dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

KISS IT BETTER by The Suicide Mistress

The Suicide Mistress is Jamelian K’s pseudonym. Her stories include Farewell Sad Life and Please Don’t Go Down Harrower’s Lane. Unbeknown to many more cheerful folk, the female misery genre is actually quite popular. Did the Anne Frank diaries have something to do with that? Jamelia 'Serious' K studied creative writing at Bolton Uni and currently lives in Burtonwood. She is now 23 years old and of ethnic origin.

I feel I have to add an extra note each time I feature Jamelia in DNMF. I think the trick with this one is what she has left out. It’s a read-between-the-lines-er, It’s a fill-the-missing-pieces-in-yourself-er. There is as much going on beyond the text as there is within it. What we see here is only the iceberg tip of what this story has to say, although somehow she has made it complete enough to not warrant a second part (although I insist she follows on!) They do say writers write about what never happened in their lives.

Adrian crept down his carpeted stairs with a baseball bat aimed over his shoulder. His wife was locked in the baby’s bedroom, having already called the police. The sound of smashing glass from downstairs had woken them both.

Whoever had broken into his home would not have the run of the place while he and his family cowered upstairs, waiting politely for them to leave. No sir, not on his watch. He wasn’t afraid of no common burglar.

Why the alarm hadn’t gone off, he had no idea. Perhaps he forgot to set it properly. Nobody ever really expects and much less prepares to hear it one day. Or night. What time was it now, half past one or two in the morning?

He remembered the story of that farmer who had shot burglars. He would have to be careful with the amount of reasonable force he used here. Hopefully there would only be one of them. A desperate drug addict looking for some jewellery or car keys. Cretin.

Navigating the turn in the stairway, Adrian tiptoed the last three steps to enter the hallway, silent in his woollen socks. Whoever had illegally entered his household had turned the living room light on.

He inhaled and exhaled, heartbeat drumming, adrenalin flowing. He was not so much afraid as angry and violated. After counting to three, he jumped through the doorway and shouted at the top of his voice.

The young lady in his living room flinched backwards. She wore army-patterned pants and a light grey hoodie with an orange fringe poking out down to her eyes, cut perfectly flat across the bottom. Her eyes were big and blue on wide, podgy cheeks.

“What the––”

The young woman calmly placed several twenty pound notes on his coffee table, which he had picked up from Ikea just yesterday. “I hope that covers the cost of the window,” she said, “it’s all I have.”

Adrian noticed blood on her sleeve. Probably from climbing in. He recognised her face, but he didn’t know where from. He felt he ought to lower the baseball bat but he still felt threatened. Maybe she had an accomplice.

The young woman detected his anxieties and told him she was alone. It was almost as if she knew him and he had invited her around for a chat.

He suddenly felt awkward and self-conscious in his nightwear. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Don’t you recognise me? It’s Shelly, from the 42 Route. I introduced myself last Wednesday.” She dropped her hood. “I get your bus.”
Ahhh, yes. Nobody could forget that haircut. This was the girl who always had the right change in exactly the same coins, every night of the week at 5.35pm, from Hedge Lane to Wickers Grove.

Adrian found himself speechless. His eyes darted back and to from the money she had laid down, the blood on her sleeve, her orange fringe, and her untied laces. Her hands rested harmlessly by her sides. Her fingernails were goth black.

She gazed back at him, unblinking, features accentuated by badly-applied make-up. It was almost garishly-applied, he thought to himself, like she’d been cast for a gruesome theatre production.

“Adrian?” His wife called from upstairs. “Are you there? Adrian?”

“Why don’t you let yourself out and go,” Adrian said under his breath to the young woman, in as much as an authoritative tone as his dry voice could muster. “I will see you on the bus tomorrow and we’ll talk about it then.”

The young woman unzipped her hoodie to reveal a naked surface of pale white skin from throat to navel. She crossed the short distance between them and peered up into his eyes. Both her hands clasped her heart and tears gushed from both her eyes.

“Will you fix my soul, Adrian? Will you repair me? You are my only chance.”

Adrian’s grip on the bat slackened. His brow creased. His head shook slightly to one side, analysing her from an angle on his canted neck.
“Peck me, here. That’s all you have to do. End my suffering.”
He did so, rather than deliberate on it. Her breastbone was hard and hot on his lips. Then he pushed her away, picking up her money from the table and stuffing it into her pocket. She didn’t resist, zipping herself up and smiling widely, a joyous revel in her beaming eyes, skipping towards the front door and melting into the night like a silver ghoul, sending a whispered thank you from the garden like a musical note on the wind.

“It’s okay,” he called to his wife. “It’s okay, hun.”

Two minutes later he was lying to the old bill as well
© Jamelia K 2010Zombie Publications

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