Friday, 1 May 2015

Epilogue: She Who Carves The DollMaker


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… Turning the corner afforded him true relief, Vicky, her father and Samson no longer able to see him, unable to watch his expression as his hand delved into his jacket to discover the broken wire doll.  He felt ashamed of his slight step back the way he came, but he'd halted, resisting foolishness, his over reliance on his cheerleader.  Besides, he thought, I couldn’t ruin the perfect exit.
Vicky’s arms were too small, nowhere long enough to encircle the tree trunk stiffness of her father riding Bertha down relatively clear London roads.  It made no sense to twist her head back, but she did so anyway.  Unsurprised at the lack of chaos god behind them, she turned around again, her face sunk into the tight rubber padding of her father’s jacket.
He won’t survive out there alone, she thought as the bike stopped at a red light.  Lilith will keep watch but this is the end of the world we’re trying to prevent.  I could volunteer for help?
Over the rumble of the motorbike, Vicky heard the scream of a baby.  A bawling new born in a buggy wheeled past them.  Was she asleep before we came here? Wondered Vicky.  Did Bertha wake her up? Her gloved hand moved instinctively toward the seat.  Then it stopped.  She had marshalled enough selfish personalities for a lifetime.  Now all she wanted was sleep.

Hara’s eyes opened, but slowly, taking in the light of her room, her body held down by the unmistakable tough sheets of hospital bedding.  It was time to figure out who to help, and where they might be.
 “Oh, no–no–no–no,” she muttered, “running around interfering is the old way, and your body’s not up for it, Hara, dearie me, no.” She listened out for the beat of her heart.  She made it stop.  She got it going again, speeding it up, throwing the machine hooked to her arm into a bleeping frenzy.  She barely registered the swarm of doctors that descended upon her bed.  Talk of a five month coma couldn’t wipe the glee from her face.  All that power, responsibility and knowledge shooting up her cerebral cortex, astounding.  Do not show your face.  Aronson will seek to throw you into the tarn.  The totality of the Earth Mother revealed her infinite wisdom: Your power must be in the subtle influence of foot soldiers.  Your existence must remain unknown.  
Hara’s mind manufactured the sight of a black woman with long coloured dreadlocks, an albino walking by her side.
No need for running around at all.  Soon I’ll be receiving guests. 
“Are you alright Mrs Carroll?” A nurse leaned in, a doting hand placed upon Hara’s headboard.
“I’ll be fine.  If you could though Dearie, fetch us a pen and paper? I have to write to some old friends of mine.”

Hours stretched into days, which in turn became weeks, then months, the hot Summer nudged Spring from its place, evicting brisk coldness like an unwanted guest.
Spiderfingers writhed delirious.  Lost.  Naked.  Alone, in a forgotten tower block unfit for human breathing.  The stench of him contained in a self-made prison he’d plugged with trash and old wood.  Here meant safety, a place not unlike Bellevue, except in Bellevue there would be no wrecking ball or TNT or whatever men used to knock down condemned buildings, he thought.  His life relied on the mercy of some unknown date of destruction, a fact which troubled him.  Sometimes he bothered himself into an upright position, to only flop down to manky, stained, insect ridden floor.  Often he jabbered, wittering about protecting schoolchildren by not existing.  He blotted out the rationale of fleeing his room, imagining the oncoming explosion tearing him apart.
“I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.” He stared down a heap of clothes, colourful garments to be feared.  That uniform.  A costume able to breed influence, an influence which worked against him: No more Doctor Chimera, he thought, no supervillain, not whilst I’m naked.   

With every bow Steph made, the intent of her prayer could not have cruised further from the intended respondent.   Each syllable cried out in Allah’s name fell in on itself as the hollow plastic lies they were.  Tonight, she halved the length of her spiritual charade, the longing for the touch of her thick black pen far too great.  She knew this flash of inspiration would make her late for Milo, but no other feeling compared to the sight of all that ink cradling her passionate, unhinged brainstorming.  Just wait till I redraft this, she thought, hand and eye co-ordination pushed to their very limit, just you wait world.  Just you wait!
And this book is for you bad teachers, you rule makers, you swine, scared ex hippies who learnt how to suck hard on establishment cock, just so that you could afford to pay rent, keep up with television shows that featured made-up people you could have been.  True characters, not the ghouls you became, shoving slow burners like me into the fires of doubt and despair.
You shelved aspiration behind C.V’s that unlocked nightshifts behind desks.  So many faders, knobs, buttons, plugins and monitors to keep control of.  Just another night of close ups, pans, front gate, back gate, bathroom B, toilet A, title sequence, cut to break, side boob.  Another night of forever, keeping Real Actors on air.  And don’t forget the controversial spin off, the real time hit that’s got people returning to television in a way the writers of EastEnders can only wank about.  Playing God: low-brow masquerading as the Most High.  Seven method actors given the task of living in a house, each one given the challenge to prepare for their prize: a big role in a fantasy movie funded by the show.  A film about a demigod.
Fifty two days and nights of round the clock rehearsal, because when the red light goes on and a name’s announced, one of these fame seeking leaches has to live in character.  Tune in for men and women playing Him, the Christian deity and every week, there’s a new production.  Every seven days one gets voted off.  Every scene, they each take their turn, commanding locusts, organising a deluge, or last week’s mission – my favourite – because sitting in judgement over an adulterous man with the power to punish him with the death of his child, now that’s real godly.  Playing God: India’s biggest network has bought the rights for the Hindu version.  No one believes in Pop music anymore, let’s play god instead. 
        God on the toilet. 
        God on an ego-trip, because Bartholomew Ward has starred in more plays than the youngest contestant in the house: Foley Edwards, who’s a jobbing actor.  Jobbing, as in two adverts for insurance and a short history of porn.  The opportunity for Foley to cast himself as a working class hero to Bart’s upper class toff is stark, the Etonian ribbing Foley about ‘the realities of industry.’ So then, Bartholomew as God, sitting in judgement of the audience.  Foley, also playing God; deity of the people.  Near enough anyway.
God flirting with the glamour model who entered the house on Day Five.
God masturbating in the shower, doing the dishes, complaining about the cleaning rota, players in real time idling up at the camera and wondering: Have I been miscast?
        God, being adjudicated by Bianca Watkins, her teenage indiscretion forcing her out of High School and hasn’t read past page eight of a book since.  Still, she reads to her son, if only for her peace of mind.  She can’t spell theatre without feeling uneducated and will watch anything remotely connected to Simon Cowell, because then, and only then, Bianca gets to look through the prism of pain his production company creates.  Now Bianca and her friends at work can gossip about the nights they’ve peered down upon the Almighty, criticise his line cuts and bad attitude.  She’ll tune in to watch God read His biography and ask the question, the one that haunts these desperate thespians nightly: Will this job role drive me mad? Has it done so already?
So, just in case you thought you were off the hook, you fuckers who squeezed the life out of me, or worse – saw me drowning but didn’t reach out to the quiet boy at the back – fuck you … bastards.  Once upon a time, I could have written something worthwhile.  A fairy-tale perhaps, one that a few people would read and say, “hey, he really understands the subtle psychosis we deny, but address in our oldest bedtime stories.”  Now I push buttons, told what to do in my ear piece, my link to the real divinity in my life, cos following her commands means I get to sleep in a warm home and watch TV.  How about I tell her to go fuck herself? Find myself back in the unemployment line, telling them to go fuck themselves as well? Spend my days writing that children’s novel, using my television as a stool.  Smash the idiot box first, just to curb the habit of a lifetime.  So what if the landlord wants rent, fuck him and his silly laugh and his ‘naughty-naughty’ plumbing.  Fuck the bailiffs and the police and the arsehole that resurfaces to play the role of dad every few years.  And as you pass me on this street with this pen in hand, these tattered pages quivering in my clutches, don’t offer pity.  This character was my choice.  This narrative is where I play a deity.  Someone else’s little boy can fuck his life up, casually pass the blame when the fury burns right through his lonely skull, cos in this safe snuggly place, where I rule over millions, this windless Nirvana where I’ve achieved a state of all-encompassing forgiveness, somehow struck out all malice – here – in this Heaven, I am in complete control.  All weather and crop maintenance is stage managed by my hand, and the ongoing applause is fucking riotous. – Spiderfingers Stephanie Penny Tent
Just wait till Milo sees this, thought Steph grinning at Danger-Man, her caress of his tall and flaming hat so considered.  Such affection.  After a good few seconds, Steph grabbed her coat, rushed down the stairs and headed out the front door.  She ran into the night.

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V    O    L    U    M    E    II
Revelations For Some... 
(N.B The comments posted below pertain to an extended version of this story, truncated due to issues of pace). 
WARNING: THESE COMMENTS INCLUDE SPOILERS.

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