This government will bring prosperity to the British Nation. We will bring security. We will bring opportunity. We will bring jobs and financial relief. We will reinvigorate this struggling economy that the previous government left in their wake. We will bring hope and we will bring a new golden age both for British business and for the lives of individual British citizens. A vote for us is a vote for stability. A vote for us is a vote for a better Britain. A better Britain for generations to come that our children and our children’s children will thank and remember us for. Now is when we decide if we leave Britain on shaky foundations or if we leave it on a firm bedrock of policies that we and our descendants can———
This [group of mammals] will bring [arbitrarily ‘superior’ mental states] to the [mammal inhabitants of a small patch of dirt on an infinitesimal and non-descript planet]. We will bring [the illusion of sanity to some mammals fleeting futile lives adrift in a meaningless void]. We will [satisfy the desperate need by most of these mammals to feel as if their lives are not both fleeting and futile by playing on deep rooted irrational desires for pleasure and distraction] both for [arbitrary collections of mammals] and for [mammals not in these collections and therefore in need of more external distraction to stay sane]. A vote for us is a vote for stability. A vote for us [is something I desire that would make my tiny dot of a life seem somehow worthwhile and drive away the suicidal thoughts]. Now is [just another non-descript blip in a vast uncaring cosmic timeline tending towards darkness and silence- forgotten almost as quickly as it arrived and completely unremarkable amongst the quadrillions of other moments exactly like it] if we leave [choose to reorganize the mammals on the small patch of dirt one way or a subtlety different way for an almost imperceptibly short period of time] that we and our descendants [will be unaffected by and then disappear as quickly and as completely as we did]———
Father didn’t drink; not since the accident. He hit a wall going 90 and now eats and shits through tubes. Ma found Jesus and decided we all have a path and it just happened my Father’s involved shitting through tubes. Shitting through tubes is apparently Jesus’s MO though because she got real sick only months later. That last night as she plunged violently into the darkness; convulsing the way Jesus intended.
She took hours to die; forcing me to watch the entire way.
Those were the circumstances I was in when the army marched through and I had three younger brothers to support after all. I couldn’t go(there was nobody else to look after the youngest brother) so the two fourteen year old brats were dressed up and shipped off. How was I supposed to know war was hell? How was I supposed to know their entire company were lost on the first day in a raid? No I don’t accept responsibility- I was doing what I had to do to keep a young child alive and if that meant his older brothers had to die heroes (also shitting themselves uncontrollably and in desperate need of tubes) then so be it.
That’s why I do drink; why I watch so much television. Every day is a blur to me; a surface level skimming of a 2-d cross section of our world.
I’m not dead but I doesn’t feel much like being alive. It feels more like being a ghost; watching the young and lively whizz past the window every day; having to look back on a life regretfully jammed with unfinished business.
So many shut blinds and so many dead lights; a whole crumbling corpse of derelict disuse. From room to room the little man in a faded red smoking jacket went; scaling the edifice with the assistance of bare industrial staircases. He went into one room and left after a few minutes; presumably to clean behind the thick wall of fabric guarding each grotty little room from me and the sun alike. It was a horrible place; the place were only the small minded were not shook with a profound terror they could neither understand nor explain. Atop the ten story tower of icy glass perched birds and above those yet more birds flocked and swam in the breezes; collapsing and coalescing in big uneven spheres of feathery mass. It was a sunny morning but a blunt one; the sort on which a dog gets hit by a car and it doesn’t feel out of place given the atmosphere. From the bleakness of the city broke through the ugliness of the building and it seemed the tiny crinkly shops around it only added to the metaphor; the little pieces of fraying scab broken and crumbling away in shameful little piles all around it. I wanted to shut out all the light and the sound of the world and be wrapped back in the cocoon of that little apartment; oblivious to the four hundred feet drop mere inches from me at the window. I wanted all the shambling bodies outside to, for once in their endless nothing little lives, to stop just for my piece of mind; just so their voices wouldn’t drown out the music tinkling away from the radio. I turned the music up only for that din to add to the cacophony.
I shut myself in the bathroom and refused to come out after that; my hands firmly clutched over my ears as the image of that place was affixed to my memory.
The landscape stopped thundering along to catch its breath and we were in Dark Lake. I’m not sure why it was called that since there had never been a drop of water in Dark Lake for its entire existence (although in fairness the place were barely a minute old). I watched through the window as a few travellers spilled out into the dark quiet air and made their slow sleepy way for the exit.
Perhaps I should explain; but I’d have to understand first. I’d have to understand that strange little place that existed for a two minutes. I can’t visit again because barely another minute later the train had sped off and Dark Lake was quietly obliterated; becoming just another non-descript patch of trees further and further behind me. Even now I grieve its passing. The place was barely twenty by five foot and entirely made of concrete. Ensnaring the stone was a skinny little scribble of fencing and beyond that the everlasting trees and shoots. Standing resolute in the darkness was a name in bright red and blue and surrounded by some glyph of a vast stone circle conglomerate. The sign was how we knew the place was called “Dark Gate”. Aside from those few that left the rest of my fellow passengers didn’t even acknowledge it; they stared at their phones and read.
I think sometimes what could have developed had life been given a chance to flourish there. Maybe its own language and culture and architecture. I’d never know what happened to those people who left for Dark Lake and I’ll never known why there will be no new literary scene developing there. Dark Lake was a breath of air in a storm; a momentary flash of concrete in a world at dusk; a world forever finishing up.
It was arbitrary; all of it. My name was Harold Bloom- I was an accountant. I was what you might call ‘totally unremarkable’. I was a momentary flash of atoms with the capacity to think and feel and comprehend its own existence within a vast and uncaring universe; normal and boring. I had lived an irrelevant little life shuffling checker pieces my bosses had to good graces to attach numbers and lives to so my arbitrary checker pieces shuffling had the illusion of meaning. I had the common realisation of many accountants that my work was essentially devoid of meaning but mine transcended mere dissatisfaction in my career. I started seeing that same arbitrary randomness in everything. Art and Love and movies and sex, god, philosophy, it was all a denial- it was all a lie. Now most men would slip into existential despair and if fortune handed them a .44 Magnum handgun they’d likely turn it on themselves. But I was not those lesser men; hateful spineless cowards that they were.
That’s why I strode up those staircases (severe certainty surpassing superficial insecurity) and called out for my boss. I called again, supressing the waver in my voice and booming for the first time in my worthless dick-less little life, and raised a cannon larger then my head with some effort. My boss came stumbling out of his office the old fat fuck and I gunned him down. Seeing his limp body collapse limply made my atoms swirl in ‘emotions’ but they didn’t matter. I was to cause chaos; to arouse deep despair and realization across the world.
I went into the boardroom and started dropping execs one by one. Soon the entire room was a crimson splatter and gore slid clumsily from the glass where it wasn’t shattered by stray bullets (my aim was shitty). One old wretch sat cowering in the corner. I walked over to him and raised the cannon.
I didn’t shoot him though.
He gunned her down with a laugh; and I just had to laugh too. Seeing the life drain from her eyes knocked the life out of me by almost as much but that loveable smile and quick wit seemed to suppress my despair. His name, as far as I could tell, was Funni Guy. She wasn’t the first he’d killed: he’d killed all of us in a way.
Now this isn’t some genre shlock. He didn’t laugh us to death or control our minds with humour or any sci-fi bollocks like that. He just sort of made you see the funny side. He made the most terrible atrocities of our government seem permissible; he made random death, pointless cruelty and violence, the ultimate cosmic despair all feel removed. Funni Guy didn’t kill anywhere near as often as he let us kill; he gave us permission to be our true terrible selves. He let us turn on one another and fight and kill all with that twisted broken grin firmly adhering to his face along with so many newspaper front covers. He made madness sane and terror normal.
He walked out and suddenly the light left. I ran towards her body and lay beside it weeping. Blood ran from the few big deep wounds in spurts that splattered in big puddles and soaked through her clothes. Blood ran from her mouth in long streaks and from the corners of her eyes.
Then I found a slip of paper that he’d dropped on her body. The lamination protected it from the blood.
From Funni Guy with Love,
I chuckled awfully.
The world grew very still, achingly so. The ceiling seemed to squirm and fester with details in spreading labyrinthine spiders webs of incomplete twisting paint dried by decades and crumbling. The house was old and I became powerfully aware of this. It dated from the 30’s and I could almost see through the fresh coats of paint forming a layer cake and the plug sockets and streaming cables and saw the raw anonymous reality of the house itself; a shell I had almost never seen laid completely bare in all my life.
My guts ached- not painfully but in that rare slow way that seems to knock every last puff of air out of you over the course of half an hour or so. I could hear my heart beat and my blood race and every slight flex and pop of my muscles as my weight shifted on the thick dense mass of aged foam I lay awkwardly on top of. I continued to stare through the fog of lamp light replacing the sunlight choked by the thick smothering curtains and up at that ceiling. I watched how the cracks ran and spread through the long sloping cream corridors of-
A gust of wind and a roar of a metal throat a hundred voices strong. A tidal wave of knives sweeping through and under my skin as the pyre swerves past. The silence and the stillness shattered and I shake. Then another then another.
Gripping desperately to a pillow with my hands over my ears trying to shut out the sound. The lights sweeping across my wall through the curtains, unaffected by their thickness, forcing me to scrunch shut my eyes as well. The moment has passed and I lie there and shiver; waiting for death.