The other Robert.

the other robert

 

Robert lives alone in a house with all the windows boarded up on both sides.

Windows are bad.

The lighting in the house is always dim and carefully positioned to avoid casting any shadows.

Shadows are bad.

And there are no mirrors.

Mirrors are bad.

No glass. No TV sets. No polished metal.

In fact, there are no reflective surfaces of any kind.

Reflective surfaces are bad.

Because within reflections and shadows lives the other Robert.

And the other Robert is bad.

Robert has to time his movements outside, very carefully, to avoid the sun. The sunlight would cast a shadow. He would wait until sundown to venture out. He even has to plan his routes in advance to avoid certain street lights.

And shops and supermarkets are out of the question. He does all his shopping online, with a very low light monitor. Delivered late at night, of course.

He dare not drive until it is absolutely necessary.

He wouldn’t bother going out at all, but there are some things he must do.

It is all a calculated risk.

Because if the other Robert gets the chance, he will start to exert his will, and that would be bad.

So many times before, before Robert altered his lifestyle, before he knew how to keep the other Robert at bay, the other Robert had spoiled so much, for so long.

But those days are over. No longer would Robert allow the other Robert to meddle.

As long as he sticks to the routine.

But if there is one thing that can disrupt a man’s routine, his order, aside from death; it’s a woman.

Once a month, no more, no less.

The life Robert leads is a solitary, lonely one. He has urges, like any man. A carnal craving. But meeting women has proven difficult over the years, what with the awkward conditions and necessary precautions he has to adhere to. How does one style one’s hair or gauge one’s appearance without mirrors, for example?

Today is a normal Friday. Late Friday night. It has been a month since…the last time. It’s time to hit the town. Time to quench a particular thirst.

Robert is dressed in his outfit for the evening. Black boots, black jeans and a black polo-neck jumper. To match his mop of black hair. He looks good in black and he reckons that the ladies love a man dressed in black. The dark mystery.

He stands in his bedroom, his hand clutching a sheet, which has been pulled over a free standing mirror. He is nervous, breathing heavily.

‘One glance,’ he tells himself.

And with one sudden and quick motion, he pulls the sheet away. He braces himself as he looks into his own terrified eyes, reflected in the mirror. But as his reflection stares back at him, he watches the fear fade from his expression, as he, himself, relaxes. He stares at his own face. A month since he last saw it. He looks himself up and down.

‘I scrub up well,’ he says, and his reflection even smiles back at him.

No sign of the other Robert.

Feeling confident and in control, Robert decides to not push his luck and to cover the mirror with the sheet again. He moves to bend down and pick up the sheet, but from the corner of his eye he notices that his reflection is no longer matching his own movements. In fact it does not move at all. Robert feels panic wash over him, hitting him hard, like a tsunami. He quickly glances up to see his reflection standing perfectly still, glaring at him with contemptible eyes.

‘No, no, no!’ Robert blurts, as he hurriedly snatches up the sheet and rushes towards the mirror. He tries not to make eye contact.

‘You can’t shut me out forever!’ the other Robert yells, furious, as Robert frantically covers the mirror.

Robert stumbles backwards, disturbed by the encounter.

‘Oh yeah!?’ Robert shouts at the mirror, trying to find his nerve. ‘We’ll see about that!’

He heads out of his bedroom and towards the front door. He pulls on his coat, a black blazer, and slips his hands into his driving gloves and leaves, locking the door behind him.

He pauses outside his door, gazing up into the starry night sky. He draws in a deep breath of cool crisp air and holds it. He still feels unsettled. But he is determined not to let the other Robert spoil his evening, before it has even begun. He exhales slowly, feeling calmer, but excited about the night ahead.

He makes his way to his modified van. The wing and rear view mirrors surfaces are covered in a non-reflective plastic sheeting, which makes the mirrors still look the part, to avoid the unwanted attention of passersby, or the police. He climbs in the van and starts the engine, not noticing the corner of the plastic on the rear view mirror, which has peeled away slightly. He slowly pulls out of his long dark driveway and takes the road leading him into town.

As he enters the town the traffic increases, as does the lighting intensity. Headlights, streetlights and lighting from businesses and bars cast moving, but fleeting, shadows of himself inside his van. He does what he always does on this monthly prowl and tries to ignore them, as they seem to threateningly flash by him, looming and reaching out for him. He can almost hear a faint voice from each shadow, whispering warnings and disdain.

The other Robert trying to manifest and meddle, as usual.

As another shadow flits towards Robert with an outstretched claw-like hand, he finds himself ducking away from it. As he does he loses control of the van and he swerves precariously over the road, almost hitting another parked car.

‘Fucking leave me alone!’ Robert cries, gripping the wheel and correcting his steering, regaining control of the vehicle.

He realises he is on edge, and decides to pull over, in a darker secluded street. He lowers his head and covers his face with his hands. He is regretting heading out tonight. It’s never easy, and tonight has been no exception.

‘Why can’t you leave me alone?’ he asks nobody, shaking his head. There is no sign of the other Robert. ‘Huh? Why can’t you leave me alone to live my life? Why can’t you just let me have one night?’

Of course, there is no answer. Only a frustrating silence.

Robert is disheartened. Afraid. He can feel that the other Robert’s presence is stronger tonight. Closer tonight. Just waiting for the opportunity to appear and do what he does best; spoil everything. Robert decides to call it quits. It’s not worth the risk after all. But then he hears a sound. A recurring, if somewhat erratic, sound approaching. A clicking, clacking sound. A sound Robert knows. The sound of high heels on concrete. He looks up to see a young woman, scantily dressed, stumbling up the pavement towards his van. She is obviously drunk.

‘Too drunk to walk,’ Robert whispers, and as if she heard him, she staggers and falls forward, hitting the pavement hard.

Robert watches her for a moment, shocked. She doesn’t seem to be moving. He slowly switches off his engine and unfastens his seat belt. As he reaches for the door handle, he glances in the rear-view mirror and notices that the plastic sheeting has peeled away, now revealing half of the mirror. The other Robert is peering back at him, his eyes glowering and intimidating.

‘What do you think you are doing!?’ the other Robert yells.

‘Shit!’ Robert cries, reaching up and fumbling with the sheeting, trying to re-stick it onto the mirror. He releases it and it flops back down, revealing the other Robert again.

‘You can’t hide from me, Robert. I’m always here, waiting and watching.’

‘Stay away from me!’ Robert cries into the mirror. ‘Stay out of my life…my decisions…you do nothing but hinder me. Hound me. You spoil everything.’

The other Robert is enraged.

‘No, you do that, you spoil everything! Don’t you see!?’

‘No!’ Robert shouts, as he pulls the sheeting over the mirror again. He holds it there with his hand. ‘I’m not listening to you.’

There is silence again, except for Robert’s heavy breathing. He looks up to find the woman beginning to stir. He opens the van door and swings it open. He releases the sheeting, and as he leaves the vehicle he can’t help but shoot a last glance at the mirror. The other Robert glares back at him, shaking his head. Robert tuts and flips a mid-digit at the mirror and climbs out of the van. He looks up and down the street. It is relatively deserted. He rushes towards the woman.

‘Jesus,’ he says, as he reaches her, ‘are you okay? I saw you fall.’

The woman tries to look up, but she is disorientated. She has a round bump and deep gash on her forehead. Blood is trickling from the wound.

‘…Not…feeling too good…’ she tries to say.

Robert carefully and slowly pulls the woman up and onto her feet again. Her legs buckle. Robert grips her tightly.

‘I can take you to a hospital?’ he suggests.

The woman seems to frown.

‘…Just…want to go home…’ she mumbles, her eyes rolling.

‘You have a nasty cut on your head, maybe I should take you to a hospital?’

The woman drunkenly shakes her head.

‘…Home…’ she says.

‘Well, if you tell me where you live I will take you home.’

The woman pauses, swaying slightly. She tries to focus on Robert’s face. But her eyes seem to have a mind of their own.

‘…You…you’re a…taxi?’

‘Yes, I’m a taxi,’ Robert lies, ‘I’ll take you home if you tell me where you live.’

The woman hesitates.

‘…Forty five…Ssshorehead Road…’ she slurs.

‘Shorehead Road, I know it well,’ Robert smiles, lying again.

Robert, with his arm around the woman and his hands gripping her upper arms firmly, begins to lead her towards his van. A car appears from nowhere, speeding along the road behind them. He panics, but then realises that they must look like a normal drunk couple walking home, or to the next pub. He relaxes, but as the car draws closer, the headlights cast a large shadow of them both. Robert watches his own shadow begin to move independently. It turns on him and reaches out a hand. It manages to snare his arm, halting him in his tracks. Robert struggles to free his arm from the other Robert’s steely grip.

‘Get off me!’ Robert cries, trying to hold the woman and fight off the other Robert too.

The woman seems to have a moment of clarity and realises the odd situation she is in. Now she tries to pull herself away from Robert, but his grip is just as steely as the other Robert’s.

‘…What are you…doing?’ she asks, now with serious concern in her eyes.

Robert looks into them and sees a faint reflection of himself. But not of himself, of course. The other Robert scowls back at him with antipathy and determination in his eyes.

‘Not again!’ the other Robert bellows.

The car passes by and the other Robert fades away again, to Robert’s relief.

‘Let go of me…’ the woman says, and tries to free herself again.

‘Please…’ Robert says, now almost wrestling with her, ‘if you just…get in the van…I’ll take you…home.’

But the woman is now distraught with fear and begins to yell.

‘Help!’ she cries, into the night.

‘Please…’ Robert says, looking up and down the street to see if she has drawn attention. Satisfied that she has not, he swiftly punches her in the solar plexus. She instantly doubles over, winded.

Robert brashly drags her to the rear of his van and opens the door. He swings it open and crudely crams the gasping woman inside. He climbs in and lifts a roll of duct tape from a hook. He bites off a piece of tape and quickly binds her hands together, behind her back. He binds her feet together. Then he places another piece of tape over her mouth. The woman cries and whimpers as Robert slowly crawls out of the back of the van. He watches her for a moment, jarred and vacant, before slamming the doors closed.

Robert climbs into the driver seat again and closes the door. He starts the engine. He glances up at the rear-view mirror. The other Robert is there, glaring back at him with a desperate and embittered look on his face. He looks ashamed. But Robert is not ashamed, clearly. A cunning devilish grin stretches across his face.

‘Try as you might to spoil everything, you failed again. You’ll never stop me.’

The other Robert just turns away, disgusted and saddened.

As the woman moans and squirms in the back of his van, Robert pulls away from the roadside and heads back the way he came. Back home to safety, and protection from reflections and shadows. Protection from his own conscience, the other Robert.

I was in a car crash today :)

photo1

 

A near-life experience?

Well, what is it about the notorious white van driver that thinks he can be a cunt to everyone else on the road? We get that you are in a hurry, time is money and all that rat race bullshit that keeps your mortgage paid and your family satisfied etc. But, you nearly killed me today.

Accidents happen. Mistakes are made. It’s a perfect example to shine a light on autonomous computer driven cars. It only strengthens the argument in my opinion. Was the guy on his phone as he made his hasty u-turn into the side of my car? Did he not see me? Did he just time it wrong? Well, the computer wouldn’t do any of that. It would just make the maneuver in a safe way. Actually, it would not have made the maneuver at all, as it was not permitted on this particular stretch of road. Ach well.

So…going through a small hiatus of shock and melancholic reflection that it could have been worse. But now I am faced with the reality of insurance claims and money orientated strife. Ace.

Come on you white van/taxi/BMW/boy racer/moron dangerous drivers out there, just calm the fuck down before you kill someone.

Cheers.

Happy Endings?

rob TEMPLATE

Feel free to engage in some narration style storytelling with sound design.

Based on real life events, these dark tales, suitable for children and adults alike, are full of crisis, drama and intrigue.

Sit back, relax and listen and let your own imagination do the rest.:)

Each story has an ending. But are they all happy endings?

Glenrotten.

carbuncle

In a cafe i sit.

Cafe Alfresco in Glenrothes Kingdom Centre. In the Kingdom of Fife.

Why you ask?

Awaiting the results of the necessary annual MOT.

I sip chamomile tea from a particularly unpleasant pot of Twinings. Anything with the queen’s stamp on it is rancid in my view.

I know not of these people. Only that they are as familiar as they have ever been. The living dead.

Bimbos, bampots, bairns and bumping gums.

Commoners, geriatrics and mongs.

The odd Eastern European beauty amidst the beasts.

Chavs in cheap trainers, chicks in pink cardies.

Guide dogs and cheeky monkeys on leashes.

All shuffling, shopping and suffering.

A montage of minks and the occasional cunt who has done alright for themself.

Suffering their own ignorance as the world spins regardless.

Overweight and underpaid.

Eavesdropping on humour through the drudgery.

Can retail therapy really cure this depression?

Crap coffee and animal cruelty.

I can’t decide if i sympathise or scrutinise that these simpletons can’t see beyond their own limited lives.

Hoping for more than a dead-end town can offer; a lottery win perhaps?

Passive to the tyranny, and the subjugation of debt.

Settling for less and Tory cuts. Downtrodden and defeated.

Seemingly placated by a bargain.

Procreation against the odds and chemical bombardment.

My mind turns to my lover who also grew up here.

Did we ever escape its cold clutches, its lengthy snare?

In a thousand years this monstrosity town will be rubble.

Once plastic nature replaced with the real thing.

Where does it end? When does it end?

An island of inbred invertebrates.

The height of our civilisation?

 

Oh, car passed it’s MOT by the way.

Incidentally, Glenrothes was named as the most dismal place in Scotland in the 2009 Carbuncle Awards.

Don’t take my word for it, come visit. You’ll have to avoid the plebs trying to stab you and the dog shit smeared over the pavements, and you won’t ever come back, but, live dangerously and it might just make your own hometown look that little bit more appealing.

“I love/hate nature”

Four goons sit around a camp fire by a beautiful loch. It’s early evening, warm and the sun is still shining. It’s a wonderful time of the day in this wondrous place. After contently sipping whisky they decide it is the right time to chow down on some magic mushrooms. Really connect with nature. Three of the four quickly decide to go for a walk.

The three get into a steady pace as they trek along the road, enjoying their sensations. Conversation is light and flowing.

‘Do you think Jules will be okay?’ Dunkhan asks.

‘How so?’ Gay asks.

‘Well, we kind of left him to come up on mushrooms by himself. Alone.’

‘Ach, he’ll be okay,’ Mr Wob says. ‘He said he was just going to sit at the fire and play some guitar, sip some beer.’

‘Yeah,’ Gay says, gazing at a lush meadow, ‘but these are some pretty strong mushies. Is it just me or is that the most beautiful field you’ve ever seen? Wow, i love nature.’

The three stop to appreciate the scene. The Meadow is vast and colourful. Mainly yellows and greens but there are many other flourishes of colour strewn throughout.

‘Like a Monet painting,’ Gay says, ‘or am i just tripping?’

‘No, i see it,’ Dunkhan answers.

‘It reminds me of that rainbow coloured sherbet i used to eat as a kid,’ Mr Wob, smiles, his eyes slightly glazed and twinkling.

”A quarter of diabetes please,’ Gay says, in a child’s voice.

‘Yeah a quarter of tooth decay and lifelong addiction to sugar please,’ Mr Wob adds.

‘Why do we give kids that shit?’ Dunkhan asks.

‘And we call it a treat?’ Mr Wob continues.

They pause to admire the moment.

‘Fancy running through it?’ Gay asks. ‘Naked?’

The three giggle for a moment.

‘Yeah, screw that idea. That will be tick city in there,’ Mr Wob says.

‘Oh no, i hate those little bastards,’ Gay says, shaking his head.

They are all in agreement as to their speedy justification for genocide of the entire species.

‘And their favourite place is the anus,’ Dunkhan warns.

They giggle again.

‘I’m pretty sure they will latch on to wherever they can,’ Mr Wob tries to add, but Dunkhan is adamant.

‘What kind of existence is that? ‘Gay asks, looking annoyed. ‘Waiting in slumber for some animal to pass by so you can latch on and suck blood from it’s arsehole? I hate nature!’

‘Why!?’ Dunkhan calls out, to the sky, as if addressing the creator.

‘So much for beautiful nature,’ Mr Wob says.

The wind flows through the flowering field and it comes alive in waves, like a vast multi-coloured ocean.

‘Has anyone else got a fear of deep water?’ Dunkhan asks, suddenly looking uneasy.

Everyone is agreed that deep water, and more so what is in it, is a frightening thing. They decide to move on. They stop and look out, over the loch, to appreciate the towering pyramid like shape of Schiehallion, one of the more impressive looking munros in the area.

‘It looks like it belongs in Egypt’ Mr Wob comments.

Mist rolls over the hills below Schiehallion, obscuring the land and the base of the munro, with only the peak visible at the top. Stunning.

They press on again. Everyone is now in deep awe of nature. Gay in particular.

‘Everything is so bright, vivid,’ he gushes. ‘Beautiful. I love nature again.’

The three casually stroll along in peaceful silence, smiling like children at the fair. Not even the rare intrusion of the odd car, whizzing passed them, can upset their jolly trip.

*SHRIEK – SHRIEK – SHRIEK – SHRIEK – SHRIEK*

‘What is that?’ Dunkhan asks, wide eyed.

They look up to find an irate oyster catcher flapping furiously above them. Presumably an angry parent protecting a nearby nest.

‘Must be protecting it’s eggs or it’s young,’ Gay concludes.

‘It’s doing a good job,’ Dunkhan says, ‘it certainly is distracting.’

The bird shrieks again. And again. SHRIEK. Again.

‘Wow, that’s piercing,’ Mr Wob says, covering his ears.

‘Alright, we’re going!’ Dunkhan yells, up to the bird. It continues it’s assault.

‘If i had a gun right now…’ Gay says, coldly, aiming an imaginary weapon at the creature.

‘So much for beautiful nature,’ Mr Wob grumbles.

The bird noisily escorts them down the road until it is satisfied that they pose no threat, before flying back to it’s nesting area.

The three walk on. They come across an expanding forest of pine trees that stretches out and up a hill. They stop to take in the sights and smell the earthy pine aroma. Sun beams stream through the pine, creating an enticing magical atmosphere.

‘I’m going for a shit,’ Dunkhan announces.

‘Beautiful nature?’ Mr Wob repeats, chuckling.

‘What? It may not be beautiful, but you can’t get any more natural than that,’ Dunkhan smiles, and produces, from his pocket, a bundle of rolled up toilet paper.

‘I don’t suppose you’ve got some water in that pocket too, i can really do with a drink,’ Gay asks.

‘Yeah, i’m thirsty as hell,’ Mr Wob concurs.

They have a moment of glaikitly staring at one and other as they realise that no one has brought any water, or any fluids of any kind.

‘Ah, i’ve got my flask of whisky, if anyone wants…some of that?’ Dunkhan offers, nervously laughing. ‘Get even more dehydrated?’

‘We’ve been walking for ages,’ Gay says, looking alarmed, ‘so if we turn back now, it’s still going to be a while before we can get some water.’

‘And in this heat?’ Mr Wob adds.

‘Right, well, before we do anything,’ Dunkhan says, looking strained, ‘ i need to nip into the woods for five minutes.’

They agree to turn back and head home, to the campsite. Gay and Mr Wob wait by the side of the road, carefully examining the flora and insect life as Dunkhan hastily disappears into the forest. Gay is engrossed with the busy activities of honey bees as they frequent a small patch of heather.

‘Bees are amazing,’ he says, to no one in particular, ‘i love nature!’

Upon Dunkhan’s sprightly return, they head back with purpose in their step; passed the oyster catcher who seems even more upset that they hadn’t heeded it’s first warning; passed Schiehallion and it’s awesome peak; passed the rainbow sherbet ocean meadow and all that lurks below; and, finally, back to the campsite.

‘Home sweet…home…?’ Dunkhan asks, surprised.

The three stop dead in their tracks, shocked. Their campsite looks very different.

‘What the hell happened to my car?’ Gay yells, as he discovers it, trashed. The wheels are missing. The windows are all smashed. The hood is missing. The engine and other parts are smashed beyond recognition.

‘Jesus,’ Mr Wob says.

The campsite is cut off by a small, newly dug, moat of channelled stream water. And beyond the moat is a small make-shift wall consisting of tightly weaved ferns, nettles and brambles; with carved spikes protruding out. The fire is three times the size it was when they left. Monstrous and blazing. The tents are completely covered, and camouflaged, in dead leaves.

‘What the hell is going on?’ Dunkhan whispers.

‘What about Jules, is he okay?’ Mr Wob asks, worried. The other two share his concern.

‘Jules?’ Dunkhan calls.

Nothing. No answer.

Dunkhan opens his mouth to call out again but something whizzes passed his face, just grazing his cheek, and lands, planted firmly, in the ground behind them.

‘Jesus!’ Dunkhan yells, holding his cheek and ducking for cover. The other two follow suit.

‘What the hell was that?’ Mr Wob asks, nervously.

Gay examines the weapon. It is a perfectly hand carved wooden spear.

‘A spear of some sort,’ Gay mumbles, shaking his head as if questioning reality.

‘What if Jules is hurt? We have to find him,’ Mr Wob says.

Dunkhan begins to call out again but, instead, his mouth drops open, aghast at what he is seeing before him. The other two look on in disbelief. A naked man, with wild eyes, his body oiled up with used vegetable oil and his face covered in fire soot, stands with a hand carved sword in one hand and a small green package in the other. His crazed eyes darting from Dunkhan to Gay to Mr Wob.

‘J…Jules?’ Dunkhan gasps.

Jules bares his teeth and begins to chant a strange language whilst performing some kind of war dance, his jiggling penis doing it’s own freestyle routine in the firelight.

‘Jules, what’s happened to you?’ Mr Wob asks, dumbstruck.

‘GAKAKAKAKAKA AKAKAKA!’ Jules chirps loudly, and he hurls the green package. It lands at the feet of Mr Wob and Gay and bursts open in a brown explosion. A gloopy brown paste splashes across their faces.

‘Christ!’ Gay says, grimacing and spitting brown paste out of his mouth. ‘Tastes disgusting. What is this shit?’

Mr Wob can already smell what it is, as he wipes it from his forehead.

‘Exactly!’ he yells. ‘It’s shit! He’s throwing his own shit, wrapped in ferns!’

‘A…shite bomb?’ Gay asks, distantly, his face turning sickly pale.

‘GAKAKA AKAKA GAK KAKA!’ Jules cries out. He quickly grabs another fern and squats over it. His facial expression changes from hostile, to furious straining, to confused bliss; and he soon has another bomb ready.

‘It’s the mushrooms,’ Dunkhan says, ‘he must have lost his mind during the time we were away.’

‘It’s only been fifty five minutes!’ Mr Wob shouts, looking at his watch.

‘What!?’ Gay blurts, ‘It feels like we’ve been away for ages!’

Another shite bomb splats next to them, spraying more faeces over their legs.

‘Jules!’ Dunkhan yells, standing up with his hands held up in a non-aggressive gesture.

Jules pauses and intently watches him; his head jutting this way and that.

‘Jules, it’s us, man,’ Dunkhan says, softly, ‘you’re friends. It’s me, Dunkhan. You remember me, don’t you, buddy?’

Jules squints and gazes into Dunkhan’s eyes.

‘It’s working,’ Gay whispers, to Dunkhan, ‘He recognises you.’

‘Keep going,’ Mr Wob whispers.

‘That’s it,’ Dunkhan calls out, ‘you know me, remember? We’ve been friends for a long time. You can trust me.’

Jules snorts and stamps the ground.

‘How about you calm down, and let us come back to the camp?’ Dunkhan suggests.

Gay and Mr Wob stand and join Dunkhan.

‘We don’t mean you any harm,’ Gay calls.

‘No, we only want to help you,’ adds Mr Wob.

Jules seems to huff and straighten his posture.

‘There, he’s coming back to us,’ Gay whispers, to the others.

‘Now,’ Dunkhan says, very gently edging forwards towards the camp. ‘I’m just going to approach you slowly, so please try to remain calm.’

‘GAKAK!?’ Jules blurts.

‘That’s right, it’s me, Dunkhan, you’re old friend. Come on buddy, what do you say?’

There is a tense moment as Jules seems to be considering the situation. He slowly begins to raise his wooden sword into the air. He lifts his head to the cosmic canopy and lets out a long wailing war cry that echoes up and down the loch.

‘GAAAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK!’

Dunkhan freezes. The make-shift wall, in front of Jules, begins to shake. The ground begins to quake and rumble which is followed by an awful scuttling, skittering sound. A strange black mass begins to advance out of the wall, along the forest floor, towards Dunkhan, Gay and Mr Wob.

‘What is that?’ Mr Wob asks, afraid, as he takes steps backwards.

The mass is black, shiny, moving and pulsing.

‘Oh jesus christ,’ Dunkhan says, as he realises the truth. He begins to take steps backwards too.

‘What?’ Gay asks, as herd mentality sinks in and he, too, joins the others in their retreat.

‘Oh god, no!’ Dunkhan says, horrified.

‘What? What is it?’ Gay cries, exasperated.

‘It’s ticks,’ Dunkhan says.

‘What?’ Mr Wob says, in disbelief, gazing down at the crawling black mass.

‘It’s an army of ticks. Jules has summoned an army of ticks!’

‘GAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAKAKA!’ Jules shrieks again.

The other three look up to find him sat on top of, straddling, a giant tick the size of a hippopotamus, with one hand waving his sword like a maniac fencing a fly, and a newly prepared shite bomb in the other.

Dunkhan turns to the others.

‘Run!’ he yells.

Jules lets out another blood curdling shriek and the giant tick begins to scamper towards them.

‘Just run!’ Dunkhan yells again, but Gay and Mr Wob are already bolting back down the road. Dunkhan sprints after them as Jules and his arachnid troops give chase.

‘Ok, i’ve made up my mind,’ Gay says, out of breath, as they run, ‘I hate nature!’

And not one of them were ever found again…and…subsequently wouldn’t have been able to impart this tale…to anyone else, really…so…who’s story is this?…what am i doing here?…

 

And the moral of the story? Well, enjoy nature. It is beautiful. Just, not when a massive hippo sized tick, under the command of your deranged (former) friend, sucks blood out of your ruined, quivering anus. That can put a real dampener on an, otherwise, really nice camping trip.

So, be warned.

 

jules

 

Four goons and two tents.

6

two nights next to a stunningly beautiful scottish loch

what bliss to take a break from staring at screens all day

back to nature and peace and harmony and whisky and magic mushrooms

domesticated men flirting with the wild

those midge motherfuckers

eaten alive

a steadily dawning vision of paradise – life without insects

gimp masks and much thanks to a rubber respite from the menacing midges during their early evening swarm

discussing grounds for extermination of the species

3

bubbling beans by a monstrous blazing inferno of our own making

we will have our way with fire

mini mushroom clouds sending signals to outer space

the inner redneck outing

shoot it

burn it

eat it

fuck it

brute force and venting

asphyxiated, intoxicated and sexually frustrated

explosions, commotions and baked potato

i hope that ricocheting pellet doesn’t blind me in one eye

are foxgloves edible?

thank fuck for the co-op or we would be starving or dead

_MG_7068

a cosmic canopy

wind through trees

choosing to lose our minds to rediscover our minds

honey beer, birthday wine and chamomile tea

twelve strings and voices to boot

a majestic musical of homo-erotic maniacs

addictions and affirmations

visions and inner reflections deep beyond the flames

4

fading light

fog descending on my human brain

hyper ventilating? or just rat-arsed?

fading fast, need air

an accident waiting to happen

air, sleepyhead

why won’t my neck support the weight of my head anymore?

1

a haggard witch’s face rising out of the ground, cackling at me

bigfoot is alive and well and here, bringing wood for the fire

he’s pasty, veiny and has lost a lot of weight

careful, i hear you can catch lyme disease in tick city

in that case, can you kindly remove this one from my neck?

meat overkill

kill everything

put it on the sacrificial fire

the why not god will be pleased

gobble it up and swallow it down

colon cancer is in the post

reincarnation will have us all as midges or farm animals

IMG_7077

a samurai sword under my pillow

secret bog roll stash for the dreaded shit in the woods

the over-whelming apparentness of being out of shape

contently brushing one’s teeth by a stream

saying farewell again

i would and will do it all over again

time to take off the mask

i…prefer…it in here?

detached isolation

take off the mask

if i dare

i must

must i?

oh, okay then

ah, deep breaths

*slap*

midge bastard

5

location – Loch Rannoch, Perth and Kinross, Scotland

images taken by Valdeference Photography and Rob Davidson.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93196879@N05/