The Boy without a Name – Dead Deer

The Boy without a Name

Sitting on the steps he watched the wall in front of him. A tiny crack in the plaster, perhaps, had appeared in the last weeks, low down along the bottom, toward the right. Closely studying this day after day, week after week, every single nuance in the paint was familiar.

As his age progresses his world does not. These stairs, this wall. The seasons come, move, pass, yet they are unknown to our young friend. He switches himself off, he becomes nothing. This is how the time passes. He is dimly aware as figures pass him, up, down, these blurred figures have things to do, places to be. He cannot allow himself to think of this or his own inaction, solitude becomes more acute.

And then, one day, one speaks to him. He stares, bewildered. A yellow bucket dangles in front of him. The unfamiliar sound of a voice barely penetrates. Slowly, carelessly, his muscles tense as he attempts an unused memory; to stand.

Yet his body cannot cope with this foolish, futile attempt to rise. He sighs and stumbles. His hands flail and he cannot steady himself, down and down he goes, flight after flight.

 

Today I wrote between 22:51  and 23:01. I was prompted by an idea here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, my tweets here, and my book here.

cover

If you enjoyed this short writing, a whole load more are available in paperback, and kindle editions in your local Amazon site

Mar 5th – Delirious intentions

March 5th – Delirious intentions

14.55-15.05

It was one of those summers. Hot, sticky, and long, where the days lingered into the evening and the heat stayed until night-time only to fire itself up again in the morning. The days were feverish, tempers frayed, and poor decisions were often made.

Sam was good at poor decisions. At the best of times. The summer heat just made him worse.

Sam was older than most of his friends, by a few months. Sam was also, by virtue of his age, the first of his friends to get a scooter.

It was late July. School was over, for the summer, and most of Sam’s friends would be going back in September, although Sam’s predicted grades made it unlikely that he was going to be. The local 6th form college, and something practical, seemed to be the best option: for now he was just going to wait and see. And so here they were, enjoying a summer of freedom, down at the beach where the heat and the haze made the shingle sing.

Sam was there, of course, shirtless, taking in the sun. Kyle and Robbie, too, and Lisa and her friend Clara: cold cokes and warm sandwiches and suncream. But as the afternoon stretched itself out, Sam was getting restless. The heat was getting to him. And by the looks of it, to Kyle and Robbie too, although for some reason the girls still seemed effortlessly cool, and patient, in short shorts and bikini tops. Effortlessly cool girls, who needed to be impressed.

Both Kyle and Robbie blamed the other for what came next. And Sam. They blamed Sam, of course, because, obviously, he did it. But between them they had laid a length of scaffold board across the top of one of the groynes, and another three across the beach leading up to it, and then Sam was on his scooter, engine on, revving as hard as he could, with a head full of sunshine and girls in bikini tops and a desperate, delirious need to impress.

Kyle and Robbie roared him on.

Sam roared himself on, opening the throttle and kicking the bike into gear. He kept the scooter straight as he crossed the boards, heading the ramp that would lead him to glory. He lifted the front wheel up and hit the ramp, throttle twisted back as far as it would go, engine open. One, then two wheels left the end of the ramp.

The sickening crunch of bike and Sam hitting the shingle was inevitable. In Sam’s head he sailed off the end of the ramp, rode up the beach to the sea wall and back to where he started, where either Clara or Lisa (it didn’t matter which) got onto the back of his scooter, pressing herself against his naked back as they drove off own the coast.

In reality, Sam’s head, still inside the helmet, fortunately, was ringing. He couldn’t see. His arm didn’t feel right, and his legs were sticky with his own blood. His bike, lying to the side, was almost folded in half. The drop, on the other side of the groyne, was three times the one on the side he had jumped from. Kyle had moved from filming to calling, and almost before he had explained the situation, the air ambulance was on its way. Robbie was a little bit sick. The girls were frozen, horrified, then resourceful. They knew better than to try to move Sam.

And still the sun beat down, and still the mercury rose.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

Mar 4th – Sorry, my cat fell off the cupboard

March 4th – Sorry, my cat fell off the cupboard

09.35-09.50*

It shouldn’t really have gone wrong. Or as wrong as it did.

It was, all things considered, a fairly sound idea: a TV panel show, made up of the usual mix of comedians and ‘celebrities’, a little bit edgy, but nothing too risky. A sarcastic host, with laughs at his own and the panel’s expense. Ridiculous storylines, played for laughs.

The pitch was well received by the executives, who needed a new comedy panel show after the cancellation of What You Looking At? caused by the host’s surprising elevation to the A-List and relocation to America, along with a general acceptance that, after six series, the show had run its course. And so, after a few meetings, and some serious discussions with the potential new host and his agent, the green light was given, and a pilot was due to record.

The general idea was this: each panellist would, using a prompt given by the host, recount a story that would end in a ridiculous way, hence the Sorry, my cat fell off the cupboard of the title. The other panellists would interject, challenge, ask questions, attempt to derail the narrative, all played for laughs. The studio was sure they were onto a good thing: some mock-ups played out with the host worked well, and there were smiles and drinks all round.

Then came the day of the pilot.

The panel had, they were sure, been well chosen. Suzie Rice, an up-and-coming comedian, a regular on similar shows, and a good line in acerbic wit. Sanjay Pereira, ticking (although they would never admit it to themselves) the diversity box, something Sanjay would (they hoped) bring up on the show. Caroline Burge, author, newspaper columnist and outspoken critic of…well…just about everything. And Chris.

Chris Welsh. Alternative comedian, media bad-boy, and a potential risk. But a risk that was worth taking if they were going to get the share of the viewing figures they were after. Chris Welsh was, in all areas, a bit of a loose cannon.

And the loose cannon fired. Loosely.

He was two hours late for recording, having assured them all (through his agent, naturally) that he would be on time. And when he did arrive, it was clear that he had not spent those two hours idly. Or soberly.

He made it to his seat, took a big swig of water, assured the studio (and the studio audience, eagerly anticipating their chance to be part of something new) that he was ‘Fucking great, OK?’ and waited for the cameras to roll.

The intro music was played. It miscued, and was played again. The host rolled out his scripted introduction, and the show began.

At first, it all went as planned. Sanjay Pereira played the diversity card, Caroline Burge was rude about him, but just rude enough for it not to be offensive, and Suzie Rice kept things ticking over, winning the points for the first round. Chris Welsh was oddly quiet.

The recording stopped, a break was taken, and Chris Welsh disappeared backstage. When he returned, five minutes later, it was clear that he was a little more chemically assisted than he had been in the first part of the show. It took 45 seconds of recording for this to become abundantly clear to everyone in the studio.

45 seconds before he left his seat, walked up to one of the two front-facing cameras, and smiled straight into the lens. It wasn’t, as later footage showed, a very reassuring smile. Rather than then going back to his seat, he walked around the front of the desk where the other bemused panellists were seated, and threw his glass of water into Suzie Rice’s face. She barely had time to react, before he reached the host, seated in the middle, and swung an impressive right hook.

Impressive, but impressively wide of the mark. The momentum of the punch took him over the desk, breaking it in half as he fell, his foot catching in the wires of the host’s monitor and sending it smashing to the floor.

And that was that. The recording, obviously, with a destroyed set, was cancelled. The audience were sent home, surprisingly more entertained than if they had watched the recording of an actual show.

Sorry, my cat fell off the cupboard passed into legend: the show that never was.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here

*I cheated a little. This one didn’t want to end. I wished it would.