Tag: <span>642</span>

Your golden brown skin hides so much from me, dry and flaking it repulses me at first, pushes me away, but I know the wonders that lie underneath. Never judge a book by it’s ageing, dead cover.

Inside is where your true meaning is found, your curves offer movement, your sharpness brings me to tears. I love the way you taste, no matter how you arrive on my tongue it is always a moment to be savoured, sweet at times, sour at others.

Sliced through you reveal your heart, wrapped in so many layers of protection, hidden away from the world. A tortured soul deep within. Each layer of your protection grown and cultivated with purpose, keeping your core safe that it may grow again, that you may have the chance to heal and offer up life anew.

In my hands your ageing skin crackles and crumbles, your brown husk falls away to reveal a fresh version of you.

I pause, giving you a final moment of rest, a final feeling of belonging, of completeness. You are whole.

My plans for you are set, as they always are. An age old tradition that we must hold to, strengthening our will in the knowledge of your fulfilment.

The blade you fear is next, slicing you in half, brutally expected. You know it has to be this way and with the first cut made you finally start to realise your true being.

Again and again the knife slashes at you until you are reduced to rubble. You will never be whole again, never be rebuilt. It must be this way.

The blade is slick with your juices, its work is done.

I gently bring your pieces back together but I cannot reshape you. In cupped hands I lift the these pieces of you, a final touch, cool and moist on my palm, your innards as colourless as your core, a beguiling transulency soon to be realised.

I raise you up for your final journey, offering you to the heavens before I tip you into the waiting depths below, the fiery pit, your final resting place.

Add butter and crushed garlic, fry until soft.


Idea from 642 Things to Write About

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There he goes, walking through the Final Portal, leaving me here in this office again.

I always get a little flashback ss the doors swing shut, back to my Delivery Day which feels so long ago now, the day I said goodbye to the Transporter – a large and kind van that wished everyone well whether they were arriving or departing – and entered my Place of Destination.

I’m getting older and those memories are starting to fade now so sometimes I have to concentrate really hard to recall what life used to be like beyond the Final Portal, remembering how nervous I was as we all huddled together in the Great Birth House of Ware, listening to rumours of where we might go, what might happen to us, and the perils of the journey ahead; beware the Idiot Who Drops.

I can remember parts my journey, hazy images shimmer, a bright warm glowing light falling on my surfaces. I can see that light now as I look at the where the Uprights go but I must have upset it as it doesn’t even look my way any more. I miss the way it felt, warm on my metal and wood.

More Uprights leave and the evening chatter begins. From the other end of the room I can hear Matilda complaining about the third cup of tea that she’s had spilled on her. I feel sorry for her, her companion Up and Downer, Gareth, is never very sympathetic. I think he misses Federico, I’m still not sure why they were separated but the Uprights never seem to think about these things. I’m glad I’m not on wheels.

We never really know how long our companions will be with us, nor who our neighbours will be; the Uprights like to move us around sometimes, oblivious to our feelings and friendships. They can be such selfish, thoughtless things.

That said I guess I’m lucky, my companion and I have been together for many years now, and my Upright likes to keep me tidy and rarely spills anything on me. Some of my neighbours aren’t as lucky though, and every night I look over and see them covered in bits of paper and cold coffee cups, the detritus of the working day left to rot overnight.

Ahhh, here comes the Bright Mover, keys jangling on his belt. He is a very different kind of Upright, at least as far as I can tell. Solitary and slow, he likes to look us over as he passes, moving the Bright Circle he casts slowly back and forth. I think he must like us as he does this a few times every night. I watch as he wanders off again through the Final Portal, the doors gently flick-flacking to a close.

As the night passes we chat quietly about this and that. Mostly we talk about the things we’ve seen that day and, as the night deepens, the older ones regale our newer friends with the things we have seen. And then everyone moans as Peppa the Curved starts to drift off into her usual worrisome thoughts about the day she will once again pass through the Final Portal on her way to the death fields of Take it to the Dump.

I feel sorry for Peppa, she’s seen so many of her type go that way, she stands alone amongst the Straight Edges, a matriarch out of time. Sometimes I think about the death fields and have to admit it scares me. No-one really knows what happens there, I’ve never heard of anyone coming back, unless you believe the old story we were all told as children; The Tale of Old Oak. As the legend goes, there is one of us who made it back from the death fields and back to new Place of Destination but every time I’ve heard the story the details change slightly so I don’t really believe it. It’s still scary though. I hope Peppa shuts up soon.

Thankfully the light is brightening so soon we will be joined by the Uprights again. These Uprights are the ones we all secretly like the most, with their tickly feathers and cloths, and we all love to see Henry each morning, he’s always so cheery and genuinely happy. I think he’s a bit simple but you can’t help but smile when he’s around.

And then, before long, my Upright is walking back through the Final Portal, rolls my companion back, gently places his laptop on me, and the day begins once more.


Idea from 642 Things to Write About

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It’s early evening. Two men sit In a car parked outside a warehouse. They are deep in conversation.

“It’s definitely a sliding scale, right? I mean things that are important to you might not be important to me so how do I decide?”

“Are you telling me you can’t decide what’s important in your life? Or don’t know what the last important decision you made was? Seriously?”

“Hey, look. I know what decisions I’ve made but I’m just not sure I’ve changed my mind on something important, like, ever? No big deal really, yeah?”

“Bullshit, brother, bullshit. You might not be willing to admit it to yourself but there must have been something, somewhere, at some point that you changed your mind about. C’mon man, you know there must be, why can’t you just tell me? Stop flapping and spill.”

“Jesus, alright lemme think… hang on, what about you? If this is such a big deal then you must have an example, c’mon man, help me out. Heh, who knows maybe you’ll inspire me, you could be my muse…”

“Ha frickin ha… OK, so I’ll tell you one thing but let’s be clear, this stuff is important to me, yeah? I mean what I’m about to tell you isn’t a decision I took lightly, I agonised about this for a few days, kept me up nights it did, so don’t get all pissy about it when I tell you, alright?”

“Hey chill, we’re just talking here, yeah, it’s all good, no need to get uptight, just talking, it’s all easy man, no big deal. Make a decision, change your mind, all good with me.”

“Goddammit, this is my point, your always backing away from this stuff, you never commit, never really speak your mind, always lost in your own damn world! Like the other day, I was trying to tell you about that weird job I did last week, how weird the building was and you just started banging on about that damn movie you never shut up about…”

“The Shining? I still can’t believe you haven’t seen it!”

“Yeah, and next thing I know I’ve forgotten what we were talking about in the first damn place, pisses me off … anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that you need to start taking some accountability, you know, be more aware of what your actions? I bet there are loads of decisions you’ve made you’ve hardly even thought about, right?”

“Well maybe I’m just the kinda guy that doesn’t dwell on this stuff, I just go with the flow yeah? Life’s too short and man, you need to learn to lighten up, so we all make decisions, we all change our minds, I get it, it’s human nature, but it’s not like all over the world people wake up every day and think ‘whoa I wonder what scary big ass decision I might have to make today’ and then spend the rest of their damn day thinking about changing their minds like that’s some big deal as well. Unlike you, most people just let life happen man, you really need to take a step back.”

“I give up, seriously man, you need to re-assess your priorities.”

“Hey, my priorities are all straight, I’m not the one yakking on and on about life moments and how important they are, fuck you man.”

“Damn straight they are important, jesus, all I’m saying is that sometimes you need to stop and think, make sure you’ve thought things through, fuck me, why is that so hard to understand? And you wonder why people don’t wanna work with you?!”

 

Silence falls in the car, the men stare out of the window at the falling rain

 

“Right. Fuck this. Enough talking, let’s do the job.”

“Yeah. Fuck it. Let’s do it.”


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The first few nights were the hardest.

I guess it was fear of the unknown and being in such an alien, yet oddly familiar, environment. I soon learned the schedules the building ran too, when the generators would kick in, the ticking of the heating system as the pipes warmed in the morning, the slow electronic clicks late at night as systems started to shut down, the gentle squeak of the security guards shoes as he did his rounds.

How I got here is no big surprise. Well, perhaps the location might be to some but the more I get used to it, the more I wonder why more people don’t do it. But then, how would I know if they had?

The situation I find myself in is entirely of my own making, my betting habits getting more and more out of control, debts piling up, bailiffs kicking in doors and next thing you know you are out on the street with only a few clothes to your name.

I still don’t know how I ended up in IKEA the day it all came crashing down. They arrived in the morning, kicked the door in, woke me and told me to get out. I hastily grabbed what I could, a few clothes, a toothbrush and little more, and was marched out the door.

I wandered around in a haze, the reality of my situation slowly unfolding around me. I guess I thought that day would never arrive, that I would somehow manage to survive but I was a fool. It was a misty day and I remember thinking it matched my mood, everything partially hidden and slightly surreal.

Then the large blue and yellow letters loomed out of the low clouds and without really thinking about I headed inside. I think even then I knew what I was planning to do, but I convinced myself I’d stay for a short while to get warm again before moving on.

But as soon as I stepped inside and wandered into a mocked up bedroom area I realised I had an opportunity.

And so here it is I lie, in a hidden bedroom, under a warm duvet, whilst the air conditioning system quietly whooshes and the lights flicker and buzz into life, the alarm clock of my morning.

I know I have an hour to hide now as the first staff start to trickle into the building, so I get up and make my way through the building as quickly as possible, negotiate the warehouse, a wonderful maze of hiding places, and climb to the top of a stack, to my little home.

I don’t sleep here as it’s too cold in the winter, but it’s here I’m accumulating my life once more. A seat cushion from here, a table from there, some blankets and even a little pot plant to keep me company (he’s called Mr. Quiet as he doesn’t say much).

I’m near the staff area which means I can pilfer some personal items, it feels bad but what else can I do? It’s also handily placed near the security centre, it’s amazing how many of the cameras don’t actually work, so hardly a surprise to them when another goes offline; a simple twist and pull on a cable and I have carte blanche to wander an area unimpeded.

The other day I started to wonder if I could just stay here, after all I’ve survived 4 months undetected and I can come and go as I please. I do need a few more disguises though, my biggest fear is being recognised, hats and glasses will only get me so far.

I’m also considering pushing things a bit further, I’m pretty sure I could snag a spare uniform and, who knows, maybe I could fake my way into a job? Just turn up one day and feign innocence? Pretty sure they’d find me out.

For now I’m happy. As long as I watch my time I can drift in and out of any area I want, with free run of the kitchens and all the living rooms and bedrooms a man could ever need.

One thing is for sure though, when I get back on my feet and get my own place, IKEA is the last place I’ll go for furniture.


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It was the first time I’d killed a man.

Logically it wasn’t any harder than killing a dog, the physics and physiology differ but the principles are the same. You plan the method of death, account for size and weight, and follow the plan step by step.

It’s terrifyingly simple, terrifyingly easy. I can see why serial killers continue to kill again and again and again. After all everyone likes to improve, to do something better the next time, and soon it is a compulsion. A tweak here, a change of tactic there and maybe the perfect murder will happen next time.

Not that you’d know a perfect murder when it happened, I don’t think. The perfect murder needs investigated, tested, prodded and poked to see if there were any tiny mistakes. It’s therefore obvious that the perfect murder must include flaws, to lure in the curious, to silently beg for the attention of a questioning eye, someone to check your work, someone to sheriff and enable the investigation.

A shiny gold star for perfect work.

But this was my first time, I knew it wouldn’t be perfect.

Choosing the victim was took some time. The first list of candidates came easily, enemies and rivals, loathed and hated in equal measure, but that wouldn’t really serve much of a purpose. Enemies have a purpose, they keep you sharp and focused, without them there is nothing to focus on, plans would float off into ambiguity.

I was sure of one thing, it wouldn’t be anyone I didn’t have some connection with. Killing a random man is too easy and would likely lead me to ill-discipline. I wouldn’t care as much and the incentive to do things properly would fall away and leave a shoddy death. I’m better than that. I want more for myself.

A mercy killing perhaps? No. This isn’t a charitable act. I am not playing God here.

In the end the choice presented itself to me readily. An acquaintance but someone of no real value to me. No threat, just another man who flitted in and out of my life.

With the choice made the plan was put into action. It had to be carefully, patiently, executed – ohhh what an interesting choice of word, but this was no execution. It was an act simple and true, the taking of a life. Murder.

Motive? Why would I need a motive? Why do you get out of bed everyday? Why do you decide to wear that t-shirt, or those shoes? Motive is over rated and entirely concocted by psychologists who wish to feel clever.

Everything went well I think. In the end I achieved what I set out to do. He died. I killed him. I stood over his body, looking down as he breathed his last breath and felt a small elation, not just the adrenalin rush I had expected but a wonderful moment of triumph.

I had done it. I had killed a man.

I’m not sure if I’ll kill again.


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