he just stared at me up and down, probing me. I felt naked and almost like I’d forgotten how to stand. Every gesture seeming practiced and awkward, how-to-human?
Did he know? Could he see it, could he hear it? Was this it? Was I about to have a cap popped into my ass and spend the last few minutes of sentience rolled up in a cheap rug?
“Yeah can you like get out of the way?” He said with his hands. “We’re trying to watch a movie here”.
“Err sorry” Said dumb dithering Diana smiling like an idiot.

 

Diana After Dark Chapter 5 ‘The Magic Hour’

Henlo my dudes,

I’m using ‘dudes’ like california people do now, it’s gender neutral over there.

So what is up? Haven’t been that busy recently if I’m to be honest still kind of coming out of that funk, dealing with the constant and ever present rejection of literary agents, I never know if I should respond, maybe send them bags of burning dogshit, I dunno. But honestly I didn’t expect TOTCB to get much traction, that’s big brain nibba stuff for sure, way above some fucking cat lady literary agent who’s just looking for a new harry potter but with more preferably non-white vag to stock her portfolio with.

But I’m getting the editing wrapped up with Nat and I’m working on a second draft for Diana and trying to decide on a title, taking this one much more seriously. I have high hopes for it, it ticks a lot of catlady boxes and I enjoy writing it and subverting their expectation. It’s like writing a harry potter book where harry drops out of wizard school to join the third reich and do meth. I dunno haha.

Like it fits these normie cat lady parameters but in doing that it lets me slip in a lot of my own counter-subversive hyper-sanity. If that makes sense (I know it doesn’t).

So yeah, just underway with that and playing the surge, which you won’t be getting a review for because I actually like it, it’s like an awesome mix of dead space and dark souls. Gets that risk and reward hierarchy down perfectly, I actually returned prey and got this in exchange from amazon, only paid postage on the return so I’m really happy. Traded one shitty sci-fi borefest for an all out grindcore balls to the wall sci-fi dark souls action rpg.

That’s all, enjoy the stuff haha.

Also my book is on sale as if you care haha. www.hyperurl.co/kcio3t

The Magic Hour

He took me back to his place in French court, about a two minute drive from the Starbucks. It was a nice little bungalow that looked like it should have a picket fence but it didn’t. It was a small red brick building with white trim and a brick chimney. The small patch of lawn in the front was of course neatly manicured. The bushes I suspected were tested with a spirit level. The house was pristine, it looked brand new, could have single handedly raised the property value of the entire neighbourhood which had seen better days. He lived directly opposite the elementary school he went to as a kid.

The area wasn’t too bad, well-kept palms, and lawns. It was quality middle of the road Mediterranean style housing and home to some of the best seafood in the OC. There was a restaurant called Ambrosia he seemed very proud of. It was a beacon in the least shiny part of Orange County. The birds chirping on resilient in their fortitude for this too to be a slice of paradise. Nonetheless they all had wrought iron fences guarding their lawns, except Paul’s house. Just a small white porch with roman style pillars. There was something about it sitting on the corner like that, looking like a model house. Like a house sitting on a nuclear test site about to be blown up, full of wax fruit bowels and mannequins sitting at dinner tables. It didn’t look lived in, it looked like it was a trap house begging for someone to step on that carefully trimmed lawn. Teeth gnawing and clicking and tensing against each other. Praying the mailman would plant a foot off the path and then something could be unleashed, some dark righteous fury bottled up just for this moment. But it never came. The birds just chirped on incessantly.

It was Sunday so the elementary school was quiet and still, which I’m sure was a welcome change. We got out of the car. Parking it in the lot behind the house and he lead the way into his cool still house. “Come on in” He smiled.

It was a show house alright. I can’t remember the last time I was in here, funny enough. I didn’t spend a lot of time with Paul, despite being my boyfriend he and I didn’t really know what that meant. We appeared places together, we were together at school but when the curtains came down the actors went back to their trailers and rested. Nothing more.

That was really as far as our interactions went. A pantomime for an audience of slack jawed watchers probably begging to be us and having no idea about the truth. I guess, we just liked our own space.

He cleared his throat and threw the keys down on a Formica top kitchen counter and said. “Well?”

 

I smiled and took in a lungful of the cool musky air in his house. It didn’t smell bad or like dust, just old leather and new plastic and rubber.

“Well what?” I sighed.

“What was that all about?” He asked, almost stuttering.

I sat at a small functional kitchen table and said “Some weirdo just tried to grab me, it’s nothing”.

“Some guy tries to grab you and that’s nothing?” He almost coughed and screeched. His face became a shade redder and his tone was strangled off by some violent shifting of gears in his throat. “How are you- I mean how is-?” A clever aside from ‘What was it like to see severed human heads’.

I looked up at him with a raised eyebrow and massaged my temples. “I’m fine”.

The house was oddly dark and cold. Even though none of the blinds were drawn it seemed shaded somehow. It was pleasantly cool, like the underside of a rock. Probably just the position of the house relevant to the sun.

I took out my phone completely displacing his concerns, they seemed too banal for me to even want to press. Why should he care if Skeletor tried to grab me with a boney claw and what could he have done to prevent it? And he most certainly couldn’t make me un-see the heads with a back rub or a sonnet and moreover- I wouldn’t want him to.

Did the posturing and planning make him feel better, should I embellish him just for his own ease of mind? Wasn’t I the one who had been through two supposedly traumatic events? Why should I be responsible for setting things right in his world? Humans, why do I bother?

Who was that strange metal pincher man, my mind instantly drawing back to one of those toy grabbers you get at the beach arcades. I guess that made me a hapless stuffed animal. Deer in headlights Diana. Did he really know about me? What was there to know? A naughty search history, a little amateur hack magic, hardly seemed enough to raise the dead. And hardly the most alarming thing to happen to me all week.

I swiped on my phone back to twitter and I pointed the screen at him.

“Do you know this guy?”

He took the phone off of me with a curt urgency, what did my phone do to him?

He turned the screen back to me and pointed at it and said “Is this the guy who grabbed you?”

“He lives around here?” I asked.

“Yeah I know this scumbag, deals dope out of a house in Central City, has these wild parties” He trailed off.

“How do you know him?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

“We went to the same elementary school, he dropped out”

“He dropped out of elementary school, see a future in orange sherbert or something?”

“Or something” He sighed. “He’s a pretty bad dude, heard a lot of – rumours about him, I guess.” He shook his head and scrunched up his eyes as he said it, like he really wasn’t sure.

Central city for the uniformed was the unofficial gang hub of Orange County. A veritable hive of scum and villainy. Surely every nice little berg has one. You could get almost anything down there, drugs, unlicensed guns, prostitutes maybe even human lives and knock-off levis. The kind of place someone goes when they haven’t discovered you can get all that stuff on the internet without having to leave your mom’s basement.

“So?” I asked in my best pixie dream girl voice.

He held up the phone and then caught himself “You wanna go there?” He asked agasp, ruffling that long handsome brow of his.

I nodded and started to kick my feet like a kid on a swing set. Trying to hide a rising tide of dark angel trumpets calling me. A shrill laughter in the dark depths, a shock doing a Mexican wave across the invisible microscopic fine hairs I failed to pluck. I wax too, I said feminism didn’t interest me. Hairy pits in California heat? No thanks.

“Tonight?” He said, his voice almost shaking, with something I couldn’t quite fathom. Was he afraid, or was it something else? The way he said it, it was almost like a challenge.

“Is he having one of the parties tonight, it’s a Sunday” As soon as I said it, I felt decidedly dumb once again. Getting to be a bad habit today.

He made a hissing sound in his mouth. “Every night, these people don’t have jobs to go to, or school.” It was a school night.

Of course I knew that. I just felt awash with some new profound feeling of the unknown and the fact we had school in the morning made it seem twice as delicious to try tonight. But why would I go there? Just to see him for myself, and then what? ‘Hey Antoine, have you been leaving a trail of body parts for me to follow?’ Did I even think it was him, no, well I didn’t want it to be him, the twitter activity alone shattered a lot of the mystique around him. If he was the one I’d feel decidedly deflated. And what would he do when he saw me? Would it be ‘off with her head’ or ‘Hi friend, you got the message, let’s play’?

Either way if I could get Paul to go along it would be to my advantage, if only to be a distraction in case I needed to run far and fast away. Was I really that callous? Maybe, maybe not.

“Ok?” I said, rising to this illusory challenge.

He shook his head and let out a breathy laugh. “Sure.”

The Following season 3 review – sorta

Ok, this is not really a review. It’s more of a rant, but when do I write anything but half assed rants?

So I the Following, I watched the first two seasons and honestly it’s kind of an ‘eh’ show for me. It’s the kind of show I watch while I workout or I cook to, its not some cerebral show that eye fucks me on the regular it’s just kind of a chewing gum show I watch to fill time while I do other stuff.
It has fun themes and decent actors but is otherwise unremarkable. It’s sort of normie-tier Dexter. Well Dexter is sort of normie-tier Dexter if you read the books which are much better but I digress.
It was ok, it was a little sloppily written, the plot was sort of jumbled and all over the place and it struggled with characters. Because it has so many and Kevin Bacon and all his cohorts are sort of generic as fuck, like seriously they could swap them all out and it makes no difference and none of the main ones die so there tension is sort of lost but you don’t really care about them either.

But it was a great show for knives, lots of cool microtechs and cold steel knives on show. And in season 3 I actually saw my favourite killer using a knife I actually own which just touched my heart haha.

I dunno, I mean the main characters are sort of unlikeable and the bad guys are sort of between being too angsty and cunty to being too likeable. Like it gets to a point in season two where Joe Carroll the main killer cult leader played by James Purefoy who is awesome see Solomon Kane and Ironclad. He is so likeable to a point where it’s bad, it gets to a point where he’s almost a foil, he stops being scary, you forget he’s a serial killer. He’s just fun ol’ uncle Joe. So you have a real clusterfuck in terms of characterisation going on and the plot is sort of middling and predictable for the most part but its watchable.

Now here comes season 3 and it’s actually very different and its apparent from the start, it’s handled really well, written really well and it fools you, it takes a completely different path from the other two seasons. It sort of builds slowly to this midpoint where a new killer is revealed and at first I wasn’t that impressed because this show sort of throws out killers like hot dinners. In a way not dissimilar from Hannibal but in lots of ways I think this show is so much better than Hannibal because it has a lot more substance, Hannibal is all style, just freak of the week killerfest. It’s dull honestly and the following has a few throw away killers too but then this guy starts getting more and interesting.

It started to make feel like I was watching the first season of Mr Robot, the guy is like a serial killer version of Elliot from that show without all the shit show psychodrama of season two. But I won’t get into that emperors new clothes bullshit again. He even almost looks like him actually, although he’s a mulatto I think, not egyptian like I think Rami Malik is. But this dude could play a Kang if pressed haha.

I really liked his character, he had a lot of depth and was genuinely scary as well as likeable in a Dexter kind of way. The concept was great. But the show sort of fumbles him a little bit because it’s a bit one sided, the killers don’t really get away with much honestly, the fbi is a bit too good. Like they kill them all and not too many of the main characters are even scratched so it gets to be you’re rooting for the bad guys because they’re like the underdogs.

Because this guy is this awesome killer, like a total badass but he’s foiled constantly by these stumblefuck fbi agents and it can’t help but take the sting out a little.

But the season ended in a really nice open way because you have this awesome killer Theo, the hacker hacker haha. But it also leads into this rich kid serial killer social club a lot like Hostel and I think that could have been even better. Also Joe the serial killer from the first two seasons is executed but lives on in like a yoda ghost sort of way but creepy haha.

Sadly, just typing season 4 into google while I was looking for header images and it turns out they cancelled it which really sucks. Because although I wasn’t really invested, it was like Lucifer I just sort of watched it and took whatever I could from it. I had through the third seasons seen something really great blossoming and to see it cut short like this just when it was getting good is a little disappointing but eh there’s more fish on amazon prime haha.

Maybe I’ll do a black sails review just to talk about gay pirate kiss endings haha. Maybe not, might get kicked off the internet.

 

DDD Chapter 3 ‘Come into my head’

Hey there dudes and dudettes, back again to let me shovel more interesting tripe into your noodle. well good. Got some doozies for you today.

Ok well not much to report on, got my first royalty report for GS and I’m too afraid to open it and admit I suck at marketing haha. Yeah, a fair few copies sold but probably not enough to warrant a release of a sequel which is depressing but you know if someone actually went right for me I’d have to eat my fucking hat, now wouldn’t I?
I sound saltier than I actually am, I know people like the book, what’s not to like, not tooting my own horn, its just a fun book. But I never really looked at it as my magnum opus or anything like that. It was never the book to save me from the poor house but nevertheless I want it to do well and hopefully with some time and elbow grease it can and then I can release the sequels.

I can’t really get down about it, because a) I have a lot better more traditional things to depress me a la life in general haha and b) I have two more serious book franchises in the works that have a lot more potential to do well and hopefully get me a fucking agent which is what I really need. I can’t be doing with this indie shit anymore.
I’m obviously talking about this and maybe the one who came back, after extensive work, actually now I think about it it might not even be long enough after the editing and DDD is a Dexter clone so I’m pretty fucked either way, but I have to dream because otherwise what do I have? What reason do I have to go on if I don’t keep the hope alive that this is all worth something? And what is that something? Money? Fame? Love? Immortality?

Who knows?

Come into my head

~

The steady metronome of waves gently beating the shore, the smell of the spray. I open my eyes but it’s just blackness and then a light comes on but it’s not a light, it’s a moon rising out of the sea. The sea, am I on a boat? I ask myself stupidly.

Then I can feel it, the cold cloying embrace of the ocean in answer.

I kick my legs but I don’t feel I need to, I’m bobbing, cold and wet, just with my head floating above the surface of the water.

I can’t see the shore, the ocean seems endless and the only noise I hear are the waves parting and my heart beating. A rising anxiety sets my teeth on edge and I can feel it all around me. Is this what it’s like inside? Is this it’s world? A cold endless black ocean. I can’t feel the bottom, why would it have a bottom?

I can feel something, something moving, circling, rising. Waves and bubbles rising to a crescendo peaked by an anticlimactic blub blub and something bobbing on the surface of the water.

It floats towards me and I know what it is before it the moon can cast it’s bright bitter smile down on it.

It’s a head.

A perfectly lopped head of a woman. It floats towards me and in the glare of the moon it rolls open and it’s wet hair parts like a flower and it’s my dear old aunt Mary Beth. I should feel things, I should feel earth shaking, bone clattering terror and cold sweat but I feel nothing, nothing but a joyful wonder. A question answered, a life revealed, a lie told and taken away just as swiftly and my heart races and in an instant. I’m surrounded by more perfectly lopped heads, floating and bobbing like rubber ducks floating in crude.

I wake up in the same cold sweat, no maybe even colder, as colder as that black ocean, or maybe I just left the fan on, yeah it’s the fan. I slop the sheets off my damp body and walk on over and turn it off.

I need a shower and maybe a ritualistic burning of my sheets.

The water washes over me and I’m expecting revelations, a brief aside into Jungian psychology. Did I even care what the dream meant, if it meant a thing?

The sea, the darkness, fear of the unknown, the oldest fear, pretty standard. If you’re not afraid of the unknown you don’t have a very good imagination. The moon, well that was easy. I felt my teeth clicking thinking about it, getting responses up my legs and back as I just let the water flow over me.

The heads were a gift from my new and anonymous friend, but why did I recognise them, why her? I often thought about my aunt, about how I would feel if she would die. To tell the truth, if I could love anyone it would be her. Her absence in my life would be the most notable. A sapping noticeable emptiness that could be called loneliness or sadness. Something close to that but sadness was a foreign concept to someone completely bereft of any feeling whatsoever. A blessing and a curse, a crisp clear almost chipper emptiness. Like a smile with no teeth.

Where did that come from? I turned off the water and towelled off, it was a Saturday so much less care was taken in regards to time and form. As I towelled my head I heard something like the door opening and whispering.

I opened the door and looked down the hall but all I could see was my aunt holding tight to the door and looking at whomever was there. I tried looking past her but all I could see were their feet, well one foot, the other seemed to be, well not there. The stump was pressed against the stirrup of a wheelchair. The other foot not looking much more useful next to it.

She whispered harshly and shut the door latching it with the chain and the deadbolt and scurrying into the kitchen.

It took me a few minutes to get ready. I ran a comb through my hair, when I found it and put on a loose t-shirt. Then a pair of jeans more hole than denim and walked down the hall of the minimalist bungalow we shared.

She was waiting for me in the kitchen nursing a mug of gourmet instant coffee and mumbling to herself as she was one to do when something was taxing her.

I’d ask her what was wrong but she’d usually outright tell me as I was the only one she could tell her in insular little world. She really needed to get out more, like me, at least in my dreams. She owned some kind of crystal hoodoo voodoo shop in town that was run by a couple of kids. She came in to visit occasionally but most of the time she didn’t have to. Especially not on weekends. The shop did well, that kind of crap always does in California.

I came in and leaned on the the sparkly faux marble breakfast bar, none of it was new. It had all come with the house and I didn’t need her to tell me that. It has a sort of flat pack feel, like everything could be folded up and carried away at a moments notice.

I put some bread in the toaster and pressed the plunger down imagining it was some sort of small flat animal.

“What did I say about carbs?”

“That they’re delicious?” I said.

She scoffed and went back to her coffee and nothing.

“Who was that at the door?”

“Oh just the mail man, you know how chatty I can get” She took a sip waiting for my reaction “Poor guy couldn’t wait to get away.”

Now I was no expert on the hiring process of the postal service. But I was reasonably sure someone wheelchair bound and missing vital appendages couldn’t make up the required walking speed. So that was either the result of liberal diversity policies running amok or a sweet little lie rolling off my aunts lips to my ears.

“What were you talking about?” I prodded catlike, fighting a smile at the corner of my mouth.

“Oh you know, the usual stuff” She said tossing her long hair around in my face. She had it tied back with one of those seventies bands things that gave it a little lift on the top and a floral loose fitting dress. “So what are you doing today?” She asked, skilfully changing the subject as she sipped her coffee, the smell of which was driving me nuts.

“I was planning to go to the library and catch up on some studying” Of what was a need to know basis of course.

We lived in a nice but relatively secluded part of orange county. Turtle rock was a picturesque little hamlet made up of cute little match stick houses. Street names that sounded like they came straight out of fairytales. Sweetwater and rainbow falls, morning dew, sandpebble, gumdrop lane, I made that last one up. It was a good area but in comparison to the homes around us we lived in a shack. It had privacy but was incredibly secluded. You couldn’t get anywhere without a car and that was something I was sorely lacking.

“Ok”

“So I was wondering if you could drive me there and I could maybe get a ride back?”

She seemed to not be listening to what I was saying and took another sip, her head bobbing and then caught like she skipped a beat. “Sure” She said giving me a laboured smile. “Wait the library? As in at your school?”

“Uh huh?”

“It’s fifteen minute walk versus a two minute car journey” She said pausing trying to register how much I cared about carbon emissions.

“Didn’t you hear? There’s a serial killer on the loose” I said trying my best not to glow as I said it.

“I heard” she said with a ringing tone in her voice like it jumped and fell down a well. “You sure you don’t want to go the mall or something, all that work on the prom and you haven’t bugged me for a dress or shoes.”

“I still have time” I shrugged.

“Ok” She said. She picked up her unwieldly keybang off the kitchen counter with a clattering noise. Various useless keyrings like peace symbols and weed leafs. Cool aunt persona mastered. “Shouldn’t you be out with your friends? It’s a weekend.” She said clapping the keys in her hands. She almost sounded hurt, like I wasn’t fitting into the fantasy she had for a kid my age. Frolicking through piles of maple leaves and having water fights with the local kids. Taking breaks in between licking giant circular lollipops and braiding my hair. Maybe her childhood was on rainbow falls but mine fell somewhere a lot darker on the map and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Who says my friends won’t all be in the library?” They weren’t, Paul was at basketball practice and Wendy was probably at a salon somewhere getting her nails ‘did’.

“Ok sure, I can get some stuff done in town and pick you up around six?”

“I was planning on staying late, I’ll just get a ride or catch a cab or something”

“How late?”

“As long as it takes, I don’t know, are you gonna take me or not?”

“Ok fine”

“Thanks” I said in my most chipper getting my way voice.

We left the house, it was still early afternoon, I slept til about twelve which was odd. I never usually needed much sleep but these dreams seemed to leave me feeling drained. The sun was hanging lazily in the sky and the birds saw fit to fill the silence of turtle rock with their incessant happy chirping.

Most people here didn’t stay on the weekends so the place was deserted apart from the sound of sprinklers hissing. They were probably all out on the beach with their jetskies making lots of noise.

We lived on the tip of a little culdesac called whitewater, probably the least fairytale sounding name in the area. It had a mini garden in the centre of what was supposed to be a roundabout but was a tad too small. But it left more than enough to allow whatever bike or hybrid car the neighbours were packing. The place was a little too metropolitan to have front lawns opting more for the shallay feel. Little neatly formed shrubberies and trees sticking out of perfectly shaped garden strips hemmed in by the bricked driveways. Their mail boxes all nicely shaded by god knows what trees, do I look like a tree surgeon?

The houses all looked the same or similar. The same matchstick wood with sandy coloured tiles matching the tone almost perfectly. They looked almost like unpainted monopoly houses in their uniformity.

Little balconies on top for relaxing two car garages that seemed to take up most of the space in the house.

She opened the garage and drove her little rollerskate car out of the needlessly huge garage. She saw fit to fill it with useless nicknacks, a fooseball table we never used and some piece of ethnic art she picked up in a flea market. Anything to fill the void left by the tiny car in the huge garage.

The car was so small it was basically a motorized rickshaw but complaining would be pointless and eat up too much air in the car. I was getting a free ride after all. A chance I sorely needed to get a leg up on whomever was in the shadows of the internet so interested in little old me.

I opened the car door careful not to break it. I eat all my green vegetables after all. And settled in the front passenger seat, sans legroom. No complaints uttered. She started the engine and the dull hum of the electric motor made my fillings ache.

It puttered along like a milk float down the end of the drive turning right on Sweetwater. A left onto Sycamore creek and then it was another left and a straight shot onto Turtle rock drive. Only coming out of the neighbourhood noticing how much it looked like a cult compound from the outside. Trees planted there like it was a model of some Swedish fishing village and the grass cut so fine it looked like it was just paper mache painted green.

We drove for what felt like miles of an endless stream of near identical houses. Neatly topiared bushes pointing up at the bright clear pale blue sky. Were there any clouds in Orange County?

I couldn’t bare to look at their near perfection anymore. Choosing to just follow the bumps of the dry dusty hills on the otherside, reminding us all that in fact we live in a giant desert.

I opened my window because of course AC was broken in the boxy car, I was lucky the window still worked. I poked my head out for some fresh air, taking in the smell of chlorine as we passed a walled off little compound. The tops of a slide poking over the high walls. Probably owned by some cartel money man that liked quiet swedish fishing villages and indoor pools.

After about a minute of watching shadows slide over the almost non-existant crumple zone of the car. We were pulling into the flat patch of concrete that was the campas parking lot. Which was nice and empty with it not actually being a school day.

Despite all the space my aunt parked at a jaunty angle trying to take up three spaces. I got out and rounded the car to peck her on her cheek narrowly missing her pair of fake DG sunglasess. Planting a bird like poke of hard dry lips on her freckled sunkissed cheek.

“Don’t work too hard” She called at my back as I walked into the shade of the foyer.

“I wont, thanks for the ride” I called back waving at the glare of the sun, covering my eyes with my forearm.

Now onto business.

~

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