Gifts

That market stall was there again. The one that sells broken junk from other dimensions.

Sometimes in other dimensions too, 4 or 5 or 7 or 9 of them, extending out in all these directions beyond what we could see, beyond what were even directions really, but something else, something beyond our understanding, so there’s no hard edges, nothing you can hold on to, no possibility of containment, so your hand passes clean through after you’ve paid.

And the shopkeeper laughs as you realise you’ve just wasted your money on something that might as well be a hologram, or a ghost, or a memory, a thought.

It’s only then they offer you the use of their spacial manipulator, so you can get it home, and of course there’s a fee for that, a large fee, a very large fee, an astronomical fucking fee. But you pay it anyway. You have to. You don’t want to, but you have to. You don’t want to think you’ve wasted your money on some shit you can’t even take home.

So now of course I’ve got a whole shelf of things like that at home, shimmering and undulating and ululating and shivering, pulsing and trembling as the aspects of their intersections with our limited world shift and move as they through the universes they inhabit, utterly unconcerned with ours.

They’re never the same. Not even for a second. From my limited understanding of the mathematics involved, it’d be impossible for them to ever be the same again. No rotational symmetries. Not even the usual 1. None.

So sometimes they’re beautiful, so beautiful they make you want to cry. Other times they’re so alien there’s no comprehension of them at all in your mind. Visual noise that hurts to look like.

Somehow pictures never capture them at all. As if they don’t even interact with light, not how we understand it, anyway.

Although, in that case, how our eyes catch these glimpses of them, I do not know.

But they didn’t have anything like that today. Everything was three dimensional and solid and safe.

That’s not to say there was nothing interesting amongst their wares, just that there wasn’t anything so immediately, obviously, horrifyingly, enticingly , irresistibly wrong, either. At least on first glance.

“I haven’t seen you here before?” they said, with a questioning look.

They say this every time I come in. I think they’re trying to undermine my confidence. Not that it needs much undermining.

But I’m used to it now. And I am distinctly unmemorable. It’s the same everywhere I go. “And your name, sir?” After a while it barely even feels insulting.

“What’s this?” I said, pointing to the inert half of a strangulated pulsometer. It’s always good to ask a question you know the answer to first. Sometimes they lie. Sometimes everybody lies. At least this way you can calibrate their honesty.

“It’s the inert half of a strangulated pulsometer,” they informed me, correctly. “Not a very interesting piece on its own. If you’ve got a throbbing crystalline heart, it’s probably worth the price, but otherwise…”

They shrugged extravagantly, in the theatrical style.

“My heart’s throbless, unfortunately,” I said. “And diffuse in structure.”

I moved my attentions to the other pieces on display, picking up a jar filled with some sort of mimification jelly and pulling faces at it to test its responsiveness. It could cope with smiles and laughter, but turned my screams and scowls into giggles and blushes. It was very cute.

“How much for this?” I asked.

“The Caricreature?” they said. “It’s quite expensive. Very expensive. Very expensive indeed.”

They laughed expansively, in the evil style.

“Oh that’s a shame,” I said. “So how about that?”

I pointed at something entirely at random. It looked like a polyp. A polyp from some strange realm, obviously, not a polyp from ours. Totally different styles and textures.

But it looked like a polyp all the same. I assumed it was some sort of seed, from which something terrible and confusing might sprout or spurt or seep.

“That’s not for sale,” they said. “That’s lunch.”

They picked it up and bit it in half. Chocolate oozed out from inside, mingling with the blood from the raw flesh of its shell.

“You want to try,” they asked. “Highly addictive. Like a Tunnock’s Teacake.”

I shook my head, and picked up the mimicking thing again.

“So, how much was this again?”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333%.”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333% of what?”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333% of your soul,” they laughed, in the ominous style. Well, in the ominous and evil style. And the theatrical.

To be fair, there’s probably no other way to laugh when discussing the purchasing of souls.

“Ah, that’s not too bad,” I said. “I’m pretty sure I can afford that.”

I chuckled to myself, as I transferred that tiny sliver of a sliver of a remnant of my heart to their eager paw. The good thing about percentage pricing is that things get cheaper every time.

“And, actually, I don’t mind spending a little extra today anyway,” I explained. “It’s a gift.”

“A gift!?” they shouted, suddenly startled. “Is that really appropriate?”

“Er, yes?” I said. “I mean, I haven’t even told you who it’s for yet.”

“It’s the principle of the matter,” they said. “Haven’t you seen Gremlins?”

“No,” I said. “Anyway that’s just a film. It’s not real. It’s just a film. A film!”

They did not agree. They tried to take the jar back, but it was too late. I’d already paid.

That market stall was there again. The one that sells broken junk from other dimensions.

Sometimes in other dimensions too, 2 or 1 or 3/4s or 0 of them, contracting down in ways that made no sense, limited this way or that, or occluded by our reality completely, in ways difficult to understand, so there’s no depth, or width, no possibility of escape from the constraints of their limits, no possibility of life, of synthesis and fusion.

And the shopkeeper sympathises with you as you realise you’ve just wasted your money on something that’s as inert as and useless as some semi-solid lump of xenon.

It’s only then they offer you the use of their hologrammatic projector, so you can expand their appearance into enough dimensions to perceive, and of course there’s a fee for that, a small fee, a tiny fee, an infinitesimal fee. You don’t mind paying it, not really, you just wonder why it wasn’t included in the original price, why they rang it up separately like this.

So now of course I’ve got a drawer full of things like that at home, three dimensional projections of these zero dimensional shapes, sitting as still and dead and pathetic as they can, existing, if they can even be said to be existing, in their own limited dimensions, utterly uncomprehending ours.

They’re always the same. They never interact with anything. From my limited understanding of the physics involved, it’d be impossible for them to ever interact with anything. Simplified chemistries, based upon a periodic table without periods.

They’re never beautiful. They’re never repulsive. They’re just this constant unending blandness of conformity. It’s painful to look at, sometimes. Like a generic supermarket food brand made flesh.

A simple picture captures everything about them. You don’t need to see the real thing. What’s the point? They have no substance of their own.

Although, in that case, how I ever managed to carry them home, I do not know..

But they didn’t have anything like that today. Everything was three dimensional and solid and real.

That’s not to say there was nothing uninteresting amongst their wares, just that there wasn’t anything so obviously, depressingly, dispiritingly, abjectly, all-encompassingly bland, either. At least on first glance.

“Nice to see you again,” they said, with a welcoming look.

They say this every time I come in. I think they’re trying to bolster my confidence. God knows it needs it sometimes..

But it’s lost its effectiveness now. Compliments wither through use. It’s the same everywhere I go. “It’s so nice to see you.” After a while you don’t even hear it.

“What’s this?” I said, pointing to… something. It’s always good to ask a question you don’t know the answer to first. Sometimes they don’t know what they’re talking about. At least this way you can assess their knowledge.

“It’s the irregularlly fissioning half of a strangulated pulsometer,” they informed me. “Not a very interesting piece on its own. If you’ve got a desiccated liver, it’s probably worth the price, but otherwise, you know, not so much…”

They shrugged extravagantly, in the theatrical style.

“My liver’s wet, unfortunately,” I said. “And filled with blood.”

I moved my attentions to the other pieces on display, picking up a jar filled with some sort of mimification jelly and pulling faces at it to test its responsiveness. It could cope with screams and insults, but turned my laughter and smiles into endless haunting despair. It was distressing.

“How much for this?” I asked.

“The Caricreature?” they said. “It’s quite cheap. Very cheap. Very cheap indeed.”

They laughed expansively, in the evil style.

“Oh that’s a shame,” I said. “So, how about that?”

I pointed at the one thing I couldn’t take my eyes off. It looked like a polyp. A polyp from our dimension, rather than a polyp from some strange dimension.

It looked out of place among the marvels of their wares. I had no idea what it was for. Maybe they’d had it removed during some recent medical procedure.

“That’s not for sale,” they said. “That’s tea.”

They picked it up and bit it in third. Blood oozed out from inside, mingling with the chocolate from the crumbling, delicacy of its shell.

“You want the rest,” they asked. “Disappointing. Like Turkish Delight.”

I shook my head, and picked up the mimicking thing again.

“So, how much was this again?”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333%.”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333% of what?”

“33.3333333333333333333333333333% of your soul,” they whispered, in the ominous style. Well, in the evil and ominous style. And the terrifying.

To be fair, there’s probably no other way to whisper when discussing the selling of souls.

“Ah, that’s higher than I’d have liked,” I said. “But I can just about afford it.”

I moaned to myself, as I transferred that great wedge of my heart to their trembling hand. The trouble about percentage pricing is that it seems cheap at first. But it isn’t long before it’s not.

“And, you know, I don’t have any choice but to spend big today,” I explained. “It’s a gift.”

“A gift!?” they laughed, suddenly amused. “You’ll regret it!”

“Er, what?” I said. “I mean, I haven’t even told you who it’s for yet.”

“It’s the heart of the matter,” they said. “Haven’t you seen Gremlins?”

“Yes,” I said. “Oh, god. Is that a warning? Are you warning me? What is this thing?”

They would not say. I tried to hand the jar back, but it was too late. I’d already paid.

_________

Notes:

1. Written in early August, 2020
2. This was surprisingly annoying to format correctly
3. Mostly because the formatting here is slightly different from the format in my word processor
4. And also even know it’s still probably unreadable if you’re on mobile
5. Or your browser screen is slightly less wide or slightly more wide than mine.
6. So, er, maybe it’ll just be easier if you read it as a pdf
7. Words I’d never thought I’d say there.
8. But such is the horror of modern life, etc
9. So here’s a link to it as a pdf: Gifts (pdf)
10. Now let us never speak of this again.

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An Intolerable Mess

I was brought to the master of the house, who was in his study, to explain to him what I had seen. He did not look at me while I spoke, preferring instead to watch an old horse through the window, which stood trembling and incontinent in the yard.

“I have been informed that it was you who witnessed the… occurrence with your own eyes,” he said.

“I did, m’Lord,” I replied.

“And?” he said pointedly. “I would very much like to hear an explanation of what you saw, rather than simply a curt confirmation of my inquiry. Please, leave nothing out.”

He did not turn when he spoke, and for this I was glad, though it was obviously intended as some sort of rebuke. But in his refusal to even acknowledge my presence with the merest politeness, it meant, at least, that he could not see me as I stood there, sweating profusely, wringing my hands together nervously as I tried to overcome my anxieties, and somehow summon up the words from inside me to describe what it was I saw the evening before.

“Of course, m’Lord” I said. “It was late last night, though I don’t know how late, for there’s no clock in my chamber, sir, and I never thought to look, though Miss Grace tells me today it was just past two when I woke her with my cries.”

“It was forty three minutes past two,” the master of the house said, without turning round. “When you woke me with your screams.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry m’Lord. But it really was quite a fright I had,” I said. “Quite a fright indeed. So, it was about half past two in the morning, I suppose, then, sir, when I first heard the noise, and I hadn’t got any sleep, for the sound of the rain outside was incredible, and the wind kept rattling the panes of my window, and I kept waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for the sound of thunder, that I was sure would come, and which frightens me so terribly, so much so that even the anticipation of it is enough to keep me awake, all trembling in my nightgown, like I’m some tiny little dog quivering beneath the sheets.

“And though that thunder eventually came, m’Lord, it wasn’t the thing that frightened me last night. Not at all. Not at all.

“But, sorry, sir, you don’t need to hear me rambling on like that, now, do you? You just want me to tell my story. And I will, m’Lord, I will. It’s just when I get nervous I can’t stop speaking, sir, and I’m nervous, sir, in your presence, though I know you don’t mean to scare me. But, well, it’s not usual for me to be in here sir, not when you’re in here, anyway.”

I paused then, hoping for some kindly reassurance, or some stern rebuke, but instead he offered neither, and the ominous silence felt so oppressive I found myself babbling out the rest of my tale in one long breath, or near enough, at least.

“So, I was lying there in my bed, sir, all restless and anxious and awake, when I realised I could hear a sound, a sort of dull thud, that recurred, rhythmically, every twenty seconds or so. And once I was aware of it I couldn’t stop hearing it, like how the ticking of the clock in the hallway seems to get louder and louder some days, once you’ve remembered it’s there, especially when you’re waiting, sir, and on your own, with nothing to do, yet, well, on most days, you don’t hear it at all, do you, sir? But it’s always ticking just the same.

“So I thought maybe this was just some obscure noise of the house, sir, like the way the pipes rattle when the water gets all cold, or all hot, or whatever it is that causes the pipes to rattle sometimes, in the night. But I couldn’t think what it could be, cause I’d never heard these sounds before, and well, I’ve heard all the sounds of the house before, sir. I’ve got nothing else to listen to most evenings, you know, and no one to talk to, not since Alice, well, since Alice left us sir, so now I’ve got that room all to myself at night and it’s awfully quiet in there and awfully lonely.

“But, I don’t want to sound ungrateful, sir, because I like it here, I do, sir.

“Now what these noises sounded most like to me was the plums falling from the tree, at the end of summer, unpicked, and overripe, and nearly rotting, as they dropped from the tree outside my window, or, at least, how they used to sound when they fell, until you had the tree chopped down, last summer, sir.”

“The mess they made was intolerable.”

“It was, m’Lord,” I agreed, though it had never been the master who had to pick them out from the gravel of the path. “But the weird thing was, I could tell the noise wasn’t coming from outside the house, but inside. And these dull thuds seemed so loud I was sure they must have woken everyone in the house, not just me, so at first I stayed there, because it wasn’t my duty to investigate them, which makes me sound wicked, and lazy, but it’s true.

“Now soon it became apparent that no one else in the house stirred, because you couldn’t hear the creaks of the floorboards, or the squeak of the hinges on the doors, or footsteps on the stairs, or nothing else, neither.

“So these noises kept getting louder and louder, and there was the rain outside, and my fear of thunder, and I was so tired I thought maybe I was asleep, and it was like a dream, sir, especially as I rose, and lit a candle, cause when I caught a glimpse of myself on the mirror I have set up on my nightstand, I looked like an apparition, in my white gown, my hair ablaze – in the light, I mean, I hadn’t actually set it on fire – and my face as pale as the moon. It gave me quite a fright, seeing myself like that, which sounds so silly, saying it out loud, but it did, sir. It did.

“After that shock, though, I thought, oh stop being silly, Lizzie, there’s no need to frighten yourself like that. If you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror you should just get back into bed and hide under the sheets like a big baby.

“And this seemed to do the trick, and my courage came back, sir, it really did, and I crept out of my room, and down the corridor, being as quiet as I could be, which is very quiet indeed, because the first thing we learn to do here, as girls, sir, is creep silently, so as not to wake you, m’Lord, in the night, nor anyone else, and so like this I slowly made my way around the house, big slow steps, making sure to keep my feet on the rugs, and to not stand on those places I know creak the most, and not to touch the walls, or the ornaments on the sideboards, or the chandeliers, where they hang down in places, by the stairs, mainly, low enough you can hit your head on them if you’re not careful, sir.

“And sometimes the noises faded a little, and other times they grew louder, and like this, like it was some childhood game, I slowly found my way to the, well, the source, sir, because it was clear by now that it came from one place, rather than all over, or from something moving around, and when I found out where that was, I’d made my way down all the way to the kitchen, and I stood there for a second, by the door, listening to those repeated thuds, which were accompanied now by some whispering hiss, in the aftermath, that sounded almost then like words, but not words that I could understand.

“But I couldn’t bear the thought of not knowing what it was now, and I knew I couldn’t just stand there all night, though I dearly wished, such was my terror by then, to turn and creep back to my bed, and hide again beneath the covers, and pretend I had been asleep all night, and heard nothing at all that was strange, nothing at all that was unsettling, nothing at all that was odd. Which was the second time I thought that, or the third, maybe, I’ve lost count. And the last, as it turned out.

“Anyway maybe I should have listened to myself. But I didn’t listen. I never listen to anyone, that’s my problem, that’s what Miss Grace always says, when I’ve done something wrong again, that I think too much for myself, and listen too little to others, although I notice she never says that when I do something right, which I do more often than I do anything wrong, I can tell you, sir, because if I didn’t, I’d have been sent packing long before now, cause not just Miss Grace but your Ladyship, too, she wouldn’t let no one stay here if they couldn’t do anything right.

“But I bet you know that better than me, m’Lord, seeing as how you’re married to her and all that.

“So I pushed the door open, slowly, like I said, so as not to make a sound, but as I did, the draught from the kitchen caused a gale to blow out into the hall, or so it seemed, and my hair all blew around, sir, and my nightgown fluttered like a sheet on the line, and my candle fluttered and blew out, and I couldn’t see anything suddenly, and all I could smell was the smoke from the wick.

“And it was so hot in the kitchen, sir, like someone had left the ovens on, and with the smell of smoke from my candle, and the smell, too, sir, which stunk like, well, it stunk, sir, and it was like I’d opened the doors to hell, m’Lord, it really was.

“Now I could hear the thudding even louder, like the noise of skulls cracking against the floor, and all the rotten meat inside splashing out. And then in the silence that followed there was like this whistling sort of whispering speech, that sounded like someone saying “twenty one”, in a way that made me shiver, all over, so unnatural it was, sir.

“And then there was a pause, and then it all repeated, sir, over and over again, thud, splat, silence, “twenty two”; thud, splat, silence, “twenty three”; and so on, until it got to like twenty nine. And all I could think was the devil was there, counting out our souls, sir, so as he knew which ones to take, when the time came.

“Now I think maybe the voice would have kept on counting, sir, but all of a sudden there was a flash of lightning from outside, and the whole room was illuminated, and there on the table I saw it sir, I saw this creature, this devil. It was squatting on the kitchen table, all bony spider-like limbs, bending backwards instead of forwards, and covered in white flesh, like some sort of dead fish, and these red eyes blazing out of some hollow skull, and hair like old gorse all round its head. And in its hand it had our basket of eggs, sir, and it was picking them up one by one, and hurling them down onto the floor, so that now the whole floor was dripping with slime, and so was the table top, and the hands of the hellish creature itself.

“And I must have seen all this in an instant sir, because lightning don’t even last a second, now, does it, sir, yet I saw it all as clear as day, sir, as clear as if it was an illustration in one of your books, one of those ones about the horrors from beyond the grave, or from down below, or from out of the night itself.

“But then it was all dark again, and now in the silence there was no sound at all, not from anywhere, except from the clock in the hall, sir, which i could hear ticking behind me, and I counted the ticks, m’Lord, like you told us to, once, so as to tell how far away the lightning was, and it was almost six miles, sir, being as it was twenty nine ticks till the thunder came.

“Which was just the same as how many souls that devil had counted out, sir, right there in front of me.

“And then I kept on counting and counting in the silence, and I got up to seventy one sir, before the next flash of lightning came. But by then the kitchen table was empty sir, and the basket of eggs was lying on the floor, and of the devil there was no sign. Then I counted, and counted, and counted, till the thunder came again, sir.

“And only then did I scream.”

As I finished this sentence, there was a sharp retort of gunfire from the yard, as if to punctuate the climax of my tale, and a strangled cry, followed inevitably by an unnerving thud.

“My mother is not well,” he said blandly. “I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive her. She knows not how she behaves.”

Only now did the master turn to look at me, and there were, I believe, tears welling in the corners of his eyes.

“I will personally see to it that she gets the help she so desperately needs.”

Behind him, through the window, I could see someone tying a noose around the dead beast’s neck, as they prepared to haul away the old nag’s remains to god knows where.

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Notes:

1. Written in June 2020

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The Eggs

When I was a child, of about eight or nine, for a few months I had this obsession painting eggs. I don’t know why. I just loved painting faces on eggshells.

You poked a pin in the bottom of the egg first, so the white and the yolk would drip out, and then you’d leave the shell to dry. And then I’d take my pens and my paint brushes, and I’d give each of them a face, and a name, and a personality. Some of them I even gave little hats. But only to my favourites.

I lined them all up on the top of my bookcase. Next to the dinosaurs and the miniature globe and the spaceships from Space 1999 and Blake’s 7 that I had, and loved, even though I’d never seen Blake’s 7, and still haven’t, 35 years later.

Anyway, one day, the eggs began to speak. And I listened.

Soon there was no going back.

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Notes:

1. Written on June 17th, 2020

__________

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The Future

I woke up in the future. Not even a particularly good future. One of those futures where there’s airships everywhere and TVs have been replaced by VR helmets. At least it wasn’t a hovercar and protein pill future I suppose. But still it was pretty disappointing.

Anyway, I had the afternoon to look around, as my return nap wasn’t scheduled till seven. So first off I went straight to the park and they were playing this game that was exactly like football, except some of the rules were slightly different. Then I went to another bit of the park, and they were playing this game that was exactly like cricket, except some of the rules were slightly different. Later, I went to a third bit of the park, and they were playing basketball.

I sat down on a bench, which was made out of some sort of futuristic wood alternative that was almost but not quite comfortable to sit on. It started to speak to me of times past, but these times were, to me, times yet to come. It was pretty mindblowing in a way. In most other ways it was exceedingly boring.

Suddenly, the sun went behind a zeppelin. The wind whipped up. A newspaper fluttered by. I tried to read the headlines on its wings but unfortunately my pun acuity was twenty years out of date so I had no idea what was going on.

Anyway, that’s the future. I was hoping for some better satirical content really but there was fucking nothing.

__________

Notes:

1. Written June 16th, 2020

__________

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The Morality Of A Cat

There’s this huge strange cat that lives on our street that everyone says is evil. It’s not evil, obviously. It’s a cat. How the hell can you apply human morality to a cat? Well, any morality to a cat. It’s nonsense. I find people so exasperating sometimes it makes me want to scream.

Anyway this cat is huge, like I said, and strange. Like, really strange. It’s all grey and sleek and muscular, with these bright green eyes, and it doesn’t so much move as flow. It’s startling. Mesmerising. You just can’t help but watch whenever it appears. You can’t help but be transfixed.

And it really does appear. Because not only does it transcend morality, it transcends all the known boundaries of time and space. Lock your doors all you want, close your windows, seal the vents. It’s still getting in. Throw it out the front door, it’ll be at the back for the instant you turn around. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t arrive, it’s already there.

One time I came home from school, and I saw this cat in every street, but I never saw it move. It just teleported itself round every bend, so it could get stroked and fussed on all over again. It never purred, though, no matter how much you fussed. It simply stared at you in demand, instead. But you could tell it really loved it. That’s the sort of cat it was.

I’ve got hundreds of stories like that, thousands, but that’s not what I want to tell you about. Not today, anyway. Maybe another time. But today I want to tell you about this.

There’s this girl in my class, Carla. I hate her. Sometimes she sits behind me in French and yanks my ponytail until I scream. But today I had to pretend I liked her, because they called a special assembly for our whole class, and told us she’d disappeared. Run away. Gone missing. And if we saw her or spoke to her or heard anything about where she’d gone we had to tell our parents, or the school, or the police. But not Carla’s mum. We weren’t allowed to speak to her mum.

It was very exciting.

Now everyone in our class hated Carla just as much as me, but we all wanted to find her, cause then we’d be heroes, and we might get to see her body all dead in a ditch or something, and poke it with a stick, like I did with a hedgehog once, and it was all full of maggots and it stank and it was amazing.

I still think about that sometimes. I still think about that a lot.

So we all sent our mums and dads messages telling them we were going round each other’s houses for dinner tonight, but we weren’t really going round anyone’s houses for dinner at all. We were going to the park!

And the woods, and down by the river, and over to those abandoned old factories that all closed down last summer when someone set them on fire for insurance or something. That’s what my mum said, although Lilly told me it was an explosion caused by a bomb. She said it was on the news and everything but who watches the news I mean what’s the point it’s stupid.

Anyway, we didn’t find Carla. We didn’t find anything. At one point Gail and Lilly started arguing with each other about who hated Carla the most and Gail pushed Lilly in the river and we all cheered and ran off before she could drag herself out of the mud. I ran so fast I felt like I was going to scream but I didn’t scream I just kept on running until I got home even though I was supposed to be at Tina’s till six and it wasn’t even five yet.

When I let myself in I thought mum would be making tea but the kitchen was empty and there wasn’t even any plates in the sink, so I thought she’d gone out somewhere. Maybe she was getting fish and chips, I thought, which made me suddenly furious, thinking that she’d gone without me. How dare she! If we’re going to have a treat we should have it together. It’s just selfish otherwise. And anyway I knew we wouldn’t have had fish and chips if I’d been here for tea. We’d have had something boring like potatoes and peas and quorn.

Urgh, quorn. Did you know that quorn’s made out of mould! And, like, not even nice mould, like cheese, or a mushroom – which is a special type of mould called a fungus, and some of them like, make you drunk, or swell up and DIE! – but some sort of manmade mould. It can’t even kill you. It’s too boring for that. It’s just disgusting and she makes me eat it all the time. It’s horrible. It’s so cruel.

When I went upstairs to my room I thought I heard something in mum’s room. The door was open a sliver, and I looked through, and there was Mum lying on her bed, and that big strange cat was asleep on her chest. Mum didn’t even have any clothes on. That cat was sleeping right on her tits.

Mum was sighing like she was asleep or something, and that cat was yawning, and it reached out one of its paws, all lazily, as if it was stretching, and then hooked its claws right into her arm, and dug them in, and pulled them out, and dug them in again, until her whole wrist was full of these teeny tiny holes.

Mum didn’t even flinch. It was like she liked it. She was sort of moaning and laughing at the same time. Then there was all this blood running down her arm and onto the sheets and the cat moved over and started lapping up her blood and it’s tongue licked her skin so roughly I could hear it from here and it was like when we use sandpaper at school it was horrible.

At the end the cat sat up and licked its paw clean and looked at me with its green eyes and carried on licking its paw cause it knew I was there it knew I was watching it wanted me to watch it wanted me to see and mum smiled and laughed and stroked that cat like it was a good cat but its not a good cat at all it’s just a cat.

Ever since then mum’s been knocking on my door and asking me what’s wrong but I’m not going to tell her I’m not coming out not now not ever again.

I hope Carla’s dead. I really do. This is all her fault.

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Notes:

1. Written on June 15th, 2020

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